Recorded in a number of spellings including Lapthorn, Lapthorne, Lipthorn, Lipthorp, Lipthorpe, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is locational from a now 'lost' medieval place which may have been called Laptorn or Laptorp, although no such place is known to known to have existed in the past three centuries. The only public memory in the late 20th century would seem to be the surname itself. There are several surviving villages whose name commences 'Lap-' and the meaning is believed to be from the Olde English pre 7th century word 'laeppa' meaning 'an end'.This would give a possible meaning of 'the end of the thorn hedge', such hedges being used as defensive 'walls' in some areas, before the later Norman moats. Another possible meaning is the 'End farm' with torp' meaning an outlying farm, whilst it is just possible that the Olde English pre 7th century personal name Hlappa applies, to give 'Hlappa's farm' or similar. Locational names are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homesteads to settle somewhere else. In this case the name is well recorded in the surviving registers of the city of London from the time of King Charles 1st (1625 - 1649). These recordings include Mabell Lapthorne who married John Smith at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on May 23rd 1630, and Christopher Lipthorp and his wife Catherine, who were witnesses at St Sepulchre Church, in the ancient city of London, on May 3rd 1743.
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