The number of people mentioned in the Subsidy of 1292, inclusive of aldermen and a few persons referred to as father or late
husband of a taxpayer, is 814. The number in the Subsidy of 1319
is 1852. Persons exempted are included.
In both rolls taxpayers are normally referred to by a font-name
and a surname. In the Subsidy of 1292 the first name only is given
of a few: Thonchelin Bish, Lionet, Raboc, Roger (valet of Marc le
Draper) Dowg, Sire Bonruncyn, Ricard and Benoit compaingnuns
Walbr, Sabine ke fu la femme phelippe le tailur Vintry. Sometimes
a brother or a partner of a taxpayer is unnamed, as (Walter de
Borham et) frater eius CripE, (Will. Tedmar et) socius eius Dowg.
In the Subsidy of 1319 may be noted Chiuellus Caligarius Regis
Cheap 163 and Domina Bona ib. 167, Johannes quondam serviens
Edm. Lambyn Bridge 43, (Maud Sterre et) filius eius Cand 19,
Elicia que fuit vxor Andree aurifabri CripI 31, also Relicta Thome
de Norhamptone, Relicta Willelmi le Cyrger, Relicta Johannis de
Godesname FarrI 42, 62, 73.
A. The subsidy of 1292.
A few of the men's names are native English: Edmund (fn. 1) (6 exx.),
Godwin, Sawale (OE Sæweald), Wolmer, found once each, possibly
Swet, which may, however, be a woman's name. Some Italian names
occur: Burgeys, Nute (both names of people of Italian origin),
Thonchelin (all BishI), Donne (Lumbard), Jacolin (Hugelin) of
Lucca (both Cordw), Bonruncyn (Walbr).
The remainder of male font-names are probably French, inclusive
of Biblical names such as Adam, John, Luke, Matthew. Most were
doubtless names introduced in early post-Conquest times by Normans. But Janin Monchaud (Cordw) was a Frenchman, and so were
probably Raboc and Lionet (both Dowg).
Some people of foreign origin have font-names of the ordinary
Norman type. Gerard Merbode was a German, and his name was
really G Gerhard. John Winterman was likewise a German, and his
name would be G Johann. There are doubtless other cases of this
kind. Such names are included in the figures below. They are not
sufficiently numerous to affect the statistics.
The most common names are John (once Jon) 143 exx., William
117, Robert 63, Richard 57, Thomas 43. These five names were
borne by 423 out of the 814 people mentioned in the roll. Next
follow Walter (Water) 36, Henry (also Hanry, Hary, Herri) 33,
Adam 25, Roger 24, Stephen 19, Gilbert and Hugh (Hue, Hucohun)
17 each, Geoffrey 16, Ralph and Simon 12 each, Peter (Peres) 11.
All the other names occur less than 10 times, Alan (Aleyn) and
Nicholas 8, Alexander (Lisaundr') 7, Edmund, Reginald (Reinaud,
Renaud) and Philip (Phelip) 6, Matthew (Maheu) 5, Andrew, Gerard,
Laurence 4, A(u)ncel, Clement, David (Daui, Dawe), Eustace
(Staci), Salomon thrice each, Bartholomew (Bartelmeu), Bennet
(Benoit), Elias, Ernald (Arnaud), Fulk, Gregory, James (Jakes),
Joyce (Joce), Jordan, Luke, Martin, Michael, Paul, Warin twice
each. Once each occur: Baudry, Bernard, Christian, Daniel, Denis,
Gervase, Giles (Egidius), Godwin, Guy, Hamon, Hubert, Ivo (Iue),
Julian, Lambert, Mark, Pentecoste, Rickeman, Sawale, Silvester,
(?) Swet, Vincent, Wolmer.
To these are to be added a few hypocoristic names: Jake (twice),
Hankin, Henecoc (from John), Gilot (twice, from William), Boydin,
Baudechoun (from Baldwin), Gateron (from Walter, perhaps a
Frenchman), Colin (from Nicholas). Robin occurs by the side of
Robert; Robert Hod Vintry 49 is called Robin Hod ib. 51. Rand'
CripI 53 is probably for Rande, a short-form of Randolph.
Only 26 or 27 women are among taxpayers, representing 16 (17)
different names, all of French origin, except Swet, if that is a
woman's name. Alice occurs 4 times, Juliana (Gilian) and Katherine
thrice each, Margery, Maud (Moude, Matild'), Roys twice each.
Once only are found Agnes, Aweline, Avice, Isabel, Joan, Lavinia,
Lettice (Leticia), Sabine, Sarah. A hypocoristic name is Gillecote
(Dowg 61), probably from Juliana.
Some more information on the forms of font-names will be found
on p. 27. An interesting form is Hanry for Henry, found CripI 7, 16.
B. The Subsidy of 1319.
The only men's names of native English origin are Edmund
(10 exx.), Edward, Estmar, Godwin, Seman, Sewal. But Sewal de
Godesname, the only bearer of this name, was of Essex origin.
Osbert and Wymund may be English or Norman.
A few persons of Italian origin, on whom see further p. 48, had
Italian (Lombard) font-names. The names are Bankin, Burnet,
Cambin, Chiuel, Conel, Mone, Pelle, Ragace, all found once each.
Herman le Skyppere was a German, and his font-name was G
The Irish Patrick occurs once (P. le Ymager).
The vast majority of the names are French in origin, Biblical
names being counted as French.
The most common name is John with 431 exx., followed by
William 246, Richard 152 or 153, Robert 128, Thomas 110. These
five names were borne by some 1070 persons or a good deal more
than half the number of taxpayers. Next follow in order of frequency: Walter with 78 exx., Henry 61, Roger 57, Simon 46, Adam
45, Nicholas 40, Geoffrey 35, Hugh 28, Ralph and Stephen 25 each,
Peter 23, Gilbert 19, Alexander, Philip and Reginald 13, Edmund
and Elias 10, Alan and James 9, Andrew, Bartholomew and Laurence 8, Hamo 7, Michael 6, Martin 5. Thrice each occur Bennet
(Benedict), David, Gerard, Godfrey, twice each Bernard (in one
case the name of an Italian), Denis (Dionisius), Edward, Ernald,
Estmar, Godwin, Gregory, Harvey, Ivo, Maurice, Nigel, Oliver,
Osbert, Richer (?), Vincent, Warin. Once only are found 25 names:
Aubin, Augustine, Creppin, Eudo, Eustace (Staci), Fulk, Gervase,
Gosselin, Guy (Guido), Humphrey, Yter, Joyce, Luke, Matthew,
Patrick, Paul, Randolph, Raymond, Reyner, Salomon (Saleman),
Sampson, Seman, Sewal, Talifrid, (fn. 1)
Wymond. The rare occurrence
of some of these names is noteworthy.
There are further a few hypocoristic names: Guillot, found thrice,
Hankyn and Janin (from John), Maikin (from Matthew), Notekyn
(of doubful formation), Perkin (Petrekyn), Boydo, Donus (perhaps
from Drogo, Drew), all found once each.
The 31 or 32 women's names are doubtless all French. The most
frequently found are Alice with 14 exx., Agnes 12, Margaret and
Margery (Latinized as Margareta or Margeria) 11 jointly, Christi(a)na and Maud 9 each. Maud is Latinized as Matill' 8 times, as
Matild' once. Next follow Isabel with 4 exx., Dionysia 3, Anabel
(Anabilla), Avice, Felicia, Helen (Elena), Juliana, Roesia (Rosya),
Sabina, Salerna twice each. Once each occur Aubry. (sic in the text),
Beatrice, Bona, Custance, Emma, Ida, Idonia, Imaigne, Katherine,
Mabel (Mabilia), Malina, Parnel (Petronilla), Richolda. Hypocoristic are Dyota (from Dionysia; cf. Bardsley, Dyet), Elicia
(from Elizabeth), both found once, and Mariota (from Mary),
found twice. Mary does not occur in this form.
Not a few of the names found in the earlier subsidy are absent in
that of 1319: Auncel, Baudry, Christian, Clement, Giles, Hubert,
Jordan, Julian, Lambert, Mark, Pentecoste, Rickeman, Silvester;
Aweline, Joan, Lavinia, Leticia, Sarah. The absence of a number
of names found in the roll for 1319 from the earlier roll is no
matter for surprise in view of the much smaller number of persons
A. The Subsidy of 1292.
Some 15 surnames are unexplained or of doubtful etymology,
most of them probably nicknames, as Beck, Dagge, Gubbe, Hikebid,
and a few allow of more than one explanation. The figures below
for the various name-types are therefore round ones.
The largest group is formed by local surnames, those derived
from place-names. Out of some 800 taxpayers no less than about
350 have names of this type, and if names such as Fraunceys, Irish
are added the figure rises to about 365.
A little more than 40 have surnames derived from foreign places
or countries. These will be found on pp. 43 ff.
Somewhat over 30 surnames are taken from districts or localities
in London itself, from wards or streets, as de Bissoppesgate, de
Crepelgate, de Rederesgate, de Bredstrate, parishes or churches, as
de Arcubus, de Garchirche, de Sancto Cristoforo, de Wolcherhawe, or
other localities, as de Hundesdich, de Ponte. Here belong names such
as atte Gate (referring to one of the City gates), de la Cornere, in the
Hyrne, atte Lanend, de Venella, atte Selde, atte Virge, perhaps atte
The majority of local surnames are derived from places outside
London, but in England and Wales. There are three instances of
Scot and one of Irish (Hirreys). Some 300 taxpayers have surnames
of this kind. On these names see further pp. 49 ff.
Next in frequency come occupational surnames, like le Barber,
le Draper; about 200 persons have such names. Here are included
also cases where the surname did not indicate the actual occupation,
but was an inherited one, as la Aylere 'garlicmonger', borne by a
stockfishmonger's widow, or le Tailor, used as the surname of a
vintner. Clerk, Marshal are included, though many persons with
these surnames had other occupations than those of a clerk or a
farrier. Surnames of office are sometimes difficult to distinguish
from surnames of occupation and may be added here. They are
few. We may mention Canun, Frere, Persun, Priur, le Botiller, le
Chaumberleng. Some of them were very likely in reality nicknames.
Many examples of occupational surnames are collected in Chap. III.
Surnames of relationship derived from font-names number
about 65, but some are more or less uncertain. Nearly all consist
simply of a font-name, as (Reinaud) Abel, (Robert) Baudri, (William) Reyner. The only exceptions are (John) le fiz Michel, (William)
fil. Marie. The last is the only indubitable case of a surname
having been derived from a woman's name, but a possible case is
(Katherine) Swote. Most of these surnames, were probably patronymic or inherited. But it was common in early London for apprentices to take their master's surname, or sometimes his font-name,
for a surname. A certain case of the latter kind is (Ralph) Miles
(Bridge), but probable ones are (Walter) Milis, (Richard) Pentecoste (Bridge), (Geoffrey) Fouq' (Walbr), (Richard) Wolmer (Bill).
The remaining surnames are mostly by-names or nicknames.
About 130 persons have such names. There are a number of personal
appellations, as the English Barn, Brother, Langman, Molling,
Shailard, the French Bacheler, Cosin, le Fount, Galopin, Palmere,
the German Winterman, perhaps Junkur; names of animals, English
such as Bulloc, Hog; Bunding, Pecoc; Burbat, Hering; Fros; the
French Louet, Motun; Hairon, Partrys; various concrete words such
as the English Fot (possibly a font-name), Gut, Heued; Cope, Hod,
Punge; Box; Cros, Horn, Knotte; the French Oingnon, Pointel;
abstract words, as possibly Leyk, May.
A good many surnames are derived from adjectives, mostly
English, as Brun, Dreye, Dun, Flinthard, Gode, Grete, (le) Long
(Lung), le Rede, Saly, Scharp, Skelfol, pwrgode, le Wyte, but some
French, as (le) Blund, Curteys, le Gay, Hauteyn, la Jouene, le Megre,
le Rous, le Simple, Sotel. Bahuvrihi formations are the English
Godchep, Hauekeseye, Langpurce, Lythfot, perhaps Capriht, Trigold,
the French Deusmars, Trenmars. Skipop is a formation of the type
Some original nicknames may be old French family names, as
Carbonel, Peuerel, Russel.
B. The Subsidy of 1319.
Also in this Subsidy a number of surnames are of unknown or
more or less doubtful etymology. The figures below are therefore
The largest group is formed by local surnames, with which are
classed national adjectives or nouns like Deueneys 'of Devon', le
Frensche, Pycard. About 950 persons have local surnames, that is
more than half the number. Not a few who in the roll have occupational surnames appear with a local surname in other sources.
Some 50 persons have surnames derived from places or countries
abroad. They will be found on pp. 46 ff.
About 80 persons have surnames taken from London itself or
places in London, wards or streets, as de Alegate, de Crepulgate, de
Bredstrate, de Ebbegate, de Honylane, de Oteswiche, atte Ryol, a
parish (ate Bowe), various localities, as de Brugge, de Hundesdiche,
ate Conduyt, de Londonstone, buildings, as atte Briggehous, atte
Halle (the Guildhall), atte Belhous. Of special interest are names
apparently taken from houses with a signboard, as ate Cocke, atte
Ramme, atte Rose, atte Swan, perhaps atte Vigne (common), atte
Bascat. To this group belong names like atte Gate (common), in the
Lane, perhaps also such as ate Grene, atte Hegge, atte Stone.
About 800 persons have surnames derived from places in England
outside London, the few Scottish names being included. On these
names see further pp. 55 ff.
Next in frequency come occupational surnames; altogether some
450 taxpayers have surnames of this kind. Numerous examples of
this type of surname will be found in Chap. III.
There are some 40 surnames of office or social position, which are
sometimes difficult to distinguish from occupational surnames.
Many of them were in reality nicknames, when applied to London
citizens, as (le) Kyng, Barun, le Moigne, Pope, Priour, whereas
others refer to a definite position, as le Hethereue, Prentiz, le Seriaunt,
le Waite, or are inherited surnames, as le Botiller.
A considerable group is formed by surnames of relationship.
About 150 or 160 persons have surnames of this kind. Only rarely
do we find names of the types Fitz Richard, filius Roberti, the only
instances being filz Richard, filz Roberd (once each), filius Roberti
(once), filius Rogeri (twice). Especially rare are names in the genitive
form: Danyeles, Robes (once each), but it is possible that a few
more occur, since an abbreviation-mark may occasionally represent
an ending -es. Robes is interesting as being formed from a shortname. As a rule the surname is identical in form with the font-name
from which it is derived.
It is noteworthy that not a few of these surnames are formed
from English or ultimately Scandinavian names, most of which
are not found as font-names in the rolls. The same is the case with
the Subsidy of 1292, and examples from the latter are given here
From the roll of 1292 may be noted: Broning, Burward, Derman,
Eylmer, Oseberne, Sawale, Semman, Sport (?), Swote (?), Touy, Wade,
Wolmer, from that of 1319: Brongor, Brouning, But (?), Cole,
Dereman, Dode, Edmund, Edward, Estmar, Gille, Godwyn, Hereward, Hosard (?), Norman, Pake, Rolf, Seman, Semer, Syward,
Swetyng, Swote (?), Touy.
Several among the surnames are derived from French font-names
that are not found in the rolls as font-names, in the Subsidy of
1292, for instance, Abel, Ace, Godard, Grayland, Lambin, Miles,
Perceval, Walran, in that of 1319 Albon, Brice, Gyffart, Jeryn,
Lambyn, Madefrey, Otewy, Payn, Persiual, Ruffyn, Turgys, Vyuian,
On the whole very common names are rarely used as surnames.
There is no instance of John, Richard, William and only one of
Robert as a surname, while there are more instances than one of
Albon, Baudry, Danyel, Geruays, Heruy, Huberd, Payn, Reyner.
Some surnames are derived from women's names: Annore,
Batecote, Florrye, Mabbely, Muriel, Pauy, perhaps Sigilly, Swote.
Some are derived from hypocoristic names, as Asselyn, Batecote
(just mentioned), Cotekyn (if from Constantin), Eliot, Lambyn,
Launce, Louekyn, Maikyn (from Maheu, a form of Matthew),
Potyn, Thomasyn (the last Italian).
It is probable that some among these surnames were inherited
names, not directly patronymic, but many were very likely derived
from the father or mother of the bearer in 1319. Certain instances
are Nicholas Godwyn, John Saleman, William Mabbely, whose
father or mother are known to have been called Godwin, Saleman
and Mabbely (Mabel) respectively.
Isabella Estmar was the widow of one Estmar and had his fontname as her surname.
There are instances of apprentices getting a surname derived
from their master's font-name. A certain case in point is William
Edmond (BreadSt), and probable ones are Walter Baudry (CripE),
Richard Denys (Cordw).
Cristofre (BroadSt 31) is a shortening of a local surname. Thomas
Cristofre was a son of William de Sancto Cristoforo 1292 S [Broad
Not a few surnames are to be classed as nicknames. The taxpayers with such surnames number about 200. Here belong personal appellations as the English Brother, Fader, Neue, Godfelawe,
Panyfadre, the French Cosyn, le Faunt, Bastard, Belamy, Munamy,
le Palmere, Prodhom, Turk; names of animals, as the English le
Bole, Bullok, le Ram, Schep, Tethynglombe, le Wolf; Brid, le Coo,
Crane, Gandre, Meau, Pecok; Fresfyssh, Heryng; Frosh; Flye; the
French Motoun, Talpe; Chauntecler, Pyioun; Goioun. There are
smaller groups of names derived from plant-names or the like, as the
English Bussh, Darnole, Knapwedd, Rys; from articles of clothing
or the like, as the English Cappe, Hoode, Ponge, Sok, Bokskyn, the
French Skarlet; names of food-stuffs, as the English Piggesfles, the
French Bacun, Wastel; names of various objects, as the English
Horn, Pany, Crosse, the French Haunsard, Poyntel. Some surnames
are derived from abstract words, as the English Bale (possibly an
adjective), Frost, Gamene, Thedam, Cristemasse, Friday, the French
Barette, Drury (perhaps 'beloved person'), Pecche (probably an
old Norman family name), Vauntage. From habitual expressions
are derived Godesname, Pardieu.
A considerable sub-group is formed by surnames derived from
adjectives, as the English Bigge, Blake (and Blak inthe mouthe),
Brit ('bright'), le Hende, le Hore, le Litel, le Longe (common), Sely,
Sket, Smart, Thurgod, le White, le Wyght, le Youngg, and the French
Faiti, Fraunk, Gay, Gentil, le Graas, le Gros, Hardy, Myniot,
Rus, Sauuage, Trenchaunt, Vigerous. Faiti is an old London family
With these may be grouped bahuvrihi-formations, like Cafot,
Clenhond, Fayrher, Proudefote, Rofot, Fairhod, Godale, Godchep, all
English, Belebouche, Maucouenant, Deumars, all French, further
formations of the type Shakespeare, the English Peltebem, Pynfuel,
Pulsak, and the French Counsedieu, Passemer, Sayleben.