4.17. The Arms of Sir Gawain and James Cottrell

The arms of Sir Gawain consisted of a gold pentangle on a red background


Then þay shewed hym þe schelde, þat was of schyr goulez
Wyth þe pentangel depaynt of pure golde hwez;

  --Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (619-620)

The arms of the family of James Cottrell consisted of three gold mascles on a blue background (Azure, three mascles or).  These three mascles can be re-arranged to define a gold pentangle, see Section D.1.  No worse than relating masclellez in Pearl (l.732) to the sable mascles in the arms of the Mascy of Sale [GREENWOOD56] (p.11).  The arms James Cottrell assumed in Portugal were a blue and gold chessboard, perhaps striking a memory of Sir Gawain in Wolfram's “Parzival” having to defend himself with a chessboard when he didn't have a shield to hand.