The surname of STUART was originally derived from the Old English Stiward, one who provided for his masters table. In Scotland, by the 11th century, the name came to mean, not only the chief of the Royal household, but his power extended to the collection and management of the crown revenues, to the administration of justice, and in time of war he took first place in the army next to the King. The name is also spelt STEWART, STEUART, STEWARD, STEWARTSON and STEWARDSON. Early records of the name mention William le fiz Stywarde, of the County of Berewyk, rendered homage in 1296. John Stywarde was documented as being on an inquest at Roxburgh in 1357. Richard Stiward was in the King of England's service in the year 1371. John, son of Robert and Edy Stewart, were baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1723. Jane, daughter of Robert Stewart was baptised at the same church in the year 1725. In the seventeenth century an East Anglia family named Styward, put forward a story that they were originally Stewarts. Oliver Cromwell's mother was one of them, and on the strength of this, it was claimed that Cromwell was descended from the Royal family. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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