Show ContentsMallet History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Mallet is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Mallet family when they emigrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Mallet 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 Mallet 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 Mallet family

The surname Mallet was first found in Suffolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Cidestan. "All the families of this name in England trace their descent from the renowned William Lord Mallet de Graville, one of the great barons who accompanied William the Conqueror." [1]

"No figure stands out more vividly in the great battle of the Conquest than does 'Guillame whom they call Malet,' as Wace suggests for bravery." [2]

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. [3] In 1068, he proceeded north with William and led in the reduction of the cities of Nottingham and York.

Robert Malet or Mallet (d. 1106?), Baron of Eye, was "the elder son of William Malet of Graville, and succeeded to his father's possessions on his father's death in 1076. At Eye, Malet built and endowed a monastery of Benedictine monks. From his position he enjoyed considerable influence in the eastern counties, and he took a prominent part in repressing the rebellion of Ralph, Earl of Norfolk, in 1075-6, and in the capture of Norwich Castle which followed. In King William's grant of the manor of Fracenham to Archbishop Lanfranc, Malet is styled vice-comes or sheriff, and later on, at the beginning of Henry I's reign, he appears as great chamberlain of England. In the struggle between Henry and Duke Robert, Malet espoused Robert's cause, and shortly after Henry's accession he was banished from England, together with other adherents of Robert, and his estates in England were confiscated and bestowed by Henry upon Stephen of Blois. He retired to Normandy, and is supposed to have been killed at the battle of Tinchebrai in 1106." [4]

"Mallett is a slightly altered form of a very ancient name in Norfolk, where it has remained ever since the time of William the Conqueror, when Roger Mallet or Malet, lord of Eye in Suffolk, received an extensive grant of lands. The name of Malet was common in the adjoining county of Lincoln as well as in the distant county of Somerset in the reign of Edward I." [5]

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide use of the name throughout ancient Britain. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included Malet filius Henry. C. Baldwin Malet, Somerset; Sarra Malet, Cambridgeshire; and Harvey Malet, Buckinghamshire. [6]

The Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III-Edward I. included Alan Malet in Derbyshire, Henry III-Edward I. [7]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Magota Malet and Yohannes Malet as holding lands there at that time. [6]

Early History of the Mallet family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mallet research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1290, 1582, 1665, 1614, 1622, 1600, 1606, 1626, 1623, 1686, 1666, 1679, 1681 and 1685 are included under the topic Early Mallet History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mallet Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Mallet were recorded, including Mallet, Mallett, Mallit, Mallitt, Malott, Mallot and many more.

Early Notables of the Mallet 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 London for two years, Member of Parliament for Tregony (1614-1622.) He was the "great-grandson of Sir Baldwin Malet of St. Audries, Somerset, solicitor-general to Henry VIII, and...
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mallet Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mallet Ranking

In the United States, the name Mallet is the 14,841st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [8] However, in France, the name Mallet is ranked the 180th most popular surname with an estimated 18,610 people with that name. [9]

United States Mallet migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Mallet arrived in North America very early:

Mallet Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Marie and Pierre Mallet, who settled in Virginia in 1700
  • Marie Mallet, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [10]
  • Suzane Mallet, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [10]
  • Estienne Mallet, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [10]
  • Widow Mallet, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Mallet Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Mallet, who arrived in America in 1804 [10]
  • Janin Mallet, who arrived in New York, NY in 1833 [10]
  • Irunto Mallet, aged 18, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1835 [10]
  • Mr. James Mallet, (b. 1826), aged 22, Cornish settler departing from Liverpool aboard the ship "Queen of the West" arriving in the United States on 22nd August 1848 [11]
  • George Mallet, aged 33, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1849 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Mallet migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Mallet Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Francois Mallet, who arrived in Canada in 1632-1760
  • Pierre Mallet, who landed in Acadia in 1686

Australia Mallet migration to Australia +

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

Mallet Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth Mallet, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1848 [12]
  • Mr. David Mallet, (b. 1822), aged 27, Cornish labourer travelling aboard the ship "Elizabeth" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 23rd July 1849 [13]
  • Mr. David Mallet, (b. 1822), aged 27, Cornish labourer departing from London on 17th March 1849 aboard the ship "Elizabeth" arriving in Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia on 23rd July 1849 [14]
  • Miss Susan Mallet, (b. 1837), aged 18, Cornish domestic servant departing from Plymouth on 31st January 1855 aboard the ship "Epaminondas" arriving in Geelong, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 1st June 1855 [15]

New Zealand Mallet 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:

Mallet Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Francis Mallet, (b. 1856), aged 19, Cornish farm labourer departing on 31st October 1875 aboard the ship "Otaki" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 8th February 1876 [16]

West Indies Mallet migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [17]
Mallet Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Mallet who settled in Barbados in 1670

Contemporary Notables of the name Mallet (post 1700) +

  • Dayon Demond Mallet (b. 1978), American basketball player who won multiple championships and was named the Most Valuable Player of several competitions.
  • Peter Mallet, American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons from Cumberland County, 1778 [18]
  • Francis J. Mallet, American politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Utah, 1916 [18]
  • Tania Mallet (b. 1941), English model and actress, best known for her appearance as Tilly Masterson in the James Bond movie Goldfinger (1964)
  • Philip Louis Victor Mallet (1893-1969), English diplomat
  • Anatole Mallet (1837-1919), Swiss mechanical engineer and inventor of the first successful compound system for a railway steam locomotive, patented in 1874
  • David Mallet (1705-1765), (or Malloch), Scottish dramatist and poet, best known for his William and Margaret, adapted from a traditional ballad in 1723.
  • James Mallet (b. 1955), British evolutionary zoologist specialising in entomology, awarded the Darwin-Wallace Medal by the Linnean Society of London in 2008
  • Brigadier-General Albert-Jean-Baptiste Mallet (1885-1945), French Commanding Officer during World War II [19]
  • Paul Henri Mallet (1730-1807), Swiss historian
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Titanic
  • Mrs. Antoinette Marie Mallet, (née Magnin), aged 24, Canadian Second Class passenger from Montreal, Quebec who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 10 [20]
  • Master André Clément Mallet, aged 1.5, Canadian Second Class passenger from Montreal, Quebec who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 10 [20]
  • Mr. Albert Mallet (d. 1912), aged 31, Canadian Second Class passenger from Montreal, Quebec who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [20]

The Mallet 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: Ma force d'en haut
Motto Translation: My strength is from above.

Suggested Readings for the name Mallet +

  • Daniel Mallet, 1790-1845 by Martha V. Mallet Sisler.

  1. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  3. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  8. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  10. 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)
  11. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from
  12. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BOLTON 1848. Retrieved from
  13. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from
  14. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  15. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  16. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from
  18. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 10) . Retrieved from
  19. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 11) Albert-Jean-Baptiste Mallet. Retrieved from
  20. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook