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Kevin Myers: Other than life, death, rags and riches, what's in a name?

A US scholar has just confirmed what most intelligent people suspected: the enduring nature of the impact of the Norman Conquest on England.

Gregory Clark, of the University of California, tracked Norman (Percy, Darcy, Mandeville) names and Anglo-Saxon names (Smith, Shepherd) through probate records, from 1858 to 2011. He found that people with Norman names were on average at least 10pc richer than those with aboriginal 'English' names.

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