Malet History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Malet is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. Malet is a name that comes from the given name Malle, which is an Old English diminutive of Mary. The name Mary was originally, a Hebrew personal name meaning wished for child. The name Malet is also derived from the given name Malo, a popular form of the name of Saint Maclovius, the 6th century Welsh monk who gave his name to the church of Saint Maclou in Rouen. Personal names derived from the names of saints, apostles, biblical figures, and missionaries are widespread in most European countries. In the Middle Ages, they became increasingly popular because people believed that the souls of the deceased continued to be involved in this world. They named their children after saints in the hope that the child would be blessed or protected by the saint.

Early Origins of the Malet family

The surname Malet was first found in Suffolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Cidestan. William, Lord Malet of Greville was one of the greatest landowners in England, having 221 manors in Suffolk alone. He was ancestor of the Mallets of Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall, and those now resident in Jersey. William Mallet was descended from Gerard, a Viking prince and companion of Rollo, the first Duke of Normandy, about 950. They held the castle of Graville near Havre. Maternally, William Mallet was a Saxon, descended from the Earls of Mercia, and more distantly related to Morcar and Edwin, Earls of Northumberland. William Mallet was at the Battle of Hastings, and was instructed by William the Conqueror to take care of the slain King Harold's body. [1] In 1068, he proceeded north with William and led in the reduction of the cities of Nottingham and York.

Early History of the Malet family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Malet research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1290, 1582, 1665, 1614, 1622, 1623, 1686, 1666, 1679, 1681 and 1685 are included under the topic Early Malet History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Malet 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 Mallet, Mallett, Mallit, Mallitt, Malott, Mallot and many more.

Early Notables of the Malet family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Thomas Malet (1582-1665) was an English judge and politician from Poyntington, Somerset, Solicitor General to Queen Henrietta Maria, imprisoned in the Tower of...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Malet Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Malet migration to the United States

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 Malet name or one of its variants:

Malet Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • M. Malet and his wife, who were living in Louisiana in 1726
Malet Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Irunto Malet, aged 18, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1835 [2]

Malet migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Malet Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Pierre Malet, who arrived in Montreal in 1660
  • Pierre Malet, who landed in Montreal in 1660

Contemporary Notables of the name Malet (post 1700)

  • Arthur Malet (b. 1927), English actor
  • Pierre Antoine Anselme Malet (1778-1815), French soldier mortally wounded at Waterloo
  • Pierre Malet (b. 1955), French actor
  • Léo Malet (1909-1996), French crime novelist and surrealist
  • Laurent Marie Guespin- Malet (b. 1955), French actor
  • Jean-Roland Malet (1675-1736), French historian and economist
  • Claude François de Malet (1754-1812), French general of the First French Empire, organiser of the coup d'état of 1812 against Napoleon
  • André Malet (1862-1936), French abbot of the Trappist abbey of Sainte-Marie-du-Désert at Bellegarde-Sainte-Marie
  • Albert Malet (1912-1986), French painter of the post-Impressionist Rouen school
  • Albert Malet (1864-1915), French historian and author of scholarly manuals


  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ 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)
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