The surname of SIMPSON was a baptismal name 'the son of Simon', an ancient and popular early christian name. Three places so called in the County of Devon, also gave rise to the surname in the 13th century. Early records of the name mention Richard Symmeson, 1353, County Yorkshire. Robertus Symmes of Yorkshire, listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Louis Baumes and Margaret Simpson were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1800. The name was taken to Scotland by settlers, and the first on record of the name there appears to be William Symsoun was documented as the burgess of Edinburgh in 1405. Thomas Symesson of Scotland was granted a safe conduct into England in 1412. Hugh Symson served on an inquest in Cawdor in 1414, and Robert Symson 'a servant of the King of Scots' was granted a safe conduct to travel into England in the year 1422. Wylzame Sympstum was declared innocent of his part in the detention of King James III. in Edinburgh Castle in 1482. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. Andrew Symson, 'Printer to the King's most excellent Majesty', was an Episcopal minister prior to the Revolution in 1688, when the bigotry of Presbyterianism deprived him of his living, and he turned printer. A most eminent member of the name was James Young Simpson (1811-1870) of chloroform fame, whose monument is in Princes Street gardens, in Edinburgh. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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