This long-established name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may be either a locational or a topographical surname. As a locational name, it derives from any one of the places in England which are named with the Olde English pre 7th Century "east", east, and "cot(e)", cottage, shelter, especially one for animals, usually sheep. These places include Eastcott (Middlesex and Wiltshire); Eastcotts (Bedfordshire); Eastcourt (Wiltshire); and Escot (Devonshire). Early recordings of these placenames are in such forms as "Estcote" (1200); "Escot" (1490); "Escote" (901); and "Estcot" (1227). The first recording of the surname, below, is from Eastcotts in Bedfordshire, and one Richard de Estcott appears in the Wiltshire Hundred Rolls of 1275. As a topographical surname, Escott and its variant forms Eastcott, Eastcourt, Estcourt and Escot, denote residence "at the east cottage", from the Olde English "east cot(e)", as before. Among the recordings of the name from Church Registers are those of the marriage of John Escott and Elyzabeth Rolf at Feniton, Devonshire, on November 7th 1557, an the christening of Alicia, daughter of John Escott, on April 10th 1588, at Romford in Essex. The family Coat of Arms depicts six silver escallops, three, two and one, on a black shield; the Crest is a red ostrich, in its beak a gold horseshoe. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gundwinus de Estcota, which was dated 1190, in the "Pipe Rolls of Bedfordshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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.