The surname of BRINDLE was a locational name 'of Brindle' a village near Chorley, County Lancashire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was derived from the Old English word BURNAHYLL, literally meaning the dweller at the wood clearing. BRINDEL (without surname) was documented in the year 1185, and appears to be the first of the name on record. The acquisition of surnames in Europe and England, during the last eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in cultures and traditions. On the whole the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working class or the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. The bulk of surnames in England were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in place names 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. Other records of the name mention Edmund Brindley, who registered at Oxford University in the year 1575. John Brindley of the parish of Malpass, was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1637. George Bates and Elizabeth Mary Brindley, were married at St. George's, Mayfair, London in the year 1748. 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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