Heraldic Times — Geoffrey Plantagenet RSS

Feudal Nobility, part 4

THE 3RD CRUSADE . The concept of Knighthood arose among the nobles and an esquires manor was rated according to the number of knights that were required in order to run their fiefdom. This system was in place in England and Germany by the 13th century. Thus these socio-ethnological foundations of medieval society arose in one form or another throughout western Europe and resulted in the feudal system that remained in place until the late 15th century. It is important to note that feudalism and knighthood predated Heraldry by a few hundred years. When arms began to be used in the sense that can be called Heraldic- that is when a man bore a device on his shield consistently throughout...

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The Origins of Heraldry part 6

We have only to compare the designs in the Bayeux Tapestry with those seen in the Luttrell Psalter to see how much over the course of 300 years the quality of the artwork progressed from the crude Norman and Saxon drawings. Fortunately we are able to bridge the gap with earlier illustrations prior to 1340. There is an interesting enamel which has the portrait of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, the son-in-law of Henry 1.This shows the arms used on his shield that were given to him by Henry 1 on the occasion of his marriage in 1127. Four Gold Lions appear on the shield , and as Geoffrey was the ancestor in the male line of the Plantagenets who...

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Knight's Tournaments

Coats of arms became popular during the age of tournaments. Tournaments, which were reportedly invented by Godfrey de Preuilly in 11th century France, were a training ground for knights. They showed off their skills and gained fame (or infamy) almost like the gladiators of old. A tournament itself was really a series of mounted and armored combats, fought in contest form. Many knights competed but only one could win. The one who did prevail received a prize of some sort be it the daughter of a nobleman or a hefty purse of coin. The events themselves grew in pomp and pageantry. They were the favorite sport of medieval knights and perhaps the crowds they drew in. By the 14th century,...

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