Recorded as Layton, Laytoun, Leaton, Leighton, Leyton, and Leaton, this is a famous surname of English or sometimes Scottish, origins. It is locational from either Leaton, a village near Shrewsbury in Shropshire, or one of the various villages called Leighton in the counties of Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Huntingdon, Shropshire or Laytoun in Scotland. All derive from the pre 7th century word 'leac' meaning a leek, and describe leek farms. From medieval times the name holders have made their mark, with Richard Leighton being knighted by King Edward 11nd of England in 1313, whilst in 1330 Randolph de Leighton was similarly rewarded by King Edward 111rd.Other early recordings include Roger de Leyton in the Hundred Rolls of Huntingdon in 1276, and William de Leton who appears in the Cheshire Rolls of 1287. The surname was early into Scotland,with Henry Leghton being bishop of Aberdeen in 1440. Frederick Leighton RA was the first Baron Leighton of Stretton, (1830-1896). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Lecton. This was dated 1201, in the Pipe Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King John, 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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