The founder of this family SYDNOR in England was Sir William Sydney, Chamberlain of Henry II who came from Anjou with that monarch, and was buried at Lewes Priory in 1188. The name was derived from the Old English word 'Sidleg'. Early records of the name mention Richard de Sanct Sydney, County Norfolk, 1273. John ate Sydenye, 1332, County Surrey. William Sydny was documented in County Sussex in 1428. Humfrie, son of Thomas Sydney, at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1627. Sir Philip Sidney (1554-86) was the English poet and patron, born in Penshurst Place, Kent. He was the eldest son of Sir Henry Sidney (lord deputy of Ireland) and was educated at Shrewsbury School, and Christ Church College, Oxford. From 1572 until 1575, he travelled in France, Germany, Austria and Italy, studying history and ethics. He returned to England and was knighted in 1582. Throughout his time he bestowed patronage on a number of poets. He spent his last years in the Netherlands, where he successfully plotted an attack on the town of Axel. In September of 1586 he led an attack on a Spanish convoy transporting arms to Zutphen, but was shot and died from the infection. He was buried at St. Paul's Cathedral, much loved by contemporary poets, and alluded to with much affection. Sidney and Elizabeth Gumby were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1798. Surnames as we recognise them today are believed to have been introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. 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.
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