This is a famous suname from the county of Devonshire. The Chudleighs have been associated with the villages of Broadclyst, Ashton and Chudleigh for over seven hundred years. The village was first recorded in 1259 as Cheddeleghe and again in 1290 as Chuddlegh, not far from the modern spelling. The Chudleighs of Chudleigh played a major part in the county of Devon as sherrifs over several centuries and ultimately were granted a baronetcy in 1622. This was during the reign of James 1st of England and V1th of Scotland (1587 - 1625), but this appointment became extinct in 1745. Locational surnames are usually "from" names, that is to say names given to people after they left their original village to move somewhere else. The exception being as in this case when they were originally given to the lord of the manor and his, or sometimes her, descendants. The name is Olde English pre 7th century and means Cedda's leah or farm, with Cedda being an early personal name of uncertain meaning. The first known recording is probably that of John Chudleigh who flourished around the reign of King Edward 11nd 1307 - 1327, although the most famous nameholder was probably Elizabeth Chudleigh. She married the 2nd Duke of Kingston and in 1776 she was convicted of bigamy by the House of Lords. Interestingly the coat of arms has the blazon of Ermine, three red lions rampant, and with the crest being a naked man holding a gold club!
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