This is an interesting medieval locational name from one of two places called Beswick, one in Lancashire and the other in Yorkshire. The latter is first recorded as 'Baswic' in the 1086 Domesday Book, although the Lancashire village as 'Beswiche' is not found until the charters of 1202, in the reign of King John (1199-1216) It is believed that the first element of the name derives from an Olde English pre 7th Century, personal name "Beac" but it is just as likely to be from "boe" meaning a bee. The second element comes from the Olde English "wic" meaning an outlying farm, and therefore bee farm is quite logical as honey was the only source of sugar then available.The surname was given either to the family of the Lords of the Manor, as seems to be the case with the Bestwycks of Lancashire, or more normally was given as identification after a person moved to another place. The Bestwyckes of Pike House, Lancaster were in circa 1600 granted heraldic arms of a red field charged with three bezants and a fess in chief, all gold, whilst the Bestwicks of Yorkshire had a similar design but of ten bezants, with a gold chief, and thereon a blue lion passant. Examples of the surname recordings include William Bestwicke, who married Isabell Dosone at Prestbury, Cheshire, in 1589, and Roberte Bestwycke, who married Katherine Parkyns by civil licence in London in 1592. In the modern idiom, the name is normally recorded in the spellings of Beswick and Bestwick. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Bexwik of Manchester, which was dated 1332 in the "Lay Subsidy" by J.P. Rylands, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as the Father of the Navy, 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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