GRANDE was derived from the Old French GRANDE - meaning great. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The use of fixed surnames or descriptive names appears to have commenced in France about the year 1000, and such names were introduced into Scotland through the Normans a little over one hundred years later, although the custom of using them was by no means common for many years afterwards. During the reign of Malcolm Ceannmor (1057-1093) the latter directed his chief subjects, after the custom of other nations, to adopt surnames from their territorial possessions, and there created 'The first erlis that euir was in Scotland'. 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 draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Early records of the name mention Hugo Grandis of Wales in 1084. The Grants were of Norman origin who were introduced into the North by the Bissets on their return from their exile of 1242. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker. In England the Bissets and the Grants possessed adjoining lands in Nottinghamshire and were intermarried. In 1246 William le Grant held the manor of East Bridgeford, Scotland. The earliest reference to the name Grant connected with Scotland is that of Thomas Grant, merchant of the king of Scotland, who on the 2nd of January 1252 was deposed from his office of visor of York Castle.
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