Madley Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Madley Family Coat of Arms

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Madley Coat of Arms Meaning

Madley Name Origin & History

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Madley Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Madley blazon are the barry wavy, chevron and fleur-de-lis. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and ermine.

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.1The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2Boutell’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 3Understanding 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.

Ermine is a very ancient pattern, and distinctive to observe. It was borne alone by John de Monfort, the Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany in the late 14th century 4A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P69 It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found 5The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P39. The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.6Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.

When the field of the shield is filled with alternately coloured horizontal lines, this is known as barry, obviously because it is like having many separate bars across the field 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Barry. As well as being drawn with straight edges, there some decorative effects that can be used, and, with careful, these can be very pleasing. The decorations are typically much smaller than those used on the major ordinaries, such as the fess so care must be taken to ensure clarity. The decorative edge pattern Wavy, sometimes written as undy is, for obvious reasons, associated with both water and the sea 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P40. Indeed, a roundel with alternating bars of azure and argent (blue and white) is known by the shorthand term fountain, representing water at the bottom of a well 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water. Other colours have also been used and the result can be very pleasing to the eye.

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 10A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various), or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.11The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

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. 13Boutell’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”14The 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 15A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Madley Name

The famous surname Madley acquired from the Hebrew “Magdalen,” meaning “woman of Magdala.”  This name was also used, fairly infrequently, as a Christian name during the 13th century. Only recently has spelling become regulated in the English language.  As the English language developed in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also.  The name Madley has undergone many spelling variations, including Maudlin, Maudling, Madeline, Magdelin, Madolin, Magdelyn, Magdeleine and much more. More common variations are: Madeley, Meadley, Maidley, Maudley, Mawdley, Madiley, Maedley, Maddley, Mahdley, Madle.

The surname Madley first found in Oxfordshire, where the Madley family anciently seated as Lords of the Estate.  The Saxon rule of English history declined after the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries, and the Norman atmosphere prevailed.  However, many Saxon surnames remained, and the family name Madley first referenced in the 13th century when the Madley family held lands in Oxfordshire. Some of the people with the surname Madley who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Margaret Madley, who arrived in Virginia in the year 1722.

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Browse Madley 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

(co. Somerset). Barry wavy of six erm. and gu. on a chev. az. three fleurs-de-lis or.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
2. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
3. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
4. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P69
5. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P39
6. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Barry
8. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P40
9. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water
10. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
11. The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
12. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45
13. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3
14. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134
15. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489