Micklethwait Meaning, Origin & Etymology
The Micklethwait/Micklethwaite name is locational, from the township of the same name in the parish of Bingley in York. It is of Scandinavian origin and Harrison claims in his ‘Surnames of the United Kingdom…’, published in 1912, that it means ‘the big clearing’, derived from the Old Norse words ‘mikill’ (big) and ‘þueit’ (a clearing). Arthur’s ‘An Etymological Dictionary’ (1857) agrees, adding that ‘Mickle’ comes from the Saxon ‘Muchel’ and Scottish ‘Muckle’ (big) and ‘Thwaite’ comes from the Anglo Saxon ‘thweotan’ (to cut). The name arrived in England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 and is first found in Yorkshire where the Micklethwaits were reportedly descended from the Norman house of Buron. One Erneis de Buron is recorded as holding the lands of Micklethwaite/Muceltuit in the ‘Domesday Book’ of 1086.
Spelling variations are extremely common in names of Norman origin. An influx of languages at the time led to a largely phonetic spelling system. Variations of the name which are likely to share the same origin include Muclewaite, Micklethwaite, Micklethwayt, Muclethwait, Mickelthwate, Mekkclhawayth, Mekkelwayth, Mickilwayte and Muclethwayte.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
Some 191 people bear the name Micklethwait, making it the 880,783rd most popular surname in the world. 113 of these reside in England, where 1 in every 477,876 people is a Micklethwait. Some 881 people bear the name Micklethwaite, making it the 327,246th most popular in the world. 629 of these reside in England, where one in every 85,851 people is a Micklethwaite. It is reportedly the 6,513th most popular surname in Great Britain.
The 1379 ‘Poll Tax of Yorkshire’ lists an Adam da Mekkclhawayth, a Magota Mekkelwayth, a Johanna de Mickilwayte and a William de Mickilwayte. A ‘Register of the University of Oxford’ of 1615 records a Paul Muclethwait. The town of Canterbury saw marriages between Nathaniel Micklethwaite and Sarah Sutton in 1601, and between Joseph Micklethwait and Frances Johnson in 1690.
The Micklethwait family motto is ‘favente numine regina servatur’ which translates as ‘by the favour of the Deity the Queen is preserved’. ‘Elvin’s Mottoes Revised’ states it was assumed by Sir S. B. P. Micklethwait when he was created a baronet for an ‘important personal service rendered by him to Her Majesty and the Dutchess of Kent’ in 1832. The Micklethwayt family motto is ‘favente numine’ which means ‘by the favour of providence’. The Micklethwaite family motto is ‘in cælo spes mea est’ which means ‘my hope is in heaven’. The Micklethwayte family motto is ‘usus rectumque’ which means ‘custom and right’.
History, Genealogy & Ancestry
Burke’s ‘History of the Landed Gentry’ discusses three branches of the Micklethwait name: Micklethwait of Taverham Hall and Iridge Place, Micklethwait of Ardsley and Micklethwait of Penhein. Of Micklethwait of Taverham Hall, he states that one John Micklethwait, Esquire of Beeston, Norfolk and Maresfield, Sussex, was born in 1719. He was 6th in descent from Sir William Micklethwait, ancestor of the Viscounts Micklethwait, who inherited the Taverham estate from Reverend John Nathaniel Micklethwait. John (Esquire of Beeston) married Elizabeth, heir of William Peckham Esquire of Iridge, Sussex in 1756 and they had the following issue: John and Nathaniel. Their son Nathaniel Micklethwait, Esquire of Beeston, was born in 1760 and married Sarah Branthwait (heir of Miles Branthwait, Esquire of Taverham) in 1782. They had two sons, Nathaniel and Sir Sotherton Branthwayt. Their son Nathaniel Micklethwait, Esquire of Taverham Hall, was a High Sheriff and his second marriage was to Lady Charlotte Rous in 1810. They had the following issue: John Nathaniel, Henry Sharnborne Nathaniel, Frederick Nathaniel, George Nathaniel, William Nathaniel, Sarah, Charlotte, Laura, Emily, Adeline, Gertrude and Maria Diana. Their son Henry Sharnborne Nathaniel, Esquire of Taverham Hall, Norfolk and Iridge Place, Sussex, was born in 1814 and became a Royal Navy Commander. He took over his brother’s estate upon his death in 1877.
Of Micklethwait of Ardsley, Burke states that this ancient Saxon family held a seat in Barnsley in York for many hundreds of years. Their first residence was Micklethwait in Ingbirchworth parish of Penistone, where they had lived since before 1272. The oldest branch moved to Ardsley in 1655 and another attained an Irish Peerage as Viscount Micklethwait. One John Micklethwait, Esquire of Ingbirchworth and of Ardsley, married Catherine, daughter of William Greaves of Hoalden in 1697 and had 5 children: Richard, Benjamin, John, Ruth and Margaret. Their second son Benjamin Micklethwait, Esquire of Ingbirchworth and Ardsley, was born in 1659 and married Anne (daughter of George Milner, Esquire of Burton Grange and Rockley Old Hall) in 1694. They had the following issue: Richard, John, Benjamin, Jonas, Katherine, Ruth and Douglas. Their son Richard Micklethwait, Esquire of Ingbirchworth and Ardsley, was born in 1699 and married Anna (daughter of Thomas Wilkinson, Esquire of Leeds and London) in 1725. They had the following issue: John (Mayor of Leeds and London), Richard and Anne. Their son Richard Micklethwait, Esquire of Ardsley, was born in 1727 and built the new house at Ardsley. He married Mary, daughter of Richard Raywood, Esquire, in 1753 and they had the following issue: Richard, John, Benjamin, Thomas and Eleanor. Their son Richard Micklethwait, Esquire of Ardsley House, was born in 1756 and married Elizabeth (daughter of John Pollard, Esquire of New Scutton Grange, Howeforth) in 1786. They had the following issue: Richard, John, Martha and Anna. Their son John Micklethwait, Esquire of Ardsley House and Thornville, York and Lord of the Manor of Ardsley, was born in 1795 and married Mary Anne (daughter of Miles Atkinson, Esquire) in 1825. They had the following issue: Richard, John Pollard, Benjamin, Elizabeth Catherine, Marian Augusta, Edith Marcia and Emily Caroline Matilda. Their first son Richard Micklethwait, Esquire of Ardsley and Thornville, was born in 1830 and married Frances Eleanor (daughter of Reverend S. Key of Fulford Hall) in 1866. They had the following issue: Richard Key, John Leonard, George Whittey, Laura and Eleanor Frances.
John and Mary Anne’s second son John Pollard Micklethwait, Esquire of Penhein was born in 1836 and became a barrister of the Middle Temple. He married Mary (daughter of Frederic Gore Esquire, grandson of William Gore, Bishop of Limerick, grandson of Sir William Gore, 3rd baronet of Manor Gore and one of the Privy Council to King Charles II) in 1865 and had the following issue: St. John Gore, Mary Frances Gore, Edith Mabel Gore, Maud Gore and Gertrude Gore.
One W. Mucklethwait is recorded as settling in Barbados in 1722.
We have four coats of arms for the Micklethwait surname depicted here, as well as two for Micklethwayt/Micklethwaite. Five of these blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1884. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical information about where the coat of arms was found and who bore it. One of the blazons is listed in Joseph Foster’s book ‘Grantees of Arms Named in Docquets and Patents to the End of the Seventeenth Century’, which was published in 1915. The coat of arms was awarded to Elias Micklethwayt in 1626.
Notable people through history who have borne the name Micklethwait include, but are not limited to, the following: Frank William ‘F.W.’ Micklethwaite (1849 – 1945) a Canadian photographer who documented Ontario’s history around the turn of the 20th century; Frances Mary Gore Micklethwait (1867 – 1950), an English chemist who received an MBE for her secret work during the First World War; and Richard John Micklethwait CBE (1962 – present), an English journalist who has been editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News since 2015.