A hatchment was a lozenge shaped wooden board that a noble family was
allowed to carry at a funeral, it showed the coat of arms of the family,
many have ended up hanging in churches throughout the area.
The hatchment was carried at the funeral, then would be hung outside
the notables house for up to a year, then would have been hung in the
family chapel, or church.
The design of the hatchment shows a number of things:-
A black and white background with the left being black shows that the
notable was male, married and died before his wife.
A black and white background with the right being black shows that the
notable was female, married and died before her husband.
A black background and single coat of arms was for batchelors or spinsters.
A lozenge shaped coat of arms shows that the notary was female.
A split coat of arms shows that the notary was married.
This custom came into fashion in the 1600 and some of the last ones were
made during the 1940's.