Throughout the ages, men have sought means to identify themselves. Ancient Egyptians had standards with animals on them, which were carried into battle. Each Hebrew tribe had a particular emblem (eg. the standard of Judah with a lion upon it). Each division in the army has a distinctive emblem. Cattle & stock brands were Heraldry of the range and in the days of the open range at roundup, each owner recognized his cattle by his brand. Emblems also represent various products.
Coat armor for individuals was not very common in Europe until after the Crusades, when it became necessary for the nobles and rulers to distinguish themselves. They needed something for their men to rally around, when it became a science bound by regulations which were supervised by a College of Heralds, which are still in existence in England, Ireland, & Scotland.
To further differentiate, each son had a badge of cadetsy added to his family Arms, a custom which was done away with at the close of the Middle Ages, when standing armies came into existence. We will discuss what pertains only to our ABNEY Coat of Arms.
The Arms (shield) is divided into the chief (upper third), fess (middle third), and base. The metals are or (gold) and argent (silver). The color which applies to the ALBINI & ABNEY Arms is gules (red). The ALBINI Arms are described as: Gules (red), a lion rampant, or (gold). The Crest (above the Arms) is described as: demi-lion (half-lion) rampant, or (gold), holding a pellet, gules (red), between the paws. The Mantle [which is not officially a part of the Coat or Arms] is a covering of the neck extending from the base of the helmet, and contains the colors [and metals] in the Arms. You will notice that the d’INGWARDBY Coat of Arms (used by our ABNEY family) has the identical Crest and Mantling as those of ALBINI. In modern-day Heraldry, the helmet is represented by a torso or wreath. The Arms of d’INGWARDBY are: On a chief, gules (red), a lion passant (walking), argent (silver). See his book, ABNEY fore these and other family Coats of Arms. by John R. HENSELL