'To pay Beverage, to give a treat upon the first wearing of a new suit of cloths ' said Dr. Johnson in 1755. This surname was originally a nickname that was bestowed on a man who made a practise of getting free drinks for clinching bargains he had no intention of keeping. At Whitby in 1199 the purchaser of land paid by custom, 4d. and 1d. to the burgesses of Beverage. The name was derived from the Old English word BEVRAGE, and is more common in Scotland than in England, particularly in Fife, where it is pronounced Berridge or Berritch. The earliest hereditary surnames in England are found shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and are of Norman French origin rather than native English. On the arrival of the Normans they identified themselves by references to the estates from which they came in northern France. These names moved rapidly on with their bearers into Scotland and Ireland. Others of the Norman Invaders took names from the estates in England which they had newly acquired. The earliest mention of the name in Scottish record is in 1302 when Walter Beverage is named as a juror on an inquest at St. Andrew's. David Beverage was cup-bearer to James V in 1534, and James Baverage, son of the Queen's midwife, received a payment in 1567. Alexander Bavirige was a monk of Culross in the middle of the 16th century. Francis Beveredge of County Derbyshire, registered at Oxford University circa, 1600, and James Beverage and Andrew Beverege were fined in 1677 for brewing beer of insufficient strength, and a few days later they appealed for remission of their fines. 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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