This interesting surname with variant spellings Leopard, Leppard, Leperd, Lippard, etc., is either a nickname for a stealthy person, or a house name for someone who lived in a house distinguished by the sign of a leopard, deriving from the Middle English, Old French "lepard" meaning "leopard", from the late Latin Leopardus, a compound of "leo" meaning "lion" plus "pardus" panther. The surname dates back to the late 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include William Lepard (1296), the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", and John Lyppard (1327), the "Subsidy Rolls of Essex". Edward Leoparde married Maryan Bysliege on February 8th 1579 at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. Tassell Leopard was christened on June 29th 1580 at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London and An Leoparde married Robert Tyttes on December 18th 1608 at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, London. William Leopard married Frances Ayry at St. James, Dukes Place, London on April 1st 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Lyppard, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.