This interesting surname, found widespread in Scotland, according to family tradition derives from the place "Ludlow" in Shropshire, England, which means "hill by the rapids", from the old English personal name "Hiude", the loud one, referring to a rapid in the Teme river, and the old English word for hill, "hlaw", recorded as "Ludelaune", in 1138 in Historia Anglorum. This Border surname confined mainly to Selkirkshire and the vales of Eltrick and Yarrow, has been traced over the border to England under the variants Laidley, Laidler, Ladly and Ludlow. The London Church Registers record the christening of Thomas son of John Laddlow at St. Margaret's, Westminster on March 18th 1587 and the marriage of Annis Ladlowe to Ruhard Nash, here also on May 6th 1594. One William Ladlaw was portioner of Newtoune, Scotland in 1650, while a family called Laidlaw were seated at Mosfennan, Peeblesshire during the 17th and 18th Century. An interesting namebearer was one William Laidlaw (1780 - 1845), a friend of Sir Walter Scott and his steward and amanuensis at Abbotsford. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Ladelawe, accused of concealing a horse from the English, which was dated 1296, Calendar of documents relating to Scotland, during the reign of King John, Balliol, ruler of Scotland, 1292 - 1296. 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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