This interesting name derives from the Olde French "tempest(e)" or the Medieval English "tempest" literally meaning "a violent storm". However, the name was probably originally given as a nickname to one having a blustery temperament. The surname is first recorded in the early 12th Century, (see below). One, Richard Tempest appears in the 1222 Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire and an Isabella Tempest in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns Records of that county. In 1579 one, John Tempest of Yorkshire was recorded in the Oxford University Register and in 1758 Henry Tempest of Broughton, Yorkshire and Eleanor Jones were married at St. George's church, Hanover Square, London. Pierce Tempest (1635 - 1717) is best known for his work entitled "Cryes of the City of London", published in 1711. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Tempeste, land holder and witness. which was dated 1120 Records of Skipton in Craven, Yorkshire. during the reign of King Henry I, the Lion of Justice, 1100 - 1135. 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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