Harpur History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In the Scotland of ancient times, Harpur was a name for a person who occupies the role of "harper". In ancient times the harper was considered an important figurehead whereby Brehon laws stated that the elegance and music of the harp "deserved" a noble status.

Early Origins of the Harpur family

The surname Harpur was first found in Lennox, Scotland, where they held a family seat from early times.

Important Dates for the Harpur family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harpur research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1603, 1100, 1579, 1639, 1700, 1680, 1741, 1496, 1496, 1574, 1566, 1585, 1638, 1616, 1669, 1645, 1681, 1679, 1741 and are included under the topic Early Harpur History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harpur Spelling Variations

Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Harpur has been spelled Harper, Harpur, Harpar, Harepur and others.

Early Notables of the Harpur family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Henry Harper, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1496; Sir William Harpur (c.1496-1574), English merchant from Bedford who moved to London, became Lord Mayor of London and in 1566 he and his wife Dame Alice created...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harpur Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Harpur family to Ireland

Some of the Harpur family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harpur migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Harpur Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Elijah Harpur, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "David Malcolm" in 1849 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Harpur (post 1700)

  • Robert Harpur (1731-1825), American teacher, politician, pioneer, and landowner
  • Robert Harpur, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County, 1777-84 [2]
  • Charles William Harpur, American politician, Representative from California 33rd District, 2000 [2]
  • Thomas William "Tom" Harpur (1929-2017), Canadian author, broadcaster, columnist and theologian
  • Sir Henry Harpur (1708-1748), 5th Baronet
  • Sir Henry Harpur (1739-1789), 6th Baronet, an English Tory politician
  • Charles Harpur (1813-1868), Australian poet from Windsor, New South Wales
  • Sir Henry Harpur (1763-1819), 7th Baronet who died in a coaching accident when he was thrown from his carriage and landed on his head
  • Henry Harpur Spry (1804-1842), English writer on India, born at Truro, son of Jeffery or Geoffry Spry (d. 1829) of the excise
  • Henry Harpur Crewe (1828-1883), English clergyman and naturalist


  1. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) DAVID MALCOLM 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849DavidMalcolm.htm
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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