Bradley Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Bradley Family Coat of Arms

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Bradley Coat of Arms Meaning

Bradley Name Origin & History

Variations of this name are: Bradeley.

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

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Bradley Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Bradley blazon are the cross formee fitchee, mullet, fesse engrailed and buckle. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, gules and or .

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 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. 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 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”4The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.7Boutell’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 8A 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.9Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 10Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 11Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 12A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross formee is typical of these, (also known as a cross pattee) it has arms which broaden out in smooth curves towards the ends.The fitchee term simply indicates that the lower arm is pointed, as if it is to be planted in the ground

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” 13Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97. 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 14A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107. 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” 15The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105.

The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 16A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! The pattern engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Bradley Name

Bradley Origin:

England, Scotland, France

Origins of Name:

The surname of Bradley can be found in both the English and Scottish cultures. The first possible origin of the surname of Bradley is that it is a locational surname. This means that the surname of Bradley was often taken by the Lord or owner of the land from which the name derives. Others who may have take a locational surname are people who have migrated out of the area to seek out work. The easiest way to identify someone who was a stranger at that time was by the name of their birthplace. The original location from which the surname hailed was one of the many villages named Bradley throughout the country of England. The surname comes from the Old English Pre 7th Century word of “bradleah” which can be translated to mean a “broad clearing which was deemed suitable for agriculture. The surname of Bradley was common in the country of France, which changed the spelling of the surname to reflect: “Bradeleo,” “Breadelie,” and “Bradelea,” which all carry the same meaning of Bradley.

Variations:

More common variations are: Bradeley, Bradly, Bradely, Broadley, Bradeley, Braidley, Briadley, Breadley, Braddley, Bradlley, Braedley, Braadley

History:

England:

The first recorded spelling of the surname of Bradley can be found in the country of England. One person by the name of William de Bradlai was mentioned in the document referred to as the Pipe Rolls of the County of Lincolnshire, and was named in the year od 1170. This document, the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire, was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one Kin Henry II, who was commonly referred to as “Henru Curtmantle,” “Henry Fitzempress” or “Henry Plantagenet.” King Henry II of England ruled from the year 1154 to the ear 1189. Other mentions of the surname of Bradley can be found throughout the country of England. One John de Bradley was mentioned as living in County Berwick in the year of 1296, and James Bradley, who was an astronomer from Bradley Castle. One John Bradley was married to Annis Whitby at the church of St. Dunstans in the East, which is located in Stepney, in the year of 1564. Those who bear the surname of Bradley can be found throughout the country of England.

Scotland:

The surname of Bradley can be found commonly throughout the country of Scotland. The one area in particular that has a large concentration of people who carry the surname of Bradley is the area of Roxburghshire.

United States of America:

Throughout the 17th Century, many people from Europe began to move to the United States of America to escape their home countries. Many European citizens were upset with the state off affairs in the country of their birth. The first settler to carry the surname of Bradley to the United States of America was one Richard Bradley, who landed in the state of Maryland in the year 1634. Those who bear the surname of Bradley can be found in large concentrations throughout the United States. The areas with the highest number of people who carry the surname of Bradley can be found in Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, and in Missouri.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Bradley: United States 153,679; England 36,152; Canada 12,444; Australia 11,800; South Africa 8,274; Northern Ireland 4,137; New Zealand 3,278; Ireland 3,046; Scotland 2,914; Papua New Guinea 1,743

Notable People:

Captain Willis Winter Bradley (1884-1954) who was a Naval officer, and was also a recipient of the Medal of Honor

William Warren “Bill” Bradley (born in 1943) who was a basketball player that is seen within the American Hall of Fame, who was also a Rhodes Scholar, and served as a U.S. Democratic Senator who served for three terms

Edward Rudolph Bradley (1941-2006) who was a broadcast journalist from America, who was most notably recognized for his twenty-six years of award-winning work on the CBS News TV magazine 60 Minutes

Milton Bradley (1836-1911) who was a draftsman from America, as well as being a lithographer and entrepreneur, who is most notably recognized for being the founder of the Milton Bradley Company, who are makers of family board games

Lieutenant George Bradley (1881-1942) who was an officer in the United States Navy, and who received the highest possible military decoration: the Medal of Honor

Major-General James Lester Bradley (1891-1957) who was the Chief of Staff for America in the 4th Army from the year 1940 to the year 1942

Bradley Family Gift Ideas

Browse Bradley 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) (Bethom, co. Lancaster). Sa. a fesse engr. and in chief a mullet betw. two crosses formee fitchee ar.
2) (London, originally of Bradley, co. Lancaster). (Crest being the crest of Barton, assumed on the marriage with an heiress of that family).(of Bradley, co. Lancaster, 1567). Sa. a fesse engr. ar. in chief a mullet betw. two crosses formee fitchee of the last, all within a bordure engr. of the same. Crest—A boar’s head couped gu.
3) (Warwickshire). Ar. a fesse humettee and engr. betw. three crosses formee fitchee sa.
4) (Worcestershire, John Bradley, of Stourbridge, Ironmarsh). Motto—Vigilans et audax. Ar. a fesse gu. betw. three round buckles vert. Crest—A greyhound statant.
5) (Swinford, co. Worcester). Or, a fesse vert betw. three buckles gu.
6) Gu. a chev. ar. betw. three boars’ heads couped or. Crest—A boar sa. bristled and hoofed or, gorged with a garland vert.
7) Sa. a fesse engr. betw. three crosses forme fitchee ar. all within a bordure, also engr. of the last.
8) Or, a fesse gu. betw. three buckles az.
9) (Robert Greene Bradley, Esq., barrister-at-law, Slyne House, Bolton-by-the-Sands, co. Lancaster). Sa. a fesse engr. in chief a mullet betw. two crosses formee fitchee ar.
10) (Gore Court, co. Kent, exemplified to Andrew Hawes Dyne, Esq., on his assuming by sign manual, in 1800, the name of Bradley). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, sa. a fesse engr. ar. in chief a mullet betw. two crosses formee fitchee, all within a bordure also engr. of the last, for Bradley, 2nd and 3rd, ar. two bars gemelles betw. three escallops gu., for Dyne. Crests—1st: A dexter arm embowed in armour holding a battle-axe, all ppr., for Bradley; 2nd: An heraldic antelope’s head erased, armed and maned or, langued gu., for Dyne.
11) (confirmed by the Deputies of Camden, Clarenceux, to Francis Bradley, of Coventry, grandson of William Bradley, co. York, Her. Vis.). Gu. a chev. ar. betw. three boars’ heads couped or.
12) Ar. a fesse az. betw. three belt buckles gu. Crest—A nightingale in a thorn branch ppr.
13) Gu. a chev. betw. three boars’ heads erect and couped or.
14) Ar. a chev. sa.
15) (confirmed to William Bradley, by Ulster, 30 April, 1608). Ar. on a fesse engr. gu. betw. three crosses formee fitchee sa. three martlets or. Crest—A martlet or, bolding in the beak a cross formee fitchee sa.

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References   [ + ]

1. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
2. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
3. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
4. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
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, P77
7. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
8. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
9. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
10. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
11. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67
12. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128
13. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
14. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
15. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105
16. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117