Recorded as Smallbone and the patronymic Smallbones, this is an English surname. It is medieval and originates from the pre 7th century Olde English words 'smael-ban' which was probably a nckname of endearment for a small person. This may have been literally a small person, but could have equally applied to child, the name being carried on as many nicknames were and are, into mature age. It is first recorded as a surname with the recording of Wilk Smalbon in the Friary Rolls of Leicestershire in the year 1198. This was during the reign of the famous King Richard, the Lionheart, when he was desperately trying to raise money to secure his release from captivity in Austria. This was also (arguably) one of the periods when Robin Hood and the famous outlaws of Sherwood Forest were hard at work. We mention this because all their names seem to have been nicknames, Robin Hood, Little John, and Friar Tuck for example. Other examples of this particular surname recording include John Smalbayne in the tax Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire in the year 1301, whilst later developments are those of taken from surving church registers of the city of London and include Willam Smallbone, who was buried at St Michael's Cornhill in 1593, whilst Joseph Smallbones was baptised at St James Clerkenwell in 1691.
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