The surname of NELSON was of the baptismal group of surnames 'the son of Nell' an ancient and almost forgotten personal name. Early records of the name mention John Robert Nelleson, 1324, Wakefield, Yorkshire. Nell Fawkes was documented in County Cambridge, 1333. Thomas Nellson was of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Henry Nelson and Sarah Raby were married in Canterbury, Kent in the year 1687. Buried. James Nelson (in the vault) at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in 1740. The acquisition of surnames in Europe during the past eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in neighbouring cultures, and indigenous cultural tradition. On the whole, the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working classes and the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. These facts suggest that the origin of surnames is associated with the emergence of bureaucracies. As long as land tenure, military service, and fealty were matters of direct relationship between a lord and his vassals, the need did not arise for fixed distinguishing epithets to mark out one carl from another. But as societies became more complex, and as such matters as the management of tenure and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to have a more complex system of nomenclature to distinguish one individual from another reliably and unambiguously. Horatio, Viscount NELSON (1758-1805) was the English naval commander, born in Burnham Thorpe rectory, Norfolk. He entered the navy in 1770, made a voyage to the West Indies, served in the arctic expedition of 1773, and afterwards the East Indies, where he returned invalided in September 1776. In 1803 he was promoted to commander in the Mediterranean. He blockaded Toulon for 18 months, but in March 1805 the French fleet slipped out to sea, and were eventually caught by Nelson off Cape Trafalgar in 1805. Nelson directed the engagement from the 'Victory' but was mortally wounded by a sniper's bullet in the hour of victory. His body was brought home and buried in St. Paul's Cathedral.
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