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Common about heraldry

A heraldic badge is an emblem or personal device worn as a badge to indicate allegiance to or the property of an individual or family. Medieval forms are usually called a livery badge, and also a cognizance. They are para-heraldic, not necessarily using elements from the coat-of-arms of the person or family they represent, though many do, often taking the crest or supporters. Their use was more flexible than that of arms proper, and it has been suggested that escape from the increasing rigidity of heraldic regulation was a major reason for their popularity. Badges worn on clothing were common in the late Middle Ages, particularly in England.

They could be made of base metal, cloth or other materials and worn on the clothing of the followers of the person in question; grander forms would be worn by important persons, with the Dunstable Swan Jewel in enamelled gold a rare survivor. Livery collars were also given to important persons, often with the badge as a pendant. The badge would also be embroidered or appliqued on standards, horse trappings, livery uniforms, and other belongings. Many medieval badges survive in English pub names. In the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries, well-known badges were borne by the followers, retainers, dependants, and partisans of famous and powerful personages and houses, precisely because they were known and understood. (In contrast, the coat of arms was used exclusively by the individual to whom it belonged.) Badges are occasionally taken from a charge in the bearer's coat of arms, or they have a more or less direct reference to those charges. More often, badges commemorated some remarkable exploit, illustrated a family or feudal alliance, or indicated some territorial rights or pretensions. Some badges are rebuses, making a pun or play-on-words of the owner's name. It was not uncommon for the same personage or family to use more than one badge; and, on the other hand, two or more badges were often borne in comb Livery badges were esp

cially common in England from the mid-fourteenth century until about the end of the fifteenth century, a period of intense factional conflict which saw the deposition of Richard II and the Wars of the Roses. A lavish badge like the Dunstable Swan Jewel would only have been worn by the person whose device was represented, members of his family or important supporters, and possibly servants who were in regular very close contact with him. However the jewel lacks the ultimate luxury of being set with gems, for example having ruby eyes, like the lion pendants worn by Sir John Donne and his wife[1] and several examples listed on the 1397 treasure roll of King Richard II. In the Wilton Diptych, Richard's own badge has pearls on the antler tips, which the angels' badges lack. The white hart in the badge on the Treasury Roll, which the painted one may have copied, had pearls and sat on a grass bed made of emeralds,[2] and a hart badge of Richard's inventoried in the possession of Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy in 1435 was set with 22 pearls, two spinels, two sapphires, a ruby and a huge diamond.[3] Cheaper forms of badge were more widely distributed, sometimes very freely indeed, rather as modern political campaign buttons and tee-shirts are, though as in some modern countries wearing the wrong badge in the wrong place could lead to personal danger. In 1483 King Richard III ordered 13,000 badges in fustian cloth with his emblem of a white boar for the investiture of his son Edward as Prince of Wales,[4] a huge number given the population at the time. Other grades of boar badges that have survived are in lead, silver,[5] and gilded copper relief, the last found at Richard's home of Middleham Castle in Yorkshire, and very likely worn by one of his household when he was Duke of York.[6] The British Museum also has a swan badge in flat lead, typical of the cheap metal badges which were similar to the pilgrim badges that were also common in the periodination, to form a single compound device.