This unusual and interesting surname recorded in several spellings including Laun, Lawn, Laund, and Lavender, is job descriptive. It has little or nothing to do with "grass growing" of any type, and derives from the pre 7th century Old French word "lavandier", meaning a person who owned or worked in an early laundry. The term was applied especially to a worker in the wool industry, employed to wash raw wool or rinse the cloth after fulling. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and only became hereditary when the son followed the father into the business. The surname from this source is first recorded in the mid 13th Century (see below), and early examples include Cecilia la Lavander, in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire of 1273, together with a Peter le Lavender in the same rolls. Later recordings taken from authentic church registers shown the nickname in the short form, and these include Richard Lawen, whose daughter Agnes was christened at All Hallows church, London Wall, on November 19th 1566, and Thomas Lawn, a witness at St Botolphs without Aldgate, London, on August 1st 1716. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ysabelle la Lauendere, which was dated 1253, in the "Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272.
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