Recorded in many forms including Backhouse, Bakehouse, Backhus, Baccus, Bakhust, Backhust, Backhurst, and even Beckhouse, this long-established surname is of English and Anglo-Saxon origins. It was an occupational or perhaps topgraphical surname for someone employed at a bakery or perhaps who lived by or at such a place. Deriving from the pre 7th century word "baechus", from bacan, to bake, and "hus", a house or place of work, which was usually the same thing, these names originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Early examples of the name recordings include: Edmund atte Bakhus in the London Writs of Parliament, dated 1307; William atte Bakehous of Somerset, in 1327; Richard del Bakhous of Lancashire in 1332; Thomas Bachous of Essex, in 1334. In 1538, William Backhowse or Bacchus, there were various spellings, was entered in the register orf students of Oxford University, John Backhurst was christened at St Olaves Southwark, on June 16th 1641, whilst Joseph Bechouse, the son of Godfry, was christened at St Botolphs without Aldgate, on February 22nd 1662, both the latter two recordings being in the city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter de Bakhous, which was dated 1306, in the "Calendar of Letter Books for London", 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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