Recorded in a number of spellings including Cubit, Cubitt and Cupitt, this is an English medieval surname. Perhaps surprisingly it does not appear to have any association with the biblical measurement of a 'cubit', which is roughly half a yard, although this is possible. If this were so it would suggest that the name was one originally given to an architect, builder or surveyor, but we have substantive proof. The eminent Victorian etymologist Canon C W Bardsley had no doubt that the name was a dialectal East Anglian form of Jacob, through the nickname 'Cob or Cobb', plus the diminutive 'et' a short form of 'petit', to give 'Little Cob' or 'son of Cob'. This is the explanation for the popular surname Cobbett or Cobbet, which is also widely recorded in the same region. What is certain is that most if not all of the original recordings of Cubitt and Cubit are from the the county of Norfolk, an area where the original dialect was so 'thick' as to almost constitute a separate language. The first recording may be that of Geoffrey Cobet, in the famous Hundred Rolls of Norfolk in the year 1273. This was in the first year of the reign of King Edward 1st of England, and known as 'The Hammer of the Scots'. Later recordings from Norfolk include those of Benedict Cubitt, given as being the bailiff of Yarmouth in the year 1566, whilst in London in 1739, Barbara Cubit married Benjamin Barber, at St George's chapel, Hanover Square, and in 1756 Thomas Cubitt married Mary Gray at the same church.
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