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Funerary hatchment of Thomas White, in St Nicholas' Church, Tuxford.


From Middle French hachement, a modification of Old French acesmement (adornment) (related to Italian accismare); not, as is often claimed, an alteration of achievement.[1]



English Wikipedia has an article on:

hatchment (plural hatchments)

  1. (heraldry) A display of the arms, supporters, crests, motto, etc of a deceased person, placed within a black lozenge and hung on a wall
    • c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene v], page 275, column 1:
      No Trophee, Sword, nor Hatchment o're his bones.
    • 1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 7, in Vanity Fair [], London: Bradbury and Evans [], published 1848, →OCLC:
      Having passed through Gaunt Square into Great Gaunt Street, the carriage at length stopped at a tall gloomy house between two other tall gloomy houses, each with a hatchment over the middle drawing-room window; as is the custom of houses in Great Gaunt Street, in which gloomy locality death seems to reign perpetual.
    • 2012 October 8, Daniel W. Patterson, The True Image: Gravestone Art and the Culture of Scotch Irish Settlers in the Pennsylvania and Carolina Backcountry[1], UNC Press Books, →ISBN, page 141:
      The second and third quarters of the shield are indecipherable on the stone but clearer in two other representations of the arms, a painted wooden funeral hatchment for Mary Davie []



  1. ^ hatchment, n.1.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2017.