This interesting surname of English origin is a locational name from Clearhedge Wood in Sussex, which is of obscure etymology, the second element is probably derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "hecg" meaning "hedge", the first element is unidentified. It may also be from the Middle English, Old French female given name Clarice, itself coming from the Latin Claritia meaning "Fame", "brightness". The surname dates back to the late 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Robert de Claurugge (1327), "The Subsidy Rolls of Sussex". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Claris, Clarage, Clardge, etc.. One William Cleridge married Elizabeth Browne at St. Margaret, Westminster, on September 27th 1590. Elizabeth Claridge was christened on September 17th 1604, at St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, London, and Jone daughter of Richard Claridge, was christened on December 9th 1621, at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Clarice, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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