This interesting name, with variant spellings Crowder, Crother and Crewther, derives from the Middle English "crouth" or "croude", related to the Welsh "crwth", meaning "crowd" i.e., a popular medieval bowed stringed instrument. A quotation from Luke XV. 25. reads, "But his eldre sone was in the feeld, and whanne he cam and neighede to the hous he herde a synfonye and a crowde". A further reference to the instrument appears in Spencer's "Fairy Queen" - "the pipe, the tabor, and the trembling crowd". Crowder, and it's variant forms, was originally given as an occupational name to a player on the crowd. Early recordings of the surname include Hugo le Crouder, (Leicestershire, 1278); Kenwick le Cruther, (Cheshire, 1289) and Katerina Crowder - "The Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", (1379). On December 7th 1597, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Crowther, was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. Ann, daughter of Peter Crowther, was christened on December 22nd 1605, at St. Dunstan in the East, London. Richard Crowter married Jeane Ball on July 30th 1615, at St. Margaret's, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard le Cruder, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Kent", 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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