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The by-name and occupational term were common: 1242 ‘Walter the Porter’, Wetherby
1317 Adam le porter, York
1401 Willelmus de Man, portour, York. It usually referred to the carriers or workmen who transported goods on their backs, in what were described as burdens: 1433-4 Et Philippo Simondson porter pro portacione eiusdem calcis, vjd, York
1476 that no sleddman nor other persoune carie by cart, slede nor horse, any thing that belongis to the saide porters to bere, York
1495 That the porters of this Citie ... shall bere from the water of Use unto Trenite Kirk ... iiij byrdens for a peny, York. Less commonly it was the person responsible for a door or gate, as in a walled town. The origin is clear in three references to one man in the period 1322-6: John ad Portam
John le Porter
John Atteyate, Wadworth.