This interesting name originated from the Old French "baron", "barun" baron, possibly denoting a person of title or rank, but more often was a nickname for a peasant who had ideas above his station. However "baron" in Scotland denoted a member of a class of minor landowners who had a certain degree of jurisdiction over the local populace, and the title was also awarded to certain freemen of the cities of London and York, who were homages to the King and also, of the Cinque Ports who had the feudal service of bearing the canopy over the head of the sovereign on the day of coronation. Finally the surname may come from the Old French personal name "Baro" or else referred to someone who served in a baronial household. One Osbert le Barun was recorded in the Close Rolls in 1274, while the Hundred Rolls of Devonshire list Richard le Baron in 1273. Interesting namebearers include Hugh Barron and his brother William Angustus a landscape painter and held a position in exchequer, 1777. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gervase Baronn, London Personal Names, which was dated 1250 - 1256, in the Early London Personal Names, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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.