This is an English occupational surname, but of Olde French origins. Introduced into England after the famous Invasion of 1066., it derives from the word 'chaucier', meaning a maker of chausses. This today would be interpreted as trousers, but in those ancient times it described such varied garments as breeches, pantaloons and hose. In Middle English the term 'chawce' was applied to anything worn on the feet, such as slippers, shoes or boots. As a surname, Chaucer or Causer occurs first in the county of Norfolk and its connections with that county are confirmed by the fact that the grandfather of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer was connected with the clothing trade in the town of Ipswich. Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400) is the most illustrious bearer of the surname, and probably the first of the recognised English poets. His most famous work was 'The Canterbury Tales' written about 1387, and first printed by Caxton in 1475. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Calcwere. This was dated 1273 in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward 1st known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272-1307. 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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