This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from either of the places called Cobden in Derbyshire and Devonshire. The placename means "Cobba's hill", from the Olde English pre 7th Century male personal name "Cobba", originally a byname or nickname from an element meaning "lump, mound", used for a large, well-built man, with the Olde English "dun", low hill, down. Other placenames with the name "Cobba" as the first element are Cobham, in Kent and Sussex, "Cobba's homestead", and Cobley in Devonshire, "Cobba's wood or clearing". Locational surnames were acquired particularly by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The marriage of John Cobden and Mary Timson was recorded at All Saints Church, Wandsworth, London, on May 22nd 1611. Perhaps the most well known bearer of the name was Richard Cobden (1804 - 1865), the English economist and statesman; he was a leader of the successful campaign to abolish the Corn Laws in 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Goeffrey le Coppden which was dated 1307, in the "Writs of Parliament", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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