Catesbray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient roots of the Catesbray family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Catesbray comes from when the family lived in Catesby, in Northants, now Northamptonshire. [1]

"The family had been for some time settled in Northamptonshire, and held also the manor of Lapworth in Warwickshire. " [2]

The "Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III-Edward I." had two early listing for the family: Robert de Catesby, Northamptonshire, Henry III-Edward I; and William de Cattesby, Northamptonshire. [3]

Early Origins of the Catesbray family

The surname Catesbray was first found in Northampton at Asbhy St. Ledger's, a parish, in the union of Daventry, hundred of Fawsley. "The church [of Asbhy St. Ledger's] is in the later English style; it contains a richly ornamented screen and rood-loft, and in the windows are some remains of ancient painted glass. Sir William Catesby, favourite of Richard III., and owner of the manor, was buried within the altar-rails, under a marble slab with a rich brass in fine preservation; and Robert Catesby, the conspirator, of the time of James I., resided here, where he had property." [4]

"William Catesby (d. 1485), councillor of Richard III, of whom, and others, the couplet was written: 'The Cat, the Rat, and Lovel our dog Rule all England under a hog,' was son of Sir William Catesby, of Ashby St. Legers, Northamptonshire." [3]

Early History of the Catesbray family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Catesbray research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1371, 1450, 1485, 1484, 1478, 1449, 1453, 1459, 1573, 1605, 1605, 1679, 1749, 1679, 1710 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Catesbray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Catesbray Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Catesbray has appeared include Catesby, Catesbury, Cates and others.

Early Notables of the Catesbray family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: William Catesby, High Sheriff of Warwickshire in 1371; Sir William Catesby (1450-1485), English landowner and Member of Parliament for Northamptonshire in 1484, one of Richard III of England's principal councillors, he also served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Speaker of the House of Commons; William Catesby (died 1478), English landowner and Member of Parliament for Northamptonshire, 1449, 1453; William Catesby of Ashby St Ledgers, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1459; Sir John Catesby of Seton, Justice of the Common Pleas. Robert Catesby (1573-1605), was the leader of a group of Catholic conspirators...
Another 138 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Catesbray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Catesbray family

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Catesbray arrived in North America very early: John Catesby who settled in Virginia in 1623; Jane Catesby settled there in 1635; followed by Robert in 1654.



  1. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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