This is a medieval English surname. It is occupational and does describer one who wrote. It originates from the pre 7th century Olde English word 'writere' which translates as a copier of manuscripts, a very important occupation in the days before the introduction of printing from about 1480. As if suspecting that they were about to be upstaged, in 1422 the writers of London formed two separate craft guilds, which guaranteed a flow of work to the particular skills, since these could only be carrried out by guild members. The first related to the writers of the ordinary book-hand called "text scriveyns" and the second to the writers of the court-hands, which was the old manner of writing used in all official records, charters, and documents. Amongst the early holders of the surname and a highly controversial figure of the time, was Clement Writer (1627 - 1658). He was described by his contempories as being an "anti-scripturist", at a time when during the rise of Puritanism lead by the arch defender of the faith Oliver Cromwell, to challenge the teachings in the bible, was to challenge the state itself. His early death, was in the circumstances, not entirely unexpected! The first recording of the family name is probably that of Adam le Wrytar. This was dated 1275, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Worcestershire, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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