The practice of using symbols to represent people is ancient, and in Scotland, it evolved into a complex system of armory. Although greatly influenced by England’s example, Scotland’s heraldic tradition also developed on its own, and there are many devices that are uniquely, and sometimes, exclusively Scottish.
An Achievement of Arms such as the Kinloch arms depicted typically consists of these parts: the Escrolls, displaying the family motto and name, the family crest (if any) seen above the helmet, the actual Coat of arms (also known as ‘arms,’ or ‘the shield’), the Helmet depicted below the crest, the Torse on top of the helmet, and the Mantle draped from the helmet. Each of these elements will be described below. Supporters were a later addition to the Achievement; they are somewhat rare, and are usually personal to the grantee.
The mantle was spread over and draped from the helmet and served as a protection, ‘to repel the extremities of wet,
cold, and heat, and to preserve the armour from rust.’ The numerous cuts and slits suggest that it had been torn and
hacked on the field of battle. The style or design of the mantling is up to the individual heraldic artist, and it is usually depicted in the main color and metal from the shield. The helmet (or Helm) varied in shape in different ages and countries, often depicting rank. The Esquire’s Helm, as depicted here, is generally shown silver, with a closed visor and facing to the dexter (its right). On top of the helmet is a Torse or wreath which was formed by two pieces of silk twisted together. Its purpose was to hold the crest and mantle on the Helm.
The boar is the symbol of intrepidness. A champion among wild beasts, he encounters enemies with nobility and courage, and has thus come to signify the traits of bravery and perseverance. The boar is a fierce combatant when atbay and never ceases to resist, even when cornered.
This device was given only to those considered fierce warriors. A wild boar is referred to as a sanglier, though there isn’t actually any difference from a domestic boar in the way that it is drawn. A boar may be drawn whole in various different positions or couped. The head of a boar is sometimes drawn erect, with the snout pointing directly up.