This surname SEENER was a nickname 'the older of two persons'. The mode of expression was used as early as the 13th century. The name was originally derived from the Old French 'seignour' and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conqueror. It is known as the Domesday book. Early records of the name mention Hugh Seinure, 1212, County Lancashire. Thomas le Senyur was documented in County Somerset in 1271. Johannes Holyngehege Senior, listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name was early in Scotland, and Robert Senzour was burgess of Aberdeen in 1475. John Senzour was recorded in 1515, and Thomas Senezeor was resident in Balward in 1513. Archibald Senyeoure rendered to the Exchequer the accounts of the burgh of Aberdeen in 1565.
A notable member of the name was William Nassau Senior born in Compton Beauchamp, Berkshire in 1790. He was known as 'the prince of interviewers'. Educated at Eton at Magdalen College Oxford, he was called to the bar in 1819. He was professor of political economy at Oxford, and in 1832 he was appointed a poor-law commissioner, and master of chancery from 1836 until 1853. He stressed the importance of the last hour's work in the cotton factories, and opposed the trade unions. He died in 1864. 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.
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