This very unusual name is of English origin, with two possible meanings. The first of these is a topographical one, denoting someone who lived in or by a hollow in the ground, derived from the Middle English word 'scope' meaning a scoop, ladle or shovel, used here in the transferred sense of a hollow. Topographical features in the landscape were useful and obvious distinguishing surnames for people in the Middle Ages. The second possible origin is from the Olde English pre 7th Century word 'scop' meaning a poet or minstrel, where the surname 'scopes' is the patronymic form, meaning 'son of Scop'. One 'Elizabeth Scope' was christened at St. Botolph's without Aldgate, on the 5th of June, 1614. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Scopes, married Elizabeth Keylinge. which was dated 1st of Feburary, 1588, St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, London. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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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