It was once thought that Mallinson meant ‘the son of Mary’, and that explanation can still be found in many books on surnames. There is no doubt though that in Yorkshire, the county where Mallinson is most frequent, it derives from Matilda and not from Mary. To show how and when that came about we must examine the 14thcentury records, for it is in that period that names which have ‘son’ as a suffix developed.


In the Poll Tax of 1379, for example, there were several families named Malinson or Malynson scattered across the West Riding, in towns and villages as far apart as Rastrick, Shipley, Elland, Pudsey, Wakefield, Wistow, Hazlewood, Ossett, Farnham, Westwick and Kirkburton. Given such a distribution, there is little likelihood that the families were related, and it is important to remember that many of their names were not hereditary. They were what scholars now call by-names, that is to say that a person entered in the roll as ‘John Malynson’ need not have the same surname as his father but could be literally the son of a person named ‘Malyn’.


The population of England was very small in 1379, probably less than two millions, and it is clear from the number of Mallinsons recorded in the roll for the West Riding that it was a relatively popular surname or by-name. Moreover, as the Poll Tax was not 100% accurate, it is likely that some Mallinsons were unrecorded on that occasion. Other by-names would develop later, for names continued to be unstable well into the 1400s and the inference over all is that ‘Malyn’ must itself have been very popular. The final ‘yn’ or ‘in’ shows that it was a diminutive of some better known name, and the possibility is that researchers assumed that it derived from Mary simply because of the similarity with Molly, a later diminutive. However, Mary was so unpopular in Yorkshire in the 14thcentury that it seems a most unlikely option, and it is important therefore to look much more closely at ‘Malyn’.


Examples of this diminutive occur frequently from the 1200s, and they establish immediately that we are concerned with a woman’s name, not a man’s. For example in 1417 we have John Broun and Malyne his wife, of Wirksworth (TWH16). Much earlier than that, in 1277, a woman called Malyn de Soureby was a tenant in Halifax parish, taking her surname from Sowerby, the village where she held land (YAS29). On a later occasion she was referred to as Matilda de Sourby, and it is evidence of that kind which proves that Malyn was a diminutive of Matilda. In the Poll Tax of 1379 there were almost 30 Matildas for every Mary, and that helps to explain why the by-name based on the diminutive was so frequent.


Of course only a few of those early by-names ever became hereditary and, of those that did, even fewer survived beyond the 1400s. Nevertheless there were Mallinsons in the 15th and early 16th centuries in the East and North Ridings, not to mention several parts of the West Riding. In the Huddersfield area there were Mallinsons in Rastrick and Kirkburton in 1379 but only the Rastrick family appears to have ramified successfully. Most of its early history was in the combined township of Fixby and Rastrick; part of Elland parish, but even there the name was not prolific until comparatively late in the 16thcentury. Elsewhere there are examples of Malynson as a hereditary name in that early period but they probably have nothing to do with the Rastrick family, e.g.



John Malynson, Newton, nr Wilberfoss.



Robert Malynson, witness to a deed, Aughton nr Rotherham.



Robert, son of Stephen Malynson, Hull Bank (Cottingham)



Richard Malynson, vicar of Kippax.



John Malynson, North Deighton.Ingilby.




Richard de Fekesby (i.e. Fixby) was dead by 1333 and he appears to have had no male heirs, for his daughters Joan and Matilda were named as co-heiresses that year, when they paid 18d as a heriot on four acres of land, which had formerly belonged to their father. Matilda would probably have been called Malyn colloquially, and it would not be surprising if she were the ancestor, of all the Mallinsons in Elland. The surname is first recorded in the township of Rastrick some seventeen years later and it is worth noting that the man in question was called Henry - a name used by earlier generations of the Fixbys, e.g.



Henry, son of John de Fekesby, pledge for William de Bellomonte.



Henry de Fekesby of Rastrick.



Henry, son of Henry of Fekesby, took a lease on a messuage and seven acres in Soyland.



The earliest references to Malynson in Rastrick occur in the second half of the 14th century, immediately after the plague known as the Black Death. Some communities suffered a great loss of life in the plague, which may explain how the surname Fixby came to die out in the township and also why there is no ‘village’ of Fixby even today. If it is true that Henry Malynson was the son of Matilda de Fekesby it means that his ancestry, and that of all the Rastrick Mallinsons, can probably be taken back several more generations through the Fixbys.



Henry Malynson of Rastrick was fined 1d for failing to attend the manor court when the ‘grave’ or steward was being appointed. It was his obligation as a tenant holding land in the graveship to do so.


1365, 1374

Henry Malynson or Malinson served in both those years as the manorial constable for Rastrick.



Henry Malinson and his wife, residents of Rastrick, were taxed four pence in the Poll Tax. (If Henry had come of age about 1350, as seems quite likely, he would have been about fifty years old at that time.)



There are very few local references to Mallinson before the advent of parish registers, which ministers were obliged to keep from 1538. Rastrick was still part of Elland parish at that time but, unfortunately, the earliest entries have not survived and we have records only from 1559. However, there are other sources such as wills, title deeds and court rolls and the few individuals mentioned in these documents establish that there were Mallinsons in different parts of the district before 1550. No doubt a much clearer picture will emerge when all the manorial court rolls have been examined, but it seems certain that the surname survived in the parish in either Stainland or Rastrick:



John Malynson witnessed a Stainland deed.



Thomas Malynson, constable of Stainland.



Christopher and William Malynson were both reported by the Stainland constable for failing to attend the manor court.



Robert Malynson, constable of Rastrick.



Edward Malynson, sworn man of Rastrick.



Miles Malynson, chaplain, was referred to in the will of Edward Firth of Rastrick but he died soon afterwards. In his own will, dated 1542, he asked to be buried in Elland and made bequests to the vicar and to the church. His wife was called Margaret and he had three children, John, Edward and Richard.



John Malynson, constable of Rastrick.



Widow Malynson was taxed on her goods in Rastrick. We do not know how much, for the entry was on a part of the document, which has perished.



Robert Malynson, a husbandman, and his wife Agnes were in dispute with Thomas Sayvill of the New Hall in Elland over their tenement in Stainland.



Robert Kyrkbye of Thurgoland leased property to William and Alice Malynson of Stainland and to George Malynson, William’s brother. It is interesting to note that James Malynson of Worsbrough, a priest, was a witness. This raises the question of whether there was a link between the Mallinsons in Rastrick and those in Barnsley, a family referred to later.



William Firth put himself in mercy for licence to agree with Margaret Malynson in a plea of trespass. The matter was taken up at subsequent courts and it appears that she was accused of keeping a diseased sheep on the common pasture.



Edward and John Malynson were the tenants of the messuage known as Nether Woodhouse. It was surrendered by George Foxcroft.



John Malynson was the Rastrick constable.



From this date the families in both Stainland and Rastrick can be traced in the parish registers, and there are numerous references to them also in the court rolls, some of which have been published




There were Mallinsons by the middle of the 1400s in Linthwaite, a part of Almondbury parish and initially that does not seem like a logical migration route for the Rastrick family. However, the Linthwaite Mallinsons lived in the hamlet known as Flat House, which was actually part of Quarmby at that time and in the same manor as Rastrick cum Fixby, so the move from one to the other would not have been difficult.



John Malynson, constable of Quarmby.



Thomas Malynson of Flathouse, witness to a deed.



Thomas Malynson of Flathouse, fined for cutting green wood.



Edmund Malynson of Quarmby taxed 1d on goods valued at 20s.



Edmund Malynson of Almondbury parish. Will



Thomas and John Malynson shared the partitioned dwelling at Flat House, Thomas occupying ‘the Olde House’ and John ‘the Newe House’.

Radcliffe MSS


Thomas Malynson of Flatthous was buried at Almondbury, 16 Aug. - one of the earliest entries in the register. From that date the family can be traced in the registers.



John Mallenson of Flatehowse in Almondbury, husbandman. Will



Edward Mallynson of Almondbury parish, husbandman. Will



Thomas Malkinson (sic) of Flathows in Almondbury, husbandman.Will



John Mallinson and John Mallinson the younger, both ‘of Quarmby’ were accused at the manor court of making an affray on John Taylor.



William Mallison of Quarmby, clothier, indicted at the Quarter Sessions.



Edward Mallinson, sworn man for Quarmby.



Abraham Malinson, constable for Quarmby.



In the Hearth Tax that year 4 Mallinsons were named as residents of Linthwaite, or more accurately of North Crosland, James, Thomas and Edward (2).



Edward Mallinson of Flat House testified that he had beendesperately assaulted and sore beaten by the constable, who did then in a violent manner take him by the Collar and hurryed him to the common stocks.

QS 1


Another branch of the Mallinsons lived at Deers Croft in Lindley, also part of Quarmby at that time.



William Mallison of Deascrofte, Quarmby Rental



John Mallinson of Deascroft. Letters of Administration.



John Mallinson of Deascroft.

Huddersfield PR


Indentures by which William and George Mallinson of Dearscrofte, clothiers, sold property in Barkisland to Elizabeth Horton.

Horton MSS B/125, 126


Abraham and George Mallinson of Lindley.





The 16thcentury parish registers of Kirkheaton have not survived, so it is difficult to say exactly when the Mallinsons arrived in the parish. It is true that a William Malynson served as the constable for Dalton in 1539 (WCR9) but that appears to be an isolated reference and there is no evidence that he settled there. Soon after 1600 though a family is known to have been living in Gawthorpe, a hamlet which was actually in Lepton township. At that time clothiers in Kirkheaton and Bradley, including a William Malinson who was a tenant of the Pilkingtons, took their cloth to Kirklees fulling mill, situated on the Calder, and it is a reasonable assumption that the ‘migration’ route followed by the first John Malynson of Gawthorpe was down this valley and over what is now called Cooper Bridge. In fact the Bradley clothier mentioned earlier, who had lived in Bradley for some years, made special mention of the bridge in his will.



19 Nov. Abraham, baptised, son of William Mallinson.

Huddersfield PR


William Malynson of Bradley, witness to a Pilkington deed.



William Malynson of Nether Bradley, witness to an Elland deed.



William Mallinson of Bradley Hall.Will.



…Item I give and bequeath to Abraham Mallinson my sonne in full satisfaccon of his interest of, in and to my farmehoide duringe the ternie of yeares which I have therein yett to expende one litle howse late in the tenure of Robert Walker and the south end of one lathe or barne and two closes of ground lyinge on the south side of the lane or highe waie leadinge from Hie Greenes to Cowforth brigge and that he shall paie yearelie for the same XXs...


William had seven children in all and his descendants continued to live at Bradley Hall for some time. In fact Abraham was a witness in the Chancery case concerning Colne Bridge Forge in the early 1620s, when his age was given as ‘about 55’. The names William chose for his children, especially Abraham, suggest a close kinship with the Mallinsons of Gawthorpe, but it has not been possible so far to prove a direct link between the two families. As there were other Mallinson families about that time in Mirfield and Birstall the connection is likely to be very difficult to establish.


The precise origins of John Malynson of Gawthorpe are still not known but he died in 1614, having written his will 30 April, and the document survives in the York Registry (Vol.3 3 folio 282). After the customary opening it reads:


I John Malynson of Gawthorpe… As to my worldye goodes and cattells my minde and will is that my wife and my sonne John have my farme equally betwixt them during hir life Also I give and bequeath unto my sonne William one quye and six shillinges eight pence in money to pay for her gifte of all my whole goodes Also I give and bequeath unto my daughter Anne the best coverlet that I have Also I give and bequeath unto my sister Anne Ashton three yeards of gray cloth Also I give and bequeath unto my wife the thirde parte of my goodes as law doth require And the rest to be equallie devided amongest my sixe children Also I will that my wife and my son John be full executors of this my last will and testament.        Proved 6 October.


John’s will is frustrating for it leaves much unsaid and does not tell us the names of his wife nor those of three of his six children. However, the John ‘Mallinson’ referred to, as a Lepton tenant in the years that followed was probably the son to whom he devised the farm:



They say that John Malinson broke the Lord’s fold (i.e. pinfold,) in order to recover his animals - fined 6s 8d.”



Item, we lay in pain (i.e. make a by-law,) that John Wood of Gawthorpe shall use noe way through John Malinson Springe (i.e. wood) with carte or carriage or drifte of catell - under pain of 5s.



This no doubt refers to what is now called Gawthorpe Wood. Such woods were always coppiced in the past and ‘managed’, so that tanners and charcoal burners could harvest the ‘poles’ at regular intervals. As it was then being called John Malinson Spring the inference is that he was at least the tenant. He probably died in the early part of February, 1631.



The will of John Malingson (sic) of Gawthorpe was written 29 Jan.1631.

Vol.41 folio 398


I John Malingson of Gauthorpe...And as for my worldlye goodes or cattalls… my mynde and will is that all my funerall expences, church duties and other charges be well and truly payd and discharged out of my whole goodes Also I leave and bequeath unto William Mallinson my brother all the interest title and tearme which belongeth unto me in my farme with certayne hay and manner therupon Also I give and bequeath unto Anabel the wyfe of Thomas Walker of Brestall (Birstall) the some of foure poundes of good and lawfull money Also I give and beqeath unto Jennett the wyfe of George Hawworth of Myrfeilde the some of six poundes thirteene and four pence Also I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth the wyfe of James Wilbye of Burstall parish the some of sex poundes thirteene shillinges and four pence of good and lawfull money Moreover I give and bequeath unto Jennett Hawworth and Elizabeth Wilbie aforesaid eyther of them two strokes of oates in measure of meale Also I leave and bequeath unto Jennett Hawworth aforesaid my whole apparell Also I give and bequeath unto uxor Dison of Greavehouse the some of tenn shiiinges of good and lawfull money Also I give and bequeath unto Thomas and Anne the children of William Beamont the some of twenty shillinges of good and lawfull money equally betwene them Also I give and bequeath unto George and Sara the children of William Malingson my brother the sonic twenty shiiinges of good and lawfull money equally betweene them Also I give and bequeath unto John the sonne of William Beamont and Abraham the sonne of William Malingson my brother one blacke cowe Also I give unto Elizabeth Walker my housekeper the some of two shillinges and six pence of good and lawfull money and also one coverlett twoo blankettes one sheete and a little boulster Moreover I give unto the said Elizabeth Walker one lytle chist one prigge and one pecke in measure of shillinge and for the rest of my goodes remayninge I leave and bequeath them to William Malyngson my brother and William Beamont to be equally devided betweene them  Also I make the said William Malyngson my brother and William Beamont full and joynte executors.

Witnesses: Richard Longley Robert Hepworth and Caeser Jackson.”  Proved 28 April, 1631


John had no children but his bequests provide a clue to the identity of two of the three children not named in his father’s will, and they have been traced to Mirfield, i.e.


1621 28 Aug.

George Haworth and Jenet Mallison married at Mirfield.


1621 6 Dec.

James Wilbie and Elsabeth Malinson married at Mirfield.



These items of information, together with the wills, allow us to draw up a pedigree for the first generations of the Lepton based family.


The Mallinsons of Gawthorpe


Ann                                                        John Malynson of Gawthorpe

m…….Ashton                                                    d. 1614



John of Gawthorpe  Ann      William           (?)          Jenet                            Elisabeth

the eldest son                                                           m. 28 Aug 1621           m. 6 Dec1621

d. 1631 unmarried                                                   Geo. Haworth              James Wilbie

                                                                               of Mirfield                    of Mirfield


George    Sarah   Abraham


This John Mallinson seems never to have married but the line at Gawthorpe continued through the children of his brother William. Later evidence shows that some members of the family were clothiers, and the choice of certain Christian names again suggests a leaning towards nonconformity. Abraham and William Mallinsone were the only names to feature in the Lepton list of adult males drawn up in 1642, the so-called Protestation Returns, now stored in the Record Office of the House of Lords, whereas the Lepton Hearth Tax of 1672 included Isaack, John, George and Daniel Mallinson. One or two of those names occur in other documents:



12 Feb.

Abraham Mallinson off Kirkeheaton, clothier and George Mallinson of the same, clothier, acknowledge themselves severally to owe unto his Highnesse the Lord Protector the sum of £20 a peece, upon this condicon that Abraham Mallinson shall appear at the next General Quarter Sessions to answer unto such matters of misbehaviour as shall be objected against him.






When Mr. Thomas Pilkington appeared before the magistrates, accused of having failed to ensure that his deceased child was buried in woollen, as the law required, George Mallinson was one of the Kirkheaton churchwardens called on as a witness.



In the same period the Christian name David appears to have been used for the first time - again a choice that reflects the family’s leaning towards the Old Testament. It was to be a popular name for generations:



24 June

Item, we lay a pain that David Mallinson do make a good and sufficient yate (i.e.gate) at the bottom of the Pitiroyd Lane. (This was in Gawthorpe,)






David Mallinson ‘of Kirkheaton’ appeared before the magistrates on charges relating to the milling of cloth at Kirklees Mill and he was ordered to pay £l0 for using the trade of Broadclothier. The evidence stated that he had not served seven years as an apprentice to the said trade... nor been in the excercise of such trade for two years before the commencement of the Act (in the 11th year of the late King George 1), nor married the widow of any clothier or any other ways qualfied himself.

QS 10/16/80d





The Whitley Beaumont Estate accounts include items for work carried out by Levi Sheard of Gawthorpe on the house of David Mallinson.



Although David and Abraham were popular, and remained so through the 19th century. The family expanded into other parts of Lepton, and one David Mallinson moved to Little Lepton early in the 1790s, building the cottage now known as Fourlands. This expansion ensured that many ‘new’ names were introduced in that period, e.g.



There is a field map and survey of the Whitley Beaumont Estate for this year and it contains the following names: Joseph, John, Heber, Abel, Daniel, William and David Mallinson or Malleson. In some cases there is information as to where the men lived, i.e. Joseph at Wood Nook (now demolished), Heber at Whitley Willows and John at Gawthorpe. Most of the men held from 7 to 15 acres, but Abel appears to have been landless and William had only a cottage.



Even though Old Testament names were popular in the family the Gawthorpe Mallinsons also kept faith with John over the centuries, and all the following references occur in Tolson’s “History of Kirkheaton”:



In the rental details, which form part of the Church Terrier, a John Mallinson was named as the tenant of “Three little closes called Spittle Royd, paying £5 p.a.”




Charles Brook, the manager of Colnebridge iron forge, recorded in his diary on 1 June that he “went to Wakefield this morning with John Mallinson”. What I take to be an editorial note says: - “his father’s executor”.




The list of men who subscribed to the new organ in Kirkheaton church included John Mallinson, who donated two guineas.



At this point the established pedigree goes back to David Mallinson of Gawthorpe Green, born in 1823. He married Elizabeth Stringer in 1847 and the couple had six children. The family can be traced in the census returns, e.g.


1851 Gawthorp:


David Mallinson, aged 28, ‘chemist’ and then farmer

Elizabeth Mallinson, aged 25, wife

Abraham, son, aged 3

Elizabeth, daughter, aged 1


1861 Gawthorp:


Elizabeth Mallinson, aged 35, farmer of 5 acres

Abraham, son, aged 13, piecer

Elizabeth, daughter, aged 11, scholar

Fred, son, aged 9, scholar

Clara, daughter, aged 7

John Henry, son, aged 6

Ada (?), daughter, aged 4




Abraham Mallinson m. Mary Schofield


David (he had 4 brothers & 4 sisters)

bpt. 23 April 1823

m. Elizabeth Stringer



Abraham        Elizabeth        Fred               Clara                John                 Ada

b.1848           b.1850           b.1852             b.1854             b.1855             b.1857

m. Ellen


Harry                    Percy               Frank

b. 1876                  b. 1883

m. (1) Ethel Turner

 (2) Doris


Betty     Helga   Ben      Edith







John Malynson and Alice, his wife, Royston.



Alexander Malyngson of Barnsley. Will



Edmund Malynson of Wath. Will



Thurston Malynson of Wath. Will



Nicholas Maynsonne and Ann Malynson of Barnsley. Wills



John Malynson, merchant, and Joan his wife bought a messuage and lands in Barnsley from Richard Cockeson.



Thomas Mallinson of Wath. Letters of administration.



Thomas Mallynson sold a cottage with lands in West Melton and Brampton to Peter Stanyland. Merriell Dyson had a life interest in the property.



Peter Mallinson of Wath. Will



Nicholas Mallinson of Wath, husbandman. Will



Thomas Mallinson of Brampton.



Thomas Mallinson of Brampton.





The published registers establish that there were Mallinsons in the parish from 1582 at least. The relatively unusual Christian name Miles appears to link them directly to the Elland family.



John Mallinson had a daughter Joan buried.


Myles Mallinson was buried.


The wife of Myles Mallinson ‘of Wyke’ was buried.





John Malynson was one of three men who bought property in Allerton from William Aldersleye.



William Mallinson senior bought property in Thornton and Rastrick from Henry Ramsden, gt.



Thomas Mallinson was one of seven people who bought property in Ecceshill from Thomas Burneley.



Grace Mallinson, Bradford, Letters of administration.



Thomas Mallinson of Manningham, yeoman. Will






Thomas Mallynson and his wife sold lands in Mirfield to John Hall.



Thomas Mallynson was one of four men to purchase from John Hall of Mirfield a messuage, a cottage, a corn mill and a fulling mill.