The surname BRITCH was a locational name 'from residence near a newly cultivated piece of land', as at Brache in Luton. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Almost every city, town or village existing in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. Where a man lived was his means of identification. When a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known, and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or birthplace, or by the name of the land which he owned.
Early records mention Peter de la Breche, 1221, Salisbury. William Breache was documented in County Lancashire in the year 1300. Isota atte Breche of County Somerset, was recorded during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and Edward Breach of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Breach and Lucy Merrit were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1802.
In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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