This surname of WEDLOCK was derived from the Old English personal name WUDLAC, composed of the elements WUDU (wood) and LAC (play, sport). The name is also spelt WOODLOCK, WOODLAKE and WEDLAKE. The name was taken to Ireland as early as 1172 by the brothers Torsten and Reginaldus UTLAG, the sons of a Wiltshire landowner named WUDLULACH. Their descendants held large estates in Tipperary and County Dublin during the Middle Ages. In the 18th century they suffered greatly from the restrictions placed on Catholics, and several bearers of the name emigrated to France and Spain, and in the 19th century to Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. Earlier records of the name mention John WIDLOCKE, who was the vicar of Acton, in County Gloucestershire in 1593. Richard Bedford married Alice WEDLOCK at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1690. Richard Warburton married Elizabeth WEDLOCK at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in 1744. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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