This interesting surname is of English locational origin from a place thus called in Lancashire near Accrington. The placename derives from the Middle English "broc(k)" meaning a badger plus the Olde English pre 7th Century "hyrst" meaning a wooded hill (evidently a favourite haunt of badgers). The surname was originally given to inhabitants of this place or to people who moved away and were known by their place of origin. It is first found recorded in the early 13th Century (see below). One Thomas Brockhurst, is noted in the 1381 Assize Court Rolls of Warwickshire.Variations of the spelling in the modern idiom include: Brockhurst, Brockherst, and Brocklehurst. Recordings of the surname from the London Church Registers include: the marriage of George Brocklehurst to Agnes Reading, which took place on August 29th 1581, at St. Bartholomew the Less; on February 19th 1692, Ann Brockelhurst married Lawrence Tingnall, at St. James', Clerkenwell; and the marriage of Edwin Brocklehurst and Elizabeth Russell took place on September 19th 1698, at London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Brocherst, which was dated 1201, in the "Pleas before the King", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland" 1199 - 1216. 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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