The surname of MADELEY was a habitation name from a place so called on the River Thames in Oxford. The name was originally derived from the elements MIDDEL (middle) and EG (island), literally meaning the dweller on the island on the river. It was also occasionally used as a nickname for an aggressive person, rendered originally in the Latin form MISCULATA meaning 'conflict' Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. Early records of the name mention Simon atte Midele, who was documented in County Somerset during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). John Medley registered at Oxford University in the year 1578, and George Medley and Elizabeth Constance were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1792. The associated coat of arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Buxted, County Sussex, descended from Benedict Medley, Clerk of the Signet to Henry VIII. 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.
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