This famous surname is English locational. It derives from one of several villages called 'Whittington', however it is generally accepted that the Gloucester village is the one which has provided the greatest numbers of nameholders. Included in this number is Dick Whittington, three times Lord Mayor of London in 1397, 1406, and 1419. He died in 1423, aged about seventy five, although neither his birthdate nor his actual place of birth have been proven conclusively. Parish church registers were not introduced until at least a century after his death. The Gloucester village is recorded in the 1086 as 'Whitune', and the origination is believed to be tribal, that is to say 'the place (tun) of the 'Hwita' (white) people (ing). This suggests that the 'Hwita' may have been of Anglo-Saxon origins, and as such were of fair hair and complexion, as against their Celtic neighbours, the Olde English, who were usually dark haired and dark complexion. Curiously the first of all known recordings, see below, is from Cornwall, about as far away from a Whittington village as it was possible to be. These early recordings include John de Whytyngton of Leicester in 1327, and Richard Whityngton of Warwick in 1420. Church register recordings include Thomas Whytyngton who married Margar Daniell at the village of Awre with Blakeney, on January 26th 1551, and Richard Whittington, the son of Guy Whittington, christened at Newland, Gloucester, on November 3rd 1561. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter de Wittinton, which was dated 1201, the pleas before the king or the justices, during the reign of King John, known as 'Lackland', 1199 - 1216. 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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