Recorded in a number of spellings including Lilburn, Lilbourn, Lilbourne, and Lilburne, this is an English medieval locational surname. It originates from either the village of Lilbourne in Northamptonshire or a similar village called Lilburn, three hundred miles north in Northumberland. Both villages have a similar Olde English pre 7th century background, and describe being by the 'stream where the lillies grow'. Both villages are recorded in the famous register of England known as Domesday Book, written in 1086, and are found in the spelling of Lilleburne. Locational surnames are by their very nature 'from' names. this is to say that they were usually given to people after they left their original village and moved elsewhere. It was the easiest form of identification to call a 'stranger' by the name of the place from whence he or she, originated. Spelling being at best problematical, and local dialects very 'thick', often lead to the development of alternative spellings. Early examples of this surname include Alexander de Lilleburna of Northumberland in the year 1170, and John de Lilleburn of Yorkshire in the Subsidy Rolls of the year 1327. One of the most famous people of the English Civil war period (1640 - 1660) was John Lilburne described as a 'political agitator'. With his brother Robert, he was a major contributor to the success of Parliament during the war from 1642 - 1648, and the ultimate execution of King Charles 1st in 1649. Not satisfied with this 'achievement' he then fell out with Oliver Cromwell, and was exiled to the Channel islands where he died.
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