The surname of OAKSHOTT was of the locational group of surnames 'of Oxshott' a spot in County Surrey. The name was derived from the Old English OCGASCEAT, and literally meant the dweller near the oak-trees. The earliest of the name on record appears to be OKESSETA (without surname) who was documented in Surrey in the year 1180. Most of the place-names that yield surnames are usually of small communities, villages, hamlets, some so insignificant that they are now lost to the map. A place-name, it is reasonable to suppose, was a useful surname only when a man moved from his place of origin to elsewhere, and his new neighbours bestowed it, or he himself adopted it. OCCASCATE and OGGESCHATE were recorded in Surrey in the year 1202, and the name appears as HOGGGESETE in 1281. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. William Okeshott was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and Edward Oakshott of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. 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. A notable member of the name is Michael Jospeh Oakeshott, born in 1901, the English philosopher and political theorist. He was educated at Cambridge where he taught from 1929 until 1949 and in 1950 became professor of political science at the London School of Economics, retiring in 1969. His first, and main philosophical work was 'Experience and its Modes' (1933). He also wrote 'Rationalism in Politics' (1962) and 'On Human Conduct' (1975).
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