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Sutherland Coat of Arms / Sutherland Family Crest

Sutherland Coat of Arms / Sutherland Family Crest

SUTHERLAND families derived their name from the shire of the name. The territory lying to the south of Caithness was known to the Norsemen as Sudrland, in English Sutherland. The Earls of Sutherland, who were chiefs of the clan till 1514, are descended from Freskin, the progenitor of the Murrays. The Earldom of Sutherland, claimed to be the oldest in Britain, is alleged to have been granted to William, Lord of Sutherland about 1228. Early records mention David de Sothirlande, who was partner to an agreement in 1332, regarding lands. Nicholaus de Suthirlandia was juror on an assize in 1389, relating to the mill lands of Quarelwode in Moray. Alexander Sutherland was vicar of Westray in 1441. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Other instances of the name refer to safe conduct to travel into England which were issued to Margaret Sutherlande and Robert Sutherlane in 1444. Forbes Sutherland in Aberdeenshire sailor was the first Briton buried in Australian soil, May 1770. A notable member of the name was Graham Vivian SUTHERLAND (1903-80) the English artist, born in London. From 1941 until 1945 he was an official war artist. After that he produced several portraits including Somerset Maugham (1949) and a controversial portrait of Sir Winston Churchill (1955) which was destroyed on the instructions of Lady Churchill.

Gaelic Name: Sutherlarach Plant Badge: Butcher's broom, Cotton sedge.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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