Definitions for cadencyˈkeɪd n si
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word cadency
a recurrent rhythmical series
descent of related families; distinction between the members of a family according to their ages
In heraldry, cadency is any systematic way of distinguishing otherwise identical coats of arms belonging to members of the same family. Cadency is necessary in heraldic systems in which a given design may be owned by only one person at once, generally the head of the senior line of a particular family. Because heraldic designs may be used by sons whilst their father is still alive, some form of differencing is required so as not to usurp the father's arms, known as the "undifferenced" or "plain coat". Historically arms were only heritable by males and therefore cadency marks have no relevance to daughters, except in the modern era in Canadian heraldry. These differences are formed by adding to the arms small and inconspicuous marks called brisures, similar to charges but smaller. They are placed on the fess-point, or in-chief in the case of the label. Brisures are generally exempt from the rule of tincture. One of the best examples of usage from the mediaeval is shown on the seven Beauchamp cadets in the stained-glass windows of St Mary's Church, Warwick.
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