This surname of DENMADE was a locational name meaning 'one who came from DENMEAD' in Hampshire. The name was rendered in the Old English form DENEMNED, literally meaning 'the dweller at the meadow in a valley'. The first element DENN meant a pasture, especially a swine-pasture, and is common mostly as the second element of old place names in the Kent and Sussex-Weald district, and are generally names of old pastures. The name was probably brought into England by the Scandinavians at an early date. Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village in early times, has served to name many families. The earliest of the name on record appears to be DENMEDE (without surname) who was recorded in Hampshire in the year 1231. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84. The arms depicted here have been quartered with DENN and MEAD. The lion depicted in the crest is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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