Birrewashe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Birrewashe reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Birrewashe family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Birrewashe family lived in East Sussex, where Burwash is a civil parish in the diocese of Chichester.
Early Origins of the Birrewashe family
The surname Birrewashe was first found in East Sussex at Burwash, a rural village and civil parish in the Rother District which dates back to the 12th century when it was first listed as Burhercse and literally meant "ploughed field by the fort," from the Old English words "burh" + "erse." 
Rudyard Kipling lived here for almost half of his life but before that, in the 18th and 19th centuries, the village was known for smugglers and highwaymen. Several smugglers' graves can still be seen in the churchyard of St Bartholomew's. As far as the surname is concerned, the family was descended from the Barons of Burghersh, from whom was descended Sir Bartholomew de Borways (Burghersh) the Elder (d. 1355) (whose successor was Sir Stephen Biorwash. 
Lord Bartholomew Burghersh the Younger (d. 1369), son of Bartholomew Burghersh the Elder, adopted his father's profession of arms and rivalled him in military distinction. "His recorded career begins in 1339, when he accompanied Edward III in his expedition to Flanders and took part in the first invasion of French territory." 
Henry Burghersh (1292-1340), was Bishop of Lincoln, third son of Sir Robert Burghersh, Lord Burghersh, whose family took their name from Burghersh or Burwash in Sussex. 
The Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III had two entries for the family: William de Burwarsh, Kent, 20 Edward I; and Henry de Burghersh, Nottinghamshire, 30 Edward I. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Robert de Burgheste in Sussex. 
Early History of the Birrewashe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Birrewashe research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1273 and 1320 are included under the topic Early Birrewashe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Birrewashe Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Burwash, Burwasch, Borways, Burghersh, Berwash, Barwash, Burways, Berways, Borghersh and many more.
Early Notables of the Birrewashe family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Birrewashe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Birrewashe family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Birrewashe name or one of its variants: Charles Burwash who arrived in New York in 1765.
Related Stories +
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)