This name LEACH was derived from the Old English word 'leche' a physician. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form LECHE. Bearers of this surname can still be found in Cheshire, since a John Leche acquired lands there through his marriage to the daughter of William de Cardwarden of Carden in the 14th century. Many 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. Early records of the name mention Edmund le Leche who appears in 1273 County Oxford. Robert le Leche, was documented during the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) and Robertus Leche of Yorkshire (taverner) was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. SURNAMES as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people. Later instances of the name include Robert, son of Robert Leach, who was baptised at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in 1576, and Daniel Barker and Mary Leach were married at the same church in the year 1614. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Stoke Climsland, County Cornwall; Nicholas Leache, son of John Leache, Chancellor of the Church of Exeter. Visit Cornwall, 1620.
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