This surname of TEMPLE was an English and French occupational name or habitation name for someone who was employed at or lived near one of the temples maintained by the Knight Templar, a crusading order, named because they claimed to occupy the site of the old temple in Jerusalem. The order was founded in 1118 and flourished for 200 years, but was suppressed as heretical in the year 1312. The name was also applied to foundlings baptised at the Temple Church in London, because the church had been built on land originally belonging to the Templars. In Scotland, the name is a habitation name from the parish of TEMPLE in Edinburgh, named this because it was the site of the local headquarters of the Knights Templar in Scotland. Other spellings of the name include TEMPLAR, TEMPLER, TEMPLEMAN, TEMPLIER, TEMPELAAR and TEMPELMAN. Early records of the name mention William le Templyr, 1273, County Lincolnshire. Agnes le Templer, 1273, County Oxford. Adam le Templer was documented in County Oxford in 1307. Thomas Hutchinson and Lettice Templar were married in London in the year 1641. William Templer and Elizabeth Dunn were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1766. The Knights Templar was a crusading order so named because they claimed to occupy Jerusalem at the site of the old temple. The order was founded in 1118 and flourished for 200 years, but was suppressed as heretical in the year 1312. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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