This interesting surname is a patronymic form of the medieval male given name "Robin", a diminutive of Robert, from the short form "Rob", plus the hypocoristic suffix "-in". Robert comes from the Old German "Hrodebert", originally a combination of "hrothi" and "berhta", meaning "fame-bright", and appears in the Domesday Book of 1086. Robin came originally from France, and the name was made popular by Robin Goodfellow, another name for Puck, whose mischievous tricks are described in Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream", and Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest, who stole from the rich to give to the poor. The surname is first found in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below), and one Margaret Robines appears in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire (1279). In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings, including: Robyns, Robins, Robens, Robbings and Robens. On August 10th 1539, Elizabeth Robbins married John Bornam at St. Nicholas Acons, and Thomas Robbins married Jane Brown on May 26th 1566, at St. Martin Orgar and St. Clement Eastcheap, London. In Ireland the name is found as Robins and Robbins, the origin being English, the first Church Recording being that of Anthony Robbins, a witness at Derry Cathedral, on January 26th 1658. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Dera Robins, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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