In English law. A tool depicted in the (now imaginary) shield of just one regarding the nobility, that gentry may be the lowest degree. The criterion of nobility may be the bearing of arms, or armorial bearings, received from ancestry. A r m o roentgen u m appellatione, non solum scuta et gladii et galeae, sed et fustes e
Thus the mitre over an English bishop's coat-of-arms is a survival which indicates him as the successor of bishops who actually wore mitres, while armorial bearings themselves, and the whole craft of heraldry, are survivals bearing record of a state of warfare and social order whence our present state was by vast modification evolved.