This unusual name is of English locational origin, from the place called "Spetchley" in Worcestershire. The placename is first recorded in 816, as "Spaecleahtun", and in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Speclea". The name means "the speech glade", that is, "the glade where moots were held", the derivation being from the Old English pre 7th Century "spaec", speech (es) and "leah", a clearing in a wood, or glade. Locational surnames were distributed around the country when the former inhabitants of a place went to live or work in another town and were known as, for instance, "John of Spetchley". The surname can be found today as "Speechley, Speechly or Speachley". "Anthony Speechly" married "Ann Pearson" on the 21st September 1682 at St. Helen, Bishopsgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elinor Speacheley, christened, which was dated 24th August 1539, at St. Swithins, Worcester, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as Bluff King Hal, 1509 - 1547. 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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