This most interesting surname, with variant spellings Frewem, Frewin, Frewing, Frowing, Fruen and Fruin, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name 'Freawine', composed of the elements 'freo', free, noble, generous, and 'wine', friend. The personal name itself appears as 'Freowinus' and 'Freuuinus' in the Domesday Book of 1086 in Suffolk and Essex respectively. The surname itself is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below) in Suffolk. Henry Frewine appeared in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire in 1230. The Great Chartulary of Glastonbury recorded on Walter Frewyne in 1313. Accepted Frewin (1588 - 1664) was chaplain to the King and Canon of Canterbury in 1625. He was later proscribed by Oliver Cromwell, but on the restoration of Charles 11 in 1660 was appointed Archbishop of York, from 1660 - 1664. Nathaniell Frowing was christened at St. Olave, Southwark, London, on November 4th 1649, while one Winnee Frowen married Randal McDonald on February 25th 1785 at St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Frewine, which was dated 1221, Suffolk Records, during the reign of King Henry 111, 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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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