The surname of CRANMER was a locational name meaning 'one who came from CRANMERE' near Long Melford in County Suffolk. The name is also spelt CRANMOR and CRANMORE. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Hugh de CRANMERE, who was recorded in 1273, County Lancashire, and William CRANMERE was recorded in 1414, County Suffolk. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries.
In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. A notable member of the name was Thomas CRANMER (1489-1556) the English prelate and archbishop of Canterbury, born in Nottingham. He was sent in 1503 by his widowed mother to Jesus College, Cambridge, where in 1510, he obtained a scholarship. He met, through pupils at Cambridge, Henry VIII, and was appointed a royal chaplain and archdeacon of Taunton, and was attached to the household of Anne Boleyn's father (Anne at the time being Henry's paramour). He was burnt at the stake in l556. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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