Whittington Coat of Arms / Whittington Family Crest
The surname of WHITTINGTON was a locational name 'of Whittington' parishes in counties Gloucestershire, Bristol, Norwich and Manchester. Early records of the name mention 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. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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