The surname of ROBARTS was a baptismal name 'the son of Rodbert' meaning fame-bright. This name was originally derived from the Germanic personal name, composed of the elements HROD and BERHT. The name was found occasionally in England before the Conquest, but in the main it was introduced into England by the Normans, and quickly became popular among all classes of society. Early records of the name mention Rodbertus (without surname) listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Adam filius Roberti, was recorded in 1273 in the County of Oxford. Thomas filius Roberti of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Frederick Sleigh Roberts, Ist Earl Roberts of Kandahar (1832-1914). English Field-Marshall; defeated the Afghans near Kabul and led the famous march from Kabul to Kandahar; commander in chief in South Africa. A notable member of the family name was David Roberts (1796-1864) a Scottish painter, born in Edinburgh. He was a scene painter at Drury Lane, and attracted attention with pictures of Rouen and Amiens Cathedrals while he exhibited at the Royal Academy. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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