The surname of SPENCER was derived from the Old French 'despensier' a butler or steward, one in charge of the wine cellar of a large house or mansion. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Early records of the name mention Robert le Despencer, 1204 Salisbury. William le Spencer, 1275 Hampshire. Thomas del Spencer of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. From the 13th century downwards, several persons of the name were documented in Scotland, where the name was taken by settlers. Roger Dispensator witnessed a charter by the Bishop of Moray, granting the church of Deveth to Spyny in the year 1202. Thomas Dispensator witnessed a charter of lands in 1232. A ship belonging to Laurence de Spense and other Scottish merchants was shipwrecked at Whitbernes, near Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1365. Fergus de la Spens held a tenement in Edinburgh in 1392. John de Spencer was the burgess of Aberdeen in 1444. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) English philosopher and Sociologist; founder of the evolutionist philosophy, the principle of which was laid down in his 'Programme of a System of Synthetic Philosophy'. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.