This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from some minor or unrecorded place, perhaps a "lost" village. There are an estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from Britain since the 12th Century; the prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wood trade in the 15th Century, and natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished. The original place was in Headcorn,Kent, and the component elements of the name are believed to be the Olde English pre 7th Century "cruc", cross, "tun", fence, enclosure, and "denn", pasture; hence, "enclosed pasture by the cross". "Denn" is common as the second element of placenames in the Kent and Sussex Weald district. On October 9th 1559, Thomas Cruttenden married Joha Weston in Burwash, Sussex, and Edward, son of John Cruttenden, was christened at Biddenden, Kent, on October 24th 1568. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a blue shield with a gold chevron guttee de poix, between three silver mullets of six points pierced, in chief a silver crescent, the Crest being an elk's head proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Crotynden, which was dated 1451, in the "Calendar of the Patent Rolls", Kent, during the reign of King Henry V1, known as "The Founder of Eton", 1422 - 1461. 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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