This interesting and long-established surname is of early medieval English origin, and belongs to that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were originally given with reference to occupation, or to a variety of personal characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral qualities, and to habits of dress and behaviour. The derivation, in this instance, is from the Middle English "bedeman", ultimately from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bed", prayer, and "mann", man, used to denote a man of prayer, perhaps a particularly devout person, or one paid to pray for the soul of a benefactor. In 1381, William Bedemon was noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire, and a quotation from the Historical English Dictionary, dated 1528, reads, "Other smale mynisters, As reders and singers, Bedemen and bellringers". The surname is recorded in English Church Registers under the variant spellings: Beadman, Beadsman and Bedman; entries include the marriage of Thomas Beadman to Elizabeth Franckland at Danby in Cleveland, Yorkshire, on November 8th 1655, and the christening of William Henry Beadman at St. James' Garlickhithe, London, on February 28th 1773. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts three ermine humets on a red shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Bedman, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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