Show ContentsWebley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

When the ancestors of the Webley family emigrated to England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They lived in Herefordshire, at Weobley, [1] originally known as Webbeleye in 1242. [2]

Early Origins of the Webley family

The surname Webley was first found in Herefordshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Weobley, held at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086 by Roger de Lacy, from whom the family name is conjecturally descended. Weobly Castle was the scene of King John's surrender in the early 13th century to William de Braose.

By the 14th century, early rolls point to the widespread use of the name is a variety of early spellings including: Thomas de Webbele who was listed in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1308; and Richard de Webbeleye in Gloucestershire in 1336. [2]

Early History of the Webley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Webley research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1663, 1790 and 1887 are included under the topic Early Webley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Webley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Webley have been found, including Weobley, Webley, Weblee, Weblie, Weobbley, Webbley, Webblie, Webbly, Webly, Weblincke, Weblinck and many more.

Early Notables of the Webley family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Philip Webley, English entrepreneur and son-in-law of William Davis, founder of what would later become known as Webley and Scott, the arms manufacturer in Birmingham, England...

United States Webley migration to the United States +

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Webley were among those contributors:

Webley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Ann Webley, who landed in America in 1747
  • Henry Webley, who landed in America in 1767

Australia Webley migration to Australia +

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

Webley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Webley, English Convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [3]
  • Mr. John Webley, British Convict who was convicted in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Corona" on 13th October 1866, arriving in Western Australia, Australia [4]

New Zealand Webley 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:

Webley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Sarah M. Webley, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Golconda" in 1859

West Indies Webley migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [5]
Webley Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Webley who settled in the Bahamas in 1660

Contemporary Notables of the name Webley (post 1700) +

  • Mark Webley, American actor, known for his work on Shortland Street (1992), Xena: Warrior Princess (1995) and Cleopatra 2525 (2000)
  • Mischa Webley, American director and writer, known for The Kill Hole (2012), Conversations (2009) and The Minstrel Jim (2008)
  • Jason Webley (b. 1974), American musician known for his fusion of folk, experimental and alternative music
  • John Webley (1946-1971), English actor, known for The Mikado (1967)
  • Philip Webley, English founder of P. Webley & Son which later became known as Webley & Scott, an arms manufacturer in Birmingham; they manufactured the official British sidearm from 1887 to 1964
  • Thomas "Tom" Webley (b. 1983), English cricketer
  • Peter John Webley (b. 1942), former English cricketer who played for Bedfordshire (1967-1975)
  • George Webley (1957-2011), better known by the stage name Big George, a British musician, composer, bandleader, and broadcaster
  • Paul Webley CBE (1953-2016), British Director and Principal of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London from 2006 to 2015

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 18) Aboukir voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island. [These convicts appear to have all landed in Van Diemen's Land], Australia in 1851 with 280 passengers. Retrieved from
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from
  5. on Facebook