This most unusual surname is of early medieval English or Anglo-Saxon origin. Firstly, it may be a variant of Bascote, a locational name from a place so called in Warwickshire, which appeared as "Bachecota" (1175), and as "Baskecota" (1190) in the Pipe Rolls of the county. The derivation is from an Olde English personal name, "Basuca", and "cot, cote", a cottage, or building for animals; hence "Basuca's cot". Secondly, the surname may derive from the Middle English "basket", which was used as an occupational name for a maker of baskets, or was given to one who carried the "baskettes", full of stones to the lime-kiln. This term may also have been given to someone who lived or worked at the sign of the Basket; "Thomas Kent atte Basket beside Billyngesgate" was recorded in London in 1424. The surname first appears in records in the late 12th Century (see below), while other early examples include: Henry Basket, mentioned in the Curia Rolls of Essex in 1198; Basilia de Besecot, recorded in the Assize Court Rolls of Warwickshire; and Adam de Baskote, in the Records of Oriel College, Oxford, in 1373. John Baskett (died 1742) was the king's printer, and printed editions of the Book of Common Prayer; he also obtained the right to print bibles in Scotland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Basket, which was dated 1191, in the "Pipe Rolls of Surrey", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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