This surname was a locational name 'of Burrow' a spot in County Lancaster. The name was derived from the Old English word BURGFORT meaning 'one who resided on the remains of a Roman fort'. In the middle ages it was customary for a man to be named after the village where he held his land. This name would identify his whole family, and followed them wherever they moved. Early records of the name mention Burg (without surname) listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. John atte Boroghe, County Somerset, during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Edward Burrowes of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Burrosse was documented in County Lancashire in 1572. William Burroughs married Elizabeth Knight at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in 1742. An interesting member of the name was Montagu Burrows (1819-1905). He was an English historian born in Hadley, near Barnet. He rose in the navy to commander (1852) and then, going up to Oxford, took a double first and in 1862 became professor of modern history. Among his works are 'Wyclif's Place in History' (1882) and an Autobiography written in 1908. During the 11th until the 15th centuries surnames were assumed in Europe, but they were not commonplace in England or Scotland at this time. Those of gentler blood assumed an additional name at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1377) that it became general practice amongst all people. 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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