Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including Cottle, Cottell, Cuttle, Cuttell, Cuthill, Cutill, and Cuttall, this is an English surname, but of pre-medieval French origins. It is occupational and may describe a maker of chainmail, a type of flexible armour consisting of riveted metal rings or links. This is from the Old French word "cotte", meaning a coat. Secondly and perhaps more likely, it may describe a cutler, a maker of knivers and implements. This is from the French word "coutel" meaning a knife and ultimately from the Latin "culter", a ploughshare. The surname itself dates from the 11th century, and early examples of the recordings include: Adam Cotella in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Dorset in 1167, and Walter Cotel in the Curia Refis rolls of Oxfordshire of 1206. Later examples taken from early surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include: Joane Cuttle who married Richard Bell at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on May 11th 1560, Louise Coutelle, the daughter of Huguenot Frenchman Nicole Cotelle, at the French church known as "The Artillery", Spitalfields, on April 26th 1702, and William Cuthill, who married Jane Adams, at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on January 4th 1774. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Beringarius Cotel. This was dated 1084, in the "Geld Roll" of Wiltshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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