Marlborough Coat of Arms / Marlborough Family Crest
The surname of MARLBOROUGH was local 'of Marlborough' the well known town in County Wiltshire. The name was originally rendered in Old English as MEARLE BEORGE, and the earliest of the name on record appears to be MERLEBERGE (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. MALLEBERG (without surname) was documented in Dorset in 1270. Most of the place-names that yield surnames are usually of small communities, villages, hamlets, some so insignificant that they are now lost to the map. A place-name, it is reasonable to suppose, was a useful surname only when a man moved from his place of origin to elsewhere, and his new neighbours bestowed it, or he himself adopted it. Other instances of the name include John de MARLEBERGE who was recorded in County Oxford in 1273 and Thomas de MARLEBERGE of County Somerset, appears during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. Later instances of the name mention William, son of Mr MARLBOROWE, who was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1595, and Anne, daughter of Robert MARLBOROE was baptised at the same church in 1604. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. 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. Francis MARLBOROUGH and Elizabeth Hall were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1775. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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