Origin and History of the Name Merrick
A wide range of official records has been used in this research. Some contain contradictory spellings and even dates but the general theme is irrefutable. Because of its Welsh origins, Merrick did not exist as a surname before the coronation of HenryVIII in 1509 but its origins go much deeper into ancient history than that. There are at least seven different Merrick coats of arms attributable to separate families, some of whom are related and some not. There is no single origin of the Merrick surname. Most were derived from common Welsh patronyms of peasant stock whose father's name happened to be Meuric. Others, however, can claim descent from one Welsh royal family based for centuries in North Wales and on the Isle of Anglesey. The estates of the wealthy were often acquired through astute marriages rather than descendency. Families were usually large by modern standards and, occasionally comparatively obscure nephews would inherit or even usurp the family seat.
o The earliest recorded name which corresponds to Merrick is Marius the Latin version of the French Maurice and the Celtic Meryk or Meurig. This was eventually Anglicized to Merrick. Although spellings vary considerably, the pronunciation is very consistent.
o One obvious reason for the variation in spelling is that Welsh spoken in the north has softer consonants. For example, "V" becomes "F", "D becomes "T" and "K" becomes "C". This may be how the name Meuric originally pronounced Maurice in North Wales came to be pronounced Merrick in the south. The Viking "e" at the end of some spellings was probably introduced by scribes to emphasize the hard consonant at the end of the name. Similar elements of the Viking language can still be found in modern French and English and for many years it had the effect of adding a third syllable that sounded like the French "eu". Richard Americe (Richard son of Merice) would have been pronounced Richard America. But more of that later.
o The Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames quotes the following variations;
o Meurich filius Rogeri 1187(Cambridge) meaning Meurich son of Roger.
o Meuricus 1207(Herefordshire).
o Jeuan ap Meuric 1391 (Chirk) meaning Ian son of Meuric.
o Edward Merrycke 1545 (Wiltshire).
o George Mericke 1641 (Somerset).
o The earliest recorded ruler of Briton was Beli Mawr king of the Silures around 100 BC. Silures was the Roman name for the tribe who occupied the area later known as Gwent and Glywysing. Among his descendants were Arviragus whose brother Caratacus was king of the Cantii (Kent) and later the Catuvellauni north of the Thames.
o The name Arviragus is the same as the Celtic name Y-Veuric which itself was corrupted to Meurig. The son of Arviragus was Marius.
2. ROMAN OCCUPATION ( 43-410AD)|
o When Marius was a small boy, he, his father and his uncle, Caratacus, were captured by the Romans and spent several years in Rome before returning to Britain.
o Marius married one of the daughters of Boudica. He was succeeded by his son Coel and grandson Lucius. All three in turn ruled the Silures, a tribe in the area now known as Gwent.
o The Celts were driven North and West by the Roman invasion. In Wales, which became their stronghold until 1284AD, they created five kingdoms. As a consequence of constant battles between themselves, the five Celtic kingdoms had become fourteen by 400AD. The boundaries of the territories changed as regularly as the fortunes of their rulers.
o Hereditary family surnames were not introduced until the 11th century in Southern England and as late as the 17th century in the remoter parts of Wales. Names such as Meuric ap LLewelyn and Owen ap Meuric could well have been father and son.
o Until the Norman invasion in 1066, men were known, for example, as John son of Michael, John of Bradbury or John Fisher. Names incorporating their father's name, their origin or their occupation.
o When Britain emerged from the Roman occupation it entered a Dark Age of violence and invasion without any form of central government. Regional kings continually fought their own relatives as well as kings from rival tribes before they could establish and secure their boundaries. Later, they also had to fight off constant invasions from the Vikings, Danes and Saxons. Boundaries were constantly changing and minor kingdoms sprang up within larger ones.
3. MEDIEVAL PERIOD (410-1509 AD)|
o The first leader of Northern Britain from Yorkshire to the Clyde was Coel Hen (Old King Cole). He ruled from 410 to 430 AD.
o Cunedda married Gwawl, the daughter of Coel Hen and ruled Gododdin (Lothian) around 430 AD. He later moved to North Wales where, from 450 to 460 AD, he became one of the founding fathers of the Welsh dynasty. His territory included the Isle of Man and the island of Angelsey which later became the heart of the kingdom of Gwynedd.
o Meurig or Meuric was a common name in the Celtic language. It was the name given to three kings of Gwent and the surrounding territories. Five descendants of the ruling family of Gwent and Glywsysing were called Meurig over a period of several generations.
o Between 580 AD and 615AD Gwent and Glywsysing were ruled by Meurig ap Tewdrig. One of his earliest recorded ancestors is Coel Hen (Old King Cole) who ruled most of Northern England and Southern Scotland from 410AD to 430 AD. Meurig ap Tewdrig's son, Arthwyr, has been claimed by some to be the legendary King Arthur.
o The mother of Meurig ap Tewdrig was Enhinti, the sister of Urien, King of Rheged who's kingdom stretched from Lancashire to Galloway between 570AD and 590 AD.
o Galloway in southern Scotland was still under the control of Northumbria until 875AD and completed the circle of land around that part of the Irish Sea that includes The Isle of Man (roughly in the centre) and Anglesey. The name Galloway is an Anglicized version of the Welsh name Gwallawg a ruler of Stirling between 570 and 590 AD. The name Kyle is the Anglicized version of Coel (King Coel).
o The whole area was fought-over continuously and boundaries were rarely settled for very long. This is probably the period when Merrick Mountain in Galloway was named, possibly after a local leader called Meuric. There is very little evidence of this Celtic name elsewhere in Scotland.
o As if to underline the Welsh connection, Strathclyde was, between 925AD and 1018AD, ruled by Celtic kings three of whom two were called Owen the bald. The only other ruler on record as being bald was Idwal who ruled Gwynedd between 916AD and 942AD.
o Meurig ap Arthfael ruled Gwent around 830AD and in the adjoining kingdom of Ceridigion, Meurig ap Dynfnywallon ruled around 850AD.
o Meurig ap Dynfnywallon is significant because of his daughter Angharad's marriage to Rhodri Mawr the king of Gwynedd. Both kings could trace their ancestry back to Cunedda (400AD-460AD) one of the founding fathers of the Welsh royal dynasties.
o Descendants of Rhodri Mawr include Henry VII of England (1457-1509).
o One of the four sons of Idwal ap Anarawd who ruled Gwynedd (916AD-942AD) was Meurig ap Idwal. Although never ruling himself, he was the ancestor of Owain Glyn Dwr (1354AD-1416AD) the last Welsh Prince of Wales and ruler of Powys.
o Meurig ap Hywel ruled Gwent from 1045 to 1055.
o Before the 20th century, only a comparatively limited number of people could read or write. Poorly educated parish priests and record clerks could only write down what they heard in the local accent. Regional spelling also varied enormously, often within the same family. Meuric, Meuricus, Meurig, Meurich, ap Meurig, Amerike, Merycke, Mericke, Meyrick, Mayrick, Myric, Meirick, Miric, Marik, Merreck, Merrik, Merike, Merrick and Merricks are just some recorded examples. An "ap" , "ab" before a name or an "s" on the end of a surname usually denotes "son of " or sometimes "nephew of".
o Merrick did not become a hereditary surname name in Wales until the 16th century. Ordinary people would often name their sons after a popular king, either past or present. They were called ap Meurig meaning son or nephew of Meurig. The "ap" became Anglicized to "A". Richard Ameurig in Wales, was written as Amerike in England and pronounced America. In England, the "ap" and the "A" were subsequently dispensed with and the Viking or Anglo Saxon "e" after the final consonant was also eventually dropped.
o The name Meurig was just one of many Celtic first names. All kings of that name had sons of a different name and consequently, there is no royal line of Meurig any more than John, Richard or Henry. However, one branch of the Merrick dynasty can claim descent from the Welsh rulers of Gwenedd as detailed below. Many were killed in battle and, for the most part, were cynical cunning buccaneers, prepared to murder one another in order keep or gain power. They did, however, play a significant role in the formation and social history of Wales over hundreds of years.
o Cunedda ruled Gwynedd from 450 to 460AD.
o Einion Yrth was one of Cunedda's nine sons and ruled Gwynedd from 460 to 480AD.
o Cadwallon Lawhir (Loghand), son of Einion, ruled Gwynedd from 500 to 534 AD. He was a contemporary of the legendary King Arthur.
o Maelgwyn Hir (the Tall), son of Cadwallon ruled Gwynedd between 534 and 549 AD. He is reputed to have founded the bishopric of Bangor and died of the plague.
o Rhun Hir, the son of Maelgwyn ruled Gwynedd from approximately 549 to 580 AD.
o Beli ap Rhun was either the son or nephew of Rhun and ruled Gwynedd from 580 to 599 AD.
o Iago ap Beli ruled Gwynedd between 599 and 615. He abdicated and died, probably murdered, in a monastery.
o Cadfan ap Iago ruled Gwynedd from Aberffaw on Anglesey between 615 and 620 AD.
o Cadwallon ap Cadfan succeeded him and ruled between 620 and 634AD.
o Cadfael ap Cynfeddw, the usurper, seized the throne when Cadwaladr was too young to succeed to the throne on the death of his father in battle. He ruled Gwynedd from 634 to 655 AD.
o Cadwaladr ap Cadwallon succeeded Cadfael and ruled between 655 and 682 AD and died of the plague.
o Idwal ap Cadwaladr ruled from 682 to 720 AD.
o Rhodri ap Idwal ruled between 720 and 754 AD.
o Caradog ap Meirion ruled Gwynedd from 754 to 798 AD. He was a cousin of Rhodri ap Idwal and descended from Cunedda.
o Cynan ap Rhodri ruled Gwynedd from 798 to 816 AD interrupted by a civil war from 814 to 816 AD when he won the kingdom back briefly from Hywel.
o Hywel ruled Gwynedd briefly in 814 AD and from 816 to 825 AD. He was either the son or grandson of Rhodri or the son of Caradog ap Meirion.
o Merfyn Frych ( the Freckled) ruled Gwynedd from 825 to 844 AD. He was the grandson of Cynan ap Rhodri.
o Rhodri Mawr ( the Great) ruled Gwynedd from 844 to 878 AD, Powys from 855 to 878 AD and Seisllwg from 871 to 878 AD through his marriage to Angharad the daughter of Meurig of Seisllwyg. They had six sons and, after an eventful reign repelling invasions from all sides, he was killed in battle.
o Anarawd ap Rhodri ruled Gwynedd between 878 and 916 AD. One brother, Merfyn, ruled Powys and the other, Cadell, ruled Seisllwyg.
o Idwal Foel (the Bald) ap Anarawd ruled Gwynedd from 916 to 942 AD and was killed in battle.
o Iago ap Idwal ruled Gwynedd from 950 to 979 AD jointly with his brother Ieuaf who eventually deposed him.
o Ieuaf ap Idwal ruled Gwynedd from 950 to 969 AD jointly with his brother Iago.
o They waged civil war against one another for seventeen years and destroyed the power of Gwynedd which did not recover for another hundred years. Ieuaf was eventually deposed and imprisoned.
o Hywel ap Ieuaf ruled Gwynedd between 974 and 985 AD when he was murdered.
o Cadwallon ap Ieuaf ruled Gwynedd from 985 to 986 AD. He was the brother of 3.175 Hywel ap Ieuaf and was killed in battle by Maredudd ap Owain of Deheubarth.
o Maredudd ap Owain annexed Gwynedd between 986 and 999 AD.
o Cynan ap Hywel ruled Gwynedd and Deheubarth from 999 to 1005 AD. He was the nephew of Cadwallon ap Ieuaf.
o Llywelyn ap Seisyll ruled Gwynedd from 1005 to 1023. He claimed the weakened throne of Gwynedd after the internecine battles and death of Cynan ap Seisyll. The inter-dynastic rivalries continued after Llywelyn's death.
o Iago ap Idwal ap Meurig ruled Gwynedd from 1023 until 1039 AD when he was murdered.
o Gruffydd ap Llywelyn seized power and ruled Gwynedd and Powys from 1039 to 1063 AD and deheubarth from 1044 to 1047 AD and 1055 to 1063 AD. He was the son of Llywelyn ap Seisyll and regarded as the sovereign ruler of all Wales. He was murdered by Cynan ap Iago and his head sent to King Harold of England.
o Bleddyn ap Cynfyn ruled Gwynedd and Powys from 1063 to 1075. He was not part of the hereditary ruling Gwynedd family but a puppet ruler installed by Edward the Confessor. The son of Cynfyn and Agharad (previously married to Llewelyn ap Seisyll), he was murdered at Powys castle.
o Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn was co-ruler of Gwynedd with Bleddyn from 1063 to 1070 AD. He was killed in battle.
o Trahern ap Caradog ruled Gwynedd from 1075 to 1081 AD. He was a prince of Southern Powys and seized the throne of Gwynedd on the death of Bleddwyn. He was killed in battle.
o Gruffydd ap Cynan ruled Gwynedd from 1081 to 1137 AD. He was born in Ireland, in exile, the son of Cynan ap Iago ap idwal ap Meurig. His mother was Ragnhilr daughter of Olaf the grandson of the Viking King Sitric III of Dublin. Gruffydd is buried in Bangor cathedral.
o Owain Gwynedd ap Gruffydd ruled Gwynedd from 1137 to 1170 AD. Born on Anglesey, he had two sons and two daughters by his wife Gwladys the daughter of Llywarch ap Trahern and at least six illegitimate children by two or three other women. His second marriage was to Christina, his cousin and was considered to be illegal in the eyes of the church. He extended his realm as far as the river Dee and reclaimed Gwynedd and most of Powys. He was officially styled "Prince of the Welsh" subject to Henry II of England. He appointed his own bishop at Bangor and was buried in Bangor Cathedral. Upon his death and according to Welsh law, his lands were divided between his sons of whom Maelgwyn inherited Anglesey.
o Maelgwyn ap Owain was co-ruler of Gwynedd in 1170 and sole ruler from 1172 to 1173 AD. Civil war broke out and he fled to Ireland. He later returned but was imprisoned by his brothers.
o Dafydd ap Owain was co-ruler of Gwynedd in 1170 and sole ruler from 1174 to 1175 AD. He imprisoned his brother Rhodri and married Henry II's half sister, Emma. He was himself imprisoned for a year and exiled to Hales in Shropshire (Halesowen).
o Rhodri ap Owain was co-ruler of Gwynedd from 1170 to 1174 AD and Anglesey from1175 to 1190 AD. Despite seeking help from King Ragnald of the Isle of Man, he was defeated and expelled by his nephews, Gryffydd and Maredudd ap Cynan aided by Llywelyn ap Iorweth. He is reputedly buried at Holyhead.
o Llywyelyn Fawr (the Great) ap Iorweth ruled Gwynedd from 1190, Powys from 1208 and Deheubarth from 1216 to 1240 AD. He married the illegitimate daughter of King John of England by whom he had five children. He had at least one illegitimate child. He declared himself Prince of Wales in 1210 AD and confirmed as such by the Treaty of Worcester in 1218 AD after repelling a major invasion by King John. Frequent border skirmishes continued for several more years, especially with the new regent of England, William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke. Llywelyn is buried in Aberconwy Abbey.
o Dafydd ap Llywelyn ruled Gwynedd from 1240 to 1246 AD. He is buried in Aberconwy Abbey and, having had no children, he was succeeded by his half brother's son.
o Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (Llywelyn the Last) ruled Gwynedd from 1247 to 1282 AD. He married Eleanor, daughter of Simon de Montfort and they had one daughter, Gwenllian. In 1257 AD he swept through Wales reclaiming land lost to other Welsh Princes and Henry III. In 1258, he declared himself Prince of Wales and, under the Peace of Montgomery in 1267, was recognized as the sovereign of Wales. Although the treaty excluded some territories in the south, this was the first and only time Wales had become a sovereign state. In 1274 there was a plot against his life by his brother Dafydd and the same year saw the accession to the English throne of Edward I. Llywelyn refused to pay homage and Edward invaded Wales. Llywelyn was killed in 1282 in a scuffle by an opportunist who did not recognize him. He is buried in Cwm Hir Abbey. His brother, Dafydd continued the war for four more months but finally surrendered and was executed.
o Llywelyn's daughter, Gwenllian, was sent to a nunnery where she died in 1337 AD. Dafydd's daughters were likewise consigned to nunneries and his two sons imprisoned for life. Alone of all the royal family, Rhodri ap Gruffydd, who sold his inheritance to Llywelyn in 1272, lived on as lord of the manor in Surrey and in Cheshire until 1315. Owain ap Rhodri, his grandson was assassinated in 1378 after attempting to reclaim the principality.
o Hywel ap Meurig's granddaughter Elizabeth married Sir John Poyntz in 1343.
o In 1437 Richard ap Meric and John ap Meric were recorded as merchants of Bristol in the customs manifests.
o Meyrick of Bordogan (on Anglesey) is recorded as Usher to the palace of Sheen (Richmond) during the reigns of HenryV 1413-1422 and HenryVI 1422-1471.
o Richard Ap Meryk born in 1445 at Bollitree Castle near Weston-under-Penyard became Richard Amerike and moved to Bristol where he became a wealthy merchant. He was a founder member of Bristol's Society of Merchant Adventurers. He had his own Merchant's Mark which was the equivalent of a modern trade mark.
o Richard Amerike was appointed the King's Customs Officer for Bristol in 1486, 1490 and 1497. He became chief sponsor for John Cabot's expedition to New Foundland in 1497 and it is suggested by some that the new land was named after him as reward for his patronage. Furthermore, his coat of arms, a shield of stars and stripes, could well have formed the basis of the American flag. Richard Amerike was sheriff of Bristol in 1501 and mayor in 1502. He died in 1503. His only child, a daughter Joan, married John Brooke in 1494 who became Sergeant-at-Law to the Royal Court of Henry VII.
o Llewelyn ap Heylin, of Bordogan on Anglesey, fought at the battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 on the side of Henry VII. His two handed sword is still at the family home.
o The son of Llewelyn ap Heylin was Meuric ap Llewelyn of Bordogan. He married Angharad, daughter of Roland the Rector of Aberffraw near Bordogan and they had seven sons. He became High Sheriff of Anglesey and was captain of the Guard at Henry VIII's coronation in 1509. He died in 1538.
o Meuric ap Llewelyn's first son, Richard Meyrick was the first in this family to use the Anglicised version of his name. He succeeded his father as High Sheriff of Anglesey.
4. THE RENAISSANCE (1509-1750)|
o Meuric ap Llewelyn's second son, Roland Meyrick was born in 1505. Appointed vicar of Stoke-by-Nayland in Suffolk in 1544, he subsequently became Canon and Chancellor of St David's Cathedral in 1550 where he had maintained a continuing feud against bishop Ferrer. When the Roman Catholic Queen Mary acceded to the throne, his marriage to Elizabeth Barret of Gellyswick in Pembrokeshire in 1554 was considered inappropriate and he was dismissed. He was eventually returned to favour on Elizabeth's accession appointed first protestant Bishop of Bangor. His old enemy, bishop Ferrer was accused of heresy and other misdemeanours and was burnt at the stake along with two other clerics despite begging Roland Merrick for mercy. Roland subsequently married Catherine Burill by whom he had six children, Sir Gelly, Sir Francis, Harry, John and two daughters. He died in 1565 and is buried in Bangor Cathedral on the south side of the high altar. His brass monument has been removed.
o Roland Meyrick lived at a turning point in history when two important events occurred in Britain. The first was the change from the Roman Catholic Church to the Anglican Church and the second was the use of surnames. The first event was brought about by royal decree and was immediate. The second event occurred gradually through common usage over many years from 1066 until HenryVIII's accession in 1509. To celebrate his coronation, Henry VIII declared that, from henceforth, all men should bear their father's present name unto perpetuity. Even then, surnames were not common in the remoter parts of Wales until the end of the 17th century.
o The Act of Supremacy in 1534 rejected the Pope's authority and placed Henry VIII at the head of the new Church of England. Some clergy resisted and were martyred but most, like Roland Meyrick, changed to Protestantism overnight.
o From Roland Meyrick are descended the Meyricks of Goodrich Court in Herefordshire and Bush in Pembrokeshire. From whom, in turn, is believed to be descended the Philadelphia branch of the Merrick family of America.
o Meuric ap Llewelyn's third son, William Meyrick, died unmarried.
o Meuric ap Llewelyn's fourth son, Ovain Meyrick, also died unmarried.
o Meuric ap Llewelyn's fifth son, John Meyrick, became a rector in Wales and married a Sage. He is reputedly the ancestor of four brothers, William, James, John and Thomas who emigrated to Charlestown Massachusetts in 1636.
o Meuric ap Llewelyn's sixth son, Edmund, became Arch-Deacon of Bangor and married Elysabeth.
o Meuric ap Llewelyn's seventh son, Reynault Meyrick, also became a Rector and married Elizabeth.
o John Meyrick, son of Owen Ab Meyrick of Bodean on Anglesey was born in 1538. He became vicar of Hornchurch in Essex in 1570. In 1575 he was appointed bishop of Sodor and Man on the Isle of Man. He died in 1599. A half brother, William, was the chancellor of Bangor University. Another half brother, Maurice, became registrar of New College Oxford.
o Richard Amerike was sheriff of Bristol in 1501 and mayor in 1502. He died in 1503.
o Sir John Meyrick, son of Sir William Meyrick, was Elizabeth's ambassador to Russia. His father was an original member of the Muscovy Company founded by Cabot in 1554. Sir John was an important political link between Elizabeth and the Tzar over many years and became a major influence on the Russian royal family. He was knighted by James I on 13th June 1614. Sir John was married to Francis Cherrie but had no children and died in 1638. His elder brother, Richard, had died in 1603.
o Henry Meyrick was born in 1562 at Crowhill, Pembroke.
o Sir Francis Meyrick was born in 1565 at Monkton, Pembroke and died at Bush, Pemboke in 1660. He was the second son of Roland Merrick of Anglesey and was knighted in Dublin in 1609 for his military prowess relating to the enforced settlement of Protestants in Ireland.
o Sir Gelly Meyrick was born in 1556 in Anglesey. He was a prominent figure in Elizabethan times and held Wigmore Castle near Ludlow. The eldest son of Roland Merrick, he was a Lieutenant-General under the Earl of Essex and knighted by him after the capture of Cadiz. He married Elizabeth (Margaret) Lewis of Radnor, the wealthy widow of John Gwyn. After being involved with Essex in his conspiracy against Elizabeth I, he was hanged at Tyburn for treason on 13th March 1601. His estates were immediately confiscated but later restored in part to his son Roland and daughter Margaret at Lucton and Eyton in Herefordshire.
o Sir Francis Merrick of Fleet, Monkton in Pembroke was granted his coat of arms in 1599 and died in 1603.
o Sir John Meyrick, fifth son of Sir Francis, was born in 1584. His grandfather was bishop Roland Meyrick and his uncle was Sir Gelly Meyrick. He was knighted in 1625 and elected to the Short Parliament as member for Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, on 25th March 1640. On 13th October the same year he was re-elected to the Long Parliament. He was appointed Sergeant-Major-General in the Parliamentary Army commanded by the Earl of Essex in the Civil War of 1642-1646. He commanded his own infantry regiment, Sir John Meyrick's Foote and fought at Edgehill. He was later appointed general of the Ordnance at the battles of Gloucester and Newbury. He married Alice Fitton of Gawswoth Cheshire by whom he had a son named Essex and two daughters. His second wife, Jane, widow of Peter Wyche bore him no children. He died in 1659 and is commemorated in a portrait in Bush church dressed in black armour. He is also included on a stone monument to his father in Priory church Monkton.
o Rice Merrick, son of Meiric ap Howell of Cottrell in Glamorgan was Clerk of the Peace for Glamorgan and leading historian. He died in 1587 and is buried in the south aisle of Cowbridge church with a commemorative tablet and shield nearby.
o The Pilgrim Fathers inaugurated a religious migration to New England in 1620.
o Records indicate that a Henry Merrick settled in Virginia in 1635.
o In 1660, London Merchant Christopher Merrick of Norcote Middx sold Tenter Fields, just south of London Bridge, to Trinty House. The name Tenter Fields indicates the land had been used for the drying of dyed cloth. Trinity Church was constructed in the centre of the land and a 14th century statue of King Alfred, recovered from the Palace of Westminster, placed in front of it. In 1828, a Mr Chadwick bought and developed the remainder of the site. He built a fine Georgian square around the church together with a mixture of commercial and residential buildings on the rest. Merrick Square immediately adjoins Trinity Church Square. Christopher Merrick was granted his coat of arms in 1663. Trinty Church is now a major recording studio.
o Sir William Mericke, son of Maurice Meyrick of Bodean on Angelsey, became the prerogative judge in Canterbury in 1641. He died in 1668.
o In 1680 a John Merrick and his servants emigrated to Barbados where there is now a town called Merricks.
o James Merrick, second son of John Merrick MD and Elizabeth Lybbe of Reading, was born in 1720. He became a leading scholar at Trinity College, Oxford, where his coat of arms can still be seen. He wrote many psalms and a great deal of poetry, the most famous of which is "The Chameleon". Some of his works were set to music, including pieces for the coronation of George III. He died in 1769. The family grave is in Caversham, Oxfordshire.
o The family coat of arms of US president George Washington (1732-1799) shows a remarkable resemblance to that of Ricard Amerike who sponsored John Cabot's expedition to New Foundland in 1497. (see 3.197 above, section 3)
o William Merrick is recorded as being promoted to Major General in 1745.
o Thomas Meyrick of Bush in Pembrokeshire became a great friend of George III to whom he sold Pembroke Docks. George III's wife Sophia was godmother to Thomas Meyrick's only child Jane Sophia Meyrick.
o Lt. Gen. George Meyrick received his promotion in 1819.
o Gen. Thomas Meyrick received his promotion in 1830.
o Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, the son of John Meyrick was born on 26th August 1783. He was a well-known antiquary and leading expert on armoury and amassed an important collection of his own. He was knighted by William IV on 22nd February 1832 and appointed high-sheriff of Herefordshire in 1834. After failing to buy Goodrich castle, he built Goodrich Court near Ross on Wye in 1827 to contain his collection. The architect was Edward Blore. Sir Samuel wrote several important books, richly illustrated, on the subject of armoury and died in 1848.
o Llewlyn, first son of Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick died unmarried.
o Lt. Col. Augustus William Meyrick, second son of Sir Samuel inherited the estate but sold the armoury collection to Mr. Spitzer of Paris where it was eventually divided into small parts and disposed of. Augustus was promoted to Lt.General in 1881.
o Thomas Meyrick was the last descendant of the Pembroke branch of the family and, when he died in 1837, the estate was sold.
o Jane Sophia Meyrick married St John Chiverton Charlton of Apley Castle in Shropshire in 1820. They had five daughters and two sons. Their first son and heir, William, was born in 1832 and died in 1864.
o The second son Thomas was born in 1837. He assumed, by Royal licence, the surname and arms of Meyrick together with his mother's estate in Pembrokeshire. On his brother's death, he inherited the Apley estate too.
o Jane Sophia Meyrick died in 1842 and St John Chiverton Charlton married his cousin Anne Charlotte Charlton.
o Thomas Meyrick married Mary Rhoda Hill in 1860. They had two sons, Frederick Charlton Meyrick and Rowland Francis Meyrick. Frederick Charlton Meyrick became a Brigadier General and renounced his title to Apley. Rowland Francis Meyrick succeeded to Apley.
o Edward Meyrick was born in 1854 and is recorded as a leading Entomologist. He died in 1938. This study represents a only preliminary scratching of the surface and does not include any Merricks related to my own family which can be traced with certainty back to 1750. Most have been found in the Welsh Borders and appear to have descended from Welsh peasants whose first name would have been Meuric pronounced Merrick. It would not have been used as a surname until the 15th century at the earliest and probably as late as the 18th century in remote areas of Wales. In the period immediately after the Roman invasion, Meuric was a common name throughout the kingdom of Coel Hen which stretched from the Clyde to mid Wales. Merrick mountain in Scotland appears to have been named, in the 5th century, after an early British ruler called Meuric and later Anglicized to Merrick. Further study of ancient maps is essential before this can be confirmed.