This most interesting surname is of medieval French origin, and is a status name with two possible interpretations. It derives from the Old French word "visconte", a viscount, from the medieval Latin "vicecomes" (from the Late Latin "vice", vice and "comes", count), which in medieval Europe denoted the deputy of a count or a younger brother or son of a count, but in the British Isles was a nobleman ranking below an early and above a baron. In France it is written as "Vicomte" and includes the French definite article "le", hence "LeVicomte" which gives rise to this surname, which is one of the English variants. Hence, the surname may have been a status name for someone who was a "Vicomte", but it may also have been a nickname given to one who worked in the household of a Vicomte or who may have played the part of one in a play. In London, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, Susanna Leviconte married Peter Genn, on November 5th 1696. Nymphe Prudente Levesconte married Arthur W. Tooke in the British Embassy Chapel, Paris, on March 30th 1842. A Coat of Arms was granted to a "(le Vicomte)" family at Ponthieu, France, circa 1680, which depicts six black lozenges on a silver shield. A lozenge represents "Honesty" and "Constancy" and was held to be a token of "Noble Birth". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas and Marguerite Vicomte, which was dated January 23rd 1679, christening witnesses at Lourdes, Hantes, Pyrenees, France, during the reign of King Louis X1V of France, 1643 - 1715. 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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