About the Author: James Knox was born in Hood River, Oregon. He attended the University of Washington where in 1949 he received his BA in Far Eastern Studies, and his MS in Librarianship in 1967. He is the former Curator for the United States and British History, Stanford University Library. This paper was first published in "Scar(o)rough/Ha(y)worth Events" in August of 1999, and reprinted here with the permission of Mr. Knox. Mr. Knox was a presenter at the 300 year celebration in 1999. Editor, Ron Haworth
The surname HAWORTH [HEYWORTH, HEAWORTH, HAYWORTH, HOWORTH, etc] derives from places of that name in:
(1) The village of Haworth in the Parish of Bradford, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
(2) The place called Haworth in the Parish of Rochdale, Salford Hundred, in Lancashire.
Speaking of Haworth in the West Riding of Yorkshire, A. H. Smith notes that the name most likely comes from the Old English term denoting an enclosure made with a hedge. [The Places-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Part III. Morely Wapentake, page 261]. And Smith notes that F. W. Moorman, in The Place-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire, confuses the forms Haworth and Hainsworth.
Unfortunately, the English Place-Name Society has never produced a volume, or volumes, on Lancashire, and Ekwall's derivation, in The Places-Names of Lancashire, is unsatisfactory. I believe it is almost certainly the case that the place named Haworth in Lancashire has the same origin as the place in the West Riding of Yorkshire, i.e. from the Old English for an enclosure with a hedge.
The village of Haworth in the West Riding is of course well known from its association with the Bronte sisters, whose father was the curate there, and while it is true that there are Haworth families whose name is derived from the village in Yorkshire, I believe that it is to the Haworth in Lancashire that we must look for our origins.
The place named Haworth (later Howarth or Howorth) in the ancient township of Hundersfield, in Rochdale Parish, Salford Hundred, has no such notable connections as the Bronte family, but it seems highly probable that it was from this place that most, if not indeed all, of the Lancashire Haworth families ultimately stem. From the Rochdale area they spread north and northwest into Blackburn Hundred, just to the north of Salford Hundred, in the parishes of Whalley and Blackburn, and in particular to the areas in and around the Forest of Rossendale. There were Haworth families in the vicinity of Musbury Park as early as 1322, when they were accused, along with some others, of stealing the king's deer.
There are a number of references, from the 13th century on, to the place called HAWORTH in Salford Hundred and to various persons who were designated as of or from that place. The land called HAWORTH was in the township of Wuerdle & Wardle (formerly a part of the old township of Hundersfield) and two oxgangs in Haworth were part of a grant by Henry de Wardle to Stanlaw Abbey in the 13th century. [VCH Lancashire, V:224, citing the Coucher Book of Whalley [WhC] 157-58, where it is given thus: "duabus bouatis terre in Hawort."] The spelling HAWORD, for the place and those individuals who were designated as of or from that place, is the one typically given in the original Latin text of The Coucher Book of Whalley.
In a footnote to The Coucher Book of Whalley, page 601, it says that the surname HAWORTH was anciently written HAUWYRE, for HAUWRTHE or HAUOORTHE, the letter "W" for OO and the letter "Y" for TH. There are a number of instances of the name in the 13th century charters and grants, e.g. HENRY de HAWORD, ALEX de HAWORD, RICHARD de HAWORD, WILLO de HAWORD, WILLO filio PETRI clerici de HAWORD, HENR filio WILLMO de HAWORD, etc. In his introduction to The Coucher Book of Whalley, W. A. Hulton notes the connection of local families and says that of 41 grants to Stanlaw Abbey in the township of Whitworth, 26 were witnessed by Geoffrey de Buckley and 23 by either WILLIAM or HENRY de HAWORD. Of the 56 grants in Spotland, 32 were witnessed by Geoffrey de Buckley and 28 by a HAWORD. Spotland and Whitworth were in the Parish of Rochdale, Salford Hundred. [Introduction to The Coucher Book of Whalley, I:vi.]
Other early instances include:
In 30-31 Henry III [1245 - 1247] GEOFFREY de HAWURTH and others were suspected of larcency and absconded and hence outlawed. [A Calendar of Lancashire Assize Rolls...Part I.]
In 1281 Geoffrey de Buckley gave to Adam de Hulton for life all of his lands in Buckely, together with an eight part of the mill... In 1296 he gave a third part of three-fourths of Buckley Mill to Michael de la Shaw. The grants to Adam de Hulton included the services of HENRY de HAWORTH and others for lands in Hundersfield and Castleton. [VCH Lancs., V:226)
In 1290 John son of Hugh de Balderstone released to the monks of Stanlaw Abbey his rights in the services of RICHARD son of ANDREW de HAWORTH/ [ VCH Lancs., V:204, citing Whc, page 723, where the spelling is given as HAWORD. Balderstone was in Castleton in the Parish of Rochdale. Sometime in the late 13th century in Chadwick Robert son of Adam de Spotland gave to HENRY son of PETER de HAWORTH as much land within the bounds of Chadwick as pertained to 2 oxgangs of land...[VCH Lancs., V:208, citing Whc, page 796, where it is given as HENRICO filio PETRI de HAWORD.] Chadwick was in Spotland, some way southwest of Haworth.
By a charter dated at Haworth 12 Edward II  John the son of Adam de Chaderton granted to HENRY de HAWORTH and JOHANNA his wife all his lands in Haworth and Todmorden, which had been the dower of SUE, the mother of HENRY de HAWORTH. This property consisted of Buckley Mill and lands in Haworth and Hyngchefeld [Inchfield] with remainders to their children WILLIAM, ROBERT, THOMAS and CECILY de HAWORTH. [Fishwick, History of the Parish of Rochdale, p 414]
1292 - ROBERT de HAWORTH, Abbot of Stanlaw Abbey, resigned after having served 24 years as Abbot. [VCH Lancs., II:133, 139] He is thought to be a member of the local Haworth family. The earliest instance I have seen of the Haworths in the Rossendale area, in Blackburn Hundred, is in 1322 when three members of the Radcliffe family, with Richard the parson of Bury and several Heatons and Haworths were found to have stolen the king's deer in Musbury Park. [VCH Lancs., II:456]
In 1324 the records of the Court of Clitheroe mention ADAM de HOWORTH and WILLIAM his son. The Honor of Clitheroe embraced much of the Hundred of Blackburn, including Rossendale Forest. In the period 1324-1326 the Rochdale Court records mention HENRY de HOUWORTH, HENRY son of RICHARD de HOWORTH, GEOFFREY son of ROBERT de HAYWORTH, WILLIAM de HOWORTH and JOAN his wife. Elsewhere in these records the name is given as HAUWORTH, viz: HENRY de HAUWORTH and RICHARD de HAUWORTH. [Some Court Rolls of the Lordships, Wapentakes and Demesne Manors of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster...for the 17th and 18th Years of Edward II...]
In 1332 the Exchequer Lay Subsidy Roll for Lancashire lists ADAM de HAWORTH in Oswaldtwistle, in the Hundred of Blackburn, and he is doubtless the same ADAM de HAUWORTH holding lands in the town of Oswaldtwistle in 1333. [Lancashire Inquests, Extent and Feudal Aids, Part II.]
The Manor Court Rolls of Rochdale in 1335 and 1336 list WILLIAM de HOWORTH, ROBERT de HAWORTH, HENRY de HAWORTH and WILLIAM son of RICHARD de HAWORTH. [Fishwick. History of the Parish of Rochdale, pp 286-292]
The Poll Tax for 1379 in Blackburn Hundred lists PETRO de HAWORTH in Blackburn Township and HENRICO de HAWORTH in Oswaldtwistle, while the 1381 Poll Tax for Salford Hundred includes HENRY de HAWORTH and his wife, RICHARD de HAWORTH, JOHN de HAWORTH, WILLIAM de HAWORTH and his wife, THOMAS de HAWORTH and wife, and ROBERT de HAWORTH and wife. [The Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381. Part 1. Bedfordshire-Leicestershire.]
And finally, in 1443, the following are listed among the tenants and freeholders of Rossendale: JAMES HAWORTH, RICHARD HAWORTH, LAWRENCE HAWORTH AND WILLIAM HAWORTH. [List of the Tenants and Freeholders of the Honor of Clitheroe. The Court Rolls of the Honor of Clitheroe...Vol. I:497-507]
And from this time forward there are numerous Haworths found in the areas in and around the Forest of Rossendale, in Blackburn Hundred.
James M. Knox
Menlo Park CA
Ekwall, Eilert. The Place-Names of Lancashire. (Publications of the University of Manchester. English Series, No. XI) Manchester: 1922.
McKinney, Richard. The Surnames of Lancashire. (English Surnames Series, Volume IV) London: Leopard's Head Press, 1981.
Moorman, F. W. The Place-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire. (Thoresby Society Publications, Volume 18) Leeds: 1910.
Smith, A. H. The Place-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Part III. Morley Wapentake. (English Place-Name Society Publications, Volume XXXII) Cambridge University Press, 1961.
Turner, J. Horsfall. Haworth past and Present. A History of Haworth, Stanbury and Oxenhope. Brighouse, Yorkshire: 1879.
The Court Rolls of the Honor of Clitheroe in the County of Lancaster. Translated & Transcribed...by William Farrar. 3 vols. Manchester & Edinburgh, 1897-1913.
The Coucher Book or Chartulary of Whalley Abbey, edited by W. A. Hulton. (Chetham Society Publications, Old Series, Volumes X, XI, XVI and XX) 1847-48.
Plea Rolls of the County of Palatine of Lancaster. Roll I, edited by Colonel John Parker. (Chetham Society Publications, New Series, Volume 87) 1928
The Exchequer Lay Subsidy Roll of Robert de Shireburn and John de Radcliffe, Taxers and Collectors in the County of Lancaster, A.D. 1322, edited by J. Paul Rylands. (Miscellanies Relating to Lancashire and Cheshire, Volume II. Record Society of Lancashire & Cheshire, Volume 32) 1896.
Some Court Rolls of the Lordships, Wapentakes and Demesne Manors of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, in the County of Lancaster for the 17th and 18th Years of Edward II...edited by William Farrar. (Record Society of Lancashire & Cheshire, Volume 41) 1901.
A Calendar of Lancashire Assize Rolls...In Two Parts, Part I, Transcribed and Calendared by Colonel Parker. (Record Society of Lancashire & Cheshire, Volume 47) 1904.
Lancashire Inquests, Extents and Feudal Aids, Part II, A.D. 1310 - A.D. 1333, edited by William Farrar. (Record Society of Lancashire & Cheshire, Volume 54) 1907.
Fishwick, Henry. The History of the Parish of Rochdale in the County of Lancaster. Rochdale: James Clegg, 1899.
Baines, Edward. The History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster...edited by the late John Harland. 2 vols. London: George Routledge & Sons, 1870.
Newbigging, Thomas. History of the Forest of Rossendale. 2nd edition. Rawtenstall: J. J. Riley, 1893.
Tupling, G. H. The Economic History of Rossendale. (Chetham Society Publications, New Series, Volume 86) Manchester: 1927
The Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381. Part 1. Bedfordshire - Leicestershire, edited by Carolyn C. Fenwick. (Records of Social and Economic History. New Series 27) Published for the British Academy by Oxford University Press, 1998.
Return to The Name Origin Index Page