Redvers History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Redvers came to England with the ancestors of the Redvers family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Redvers family lived in Revieres, near Creuilli, in the arrondissement of Caen, Normandy. This is one of the names given by Wace in his account of the battle of Hastings, "He who was then Sire de Reviers brought with him many knights who were foremost in the assault, bearing the enemy down with their war-horses." [1]

Early Origins of the Redvers family

The surname Redvers was first found in Devon where the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Baldwin de Reviers (Revere) who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. Soon after the conquest Baldwin and William (Quillaume) de Reviers, sons of Richard of Montebourg in Calvados received Plympton and Tiverton in Devon, the Isle of Wight, became Earl of Devon to which Baldwin succeeded in 1107.

"There was a genuine and undoubted Richard de Reviers, who with William de Reviers (perhaps his brother) is to be found on the Dives Roll, and held a barony in Dorset in 1086. [2] He is presumed to have been the son of a William de Reviers who held land at Montebourg in Normandy a conjecture the more probable, as he, with the King's consent, founded an Abbey at Montebourg in 1088, and endowed it, among other grants, with one of his Dorset manors." [1]

"A castle was erected in Tiverton in 1106 by Rivers, Earl of Devon, which continued for many ages the head of a barony, and, with the lordship of the hundred and the manor." [3] "In the reign of Henry I. the manor [of Tiverton] passed to the family of Redvers, and Richard de Redvers, about the year 1106, built the castle, which continued one of the principal seats of that powerful family for several generations. At the death of Baldwin de Redvers in 1245, his widow, Amicia, claimed the manor and lordship of Tiverton as part of her dower. The last of the family of Redvers that held the manor was Isabella's daughter Avelina, who married Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, second son of Henry III." [4]

"In the reign of Henry I. we find Honiton [Devon] in the Redvers family, and in that line it continued mainly until it came to the Courtenays. " [4]

Baldwin de Redvers, the 1st Earl of Devon (died 1155), was a feudal Baron of Plympton in Devon. His father was Richard de Redvers (or Reviers, Rivers, or Latinised to de Ripariis) (fl. c. 1066 - 1107) was a Norman from Reviers in Normandy. He rose to become the 1st feudal baron of Plympton. He may have been one of the companions of William the Conqueror during the Norman Conquest but he does appear on the Role of Battle Abbey. Guillaume held a barony in Dorset and he more properly sired the Redvers.

Descending from this great Norman family name were the Redvers, the Reivers, the Courtnays, the Prouz, the Chudleighs, the Fortibus, and the Vernons. [5]

Early History of the Redvers family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Redvers research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 125 and 1255 are included under the topic Early Redvers History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Redvers Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Redvers, Redverse, Radvers, Reviers, Reivers, Revere and many more.

Early Notables of the Redvers family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Redvers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Redvers family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Redvers or a variant listed above: Elizabeth Rever, who settled in Barbados in 1651; Apollos Revere, who settled in Boston in 1715; Leonard Revor, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1738; Laurens Revere, who came to Charles Town, SC sometime between 1767 and 1768.


Contemporary Notables of the name Redvers (post 1700) +

  • Raymond Redvers Briggs CBE (1934-2022), English illustrator, cartoonist, graphic novelist and author, best known for his 1978 story The Snowman, a book without words
  • Sir Gilbert Redvers Heathcote (1854-1937), 8th Baronet of Hursley
  • Sir Rupert Redvers Brickwood (1900-1974), English peer, 2nd Baronet Brickwood, of Portsmouth, Squadron Leader in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force (WWII)
  • Cecil Redvers Griffiths (1901-1945), British winner of the Olympic Gold medal in 4 x 400m relay at the 1920 Summer Olympics
  • General Sir Redvers Henry Buller VC, GCB, GCMG (1839-1908), British general and recipient of the Victoria Cross, Commander-in-Chief of British forces in South Africa during the early months of the Second Boer War
  • Redvers Buller Kyle (1929-2015), South African-born, British broadcaster, voice over artist, actor and composer


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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