Recorded in the spellings of Dick, and then the patronymic Dickin, Dickon, Dicken, (Dick + kin) Dickson and Dixon (Dick + son), and then the double patronymic Dickins, Dickens, and Dickons (Dick + kin + s(on)), and finally the triple patronymic Dickenson, Dickinson, and Dickinson, (Dick + kin + son + son!) these are all endearment forms of the famous 'Richard', a name introduced by the Normans after the 1066 Invasion of England. 'Richard' is not a Norman name but German, and as such was 'borrowed' by the Norse (Viking) invaders as they swept south both on land through Northern Europe and by sea to Britain and Ireland, in the 7th century a.d. The name translates as 'brave-powerful', a meaning which no doubt contributed to its early popularity, but it was from the time of the famous King Richard 1st of England, known as 'The Lionheart', (1160 - 1199), who was associated with the development of English nationalism, that the surname development took place, ultimately unsurpassed by any other British surname. Early recordings include Ricard Dicun of Bedfordshire in the charter rolls of the year 1230 a.d., and John Dycon in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire year. Later examples of church recordings include Aaron Dykyns who was christened on August 16th 1555, at St. Michael's, Cornhill, London, Anne Dikins, who was christened on July 1st 1666, at St. Mary Somerset, London, and Thomas Dickin was High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1799. Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870), the famous Victorian novelist, made his fortune in America in 1868-70, but died in London shortly after his return. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Dicun, which was dated 1203, a witness at the Assize Court of Staffordshire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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