The surname of WHITING was a locational name 'of Whittington' parishes in counties Gloucestershire, Bristol, Norwich and Manchester. Early records of the name mention Adelina Wyting, 1273. Robert de Whyten, County Nottingham, during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Baptised. Noell, son of Noell Whiteing, at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in 1706. Johannes de Whityngton who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas de Whittington, County Hereford, registered at Oxford University in 1590. Baptised. John Wittington, St. Peter, Cornhill, London in 1713. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monasteries gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. 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 draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Dick Whittington is still the subject of English pantomime, but he was in fact a historical figure. He was an English merchant who was three times Lord Mayor of London. His wealth and position were partly the result of favourable loans to Henry IV. and Henry V. He was the son of a knight from Gloucester, where the family held land into the 20th century. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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