I have heard it said, by the way, that Donne's intolerable defect of ear grew out of his own baptismal name, when harnessed to his own surname -- John Donne. No man, it was said, who had listened to this hideous jingle from childish years, could fail to have his genius for discord, and the abominable in sound, improved to the utmost.
The name which he afterwards acquired being doubtless due to the peculiarity of his personal appearance, the largeness of his head. Matthew Paris speaks of him as "Robert who is known by the surname of Grosseteste," or "Robert called Great-Head." Nicholas Trivet says, "he was surnamed by many Great-Head."
Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
Any one may take upon him what surname, and as many surnames as he pleases without an Act of Parliament.