Last name: Blease
This interesting and unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the given name "Blaise". This is an old Roman family name, originally a byname for someone with some defect, either of speech or gait, from the Latin "blaesus", stammering, and Greek "blaisos", bow-legged. The creation of names from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day names derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics. The name was borne by a Christian saint martyred in Armenia in 316. It is said that during his persecution he hid in a cave and blessed sick or wounded animals; once a woman brought him her boy, who was at the point of death because a fishbone was stuck in his throat, and whom he healed. When he was imprisoned, the same woman brought him food and candles. Hence, at the blessing of St. Blaise, (still practised), sufferers from throat diseases are blessed by the application of two candles to the throat. In particular he is the patron saint of wool-carders by virtue of the fact that he was "carded" to death. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Ann Bleeze and Henry Singer on March 25th 1619, at St. Mary Mounthaw, and the marriage of Robert Blease and Margery Parker on September 24th 1674, at St. Katherine Creechurch. The surname can also be found as Blaze, Blazey, Blazy, Bleas and Blase. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Blease, which was dated July 30th 1597, christened at St. Mary Woolnoth's, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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