Recorded as Hartwright, Hartright, Hattrick, and others, this uncommon English surname is a variant of the more usual Arkwright. It was an occupational surname for a maker of chests, and widely found in the county of Lancashire. It derives from the Middle English word "arc", meaning a chest or coffer, and is ultimately from the Roman (Latin) "arcere", to shut in or enclose. To this has been added "wrytte", meaning an engineer or craftsman. In northern England the term "ark" was used specifically to describe a meal-chest, and a quotation from the medieval "Tale of a surer" reads "When this corn to the kniht was sold, he did put it in an arc to hold". Early examples of the surname include: John de Arcwryt, mentioned in a Descriptive Catalogue of Derbyshire Charters, dated circa 1272; Thomas the Arkewrytte, noted in the Cheshire Assize Rolls, 1286; and George Arthwright, entered in the register of the Freemen of the City of York in 1454. In 1494, William Hartwright was recorded in the register of Corpus Christi Guild, city of York City, whilst recordings from the city of London include that on May 15th 1609 of Anne Hartright and Thomas Jennings, who were married at St. Gregory's by St. Paul, and on June 21st 1818, Sarah Hattrick married John Edwards at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, also in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert de Arkewright. This was dated 1246, in the Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017