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Livery

A badge derived from the coat of arms used to mark the goods and servants of the armigerous classes. Wearing the insignia or livery of the lord indicated that a 'servant' acted under his protection and authority and was thus under obligation to do him service. Armies in the sixteenth century were customarily made up of bands of men wearing the livery of a lord and under just such an obligation. The system had its advantages and disadvantages for the central government - it reduced costs but it also reduced reliability.