Eyre legend

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The legend of the person who was the founder of the Eyre and Ayre families, and who was supposedly previously known by the surname "Truelove" (or "True Love"), is a story that appears in genealogies. However, there is no definitive historical evidence confirming the existence of this person.

The family legend states that he accompanied William the Conqueror to Britain during the Norman Invasion, and fought alongside him at the Battle of Hastings (14 October 1066). When William was thrown from his horse his helmet was driven into his face, suffocating him, but Truelove was able to remove the helmet and save William's life. He suffered dearly for his bravery, sustaining an injury so severe that his entire leg had to be amputated.[citation needed]

After the battle William told him "thou shalt hereafter instead of Truelove be called Eyre because thou hast given me the air I breathe."[1]

Truelove the "Eyr" or "Heyr" was granted land in Derby as a reward for his services, together with a Coat of Arms featuring "a human leg in Armour couped at the thigh quarterly argent and sable spurred",[2] in reference to the sacrifice of his limb. Some of these features may persist in one of the current Eyre coats of arms, which features three gold quatrefoils on a black chevron with a white background.[3]

Another variation of the story of the origin of the Eyre crest is that Humphrey le Heyr of Bromham rescued Richard Coeur de Lion at the siege of Ascalon, at the cost of his leg, and that the leg couped was granted to him in remembrance of the occasion.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ancestors of Mariah Hope Gilman". Archived from the original on 2005-02-21. Retrieved 2005-03-02.
  2. ^ "The Search for where and how the surname Eyre originated". Archived from the original on February 12, 2005.
  3. ^ http://www.heraldry.jerasys.com/England1/Eyre_t.jpg[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "History of The Eyre Surname". Eyrehistory.co.uk. 23 February 2006. Archived from the original on 23 February 2006. Retrieved 14 August 2010.