The surname of DENK was a baptismal name 'the son of Daniel' from the nickname Dankin. Early records of the name mention Gunnild Danekin, documented in County Gloucestershire during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272). Richard Dankyn, County Somerset, 1327. Thomas Danks was the rector of Hedenham, County Norfolk in the year 1572. Charles Hasketh and Mary Danks were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1800 and Daniel Ayres and Sarah Danks in 1805. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. The major factor influencing the popularity of the given name was undoubtedly the dramatic story in the Book of Daniel, recounting the prophet's steadfast adherence to his religious faith. The name was also borne by a 2nd century Christian martyr and by a 9th century hermit, the legend of whose life was popular among Christians during the Middle Ages, and these had a minor additional influence on the adoption of the Christian name. Hans DENCK (c.1495-1527) was the German Anabaptist theologian, born in Habach, Bavaria. He became rector of the Sebaldusschule in Nuremberg in 1523. From 1524 he preached a doctrine resembling Evangelical Quakerism in various parts of Germany and in 1525 was expelled from the school, whereupon he became a leader of the Anabaptists in Augsburg. He wrote a commentary on the book of Micah (1531) and other learned works.
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