This unusual name derives from the Olde French "brut" or "brute" meaning wild or savage and was originally given as a nickname to a fierce warrior in recognition of his tenacity and physical bravery in battle against the enemy. The surname is frist recorded in the mid 13th Century, (see below). The first recorded namebearer was granted a coat of arms with a black and silver chequered shield divided diagonally with a bend. The bend represented the ancient shoulder belt of the armament and signified defense or protection. The name is well recorded in London Church Registers from the late 16th Century. On May 1st 1575, the marriage of Alice Brute and Henry Donmore took place in St. Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard le Brut. which was dated c.1250, the Heraldic Rolls of Henry III. during the reign of King Henry III - 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.