The surname of LAKE was a locational name 'the dweller at the lake' the name was derived from the Old English 'lacu'. Local names usually denoted where a man held land. In the middle ages it was customary for a man to be named after the village where he held his land. This name identified his whole family, and would follow him wherever he moved. Early records of the name mention William atte Lake, 1273 County Norfolk. Thomas Lake of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Richard Lakke was documented in County Lancashire in the year 1400. Arthur Lake of Southampton, registered at Oxford University in 1588. Baptised. Anne, daughter of Francis Lake, at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1620. The earliest hereditary surnames in England are found shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and are of Norman French origin rather than native English. On the arrival of the Normans they identified themselves by references to the estates from which they came in northern France. These names moved rapidly on with their bearers into Scotland and Ireland. Others of the Norman Invaders took names from the estates in England which they had newly acquired. An eminent member of the name was Viscount Gerard LAKE (1744-1808) the English soldier. He served in Germany and in America, and the Low Countries (1793-94) where his most brilliant exploit was the capture of some forts near Lille. In 1798 he routed the Irish rebels at Vinegar Hill, and received the surrender of the French near Cloone. Commander-in-chief of North West India (1801-07) against Sindhia and Holkar, he won several battles and took Aligarh, Delhi and Agra. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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