This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name for a dweller by the reed-bed, from the Olde English pre 7th Century term "hreodet", composed of the elements "hreod", reed and "bedd", bed. The surname may also however be a locational name from some minor or unrecorded spot, which may by now have disappeared from maps. This kind of disappearance often occurred as a result of the enforced clearing of land to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 15th Century, or as a result of the Black Death of 1348, during which an eighth of the population perished. The placename would have derived from the same elements mentioned above. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provide easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Early examples of the surname include the marriage of Gilbert Reditt and Margerie Wilke on November 9th 1567, at St. Stephen's Church, London; the marriage of Henry Reditt and Eline Naitor on August 15th 1585, at St. Margaret's Church in London; and the christening of John, son of Nicholas Reditt, at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London, on May 9th 1607. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reymbro ater Redette, which was dated 1296, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, 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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