There is some considerable disagreement about the origin of this surname found in the various spellings of Colledge, Coulidge, Collidge, Coldedge, Coleridge, College, and no doubt many others as well! The famous etymologist the late Professor Reaney claimed that the name derived from the villages of Colewich in Staffordshire or Colwick in Nottinghamshire, but seems to have completely ignored Coldred in Kent and particularly Coldridge in Devon. In fact it is our belief that in addition to the Devon village there were several places called 'Coldridge' or similar, in medieval times which gave rise to surnames, and these 'sites' have subsequently disappeared probably for the very reason that the name exists - who wants to live on a 'cold ridge'. There is equally no doubt whatsover that many of the surnames do originate from the Devon village, not the least being the first as shown below. The name is Olde English in origin, and probably 7th century, deriving from 'col' (cool) plus 'rugge' - a ridge, although the surname is much later. Early examples of the recordings include Richard de Colrugge of Berkshire in the 1290 rolls of the county, and John Colrigg of Devon in 1414. later examples include Stephen College (1631 - 1685) a protestant extremist who was executed for trying to overthrow the parliament of Charles 11 in 1681, whilst Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834), the famous poet, was the son of John Coleridge (1719 - 1781), vicar of Ottery St Mary, Devon. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Crispanius de Collrigge, which was dated 1273, the Hundred Rolls of the county of Devon, 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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