Recorded in many spellings including Harbard, Harbart, Harberd, Harbord, Harberd, Horbart, Horbath, Horbert, Hurbard, Hurbot, Hurburt, Herbertson and others, this is a surname of Anglo-Scottish origins, but is more accurately French. Introduced into the British Isles at the time of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, it derives the pre 7th century French personal name Herbert, itself from the German Hariberct, meaning "army-bright". The first two name bearers being Herbertus and Hereberd in the famous Domesday Book of England in 1086. The surname dated back to the early 13th century, (see below) and other early recordings include Richard Herbert in the Assize Rolls of Worcestershire in 1221, and Reginald le Fitz Herbert in the Calendar of Inquisitions post mortem in 1347. In Scotland the first known recordings is that of Herbert filius Herberti, who granted lands to the Abbey of Cambusland in about the year 1210, whilst Archibald Herbertson was burgess of Glasgow in 1525. The poems of George Herbert (1593 - 1633) were read by Charles 1st when in prison in 1648, and were later commended by Coleridge. Examples of recordings in church registers include William Harbard, who was christened on February 1st 1617 at St. Brides Fleet Street, and Elizabeth Horbart who married John Clarke at St Botolphs Bishopgate, also city of London, on September 10th 1766. The first recorded spelling may be that of William Herebert. This as dated 1206, in the Pipe Rolls of Dorset, during the reign of King John of England, 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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