The surname of WATSON was a baptismal name 'the son of Wat or Walter'. Early records in Scotland mention John Watson, who held land in Edinburgh in 1392. Sir Donald Walteri appears in the diocese of Moray in 1493. Nicholas Watson of Dalkeith held land in the Appilgate of Arbroath in 1450. Walter Watson was the burgess of Dumbarton, and a landowner there in 1494, and a long succession of bailies, provosts and other town officers descend from him John Watsone was a tenant of Uthircloy, Ardmanoch in 1504. An eminent member of the name was Lord William Watson (1827-99) the Scottish judge. born in Covington, Lanarkshire. He was educated at Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities, and although he initially had little legal practice, by 1874 he was solicitor-general for Scotland. he became dean of the Faculty of Advocates in 1875. As a judge he was greatly esteemed and the authority of his judgements is high, particularly in Scottish cases. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered in Aberdeen in 1672. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings. 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.
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