Babington

Babington - what does Babington surname mean?

This is a famous English surname. It is locational from the villages of Babington near Frome in Somerset or more likely Magna, now known as Great, and Little Babington, near Hexham in Northumberland. In a sense the place name is tribal in that it derives from the pre 7th century Olde English personal name `Babba` of uncertain etymology. To this was added `ing` meaning people, and `tun` a place, to give `The place of the Babba people`. The Babba`s were clearly of some importance as the name is recorded in at least six different places in England. The later surname is particulary associated with the famous `Babyngton Conspiracy`. This was a claimed attempt in 1586 by Anthony Babington, a descendant of Richard de Babyngton of Babington Magna, Northumberland, to assassinate Queen Elizabeth 1st of England, and to place Mary, Queen of Scots on the throne. The facts are now disputed, and it is very likely that Babington may have been set up by certain protestants wishing to find an excuse to bring Mary to trial for treason. Whatever the real truth Babington paid for his part, with his life. Other early examples of nameholders include Hugh de Babintone of Derbyshire in 1273, whilst a century later Henricus de Babbynton appears in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379.

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