Blazons & Genealogy Notes
(Fowell’s Combe, co. Devon, bart., extinct 1692; an Anglo-Saxon family, stated to have existed at Fowell’s Combe previously to the Conquest. Sir Edmond Fowell, of Fowell’s Combe, Knt., M.P. for co. Devon, was created a baronet in 1661; his grandson, Sir John Fowell, of Fowell’s Combe, the third and last baronet, M.P. for Totnes, d. in 1692, when the male representation of the family devolved upon his kinsman, William Fowell, Esq., of Black Hall and Diptford). Motto—Non ostento sed ostendo. Ar. a chev. sa. on a chief gu. three mullets pierced of the first. Crest—Out of a mural crown ppr. an antelope’s head ar. attired gu. Another Crest—A griffin’s head erased ar. struck through the breast with an arrow ppr.
Origin, Meaning, Family History and Fowell Coat of Arms and Family Crest
Origins of Fowell:
This interesting and uncommon name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and acquires from the Old English pre 7th Century word “fugol”, poultry, bird, which was used as a byname and as a specific name. The specific name was noted in the Winton Rolls of 1066, from Hampshire, as “Fugel,” and first shows as a surname in the mid-12th Century. The old form of the word was the Middle English advancement “foul, fowl(e),” used as a continuation of the Old English specific name and also as a nickname for a person who in some way matched a bird. The new surname from this origin has a number of variant forms, ranging from Gowle, Fowell, Fuggle, and Vowell to the patronymics Fowl(e)s, Vowel(l)s, Vouls and Fuggles. One Nicholas le Fowel noted in the Worcestershire Premium Rolls of 1275. The wedding of John Fowle and Judyth Lyndeth listed in September 1579 at St. James’s, Clerkenwell, London.
More common variations are: Fyowell, Foiwell, Foywell, Fowel, Fowll, Foell, Fwell, Fewell, Fawell, Vowell.
The surname Fowell first appeared in Devon where they held a family seat as Kings of the Estate, said to have been seated there well before the Norman Invasion. The Saxon rule of English history declined after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries, and the Norman ambience predominated.
The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Wuluard Fugel, dated about 1166, in the “Pipe Rolls of Kent,” Huntingdonshire. It was during the time of King Henry II who was known to be the “The Builder of Churches,” dated 1154 – 1189. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.
Many of the people with surname Fowell had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Fowell landed in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Fowell who arrived in the United States in the 18th century included Edmond Fowell, who came to Virginia in 1666. John Fowell, who received a land grant in Virginia in 1666. Richard and Sarah Fowell, who settled in South Carolina between the years 1670-1678.
The following century saw more Fowell surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Fowell who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included James Fowell, on record in the Windward Islands in 1722. Susanna Fowell, a bonded traveler, who arrived in Maryland in 1725.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Fowell: England 672; United States 227; Australia 115; New Zealand 92; Canada 91; Saint Lucia 62; South Africa 3; Germany 3; Tanzania 2; France 2.
Edmund Fowell (c. 1598 – 27 February 1664) was an English leader who sat in the House of Commons at different times between 1646 and 1660.
Fowell Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Fowell blazon are the mullet, chevron and antelope’s head. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, argent and gules .
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur . In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known . Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy .
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries . Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone..
The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” . A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires . In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” .
The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield , or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” , possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.
The ibex or antelope was drawn by heraldic artists in rather more fearsome aspect than its real-life appearance, with large horns, mane and a long tail. These days we regard the ibex as being a member of the goat family rather than an antelope, but in the middle ages there were was no real distinction between these animals. They could adopt many of the poses of the lion, such as rampant and statant.