The surname of SALISBURY was a locational name 'of Salisbury' the city in County Wiltshire. There is also a place Salesbury, a village-parish between Blackburn and Ribchester, from which the name has sprung. The name was originally derived from the Old English word SAWLZBRI, and literally meant the dweller near the fort or fortified place. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. In the middle ages it became customary for a man to be named after the town or village where he lived. This name would identify his whole family, and would follow them wherever they moved. The earliest of the name on record appears to be William de Salesberie, 1115, Hampshire, and Bernard de Salesbury, appears in County Lancashire in the year 1246. Other records of the name mention Robert de Salisbyr, 1273 County Wiltshire. Later instances of the name include Richard Salisbury of Chipping, Lancashire, who was listed in the Wills at Lancashire in 1669. Henry Salysberye and Jone Matthews were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in the year 1547.
A notable member of the name was John of Salisbury (1185-80) the English prelate and scholar, born in Salisbury. He studied in Paris, was clerk to Pope Eugenius III and to Archbishio Theobald at Canterbury, but fell into disfavour with Henry II and retired to Reims, where he wrote 'Historia Pontificalis'. He returned to England and witnessed Thomas a Becket's murder at Canterbury. In 1176 he became Bishop of Chartres. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Granted at Barnstaple, County Devon to John Salsiburre, in the year 1620. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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