This unusual and interesting surname, recorded in the spellings of Scriven(s) and Scrivin(s) is medieval English and occupational. It describes a scribe or clerk, in particular one associated with the courts and monasteries, and being responsible for preparing land charters and rolls. The derivation is from the French 'escrivein', itself a derivative from the Roman (Latin) 'scribanus', meaning 'to write'. The word was a Norman French introduction into England after the 1066 Invasion, when for three hundred years French became the official language of the country. In the modern idiom the spelling forms include Scrivener, Scrivenor, Scriver, Scrivinor and Scrivner. Early examples of recordings include Gervase Le Escruein in the Assize Rolls of Somerset in the year 1278, and Richard Scrivin, the son of Norman Scrivin, in the ancient charters of Kent in 1294. William de Skrevyn is recorded in the list of the Freemen of the city of York in 1310, whilst Johannes Schryuen appears in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379. Even as late as 1539 the spelling was often in the Middle English style, Peter Skreven being recorded as marrying Alya Langlee at St Dionis Backchurch, London. The original coat of arms associated with the surname dates from the time of Henry 111 (1216-1272). The blazon is a red field charged with a chevron between two leopards faces in chief, and a bugle in base, all silver. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard le Scrivein, which was dated 1208, in the rolls of the court of fees, Oxford, during the reign of King John, known as 'Lackland', 1199 - 1216. 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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