The surname of OVERBURY was a locational name 'of Overbury' a parish in County Worcestershire, five miles from Tewkesbury. The name is also spelt OVERBAY, OVREBERIE and OVERBERRY. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Uferebreodun (without surname) documented in Worcestershire in the year 875. The name was spelt as Ovreberie in the Domesday Book of the year 1086. In 1086 the compilation of the Domesday Book was ordered by William the Conqueror (1027-87), king of England from 1066. He was born in Failaise, the bastard son of Robert, Duke of Normandy, by Arlette, a tanner's daughter. On his father's death in 1035, the nobles accepted him as a duke. When Edward the Confessor, king of England died in 1066, William invaded England that Autumn, on 14th October, 1066 killing Harold (who had become King). English government under William assumed a more feudal aspect, the king's tenants-in-chief and all title to land was derived from his grants, and the Domesday Book contains details of the land settlements, and the names of the owners of such. A notable member of the name was Sir Thomas OVERBURY (1581-1613) the English courtier and poet, born in Compton-Scorpion, Warwickshire. He studied at Oxford and at the Middle Temple. In 1611 James VI and I made him Viscount Rochester. He became a close friend of Robert Carr (later Earl of Somerset) and a member of the king's court. Within this circle he became involved in numerous intrigues and scandals, one of which resulted in his death at the Tower at the instigation of Carr's mistress, Lady Essex. Four year later four of the conspirators were hanged, but Carr and his ex-mistress, now wife, received a royal pardon. Overbury's works, published posthumously include 'The Wife' (1614) and 'Crumm's fal'n from King James's Table' (1715, but of doubtful authorship). Later instances of the name mention Giles Overbury of County Gloucestershire who registered at Oxford University in 1606. and William Overbury and Gertrude Gee were married in London in 1623.
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