This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places in Cumberland and Roxburghshire called Liddel. The placename in Cumberland was recorded as "Lidel" in documents published in "Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society", circa 1165. These placenames are composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century river name "Hlyde", Loud, and the Olde English "-dael", valley. This river is also called Liddel today. Variants of the surname found in Northern England and Scotland include Liddel, Lidell, Liddle, Liddall and Lydall. The surname first appears in Scottish records at the beginning of the 13th Century (see below), and persons named Lidel or Lidale appear in various records of the reigns of David 11, Robert 11, Robert 111, and James 1 (1329 - 1437). One Galfridus Liddal is recorded in Roxburghshire, in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland (1264 - 1600), circa 1266, while other namebearers migrated northwards and became prominent in Aberdeen. Nicholas Lyddal was burgess of Aberdeen in 1321, and was provost in 1327. Henry Thomas Liddell (1797 - 1878), educated at Cambridge, was M.P. for Northumberland in 1826, for Durham from 1837 - 1847, and for Liverpool from 1853 - 1855, and was created Earl of Ravensworth and Baron Eslington in 1874. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Lidel, a charter witness at Largs, Scotland, which was dated circa 1202, in the "Records of Northberwick", Scotland, during the reign of King William, known as "The Lion" of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. 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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