The surname of CORPES was of French origin, a name that was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and was derived from the Old Norman KORPR, meaning raven. The name is familiar to Yorkshire and Suffolk. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conquerer. It is known as the Domesday Book. The earliest of the name on record appears to be William le Corp, who was documented in Yorkshire in the year 1177, and James Corpes was recorded in Yorkshire in 1231.
Prior to the Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066, no one had surnames, only christian or nicknames in England. Based on this, and our physical attributes, we were given surnames incorporating tax codes to show trades, areas in which we lived, as today we have street names and numbers. Surnames were used in France and like speaking countries from about the year 1000, and a few places had second names even earlier. Even early monarchs had additions to show attributes and character, for example Ethelred (red-hair) the Unready (never prepared). Edward I was named 'Long shanks' because of his long legs, and Richard III was called 'Crouchback' owing to his deformed shoulder. Other records of the name mention Anketill le Corpes, who appears in County Suffolk in 1300, and Stephen Corp of the County of Lincolnshire was mentioned in 1273. Simon Corp of London was recorded in 1272-1307. John Corp of the County of Somerset, during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and Edward Corpes of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. A later instance of the name mentions Richard Corpe and Frances Cottrell were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1801.
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