HARPHAM An East Riding surname from an East Riding location, the parish of Harpham near Bridlington. The suggested meaning of the name is a farm (homestead) where there is a salt-harp – an implement for sieving salt.
The Victoria County History of the East riding, volume ii, has a Geoffrey of Harpham, landholder at Foxholes (c.6 miles from Harpham) in 1166; also Anselm of Harpham, Foxholes, 1243.
“John, son of John de Harpham, gave the mediety* of the church of Tweng [Thwing] to the monks of Bridlington which was confirmmed by Anceline de Harpham, his son, and by William son and heir of the said Anceline, who quit-claimed the same in the court of York in 1302.” (Surtees Society Publications, vol.49)
William son of Anceline (or Anselm) held three carucates of land at Thwing in 1303 (ibid.)
Robert de Harpham, charter witness, 1336.
John Harpham and wife at “Norwood”, Beverley, assessed for the Poll Tax, 1381. He may be John Harpham, governor of Beverley, 1400. A governor was a councillor.
Peter Harpham (fl.1584-1597) was twice Mayor of Beverley.
Mr. Peter Harpham was buried at St. Mary’s, Hull, 1623.
William Harpham, mariner, is on record in Hull, 1642.
Robert Harpham of Marfleet (near Hull), gent., is doubtless Robert Harpham of Marfleet whose will was proven in 1672. (Archives, Victoria County History, E.R. vol. i)
Burke’s General Armory gives a coat of arms for Harpham of Marfleet, confirmed 1657, viz. “Sable, a harp argent stringed or”. Harleian Society Publications, vol. 66, notes this grant, but the editor (Joseph Foster) adds that, according to some authorities, the grant was revoked at a later date; no further explanation.
John Harpham and wife Margaret were assessed for tax in Hull, 1695, as were five other individual Harphams.
John Harpham became a freeman of Hull in 1700 “per patrimonium”, i.e., as the son of a freeman. His father was John Harpham, saddler. (Bench Book)

*Mediety I take to be the same as moiety, and must mean a half-share in some income from the church, perhaps from some attached land.


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