The surname Leonard is of English origin. It is derived from an Old French personal name of Germanic origin, composed of the elements ‘leon’ lion ( a late borrowing from the Romance languages ) and ‘hard’, hardy, brave, strong; the Old German Leonhard ‘lion-bold’. This was the given name of a fifth century Frankish saint, of whom absolutely nothing is known except for a largely fictional life dating from half a millennium later, who was popular throughout Europe in the early Middle Ages and was regarded as the patron saint of peasants,captives and horses. The name was introduced into England by the Normans, but was not a particularly common name there during the Middle Ages; it was revived there during the nineteenth century. It is not as common in England as one would expect, in view of the number of churches dedicated to St.Leonard, the patron saint of captives. The most famous bearer of the name on the Continent was that of Leonardo da Vinci ( 1452-1519 ), remembered principally as a painter and sculptor, but also as an architect, engineer and scientist. The Irish have used the name as an anglicization of the Gaelic name Lennon. In the United States those of Italian descent have used the na… Coat of arms: Per fesse dan…
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