This is a surname of very ancient and possibly noble origins. It derives from the Latin and Greek 'Basilia' meaning 'The Royal or Kingly one' and was a Norman introduction after 1066. The usual 'English' form was 'Basil or Bassilly' from which developed the modern surnames of Basill, Bassill and Bazell and Baseley, Basley, and Bazeley respectively. The name recordings and developments include Walter Baseley of Worcestershire in 1275, Francis Bassill of London in 1557, William Bassell of Southwark in 1653 and William Bazell who married Elizabeth Cable at All Hallows Church, London wall on 29th September 1652. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Basille, which was dated 1251, in the Rolls of Ramsay Abbey, Huntingdonshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as '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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