Recorded as Strick, Strike, the diminutive Strickett (or Little Strike), the patronymic Stricketts, (son of Little Strike), and the occuptional Stricker, Striker, and Straker, this unusual and very interesting name is early medieval English. It describes someone who was employed to maintain the accuracy of a measure of corn by passing a flat stick or "strike" over the rim of the vessel holding the grain, thus levelling the grain and removing any excess. The derivation is from the pre 7th century word "striccan" to stroke or smooth, which in Middle English became "striken". This was an important and responsible position in medieval England, and equivalent to Trading Standards when there was dispute over the measure to be used. The terms of Magna Carta (1215) provided for one measure of corn (the London quarter) to be used nationally, and there was a constant struggle between local custom and law. The modern surname can be found as Strike, Striker and Straker. The marriage of Richard Strike and Elizabeth Hand was recorded at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, in London, on October 20th 1572. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas Stryke. This was dated 1296, in the Sussex Subsidy Tax Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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