This picturesque surname has two distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. In the first instance, Flowers may have originated as a patronymic form of the medieval nickname "Flo(u)r" from the Middle English "flor" via the Old French "flur", a flower. This was a conventional term of endearment in medieval romantic poetry, and as early as the 13th Century it was also regularly found as a female given name. "Flur" and "Flour" (without surname) occur in Records of Cornwall, dated 1297. The surname may also derive from an occupational name for a maker of arrows. The derivation, in this case, is from the Middle English "flo", a development of the Olde English pre 7th Century "fla", arrow, with the addition of the agent suffix "er" (one who does, works with). A quotation from Chaucer's "Manciple's Tale" reads, "His bowe he bent, and set therein a flo". Early examples of the surname include: William Flur, also, Johanna Floure and Matilda Flowre (Yorkshire, 1203 and 1379, respectively). On November 5th 1609, John Flowers and Elizabeth Langman were married at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. Frederick Flowers was a magistrate at Bow Street, 1864 - 1886, and his brother George French Flowers (1811 - 1872), the renowned musical composer, published an "Essay on the Construction of Fugue", 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Floer, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Devonshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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