The associated coat of arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The surname of HENSLEY was a locational name 'of HENLEY' places in Counties Oxford and Norwich. The name is also spelt HENLY, HENLEY, HENSLEE and HENNERSLY. Early records of the name mention Phillip de HENLEY who was recorded in the year 1273 in County Salop and John de HENELEGHE appears in County Somerset, during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). Willelmys de HENLEY was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as "de", "atte", "by" or "in". The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. Following the Crusades in Europe a need was felt for a family name. This was recognized by those of noble blood, who realised the prestige and practical advantage it would add to their status. The acquisition of surnames in Europe during the past eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in neighbouring cultures, and indigenous cultural tradition. On the whole, the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working classes and the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. These facts suggest that the origin of surnames is associated with the emergence of bureaucracies. As long as land tenure, military service, and fealty were matters of direct relationship between a lord and his vassals, the need did not arise for fixed distinguishing epithets to mark out one carl from another. But as societies became more complex, and as such matters as the management of tenure and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to have a more complex system of nomenclature to distinguish one individual from another reliably and unambiguously. A notable member of the name was John HENLEY (1692-1756) the English clergyman, known as 'Orator Henry', born in Melton-Mowbray, Leicestershire. His 'Oratory Transactions' contain a life of himself.
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