Last name: Archer
This long-established surname, with the modern spelling forms Larcher, L'Archer and Archer, is of early medieval English origin, and is occupational, deriving from the Middle English "archere", itself coming from the Old French "archier", meaning "a (professional) bowman". The surname itself was first brought to England at the time of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and was spelt "le Archer" (literally "the Archer"), or the foreshortened form l'archer. The name first appears in records in the mid 12th Century (see below), which was taken directly from the French, and the Feet of Fines of Cambridgeshire record one Hugh le Archer in 1199. Recordings from London Church Registers include the marriage of Alyce Archer and Roberte Garnett in St. Michael's, Cornhill, on February 28th 1567. An interesting namebearer, recorded in the "Dictionary of National Biography", was John Archer (1598 - 1682), who was educated at Cambridge in 1619, knighted in 1663, and attempts by Charles 11 to remove him without due legal procedure failed and he received a knighthood, 1624, and became sheriff of Warwickshire in 1628, and an M.P. in 1640. He was also a noted antiquarian. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Larchier, which was dated 1166, in the "Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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