Recorded in various forms including: Basler, Bousler, Baslior, Beslay, Beslier and Beslieure, this is a surname recorded in England, but is ultimately of French or possibly Swisse-Germanic origins. If French it would seem to be a Huguenot surname, but this could also apply to other nationalities. The Huguenots originally came into England from the continent in the 17th century, following the repressions of the protestants by (in particular) King Louis X111 of France (1613 - 1643), and his son, Louis X1V (1643 - 1715), but also by other rulers with 'catholic' sympathies. The Huguenots were in the main, skilled workers rather than the ruling class. They had given the continent a world lead in the manufacture of textiles, steel, and arts such as jewelry and embroidery, which they brought with them to England. This influx of skill, enabled the British themselves to take and hold the world leadership for nearly two hundred years. There are two possible origins. The first that the surname was originally a medieval nickname for a gaoler, from the ancient word of the pre 7th century 'besloi' meaning to bind. However exact translations of words used colloquially perhaps seven hundred or more years ago, are at best conjectural. The second that it is French-Swisse and describes a former inhabitant of the town of Basel, as in Berchtold Baselar of Zurich, in the year 1219. French registers were largely destroyed during the Revolution of 1792, when they were regarded by the populace as instruments of the Secret Police. The churches themselves were closed down, and religion totally banned until reinstated by the Emperor Napoleon in 1800. Examples in English registers include: Judith, the daughter of Nicholas Beslieure, christened at the French Huguenot church, Threadneedle Street, in the city of London, on December 2nd 1646, Margaret Beasler, who married Cornelius Bush, at the famous church of St Mary-Le-Bone, on May 21st 1669, and Henrich Basler, the son of Wolfgang Basler, christened at the church of Holy Trinity in the Minories, also city of London, on July 24th 1768.
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