Benfield Coat of Arms
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Which coat of arms or "family crest" is mine?
Choose the design you like best, just your ancestors did when they painted these symbols on the shields they carried into battle and displayed in their homes. These coats of arms are real, historical works of art/culture dating back as far as 1100AD. Most of these designs were compiled and documented by genealogists and heraldists in large books published in the nineteenth century. These arms were owned by individuals who bore your surname, and were passed down through the generations from father to son, earning the monicker "family crest".
Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Benfield Name
Origins of Benfield:
According to early recordings of the spelling of the surname, the various forms of Benfield is listed in different ways such as Benfield, Benfold, Benford, Benfold, Benford, Bendfield, Bomfield, Bonfield, and Bonnfield. It is an English surname, but more Norman-French in origin. It is a conquest name, affiliated with the Invasion of England in the year 1066. The surname Benield derives from a Normandy village called Bonneville, meaning ‘nice place’. In England, the surname was first listed in the year 1131 when Richard de Bon Davilla was as a landowner in province of Durham, in the north-east of England. Later, in the year 1197, Robert de Bonneville is listed in the pipe rolls of Yorkshire, where the name was prominent for many centuries. The variation of the modern spelling structure took place over many centuries effected by the elements of poor spelling and various accents. Examples from early church records in the city of London are Richard Bonfelt at St. James Garlickhythe, on March 1537, Edward Bonnfild on September 1589, when he married Alice Monnislie at the church of St Katherines by the Tower (of London). Edwarde Benforde, listed at the church of St Mary Somerset, on March 1591, and Thomas Bonfield married Ann Wood at St James Church, Clerkenwell on August 1602.
More common variations are: Benefield, Benifield, Benafield Beinfield, Behnfield, Beenfield, Bennfield, Beanfield, Benufield, Bennyfield.
The surname Benfield was first found in Hertfordshire, where Goduin de Benefelle was listed as land-owner in the Domesday Book. Later, in the Norman Invasion of 1066, King William donated the estates of England to the barons that had helped him in the War of Hastings. These barons followed the Norman practice of accepting the name of their lands owners. Thus, it is imaginable that one section of the Benfield family descended from Richard, who donated lands in the village of Benfield, Northamptonshire.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Benfield settled in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th and 19th. Some of the people with the name Benfield who settled in the United States in the 17th century included Richard Benfield, who landed in Maryland in the year 1680.
Individuals with the name Benfield who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Nathaniel Benfield, who arrived in New York in 1843 during the 19th Century.
People with the name Benfield who settled in Canada in the 19th century included William T.Benfield at the age of 23, Esther Benfield at the age of 23 and William A. Benfield at the age of 2, all of these people arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship “Waikato” in the same year 1874.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Benfield: United States 4.888; England 1,662; Australia 401; Canada 76; South Africa 493; Wales 79; Scotland 53; Argentina 60; New Zealand 47; Guyana 44.
Andrea Benfield (born 1978), is an English writer, reporter and announcer. She currently presents ITV News: Wales at Six.
Christopher Benfield Carter (1844–1906), was a Canadian politician. He played a major role in the field of politics. He was born in Montreal, the son of Christopher Carter and Amelia Jane Coward. He studied at the Montreal High School, the popular Academy of Sorel, and McGill University.
Derek Benfield (1926–2009), was a British scriptwriter, actor, and artist. He was born in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, and got an education at Bingley Grammar School. He was the writer of the stage comedy Running Riot and the second actor to play Patricia Routledge’s character’s husband in Hetty Wainthropp Investigates (1996–98).
Fred Benfield (1937–2007), was an Australian rower who performed in the 1956 Summer Olympics. He was born Frederick Angus Benfield.
John Benfield was a British actor and artist, who has starred in 75 TV episodes or movies beginning in the year 1981.
Robert Benfield (died 1649), was a seventeenth-century artist and an ancient member of the King’s Men.
Tommy Benfield (died 1918), was a famous English football player.
Warren Benfield (1913–2001), was a classical double bass player.
Benfield Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Benfield blazon are the pear and rose. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, gules and or .
Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 1Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150.
The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.3The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 4Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.6Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 7A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.8Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.
Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 9Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The spear or lance is a typical example, often borne (for obvious reasons) in allusion to the crucifixtion. 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111 Sometimes only the head is shown, and on other occasions the tilting or tournament spear is specified, familiar to us from many a jousting scene in the movies. 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Spear
Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 12A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262. The rose is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect. It has long been present in English heraldry, and as a badge and symbol played an enormous in English history throughout the conflict between rival dynasties known as the War of the Roses. In addition to these familial uses, Wade suggests that red roses signify “beauty and grace” and the white represents “love and faith”. 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P132-133