This is an English surname, for which there are at least three possible origins. It is recorded in spellings as varied as Whorlow, Warrilow, Warrillow, Warlow, Warlowe, Werrilow, Warlaw and Warlawe. The first possible origin is locational from a now 'lost' ancient British or Welsh village site probably called "Weard-hlaw", and which translates as the look out place. This is from the pre 7th century Olde English words weard, meaning to watch, and hlaw, a hill. Secondly it may be locational from the village of Wardlow in Derbyshire, which is believed to have much the same meaning, whilst thirdly it can be a corruption of the French medieval phrase introduced after the famous conquest of 1066, "Ward-de-Robe". If the latter it is either residential for one who lived by such a place, "The Wardrobe" being an area of London in ancient times and near to the Tower of London, or it may have been an occupational title for the keeper of the monarchs private dressing room in a royal palace, and as such an office of considerable rank and status not dissimilar to that of Steward or Butler. Early examples of the surname recordings taken at random include William Warlaw baptised at St. Dunstans Church, Stepney on November 12th 1651, and Martha Warrillow christened at St. Botolphs without Aldgate, in the city of London, on February 1st 1686. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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