Worsley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The roots of the Anglo-Saxon name Worsley come from when the family resided in the parish of Worsley, in Huntingdonshire. However, evidence indicated that the surname Worsley may have occasionally been derived from other small localities of the same name in southern England. The surname Worsley 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 Worsley family

The surname Worsley was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Workesley, about seven miles from Manchester, from early times. Sir Elias Workesley was the first Lord of the manor.

"One of the earliest crusaders, Elias or Elizeus, founder of the family of Worsley, is said to have held the manor of Workesley soon after the Conquest. It remained in this family until the reign of Edward III., when Alice, sister and sole heiress of Sir Geoffrey Worsley, conveyed it by marriage to Sir John Massey, of Tatton." [1]

Early records of the family were also found in the parish of Godshill, again in Lancashire. The family seat "is an elegant structure of freestone, with four fronts of the Corinthian order, containing many superb apartments, begun by Sir Robert Worsley, and completed by his descendant, Sir Richard; in the hall are some beautiful Ionic columns of porphyry, and a good collection of ancient sculptures and paintings. The hill at the entrance to the park is richly clothed with wood, and embellished with an artificial ruin called Cook's Castle; and on the summit of the principal eminence within the grounds is an obelisk of Cornish granite, nearly 70 feet high, to the memory of Sir Robert Worsley." [1]

In Southampton in the parish of Gatcomb another early branch of the family was found. "Gatcomb Park, the seat of a branch of the ancient family of Worsley, of Appuldurcombe, originally of Worsley, in the county of Lancaster, is a handsome residence." [1]

Early History of the Worsley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Worsley research. Another 181 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1377, 1512, 1710, 1435, 1499, 1435, 1605, 1676, 1622, 1656, 1589, 1621, 1613, 1666, 1622, 1656, 1654, 1643, 1675, 1669, 1747, 1672 and 1756 are included under the topic Early Worsley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Worsley Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Worsley has been recorded under many different variations, including Worseley, Workesley, Worsley and others.

Early Notables of the Worsley family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include William Worsley (1435?-1499), English divine, Dean of St. Paul's, born probably about 1435, believed to have been the son of Sir Robert Worsley of Booths in Eccles, Lancashire; Edward Worsley (1605-1676), an English Jesuit writer and professor from Lancashire; Major General Charles Worsley (1622-1656), an English soldier and politician, a supporter of Oliver Cromwell and an officer in the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War; Sir Richard Worsley, 1st Baronet (c. 1589-1621) of...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Worsley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Worsley migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Worsley or a variant listed above:

Worsley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Worsley, who settled in North Carolina in 1701
  • George Worsley, who settled in Baltimore Maryland in 1704
Worsley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph and Thomas Worsley, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1868

Australia Worsley migration to Australia +

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

Worsley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Worsley, (b. 1812), aged 36, Cornish miner from Kea, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Aurora" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 7th December 1848 [2]
  • Mrs. Maria Worsley, (b. 1810), aged 38, Cornish settler from Kea, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Aurora" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 7th December 1848 [2]
  • Mr. William Worsley, (b. 1835), aged 13, Cornish settler from Kea, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Aurora" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 7th December 1848 [2]
  • Mr. John Worsley, (b. 1838), aged 10, Cornish settler from Kea, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Aurora" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 7th December 1848 [2]
  • Mr. Thomas Worsley, (b. 1846), aged 2, Cornish settler from Kea, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Aurora" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 7th December 1848 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Worsley 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:

Worsley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Worsley, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Thomas Worsley, aged 29, a farm labourer, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Ann Worsley, aged 33, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Charles Worsley, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1858
  • S. Worsley, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Asterope" in 1864

Contemporary Notables of the name Worsley (post 1700) +

  • Wallace A. Worsley Sr. (1878-1944), American stage actor and silent film director who directed 29 films, best known for his The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)
  • Philip Stanhope Worsley (1835-1866), English poet, born at Greenwich on 12 Aug. 1835, the son of Charles Worsley (1783-1864), rector of Finchley, Middlesex, member of the family of the Worsleys of Gatcombe, Isle of Wight [3]
  • Sir Richard Worsley (1751-1805), 7th Baronet of Appuldurcombe, English peer, antiquary and traveller
  • Dr Giles Arthington Worsley MA PhD, FSA (1961-2006), English architectural historian, author, editor, journalist and critic
  • Joseph Paul Richard Worsley MBE (b. 1977), retired English rugby union player
  • Colonel Sir William Arthington Worsley (1890-1973), 4th Baronet of Hovingham Hall, an English amateur first-class cricketer
  • Sir William Henry Arthington Worsley (1861-1936), 3rd Baronet of Hovingham Hall
  • Sir William Cayley Worsley (1828-1897), 2nd Baronet of Hovingham Hall
  • Sir William Worsley (1792-1879), 1st Baronet of Hovingham Hall
  • Sir Thomas Worsley (1728-1768), 6th Baronet of Appuldurcombe
  • ... (Another 13 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. William Cornelius Worsley (1918-1941), Australian Acting Electrical Artificer 4th Class from Bankstown, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [4]


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ 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 http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
  3. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 13 Feb. 2019
  4. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp


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