The surname of LE SUEUR was originally of French origin, an occupational name meaning 'the shoe-maker' one who made and sold shoes. The earliest French hereditary surnames are found in the 12th century, at more or less the same time as they arose in England, but they are by no means common before the 13th century, and it was not until the 15th century that they stabilized to any great extent; before then a surname might be handed down for two or three generations, but then abandoned in favour of another. In the south, many French surnames have come in from Italy over the centuries, and in Northern France, Germanic influence can often be detected.The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Most of the occupations or professions reflected in family names are those known in the small villages in Europe, or those followed in a kings, or an important noble's household, or in some large religious house or monastery. During the Middle Ages much of Europe of composed of small villages, and many families surnames sprang from the occupation of the owner, and to describe a man by his occupation or profession was the most natural way to address a man, and set him apart from others in the neighbourhood.
An eminent member of the name was Hubert le Sueur (1580-1670) the French sculptor born in Paris. He moved to England about 1628. His most important work was the equestrian statue of Charles I. at Charing Cross (1633).
Eustache Le Sueur (1617-55) the French painter. He was a pupil of Simon Vouet, whose style he imitated until about 1645. In his early style his most important work was the decoration of two rooms at the Hotel Lambert in Paris. The Louvre possess 36 religious pictures by him. He was one of the founders and first professors of the French Royal Academy of Painting (1648). The associated arms are recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. Registered in Jersey. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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