This unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and is an occupational name for a servant in a great household, from the Middle English "hine", lad, servant (originally a collective term for a body of servants, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hiwan", household). Servants in important households were highly regarded, and frequently those who held senior positions enjoyed certain privileges, and the post would often become hereditary. Early examples of the surname include: Robert le Hine (Suffolk, 1273) and Ricardus Hynne (Yorkshire, 1319).A quotation from Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales", reads, "Ther n'as baillif, ne herde, ne other hine". Records of Masters and Mistresses names from St. Andrew's Parish, the Barbados, include, one Mr. Robert Hine, a landholder of some standing, circa 1679. A notable bearer of the name was Henry George Hine (1811 - 1895), landscape painter, and wood-engraver at Brighton, who served on the staff of "Punch", 1841 - 1844, and became a member of the Institute of Painters in Water-colours, 1864. A Coat of Arms granted to the Hine family of Devonshire is a silver shield with three gold anchors on a fesse engrailed azure, in chief a black greyhound courant. An eagle rising on a silver tortoise, holding in the beak a sprig of heath, and gazing on the sun all proper, is on the Crest. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William le Hyne, which was dated 1240, in the "Eynsham Cartulary", Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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