This unusual name recorded in the spellings of Prin, Prine, Pring, Prinn, Prinne, Preon, Pryn, and Prynne, is a surname derived directly from a baptismal name of endearment. The origin is from 'prin', a word which was introduced into England by the Normans after the 1066 invasion. 'Prin' is a 'descendant' of the Latin 'primus' meaning 'first' and it was given as a baptismal name to the first born male child of a family. Some learned academics of the 20th century have suggested that the name may be a nickname for one with 'lordly airs', but this seems unlikely. The similarity with the surnames 'Prince' (originally the French 'prins'), and 'Prime', which is directly from 'primus' cannot be avoided. We are satisfied that 'first born' is the most logical explanation. There are many early examples of the surname recordings, and these include Matilda Pryn in the 1275 Subsidy Rolls of Worcester, Nicholas Prinne of Sussex in 1327, Robert Le Prins, of the same county also in 1327, Adam Prymme of Stafford in 1286, John Prynne of Oxford University in the year 1506, and Thomas Pring of Somerset in 1618. Other recordings include Penellope Prine, christened at St Sepulchre Church, London, on January 12th 1682, and Richard Preon, who married Rebecca Perry at Christ Church, Spitalfields, London, on December 15th 1788. The coat of arms most associated with the name was granted in Staffordshire in the 14th century. It has the blazon of a gold field, charged with a blue fesse between three red escallops, and the crest of a black eagle displayed, on a ducal coronet. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Prin, which was dated 1273, the Hundred Rolls of Berkshire, 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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