origins of the Osborne dynasty are as old as civilisation itself. Although the
name is likely of Norman origin, it is known that the family was established in
England at the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086, twenty years after the
Norman conquest. It is suggested that the Norman line may in fact be derived
from Danish origin. [i] The Norman source gives rise to alternative spelling of the name including
recorded that Osbern, brother of the Earl of Hereford, had been one of King
Edward the Confessor's secretaries. Edward reigned from 1042 - 1066. By 1086 Osbern had become Bishop of Exeter and having previously acquired Bosham Church in Sussex, had to surrender lands in Lewes Rape to William de Warenne, Lord of
Lewes, while retaining the balance himself. By the Domesday Survey there was in
fact an established spread of lands held by Osbern, son of Geoffrey, in both
East and West Sussex. [ii]
occurrences of the name Osborne, in its many variations of spellings, only hint
at ancient ancestry. It is not until medieval times that we see heraldry
providing definite ancestral tables. These in turn enable lineages to be traced
to the present. There emerged in England a number of noble families of Osborne
and from the common armorial displays we can deduce that they emanated from the
same ancestors. In the case of the Osbornes of Tadworth, the bearings are as
illustrated - "Quarterly ermine and azure, a cross or five annulets sable."
[i] Omicron (1853) Notes and Queries, p.448 (Vol. viii., p.270).
[ii] Morris J (1976) Domesday Book Sussex, Phillimore, Chichester, section 6 and notes p.3.