This interesting surname is apparently of topographical origin, and as such derives from the Old English pre 7th Century 'slaed' - a valley. However a second explanation is that a 'slade' in the South of England may also refer to a strip of agricultural land in a woodland, whilst a person working or living at such a place would have been a 'slader'. The following rhyme appears in the early stories of Robin Hood - 'It had been better of William a' Trent, to have been abed with sorrowe, than to be that day in the greenwood slade, and to meet with Little John's arrowe'.(Poor Mr a'Trent!). It has also been suggested that the name may in some instances, be of locational origin from 'Slade or Slad' villages in Devonshire, Somerset, or Gloucestershire. The surname is first recorded in the mid 13th Century, (see below), and other examples include Reginald atte Slade, registered in the charter rolls of Middlesex for the year 1306, whilst Walter in the Slade appears in the Suffolk rolls of 1327. Later church recordings taken at random include Joan Slader, who married Thomas Mitchell at St Clements church, Hastings, on December 3rd 1570, whilst on October 3rd 1574, Roger Slade married Joyse Lapyngton, at St. Margaret's, Westminster. Other recordings include Alice Slade, who married Thomas Kynnaston on November 23rd 1579 at St. Peter's, Cornhill, and Philadelphia Slader, who married Edward Salmon at St Gregory's by St Pauls, London, on May 23rd 1606. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sabern de la Slade, which was dated 1255, who was a witness at the assize court of Essex, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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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