This name has two known origins. The first being locational from Leak in the North Riding of Yorkshire, Leake in Lincolnshire and Nottingham or Leek in Staffordshire. All these places are named from the Olde Norse elements "loekr" meaning a "brook". The name was originally given to someone residing in any of the above places, or to a dweller by a pool or stream. Alternate spellings of the name have included de Leke (1273), de Leek (1290) and Leeke (1595). One, John son of Arthur Leake was baptised in St.Peter's Church, Cornhill, London in circa 1595. The name may also be a metonymic occupational name for a grower or seller of leeks, deriving from the Olde English pre l7th Century.The Coat of Arms most associated with the family and granted in 1773 has the blazon of a silver shield thereon a saltire engrailed blue, nine gold annulets, on a canton red, a triple towered castle in gold. The crest being a cannon mounted on a carriage proper, with the motto; Pari animo. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter de Lek, which was dated 1202, in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lincolnshire," during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland" 1199 - 1216. 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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