The HUMPHREY Coat of Arms
Note: according to Hereldic Armories, coats of arms are issued to individuals, not families. I have provided an image of this version of the arms and the associated information because I considered it of general interest for the HUMPHREYsurname.
(This is part of the Introduction to the book "Humphreys in America" by Dr. Frederick Humphreys, published c1895)
Coats of arms, when well authenticated, are the most substantial proofs of the antiquity of a family. The Herald's office in England was instituted in 1340. At this period, from an examination or search mad by "Shielde," as noted in the marshalling of arms in the frontispiece, these six several Humphrey arms (then spelled Humfrey) were in existence, and were duly recorded. In 1390, the same arms, the sable with four pallets of ermine, were duly emblazoned, as trappings of the horse mounted by Sir JOHN HOMFRAY whose picture, up to a recent date, remained in the British Museum. He seems to have belonged to the same family as Le Sire D'Onfrei, the crusader, from whom the baronet of the name Homfray claims decent.
It will be noted that the cross bottony, or budded cross, is used as the crest, or as the central figure, on several of the Humphrey arms. These crusader crosses were the marks of distinction awarded or allowed to the knights who had borne arms in the "Holy wars," or wars for the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre. The escalop shell also indicates a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James, and the Holy Land. The bezants were heavy gold coins of the value of fifteen pounds sterling, which were used for redemption of Christian captives taken in the Holy wars and held in captivity by the infidels, and indicate the large use of this money by the wearer, for this purpose.
The fleu-de-lis now represented upon the royal standards of France and England, and also noted on so many of the Humphrey arms, could only be there because of such use of them before their appropriation by the crowns above mentioned, and at a period anterior to the formal establishment of the College of Heralds. These facts show the great antiquity and former renown of the family.
(Note: The crest above was supposedly copied from Dr. Humphreys book. From what I understand about Heraldry, each families crest would be different, based on individual lineage, so while the above crest is beautifully detailed, it would not be the crest for ALL Humphrey families. To find out more about this interesting subject, you should search your local library and the web. Also write to the Herald's office in England. If you know who you are descended from, I believe you can get a copy of Your family's coat of arms.)
One more thing--be very cautious should your "coat of arms" tie in the back ;) "
HUMPHREY Coat of Arms.