Found in a wide variety of spellings, which in itself reflects the unusual background to the name, Linacre, Linaker, Lineker etc. is of Anglo-Saxon origins. The name describes an area of ground, (acer) used for flax growing (lin), and this was a pre-medieval industry which was centred either in Cambridgeshire or Lancashire, and to a much lesser extent in Kent. The name is also reflected in the two villages found in the respective counties, and to Linacre Court, also known as Leniker, in Kent. The name is one of the earliest on record (see below), whilst Burkes Armoury in 1841 records that over twenty generations of Linacres have held Linacre Hall in Derbyshire. The Coat of Arms is a black field charged with a silver chevron between three escallop shells, on a gold chief three greyhounds heads. The name was also found in Ireland, where various branches of Linacre held large estates, Robert Linaker being Sheriff of Dublin in 1620. Examples of the name recording include Alan de Linacre in the Assize Rolls of Staffordshire for the year 1227, in the reign of Henry 111, Peter de Linacre of Cambridge in the Hundred Rolls of 1273, and Mabilia de Linacre in the same register. Later examples include Agnes Lynecar who married Robert Pepper in London in 1573 by civil licence, Thomas Linaker of Chester whose will was proved in 1602, and John Linacre (also spelt Lynacre) of Stourton, in the parish of Bebbington, Cheshire, in 1614. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwin de Lincra, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror," 1066 - 1087. 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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