This interesting surname of Anglo-Saxon origin, with variant spellings Blackmoor, Blakemore, and Blackmore, is a locational name from any of the various places called Blackmore in Essex, Wiltshire and Worcestershire, as well as Blackmoor in Dorset, derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "bloec" meaning "black, dark", plus "mor", hill. Blackmore in Hertfordshire, and Blackmoor in Hampshire, the early forms of which are "Blachmere" and "Blakemere", derive from the Olde English "bloec", plus "mere" meaning "lake". The surname dates back to the late 13th Century (see below), and further recordings include one William de Blachomore (1381) in the Feet of Fines for Norwich. Recordings from English Church Registers include the christening of Joan Blackmore on April 24th 1543, in East Hanningfield, Essex, and the marriage of John Blackmore and Elizabeth Michael on January 25th 1579, at St. Matthew's, Friday Street, London. One Richard Doddridge Blackmore (1825 - 1900) was a novelist and barrister. He was educated at Blundells school, Tiverton, and Exeter College Oxford, he received an M.A. in 1852, was called to the Bar at Middle Temple in 1852. He wrote many famous novels including "Clara Vaughan" in 1864, "Cradock Nowell" in 1866, "Lorna Doone" in 1869, and twelve others. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Blakemore, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", 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.