This surname of RENAUT was descendant of Reginald or Regenweald (counsel, govern). The name was derived from the Old French REINOLD, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conquerer. It is known as the Domesday Book. Early records of the name mention Willemus filius Raunaldi who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. Reinaldus Camerarius of the County of Suffolk in 1121-1148.
William filius Reynaud was documented in County Cornwall in 1273. Walter Reynolds (d.1327) was the English prelate, the son of a Windsor baker. He was made treasurer by Edward II (1307) and bishop of Worcester in 1308. He became chancellor in 1310, and the archbishop of Canterbury in 1314, despite the opposition of monks. He later crowned Edward III in 1307.
Rainaldus filius Willelmi was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Reginald Reynold of Reading, registered at Oxford University in the year 1566. Robert Reygnoldes and Jane Watts were married in London in the year of 1617.
A notable bearer of the name was Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) who was the English portrait painter, the first President of the Royal Acadamy, where he delivered his 'Discourses'.
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