The English form of the name arises in the 15th century, via import from the Low Countries. The native English (Anglo-Saxon) form of the name was Deoric or Deodric, from Old English Þēodrīc, but this name had fallen out of use in the medieval period. During the Late Middle Ages, there was intense contact between the territories adjacent to the North Sea, in particular due to the activities of the Hanseatic League. As a result, there was a lot of cross-pollination between Low German, Dutch, English, Danish and Norwegian. The given name Derk is found in records of the Low Countries from the early 14th century, and in the spelling Derck becomes rather common in name lists compiled in the Habsburg Netherlands during the early 16th century. An early bearer of the name Derek was lord of Keppel, Gelderland, in the early 14th century. A Derek van Keppel, lord of Verwoelde, died in 1495 and was succeeded by his eldest son, also called Derek van Keppel. A later Derek van Keppel died in 1646, succeeded by Asewolt van Keppel, the father of Arnold van Keppel, who in 1688 was created Earl of Albemarle in the Peerage of England.
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