The surname of PITTS was a locational name 'the dweller at the pit or hollow' from residence beside. Early records of the name mention Simon de la Pitte de Shottebrok, who was documented during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272). Richard Pit married Mary Bates at St. Antholin, London in the year 1588. Robert John Pitt was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1655. A locational name usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The original bearer would take his name from the village, town or the area where he dwelt. This name would identify his whole family, and would follow them wherever they moved. 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. William PITT (The Younger) born in 1759 was the English statesman, second son of the Earl of Chatham. Because of ill-health, he was taught at home, and by the age of 11 he was able to translate Latin and Greek. When he reached 14, his condition had improved enough for him to attend Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, where he graduated at 17. He was called to the Bar, but clearly saw himself in the political field. At the age of 24 he became Britain's youngest Prime Minister. His private life was sad and lonely, he had few friends and never married and he died heavily in debt in 1806. Following the Crusades in Europe a need was felt for a family name. This was recognized by those of noble blood, who realised the prestige and practical advantage that it would add to their status. The name is also spelt PITTE and PITT. 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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