Camblayn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Camblayn is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. It is a name for a person who worked as a chamberlain. A chamberlain was one who was in charge of the private chambers of a noble, and later was a high ranking title having derived from the Anglo-Norman French word, chamberlanc. 
"Chamberlain occurs most commonly in Leicestershire and Rutlandshire."  "There are several distinct families bearing the surname. Aiulfus Camerarius (the latinized form) was a tenant in chief in co. Dorset, and probably the Conqueror's own chamberlain. One of his possessions in that county is still called Hampreston-Chamberlaine. 
The Chamberlaynes of Maugersbury claim from John, count of Tancarville, whose descendants were hereditary chamberlains to kings Henry I., Stephen, and Henry II. The office of the camerarius was to take charge of the king's camera or treasury, and answered to the treasurer of the household at present. Besides Aiulfus above mentioned, at least five other tenants in capite so designated occur in Domesday. " 
Early Origins of the Camblayn family
The surname Camblayn was first found in Oxfordshire where they claim descent from John, Count de Tankerville, of Tankerville Castle in Normandy who accompanied Duke William on his Conquest of England only to return after the battle of Hastings to his hereditary estates. He left a son in England who became chamberlain to Henry I., and whose son, Richard assumed the surname of Chamberlain from his office. 
In Scotland, "the office of royal chamberlain was one of great responsibility in virtue of the fact that until the reign of James I he managed the king's revenue and was head of the Exchequer. The great nobles, also, had each a chamberlain who looked after his lord's business affairs. John Camerarius witnessed a confirmation charter by William the Lion, c. 1175. Walter Camerarius witnessed a charter by EsChina, wife of Walter Fitz Alan, before 1177" 
The principal line of the descendants were the Chamberlaynes of Sherborne in Oxfordshire "from whom derived the celebrated Sir Thomas Chamberlayne, of Prince Thorpe and Presbury, a distinguished diplomatist in the reigns of Henry VIII., Mary, and Elizabeth. " 
The hamlet of Stoney Thorpe in Warwickshire was home to a branch of the family. "The family of Chamberlayne, formerly of Princethorpe, in the county, has been seated here for many centuries; Henry Thomas Chamberlayne, Esq., is the present owner." 
Geoffrey le Chaumberleng was listed in the Curia Regis Roll for Warwickshire in 1194; Robert canberlenc in the Feet of Fines for 1195; Thomas Chamberleng' seruiens Regis was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1196; Martin le Chamberleyn in the Feet of Fines for Cambridgeshire in 1232; and Thomas le Chaumberlyn was found in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1293. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 proved the wide usage of the surname with various spellings throughout ancient Britain: Walter le Chamberlayn, Lincolnshire; Martin le Chaumberleyn, Cambridgeshire; Ivo le Chaumberleyn, Warwickshire; and Henry le Chamberlein, Buckinghamshire. 
Early History of the Camblayn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Camblayn research. Another 181 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1616, 1703, 1619, 1689, 1560, 1631, 1572, 1626, 1540, 1596, 1576, 1813, 1632, 1715, 1632, 1720, 1667, 1691, 1690, 1625, 1643, 1643, 1635 and 1682 are included under the topic Early Camblayn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Camblayn Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Chamberlain, Chamberlayne, Chamberlaine, Chamblayn, Chamberlin, Camberlain, Camberlan, Camblayn and many more.
Early Notables of the Camblayn family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Edward Chamberlayne (1616-1703), an English writer, best known as the author of The Present State of England; William Chamberlayne (1619-1689), an English poet and physician.
Pierre (Peter) Chamberlen the Elder (1560-1631), and Peter the Younger (1572-1626), two brothers and sons of Guillaume (William) Chamberlen (c.1540-1596), a Huguenot surgeon who fled from Paris to England in 1576, famous for inventing the modern use of obstetrical forceps, a family secret kept for two centuries - the original forceps were found in 1813 under a trap door in Woodham Mortimer Hall.
Nicholas Chamberlaine (1632-1715), was an English priest...
Another 143 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Camblayn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Camblayn family to Ireland
Some of the Camblayn family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Camblayn family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Camblayn name or one of its variants: Edward Chamberlain who settled in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1655; Henry Chamberlain settled in Hingham, in 1638; John Chamberlain settled in Charlestown, 1653.
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Prodesse quam conspici
Motto Translation: To do good rather than be conspicuous.
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- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
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- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)