This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from either of two places called Warburton; one near Altrincham in Cheshire and the other in the Denby Dale urban district of West Yorkshire, or from Warbleton in Sussex. The Cheshire place, recorded variously as "Wareburegetune" and "Warburgetone" circa 1150 in the Pipe Rolls of the county, is so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century female name "Waerburg", a compound from the elements "waer", pledge, and "burh", fortress, with "tun", enclosure, settlement. The other two places share the same meaning and derivation. Locational surnames were originally given to local landowners, and to the lord of the manor, and especially to those former inhabitants who left their place of origin to live and work in another area. Early examples of the surname include: Geoffrey de Werberton (Cambridgeshire, 1325); Richard de Warberton (Cheshire, 1214); and John Warberton (Surrey, 1414). In 1594, one Edward Warburton of Cheshire, was entered in the Oxford University Register. Notable bearers of the name were Sir Peter Warburton, sheriff of Cheshire, 1583, and knighted in 1603, and William Warburton (1698 - 1779), chaplain to Frederick, Prince of Wales, 1783, friend of Alexander Pope, and bishop of Gloucester, 1759 - 1779. Coats of Arms have been granted to the Warburton families of Cheshire, Lancashire, London, Shropshire, Cornwall, and County Offaly, Ireland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mabilia de Warberton, which was dated 1212, in the "Pipe Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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