The surname of WAKELAM was a baptismal name 'the son of Wakling' an ancient baptismal name. The name was derived from the medieval given name of WALQUELIN, and is of Norman origin, probably brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. 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 11. (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Early records of the name mention Walcelin (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Ricardus filius Walkelini, was documented in the year 1199, in the County of Suffolk. John Wakeling and Elizabeth Harrison, who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1763. John Wakelin and Martha Phillips, were married at the same church in the year 1775. The name has many variants including Wakeling, Wakelin and Waklin. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066. 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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