The Origin of Spencer

Where does the surname Spencer come from?

Well according to the credible sources of wikipedia, this is where the surname originated:

“The origin can be traced directly to Robert d’Abbetot who is listed as Robert le Dispenser, a tenant-in-chief of several counties, in the Domesday Book of 1086. Robert was possibly one of the Norman knights who fought alongside (or accompanied) William the Conqueror in the defeat of Harold II, King of England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.”

This is a very illustrious, yet fairly common last name. The name can also have slight variations to it with the same meaning. For example: Spenser, Spencor, Spensor, and Spencir are all less common forms of the same surname.

In my experience as a journalist, I have met many, many “Spencers” both in the first name and last name sense. This site, however, is focused on the latter, so I will not digress.

In my travels I have come across Spencers who are architects, builders, farmers, millionaires, politicians, businessmen, blue collar workers, relational coaches (, business owners, and even tailors. It is a wonder that all of these people originated from the a single man who has created not only a huge lineage, but a magnificently diverse one.

Please stay tuned as I will be posting the origins of many other surnames to come. Please feel free to submit a surname to: if you would like me to analyze your surname and post it here. Please note that I have done much traveling and can usually relate a story or two about each surname!

For those of you with the last name Spencer, feel free to look below to see who has become famous with your last name!

Famous People With The Surname Spencer:

13th Century
  • Hugh le Despenser I (died 1238) was a wealthy land owner in the East Midlands of England, as well as High Sheriff of Berkshire.
  • Sir Hugh le Despencer, 1st Baron le Despencer (1223–1265) son of Hugh le Despenser I was an important ally of Simon de Montfort during the reign of Henry III. He served briefly as Justiciar of England (Chief Justice) in 1260 and as Constable of the Tower of London and the castles of Shrewsbury, Bruges, and Balsover.
  • Hugh le Despenser, 1st Earl of Winchester (1262–1326) the elder Despenser, was for a time the chief adviser to King Edward II of England.
  • Hugh Despenser the Younger (1286–1326) became Royal Chamberlain in 1318 and the favourite of Edward II of England but developed a reputation for greed and, after falling out with the Barons, was accused of treason. He was forced into exile in 1321 with his father, who later fled to Bordeaux. Hugh was captured and sentenced to public execution by hanging (for thievery), and drawing and quartering (for treason).
14th Century
  • Edward le Despenser (1310–1342) was the third eldest son of Hugh le Despenser the Younger by his wife Eleanor de Clare.
  • Edward le Despencer, 1st Baron le Despencer, KG (also called Despenser) (c. 24 March 1335 or 1336 – 11 November 1375) was the son of Edward le Despenser (1310–1342) and Anne, the sister of Henry, Lord Ferrers of Groby. He succeeded as Lord of Glamorgan in 1349.
  • Thomas le Despenser, 1st Earl of Gloucester (22 September 1373 – 13 January 1400, Bristol) was the son of Edward le Despenser, 1st Baron le Despencer, whom he succeeded in 1375.
  • Richard le Despenser, 4th Baron Burghersh (1396–1414) was the son and heir of Thomas le Despenser, 1st Earl of Gloucester (1373–1400)
16th Century
  • John Spencer (1524–1586), owner of Althorp and MP
  • Edmund Spenser (c. 1552 – 13 January 1599) was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem celebrating—through fantastical allegory—the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognized as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy.
17th Century
  • Col. Nicholas Spencer (1633–1689) was an English merchant born at Cople, Bedfordshire, who emigrated to the Colony of Virginia, where he served as land agent for his cousin Thomas Colepeper, 2nd Baron Colepeper. A planter with extensive landholdings, Spencer later served in the Virginia House of Burgesses, as Secretary and President of the Council of the Virginia Colony, and as Acting Governor. With his friend John Washington, Col. Spencer patented the Mount Vernon estate land grant.
19th Century
  • Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer KCMG (23 June 1860 – 14 July 1929) was a British-Australian biologist and anthropologist.
  • Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) was an English philosopher, prominent classical liberal political theorist, and sociological theorist of the Victorian era.
20th Century
  • Elizabeth Spencer (soprano) was a recording artist for Thomas Alva Edison.
  • Percy Spencer (9 July 1894 – 8 September 1970) American inventor of the microwave oven.
  • Diana, Princess of Wales, (Diana Frances; née Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997) was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales. Their sons, Princes William and Harry, are second and fourth in line to the thrones of the United Kingdom and fifteen other Commonwealth realms.

Factual Information in this post is courtesy of and its sources.

Your Last Name, It’s Very Important!

Whether you realize it or not, your last name is very important. It not only defines your driver’s license, you address and your social identity, but also your family history. Something most people don’t think about, is the origin of their last name, or surname. People with a keen intellect for last name can easily tell where a person’s family originated based solely on their last name.

It is very important to see where you and your family come from to better understand your culture, and your lifestyle. It is so crazy to think that something as simple as your last name can tell you all that. Being that simple, why wouldn’t you want to know?