Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
OTHER FORMS: VICCARY VICAREY VICKERY VICKARY
CONTRIBUTOR: Ian S Vicary on 11/27/2014
Meaning & History
There are a number of theories as to the origins of the name, Spanish sailors shipwrecked after the Armada and French Huguenots fleeing the Revolution are two of the more romantic ones. It is more likely to have come as someone associated with the church - the vicar, who carried out the pastoral duties on behalf of the absentee holder of a benefice. The derivation is from the Anglo French 'Vicare' or 'Vicaire', perhaps this originally from the Latin 'Vicarius', the word used for a deputy or substitute minor official in Roman times. Thus back to the medieval, one acting as Parish priest in place of the parson or rector.
The earliest known record of the name is that of Henrie Vicarie in 1249. Roberto Vicario de Acford (now called Oakford) was witness to a deed in 1260. Also a William Vikery was noted on the 1319 Rolls of London.
One noble bearer of the name was Thomas Vicary, surgeon to King Henry VIII about 1528 and for several years master of the Barber Surgeons Company. He was also a Governor of St Bartholomews Hospital, London. There is a painting by Holbein in the Barber-Surgeons Hall showing Thomas receiving the Royal Charter from the King.
In the Guildhall library is a lease bearing his signature.
A coat of arms was granted to the Vicary family of Warminster in Wiltshire in 1558 comprising a black shield with two red cinuefoils on a silver chief, the crest being a gold peacock close.
The most famous bearer of the name was Thomas Vicary (1490 - 1561), barbour surgeon to King Henry V111 and founding governor of St Bartholomew's Hospital in London. Another was Leonard Vicary who accompanied Sir Francis Drake on one of his voyages to South America in 1577/1578.