The surname of VICERY was an official name 'the vicar' a man of the cloth. The name was derived from the Latin 'vicarius'. This was an occupational name for a parish priest or any ecclesiastical or civil official who carried out duties on behalf of an absentee office-holder or who deputized for a magistrate. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function of 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. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state, as is the case here. Early records of the name mention Henry le Vicarie, 1249 County Somerset. William Vickery, 1319 London. John Vicary, who registered at Oxford University in 1574. Thomas Platt married Anne Vickery at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1749.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Registered at Warminster, Co. Wilts. Granted 1558.
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