The surname of BROOKS was a locational name 'of Brooke', a place name in the County of Norfolk. The name was derived from the Old English word BROC - and literally meant the dweller by the brook or stream. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Almost every city, town or village existing in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. Where a man lived was his means of identification. When a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known, and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or birthplace, or by the name of the land which he owned. Early records of the name mention BROC (without surname) listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Eustace del Broc of the County of Northumberland was documented in the year 1130. Rand de Broc of the County of Hampshire in 1157. Richard atte Brook was the vicar of Horseford, County Norfolk in 1419. Edward Brooks was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1604. Agustus Stopford Brooke (1832-1916) was an Irish clergyman and man of letters, born in Letterkenny, Donegal. He was an outstanding preacher, and appointed Royal chaplain in 1872. He published numerous works including 'Theology in the English Poets' (1874) and 'Primer of English Literature' (1876). The name has many variant spellings which include Brook, Brookes and Brock. A notable member of the name was Rubert Chawner Brooke (1887-1915) the English poet, born in Rugby. He was educated at King's College Cambridge, he travelled to Germany and visited the USA and Tahiti. He died a commissioned officer on Skyros on his way to the Dardanelles and was buried there. His poems appeared in 1911, 1914 and 'Other Poems' in 1915, after his death. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Flitwick Manor, County Bedfordshire. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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