There are three possible origins for this unusual surname which is recorded in spellings as varied as Whorlow, Warrilow, Warlow, Warlowe, Werrilow, Warlaw and Warlawe. The first is locational from either a now lost ancient British (Welsh) site which translates as "The Watch or look out" (weard) plus (hlaw) hill or the village of Wardlow in Derbyshire, or the name is a corruption of the French medieval "Ward-de-Robe" an occupational title for the keeper of the knight or a high nobles chamber, and an office of considerable rank in ancient times.As a derivation of "Ward-de robe", this could also be habitational for one who lived at "The Wardrobe" - once an area of London near to the tower. Examples of the name include William Warlaw baptised at St. Dunstans Church, Stepney on November 12th 1651, and Martha Warrillow christened at St. Botolphs without Aldgate, London on February 1st. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joane Warlowe, which was dated January 15th 1576, married Robert Gryffine at St. Giles Cripplegate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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