This surname derives from the Old English pre 7th Century word 'brordu' meaning breadth. It can be either of topographical origin meaning 'the dweller by the plain or flat expanse', or, locational, deriving from a number of places named with the above element e.g., Brede in Sussex. The surname dates back to the late 12th Century (see below). One William de Bredes is recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex of 1296. Elena atte Brede is recorded in 1317 in the Assize Rolls of Kent. The modern idiom of the spelling includes Breed, Breede, Breeds, Breeder.William, son of Richard Brede, was christened in St. James, Clarkenwell, London on the 21st July 1611. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Brian de Brede, which was dated 1195, Norfolk Rolls, during the reign of King Richard I, 'The Lionheart', 1189 - 1199. 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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