This interesting surname, with variant spellings Redman, Readman and Reedman, may have derived from a number of possible origins. Firstly, the name may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, and locational from Redmain in Cumberland, which appeared as "Redeman" in the Pipe Rolls of 1184. This placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century "read", red, and "main" (man), a cairn, a mound of stones erected as a memorial or marker. Secondly, Redman, may have been an English nickname for a person with red hair or a ruddy complexion, from the Olde English elements "read", red, plus "mann", a man. Finally, it may also have originated as a metonymic occupational name for a cutter of reeds or a thatcher, from the Olde English "hreod", reeds, and "mann", man. The surname was first recorded in the late 12th Century, and other early recordings include: Robert Redeman, who appeared in the Hundred Rolls of Essex in 1274, and John Redman, who was recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Hampshire in 1275. Sir Richard Redman (died 1426) was M.P. for Yorkshire between 1405 and 1421, and was speaker of the House of Commons in 1415. John Redman (1499 - 1551) was the first master of Trinity College, Cambridge from 1546 - 1551. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Norman de (of) Redeman which was dated 1188, in the "Pipe Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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