This is a locational surname. It derives from the village of Riddlesden, in the parish of Bingley, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The origin is Olde English pre 10th century, and the translation is 'The clearing (ryding) in the valley (dene) although some researchers suggest that the prefix is the tribal name 'Hrepels'. Anything is possible, but what is certain is that the village is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Redelsden' and again in 1180 as 'Redlesden'. The spelling as 'Redlesden' seems to be the one which travelled, being so recorded in London in 1543 (see below). In Yorkshire itself where one might have reasonably expected the surname to be close to the village name, the spelling seems to have been 'Ruddlesden' from the earliest times, with the recording of Alice Rudlesden who married Richard Appleyard at Halifax on January 28th of that year, being possibly the first recording. Other examples are those of Katheren Ridlesden, who married William Stainthropp at the church of St Gregory by St Paul's, London, on August 12th 1594, and Martha Ruddlesden, who married John Wilby, at St. Peters, Leeds, Yorkshire, on August 14th 1780. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Christopher Redlesden, which was dated August 2oth 1543, married Francis Chatfield, as St Martin Orger, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as 'Bluff King Hal', 1510 - 1547. 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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