This very interesting surname, also recorded as Bende, is usually of Anglo-Saxon origins. It is occupational and describes a maker of long bows and handles for agricultural implements. It could be also be a metonymic or nickname from 'bend-bow' - an archer. The famous Victorian etymologist Canon C W Bardsley gives the meaning as possibly one who lived on the bend of a river, and this is a possible origin for some namedholders, as is the derivation from the Olde English 'beonet' meaning 'grass lands'. What is certain is that the hereditary surname is first recorded both in England and Germany at much the same time although England has it by a whisker. The first German recording is that of Albert Bende in 1286 at Bohringen, Province of Wurtt, whilst early English recordings include Adam del Bent in Staffordshire in 1327, and Henry del Bent of the same county in 1332. Another variation is that of Robert Le Bendare, in Sussex in 1327. Church registers give the following examples Nicholas Bend, christened at St Stephens, Coleman Street, London on February 25th 1564 in the reign of Elizabeth 1, and Henry Bennd, christened at St Katherines by the Tower, London, on September 18th 1609. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de la Bende, which was dated 1272, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Shropshire, 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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