1) Occupational by-name for a wood-carver.
The infrequency of ‘Carver’ as a by-name in Yorkshire, even in such a great ecclesiastical centre as York, suggests that wood-carving was not well established in the county in the Middle Ages. Indeed, it is not until the fifteenth century that we have evidence of a major craft centre there and the article by Canon Purvis on wood-carving in Ripon is therefore of major importance: the fabric rolls for Ripon are evidence that ‘Carver’ had not finally stabilised as a surname even in the early 1500s but was still an occupational by-name: c.1520 Wmo Carver framyng panelles et carvyng by hynde the hy alter per 5˝ dies, 2s 9d. Xpofer Carver secum per 5˝ dies, 2s 9d. What Canon Purvis also showed is that the first appearance of the word in Ripon was 1453 when Richard Carver was working on the organ screen. There will have been wood-carving in earlier centuries, of course, across the county, but the specialist nature of the occupation may be masked by Latin ‘carpentarius’.