This is one of the most interesting and evocative surnames of the British Isles, whilst being recorded throughout the English speaking world. It is a medieval patronymic from the given name Robin, itself a diminutive of the popular Anglo-Saxon pre 7th century personal name Robert. This was originally a compound name with the elements "hrothi", and "berhta", meaning "fame-bright". As such it is first recorded in England in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. It is said that the name was originally made popular by Robin Goodfellow, whose mischievous tricks were later described in Shakespeare's, "Midsummer Night's Dream", and perhaps even more so by Robin of Locksley, otherwise known as Robin Hood, who it is said (without too much evidence) stole from the rich to give to the poor. The surname was first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below), and one Margaret Robines appeared in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire, dated 1279. In the modern idiom, the surname can be found recorded as Robyns, Robins, Robens, Robbings, Robinson and Robens. Recordings from early surviving London church registers include: the marriage of Helen Robinson and Thomas Grene on October 1st 1548, at St. Leonard's, Eastcheap, and the marriage of Christopher Robinson and Jone Millman on November 4th 1565, at St. Mary Abchurch, London. An early settler in the New World Colonies was John Robinson, aged 26, who sailed from London on the ship "Peter Bonaventure", bound for the 'Barbadoes' in April 1635. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a green shield charged with a gold chevron between three gold bucks standing at gaze. 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. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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