The Eyres Crest
|The EYRES family name emerged in the county of Derbyshire, England where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated at Hope. Early legend recounts that a companion of William the Conqueror named Truelove came to the assistance of William who had fallen from his horse. William's helmet was crushed over his face, impairing his ability to breath. Truelove came to William's rescue, removing his helmet and thus saving his life. According to legend, William then said "Thou shalt hereafter, from Truelove, be called Air or Eyre, because thou hast given me air to breathe." Another legend tells that a Knight named Eyre fought with Richard the Lion Heart during the Crusades and lost a leg while defending his king, which is why the family still bears a booted leg in its crest.
It is recorded that William Eyr of Hope was Keeper of the King's Forest of High Peak during the reign of Henry III in 1216. The descendants of this family were wealthy landowners in Derbyshire and Nottingham, and during the middle ages served as Sheriffs in both counties. Another branch of the family in Wiltshire distinguished themselves as parlimentarians and jurists and during the middle ages several were knighted.
The Eyres emigrated to Ireland during the political fervor of the Cromwell era. The Roman Catholic Church rejected all non-believers and Protestants were encouraged to go to Ireland or the Colonies. A Colonel John Eyres accompanied General Ludlow to Ireland and purchased land in the counties of Tipperary and Galway, where there are still sites named for the family: Eyre Square in Galway City, and Eyrecourt, a small village in County Galway.