The surname of PATE has the associated arms recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The surname was baptismal 'the son of Pate' an ancient although now forgotten personal name. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. The name was found in Midlothian and Larnark, and is an old name in Fife. Alexander Pate was the cannon of St. Andrews in 1528, and James Pate, in Woodhead, Lanark was the constable in 1706. 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 England early records of the name mention Osbert Patere, 1100, County Yorkshire. Jordan Patere was documented in County Lancashire in the year 1219. Edward Pates of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and William Pater was documented in County Lancashire in the year 1400. Walter Pater (1839-94) was the English writer who advocated the concept of 'art for art's sake'. He was the son of a physician, born in East London. His family were of Dutch origin and were said to have come to England with William of Orange. They established themselves in Olney in County Buckinghamshire. The name is also spelt Pater and Paters.
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