Vosper History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Vosper family

The surname Vosper was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Liskeard. Cornwall was a land set apart, a land of mystique and quaint customs, more strongly related to Brittany and Wales than to England. It was not until the 10th century that they submitted to the Saxon rule of England. Since then, their influence has moved east into Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

Early History of the Vosper family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vosper research. Another 72 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Vosper History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vosper Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and 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 of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Vosper, Vorsper, Vospa, Vospar and others.

Early Notables of the Vosper family (pre 1700)

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


United States Vosper migration to the United States +

A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Vosper:

Vosper Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • O. Vosper, aged 31, who immigrated to the United States, in 1896
Vosper Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Reginald Vosper, aged 28, who immigrated to America from Saltash, in 1904
  • Thomas Vosper, aged 37, who landed in America from Cornwall, in 1904
  • Philip Vosper, aged 25, who landed in America from Leeds, in 1906
  • Henry Vosper, aged 38, who immigrated to the United States from Awsworth, England, in 1907
  • Mary Vosper, aged 11, who settled in America from Upper Parkstone, England, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Vosper migration to Australia +

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

Vosper Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Henry Vosper, aged 24, a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "North"
  • Miss Minnie Vosper, (b. 1873), aged 18, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Jumna" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 20th July 1891 [1]

New Zealand Vosper 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:

Vosper Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Francis Vosper, aged 17, a farm labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jessie Osborne" in 1867
  • Mr. Augustus Vosper, (b. 1859), aged 19, Cornish farm labourer departing on 24th May 1878 aboard the ship "Berar" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 3rd September 1873 [2]
  • Mr. William Vosper, (b. 1852), aged 21, Cornish farm labourer departing on 12th September 1873 aboard the ship "Hindostan" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 28th December 1873 [2]
  • Mr. Vosper, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Wellington" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 25th February 1875 [3]
  • Mr. Francis S. Vosper, (b. 1859), aged 17, Cornish farm labourer departing on 15th September 1876 aboard the ship "Jessie Osborne" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 19th December 1876 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Vosper (post 1700) +

  • Sydney Curnow Vosper RWS, RWA (1866-1942), English painter and etcher of landscapes and figure subjects
  • Herbert Edward Vosper, founder of the English shipbuilding company Vosper & Company, now named VT Group plc
  • Sydney Curnow Vosper RWS, RWA (1866-1942), English painter and artist
  • Frederick Charles Burleigh Vosper (1869-1901), Australian newspaper journalist and proprietor, and politician
  • Frank Vosper (1899-1937), British actor and playwright
  • Dennis Forwood Vosper TD PC (1916-1968), Baron Runcorn, a British Conservative politician


The Vosper 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: Utraque fortuna contentus
Motto Translation: In good fortune or bad fortune


  1. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_queensland.pdf
  2. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Auckland 1872-80 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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