Recorded in the spellings of Desborough and the variants Desbrow and Disbrow, this is an English surname which was very prominent in the history of the country during the great Civil War of 1640 - 1660. It is locational and there are two villages of which either or both may be responsible for the surname. These are Desborough in Buckinghamshire, so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "dwostle", meaning an aromatic plant now called 'Pennyroyal', and much used in herbal cures, plus "beorg", which may mean a castle or fortress, but can also mean a hill. The second origin is from a place in Northamptonhshire, which was originally named in Olde English as "Deoresburh", and translating as 'the strong fort'. The early recordings taken from the church registers of the city of London include Richard Desborough who married Bridget Woodland at St. James Clerkenwell, in 1722. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Major General John Desborough of the army of the English Parliament in 1642. He was later the member of Parliament for Cambridge, and additionally, a 'regicide'. He was one of the fifty three people, including Oliver Cromwell, who signed the death warrant of King Charles 1st in 1648. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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