The surname of LADE was derived from the Old German Lad(e)wig and was a baptismal name 'the son of Lodowicus', a Norman popular font name composed of the elements 'hlod' (fame) and 'wig' meaning war. This was the name of the founder of the Frankish dynasty, recorded in Latin chronicles as Ludovicus. The name was popular throughout France in the Middle Ages, and was introduced into England by the Normans. On the continent it was a hereditary name borne by many French kings. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and early records of the name mention Loweis le Briton, 1166, County Essex. 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. Other records of the name mention John de la Lade who was documented in County Lancashire in the year 1273, and Richard de la Lade appears in Lancashire during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). Thomas atte Lathe was recorded in Yorkshire in 1300, and Johannes del Lethe of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Lade was buried at Canterbury Cathedral in the year 1729. 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according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans.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. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. Registered in London.
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