The ancient Romano-British city of Bath is generally the origin of this name, however, there are two other possibilities. The name can occasionally be a metonymic for one who worked at or lived by "baths", and it may also be a derivative of the Welsh "ap Atha" as in William ap Atha, recorded in Shropshire in 1327, and later reformed as Batha, Batho and Bath(e), via Baatha, one Agnes Baatha being recorded as marrying Thomas Knotlee at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermary, London, on November 1st 1549, in the reign of Edward V1 (1548 - 1554). Earlier recordings include: John de Bath, of Sussex, in the 1275 Pipe Rolls; John atte Bathe in the Somerset Rolls of 1275; whilst in 1595, one John Bath is registered in the list of students of Oxford University. The name was prominent in Ireland in medieval times, the Baths being major landowners in County Meath. The Coat of Arms of Bath is gold, a chevron engrailed between three wolves' heads, all in black. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Bathe, which was dated 1213, in the "Exchequer Lay Subsidy Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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