The surname of PICKART was a baptismal name 'the son of Picard' an ancient font name, very familiar to Yorkshire. The name was originally brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066, by settlers from Picardie in Northern France, a region adjoining Normandy, from which many of William the Conqueror's companions and followers came. Some early examples of the name, such as Paganus filius Pichardie, who was recorded in Hampshire in 1160, seem to point to derivation from a Germanic personal name, perhaps composed of the elements 'bic' (sharp, pointed weapon) and 'hard' (hardy, brave and strong). Surnames as we recognise them today are believed to have been introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. Other records of the name include PICARD, PICCARD, PIQUARD, PIQUARD, PICART, PICCARDI and PICKHARD. The first mention of such names appears in the Domesday Book and they were progressively adopted between the 11th and 15th centuries. It was the nobles and upper classes who first assumed a second name, setting them apart from the common people who continued to use only the single name given to them at birth. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that it became common practice to use a secondary name, originally a name reflecting the place of birth, a nickname, an occupational name or a baptismal name which had been passed on from a parent to the child, as an additional means of identification. Other records of the name mention Emma Picard, listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Richard Pickard married Elizabeth Reason at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1524. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.
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