Recorded in several forms including de Glanville, Glanville, Glanvill, and Glanfield, this famous surname is of pre 10th century French origins. Introduced into England in 1066 by followers of Duke William of Normandy, known to history, but not his colleagues, as The Conqueror, it is locational from a place called Glanville in Calvados, Normandy. The derivation is from the word glan meaning an acorn or perhaps a copse of young oaks, plus ville, a large house or settlement. The surname first appears in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, when Robert de Granuill as spelt, who had been granted lands in the county of Suffolk, was so recorded. Other early recordings from the medieval period include: William de Glanvile in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Norfolk in 1127, and Ranulf de Glanville who died in 1190. He had had a long and illustrious career, being firstly the sheriff of Yorkshire from 1163 to 1170, and later until his death in 1190, the Chief Justice of England. He died at Acre in the Holy Land whilst on a Crusade with King Richard 1st of England, otherwise known as "Lionheart". Another famous name holder of a later period was Sir John Glanville (1542 - 1600), who it is claimed, was the the first attorney to be appointed as a judge of the common pleas in 1598. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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