This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the Middle English "apotecarie", or the Old French "apotecaire", and was an occupational surname for an opothecary (chemist) or storekeeper. Originally, it was used for one who kept a store for spices, drugs and preservatives, and later for one who prepared and sold drugs for medical purposes. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname was first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below), and other early recordings include: William Ypotecarius, registered in the Cartulary of Oseney Abbey, Oxfordshire, dated 1285, and Richard Ipotecar, noted in the 1297 Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire. In the modern idiom the surname is found as Potticary and Pothecary. Recordings of the surname from the London Church Registers include: the christening of Roger, son of Rogeri and Janae Potticary, on September 16th 1641, at St. Martin in the Fields; the marriage of Annae Pothecary and John Rudducke, on June 13th 1642, at the Temple Church of England: and the christening of Elizabeth, daughter of Roger and Jane Pothecary, on March 17th 1644, at St. Margaret's, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Apotecarius, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Northamptonshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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