Rotherforth Coat of Arms / Rotherforth Family Crest
The surname of ROTHERFORTH was a locational name 'of Rutherford', a place name in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention William De Rwthirford of Roxburghshire in 1200. Nicholas de Rothirford was recorded in the year 1296, ibid. Edward Rutheforde of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and Nicholas Rotherforthe appears in County Lancashire in 1400. John Rudderforth of the North Riding of Yorkshire was documented in 1758. Samuel Rutherford (1600-1666) was the Scottish theologian and preacher, born in Jedburgh. He graduated from Edinburgh in 1621, and in 1623 was appointed professor of humanity there, but was dismissed in 1626. He wrote in 1661 a work of biblical and scholarly erudition which refuted the divine right of kings. It was burned by the hangman in Edinburgh, and its author deposed and summoned for high treason, but he received the citation while on his deathbed. A notable member of the name was Daniel Rutherford (1749-1819) the Scottish physician and botanist, born in Edinburgh, where he became professor f botany in 1786. In 1772 he published his discovery of the distinction between 'noxious air' (nitrogen) and carbon dioxide.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. (Edgerston, Co. Roxburgh; Thomas Rutherford, of Edgerston, uncle and heir male of the last Richard Rutherford, of that Ilk; heiress m. Oliver, of Dinlabyre, who took the name of Rutherford). 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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