This unusual name is of French Huguenot origin and was introduced into England during the 16th Century by the French Huguenot refugees who emigrated in great numbers to escape religious persecution in their own country. The surname can be either topographical or derived from a nickname, from a diminutive form of "brize", love-grass, a plant known as "amourette" in France. The name would therefore denote residence by a noticeable patch of "brize", which is a meadow and wood-growing plant, or have been bestowed as an affectionate byname, such as "Lily", "Poppy" or "Pansy" in England. Hugh Brizell married Anne Haye in London on the December 29th 1653, and Elizabeth Brizenal was christened at the Threadneedle Street French Huguenot Church on August 30th 1693. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Phylyppe Bryssyll (marriage to Joan Watson), which was dated 1st February 1560, St. Dionis Backchurch, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.