The manufacture and use of baskets usually woven from reed, was a major requirement and industry in the medieval period. The origin is Olde English pre 9th century the first spelling of the word being Basket-Wryhta, in effect an engineer or carpenter of baskets! Oddly enough the metonymic of 'Baskett' has proved to be the more common surname, being used to denote (1) a basket maker (2) a worker who carried a basket or (3) he who lived at the sign of the basket - an inn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Basketwricte. which was dated 1229 The Patent Rolls of Lincoln. during the reign of King Henry 111 The Frenchman 1216 - 1272. 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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