Recorded in a number of spellings which appear to include Roseburgh, Roseborough, Rosborough, Rossborough, Rosbough and possibly Rossbrook and Rossbrooke, this is a locational surname. It would seem to be one of the three thousand or so locational surnames of the British Isles, which originated either from a now "lost" medieval village possibly called either "Ros broc" meaning the place of the roses by the water, or "Ros burgh" meaning the hill of the roses, or from some place whose name spelling has changed so much over the centuries, that the relationship between the now existing surname spellings and the place itself is no longer recognizeable. "Lost villages" occured usually because of changes in agricultural practise, and in particular the introduction of sheep farming in medieval times. Requiring far fewer workers, sheep farming rendered many villages redundant. When this happened, the villagers had no choice but to seek homes and work elsewhere, and they also took or were given, as their surname, the name of their former home. Spelling being at best erratic and local dialects very thick, soon lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. In this case examples taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include: Alice Rosebrook who married Richard Clerk at St Margarets church, Westminster, on April 14th 1619, James Rosbough, christened at St Martins in the Field, also Westminster, on June 27th 1727, Archibald Roseburgh, a witness at the Scotch Church, London Wall, in the city of London, on June 6th 1802, and Samuel Rosborough, christened at St Mary Whitechapel, also in the city of London, on September 17th 1829.
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