Blazons & Genealogy Notes
1) (Risley, co. Lancaster, 1698; seated there temp. Henry III.). Motto—Fato prudentia major. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, agent an eagle sable preying upon an infant proper swaddled gules banded agent; 2nd and 3rd, three birds untinctured. Crest—An oak tree, thereon a raven all proper
2) (Risley, co. Derby). Argent a fess azure between three crescents gules.
Origin, Meaning, Family History and Risley Coat of Arms and Family Crest
Origin of Risley:
Risley is an interesting and readable surname and is listed in various forms. This name is associated as an English locational surname. This regional surname which is related to different regions named from the ancient English word “hris,” which means thicket, also the word “leah,” which means a clearance or forest. In the evolution of the name, it is a brief form of ‘a sealed place cleared for agriculture in a region of bushes. These areas consist of Risley in Derbyshire, listed as Riselei in the Domesday Book of 1086, Risley, Lancashire, listed as Ryselegh in the assembly Court Rolls of 1284 for that division, and Riseley in Bedfordshire and Berkshire, listed appropriately as Riselai and Kiselee in the Domesday Book of 1086. The surname was first listed in the second part of the 13th Century and further examples are those of William de Riseleq, of Derbyshire, in the Hundred Revolution of 1273, John de Risely, of Norfolk, in the pipe revolution of 1371 and Thomas de Rysshelegh in the Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire in 1379. In 1680, Cressent Risley, a new migrator to the New World, was listed as a landowner of a few lands existing in Christ Church, of the island of Barbados.
More common variations of this surname are: Raisley, Reisley, Wrisley, Risleye, Rislley, Risliey, Riley, Risle, Risly, Rilley.
The surname Risley first originated in Bedfordshire, at Risley, a hamlet and public church which was listed in the Domesday Book where it was listed as Riselai at least six times, mostly in a similar shire. On that occasion, it was in the area of the Stodden hundred, land guarded by the priest of Countances, two Frenchmen, and six Englishmen which guarded six hides for the priest. Risley Chamber at Risley, Derbyshire dates back to the 11th century and now it is a hotel and resort area which consists of 17 acres. One of the recent documentation of the name was Sir Raulfe Risley of Chetwood.
The very first recorded spelling of the family name was shown to be that of Nigel de Risleye, which was dated 1272, in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk. It was during the time of King Edward I of England and known as “The Hammer of the Scots,” dated 1272 – 1307. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Risley settled in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th,18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Risley who settled in the United States in the 17th century included Richard Risley arrived at Boston in September 1633 aboard the ship “Griffen” was an early settler in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and one of the owners of Hartford, Connecticut. C. Risley settled in Barbados with his servants in 1680.
Some of the people with the name Risley who settled in the United States in the 18th century included William Risley landed in America in 1760.
Some of the individuals with the name Risley who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Elina Risley at the age of 30, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1849. A O Risley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850. J Risley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 and Tim Risley settled in San Francisco, California in 1852.
Some of the people with the name Risley who settled in Australia in the 19th century included George Risley at the age of 23, who was a laborer, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship “Caucasian.”
Here is the population distribution of the last name Risley: United States 4,892; England 538; Thailand 6; Brazil 3; Germany 3; Spain 2; Kazakhstan 2; Egypt 2; Australia 58; Canada 147.
Frank Lorymer Riseley (July 1877 – February 1959) was a British player in tennis.
Martin Riseley was born in February 1969 in Christchurch, New Zealand. He is a violinist and manager of violin at the New Zealand School of Music. He was a musical teacher of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He got his early education with Carl Pini, Dorothy DeLay, and Felix Galimir. He graduated from the Juilliard School in 1996 with an advanced degree in Musical Arts.
Risley Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Risley blazon are the infant swaddled, eagle, raven and crescent. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, gules and argent .
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” . 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 .
Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries . Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone..
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 .
Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms . Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, such as the “three armoured right arms argent” shown in the arms of Armstrong . As well as the nobility however, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savages and the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban . The infant swaddled is a typical example of this use of the human figure.
Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period . They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject , but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!
Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name . In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance . The raven is amongst the mjaor bird species to appear in heraldry.