The Hudson family is quite unique in that an early member was
granted a Coat of Arms. Unique because there are over 1 million surnames in the world but
only 75,000 have been granted a Coat of Arms, and how the term arose is interesting.
wars were a common occurrence during the Middle Ages, more and more armour was added to a
knight's battle uniform, such that he was covered from head to foot. And as the metal suit
included a helmet to protect the head, it was nearly impossible to distinguish one knight
from another, or to tell friend from foe. A solution arose whereby knights painted a
pattern on their battle shield. These patterns were eventually woven into cloth surcoats
which were worn over the suit of armour.
To the wearer, this colourful identification became as important as his surname. The
first Arms were quite simple, consisting only of a shield with horizontal or vertical
bands. As more designs were created, it became necessary to register or copyright the
designs to prevent two knights from using the same insignia. These records called blazons
or armourials listed the family name and an exact description of the Coat of Arms. The
word heraldry is associated with the Coat of Arms as it was the role of a herald to record
Tournaments or jousting contests were popular during the days of knighthood and as each
soldier was presented at a tournament, a herald sounded a trumpet and then announced the
knight's achievements and described his Coat of Arms. For the Hudson knight's, Coat of
Arms, which are shown on the back cover of this book, the herald would have recorded the
brief description. -
'PER CHEV. EMBATTLED AR. AND GU.
THREE ESCALLOPS COUNTERCHANGED'.
Translated into something we could understand
would read. -
'DIVIDED BY A CHEVRONIC LINE OF DIVERSITY,
IN THE PATTERN OF A CASTLE BATTLEMENT,
INTO AN UPPER SILVER PORTION AND A
LOWER RED PORTION. TWO RED SHELLS ARE
DISPLAYED IN THE CHIEF AND ONE SILVER
SHELL IN THE BASE OF THE SHIELD.'