(from Corbeau, a raven), the surname of a family, whose
ancestor, Roger Corbet, came over from Normandy, with William the
Conqueror, and obtained extensive grants of lands in Shropshire and on
the marches of Wales. In England this family held many high offices in
the state, and not less than nineteen of them are in the rolls, of
those who served at Agincourt, the sacking of Cadiz, the wars against
the Welsh, Scots, French, &c. Between 1192 and 1625, seventy-one were
made knights, and one a banneret, and since that time two of the
Corbets of Shropshire have been created baronets.
A branch of
the family seem early to have settled in Scotland, and to have
obtained possession of the lands of Mackerstoun in Roxburghshire.
Walter Corbet, dominus de Mackerstoun in Teviotia, is witness with
others to a charter of Malcolm the Fourth preserved in Andersons
Diplomata. This Walter was the son of Robert Corbet, who is witness in
the inquisition made by David prince of Cumberland of the lands
belonging to the church of Glasgow, and also in other deeds of that
prince, when king of Scots. In the Chartulary of Melrose, Walter de
Corbet is mentioned as a donor of the church of Mackerstoun to the
abbacy of Kelso. Avicia de Corbet of this family was the wife of
Richard Morville, high constable of Scotland, who died in 1191. In the
charters of Alexander the Second, Nicolas Corbet is frequently
mentioned as a witness. Among those who swore fealty to Edward the
First in 1296, occur the names of Roger Corbet and Adam Corbet, the
former of Mackerstoun and the latter supposed to be of Hardgray in
Annandale. The barony of Mackerstoun was afterwards possessed by the
Frasers of Drummelzier, and in the reign of David the Second, was
inherited by an heiress, Margaret Fraser, who married Dougall
Macdougall; and is now in possession of General Sir Thomas Macdougall-Brisbane,
baronet, who received it on his marriage, in 1819, with the eldest
daughter and heiress of Sir Henry Hay Macdougall, baronet, the
descendant of the above Dougall Macdougall.
of Hardgray in Dumfries-shire, resided latterly in Clydesdale. A
charter by Thomas de Corbet, dominus de Hardgray, Joanni de Corbet,
filio suo, of the lands of Limekilns in Annandale in 1405, was
confirmed by the earl of Douglas. The Corbets of Hardgray became
extinct in the male line in the early part of the eighteenth century.
Mr. Hugh Corbet of Hardgray, the last proprietor, left two daughters,
coheiresses of his estate, the elder married, first, to John Douglas
of Mains, and secondly, to Sir Mungo Stirling of Glorat; and the
younger of James Douglas of Mains.
Corbet, who is styled minister of Benhill, (Bonhill?) published at
Dublin in 1639, a quarto work, entitled The Ungirding of the Scottish
Armour; in answer to the information for Defensive Arms against the
Kings Majesty, which were drawn up by the Covenanters at Edinburgh.
He also published at London, in 1646, A vindication of the
Magistrates and Ministers of the city of Gloucester, 4to. Another
John Corbet, also a Scotsman, beheaded in the Irish rebellion in 1641,
was the author of The Epistle Congratulatorie of Lysimachus Nicanor
to the Covenanters in Scotland.
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