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The Harwood Family in England

The name of Harwood is of Saxon origin and was anciently spelt Herward, Horwode, and Whorwood.

According to Domesday, Hereward had lands in the counties of Lincoln and Warwick, previous to the conquest. He was son of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and Lord of Brune, in Lincolnshire and the marshes adjoining, and was chosen by the prelates and nobility who retired to the Isle of Ely after the Conqueror's invasion, to be the general oftheir forces. In the Saxon period, he was called ‘TheMirror of Knighthood,' and Ingulphus dwells minutely on the incidents of his life. Hereward was the last Earl of Mercia who resided at Bourne, and was buried in the Abbey there.

Hume, in speaking of the Conqueror's subjugation of the Isle of EIy, says, 'Hereward alone forced his way, sword in hand, through the enemy, and still continued his hostilities by Sea against the Normans till at last William charmed with his bravery, received him into favor and restored him to his estates.’

And Camden states that „Horland in Lincolnshire, was granted by William I, to Joy Talbois, of Anjou, whose insolence Hereward, a hopeful and spirited Englishman, son of Leofric, Lord of Brune or Bourn, not being able to brook, as his own and his family's safety was now concerned, having obtained knighthood from Brens, abbot of Peterborough, whose aversion to the Normans had already shown itself, made war against him, and after giving him several overthrows, at last took him prisoner, and allowed him to ransom himself, on condition that he himself should be restored to the king's favor, and die in his allegiance and protection; such was the effect of merit even on an enemy.'

Camden also states under the title, 'Cambridgeshire. A. D, 1071. Many English unable to bear the Conqueror's oppressions, came hither under the conduct of the Earl Edwin, of Chester, Morchar and Siward, and of Egsider, bishop of Durham, and ravaged the adjacent country under command of Hereward, an English nobleman, and built here in the marshes a woode castle, called Hereward's castle, in Matthew Paris' time. William, hearing this, besieged the island, made roads of great length in the marshes, built many bridges over the bogs, and erected a castle at a place called Wipberum, on which all but Here-ward and his followers submitted.‟

In the time of Edward I, in the 'Nomina Equitimique, &c., de Norfolk,' Sir Robert Herward is mentioned as bearing arms, 'd’ azure a une fesse gabonne de goules et de vert iij hewtes d’argent.‟ This family continued in the county of Lincoln and in the immediate vicinity of Bourne for many centuries.

One of the last of this line was George Harwood, a merchant of London, who entered his pedigree in the visitation for Cornhill, in 1634. He was son of William Harwood, of Thurlby, near Bourn, in the county of Lincoln, and was brother of Sir Edward Harwood, Knight, of whom Fuller says, 'His birth was gentle, and from a root fit to engraft his future education and excellency.‟Sir Edward was one of the four standing colonels in the long war, in support of the King of Bohemia, and was killed at the siege of Maastricht, in 1632. In the visitation of London in 1634, this George Harwood is recorded as bearing the same arms as wereborne by the above Sir Robert Herward, and in the 'Nomina Nobilium Equitimique, &c.,' temp. Edward I., Sir Robert Herward de Cauntebridgeshire, is mentioned as bearing 'chi' ker de or et d’ azure a une bende, de goules in egles d' argent.'

Families of this line were settled in the counties of Stafford and Oxford, spelling their names Horewode, Whorwood, and Harwood, and bore for their arms 'arg a chevron between three stag's heads cabashed sa,' and were of Compton, Sandwell and Stourton castle, in the former county, and of Holton in the latter.

Of the Staffordshire family was Sir William Whorwood, Knight, Attorney-General to King Henry VIII., whose only daughter and co heiress by his first wife (a daughter of Edward Grey Esq., of Enville,) married Ambrose Dudley Earl of Warwick, and whose only daughter and co-heiress by his second wife (Margaret, daughter of Lord Chief Baron Brooke) married the eldest son of Sir Robert Throgmorton, Knight.

The name of Whorwood is extinct in Staffordshire, and the Sandwell estate is now the property and residence of the Earl of Dartmouth, and Stourton Castle passed by purchase to the Foleys. In the 16th of Elizabeth, William Thomas Harwood, arm., in the 17th of Elizabeth, William Harwood, arm., and in the 16th of James I, Thomas Horwood, arm., were sheriffs of Staffordshire. Willus de Harwode, another descendant of the Herwards of Lincolnshire, held the manors of Stevenburg, Preston, Candover, Fremantel, and Polhampton, in the county of Hants, and of Bradfield, in the neighboring county of Berks, in the time of King Edward III, and the family of Horwode and Harwood continued in possession of these manors for many generations.

There is a family of Harwood (descended from the Horwodes) living in Hampshire, and at this time possessed of estates in the neighborhood of Preston and Fremantel. And a branch of the Hampshire Herwards (descended from Robertus Hereward) of the counties of Lincoln and Cambridge, who, temp. Edward Ibore for their arms 'chi ker d' or et d‟ azure une bende de gules in egles d'argent,' resided at Nicholas, Pres, near Whitchurch, county of Salop, temp. Henry VI., and continued there for six generations, when they returned to Odiam, county of Hants, and they bore during the whole of the time they were in Shropshire the ancient coat of Sir Robert Hereward, of Cambridgeshire.

But the branch of this family of which we shall have chiefly to treat settled themselves at a very early period in the county of Berks, bearing the Staffordshire coat, but distinguished by a different colour, the Berkshire branch having the bearings gules, instead of sable.

[The exact year when the Staffordshire and Berkshire Harwoods first used Stags' heads for their armorial bearings, has not been ascertained Previous to Charles I and II, they used indiscriminately eagles and stags' heads, but since that period they have borne the stags' heads.]

The Harwoods just mentioned were of Hagbourne in that shire, and were settled there four or five hundred years from the time of King Edward III, if not from an earlier period. About 1314, John Hereward was a juror on an inquisition touching some land at Chesterton (justa Goring), which was decided in favour of the Abbot of Oseney. In 1352, Robert Herward was archdeacon of Taunton, and prebendary of Lincoln; and in 1330, Robert of Ely, and Thomas Harwoode or Whorwode were sheriffs of London. William Hereward was abbot of Cirencester in 1346, and Robertus Hereward gave by grant, dated in the 19th of King Edward III, (1345), certain lands in East Hagbourn, county of Berks, to the abbey of Cirencester, to which abbey the church and rectorial titles of Hagbourne belonged.

The Harwood Family in England

From “Burke’s Commoners of Great Britain.”

Linked toJohn Harwood; John Harwood; John Harwood; Dr. John Harwood; John Harwood; Ralph Harwood; John Whorwood; John Whorwood; Robert Whorwood; Thomas Whorwood; William Whorwood; William Whorwood

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