Show ContentsCradock History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the ancient name Cradock belong to that rich Celtic tradition that comes from Wales. This surname was derived from the Welsh personal name Caradoc, meaning "amiable." Other forms of this ancient forename are Caradawc, Cradawc, and Caradog. This name was made famous by the ancient Welsh military leader Caratacos, whose name was Latinized as Caratacus. He was celebrated for his opposition to the Roman occupation of Britain, and was taken to Rome as a prisoner circa 51 AD.

Early Origins of the Cradock family

The surname Cradock was first found in Glamorganshire (Welsh: Sir Forgannwg), a region of South Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Glywysing. However, some of the family were found in Whaston (Washton) in the North Riding of Yorkshire in early times. "It comprises about 1200 acres, partly the property of the Craddock family." 1

Over in Monmouthshire, the parish of Portskuett held an early entry for the family. "The name, originally Porthis-Coed, signifies 'the port below the wood;' and, according to tradition, here was the port or landing-place for Venta Siluram, now Caerwent. A magnificent palace was built at this spot by Harold, son of Earl Godwin, who entertained Edward the Confessor within its walls; but shortly afterwards, Caradoc ab Grufydd, a Welsh chieftain, having a pique against Harold, razed the palace, and carried away the materials." 1

Carodag (d. 1035), was a South Welsh prince, a son of Rhydderch, who had seized the government of Deheubarth, and died in 1031 at the hands of Irish pirates. 2

Caradog ap Gruffydd (died 1081) was a Prince of Gwent in south-east Wales, grandson of Rhydderch ab Iestyn (died 1033), king of Gwent and Morgannwg. Caradog ap Gruffydd was killed at the Battle of Mynydd Carn.

Caradog of Llancarvan (d. 1147?), was a Welsh ecclesiastic and chronicler, was, as his name indicates, probably either born at or a monk of the famous abbey of Llancarvan in the vale of Glamorgan. 2

Early History of the Cradock family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cradock research. Another 178 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1512, 1516, 1555, 1556, 1558, 1559, 1571, 1603, 1604, 1606, 1615, 1619, 1621, 1628, 1629, 1636, 1638, 1641, 1659, 1660, 1708, 1716, 1778, 1797 and 1836 are included under the topic Early Cradock History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cradock Spelling Variations

Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Cradock has occasionally been spelled Craddock, Caradoc, Cradoc, Craddoch, Cradoch, Cradock, Caradoch, Carradock, Carradoch, Caradock and many more.

Early Notables of the Cradock family

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was

  • William Cradock, Archdeacon of Lewes from 1512 to 1516
  • Walter Cradock or Craddock or Cradoc (c.1606-1659), a Welsh Anglican clergyman, became a traveling evangelical preacher, founder of the first Independent church in Wales (1638)
  • Matthew Cradock (died 1636), an English wool merchant and politician, Member of Parliament for Stafford in 1621, he purchased Caverswall Castle in 1615

Ireland Migration of the Cradock family to Ireland

Some of the Cradock family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 85 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Cradock migration to the United States +

In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Cradock

Cradock Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Isabel] Cradock, aged 30, who arrived in New England in 1635 3
  • Robert Cradock, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 3
Cradock Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mathw Cradock, who landed in Virginia in 1714 3
  • Walter Cradock, who landed in Virginia in 1714 3
  • Thomas Cradock, who landed in Maryland in 1743-1744 3

New Zealand Cradock migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Cradock Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Michael Cradock, (b. 1845), aged 20, Irish labourer from Galway travelling from London aboard the ship "Tudor" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th September 1865 4
  • Miss Mary Cradock, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Lincoln" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 19th July 1867 5
  • Miss Elizabeth Cradock, (b. 1845), aged 24, English general servant, from Gloucestershire travelling from London aboard the ship "Siberia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st February 1870 4

Contemporary Notables of the name Cradock (post 1700) +

  • Major John "Johnnie" Whitby Cradock (1904-1987), English cook, writer and broadcaster, the fourth husband of Fanny Cradock
  • Stuart Cradock (b. 1949), English cricketer
  • Sir Percy Cradock GCMG (1923-2010), British diplomat, civil servant and sinologist, British Ambassador to the People's Republic of China (1978-1983)
  • Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher "Kit" George Francis Maurice Cradock KCVO CB SGM (1862-1914), British officer of the Royal Navy
  • Stephen John "Steve" Cradock (b. 1969), English guitarist, known for his work with the rock group Ocean Colour Scene
  • Fanny Cradock (1909-1994), born Phyllis Nan Sortain Pechey, an English restaurant critic, television cook and writer frequently appearing on television
  • John Cradock (1708-1778), English churchman, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin (1772-1778)
  • General John Francis Cradock GCB (1759-1839), 1st Baron Howden, British peer, politician and soldier, Governor of the Cape Colony (1811-1814), eponym of Cradock, South Australia
  • Frederick John Cradock GC (1886-1943), posthumously awarded the George Cross for heroism in his attempts to save a workmate from boiling steam on 4 May 1943
  • John Cradock Maples (1943-2012), Baron Maples, British politician, Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1999-2000), Shadow Secretary of State for Defence (1998-1999), Economic Secretary to the Treasury (1989-1992)

The Cradock 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: Nec temere, nec timide
Motto Translation: Neither rashly nor timidly.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. 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)
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  5. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook