Recorded as Blethin, Bleythin, Bleything, Blythin, and others, this is a surname which has Welsh royal connections. It derives from the Ancient British personal name "Bleddyn," translating as the son of Little Wolf. The name is much associated with early Welsh royalty, Bleddyn ap Cynfan, being the prince of Gwynedd in the 11th century. The early recordings are all associated with Wales, although the variant spellings have often been English. An example being that of Robert Blevyn who appears in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Norfolk, and about as far from wales as it possible to be, in the year 1273. Examples of the surname taken from early charters include that of Meredith ap Blethyn. He was given as being a Welshman or Briton, who in what was then known as "The Survey" but later became the famous Domesday Book, is recorded as holding the manor of Oswestry, Salopshire now Shropshire. Other recordings include Nicholas Blythewin in the Curia Regis rolls also of Shropshire in 1369, whilst two centuries later on February 3rd 1579, and during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st (1558 - 1603) William Blethyn, the bishop of Llandaffin, Wales, wrote to Sir Francis Walsingham, then the Lord Chancellor of England asking for changes to the bishopric. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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