This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational surname for a worker in lead. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "lead", lead, with "beatan", to beat, strike. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century (see below) and can also be found as Leadbeat(t)er, Leadbitter, Ledbetter and Lidbetter. Walter Ledbeter is noted as witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Northumberland (1256).Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include; Jane Leadbetter, who married Anthony Arkinson on June 27th 1592 at St. Margaret's, Westminster; Laurence Leadbetter, who married Mary Crannam on September 1st 1603 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney; and Michaell Leadbetter, who married Dorothie Clarke on May 25th 1618 at St. Martin Vintry. One of the most notable namebearers was Charles Leadbetter (flourished 1728), who was an astronomer. He was the author of treatises on astronomy and mathematics, and was one of the first commentators on Newton. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a red shield, on a silver chevron between three silver plates, three black crosses pattee, the Crest being out of a red mural coronet a demi unicorn erminois erased red, armed and crined gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ingald Ledbater, which was dated 1221, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Warwickshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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