The surname of NICKLIN was a baptismal name 'the son of Nicholas' from the nickname Nicol. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The name was popular among Christians throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, largely as a result of the fame of a 4th century Lycian bishop, about whom a large number of legends grew up, and who was venerated in the Orthodox Church as well as the Catholic. East European forms of this name are spelt with the initial M, as Mikulas in Poland. The name was sometimes borne by women in the Middle Ages. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. Early records of the name mention Thomas Nicklin and Sarah Tomlinson,who married at St. Jame's, Clerkenwell, London in 1733. William Nicklin and Esther Pugh married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1746. John Nicklin married Elizabeth Doubtfire, St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1771. The names introduced into Britain by the Normans during and in the wake of the Invasion of 1066, are nearly all territorial in origin. The followers of William the Conqueror were a pretty mixed lot, and while some of them brought the names of their castles and villages in Normandy with them, many were adventurers of different nationalities attached to William's standard by the hope of plunder, and possessing no family or territorial names of their own. Those of them who acquired lands in England were called by their manors, while others took the name of the offices they held or the military titles given to them, and sometimes, a younger son of a Norman landowner, on receiving a grant of land in his new home dropped his paternal name and adopted that of his newly acquired property.
The bear has generally been regarded with a mixture of fear and amusement, due to its strength and unpredictable temper on the one hand and its clumsy gait on the other. Both these qualities are no doubt reflected in the choice of using the animal in the arms. Throughout the Middle Ages the bear was a familiar figure in popular entertainments such as bear baiting and dancing bears.
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