This surname of SKADE is recorded as a surname in Braemar and Cromar in the 16th and 17th centuries. The name is also spelt SKAD, SKAID, SKED and SKEDE. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Helen SKAYDE, who is recorded in Millades in 1583, and James SKAID was a tenant on the mill of Dunatye in 1600. 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. Later instances of the name include Alexander SCAD, who in 1636, was charged in Dawen with resetting members of the outlawed Clan Gregor. (Resetting was to receive or conceal stolen goods). In 1674 a payment was made to William SKED in Falsyde, and William SKED and Robert SKED were jurors on an assize at Dunbar in 1688. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. 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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