This name, with variant spellings Slowly and Sloley, is of English locational origin either from Sloley in Norfolk or from Sloley in Warwickshire. The former was first recorded as Slaleia in the Domesday Book of 1086, and the latter as Slalea in the 1174, Pipe Rolls of Warwick. Both places are so called from the Old English pre 7th Century "sla" meaning "sloe", plus "leah", a wood or clearing; hence, "leah where sloes grew". The surname was first recorded in the early part of the 13th Century, (see below). One, Peter de Sloleye appears in the 1273, "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", and a John de Sloley, witness, in "The Fine Court Rolls of Norwich", dated 1420. An interesting variant was recorded in "The Oxford University Register" in 1577, Robert Slowghleigh of Somerset. On February 7th 1687, Elizabeth Slowly and Robert Morrisbee were married in St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, and on November 4th 1753 Archibald Slowly was christened at the same church. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Juliana de Sloleq, witness, which was dated 1221, "The Assize Court Rolls of Warwickshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, "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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