The surname of LAMBERTON is of territorial origin from the old barony of the name in Berwickshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. William de Lamberton witnessed a charter by David I to the church of Dunfermline, circa.1136. Adam de Lamberton in 1190, granted to his nephew a third part of his land of Lamburton, and also to his grandson Galfrid de Hessewel, a third part of the same lands. Ade de Lamirtoun was steward to the prior of Coldingham in the year 1270. Several individuals of the name held land in Berwick, Lanark, Edinburgh, Fife, Forfar and Stirling. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name. From this ancient family sprung the famous William Lamberton, bishop of St. Andrews, the most distinguished person of the name, by whose advice and assistance the immortal Bruce was encouraged in his efforts to deliver Scotland from the English yoke. Bishop Lamberton, with the Abbot of Scone and Wishart, was taken in armor at the head of the armed retainers, and the former was then conveyed in irons to England. The Bishop held his ecclesiastical office for thirty years. He died at the Prior's chamber in the Abbey in 1328, and was buried in the High Kerk.
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