This surname DALRYMPLE was a Scottish habitation name from a place in the former country of Ayrs (now part of Strathclyde region), said to be called from the Gaelic DAIL CHRUIM PUILL (field of the crooked stream). The barony of DALRYMPLE was jointly held in 1371 by Malcolm and Hew de DALRYMPILL. The DALRYMPLE family who held the earldom of Stair can be traced directly to William de DALRYMPLE, probably a descendant of one of these men, who in 1429 acquired the estate of Stair in Kyle, Ayrshire. In the muster rolls of the Scottish Guards in France, the name appears as de ROMPLE. 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. A notable member of the name was DALRYMPLE Hamilton, 4th baronet of Cranstoun (1726-1810) the Scottish historian, descended from a distinguished Scottish legal and political family. He was educated at Edinburgh and Cambridge, and was admitted to the Scottish bar in 1748, and was for a time solicitor to the Board of Excise. He published 'An Essay towards a General History of Feudal Property in Great Britain under various Heads' (1757). In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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