This interesting surname is of English locational origin from a place thus called in Westmorland. The placename was recorded as "Bruham" in the Patent Rolls of 1228, and derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "burh" meaning a fortified place, fort, plus "ham" a homestead; hence a "fortified homestead". The surname is first recorded in the mid 13th Century, (see below). One, Robert de Brouham, appears in the Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland (1332). Other recordings of the surname from English church registers include; Elizabeth Browham, who married Anthonie Lancaster, on November 24th 1558, at St.Andrew's, Penrith, Cumberland; on May 25th 1606, Richard, son of Thomas Brougham was christened at St. Martin Pomeroy, London; and the marriage of Margaret Brougham to John Ashburn took place on November 17th 1692, at St. Bee's, Cumberland. The type of four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage known as a brougham was named after Henry, Lord Brougham (1778-1868). He was descended from a certain Henry Brougham, who had bought the manor or Brougham in 1726. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Broham, witness, which was dated 1244, Assize Court Rolls of London, during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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