Fret; Fretty & Heater


Joseph Foster in his book ‘Feudal Coats of Arms’ describes the coat of arms borne by Sir Nicholas de Audley, Baron of Heleigh, at the battle of Falkirk in 1298 as ‘gules a fret (vel fretty) or’. That is  a gold interwoven lattice on a red background. The lattice is described as a fret (alternatively a fretty).The purpose of this page is to explain the difference  between a ‘Fret’ and a ‘Fretty’ as these shields form the basis of the coats of arms used by other members of the Audley Family. This explanation is based on information in ‘Heraldry’ by Henry Bedingfield, Rouge Croix Pursuivant & Peter Gwynn-Jones, Lancaster Herald published in 1993

A Fret
The definition of a Fret: A mascle interlaced with a bendlet and a bendlet sinister

A bend  A lozenge (a diamond) A bend sinister
A bendlet A mascle (a voided lozenge) A bendlet sinister
Combining the above three ‘Ordinaries’ onto a single shield gives the following three versions of a fret

The definition of a Fretty: Bendlets and Bendlets sinister interlaced throughout the shield. This looks like netting.

A Bendlet
A Bendlet sinister

By combining bendlets and bendlets sinister one can produce a number of different designs of a Fretty depending upon the number of  bendlets and bendlets sinister used and the way they are interlaced as shown below.

The shape of the shield used on this page is known as a ‘heater’ the relative dimensions are shown below