This most interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may have derived from two possible sources. Firstly, it may be of locational origin, from some minor, unrecorded or lost village or hamlet so called. One of the prime causes of the disappearance of such places was the enforced "clearing" of large areas of land, and subsequent dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 15th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished, were another contributing factor. This unidentified spot was probably located somewhere in Hampshire or Surrey, and the placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century words "maerc", boundary, and "wic", a dairy farm, hence "the dairy farm at the boundary". The name may also however be of topographical origin, given to a dweller at a dairy farm, and composed of the same elements as above. Among the recordings of the name in London Church Registers is that of the christening of Gullpin, son of James and Hannah Markwick, on March 26th 1682 at St. Stephan's, Coleman Street. A notable namebearer was Nathaniel Markwick (1664 - 1735), a theologian, who was educated at St. John's College, Oxford, and was prebendary of Bath and Wells in 1699. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wyllya Markwyke, which was dated March 11th 1549, christened at Headley, Hampshire, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. 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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