This interesting name derives from the Olde English pre 7th century 'binn' meaning a 'manger' or 'bowl', used topographically in the West Lothian Region of Scotland and in Yorkshire in a transferred sense to describe someone who lived in a hollow. One Johannes de (of) Bynnes appears in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. Two further spellings of the name also appear in these records - Bynne and Byn. The surname is, however, first recorded in Lincolnshire (see below). It was a usual medieval practice to add a final 's' to monosyllabic locational names. Binns may also be a metonymic occupational name for a maker of mangers or troughs. An interesting namebearer was Sir Henry Binns (1837-1899), prime minister of Natal (1897). He brought about the entrance of Natal into the South African customs union, K.C.M.G., 1898. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Binns. which was dated 1273 in the Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire. during the reign of King Edward 1 known as 'The Hammer of the Scots' 1272-1307. 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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