The surname McCOUBREY was a baptismal name 'the son of Cuthbert' a north of England font name. St. Cuthbert (c635-687) was the Anglo-Saxon churchman and missionary, born probably in Lauderdale in the Scottish borders (then part of Northumbria). In 651 he was a shepherd boy there, and while watching his flock by night had a vision which made him resolve to become a monk. The same year he entered the monastry of Old Melrose and in 660 accompanied its abbot, St. Eata, to a new foundation in Ripon. He travelled widely in the north of England as a missionary and many miracles were reported. In 684 he was visited by the Ecgfrith, king of Northumbria, who entreated him to accept the bishopric of Hexham. He reluctantly complied, but thirsting after solitude at the end of two years he returned to a hermit's cell he had built, where he died. His fame during his life was great, but it became greater after his death, and many churches were named after him. His feast day is the 20th March. Other early instances include William Cudbriht, 1273 County Cambridge. Johannes Cuthbrid was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
Ridley Cuthbertson and Ann Maria Dickson were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1771.
The name was borne by a 7th century bishop of Hexham, and later of Lindisfarne, and remained popular because of his cult throughout the Middle Ages, especially in North England and the lowlands of Scotland.
The diminutive CUTHBE is rare and apparently confined to a small area on the Suffolk-Essex border. It first occurs in this form in the early 19th century; a century earlier the forms Cuthbert, Cutbee and Cutbie are all used of the same person.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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