This interesting name has two possible origins. The first and most likely being, a nickname for a powerful, heavily built man, deriving from the Medieval English "stout" itself coming from the Olde French "estout", meaning "stout" or "bold". The surname from this source is first recorded at the end of the 12th Century, (see below). In the 1219 "Assize Court Rolls of Lincolshire", the following forms of the name appear Stutte, Stute, Le Estut and Stut. One, Adam Stout is recorded in the 1373 "Court Rolls of the Borough of Colchester". A second distinct possibility is that the name derives from the Olde English element "stut" meaning a rounded hill and given to one dwelling by this natural feature. One, Henry atte Stoute is recorded in Yarcombe, Devon in 1330. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osbert Shute. which was dated 1190, in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire. 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.