This interesting medieval English surname is one of a group such as Proudfoot, Proudlaw, Proudlock, Proudlove, Proudman, all of which have the same derivations. They are all nicknames and they all derive from the pre 7th century Olde English "prud" meaning good or excellent, plus various suffix such as "lufa", love, or "fot", a foot, or "mann", a companion. The examples such as Proudlaw and Proudlock are apparently dialectal variants of Proudlove, a surname very much associated with Cheshire and Lancashire. Spelling in the post medieval period was at best erratic, and at worst simply a guess, whilst the local dialects were so thick as to be almost foreign languages. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviv ing church registers include Wyllyam Proudlove of Manchester, in the will charters of Cheshire, dated 1541, and Roberte Proudelove, who was married at Prestbury, Cheshire, in 1570. Blase Prowdelove was recorded at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, in 1559, and almost a century later at the same church in 1656, John Proudlock appears as a christening witness on August 24th of that year. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Prudelove, witness, which was dated 1289, in the "Assize Court Rolls of Cheshire", during the reign of King Edward I, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Over the centuries surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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