Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Lawless Name
Origins of Lawless:
The surname of Lawless can be traced to medieval England, and is regarded as a surname that evolved from a nickname. It is a common element of surnames throughout Europe that many of them originally derived from nicknames, as it was a very common practice in medieval times. In the beginning, nicknames were applied to people who had distinguishing characteristics, such as moral or mental peculiarities, a similar appearance to a bird or animal, a similar disposition to a bird or animal, occupation of an individual, their habits, or their manner of dress. In the case of the surname of Lawless, the nickname itself derives from the early English word of “laweles,’ which can be translated to mean “uncontrolled by the law,” or “unbridled” or “licentious.” In the case of the nickname, this nickname was given to someone who believed that they were above the law, and could not be controlled by it.
More common variations are: Lawleess, Lawlwess, Lawles, Laless, Lawelless, Lowless, Lawlass, Layless, Lauless, Lawliss, Lealess, Lewlwess, Lawlyes
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Lawless can be traced to the country of England. One person by the name of Hugh Laghlese, who was mentioned in the document known as the “Writs of Parliament,” in the year of 1314, naming him as a member of Parliament. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King Edward II of England, who was known throughout the ages, and commonly referred to as one “Edward of Caernarfon.” King Edward II of England ruled from the year of 1307 to the year of 1327. Other mentions of the surname of Lawless within the country of England included many who believed that they were indeed above the law, as reflected in the documents that they were mentioned in. One person by the name of one Thomas Laghelas, who was a Freemen of the city of York in the year of 1360, while one person by the name of Richard Lawles was mentioned in the charters known as the Testamenta Cantiana, which recorded the charters of the court of Kent in the year of 1535. Those who bore this name within the country of England were famous for being someone who was above the law by being a member of the government, or holding a notable title within the city or town.
United States of America:
Within the United States of America, it became common to see immigrants from Europe throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. These European citizens were displeased with the state of the government in the country of their birth. The United States of America, which at that time was known as the New World, or the Colonies, promised freedoms that these European citizens had never been afforded in their home countries. This large migration of people to the United States of America was known as the European Migration. Among the first of those who migrated to the United States of America was one person known by the name of Nich Lawless, who arrived in the state of Virginia in the year of 1698.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Lawless: United States 11,060; Ireland 3,461; England 2,968; Australia 1,493; Canada 1,242; South Africa 530; Scotland 315; Northern Ireland 227; New Zealand 185; France 184; Brazil 175
John A. Lawless, who served as a Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from the year of 1991 to the year of 2002, and who was a politician from the United States of America.
Richard Burton Lawless (born in 1953) who was a former college and professional football player from the United States of America.
Blackie Lawless (born in 1956) who was born with the name of Steven Edward Duren, and who was a musician and songwriter from the United States of America, who was most notably recognized for being the lead singer and the rhythm guitarist for W.A.S.P, which was a heavy metal band.
Thomas James “Tom” Lawless (born in 1956) who was a Major League Baseball player from the United States of America, who played from the year of 1982 to the year of 1990.
Theodore K. Lawless (1892-1971) who was a medical researcher philanthropist, and dermatologist from the United States of America.
John “Jack” Lawless (born in 1987) who is a musician from the United States of America.
Cecil John Lawless (1821-1853) who was a politician from the country of Ireland.
Lawless Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Lawless blazon are the garb, chief indented and covered cup. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, sable and argent .
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.. 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 . The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo..
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 .
Europe in the middle ages was still a largely agrarian society, and the wealth of the nobility resided in their estates and land. Since most people still lived and worked on the land they would find farm implements instantly recognisable, (an important feature for a coat of arms), even if they seem obscure to us today. The garb for example is an ancient word for wheatsheaf, something now more frequently seen in Inn signs than in the field!
The chief is a separate area across the top of the field . It is normally marked by a straight line of partition, but for artistic effect, and for clarity of difference between coats of arms, heralds have developed a series of decorative patterns to be used along the edge. An line drawn indented, i.e. in a saw-tooth pattern might be taken for dancettee, but in this case the individual “teeth” are much smaller. An early author, Guilllim seeks to associate this decoration with fire , and one can see the resemblance to flames. The visual effect is quite striking, an good example being the arms of DUNHAM (Lincolnshire), which are Azure, a chief indented or.
Cups of all kinds have been popular charges on coats of arms since at least the 14th century. In appearance and description they range from simple drinking pots (GERIARE of Lincoln – Argent three drinking pots sable) to covered cups, more like chalices in appearance. . These were borne by the BUTLER family in reference to their name and Wade suggests that their appearance may also refer to holy communinion within the church.