This unusual and interesting surname is derived from the given name Saul, itself coming from the Hebrew Shaul, meaning "Asked-for (child)", the name of the King of Israel whose story is recounted in the first book of Samuel. In spite of his success in uniting Israela and his military prowess, Saul had a troubled reign, not least because of his long conflict with the young David, who eventually succeeded him. Perhaps for this reason, the given name was not particularly common in medieval times, hence the surname too is comparatively rare. The surname dates back to the mid 13th Century (see below). Further recordings include one John Saude (1296), "The Subsidy Rolls of Sussex". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Saull, Sawl, etc.. One Leonard Saull married Margery Martin at St. Bartholomew the Less, London in 1580, and John, son of William and Mary Saul, was christened at St. Mary in the Fields, Westminster on October 5th 1685. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Saule, which was dated 1255, in the "Cartularium monasterii de Rameseia, Huntingdonshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman, 1216 - 1292. 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.