This surname of McCOWBYN is an old Dumfriesshire surname and a common one in the Stewartry. The family gave name to M'Cubbinstone in Dumfriesshire. The burghs of Scotland owe much of their prosperity to the large immigration of foreigners which went on during the 12th and 13th centuries. The original founders of the towns, were in many cases wanderers from Flanders, who brought with them their habits of industry and knowledge of trade and manufacture. Settlers of this description came in great numbers to England in the reign of Henry 1. (1100-1135) and when Henry 11 (1154-1189) drove all foreigners out of his dominions they flocked into Scotland, where a more enlightened policy made them welcome. The earliest of the name on record appears to be a Martin M'Cubyn or M'Cubyne who was a tenant of the mill of Dalfubill in 1376, and Brice Macobyn, a Scottish merchant, was granted a safe conduct to exercise his trade in England in 1398. John Makcubeyn held the ten shilling land of Trudonag in 1404. William McCuben in Ardlachie was fined for reset of Clan Gregor in 1613. (Reset was receiving and concealing stolen goods). Anne McUbein was spouse to Mr Antony Shaw, minister at Commonell in 1662, and a Fergus AcAbin of Knockdolian, contributed to repairs of St. Andrew's University in 1681. Alexander MacUbine in Irongay was hanged for being a Covenanter in 1685. (This was a protestation signed throughout Scotland in 1638, in which subscribers swore to defend the Protestant religion, and to resist all contrary errors.) A Mr James M'Cubyne was the provost of Jedburgh circa. 1693. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did.
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