This name, with variant spelling Hasty, is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "hasti", a derivative of the Old French "hastif" meaning speedy or quick, and was originally given as a nickname to a brisk or impetuous person. The surname was first recorded at the beginning of the 13th Century (see below). In 1221, one Richard Hasty, appeared as a witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Warwickshire, and a Richard le Hastie was recorded in the Court Rolls of Lancaster, dated 1326. In 1376, Robert and John Hasty, tenants in Herthornhill, were entered in the Ancient Charters of the Earldom of Morton, Scotland, and in 1478, Thom Hasti "witnessed an instrument of sasine". James Hastie (1786 - 1826) was a civil agent of Great Britain in Madagascar, who served in the ranks during the Mahratta war, and negotiated a treaty with Radama 1 of Madagascar during the period (1817 - 1826). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Hastif, which was dated 1202, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Wiltshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216, 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.