Medieval vernacular form of Matilda . This form was characteristically Low German (i.e. including medieval Dutch and Flemish). The wife of William the Conqueror , who bore this name, was the daughter of Baldwin , Count of Flanders. In Flemish and Dutch the letter -t- was generally lost when it occurred between vowels, giving forms such as Ma(h)auld. Maud or Matilda was also the name of the daughter ( 1102–67 ) of Henry I of England; she was married early in life to the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V , and later disputed the throne of England with her cousin Stephen . In 1128 she married Geoffrey , Count of Anjou. A medieval chronicler commented, ‘she was a good woman, but she had little bliss with him’. The name Maud became quite common in England in the 19th century, when its popularity was influenced in part by Tennyson's poem Maud, published in 1855 , but has not been much used since the early decades of the 20th century.
Dictionary of First Names © Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges 1990, 2003, 2006.