This very interesting "English" medieval name is occupational. it derives from the French "defendre" and means a "town guard", one who defends the city walls, or who was the local champion at arms. In the 13th Century it was an official paid post, and had a similar legal status to a "Hayward", that is to say that a "Fendour" had powers of arrest. In later years the name came to mean a form of "Fireman" employed by the town council to patrol the narrow streets watching for potential fire hazards. The name is well recorded both in England and Scotland. One William Fender being registered in Edinburgh as a "dag maker" in 1578, whilst George Fynder was christened at St. Giles church, Cripplegate in 1595, and Elizabeth Fender married John Cooh, also at St. Giles in 1697. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Fendour, which was dated 1315, The City Pipe Rolls of London, during the reign of King Edward 11, "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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