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Spenser is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is a name for a butler or steward. The surname Spenser was originally derived from the Old French word despensier, of the same meaning.

Spenser Early Origins



The surname Spenser was first found in Leicestershire where "in the eighteenth year of William the Conqueror lived Robertus Dispensator, otherwise called Le Despencer, because he was steward to the king. In the reign of Henry I. there were a William le Despencer and a Thurston Dispencer, but these last were only successors in office, or actual descendants of Robert is not known, and the like uncertainty prevails as to subsequent bearers of the name. " [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

At this time, some of the family held a family seat at Loughborough. "The noble family of Despenser, anciently possessors of the manor, obtained the grant of a market and fairs for the town." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Later, a branch of the family was found at Yarnton, or Yarington in Oxfordshire. "The church is ancient, with a tower built in 1612, by Sir Thomas Spencer. He also erected the aisle in which he is interred, as a sepulchral chapel for his family, who resided in the old manor-house near the church, the remains of which are now occupied as a farmhouse. In a recess in the aisle is an altar-tomb, with recumbent effigies of Sir William Spencer and his lady; and the churchyard contains a cross embellished with figures in full length, now much mutilated." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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Spenser Spelling Variations


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Spenser Spelling Variations



Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Spencer, Spenser, Spensor and others.

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Spenser Early History


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Spenser Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spenser research. Another 289 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1259, 1342, 1402, 1593, 1661, 1621, 1629, 1661, 1570, 1627, 1591, 1636, 1594, 1656, 1621, 1648, 1620, 1643, 1617, 1684, 1601, 1671, 1630 and 1693 are included under the topic Early Spenser History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Spenser Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Spenser Early Notables (pre 1700)



Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Philip Le Despencer, 1st Baron le Despenser (1342-1402), son and heir of Sir Philip le Despenser of Goxhill, son of Sir Philip Le Despencer; Richard Spencer (1593-1661), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1621 to 1629 and in...

Another 119 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Spenser Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Spenser name or one of its variants:

Spenser Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Robert and Susan Spenser settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Robert Spenser, aged 21, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Mary Spenser, aged 21, landed in Virginia in 1684

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Contemporary Notables of the name Spenser (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Spenser (post 1700)



  • Thomas Spenser, American politician, Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Deputies, 1738

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Motto


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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: Dieu defend le droit
Motto Translation: God defends the right.


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Spenser Family Crest Products


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Spenser Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  3. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  5. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  11. ...

The Spenser Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Spenser Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 7 July 2016 at 16:13.

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