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Reuben Coat of Arms / Reuben Family Crest

Reuben Coat of Arms / Reuben Family Crest

This surname REUBEN was originally derived from the Hebrew, Rueuben, 'Behold a son' from the Old Testament, Jacob's eldest son. By the 18th century, this name was in general use in England, and it is not confined to Jewish families. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form RUBINUS and has numerous variant spellings which include RUBENS, RUBINSKY, RIVEL, RUBENCHIK, RUBENCZIK, REUBBENS and RUBINSHTEIN, to name but a few. Peter Paul RUBENS (1577-1640) was the eminent Flemish painter, born in Siegen in Westphalia. He studied from 1587 in Antwerp and in 1600 went to Italy; in Venice he studied the works of Titian and Veronese. He next entered the service of the Duke of Mantua, and in 1605 he was despatched on a mission to Philip III of Spain, thus beginning his career as a diplomat. While in Madrid he executed many portraits, as well as historical subjects. In 1629 he was appointed envoy to Charles I of Britain to seek for peace, and while he conducted a delicate negotiation with tact and success, he painted Peace and War. He was an outstanding man, with spirit, energy and an exuberance for life. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. 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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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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