Bishop Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Bishop Family Coat of Arms

Variations of this name are: Bishoppe.

We have several coat of arms design(s) for the name Bishop. Click on the thumbnails to view each design.

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Bishop Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Bishop blazon are the bend, bezant and lozenge. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, or and argent .

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).3A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 4The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.

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) 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 9Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). 10A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49.

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 12A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the bezant Is a typical example of this, and in British Heraldry always takes the tincture or. It shares the same root as the name Byzantium, being associated with the gold coin of that city and indeed, in some heraldic traditions is represented as a coin-like disk in perspective. Wade suggests that the use of this device refers to ” one who had been found worthy of trust and treasure.” 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P122

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 14A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the lozenge Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. It can appear on its own, voided (with the background visible through the middle), and can also be conjoined, whereby adjacent lozenges touch point-to-point. 15A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lozenge Guillim groups the lozenge with all square shapes as being symbolic of “verity, probity, constancy and equity”. 16A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P262

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Bishop Name

Bishop Origin:

England

Origins of Name:

The Bishop surname has Latin origins stemming from the Greek word ‘episkopos’ which means overseer. The Old English word ‘biscop’ meaning bishop is a derivation from episkopos. Since the 4th Century, early Christianity would make use of this word, bishop was given as a title to someone who was an overseer of the local Christian community. This title would eventually loan itself to almost all of Europe. France using évêque, Spanish obispo , Italian vescovo,, German Bischof, Russian yepiskop, , and more, all of which translates to Bishop. However, it must be noted that the surname did not refer to an actual bishop.

The first instance of it being used as a surname is an occupational one as well as one used to describe someone. A person who worked in the house of a bishop assumed the surname, a person who resembled a bishop in appearance bore the surname, and it was also used as a nickname for someone who acted in theatre productions and played the part of a bishop. A very common custom in the Middle Ages in England consisted of a boy being chosen to parody a real bishop. The boy bishop was elected on December 6 during the feast of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children. This activity could also be a possible source source for someone with the surname.

Variations:

More common variations are:

Bishopp, Bishope, Bischop, Bishopi, Bishiop, Bishoop, Bishoup, Bishopw, Bishoip, Bishp

History:

England:

The first recorded instance of the surname Bishop is Lefwinus Bissop recorded in the Pipe Rolls in 1166 of Nottingham, England. Thurstan le Byssop was recorded in Essex county in 1240.

Bishop is the 270th most common surname in Great Britain. The highest concentrations are in Leeds, Isle of Wight, Lincolnshire, Cheshire, and Shropshire.

Germany:

Berchtoldus Episcopus was recorded in Oberweiler, Germany in 1296. Haintz der Pischoffer was recorded in Tiefenbach, Germany in 1396.

Bishop Today:

130,000 in the United States

28,000 in England

17,000 in Nigeria

11,000 in Canada

11,000 in Australia

7,000 in South Africa

Notable People:

Arthur Ernest Bishop (1917). Australian inventor

Bernice Pauahi Bishop (1831), Princess of the Kamehameha dynasty

Bridget Bishop (1632), the first woman ever sentenced to death and killed for witchcraft in 1692 during the Salem witchcraft trials

Charles Reed Bishop (1822), American businessman

Elizabeth Bishop (1911), American writer and poet

Henry Bishop (1611), English postmaster general

Henry Rowley Bishop (1786), English musical composer

Katharine Bishop (1889), co-discoveror of Vitamin E

Max Bishop (1889), American baseball player

Morris Bishop (1893), American scholar

Richard M. Bishop (1812), American politician

Sherman C. Bishop (1887), American herpetologist and arachnologist

Bishop Family Gift Ideas

Browse Bishop family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Anthony Bishop, Oxhill, co. Warwick, grandson of George Bishop of the same place, and son of John Bishop, of Brayles, Har. MSS.). Ar. on a bend gu. cottised sa. three bezants.
2) (Dorsetshire and Somersetshire). (Norfolk). Ar. on a bend cottised gu. three bezants. Crest—An eagle’s head erased party per fesse or and gu. beaked of the last.
3) (Evesham, co. Worcester). Ar. on a bend gu. cottised sa. three bezants. Crest—Out of a mural crown ar. a griffin’s head sa. beaked or.
4) (Crediton, co. Devon). Gu. three lozenges ar. each charged with a pheon sa.
5) (Devonshire. Visit. 1562). (Chalcombe, Dorset). Gu. three lozenges ar. each charged with an eagle displ. of the field.
6) Ar. on a bend gu. betw. two demi lions ramp. sa. three lozenges vair.
7) (Bristol, co. Somerset). Erm. on a bend cottised gu. three bezants. Crest—A griffin sejant ar. resting the dexter claw on an escutcheon also ar.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
2. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
3. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
4. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
5. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
6. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
7. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
8. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
9. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40
10. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22
11. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49
12. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P122
14. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146
15. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lozenge
16. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P262