Recorded as Proud, Proude, Prout, and Proudman, this is an English medieval surname, but one also recorded in Scotland. It originated as a nickname for a person who took pride in his work or family. It derives from the pre 7th century Olde English word "prut or prud", and it is said that as Prud it may have existed as a personal name in ancient times. The surname today is associated with the county of Northumberland, although as Prout, it is as far away in the other direction as it could be, being associated with the county of Cornwall.The surname first appears in records in the early 11th Century (see below), and other early recordings include Orgar le Prude in the Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London in 1125, Richard Prude of Shropshire in the records of the Knights Templar The Crusaders) in 1185, William Prute in the Pipe Rolls of Devonshire in the year 1207, and William Poudman in the Subsidy Tax rolls of Suffolk in 1327. The lands of John Prowd in Clackmannane, Scotland are mentioned in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland in 1537, whilst on May 27th 1605, Elizabeth Proud was christened at St. Dunstan's in the East, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Toui Prude. This was dated 1033, in the "Old English Bynames", list during the reign of King Canute of England, 1016 - 1035. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was dometimes 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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