[Heraldry] came into existence, because it was needed for practical use; it was accepted and cherished, because it did much more than fulfil its avowed purpose. At first, simply useful to distinguish particular individuals, especially in war and at the tournament, English Heraldry soon became popular; and then, with no less rapidity, it rose to high honour and dignity.

FromĀ The Handbook to English Heraldry by Charles Boutell, p31

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