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Crest of Sir Thomas Storey

Copyright © 2007

This page was last updated on
Thursday, 31 January 2008
by Brad Storey


cognomen. The forename belonged to the individual personally, and corresponded to our Christian name; of this class there were never more than about thirty. The middle name denoted the gens (kin), or clan to which a man belonged, and was socially of great importance. Every Roman belonged to some clan whose members all bore the same name. The Julian clan, for instance, all had Julius for their second name. Mark Antony Lower's "Patronymica Britannica," Bardsley's "History of Surnames," and kindred works, throw much light on the origin of surnames. It is impossible to assign any definite date to the introduction of surnames. In the reign of Henry I. (1100-1135), it had already become indispensable in persons of rank to have two names; for when that monarch wished to marry his natural son, Robert, to Mabel, one of the heiresses of Fitz-Hamon, the lady demurred. Said she:-

"It were to me a great shame,
To have a lord withouten his twa name."

The Scottish approximate most to the Romans in their clan system. Suffice it to say that not until the end of the thirteenth century did surnames become general all over the land, and many of these were derived from locality, prowess calling, caste and colour, and from nicknames such as Mawleverer and Campbeul.

Richard (Ricus) Stury, living in the time of Henry VI. and Edward IV., Chevalier of Bernwell Manor and of Bolsore Castle (probably Bolsover in Derbyshire), appears to have held lands in the northern parts as well as in Lincolnshire and Essex. He appears to have been the son of Richard Stury or Storey, son of Alan le Storeys, alias Storey. This Richard was probably the Sire Richard who at one time was the avowed friend of John Wyclif, but who afterwards renounced his opinions in the presence of Richard II.


Perhaps the most eminent name on the early pedigree sketch is that of Dr. Edward Story, Bishop of Carlisle 1468-1477, and Bishop of Chichester 1477-1502-3.

Every effort has been made to ascertain the place of birth of this eminent prelate. "The Dictionary of National Biography" states that he was a native of the diocese of York. It is not probable that this is correct. It is much more likely that the late John Atkinson, of Carlisle, is correct when he states that the bishop was born in Cumberland circa 1422, and that he was the son of Richard Storor, vivens 1395. There is something to support this belief very strongly in the pedigree of the Storers, formerly of Combe Court, Surrey (also of Nottinghamshire). Previous to the Reformation, the Storer family belonged to Cumberland, and the name was written Story or Storey. Edward Storey, Bishop of Carlisle, is distinctly claimed as a member of the family. Evidently a Storey, either from political and religious influences, or from a knowledge of Storer being an ancient variant, changed the ey to er. There must have been a reason, as mere freak forms no satisfactory groundwork for such a course.