Bassette History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient name Bassette is a Norman name that would have been developed in England after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. This name was a name given to a person of small stature having derived from the Old English word bas, meaning of low stature. 
Early Origins of the Bassette family
The surname Bassette was first found in Staffordshire where the family traces back to Thurston, a Norman who held six hides of land in Drayton (known today as Dayton Bassett.) Thurston was the "paternal ancestor of several families of Basset, which rose to power and distinction very shortly after the Conquest. Ralph Basset [(died 1265)], the illustrious founder of their greatness, is said to have been raised by Henry I, from a lowly condition, and to have been 'exalted above earls and other eminent men.' True it is he was constituted Justice of England, and invested with the power of sitting in whatever court he pleased." 
"Thurstan Basset appears in the Roll of Battle Abbey." 
One source claims that the family may have branched to Withcote in Leicestershire in ancient times. "At the south-western extremity of the parish [of Withcote] may be traced the foundations and embankments of Solay or Sawley Castle, a place of great importance in the baronial wars, supposed to have been built by the Bassett family." 
The aforementioned Ralph Basset was father of Ralph Basset, 1st Lord Basset of Drayton and Maud (c. 1265-1299.) He rose to become Governor of Edinburgh Castle (1291-1296.) His son Ralph Basset III was killed at the Battle of Evesham one year after his appointment. Wooton-Bassett, a market-town and parish, and formerly a representative borough, in the union of Cricklade and Wootton-Bassett, hundred of Kingsbridge in Wiltshire was an ancient family seat.
"This place, which appears to have been originally of greater importance than it is at present, was, at the time of the Norman Conquest, called Wodeton, from wode, a wood, and tun, a town. About a century after that period, it became the property of the noble family of Bassett, from whom it derived the adjunct to its name." 
"At the upper end of the north aisle [of the church at Blore, Staffordshire], within a kind of chantry chapel, is a noble altar-tomb of statuary marble, supposed to be to the memory of William, the last male heir of the Bassetts, who was living in 1588; there is also a brass, dated 1400, in the aisle." 
Early History of the Bassette family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bassette research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1093, 1198, 1597, 1673, 1625, 1626, 1602, 1656, 1640, 1644, 1644, 1695, 1628, 1693, 1669, 1679, 1681, 1693, 1641, 1720, 1687, 1688, 1674, 1721 and are included under the topic Early Bassette History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bassette Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Bassette were recorded, including Bassett, Basset, Bassit, Basett and others.
Early Notables of the Bassette family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Lord Basset of Drayton; Lord Basset of Weldon; Sir Robert Basset of Umberley, a colonel in the English Army; Arthur Basset (1597-1673), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1625 to 1626; William Bassett (c. 1602-1656), an English landowner and politician, Member of Parliament for...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bassette Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bassette family to Ireland
Some of the Bassette family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bassette family
The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Bassette arrived in North America very early: Oliver Bassett who settled in Barbados in 1635; George Basset in Virginia 1637; William Basset in Virginia in 1622; Arnold Basset settled in New York state in 1693.
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The Bassette Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Pro rege et populo
Motto Translation: For King and people.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.