The surname of KENT was a locational name 'of Kent' in Derbyshire, and Cheshire. The name was derived from the Old English word CAENT, literally meaning the dweller by the border land or coast district. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and where he actually lived. Early records of the name CENT (without surname) recorded in Lancashire in the year 1175. Robert de Kent was recorded in the year 1273, in the County of Norfolk. Johannes de Kent (smythe) of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Kent of Wiltshire, registered at Oxford University in the year 1607. Richard Kent and Awdrie Twynoewe, were married in London in the year 1623. An interesting member of the family name was William Kent (1684-1748) the English architect and landscape designer born in Yorkshire. He studied painting in Rome, and when he returned to London he designed many public buildings including the Royal Mews, the Treasury Buildings and the Horse Guards block in Whitehall. He also designed the Gothic screens in Westminster Hall and Gloucesters Cathedral. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body 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. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Arms registered at Thatcham, County Berkshire. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification.
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