Show ContentsScudamore History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Scudamore is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Scudamore family lived in the village of Fifield Scudamore or Upton Scudamore in Wiltshire. This place-name may have been derived from the Old English word scitemor which means one who lived at the moor.

"The Surname of the Scudamores, as their historian tells us, 'was derived from their bearing Scutum Amoris Divitiis, which was antiently their arms, and in all Probability was given upon some gallant Action done by them in Defence of the Christian Faith.' Their Cross patée fitchée, Or [gold] was, however, in course of time exchanged for the arms of the great heiress through whom they were transplanted into Herefordshire. She bore three stirrups leathered and buckled Or." [1]

While this passage clearly explains the significance of the family motto and thereby the origin of the name, the significance of the change of arms is not really explored. The change from a cross patée fitchée to three stirrups seemed unusual, so much so that "Sir John Scudamore, who held an office at Court, thought it well to recall the memory of the original bearing. " [1]

Early Origins of the Scudamore family

The surname Scudamore was first found in Wiltshire where the surname could have been derived from one of two villages: Fifield Scudamore; or Upton Scudamore. Fifield Scudamore, also known as Fifield Bavan is a very small village and former civil parish that dates back to 1264 when Peter de Scudamore was Lord of the Manor.

It was later renamed in 1463 as Fiffehyde Beaufaunt when ownership had passed to the Beaufaunt family. The latter village Upton Skidamore, was often spelt Upton Skidmore and by John Sexton's map of Wiltshire in 1610, it was listed simply as Upton.

"The family was first seated in Wiltshire, where Walter de Escudemore was Lord of Upton, near Warminster, in the time of Stephen. 'In 1165 Geoffrey de Scudimore' (perhaps his son) 'was a Baron in Wilts [2], and had sub-enfeofifed Waleran de Scudimore and Walter Gififord. He also held four fees of ancient enfeoffment from Robert D'Evias of Hereford." [3]

As far as the family records are concerned, this ancient Norman family held a family seat at Upton Skidamore and at Norton near Warminster, Walter de Scudamore being lord of the former manor in the reign of Stephen. [4]

"Peter de Schidimore was Sheriff of Dorset and Somerset in 1197 and 1199: and Sir Godfrey Scudamore Sheriff of Wilts in 1258. He married the heiress of Gifford of Brimsfield, and was the father of Sir Peter, 'a man of eminence' who kept great state at Upton, and founded a chantry in the church. His effigy, and that of his wife Margery, remain in the N. aisle, still called Scudamore's Aisle." [1]

Early rolls show the wide variety of spelling in use in those times: Hugh de Scudimore was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Herefordshire in 1167; Peter de Skidemor c1170 was listed in Glastonbury, Somerset; Geoffrey

Escudemor', Eskidemor' 1242 was found in the Feet of Fines Fees for Wiltshire; Peter de Skydemore 1282 in the Feet of Fines for Cheshire; and Richard Skidmore 1576, in the Subsidy Rolls for Wiltshire. [5]

"The Skidmores were established in Eyam in the 17th and 18th centuries, where several of them were killed by the plague in 1666, Wiltshire. De Skidemore and Skidemore were Wiltshire names in the 13th century." [6]

Early History of the Scudamore family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Scudamore research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1409, 1542, 1568, 1571, 1574, 1599, 1601, 1603, 1619, 1623, 1624, 1634, 1635, 1636, 1638, 1639, 1642, 1650, 1661, 1664, 1666, 1668, 1669, 1671, 1673, 1679, 1684, 1697, 1705, 1715 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Scudamore History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Scudamore Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Scudamore, Scudmore and others.

Early Notables of the Scudamore family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Sir John Scudamore, (1542-1623), listed in the Custos Rotulorum of Herefordshire in 1574
  • Sir James Scudamore (also spelled Skidmore, Skidmur or Skidmuer) (1568-1619), a gentleman usher at the court of Queen Elizabeth
  • John Scudamore, 1st Viscount Scudamore (1601-1671), English diplomat and politician

Ireland Migration of the Scudamore family to Ireland

Some of the Scudamore family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Scudamore migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Scudamore or a variant listed above:

Scudamore Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Scudamore who settled in Virginia in 1654
Scudamore Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Scudamore, who landed in Mississippi in 1874 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Scudamore (post 1700) +

  • Dave Scudamore, American runner, the 1997 US Marathon champion
  • Brian Scudamore (b. 1970), American entrepreneur from San Francisco, California, founder of the brand 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
  • Charles Scudamore (1779-1849), English physician, third son of William Scudamore, a surgeon, born at Wye, Kent
  • Mr. Richard Craig Scudamore C.B.E. (b. 1959), born in Bristol, England, English Executive Chairman for Premier League, was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Football by Her Majesty The Queen [8]
  • William Edward Scudamore (1813-1881), English divine, only son of Dr. Edward Scudamore of an ancient family, formerly seated at Kent-church, Herefordshire
  • Peter Scudamore MBE (b. 1958), nicknamed 'Scu', a former English jockey and trainer in National Hunt racing, eight-time Champion Jockey
  • Margaret Scudamore (1884-1958), English actress who began in ingenue roles
  • James Scudamore (b. 1976), English author
  • Edwyn Scudamore -Stanhop (1854-1933), 10th Earl of Chesterfield, styled Lord Stanhope between 1883 and 1887, a British peer and courtier
  • Tom Scudamore (b. 1982), British flat and steeplechase jockey, son of eight-time champion jockey Peter Scudamore
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Scudamore 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: Scuto amoris divini
Motto Translation: By the shield of God’s love.

  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. Liber Niger Scutarii ("Black Book of the Exchequer"), containing reports by county on feudal holdings in England in 1166 (reign of Henry II)
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. 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)
  8. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook