This surname MARVELL is of two-fold origin. It was a nickname for some person considered to be prodigious in some way. The name was originally derived from the Old French word 'merveille' meaning miracle, and was no doubt given with a mocking intent. Nicknames usually originated as a by-name for someone by describing their appearance, personal disposition or character but which became handed down through the ages and did not apply to their descendants. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion from Merville near Calvados, being a habitation name of this place. Early records of the name mention Richard Merveyle who was documented in County Cambridge in 1275, and Rogert Marvell appears in 1306 in County Essex. Ranulph de Mereville appears in the same year in the Isle of Wight. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. Later instances of the name include William, son of William Marvel who was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1702, and Richard Marvel and Elizabeth Walford were married at St. Mary, Aldermary, London in 1724. A notable member of the name was Andrew Marvell (1621-78) who was the English poet, born in Hull in the village of Winestead where his father was the rector. His ancestry can be traced back to 1279 in the area of Meldreth, Cambs. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Granted to Andrew Marvel, the patriotic Member of Parliament during the reign of Charles I and Charles II.
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