This interesting name has two possible origins, the first being an occupational name for a player on the lute, deriving from the Olde French "Lut(h)ier" a lute player. The surname from this source is first recorded in the early half of the 12th Century, (see below). ONe, Idonea Lutier appears in "A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds", (Middlesex, 1358), and in 1537 the following entry was made in the Privy Purse Expenses of Princess Mary - "Item, given to Philip the Luter, 11s.4d.". The second distinct possibility is that the name is a derivative of an Olde German personal name composed of the elements "liut", a tribe, plus "heri", an army. One, Luther Buchard appears in the Close Rolls of Edward 1st, dated 1275, and a Ralph Luther in the 1529 "Register of the Guild of the Corpus Christi in the City of York". Martin Luther (1483 - 1546), the religious reformer, is the best known namebearer. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Leluter, which was dated 1130, The Pipe Rolls of Essex, during the reign of King Henry I, 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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