Recorded in the spellings of Boatright, Boatwright, and Botright, this is an English medieval occupational surname. It does describe a boat builder, and originates from the pre 7th century words 'bot wyrhta', the latter word, the modern 'wright', meaning joiner or carpenter, and later engineer or builder. 'Boatwright' in its various spellings, and as a surname, was only originally recorded in the county of Suffolk, an area much associated with fishing and boat building. It was also part of East Anglia, a region which in some ways had a separate development from much of the English 'mainland', as for many centuries it was largely cut off by the low lying area of lakes and marshlands known as 'The fen country'. This surname is first recorded in the charters of the county of Suffolk in the year 1469 when one Jon Botright is given as owning land in Ipswich area. The name is found in the early surviving church registers, an example being Elizabeth Boatwright of the village of Walsham le Willows, who married John Hamont there on October 19th 1630. The surname is very late into London, not being recorded there until May 23rd 1779, when Samuel Boatright married Ann Hiller at St Georges Chapel, Hanover Square. Another early London recording is that of John Boatwright who married Johanna Moore at the famous church of St Mary le Bone, Marylebone, on May 1st 1794. This was in the first year of the Napoleonic Wars, which ended twenty one years later in 1815, at the battle of Waterloo.
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