The surname of BINNEY was a locational name from the old barony of the name in the parish of Uphall, West Lothian, where a family of the name were at one time numerous. The place name Binning in the parish of Whitekirk, received its name from the older place in Uphall. One of the family of the name is said, during the reign of David II, to have gone in a waggon covered with hay, and surprised and taken from the English the castle of Linlithgow. William de Binin, was prior of Newbattle in 1243. The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles. Other records of the name mention a certain Friar John Benying who was govenor of the lands and possessions of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalam in 1388. Nicol Bynnyn was documented in Ediburgh in 1510. John Binnie was a prisoner in Tolbooth of Edinburgh in 1681. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. The name has many variants including Binney, Binning and Binny. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker.
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