This name, with variant spelling Readett, Readitt, Ridett, Riddett and Redit(t), derives from the Old English pre 7th Century 'hreodet' meaning 'reedbed', and was originally given as a topographical name to one resident in an area covered with reeds. The surname was first recorded towards the end of the 13th Century, (see below). It is particularly prevalent in church registers of Southern England from the late 16th Century. On August 15th 1585, Henry Ridett or Redditt married an Eline Naylor in London. The following entry points to a possible French Huguenot origin for some namebearers - Pierre Ridet, son of Pierre Ridet and Marthe Chapelle, christened in La Patente French Huguenot Church, Spitalfields, London, on August 10th 1705. On October 13th 1788 Elizabeth Riddett and James Cooper were married in St. Pancras, Chichester, Sussex. 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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