This interesting English name has two possible sources the first being that it is a metonymic occupational name for a judicial officer, judge or justice of the Peace, which is attested from as early as the 12th Century when Norfolk records show that one William Justyse was a constable in Lews in 1253. However it may also be a nickname surname for a fair minded person, or one who played the part of judge in the Travelling Theatres or Pageants, at events such as the York and Chester plays, where it is recorded that in one such Chester play the speakers included, Veritas, Misericordia, Justitia, and Pax, translated as verity mercy, justice and peace.The derivation of this surname is from the Olde French pre 7th Century "justice" a derivative of the Latin "Justus" meaning up-right, honourable. One Howell Justice son of Robert Justice was christened on 20th December 1596 at St. Bride, Fleet Street, and one Jeremy Justice married Ann Staple on 3rd November 1595 at St. Dunstan's Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William La Justis, which was dated circa 1200, in the "Ancient Deeds of Suffolk", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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