This unusual surname recorded as Lant, Lante, Lantte, is said to be English. It is according to one of the dictionaries of surnames, locational from some 'lost' place in the county of Northumberland. If this is the case it probably derives from the Norse-Viking 'lange' meaning long, and hence a long pasture or similar. However its similarity to the surname Lent cannot be overlooked, and in our opinion it may well be the same origin. Both are equally recorded in the surviving early church registers of the city of London from Stuart times with examples as shown below. Lent is clearly a nickname for a person born in that religious period, and follows a trend for such names such as Easter, Christmas, Nowell and even Trinity. However here again we have a name ignored by most directories except that of the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley. Writing in 1880 he records William Lent in the Hundred Rolls of Oxford in 1273, and Willelmus Lenten in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379. Recordings in the city of London include Temperance Lante, the daughter of Richard Lante, christened at the church of St Peter-le-Poer, on April 1st 1658, and Hengoe Lentt at St Thomas the Apostle, on March 20th 1675.
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