This interesting English nickname surname was originally used for a woman, denoting one who was "white as a lilly", but it also applied to a man in the sense of "one who had a fair complexion". One notable bearer of the name listed in the National Biography is Frederick William Lillywhite (1792 - 1854), a bricklayer by trade who in middle life took a formost place among professional cricketers, played his first match at Lords 1827 and was known as the "Nonpareil Bowler". A variant of this name is Lilywhite.On 1st June 1685 one Elizabeth Lillywhite was christened in St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Lyliewhyt, which was dated 1376, in the "Court Rolls of Colchester", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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