The surname of OLDROYD was a locational name 'the dweller at the clearing in the trees'. The name is a shortened form of the name Holdroyd. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Galfridus de HOLDRODE of Yorkshire, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379 and Edwin HOLDROYD, was documented in County Lancashire in the year 1400. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. Later instances of the name include William Moore and Elizabeth OLDROYD, who were married at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in the year 1741, and John Lee and Rachael, who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1771. A notable member of the name is Michael de Courcy Fraser HOLROYD, born in 1935, the English biographer. He studied sciences at Eton, and literature at Maidenhead Public Library. His first book was 'Hugh Kingsmill; a critical biography' published in 1964. He is the official biographer of George Bernard Shaw, two volumes have appeared to date; 'The Search for Love' (1988) and 'The Pursuit of Power' (1989).
In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms.
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