Show ContentsAudley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Audley family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in the village of Audley in Staffordshire.

Early Origins of the Audley family

The surname Audley was first found in Staffordshire, where they the name dates back to the Roll of Battel Abbey which lists the name Audeley whose family originated at "Verdon, whose chief seat was at Alton Castle, in the northern part of Staffordshire. In the immediately succeeding reigns few families held a more conspicuous place in history, but its most distinguished member was the renowned James de Audley, Lord Audley, the hero of Poictiers." [1]

"[Audley, Staffordshire] was originally given by Hervey de Stafford to the barons of Aldeleigh, or Audley, who erected the baronial residence of Heyley Castle, commanding an extensive range of the surrounding country." [2]

One of the earliest records of the family was Henry de Audley (1175-1246), the English Royalist Baron, son of Adam de Alditheley, who held Alditheley, Staffordshire from the Verdons in 1186. He was Sheriff of Shropshire and Staffordshire 1227 and 1229. His son was James de Audley (1220-1272), another English Baron. Nicholas Audley, 1st Baron Audley of Heighley Castle, Staffordshire (1289-1316), was an English peer. His only surviving son was Nicholas Audley, 3rd Baron Audley (c.1328- 1391), born in Heighley Castle, Staffordshire, he was later known as Lord of Rougemont. Through marriage he was granted the Lordship of the Isle of Man in 1310 and his descendants would later become King of Mann. [3]

Sir James Audley (or Audeley) KG (c. 1318-1369) was one of the founders of the Order of the Garter. He was the eldest son of Sir James Audley of Stratton Audley in Oxfordshire.

All of the above claim a common heritage from the aforementioned Henry de Audley (died 1246) as all share a similar Coats of Arms but with variations to depict their distinctive branch.

Early History of the Audley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Audley research. Another 279 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1185, 1289, 1312, 1316, 1369, 1377, 1488, 1523, 1524, 1529, 1533, 1535, 1536, 1544, 1577, 1620, 1662, 1674 and 1780 are included under the topic Early Audley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Audley Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Audley include Audeley, Audley, Audeleye, Awdelye, Audeleygh, Aldeoalega, Audsley, Audless and many more.

Early Notables of the Audley family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • Edmund Audley (d. 1524), English divine, Bishop of Rochester, the son of James, Lord Audley, by Eleanor his wife
  • Hugh Audley (1577-1662), also known as The Great Audley, was an English moneylender, lawyer and philosopher
  • Thomas Audley (1488-1544), was a Baron seated at Walden in Essex, who became Lord Chancellor of England. He entered Parliament in 1523 and was Speaker of the House of Commons in 1529, presiding over t...

Ireland Migration of the Audley family to Ireland

Some of the Audley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Audley migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Audley were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Audley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Audley, (Odlin), who sailed from Isle of Wright arriving in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630 aboard the ship "Ambrose" as part of the Winthrop Fleet
  • John Audley, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1632 [4]
  • Edmund Audley, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1636 [4]
  • Teg Audley, who landed in Virginia in 1639 [4]
  • Edmund Audley, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1641 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Audley migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [5]
Audley Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • William Audley went to Barbados in 1635
  • William Audley, aged 18, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Audley (post 1700) +

  • Michael Audley (1913-1995), American film director and dialogue advisor
  • Eleanor Audley (1905-1991), born Eleanor Zellman, an American actress, known for her many roles including the CBS sitcom Green Acres (1965-1969), and the voices of Lady Tremaine in Cinderella (1950); and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty (1959)
  • Maxine Audley (1923-1992), English theatre and film actress
  • Tom Audley (b. 1986), English rugby union player for London Welsh in National Division One
  • Gordon Audley (1928-2012), Canadian bronze medalist speed skater at the 1952 Winter Olympics, inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 1988
  • Anselm Audley (b. 1982), British fantasy writer
  • J. Audley Boak, American politician, Dry Candidate for Delegate to Pennsylvania convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933 [6]
  • Audley Rawson (1893-1981), American Republican politician, Elkland Township Supervisor, 1931-36; Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Tuscola County, 1935-42 [7]
  • Audley Sanson (b. 1974), Jamaica-born, West Indian cricketer at the 1998 Commonwealth Games
  • Sir Audley Dallas Neeld (1849-1941), 3rd Baronet, British peer

  1. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 28) . Retrieved from on Facebook