The surname of WESTCOTT was a locational name 'of Westcott' parishes and hamlets in counties Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. The name was originally rendered in the Old English form WESTCOTA, literally meaning the dweller at the west side of the cot. The earliest of the name on record appears to be WESCOTE (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086, and WESTCOTA (without surname) was documented in Berkshire in the year 1140. Ricardus de WESTICOTT appears in the year 1273 in County Buckinghamshire. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. Later instances of the name include Margaret WESTCOTT who was baptised at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in the year 1611 and John Seager married Anne WESTCOTE in Canterbury, Kent in the year 1689. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, Surroy and Norroy in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.
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