The surname of EMSON was a baptismal name 'the son of Emery', an early font name, now forgotten as a personal name. The name is also spelt as EMPSON, IMSON, EMMERSON and IMESON. 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. Early records mention William EMPSONE who was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and Johannes EMSON of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Robertus EMMESON of Yorkshire was also mentioned in the Poll Tax. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Later instances of the name mention John EMYSON who was the vicar of Great Carbrook, County Norfolk in the year 1522. William Kelsea and Isabell IMSON were married at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in 1574, and Joseph Wheeler and Frances IMESON were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1802. Edward EMPSON and Helen Steel were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1808. Sir Richard EMPSON (died 1510) was the English politician. In 1491 he became speaker of the House of Commons, and in 1504, high steward of Cambridge University and chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. Throughout Henry VII's reign he was employed in exacting taxes and penalties due to the crown. His conduct, defended by himself as strictly legal, was by the people regarded as infamous and tyrannical, and in the second year of Henry VIII's reign he was convicted of tyrannizing and beheaded on Tower Hill.
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