The surname of MALES was derived from the old French 'masle' a name meaning masculine. The name was brought into England during the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The name is also spelt MALES and MADLE. The earliest French hereditary surnames are found in the 12th century, at more or less the same time as they arose in England, but they are by no means common before the 13th century, and it was not until the 15th century that they stabilized to any great extent; before then a surname might be handed down for two or three generations, but then abandoned in favour of another. In the south, many French surnames have come in from Italy over the centuries, and in Northern France, Germanic influence can often be detected. Early records of the name mention Stephen Male, 1230 County Essex. John Mayle of London, registered at Oxford University in the year 1607. George Male married Sarah Longworth at St. Peter. Cornhill, London in 1714. Baptised. Sarah Male at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1735.
The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings. The name is also spelt Male and Mail.
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