The surname of CUTRIGHT was an occupational name 'the cartwright' a maker of wheels. This name was familiar to medieval documents all over the country. The name is also spelt COURTWRIGHT, CARTWRIGHT and CARTRIGHT. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. Early records of the name mention Johannes Toppe Cartwryght of Yorkshire, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Geoffrey Cartewright, 1379, ibid. A notable member of the name was the religious Thomas Cartwright, (1535-1603). He was a Puritan clergyman, born in Hertfordshire. He became, in 1569 professor of Divinity at Cambridge, but was deprived for his nonconforming lectures, and several times imprisoned. John Cartwright was an English Reformer, born in 1740. He was known as the Father of Reform. He served in the navy from 1758-70, and became Major to the Nottinghamshire Militia. He then began to write on politics, advocating annual parliaments, the ballot and manhood suffrage, and afterwards taking up reform in farming, abolition of slavery and the national defences and liberties of Spain and Greece. He died in 1824. Richard Cartwrighte married Thomasine Baker at St. George's, Clerkenwell, London in 1752. Richard Greene married Ann Cartwright at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1602. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory.
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