Recorded in several spellings as shown below, this is a medieval Anglo-Scottish surname. Introduced into the British Isles after the famous Norman Conquest of 1066, it has at least two possible origins. The first is from French word "beivre", meaning to drink, the term being used to describe a drink bought to seal a bargain, the surname being a nickname for one who habitually concluded contracts in this way. Secondly the surname can be locational from the island of Beverege, meaning Beaver Island in the Severn River, in England. This place was referred to by Florence of Worcester in the 10th century as a place of retreat for the Danes, who controlled the area, during a revolt by the native English against their masters. What is unclear though is why as Beveridge although mainly pronounced Berridge, is so popular in Scotland and has been since at least the year 1302. At that time one Walter Beverage was a juror at St Andrews, Fife, whilst two centuries later in 1530, David Beverage was the official cup bearer to King James Vth of Scotland. Modern name spellings include Beverage, Beveridge, Bavridge, Bavidge, Belfrage, Berrige and others. Early recordings include Robert Beuerish in the tax rolls known as the Feet of Fines of Huntingdonshire in the year 1315, whilst on February 21st 1630, William Bevridge was christened at St. Botolph Bishopsgate in the city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wido Beverage. This was dated 1212, in the Curia Regis Rolls of Buckinghamshire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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