Recorded as Towson and Townson, this very interesting surname is English and North Country. It has undergone a number of changes over the centuries. Originally as Thomson, and latter Tomlinson and then Towenson, it is a double patronymic form of Thomas, one of the many biblical names much associated with the famous crusades of the 12th century, and one that was largely introduced into Europe by returning warriors and pilgrims at this time of the rebirth of Christianity in the early Middle Ages. As such the name was originally Aramaic and a nickname meaning "The twin". In the bible the name was borne by one of the disciples of Christ, best known for his scepticism about the resurrection. It is said that in the late medieval period in the North Lancashire region known as Furness, Towenson and Tollenson developed by local dialect into Towson and Townson. Examples of the surname recording taken from authentic surviving records and registers include: Christopher Townson in the "Historical manuscripts Commission Report" for Lancashire, and dated 1553, Christian Towson who married Roger Wildynge in London in 1570, Edmund Townson of Catton, in Yorkshire, recorded in the Wills Register of the town of Richmond in 1571, and Myles Townson, the son of Willyam Townson, christened at Happinburgh, Norfolk on April 6th 1592. Robert Townson (1575-1621), was a theological student at Cambridge University in 1595. He later attended Sir Walter Ralegh, when he was beheaded in 1618. Townson became the bishop of Salisbury in 1620, but died shortly afterwards.
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