This ancient surname is occupational in origin. It derives from the Old English pre 7th century 'web' - meaning 'to weave'. One of the most important occupations of the pre Medieval period, the surname is justifiably popular and is found in the spellings of Webber, Webster (the female form) and Weaver An early quotation in 'Cocke Lorelles Bote' circa 1380 appears as 'Coryers, Cordwayners, and Cobelers, Gyrdelers, Forbores and Webbers'. Early examples of the name recording include Clarice Le Webber in 1273, Adam Le Webbe of Essex in the same year, and Hugo Le Webbere in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1327. Later recordings are those of John Webber who married Elizabeth Letyll in London in 1524, whilst an important nameholder was John Webber (1750 - 1793), a the famous landscape painter. He was employed as the official artist and draughtsman on Captain Cooks third voyage (1776 - 1780) and later he published etchings of places visited. The coat of arms was granted in Cornwall in 1620. This has the blazon of a silver field, on a chevron engrailed blue, between three hurts, three annulets of silver. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Webber, which was dated 1255, in the Fine Court Rolls of Sussex, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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