Recorded in several forms including Corbet, Corbett, Corbitt, Carbert, Corbert, and Corburt, this interesting Anglo Scottish surname is of Norman - French origins. Derived from the French word "corbet", it is translates as "Little raven", in heraldry a highly respected bird known for its ferocity. A quote from Courthope's "Debrett" states that - "Corbet, a noble Norman, came into England with the Conqueror, and from his son Roger Corbet descended the baronial house, as well as the families of the name now existing". The Conqueror referred to is of course William 1st (1066 - 1087), and during his reign many such names were introduced from France. The surname in the county of Shropshire can be traced to the Norman baron Hugh Corbet (see below), whose descendant Sir Richard Corbet was also granted lands in Scotland. It seems that Robert Corbet obtained the manor of Foghou from the earls of Dunbar in about 1130, and subsequently the family spread to Teviotdale and the manor of Malcarvestum. Recordings taken from surviving church registers of the city of London include Anne Corbett who married Richard Lee at St. Michael's Cornhill, in 1599, whilst James Carbert married Ann Green at St Peters Cornhill, in 1781. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Corbet. This was dated 1086, in the county of Shropshire. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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