Cholmley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Cholmley family, who lived in the township of Cholmondley in the parish of Malpas in Cheshire. The name is traditionally pronounced Chumley.

Early Origins of the Cholmley family

The surname Cholmley was first found in Cheshire at Cholmondeley, a civil parish and village where they were "descended from the Barons of Malpas, and directly from Robert de Cholmondelegh, second son of William Belward, lord of a moiety of the Barony of Malpas, and younger brother of David the ancestor of the Egertons; which Robert was seated at Cholmondeley in the reign of King John." [1]

Another source concurs with this origin but offers more details and different spellings (as is typically the case): "Robert, son of Hugh, Baron of Malpas, is stated in Domesday Book to have held the Lordship of Calmundelei; and there is no doubt that the entry on the Battle Abbey Roll refers to him. He had no son, but was succeeded in his broad lands by his only daughter Lettice, the wife of Richard de Belward. The son or grandson of this alliance, William de Belward, Baron of Malpas, married Beatrix, daughter of Hugh Keveliok, fifth Earl of Chester, and had three sons - 1, David de Malpas, ancestor of the Egertons; 2, Robert, who assumed the appellation of Cholmondeley, and was progenitor of the various families of the name, seated in Cheshire, Yorkshire, &c.; and 3, Peter, whose posterity, under the name of Clerk, was settled at Thornton, and became extinct temp. Edward III." [2]

The regal Cholmondeley Castle is now a country house located there with majestic formal gardens. The house has been a seat of the Cholmondeley family since the 12th century.

The parish of Delemere in Cheshire was home to a distinguished branch of the family. "On its inclosure it gave the title of Baron Delamere, of Vale Royal, to Thomas Cholmondeley, Esq., the proprietor of the ancient possessions of the Cistercian monks of Vale Royal, whose sumptuous abbey, completed in 1330 by Edward III., at a cost of £32,000, was dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, St. Nicholas, and St. Nichasius, and in the 26th of Henry VIII." [3]

"The manor [of Chorley, Cheshire] was possessed by the Harcourt family in the reign of Edward II., when the two coheiresses of Robert Harcourt married into the Cholmondeley family. Isabel brought a moiety to Hugh Cholmondeley, whose daughter and heiress married Roger Bromley, of Basford; after continuing in the Bromley family for several descents, it was purchased, in 1561, by the Cholmondeleys of Cholmondeley, ancestors of the present Marquess of Cholmondeley. The other moiety passed with Maud to the ancestor of the Cholmondeleys of Chorley, and came to the marquess's family by purchase, in the reign of Henry VI. " [3]

Early History of the Cholmley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cholmley research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1460, 1521, 1584, 1659, 1628, 1645, 1552, 1553, 1600, 1657, 1624, 1629, 1640, 1643, 1632, 1689, 1609, 1666, 1641, 1666, 1681, 1662 and 1725 are included under the topic Early Cholmley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cholmley Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Chumley, Cholmondeley, Chamandy, Cholemley, Cholmeley, Cholmle, Cholmley and many more.

Early Notables of the Cholmley family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Cholmondeley (1460-1521), English farmer and soldier, who served as Lieutenant of the Tower of London; Robert Cholmondeley (1584-1659), created 1st Viscount Cholmondeley in 1628 and became 1st Earl of Leinster (Ireland) and Baron Cholmondeley (England) in 1645, Chief Justice of England in 1552-1553; Sir Hugh Cholmeley (Cholmley) (1600-1657) 1st Baronet, an English landowner, Member of Parliament for Scarborough (1624-1629) and (1640-1643), initially a Parliamentarian but...
Another 73 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cholmley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Cholmley family to Ireland

Some of the Cholmley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


West Indies Cholmley 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. [4]
Cholmley Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Joab Cholmley, who settled in Jamaica in 1684


The Cholmley Motto +

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: Cassis tutissima virtus
Motto Translation: Virtue is the safest helmet.


  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies


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