Leicester Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Leicester Family Coat of Arms

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Leicester Coat of Arms Meaning

Leicester Name Origin & History

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

Leicester Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Leicester blazon are the azure, fleur-de-lis, fesse and bendy. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, sable and or .

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

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 4A 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 5Boutell’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 6The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

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” 7The 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 8Understanding 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’ 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.

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” 10Boutell’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 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150.

The fleur-de-lys (“flower of the lily”) has a long and noble history and was a symbol associated with the royalty of France even before heraldry became widespread. 12Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3. The Lily flower is said to represent “Purity, or whiteness of soul”13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134 and sometimes associated with the Virgin Mary. The fleur-de-lys is also used as a small “badge”, known as a mark of cadency to show that the holder is the sixth son of the present holder of the arms 14A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489

The fesse (also found as fess) is one of the major ordinaries to found in heraldry, being a bold, broad, horizontal band across the centre of the shield. It may originally have arisen from the planks of which a wooden shield can be constructed, the centremost plank being painted a different colour 15A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fesse. It is instantly recognisable as a symbol, for example the arms of COLEVILLE granted during the reign of Hery III are simply or, a fesse gules. With this clear association with the construction of the shield itself, Wade believes that the fesse can be taken to be associated with the military, as a “girdle of honour”.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Leicester Name

Leicester Origin:

England

Origins of Leicester:

This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a locational surname acquiring from Leicester, the district town of Leicestershire. The placename was noted in the “Anglo-Saxon Records” of 942 as “Ligora Ceaster”, and in the Domesday Book of 1086 as “Ledecestre”, the origin being from the Old English pre 7th Century tribal name “Ligore”, which means “dwellers on the river Legra” with “Ceaster” a Roman fort, from the Latin “Castra”, legionary camp. The advancement of the surname has contained Nicholas de Leycester (1286, Cheshire), William Leycetter (1480, Yorkshire), Henry Lasisture (1503, ibid.) and Richard Lasseter (1550, Sussex). The new surname can appear in forms as different as “Leicester, Lestor, Lesseter and Laister”. In December 1590, Elizabeth Leicester, an infant, named in St. Michael’s, Wood Street, London

Variations:

More common variations are: Leiscester, Lecester, Leycester, Liecester, Leceister, Lecestre, Lezister, Lacester, Locester, Lycester.

England:

The surname Leicester first appeared in Cheshire at Leycester, more commonly known as Leicester, a city now in the unitary executive area in the East Midlands. The first record of the place name appeared in the early 10th century as Ligera ceater, ” but by the Domesday Book of 1086 the place name had derived to Ledecestre. Literally the place name means “Roman town of the people called Ligore,” having acquired from the Tribal name and the Old English word “ceater.” As far as the surname is concerned, the family are “declined from Sir Nicholas Leycester, who acquired the manor of Nether-Tabley in marriage, and died in 1295.”

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Hugo de Legrecestra , dated about 1130, in the “Leicestershire Pipe Rolls”. It was during the time of King Henry I who was known to be the “The Lion of Justice”, dated 1100 – 1135. 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.

Ireland:

Many of the people with surname Leicester had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Leicester landed in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 17th and 18th. Some of the people with the name Leicester who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Peter Leicester settled in Pennsylvania in 1682. Peter Leicester, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682.

The following century saw much more Leicester surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Leicester who arrived in the United States in the 18th century included John Leicester, who settled in Virginia in 1732.

Australia:

Some of the individuals with the surname Leicester who landed in Australia in the 19th century included Mary Leicester arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Duke Of Bronte” in 1849.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Leicester: England 1,049; South Africa 475; Australia 329; United States 174; New Zealand 76; Scotland 66; Canada 44; Singapore 30; Netherlands 27; India 26.

Notable People:

Jon Leicester was an American baseball player.

Leicester Family Gift Ideas

Browse Leicester 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) (Tabley, со. Chester, bart., extinct 1742; Meriel. Leicester, only dau. and heir of Sir Francis Leicester, third and last bart. of Tabley, m. as her second husband, Sir John Byrne, Bart., of Timogue, Queen's co., and her son, Sir Peter Byrne, assumed the name and arms of Leicester, and was father of the first Lord de Tabley). Az. a fess betw. three fleurs-de-lis or.
2) (Lord de Tabley). Motto—Tu domine gloria mea (another, Pro rege et patriâ). See also Warren, Lord de Tabley. Same Arms. Crest—A swan's head and neck couped ar. guttée de sang. Supporters— Dexter, a bay horse caparisoned ppr. collared and chained or, supporting a standard of the King's Regiment of Chester Yeomanry, viz., gu. charged with the letters K. Ry. C. Yy. and fringed or; sinister, a swan ar. guttée de sang, charged on the body with five fleurs-de-lis in saltire ar.
3) Same Arms, a bordure ar.
4) Per pale indented ar. and gu.
5) Bendy sa. and or.
6) (Earls of). (Robert de Bellamont, or Beaumont, so created by Charter 1103, extinct 1204). Gu. a cinquefoil erm.
7) (Westbury, co. Salop). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. a fesse betw. three fleurs-de-lis or; 2nd and 3rd, gu. a fret or. Crest—A swan’s head ar. guttée de sang.
8) (Toft, co. Chester; impalement Fun. Ent. Ulster’s Office, 1633, Sir Basil Brooke, Knt., of Donegal, whose wife was Anne, dau. of Thomas Leicester, Esq.). (Kilcarmick, King’s co.; Fun. Ent. Ulster's Office, 1684, John Leicester). Az. a fese betw. three fleurs-de-lis or.

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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. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
5. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
6. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
7. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
8. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
9. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
10. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
11. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150
12. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134
14. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489
15. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fesse