This name is of English locational origin from any of the various places so called in Cheshire and Lancashire which get their name from an ancient British word meaning "church" reflected in the Welsh "eglwys", plus the old English "tun", an enclosure or settlement. Eccleston in Cheshire was first recorded as Eclestone in the Domesday Book of 1086, whereas, a parish of the name near Chorley, Lancashire, appeared as Aycleton in the 1094 Lancashire Pipe Rolls. The surname was first recorded in the mid 13th Century (see below). In 1332 one, Henry de Eccliston of Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire was noted in the Lay Subsidy Rolls of that county, and in 1593 Henry Eccleston of Wrightington was recorded in the Wills Records at Chester. Thomas Eccleston (1659 - 1643), jesuit, was captain in James 11's army after 1688; missioner in Yorkshire, and chaplain to Lord Petre. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Eccleston, (a Franciscan), which was dated 1250, in the "Oxford University Register", 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.