Recorded in the spellings of Hinks, Hincks, Hinkes, and Hinksman, this most interesting surname is of pre 8th century Anglo-Saxon origins. It is an occupational name for a groom, later a squire or page of honour, and also "a sumpter- man" or carrier", deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hengest", a stallion, and where appropriate the suffix "mann", meaning "a henchman or horseman". An Act passed in 1463 to restrain excess in apparel makes an exception in favour of "Hensmen, Heroldes, Purceyvantes, Swerdeberers, as Maires, Messagers and Minstrelles" (Statutes of the Realm).The following entry is found in the "Privy Purse Expenses" of 1532: "Item, the same daye paied to the yoman of the henxman for their lodging at ii tymes at Westminster". Early recordings of the surname include: Thomas Hengysman, mentioned in 1460, in the Index of Wills proved in the Rochester Consistory Court; John Hengestman, recorded in 1473, in documents published by the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology; and Dorcas Hinckes, a witness at the church of St James, Clerkenwell, London, on February 25th 1577. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Henxman, which was dated 1413, in the charters known as the Close Rolls. This was during the reign of King Henry V, known as "The Victor of Agincourt", 1413 - 1422. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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