This English surname of POTTLE was an occupational name for a maker of drinking and storage vessels. The name was derived from the Middle English word POT, and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form POTTUS. In the Middle Ages the term covered workers in metal as well as earthenware and clay. It was in the cities and large towns that the various workers in metal of one kind or another developed. Protected and matured by the craft guilds they formed in the Middle Ages, they rose in rank above the peasants in the country districts. They were considered to be highly skilled craftsmen. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. Other spellings of the name include POTEL, POTELLE, POUTHIER, POTTIER, POTTER, POTT and POTTS. Early records of the name include Richard POTEL, who was recorded in County Buckinghamshire in the year 1273, and Nicholas POTELLE, was recorded during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. A later instance of the name includes Thomas POTTLE and Jane Simmons, who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1779.
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