This is a very unusual English surname. It may be recorded as Ashpital, Aspital, and Asptles, as well as Hospital, or these various recordings may may not be 'related' at all. The earliest recordings that we have found might suggest that the origination is the French surname Hospital, found in a wide variety of spellings including Hospital, Hospitel, Dhospital, L'Hopital, L'Hospitalier, and others. This was a name introduced into the British Isles by Huguenot protestant refugees fleeing persecution in mainland Europe from the late16th century. The earliest recording in church registers may be that of Robert Hospital, at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on January 23rd 1628. The name means the keeper of a hostel or rest home, or is residential for somebody who lived at or by such a place. However it may also as Aspital etc be a development of the pre 7th century Olde English 'aesc atte halh' meaning the ash trees at the hall, or from 'ash pitte halh', the hall by the pit, except that we have not been able to identify any such place in the known gazetters. Finally it could be a variant of the surname Astle, from the village of Astle in Cheshire. The name means East Hill. The earliest recording we have is that of Samuel Ashpital, at St Leonards church, Shoreditch, in the city of London, on July 13th 1775.
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