The surname Harper is English and Scottish in origin. It was an occupational name for a player of the harp, it is derived from the Old English ‘hearp’. The harper was one of the most important figures of a medieval baronial hall, especially in Scotland and Northern England, and the office of harper was sometimes hereditary. In medieval times fairs and festivals were picturesque and animated scenes which attracted entertainers, jugglers, and carnival men of all kinds to cater to the pleasure-seekers. The most important of those who played a musical instrument was the Harper, who played the harp or other stringed instrument. Some harpers did so well as to be able to employ a servant to carry their instrument. The wide distrubution of the name attests to the popularity and standing of the harp player. The person who made his living by playing at fair and festival would recieve this nickname and with time it would become a surname. Names which are derived from the same source are Fidler,Tabor,Crowther, and Piper. Sometimes these names represent an official position, being musical performers in the pay of royalty or the greater lords. The name dates back to the eleventh cent… Coat of arms: Argent a lion …
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