This is an English medieval surname, but one of French origins. Introduced by the conquering Normans of 1066, it has been claimed to be an occupational surname for the chief of the clerics who attended upon a bishop at religious ceremonies. The derivation is from the French pre 9th century word 'arcediaene'. However as until the time of King Henry V111th (1510 - 1547), all members of the church were celibate and banned by law from marriage, it seems very unlikely that this name was occupational. It is much more likely to have been a nickname. If so it was probably given to the actors who played the part of archdeacons in the religious festivals and travelling theatres which criss-crossed England, visiting most of the major towns and cities such as they were, in those ancient times. Another possibility for the origin but one also a nickname, is that it was given to somebody of excessive religious zeal, a person who was not a member of the church as such, but who was a regular church attender, or possibly given the robust humour of those times, the absolute reverse! What we do know is that this was one of the first 'names' to be recorded anywhere. These recordings include Walter le Ercedekene in the Assize Rolls for the county of Somerset between the years 1267 and 1271, whilst Roger le Archdekne appears in the collected registers of the Duchy of Cornwall in 1297.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • Archdeacon — • The incumbent of an ecclesiastical office dating back to antiquity and up to the fifteenth century of great importance in diocesan administration, particularly in the West Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Archdeacon     Archd …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Archdeacon — ist eine Verwaltungsperson in der anglikanischen Kirche. Siehe: Archidikonat der Nachname des Flugpioniers Ernest Archdeacon Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • archdeacon — [ärch′dē΄kən] n. [ME archedeken < OE arcediacon < LL(Ec) archidiaconus < LGr(Ec) archidiakonos < Gr archos (see ARCH ) + diakonos, servant: see DEACON] a church official ranking just below a bishop or an archpriest: in the Anglican… …   English World dictionary

  • Archdeacon — Arch dea con, n. [AS. arcediacon, archidiacon, L. archidiaconus, fr. Gr. ?. See {Arch }, pref., and {Deacon}.] In England, an ecclesiastical dignitary, next in rank below a bishop, whom he assists, and by whom he is appointed, though with… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • archdeacon — (n.) O.E. arcediacon, from Church L. archidiaconus, from Ecclesiastical Gk. arkhidiakonon chief deacon; see ARCH (Cf. arch ) + DEACON (Cf. deacon) …   Etymology dictionary

  • archdeacon — ► NOUN ▪ a senior Christian cleric to whom a bishop delegates certain responsibilities …   English terms dictionary

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  • archdeacon — archdeaconate, archdeaconship, n. /ahrch dee keuhn/, n. 1. an ecclesiastic, ranking next below a bishop and having charge of the temporal and external administration of a diocese, with jurisdiction delegated from the bishop. 2. Rom. Cath. Ch. a… …   Universalium

  • archdeacon — UK [ɑː(r)tʃˈdiːkən] / US [ɑrtʃˈdɪkən] noun [countable] Word forms archdeacon : singular archdeacon plural archdeacons a priest of a high rank in the Anglican Church whose job is to help a bishop …   English dictionary

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  • archdeacon — [[t]ɑ͟ː(r)tʃdi͟ːkən[/t]] archdeacons N COUNT; N TITLE An archdeacon is a high ranking clergyman who works as an assistant to a bishop, especially in the Anglican church …   English dictionary

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