This English, French and German surname of LAMBRIGHT was originally derived from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements LAND (land, territory) and BERHT (bright and famous). The name was in England before the Norman Conquest of 1066 in the form LANDBEORHT and seems to have survived that era, and then was massively reinforced by the Continental form imported by the Normans from France. The name gained yet wider currency in the Middle Ages with the immigration of weavers from Flanders, where St. Lambert, bishop of Maastricht, circa. 700 was a popular figure. In Italy the name was popular in the Middle Ages as a result of the fame of Lambert I and II, Dukes of Spoleto and the Holy Roman Emperors. The name is found in many forms, the most popular in England is Lambert. Lambart is the family name of the Earls of Cavan. They were established in Ireland by Oliver Lambart (died 1618) who accompanied the Earl of Essex and became governor of Connaught. Their earliest ancestors include John Lamber of Preston, named in 15th century documents. Early records of the name mention Johannes de Lamehirde, 1310 Wiltshire. Johannes Lambherd of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Agnes Lambertson listed in the Wills at Chester, in the year 1680. A notable member of the name was John Lambert (1619-84) the English parliamentary soldier, born in Catton, near Settle in Yorkshire, He studied at the Inns of Court, but on an outbreak of the Civil War in 1641, he became a captain under Thomas Fairfax, and at Marston Moor led a cavalry. He helped Cromwell to crush the Scots under James, 3rd Marquis of Hamilton, and captured Pontefract Castle in March of 1649. He suppressed the Royalist insurrection in Cheshire in August 1659, and virtually governed the country with his offices as the 'committee of safety'. Eventually he was sent to the Tower, tried in 1662, and kept prisoner until his death. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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