This English surname was taken to Ireland by settlers from England, mostly in the 17th century, and is now found in all four provinces, but predominantly in Ulster. In the south, outside Dublin, it is found most often in County Tipperary. It was a locational name 'of Bradshaw' places in Derbyshire, Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Almost every city, town or village existing in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. Where a man lived was his means of identification. When a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known, and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or birthplace, or by the name of the land which he owned. Early records of the name mention William de Bradesaghe, 1246 Lancashire. Simon de Bradeshage, 1303 Yorkshire. Johannes Bradeschauw of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Alexander Bradshaw, of Bradshaw in the parish of Bolton, was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1587. Richard Bradshaw (dyer) was recorded in the Wills in the year 1614. A notable person of the name was John Bradshaw (1602-1659) the English judge, born near Stockport. He was called to the bar in 1627 and he held various appointments before being appointed in 1649 president at the trial of Charles 1. On that solemn occasion, his manners were as short as his speeches were lengthy. As a reward he was made permanent president of the Council of State and chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, with a grant of estates worth two thousand pounds per annum. He was buried at Westminster Abbey. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Surnames before the Norman Conquest of 1066 were rare in England having been brought by the Normans when William the Conqueror invaded the shores. The practice spread to Scotland and Ireland by the 12th century, and in Wales they appeared as late as the 16th century. Most surnames can be traced to one of four sources, locational, from the occupation of the original bearer, nicknames or simply font names based on the first name of the parent being given as the second name to their child.
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