The surname of MARSTON was a locational name 'of Marston' of which there are at least five parishes of this name throughout England, including places in the diocese of York, Lincoln and County Hereford. Early records of the name mention Petronilla de Merston, 1273, County Oxford. Margeria de Merston of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Marston of Warwick, registered at Oxford University in the year 1591. The name is also spelt Merston. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Hawston, County Leicestershire. Granted 1619. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour.
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