This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is occupational for a mender of pots and pans. The name is derived from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) 'tink(l)er', of uncertain origin. Travelling pedlars were also known by this name because they made their approach known by tinking, by either ringing or making a tinkling noise. The mending of pots and pans does not seem to have been the particular pursuit of the medieval tinker, he was a general pedlar. In the time of King Edward V1 (1548 - 1554) a law was passed stating that 'No person or persons commonly called Pedler, Tynker, or Pety Chapman, shall wander or go from one towne to another ... and sell pynnes, poyntes laces, gloves, knyves, glasses, tapes, or any suche kynde of wares whatsoever or gather connye skynnes'. The modern surname can be found as Tinker and Tinkler. Among the recordings in London are the marriages of William Tinker and Jone Whittinstone on April 25th 1602 at St. Gabriel's, Fenchurch, and of Isaac Tinker and Hester Bowden on July 3rd 1662 at St. Gregory by St. Paul. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Tinker, which was dated 1243, The Assize Rolls of Somerset, 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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