Recorded in many forms including Hoodless, Hoodlass, Huddles, Hudlass and Hudless, this is a very interesting English sureman. Its literal translation is 'one who did not wear a hood', as against Robin Hood, who clearly did wear one, but there would seem to be much more to it than that. The wearing of hoods although a common feature of medieval life, was particularly associated with status. The various religious orders through their travelling friars and monks wore different kinds and colours of hoods as distinguishing marks, and this also applied to other travellers and particularly merchants.This surname would suggest that either voluntarily or under compulsion, one of these groups took to not wearing hoods. This may have been because they were debarred from wearing a head covering, either to show that they were above a certain status, or convesrely below it, or possibly even as some form of protest. This would seem to rule out the holy men, and in anycase they were (supposedly) celibate, or at least they did not (usually) marry, and therefore could not provide hereditary surnames. Our researches have not however found any group which could with certainty, be said to go around 'hood less', as a metter of priciple, so the origin remains something of a mystery. What is certain is that the surname itself dates back to the very dawn of surnames, with examples such as William Hodlles of Yorkshire in 1294, and three centuries later, Robert Hudelasse of the same county in 1545.
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