Herb Alabanda

Research Heraldry Herb Alabanda

Herbarz Polski translation

Alabanda herb

The following article is a direct translation from the classic Genealogical and Heraldic reference "Herbarz Polski " by Kasper Niesiecki S.J., (Lipsk) edition 1839-46.


THE ALABANDA or ALBALANT, as Damalewicz prefers it, has a white moon on its shield in the crescent phase, its horns pointing upward between which is the head of a horse, its neck touching the moon, facing to the left of the shield, in a black field according to Paprocki; in a brown field according to Bielski; and gray, according to Okolski. On the helmet are five ostrich plumes; some say three. At first, Paprocki claimed that the crest reached us during the reign of Boleslaw the Wrymouth through one whose name "Alband " was given to the crest. Later, he corrected himself in his book on heraldry - with which others agree - that the crest was brought earlier, in the time of Mieczyslaw, first Prince of the Polish Christian Monarchs, by Jasnach, first Bishop of Kruswice, from Italy.


There are many who use a horse in their crests although not in this form. Wedekindus or Witekindus, Saxon Duke, used a seal with a black colt until his rebirth through Baptism, when Emperor Charles the Great changed it to a white horse.


Charles V, wishing to curtail the freedom of the Neopolitans, erected a mighty castle with fortress under the pretext of a monastery, to which he invited the local citizens, asking what kind of crest would make them proud, to which they replied: "one with a horse." "With a bit in his mouth?" he asked. "Without a bit," they said. "Because he was always free. No one ever restrained him." Pointing his finger at the newly built fortress, the Emperor said: "Hoc est fraenum equi vestri." "That will be an appropriate bit to your freedom."


In 966, Jasnach or Lucidus, first Bishop of Kruswice or of Kujawy as they are now known since the place was changed, came to Poland with Cardinal Egidius, Bishop of Tuscany. Zealous and humble, distinguished for his exemplary life, Jasnach was sent by Pope John XIII to this new branch of the true faith where he immediately set out to meet his responsibilities by bringing in priests from Czechoslovakia and other provinces who were versed in the Slavic language. He divided his diocese among them, sharing his solicitude, and provided the income due them. In the village of Dzwiernie, assigned to the bishopric by Mieczyslaw, he built the parish church, and many houses of God elsewhere so that, according to Damalewicz, there is hardly a church in Kujawy that does not attribute its first construction to him. Old charters attest to this. Death terminated his twenty-seven year administration of the Church in Wroclaw in 993. His body is buried in Dzwiernie.


Paprocki adds Mamphiola, the 35th Bishop of Płock, to this crest where I, too, place him, going by his testimony. After the death of Henry, the first prelate of Płock of the blood of the Mazowsze Princes, Pope Boniface IX exerted great pressure to maintain Mamphiola in this eminent position, despite the fact that he was not chosen by the capitula, nor was he one of those submitted by the hereditary Lords to Rome for consecration. Although Mamphiola was well-connected with Boniface, had the Pope's support and the church's censure on his side, nevertheless, the King of Poland, as well as the Princes of Mazowsze, and even the Capitula of Płock, in order to prevent any derogation of their rights should someone, and in particular, a foreigner, be seated in this manner, absolutely refused to allow the prelate to take possession, postponing the entire matter until the agreed upon election of the future Pope (at this time, the Catholic Church was in turmoil, disrupted by great Schisms).


Meanwhile, Mamphiolus became ill of melancholia, resigned as bishop, and from life. Długosz says that before his death, he had freely deprived himself of the office for the sake of peace. The year of his death is said to be 1395 by Nakielski; 1399 by Lubienski, who in a later edition corrected it as being 1396, holding with Długosz. Mamphiolus was buried in Rome "in Ara Caeli " with the title: Bishop of Płock.


No other families of this crest are listed by the authors and I understand that Poland did not have any.


Copyright © 1979 Josephine M. Piegzik. Used by permission. This article originally appeared in Polish Genealogical Society Newsletter  (Vol. 1, No. 2, June 1979), the journal of the Polish Genealogical Society (of America).