This interesting name is of Old French origin, and derives from the Old French "bon" meaning "good", and was originally given as a nickname to an upright or benevolent person. A sizeable group of early European surnames were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as mental and moral characteristics, or to habits of dress. One Edward le Bon (i.e. "the Good") is recorded in the 1204 Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire, and a Walter le Bone was listed in the 1296 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex. The spelling "Bonne" appears in the Calendar of Letter Books for Huntingdonshire, dated 1379. On February 17th 1635, the marriage of Jane Bunn and William Iddes was recorded in Climping, Sussex. Thomas Bunn, his wife, Bridgitt, and son, Thomas, aged 1 yr., appear on a muster of the inhabitants in Virginea taken on January 30th 1624; they were among the earliest recorded namebearers to settle in America. Alfred Bunn (1796 - 1860), nicknamed "Poet Bunn" was manager of Drury Lane and Covent Garden theatres from 1833 to 1848; he brought out English operas. The family Coat of Arms is described thus: "Silver, on three grieces black, red and blue a cross calvary of the third, in chief two crescents red. Crest - An ostrich's head silver collared red between two palm branches green". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rocelin le Bun, which was dated 1255, in the "Hundred Rolls of Wiltshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "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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