This name is of Roman (Latin) origins and derived from 'Prudentia', the name was a Norman introduction to England after 1066 and was an early surname some three hundred years before it became a popular Puritan virtue name in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, along with Faith, Hope and Charity. Whilst the very earliest recording shown is as a surname, other semi-surname recordings of the same period were Robertus filius Prudence (1206 The Surrey Pipe Rolls) and Prudencia de Pavely (1210 The Kings Rolls of Norfolk). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Prudence which was dated 1203 The Court of Fines, Surrey during the reign of King John nicknamed Lackland 1199-1216 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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