This is an ancient and honourable English surname, the family name of the Earls of Cardigan. The name is locational, and in the 14th century was spelt Bredenhill, Sir William de Bredenhill of Doddington, Oxfordshire, being recorded in one of the very earliest of all heraldic records, the Shirley Roll of circa 1275. This roll predates by one hundred and fifty years the formation of the College of Arms, and the creation of the Order of Chivalry after the battle of Agincourt in 1415. There are two places called Breidden Hill or Breedon on the Hill. The first in Montgomeryshire on the Welsh Borders, the other in Leicestershire. The meaning for both places is the same, being the almost unique Hill-hill plus a further hill from the Ancient British 'bre', the later Olde English 'dun', both meaning hill, and the still later 'hyll', a hill. The existing Brudenells are believed to originate from the Welsh village. The Brudenell's have always played a part in the fabric of English society. Robert Brudenell, born in 1461 and educated at Cambridge University, ultimately rose to be the chief justice of England in the reign of King Henry V111 (1510 - 1547). He died in 1531 whilst still 'in office', and therefore was not associated with the later excesses of the kings reign. However the most famous Brudenell, and one who brought both honour and shame on his family was James Thomas Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan. He commanded the light cavalry brigade in the Crimea during 1854, and lead it to total destruction in probably the famous 'charge'in history. His bravery not being in doubt, and only his judgement at fault, he was immediately gazetted Lieutenant General!
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