This surname of SLOWMAN is a corruption of the name Slow, and was a topographic name for someone who lived near a swamp or bog, from the Old English word SLOH. It was also a habitation name from one of the various places, for example Slough in Berkshire, named with this word. Other spellings include SLOW, SLOAN and SLOMAN. Early records of the name mention Stephen de la Slou who was recorded in County Buckinghamshire in 1273, and Matilda ad le Slow appears in Cambridge in the same year. William atte Slo was documented in County Somerset, during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). The acquisition of surnames in Europe during the past eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in neighbouring cultures, and indigenous cultural tradition. On the whole, the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working classes and the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. These facts suggest that the origin of surnames is associated with the emergence of bureaucracies. As long as land tenure, military service, and fealty were matters of direct relationship between a lord and his vassals, the need did not arise for fixed distinguishing epithets to mark out one carl from another. But as societies became more complex, and as such matters as the management of tenure and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to have a more complex system of nomenclature to distinguish one individual from another reliably and unambiguously. Edward Hopkins and Mary Slow were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1648, and William Slow wed Mary Brown at St. George's, Hanover Square, London. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.
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