This interesting and attractive surname is of early medieval English origin, and is either a topographical name from residence in a prominent house built of red brick, or a locational name from any of the various places throughout England thus called. These places include: Red House adjoining Aspley Guise (Bedfordshire); near Southbury (Norfolk); south east of Walsall (Staffordshire); north west of Ipswich (Suffolk); and near Ascot (Berkshire). The derivation is from the Middle English "red", Olde English pre 7th Century "read", red, with "hus", house. In the Middle Ages the majority of the population lived in cottages and huts rather than houses, and in most cases this surname probably indicated someone who had some connection with the most outstanding house in the settlement. Natural and man-made features were widely used as a means of identification in medieval times, and consequently gave rise to several topographical surnames. Locational names were originally given to local landowners, and the Lord of the Manor, and especially to those former inhabitants who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. In 1619 Elizabeth Redhouse and Thomas Thurston were married in Clare, Suffolk. A notable bearer of the name was Sir James William Redhouse, secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1861 - 1864, and K.C.M.G., 1888. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Redhus, which was dated 1272, in the "Book of Fees for Southampton", Hampshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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