Show ContentsGodolphin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Godolphin family

The surname Godolphin was first found in Cornwall at Godolphin, a church district, in the parish of Breage, union of Helston, hundred of Kerrier. "This place, anciently called Godolcan, has been long celebrated for its tin-mines. It gave name to the family of Godolphin, who were its lords in the time of William the Conqueror, and of whom Sir Francis Godolphin, by his perseverance and success in mining, increased the customs more than £10,000 per annum in the reign of Elizabeth. Sidney, son of Sir William Godolphin, Bart., a distinguished statesman, was in 1689 created Baron Godolphin, of Rialton, which title, having become extinct, was revived in 1832. An old mansion on the Godolphin estate, belonging to the Duke of Leeds, is now occupied by a farmer." [1]

"In this parish is the well known manor of Godolphin, which, through a series of ages belonged to an ancient family that resided here. Speaking of its famous mine, Carew observes, that the name originally was Godolghan, though lately declined with a milder accent to Godolphin, which in Cornish signifies a white eagle. Some variations in the name of the family took place in the reign of Henry VII. ; from which time it remained unaltered until it became extinct.

Britton says, 'Godolphin is an ancient manor of the Godolphin family, who resided here in the time of William the Conqueror.' Hals indeed admits the name of this place, either as Godolghan or Godolphin, to be very ancient; but he contends that its possessors did not assume this name until the days of Henry VII. when it was changed from Nava, or Knava, to Godolphin." [2]

The Scilly Islands lie west-south-west from the Land's End, Cornwall. "In the reign of queen Elizabeth they were granted by her to Francis Godolphin for 38 years, at the rent of £10 per annum;- in 1604, this lease was renewed to Sir William Godolphin for 50 years, at £20 per annum. And from that time the grant, though frequently renewed, has continued in the same family." [2]

Early History of the Godolphin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Godolphin research. Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1079, 1142, 1149, 1162, 1510, 1515, 1540, 1567, 1570, 1579, 1580, 1599, 1600, 1604, 1605, 1608, 1611, 1613, 1617, 1635, 1640, 1645, 1663, 1665, 1667, 1678, 1679, 1684, 1696, 1712 and 1794 are included under the topic Early Godolphin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Godolphin Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Godolphin, Godolcan, Godolghan, Godolhan, Godolfan and many more.

Early Notables of the Godolphin family

Notable amongst the family at this time was

  • Sir William Godolphin (1515-1570), an English soldier and Member of Parliament
  • Sir Francis Godolphin (1540-1608), an English Member of Parliament
  • Sir William Godolphin (1567-1613), of Godolphin in Cornwall, was an English soldier and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1604 to 1611
  • William Godolphin (c 1605-1663), an English soldier and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1640 who fought for the Royalist cause in the English Civil War
  • Sir Francis Godolphin, K.B. (1605-1667), of Godolphin in Cornwall, an English Member of Parliament
  • Sir William Godolphin (1635-1696), an English diplomat and politician, Member of Parliament for Camelford (1665-1679)
  • John Godolphin (1617-1678), an English jurist and writer, an admiralty judge under the Commonwealth

Migration of the Godolphin family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..

Contemporary Notables of the name Godolphin (post 1700) +

  • Francis Godolphin Waldron (1744-1818), English writer and actor, member of Garrick's company at Drury Lane [3]
  • Reverend Francis Godolphin Pelham (1844-1905), 5th Earl of Chichester, a British cleric and nobleman

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 Jan. 2019 on Facebook