This Scottish surname of HORSBURGH is of territorial origin from the old ten pound land of the same name in the parish of Innerleithen, Peebleshire. HORSABROC occurs in an Old English charter. The first of the race is believed to have been an Anglo-Saxon, designated Horse or Orse, who, settling on the lands on the north bank of the Tweed, there reared the castle or burg which communicated the present surname to his descendants. The earliest record of the name, however, is in the reign of Alexander II (1214-49), when Symon de HORSBROC witnessed a charter by William Purveys of Mospennoc to the monks of Melrose. William de HORSBROK was a notary public in 1287. Simon de HORSBROK entered the foreign service of Edward I of England in 1297, and he he mentioned again in the year 1302 and 1304 as holding lands provided by the king. Another Simon HORSBROKE was one of the archers of the East March of Scotland in 1404, and Robert HORSBRUK was prior of St. Andrews in 1479. From 1759 to 1776 there was a constant flow of emigrants from the Highlands to North America. Between 1763 and 1775 alone, it is estimated that about 20,000 Highlanders left Scotland for the New World. Among the emigrants was Flora McDonald, the heroine of 1746, with her husband. At the close of the American War of Independence, Flora and her husband returned to Scotland. Highland emigrants in their new American homes freely wore the highland dress, and were not forbidden the music of the 'piob-mhor' which was at that period prohibited in the Highlands by Government as a 'weapon of war'. On the outbreak of the American War in 1775, not only were the Highlanders in America loyal to their mother-country, but they raised a regiment in her support (the 84th Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment). At the conclusion of the war, the Highlanders, resisting all offers made to them by the new nation, crossed the border and settled in Canada. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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