Recorded in many spelling forms including Hitchin, Hickin, Hutchin, Houchin, Houchen and Howchin, as examples, these are all medieval diminutive nickname forms of Richard. This personal name was the single most popular name of the period, being mainly associated with the famous King Richard Ist of England, known as 'Coeur de Lyon'. His exploits in attempting to wrest the Holy Land from the Muslims thrilled all of Europe. The fact that he was ultimately unsuccessul, and paid for it with his life, seems to have helped the tradition rather than in anyway hindered it. The various diminutives and patronymics were created by adding 'kin' or 'et' to the basic nickname form. Local dialects which were very thick and spelling which at best was erratic, combined to create the variants such as Hickett, whichs seems not to have survived whilst Hitchkin or Hytchkyn first recorded in 1273 did. From these developed the modern spellings of Hitchen in 1555, Hitchin in 1574, with Houchin in 1619, when Andrew Houchin was recorded at St Botolphs without Bishopgate, and the furthur derivative of Houchen in 1784, when Richard Houchen was a witness at the famous church of St. Mary-le Bone, on April 30th of that year, both recordings being in the city of London. A few of the modern name holders will have locational origins from the town of Hitchin in Herts originally 'Hiccam' the place of the Hicce Tribe. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Hichun. which was dated 1279 in the Hundred Rolls of Oxford. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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