The surname of SEMPILL was a locational name 'of St. Paul' a chapelry in Normandy. The name was given from their dedication of their churches to St. Paul. The name has a long associated with the west of Scotland, and early records list that Urian de St. Petro was recorded in 1273. Robert se Sempill witnessed a charter for Malcolm, Earl of Leverax, circa 1280. Later records show William Sympil, witnessing a charter of ratification by Malcolm, 4th Earl of Levenax, 1330 and Thomas de Seintepier appears in County Cheshire in 1383. Three individuals of the name, James, Robert and Francis, were famous song writers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. A Scottish family of this name held the hereditary post of Sheriff of Renfrewshire from the thirteenth century. The Ist Lord Semphill (died in 1513) was raised to the nobility by James IV around 1489, and died at Flodden. Owen Sempeer was buried at St. Antholin, London in 1613, and John Samues and Margaret Simper were married at St. Aldermary, London in the year 1613. The burghs of Scotland owe much of their prosperity to the large immigration of foreigners which went on during the 12th and 13th centuries. The original founders of the towns, were in many cases wanderers from Flanders, who brought with them their habits of industry and knowledge of trade and manufacture. Settlers of this description came in great numbers to England in the reign of Henry I (1100-1135) and when Henry II (1154-1189) drove all foreigners out of his dominions they flocked into Scotland, where a more enlightened policy made them welcome. 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. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Granted at Belltrees, Scotland in the year 1672.
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