This is amongst the earliest of all surnames, although quite why this should be so is not clear. Certainly since the Norman Conquest the name has had noble associations, although the last Baron Langdale died in 1777. There are seven places called Langdale in Northern England, and it may well be that all have provided surnames, although Langdale in Northumbria and Langdale in North Yorkshire, would seem to have been the epic-centres of the name. Certainly the earliest Coat of Arms would seem to have been granted to the Langdales of Langdale, near Scarborough, this having the blazon of a black field charged with a chevron between three estoiles, all silver. The origin of the name is both Olde English and Norse, being originally 'Langa-dael' - the long valley, the first known recording being 'Langedenlitle' in the pipe rolls of 1160, although this changed to 'Langdala' in 1179. Examples of the early recordings include Henry de Langdale in the subsidy rolls of Cumberland for 1332, John Langdale of Yorkshire in 1402, and Albon Langdale, a student at Oxford University in 1554. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Langdale, which was dated 1293, in the Placita de Warranto Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as 'The hammer of the Scots' 1272 - 1307. 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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