This aristocratic surname which numbers many members of the nobility, is of English origin and derives from a place so called in Cheshire. Cholmondeley was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Calmundelei', and in the Eyre Rolls of Chester, of 1287 as 'Chelmundeleg'. By the 14th century the pronunciation was 'Chumley or Chomley' and from that has derived the variant surname forms of Chaml(e)y, Champl(e)y, Chomley etc.The originination is from an Old English pre 7th Century personal name 'Ceolmund' with 'leah', a grove, thus, Ceolmund's grove. The name in its various forms was popular in Yorkshire, Sir Roger Chomeley, being Lord Chief of the Exchequer in the time of Elizabeth 1, and various branches were also found in Ireland, but these were of Cheshire-Yorkshire descent. Examples of the name recording include Sir Hugh Cholmondeley (1513-1596) who was knighted for service in Scotland in 1557,Robert Cholmondeley, Earl of Leinster (1584 - 1659) who was fined by Parliament for his support of Charles 1st, and Hugh Cholmondeley, First Earl Cholmondeley, Treasurer of the Royal Household in the reign of Queen Anne. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir Hugh Cholmondeley, which was dated Circa 1250, Baron of Cholmondeley, Cheshire, 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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