Billinghurst Coat of Arms / Billinghurst Family Crest
The surname of BILLINGHURST was a locational name 'of Billinghurst' a parish in County Sussex, seven miles from Horsham. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. 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. Early records of the name mention William Billingham who appears in County Sussex in the year 1185, and Robert Bilham was recorded in Surrey in the year 1273. Edward Billingham of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. Later instances of the name mention Robert Billinghurst of County Sussex, who registered at Oxford University in the year 1613. Buried. Mr. George Billinghurst, in the middle of those two seats under ye arch on ye north side of Kensington Church, 1613. John Billinghurst married Elizabeth Amey at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1778. 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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