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English Coat of Arms / English Family Crest

English Coat of Arms / English Family Crest

The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Granted to William English Esq., of Farmley, County Dublin, whose ancestors were originally from Scotland. This surname ENGLISH first appeared as l'Angleis. The name has been found in County Limerick since the thirteenth century, and Aingleis is the form used by the Irish. ENGLISH was a nickname 'one who hailed from England' an immigrant to Scotland, Ireland or Wales. The name was derived from the Old word ENGLISC. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. Early records of the name mention William la English, 1273 County Somerset. Nicholas le Engleys was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Richard Inglish married Elizabeth McLand, St. James,s. Clerkenwell, London in 1668. It may have been commonly used in the early Middle-Ages as a distinguishing epithet for an Anglo-Saxon in areas where the culture was not predominantly English - for example the Danelaw area, Scotland and parts of Wales, or as a distinguishing name after the year 1066 for a non-Norman in regions of most intensive Norman settlement. However, explicit evidence for these assumptions is lacking, and at the present day the surname is fairly evenly distributed throughout the country. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that 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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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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