This distinguished surname, having no less than seven Coats of Arms, and with several notable entries in the "Dictionary of National Biography", is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from the ancient manor of Bathurst near Battle Abbey in Sussex, which was possessed by the family in the 14th Century. The component elements of the placename are the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Bada", a short form of the various compound names with the first element "beadu", battle, and "hyrst", a wooded hill. The sound represented by the Olde English "y" became "u" in the dialect of the East, and central Midlands; hence, "Beda's hurst". Locational surnames were originally given to local landowners and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. In 1555, the birth of one Randolph Bathurst was recorded in London, and on August 16th 1597, William Bathurst married a Rachel Smith at Uckfield, Sussex. John Bathurst, M.D. and F.R.C.P., 1637, was physician to Oliver Cromwell, and Allen Bathurst (1684 - 1775) was created first earl Bathurst in 1772. A Coat of Arms granted to the Bathurst family of Hampshire, Kent and London, and closely resembling that held by the Earls Bathurst, is a black shield with two bars ermine, in chief three gold crosses formee, the Crest being a dexter arm embowed, habited in mail, holding in the hand proper a club with gold spikes. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Lawrence Bathurst, which was dated 1500, witness at the christening of his son, Edward, at Staplehurst, Kent, during the reign of King Henry V11, known as "Henry Tudor", 1485 - 1509. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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