Coat-armour Sentence Examples
The device of hereditary coat-armour, a growth of the 12th century, did much to define and mark out the noble class throughout Europe.
Those who would elsewhere have been counted as the nobility, the bearers of coat-armour bygood right, were hindered from forming a class holding any substantial privilege.
There can be no doubt that the class in England which answers to the noblesse of other lands is the class that bears coat-armour, the gentry strictly so called.'
That coat-armour has been lavishly granted and often assumed without right, that the word "gentleman" has acquired various secondary senses, proves nothing; that is the natural result of a state of things in which the status of gentry carries with it no legal advantage, and yet is eagerly sought after on social grounds.
If coat-armour, and thereby the rank of gentry, has been lavishly granted, some may think that the rank of peerage has often been lavishly granted also.
Coat-armour was in itself not necessarily a badge of nobility at all; it could be, and was, worn by people having no pretensions to be "gentlemen," and this is true both of England and the continent.
The claim of the heralds to make "gentry" depend on the bearing of coat-armour, and the right to this depend on grant or recognition by themselves as officers of the crown, is of comparatively late growth.
The use of the fleur-de-lis in heraldry dates from the 12th century, soon after which period it became a very common charge in France, England and Germany, where every gentleman of coat-armour desired to adorn his shield Middle Ages.