This Scottish surname of MALCOM was derived from the Gaelic 'Mael coluimb' meaning 'the devotee of S.Columba of Iona'. Four kings bore his name and MALCOLUMB is one of the witnesses to the earliest known Scottish charter of king Duncan to the monks of S.Cuthbert in l094. MALCOLMUS c.ll98 is witness to a confirmation by the bishop of Dunkeld. Between ll89 and l2l4 the spelling MALCHOLOM occurs. In l256 MALCOLUMB was charged before an Assize at Newcastle-on-Tyne for murder and robbery and in the same year another MACULUM also in Scotland was murdered. HUEW LE FIZ MAUCOLUM, burgess of Montrose and several others of the name rendered homage in l296. The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles. In the form MAIKLUM it was an old surname in Strathblane and in the Lowlands it has become MAECOM. Later instances of the name include John MALCUM who was a baker in Perth in l545. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. The associated coat of arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burke's General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in l884.
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