The surname of THORNE was a locational name 'of Thorne' a spot in County Ripon. Local names usually denoted where a man held land, and indicated where he actually lived. There is also a place Thorne in County Somerset, near Yeovil, from where the name many have been derived, and TORNE (without surname) listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, appears to be the first of the name on record. THORN (without surname) appears in Somerset in the year 1100, and Thornfagun (without surname) was documented in the year 1268. Other records of the name mention Hugh Thorne, 1273 County Devon and John de Thorne, was documented in the County of Cambridge, ibid. William Thorne of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Other spellings of the name include THORN, THORNS, THORNER, THROWN, DORN, DORNER and DERNER, to name but a few. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. 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 draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Later instances of the name include Phillip Thorne and Elizabeth Hammond (widow) who were married in London in the year 1579 and Thomas Thorne married Sarah Truelove at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1746. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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