Recorded as Scutt, Scutts, Scutch, Scutcheon, Scutching, Scutchings, this interesting English surname has at least three possible origins. It can be occupational for a scout. The derivation being from the Old French word "escouter" meaning to listen, or secondly and also occupational it may be from the French word escuteon meaning a shield, and probably a maker of such defensive weapons, or thirdly it could be be a nickname. If so it described a swift runner deriving from the Middle English word "scut" meaning a hare.Today the various spellings are intermixed making it almost impossible to ascribe a particular meaning to a particular spelling. What we do know is that the surname is one of the earliest on record with examples such as Lefstan Scut of Suffolk in1190, and William le Scutt (William the Hare?) in the Building Account of King Henry 111rd in 1222. Later church recordings from the surviving registers of the city of London include Thomasyn Skut. She married Nicholas Rainton on February 22nd 1570 at St. Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street, Michael Scutchin christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on April 2nd 1721, Mary Scutcheon who married William Cox at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on April 19th 1734, and Henry Scutchings christened at St Johns Shoreditch, on March 14th 1866. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwin Scut. This was dated 1183, in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry 1st, the "Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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