The surname of WIDDOP was an official name 'the wardrober' the keeper of the wardrobe, one who was in charged of the garments worn by a feudal lord and his household. 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. Early records of the name mention Thomas de la WADUP who was recorded in County Cambridge in the year 1273. John atte WARDEROBE, was recorded during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). William WARDRUP of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Surnames before the Norman Conquest of 1066 were rare in England having been brought by the Normans when William the Conqueror invaded the shores. The practice spread to Scotland and Ireland by the 12th century, and in Wales they appeared as late as the 16th century. Most surnames can be traced to one of four sources, locational, from the occupation of the original bearer, nicknames or simply font names based on the first name of the parent being given as the second name to their child. The name has many variant spellings which include WARDROP, WARDROPER, WARDRUPP and WADDOUP. Later instances of the name mention Thomas WIDDOP, who was buried at St. Thomas The Apostle, London in the year 1570, and Walter WARDOP of County York, registered at Oxford University in the year 1574. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France.
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