Recorded as Walpole, Waple, Wapple, Wapol, Waples, Wapples and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is locational from either of two places called Walpole in the East Anglian counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. The place in Suffolk was recorded as Walepola in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, whilst that in Norfolk was recorded as "Walepol" in the register of charters known as the Codex Diplomaticus aevi Saxonici in the year 1050. Walpole in Suffolk means the "pool of the Britons", whilst that in Norfolk probably means a pool surrounded by a wall. The surname first appears in records in the late 12th Century (see below), and other early recordings include William Wagepole in the Curia Regis Rolls of Suffolk in 1206, and Thomas Waghepol in the Assize Court Rolls of the borough of Leicester in 1271. On June 27th 1557 Hillary Wapolle married Joane Garret at St. Peter, Cornhill, London, whilst Joanna Waple married Joannes Fletcher on June 4th 1592 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster. Sir Robert Walpole (1676 - 1745) was not only the first Earl of Oxford, but he was the first prime minster of Great Britain. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Everard Wagepole. This was dated 1169, in the Pipe Rolls of Wiltshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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