This surname BICE was of the baptismal group of surnames meaning 'the son of Biset' an ancient personal name. The name appears originally to be of Teutonic origin, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Early records mention BISSE (without surname) who was documented in County Gloucester in the year 1199. Biss Dapifer of the County Gloucester was recorded during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). The name is also spelt BISET and BISSETT. Edward Biset of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and William Biset appears on the same document. Maunsel Bisset County Worcester, 1440. Samuel Biset was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1596, and William Bissett of Glamorgan, registered at Oxford University in the year 1602. William Bisset married Jane Mills at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1764. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour.
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