Recorded as Hick, Hicke and the patronymics Hickes, Hicks and Hickson, this is a famous English medieval surname. Derived from the given name Richard, this was a personal name that was occasionally found in England in the pre 10th century, but was mainly popularized as Ricard by the Norman-French invaders after the Conquest of 1066. However the ulimate origin is perhaps surprisingly pre 7th century Old German, and it was then composed of the elements "ric", meaning power, with "hard", brave or strong. The personal name became a firm favourite amongst the native population of England after the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "Lionheart", (1189 - 1199). It was felt by many, erroneously as it happens, that the king represented Anglo-Saxon values against those of his brother Prince, and later King John (1199 - 1216). Be that as it may, the relative success of Richard lead to a major development of his name into a bewildering number of diminutive and patronymic variants, which in time became surnames. These include Dick, Dicks, Dickson, and Dixon, as well as Hick, Hicke, Hicks, Hickson, and Rick, Ricks, and Rickson. The substitution of "H" as the prime initial resulted from the early inability of the native English to cope with the Norman pronunciation of "R", so arguably Hick is English and Rick is French! Early recordings of the personal name include Richard Hick in the Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire in the year 1302, and William Hickys as spelt in the pipe rolls of Warwickshire in 1309. Amongst the recordings of the name in church registers of the diocese of the citty of London is that of the marriage of William Hicks and Margery Allen, at All Hallows church, London Wall, on July 17th 1559. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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