There are many medieval occupations which gave rise to hereditary surnames, but perhaps none so strange as 'warrocking'. This was a system of scaffolding by which wedges called 'warrocks' were driven into the lashings to tighten up the scaffold. Although the 'warrock' formed only a small part of the scaffold, it is now generally accepted that the surname was a metonymic which applied to the whole structure. The accounts of Westminster Abbey for 1324 refer to the purchase of 'six pieces of timber for warrokis for binding the scaffolds'. The surname has developed many spelling forms including Warrick, Warrack, Walliker, Warricker, Warracker, and Warwicker. The origin is probably Anglo-Saxon, but maybe Olde English pre 7th century. The name as can be seen is often confused with Warwick, and hence the city of the same name, however there is also a village called Warwick in Cumberland which has also provided nameholders, particularly in Southern Scotland. Examples of the surname recording include Rober Warrack in the Assize Rolls of Essex in 1285, Hubert Waricer at the French Huguenot church, Threadneedle Street, London, on June 3rd 1604, whilst on July 26th 1627, Isaac Warwicker was recorded at the church of St Nicholas, Colchester, Essex. In so far as the name has an epicentre, East Anglia and specifically Essex would seem to be the region. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Warrock, which was dated 1271, the pleas of the forest of Epping, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as '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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