hatchment

/hach"meuhnt/, n. Heraldry.
a square tablet, set diagonally, bearing the coat of arms of a deceased person.
[1540-50; var. (by syncopation and aspiration) of ACHIEVEMENT]

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  heraldic memorial to a deceased person. The word is a corruption of achievement, the correct term for the full armorial display of shield, helmet, crest, mantling, wreath, and such additaments as mottoes, supporters, coronets, and compartment as are appropriate. This kind of memorial seems to be restricted mainly to the British Isles, Belgium, and The Netherlands. In England and Belgium the hatchment, or funeral escutcheon, as it is sometimes called, is diamond-shaped, made of wood or canvas in a black-edged frame; on it are emblazoned the arms of the deceased. The hatchment is placed first over the principal entrance of the house in mourning and is moved to the church of burial when the period of mourning is complete (12 months being traditional).

      Hatchments developed in England from the 17th century and declined in the 19th, though they are by no means obsolete. Many old English parish churches contain hatchments—for example, St. Giles Church in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire.

      The background of the device is painted black throughout for an unmarried man or woman or for a widower or widow. For a married person with a surviving spouse, the part beneath the survivor's arms is painted white. In the case of a bishop or other head of a public armigerous corporation, the sinister side, which bears the personal arms, is painted black under the arms, and the dexter side, under the official arms, remains white.

      Frequently, especially on Scottish hatchments, the arms of both parents and sometimes of the grandparents of the deceased appear. A parallel Continental custom is to make circular plaques of the arms of the deceased as well as memorial slabs with the arms of the parents and grandparents upon them. See also heraldic memorial.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hatchment — Hatch ment ( ment), n. [Corrupt. fr. achievement.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Her.) A sort of panel, upon which the arms of a deceased person are temporarily displayed, usually on the walls of his dwelling. It is lozenge shaped or square, but is hung… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hatchment — [hach′mənt] n. [for earlier atcheament, altered < ACHIEVEMENT] Heraldry a diamond shaped panel bearing the coat of arms of a person who has recently died, displayed before the house during mourning …   English World dictionary

  • Hatchment — A hatchment is a funeral escutcheon or armorial shield enclosed in a black lozenge shaped frame which used to be suspended against the wall of a deceased person s house. It was usually placed over the entrance at the level of the second floor,… …   Wikipedia

  • hatchment — Achievement A*chieve ment ( ment), n. [Cf. F. ach[ e]vement, E. {Hatchment}.] 1. The act of achieving or performing; an obtaining by exertion; successful performance; accomplishment; as, the achievement of his object. [1913 Webster] 2. A great or …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hatchment — noun Etymology: perhaps alteration of achievement Date: 1548 a panel on which a coat of arms of a deceased person is temporarily displayed …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hatchment — noun An escutcheon of a deceased person, placed within a black lozenge and hung on a wall …   Wiktionary

  • Hatchment — Her. Armorial device or *escutcheon; a painted board displaying the arms of a person who had died, set on their house or in a church …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • hatchment — see ACHIEVE …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • hatchment — n. plaque on which the coat of arms of a deceased person is displayed (Heraldry) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • hatchment — noun a large diamond shaped tablet bearing the coat of arms of someone who has died, displayed in their honour. Origin C16: prob. from obs. Fr. hachement, from OFr. acesmement adornment …   English new terms dictionary

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