This ancient and famous surname, enobled by the Barons de Walden, is of Olde English and Anglo-Saxon 8th century origins. It is a locational surname and originates from one of the places called "Walden" in either the counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, or North Yorkshire. The places in Essex and Herfordshire are recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 authorised by William, The Conqueror, as respectively,"Waledana" and "Waldene". All three places share the same meaning and derivation, which is "the denu (valley) of the wealh " meaning "foreigners". "Wealh" is a word which in Olde English was used in different parts of Britain to denote at various times, Ancient Britons, and later Welsh and sometimes Scots. Today the word, as Wales is most associated with that country. It is curious that the word seems to have been "borrowed" by the invading Anglo-Saxons from Germany, who then referred to the native people as the "foreigners"! Whether foreigners or not, from the medieval period the Walden nameholders have made their mark on the history of Britain. Roger Walden who died in the year1406, was the Secretary to King Richard II, then Lord High Treasurer of England, from 1395 to 1398 and finally Archbishop of Canterbury. Thomas Walden, who died in 1430 was the confessor to King Henry V at the battle of Agincourt in 1415. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Alice de Waledene, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls" of the county of Cambridge. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307.
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