This interesting surname, with variant spellings Lascelles, Lassells, Lascell and Lessels, is of French origin, and is locational from Lacelle, a place in Orne, Normandy, so called from the Old French "la", the, plus "celle", a hermit's cell (from the Latin "cella", small room). The name was introduced into England by follower of William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest of 1066, and first appears on record in the mid 12th Century (see below). Early recordings of the surname include: Picot de Lasceles, noted in the 1185 Knights Templars Records of Yorkshire, who was vasal to the Count of Brittany, and Roger de Lascelles, who was a major land holder in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, circa 1130. In 1514, a Francis Lassells, of Richmond, was entered in the Oxford University Register. Recordings from London Church Registers include the marriage of Mary Lazell and Richard Frogley on August 26th 1727, at St. Benet's, Paul's Wharf. A later member of the family, Edward Lascelles, was created Earl of Harewood in 1812. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter de Laceles, which was dated circa 1150, in the "Chartulary of Rievaulx Abbey", Yorkshire, during the reign of King Stephen, known as "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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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