This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational surname for a boat-wright, a boat-builder, "ship-carpenter". The name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "bat", boat, with "wryhta, wyrhta", craftsman, a derivative of "wyrcan", to work, make. The term "wright" was often used as an element in occupational surnames, for makers of machinery or objects, mostly in wood, such as Cartwright and Wainwright. The surname is particularly well recorded in Suffolk, where the name development includes: Elizabeth Bottwrighte (1555), John Botright (1559), Edmond Bothwrighte (1566), Thomas Bottritt (1576), and Richard Botwryghte (1583). The modern surname can be found as Bot(t)wright and Boatwright. The marriage of John Botwright and Johane Cod was recorded at St. Mary's, Bungay, Suffolk, on October 20th 1562, and one Robert Botwright was christened at St. John de Sepulchre, Norwich, on July 22nd 1659. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Botwright, which was dated 1469, in the "Archaeological Records of Suffolk", during the reign of King Edward 1V, known as "The Self-Proclaimed King", 1461 - 1483. 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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