This rare and unusual name is first recorded in England in the late 16th Century. It is a derivation of the Spanish, Portugese 'Bravo', which itself derives from the Roman (Latin) 'Barbarus' meaning 'vicious and fierce' - clearly a descriptive nickname. The modern meaning of 'Bravo' is a late development well after the surname period, the present spellings being a developed anglicized form which includes the following recordings John Bravens, christened at St. Lukes, Chelsea in 1703, William Bravin who married Elizabeth Downing at St. Dunstans, Stepney in 1645 and Rebbecca Braven who married John Meecham at St. Mary le Bone, London, in 1786. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Brovne, which was dated 1604 witness at St. Andrews by the Wardrobe, London, during the reign of King James I of England and VI of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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