Recorded as Pape and the diminutives Papen, Pappen, Pappin, Pappon, Papon, Poppin, Popping, and others, this is an English surname. In medieval times and before the Church of England and the Church of Rome parted company when Henry V111th wanted a divorce and the Pope would not give him one, this interesting surname was already in use. It was a nickname either for a person with an austere or ascetic appearance and hence the way the Pope was imagined to look, or it was a theatrical name for an actor who played the part of a Pope. Either way the derivation is from the pre 7th century word "papa", meaning father, and later pape meanin the pope. The surname is ancient, one of the earliest recorded In England (see below) with other examples being include Blachemannus Pape in the Pipe Rolls of Surrey in 1178, William la Pape in the Curia Regis rolls of Berkshire in 1197, and Adam la Pape in the Assize rolls of Somerset in 1288. The London church records include John Pape who married Marrian Panson on February 18th 1564 at St. Margaret Pattens, London whilst Frances Pappin was recorded at St Dunstans Stepney, on June 21st 1702. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stubhard Pape of Suffolk. This was dated 1095, in the Feudal Documents from the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, during the reign of King William 11nd, known as "Rufus", 1087 - 1100. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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