This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a locational surname from the place called "Molesworth" now in Cambridgeshire, formerly in what was Huntingdonshire. The placename is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Molesworde", and in 1234 as "Mulesworth", and means "Mul's enclosure". The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Mul", meaning "Mule", with "Worth", meaning "enclosure, settlement", often a subsidiary settlement dependant on a main village. A famous bearer of the name was Richard, third Viscount Molesworth (1680 - 1758) who served in Marlborough's army at Blenheim (1704) and saved his life at Ramillies (1760). He was created Field-Marshall in 1757 after a long and distinguished career in the army. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Molesworthe, which was dated 1273, The Huntingdonshire Hundred Rolls, during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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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