Hesketh History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The lineage of the name Hesketh begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived in the settlement of Hesket in Cumberland or in either of the places called Hesketh in Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname Hesketh belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Hesketh family

The surname Hesketh was first found in Lancashire where "in the year 1275, the 4th of Edward I., Sir William Heskayte, Knight, married the co-heiress of Fytton, and thus became possessed of Rufford, which has since remained the inheritance of this ancient family." [1]

Hesketh of Gwyrch Castle, Denbighshire claim descent from the Heskeths of Rossel, Lancashire who in turn claim descent from the original branch in Rufford. [1]

Rufford Old Hall, in Rufford, Lancashire built about 1530 for Sir Robert Hesketh is today a National Trust property.

It is believed that the property's Great Hall was in 1580, host of works by Shakespeare as one teacher noted "wilim Shakeshaft nowe dwellynge with me." Rufford New Hall is a former country house built by Sir Robert Hesketh in 1760.

The township of Shevington in Lancashire was home to the family since early times. "Before the general introduction of dates in the conveyance of landed property, a family existed denominating themselves from this township. The family of Hesketh have possessed property here for several ages, and have been considered as lords of the manor. In the township are a number of ancient mansions: the old Hall or manor-house, the property of the Heskeths, is of the date 1653." [2]

The parish of Rufford, also in Lancashire was later the family seat of Sir Thomas George Hesketh. There he had New Hall built. "On the north side of the family pew of the Heskeths, is a venerable marble slab, on which are represented a knight and his lady, the former being Thomas Hesketh, who died Oct. 1363." [2]

Early History of the Hesketh family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hesketh research. Another 275 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1330, 1592, 1606, 1644, 1539, 1588, 1563, 1653, 1597, 1598, 1562, 1593, 1562, 1593 and 1846 are included under the topic Early Hesketh History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hesketh Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Hesketh has undergone many spelling variations, including Hesketh, Hascoit, Haskett, Hesket, Heskett, Heskit, Heskitt and many more.

Early Notables of the Hesketh family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Robert Hesketh, of Rufford (died 1539), knighted by Henry VIII for his valour in France; and his son, Sir Thomas Hesketh (died 1588), High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1563; and his son, Robert Hesketh (died 1653), Member of Parliament for Rufford (1597-1598). Richard Hesketh (1562-1593), was a Roman Catholic exile, third son of Sir Thomas Hesketh of Rufford and Martholme, by Alice, daughter of Sir John Holcroft of Holcroft, was baptised at...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hesketh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Hesketh migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Hesketh were among those contributors:

Hesketh Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Hesketh, who landed in Maryland in 1725 [3]
  • William Hesketh, who settled in New England in 1750
  • George Hesketh, who arrived in America in 1760-1763 [3]
Hesketh Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Hesketh, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1873

Australia Hesketh migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Hesketh Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Hesketh, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mr. James Hesketh, (b. 1815), aged 19, English convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Lancashire, England for 7 years for house breaking, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 27th September 1834, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • H. Hesketh, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella" in 1837 [6]

New Zealand Hesketh migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Hesketh Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Henry Hesketh, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1839 aboard the ship Success
  • Henry Hesketh, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Success" in 1839
  • James Hesketh, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred The Great" in 1859

Contemporary Notables of the name Hesketh (post 1700) +

  • Brigadier-General William Hesketh (1895-1986), American Commandant Anti-Aircraft Replacement Training Center at Camp Stewart (1944-1945) [7]
  • Robert B. Hesketh, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Washington, 1916 [8]
  • Lady Harriet Hesketh (1733-1807), English friend of Cowper, baptised at Hertingfordbury, Hertfordshire, on 12 July 1733, was the daughter and coheiress of Ashley Cowper (1701–1788), clerk of the parliaments, third son of Spencer Cowper (1669–1727)
  • Christopher "Chris" Hesketh MBE (1944-2017), English professional Rugby League World Cup winning footballer
  • Frederick Fermor- Hesketh (1916-1955), 2nd Baron Hesketh, English peer
  • Sir Thomas Fermor- Hesketh (1881-1944), 8th Baronet of Rufford, English peer
  • Sir Thomas George Fermor- Hesketh (1849-1924), 7th Baronet of Rufford, English peer
  • Sir Thomas Henry Fermor- Hesketh (1847-1876), 6th Baronet of Rufford, English peer
  • Sir Thomas George Hesketh (1825-1872), 5th Baronet of Rufford, English peer
  • Sir Thomas Henry Hesketh (1799-1843), 4th Baronet of Rufford, English peer
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Alfred W. Hesketh, Canadian 3rd Class passenger from Welland, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [9]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. John Henry Hesketh (d. 1912), aged 33, English Assistant Second Engineer from Kirkdale, Lancashire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [10]


The Hesketh Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Quod tibi, hoc alteri
Motto Translation: Do unto others what you would want done to yourself.


  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ISABELLA 1837. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1837Isabella.gif
  7. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 12) William Hesketh. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Hesketh/William/USA.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  10. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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