The surname of WARDROBE was an official name 'the wardrober' the keeper of the wardrobe. The name was derived from the Old French Warderobe, and was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest. It was a name given to one with a somewhat high official position, since the wardrobe was not just a repository for articles of dress, but for furniture not actually in use, and for foreign spices and confections. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. The name was in Scotland early and Robertus de Warderob, witnessed a charter by Margeret, the countess of Buchan in 1210. John de Wardropa laid claim to certain lands in Kilpatrick, Dumbartonshire about 1270, and David de la Garderobe of Fife was recorded in 1296. Other records of the name mention Thomas de la Wardrobe, County Cambridge, 1273. John atte Warderobe, was recorded during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Thomas Vardrop acquired a fourth part of the lands of Thenstone in 1450, and Alexander Wardroper witnessed a charter of some lands in Scone in 1491. Archbald Vedderop was the bailie of Glasgow in 1525, and Thomas Wedderop and James Wedderop were jurors on an assize of lands in Gowane in 1527. Thomas Wardropper of Ballatheis, granted a charter in favour of John Montcreiff in 1531, and William Wadrope was burgess of Glasgow in 1608. Most of the European surnames 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.
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