This interesting surname of English origin is derived from a nickname for an unbridled and licentious man, from the middle English "laweles" or "laghles" meaning "uncontrolled by the law", "unbridled" or "licentious". The surname dates back to the early 14th Century, (see below). Further recordings include Thomas Laghelas (1360) "Register of the Freemen of the city of York" and Richard Lawles (1533), "Testamenta Cantiana, Kent". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Laweles, Lawles etc.. One Margery Lawles was christened at St. Andrew Hubbard with St. Mary at Hill, London on November 19th 1551. Margaret Lawles was christened at St. Mary, Whitechapel, London on August 2nd 1567. William Lawless is recorded in the parish of St. Michael's, Barbados in 1678. Valentine Browne Lawless (1773 - 1853) was the second Baron Cloncurry. He received a B.A. at Trinity College Dublin in 1792. One Ann Lawless, a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Yorkshire" bound for New York on April 2nd 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Huge Laghlese, which was dated 1314, in the "Writs of Parliament", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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