The surname of MILLWARD was an official name 'the millward' the keeper of the mill. The name was derived from the Old English word MELLE. The mill, whether powered by water, wind or (occasionally) animals, was an important centre in every medieval settlement; it was normally operated by an agent of the local landowner, and individual peasants were compelled to come to him to have their corn ground into flour, a proportion of the ground corn being kept by the miller by way of payment. 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 Walter le Meleward, recorded in County Huntingdonshire in 1273. Robert de Millward of Yorkshirewas listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Manumissio Thomas Haale, alias dicti Mylleward de Hextone, was documented in the year 1480. John Milward of County Derbyshire, married Mary Corderoy at Canterbury in 1662. Richard Millard and Mary Rhymes, married at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in 1696. During the civil war during the reign of Charles I (1625-1649) Prince Rupert made Wollescote House, the residence of Thomas Milward Esq., his head quarters for a considerable time. When the Prince broke up his quarters as Wollescote, he presented Mr. Milward with a signet ring, which he took off his own finger, and told him, though he could not recompense him for his loyalty, that when the King's affairs turned out prosperously, he should be rewarded on presenting that ring. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour.
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