This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval Northern English origin, and is a topographical surname given to someone who lived by or near to a hill or ridge covered in brushwood. The term derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "tris", brushwood, and the ancient British (pre-Roman) "pen", hill. It is possible that there was originally a hamlet or village so named, that has now disappeared, as have an estimated seven to ten thousand recorded settlements in Great Britain since the 12th Century. Most of these were "lost" during the enforced clearing of lands for sheep pasture during the 14th Century, or through natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, during which an eighth of the population perished. The modern surname, recorded as Rispin(e), Rispen and Ruspin(e), is found mainly in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The name development has included Respine (1570), Rispigne (1581), Rypyn (1581) and Ruspine (1623). One Thomas Rispin married Jane Bradlay at Huggate, in Yorkshire, on June 7th, 1618. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anna Risping, which was dated May 16th 1548, christened at Huggate, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. 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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