SURNAMES as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people. HOPSON was of the baptismal group of surnames 'the son of Robert' an ancient and still popular font name. Early records of the name mention Agnes Hobbis, County Huntingdonshire, 1273. Willelmus Hobbesone was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Willelmus Hobsone of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, along with Hobbe the Werearde. John Hobson and Avis Gore were married at St. Mary, Aldermary, London in the year 1569. Thomas Hobson (1544-1631). A Cambridge carrier who let out his horses in rotation without allowing his customers to choose among them, hence Hobson's choice, necessity of taking what one can get. 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 flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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