The surname of WORTHY was a locational name 'of Worth' places in Cheshire and Devon. The name was also occasionally used as a personal name 'the son of Worthe' meaning a man who was worthy and true. It was also a name for 'one who resided or was employed at an outlying farm'. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. The name is also spelt WORTHE, and WORTH. Early records of the name mention William de la Worthe, 1273, County Somerset. Phillip atte Worthe of Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward I (1273-1307). Edward de la Worthe of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and Henry Worthe appears in County Lancashire in the year 1400. Anthony Worth of County Warwickshire, registered at Oxford University in 1581. William Worth and Elizabeth Dalling were married in London in the year 1672. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. A notable member of the name was Charles Frederick WORTH (1825-95) the Anglo-French costumier, born in Bourn, Lincolnshire. He went to Paris in 1846 and achieved such success as a fashion designer that he gained the patronage of Empress Eugenie. His establishment in the Rue de la Paix became the centre of the fashion world.
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