This interesting surname, with variant spellings Lovel and Lowell, derives from the Anglo Norman French "lou", a wolf (ultimately from the Latin "lupus"), plus the diminutive suffix "el", and was originally given as a nickname to a fierce or shrewd person. One Richard "Lupellus" was recorded in "Ancient Charters of Sussex", circa 1118. The surname appears towards the middle of the 12th Century, (see below). Other early recordings include Willelmus Luvel, "the Curia Regis Rolls of Oxfordshire", 1206, and Philip Lowel, "The Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", 1255. Richard Luvel alias Lovel or Lowel "of Kari Lowel barony" was recorded in the Somerset County Rolls of 1263. He descended from William, Earl of Yvery, whose father Robert had acquired the nickname Lupus because of his violent temper. A noble family of Lovell were established in Northamptonshire from the 13th to the 16th Century, and included Francis, first Viscount Lovell (1454-1487), summoned to parliament as ninth Baron Lovell of Tichmarsh in 1482. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Luuel, which was dated 1130, in the "Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "the Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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