Recorded in the spellings of Thresh and Thrush, this is a medieval English surname. It originates from the Olde English pre 7th century word 'prysce', meaning and pronounced 'thresh', and meaning 'thrush'. As such it was a nickname probably for a minstrel, one who may have sung in the famous travelling theatres of ancient times. Most surnames which appear to be a status such as king, bishop, or pope, for instance are actors names, whilst this is an example of a singer! The original spelling forms were both Thresse and Thrusse, one William Thresse being recorded in the pipe rolls of tax payers for Clerkenwell, in the city of London, in the year 1204. In later rolls for the year 1230 he is recorded as William Thrushe. Surname nicknames are amongst the most popular of all surnames representating at least fifteen percent of all names. These were given either because of an occupation as in this case, or because the person concerned was believed to resemble a bird or animal in someway. The king on the English throne at the time of the first recordings was the infamous King John. He has always had a bad press, mainly because of the Robin Hood fables. John had the problem of clearing up the debts of his brother Richard, the Lionheart. As such he had to raise taxes, a situation faced with trepidation by every government since.
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