Recorded in several forms including Horwich, Horrige, Horridge and the London dialectal Orridge, this is an English surname. It is locational from the town of Horwich in the county of Lancashire first recorded in the year 1254 as Horewych. The place name and hence the later surname derives from the Old English pre 7th century word "har" meaning grey, and "wice", wych elm. As a locational surname it was given either to the local lord of the manor and his descendants, or more usually to people who for whatever reason, had left their former home to more somewhere else. The surname from this source is first recorded towards the end of the 14th Century, whilst other early examples of the surname recording include James Horridge, of Over Darwen in Lancashire, who was recorded in the Wills Records at Chester in 1608, and later in 1632, that of James Horwich, also of Over Darwen, and showing the usual post medieval tendancy for name spellings to transpose even within the same registers. In the diocese of the city of London, Mary Orridge the daughter of William Orridge, was christened at Christ Church, Spitalfields, on June 19th 1753.The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas de Horwich. This was dated 1397, in the Preston Guild Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King Richard 11nd of England, 1377 - 1399. 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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