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Howarth is a surname of Anglo-Saxon origin, most commonly found among families originating in the English counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire, especially around the village of Great Howarth near Rochdale, Lancashire and Haworth in Yorkshire. It is found in a variety of different interrelated spellings, including Haworth and Howorth, and derives from one of two meanings, hoh-worth, meaning settlement on a small hill, and haga-worth, settlement surrounded by a hawthorn hedge. The first recorded use of the surname in its current spelling is from 1616; earlier varieties are found as far back as Robert de Hawrth in 1200.[1] Other historical spellings of the name include Hearwarthe and Huarth.[2]

Howarth of Great Howarth[edit]

The Howarths of Great Howarth were a landed family originally granted land in what became Great Howarth in Honorsfield, three miles north east of Rochdale in the 12th century. The Norroy Kings of Arms recorded their genealogies on their visitations of Lancashire in 1613 and 1664. The original Elizabethan Howarth Hall in Great Howarth was demolished in the early 19th century. The Howarth of Great Howarth family were an important family in the Rochdale area from the 12th to the 18th century. Their estates were however dispersed in 1768 on the death of the last representative of the main line the Rev. Dr. Radclyffe Howarth, D.C.L.[3]

A pedigree of the family was set out in summary after the Visitation of Lancashire by Richard St. George, Norroy King of Arms, in 1613 and later in much more detail by Sir William Dugdale, Norroy King of Arms, in 1664/65, following his Lancashire Visitation of 1664. Dugdale detailed the Howarth family’s descent from Osbert Howard de Haworth, a Keeper of the King's Buckhounds, in the 12th century until 1665, when Dugdale’s friend, Dr. Theophilus Howarth, was head of the Howarth family.[4][5][6][7]

The Howard / Howarth of Great Howarth connection[edit]

Sir William Dugdale stated that Sir William Howard of Wiggenhall, progenitor of the powerful Howard family, was descended from Robert, a younger brother of Michael Howarth of Great Howarth. Sir William Howard, who lived in Norfolk during the 13th and early 14th centuries, became a judge and founded the line that later became Barons and Earls (several titles) and Dukes of Norfolk. The early references in the 13th century Charters to Peter Howarth as “Peter the clerk of Haword” may lend credence to this theory.[8]

Howarth of Great Howarth Coat of Arms[edit]

Arms: Azure, a bend between two stags’ heads, couped, Crest on an Earl’s helmet, a wreath Or and Azure, a Stag’s head couped and horned Or. The Mantles dependent being gules, doubled, or lined Argent. Motto: Quod Ero Spero (What I hope to accomplish I shall accomplish)

Coat of Arms
Howarth of Howarth

People with the surname Howarth[edit]

In politics[edit]

In sport[edit]

In music[edit]



  1. ^ Howarth", Surname Database, retrieved 14 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Haworth - Howarth", Haworth Association of America, retrieved 14 August 2014.
  3. ^ "[1]", The history of the county palatine and duchy of Lancaster by Baines, Edward, 1774-1848; Whatton, William Robert, 1790-1835; Herford, Brooke, 1830-1903; Croston, James, 1830-(Page 64 for the Howarth family tree).
  4. ^ "[2]", A History and Description of the Town and Parish of Rochdale in Lancashire by James Butterworth - 12 September 1828. Butterworth p.159 for existing related families in neighbouring parishes:
  5. ^ "[3]", Dugdale’s Visitation of Lancashire 1664/5 Printed by the Cheatham Society 1872 (Page 156-7 for Howarth of Thurcroft).
  6. ^ "[4]", The history of the parish of Rochdale in the county of Lancaster. By Henry Fishwick 1889, Chapter “OLD HOUSES AND OLD FAMILIES.-HUNDERSFIELD” (p.413 for Howarth of Howarth).
  7. ^ "[5]", Iter Lancastrense: A Poem, Written A.D. 1636, Part 1636 By Richard James: (p.79 of notes).
  8. ^ "[6]", An history of the original Parish of Whalley, and honor of Clitheroe, to which is subjoined an account of the Parish of Cartmell. 4th ed. rev. and enl. by Whitaker, Thomas Dunham, 1759-1821 Published 1872: (Page 414 for family tree of Haworths of Thurcroft).