From the Late Latin name Mauricius, a derivative of Maurus (a byname meaning ‘Moor’, i.e. ‘dark, swarthy’), borne by, among others, an early Byzantine emperor (c.539–602). It was introduced to Britain by the Normans and was popular in the Middle English period, but was not widely adopted by the nobility and became rare in the 17th century. Between the mid-19th century and the 1940s, it was moderately popular but has since faded again. See also Morris.