This unusual name which would seem to be wholly "British" is in fact in origin Spanish-Portuguese! It derives from the late Medieval period when Portugal became Britains oldest ally, the literal meaning being "one who is fierce" - clearly a descriptive nickname. The development is from "Bravo", the "modern" spelling being a form of patronymic or diminutive implying "Son of Bravo", or "Little Bravo" (Brave or Bravi). The meaning of "Bravo" as brave or courageous did not emerge until the 16th and 17th Centuries, too late to be reflected in the surname. There are a number of Continental Coats of Arms for Spain, Italy and Holland. The name recordings in Britain include the following examples - Susannah Bravery who married Jonathan Greek at St. Dunstans, Stepney on August 27th 1760. Mary Bravery who married Francis Carter on July 6th 1799 at St. Anne's church, Soho, Westminster and Henry Bravery, son of Benjanin and Elizabeth Bravery, christened at the church of St. Bartholomew the Great, London, on August 17th 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars 1794 - 1815. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Bravery, which was dated August 4th 1641, a witness at St. Dunstan's Church, Stepney, London, during the reign of King Charles 1, "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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