This interesting and unusual surname, recorded in church registers of south east England from the mid 16th Century, under the variant spellings, Prowting, Prouting, Prowton, Pruton etc., is a patronymic form of the personal byname Proud, itself coming from the old English pre 7th Century "prut" or "prud", meaning "proud arrogant", with the addition of the old English suffix "ing", sons of or dependants of. On May 21st 1568 Elinor Prowting, an infant, was christened in Petworth, Sussex, and on May 17th 1620 the marriage of Edward Prouting to Amie Hucheson took place in St. Peter the Great, Chichester, Sussex. Toui Prude mentioned in "the old English Byname Register" dated 1033 and William Prute, (Devonshire, 1207) are amongst the earliest recorded bearers of the original byname. The forms Prowton, Proughton etc., are late variations. On October 30th 1715 Eduth Prowton was christened in St. Pancras, Chichester, and on October 27th 1864 Thomas Waller, son of James Proughten was christened in St. Pancras Old Church, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Prowting, (marriage to Sibill Forde), which was dated 1567, Petworth, Sussex, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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