This interesting name, with the spellings of Croad, Crowd, Crowd, Crowther, Crother and Crewther, is of early medieval English origin. It derives from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "crouth" or "croude", related to the Welsh "crwth", meaning "crowd" ,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. The surname was first recorded in the late 13th Century (see below), and further early recordings include: Hugo le Crouder of Leicestershire, in the Hundred rolls of 1278; and rather later Garrett Crowd, at St Andrews chruch, Enfield, Middlesex, in 1588. Hugh Crode married Ellen Carrier at St Dunstans, Stepney, on December 17th 1628, whilst on November 18th 1641 Lucy Croad was christened at the church of St Mildred Poultrey, London. Hugh Crowder, who embarked from London on the ship "Bona Nova" in 1619, was recorded in a muster of the inhabitants of James City, Virginia, in that year. He was one of the earliest recorded namebearers to settle in the New World. 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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