This unusual and interesting name is of French origin, introduced into England by French Huguenot refugees at the end of the 17th Century. After Louis X1V's revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, a great many French Huguenots fled to Britain and other countries to escape religious persecution on the Continent. The name "Bichard", also found as "Bicard", "Bihard", "Bigard", and "Biard", derives from an Old Germanic personal name, "Bighard", composed of the elements "Big", of uncertain meaning, and "hard", hardy, brave, strong. The marriage of Lewis Bichard and Ann Baldwin was recorded at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, in London, on November 2nd 1772, and one Charles Bichard was christened at La Patente French Huguenot church in London in June 1757. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Pierre Bichard (christening), which was dated March 20th 1715, St. Jean French Huguenot Church, Spitalfields, London, during the reign of King George 1, "The First Hanoverian", 1714 - 1727. 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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