Recorded in a number of spellings including: Escofier, Escoffier, d'Escoffier, Escoffrey and Escoffrie, this is a surname of French origins. It is occupational, from the region known as Provencal, and derives from the verb 'escofia' meaning to dress. As such it described a leather manufacturer or merchant, one who supplied finished leather goods. It may be that there is, or perhaps more likely, there was, a place called 'Escofia' or similar, which may then account for the occasional use of the prefix d' by some name holders, a form which implies nobility and land ownership. The surname is also a Huguenot protestant refugee name, and recorded in England since the 17th century. Provencal and Languedoc were regions of France which had large numbers of protestants, many of whom fled to England, during the purges by the religious maniac, King Louis X1V of France. The first of these may have been Jean Escoffier, who married Elizabeth Porter, at St James church, Dukes Place, London, on May 29th 1685. Whilst the surname is recorded in France from the 17th century, all be it, erratically, almost all the early registers, which in Britain often date back to the 12th century, were destroyed during the French Revolution of 1789 - 1794. This was also a period when the Roman Catholic church itself was banned, as the clergy were regarded by the Revolutionaries as being spies in the pay of the king, and the registers, part of the tools of the trade. This was probably correct. An early examples of the recordings as that of Sebastien Escoffier of La Chappelle, in the department of Ardeche, on July 26th 1649.
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