This interesting unusual surname, recorded in English church registers from the mid 16th Century under the variant spellings Horbin, Horrobin, Orrobin, Orbon, Aorbin etc., derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "har", (Medieval English "hore") meaning "grey", plus Robin, a French petform of the male given name Robert from the Old Germanic Hrodbert, a compound of "hrod", renown, plus "berht", bright or famous; hence "Hor-robin", "Grey Robin". The cognate nickname/surname "Jolyrobin" was recorded in the 1332, "Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland".The initial element coming from the Medieval English "joli" gay or lively, and one, Agnes Greyadam appears in the 1297, "Pipe Rolls of Cornwall". On February 7th 1556, Ellen Orrobyn, an infant, was christened in London, and on November 28th 1574, Richard Orbine(s) and Mary Augur were married in St. Botolph's, Cambridge. Richard Orbin and Mary Frost were married in Hartest, Suffolk, on November 28th 1700, and on November 27th 1771, the marriage of John Aorbin to Mary Wright took place in St. Clements, Terrington, Norfolk. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margaret Horobine, (marriage to Robert Stevenson), which was dated January 28th 1542, Church Wilne, Derbyshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was 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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