This ancient and distinguished name is of Anglo-Saxon and Old German origin; it is a hereditary surname developed from the male personal name Baldwin, which was popular in England before and after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The given name derives from the Olde English "Bealdwine", and the cognate Old German "Baldwine", composed of the elements "b(e)ald", bold, brave, and "wine", friend, and is recorded as "Baldewyne", circa 1066, and as "Balduin, Baldewin" in the Domesday Book of 1086. This name was a favourite among the Normans and in Flanders in the early Middle Ages, and it was probably the Flemish influence which was responsible for its popularity in England in the 12th and 13th Centuries. Baldwin was the given name of the Crusader who in 1100 became the first Christian king of Jerusalem, and of the Count of Flanders (1172 - 1205), who led the Fourth Crusade and became the first Latin Emperor of Constantinople (1204). Among the notable bearers of the surname is John Baldwin (died 1545), judge at the trials of Bishop Fisher, Sir Thomas More, and Anne Boleyn. One Thomas Baldwin was an early settler in the American Colonies, being listed in a "List of the Living in Virginia" compiled on February 16th 1623. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name depicts a gold griffin segreant on a red shield; the Crest is a blue lion rampant holding in the paws a gold cross crosslet fitchee. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stephen Baldewin, which was dated 1200, in the "Pipe Rolls of Hampshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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