This picturesque and interesting name of Anglo-Saxon origin, has three possible sources, the first being that it is an affectionate term of address for a (blood) relative, 'Now beth nought wroth, my blode, my nece.' (Chaucer). However, this surname may also be a metonymic occupational name for a physician, one who lets blood, with the derivation for both instances from the Old English pre 7th Century 'blod', blood with the Middle English development 'bloden', meaning to let blood. Blood may also be of Welsh origin, the patronymic (son of) form of Lloyd (with the prefix 'ap' or 'ab', meaning son). Among the two listed namebearers in the National Biography is one, Thomas Blood (1618-1680) an adventurer who attempted to steal the crown jewels, gained the favour of King Charles 11, and received back his Irish estates, formerly lost. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Blod, which was dated 1256, The Assize Rolls of Northumberland, during the reign of King Henry 111, 'The Frenchman', 1216-1272. 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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