There are some very interesting surnames and this is one of them! In our opinion the surname is in a sense 'job descriptive'. It definitely derives from an Olde English pre 7th century word 'wrenc', and this word always translates as 'trick'or 'wile'. It was probably applied to a magician, one who performed acts of magic, and probably in the popular travelling theatres of those early times. However 'The middle ages' were also a period when robust humour was at its peak, and people were often given 'nicknames' which would not be acceptable by modern standards. It is therefore possible that the original meaning was 'a bit of a lad'. Many of these surnames are to be found in the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, although 'Wrench' as far as we know is not one of them. What is also interesting is that the name has retained its original spelling over the many centuries, although it is sometimes recorded as 'Wrinch'. Early recordings include Edwin Wrench in the Norfolk county pipe rolls of the year 1199 in the reign of King John, which John Wrench is recorded in the register of Cambridge University for the year 1585. A coat of arms was granted to the Wrench family of the Isle of Ely in Cambridgeshire in 1588. This has the blazon of a red field, charged with three gold cross crosslets in bend. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alnodus Wrench, which was dated 1176, in the pipe rolls of the county of Devon, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as 'The church builder', 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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