"This surname is derived from a geographical locality. 'of Mergret's royd,' i.e. Margaret's clearing; This surname has ramified strongly in Yorkshire, the county of its birth. Gilbert and Sullivan have immortalized the name, if it needed immortalizing; but it was a strong flight of fancy to place it so far from its true home." CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) Reaney agrees "from a lost Yorkshire place, 'Margaret's clearing'" CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
" Yorkshire has long been the home of the Murgatroyds. In the 17th century the family owned for a time the Riddlesden estate in Bingley parish; the name is still in Bingley town. James Murgaitroit was a Yorkshire gentleman who subscribed £25 for the defence of his country at the time of the expected Spanish invasion in 1588." CITATION[CLOSE]
Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
The expression "Heavens to Murgatroyd!" is an expression made famous by Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Snagglepuss and was inspired on the aforementioned Gilbert and Sullivan's "Ruddigore; or, The Witch's Curse," a Victorian comic opera that includes no fewer than seven "Murgatroyd" ghosts, all Baronets to the protagonist (and living) Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd who is disguised as Robin Oakapple, a young farmer. The name has also been lent to other fictional works by Virginia Woolf, Nancy Mitford, Agatha Christie, Clifford B. Hicks and Ann Turner.
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