The surname of BEKET was a name of two-fold origin. Firstly it was a habitation name from places so called in Berkshire and Devonshire. The name was derived from the Old English word BICCA, literally meaning the dweller at the small cottage or shelter. Local names usually denoted where a man actually held his land. It was also a baptismal name 'the son of Becker', an old personal name. Sir Thomas a Becket ( 1117-1170 ) Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of England under Henry 11. He successfully opposed Henry's policy in taxation, and was murdered by Henry in Canterbury Cathedral. Other records of the name also mention Robertus Becket who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Robert Beckett and Elene Marshall were married in London in 1532. Richard Becket of Chester was registered at Oxford University in 1619. 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 from 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. When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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