This is one of the most famous and emotive of all British surnames, forever associated with Lord Kitchener of Kartoum, Secretary for War 1914 - 1916. Like many such famous names, it has very humble origins being a medieval job descriptive for one who worked as a Cook in a Lord's kitchen. The origination is from the medieval English "Kychene", itself a form of the 7th Century old English "Cycene". The surname in its original spelling, first appears in the Pipe Rolls of Somerset, one Nicholas atte Kechene being so recorded in 1327, whilst in the 1379 Poll Tax returns for Yorkshire, Johannes de Kechyn is recorded. The form as Kitchener or Kitchner is rather later Agnis Kitchiner being recorded in 1587 (London) and Abraham Kitchener also of London in 1656. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Kytchenor, which was dated 1472, in the "Friary Rolls of York City", during the reign of King Henry V, known as "The Victor of Agincourt", 1422 - 1485. 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.