Why did the Roberts move from Scotland to England?

If I have tracked my family back correctly, they came from the Deal, Kent, area of England to the United States.  But, reportedly they were originally from Scotland.  I have been trying to find the reason why they moved.  I found the following post from a John Roberts who is originally from Scotland but migrated to the Kent area in recent years.  It’s at http://www.clansandnames.org/forum/read.php?1,103.

“The Roberts family originated in the highlands of Scotland. During the Reign of Malcolm a member of the Roberts family caused offence to a member of Malcolm’s family which resulted in that part of the Roberts family leaving Scotland and settling in Kent, Southern England. They flourished there for several years around the existing town of Robertsbridge.  The Roberts family split 3 ways. One part stayed in the Kent area, a second part moved to East Anglia and the 3rd part moved to Wales. When the problem with King Malcolm occurred, half the family remained in Scotland. So it becomes difficult to determine your true lineage. At the time of Culloden, many Scots went to America and Canada, while others went to the far East. An example of the Roberts in East Anglia is the former Prime Minister of the UK, Margaret Thatcher, whose maiden name was Roberts. I am Scottish, born in Glasgow, moved to London when 13, married with 3 children who now live in Kent.  So I took Scottish Roberts to live alongside their ancient family.”

John Roberts
January 12, 2013 06:33AM

**Update 04/30/2018

Thanks to a distant cousin, Clarence Roberts, I have receive more detail on this.  Here is the posting at http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-kent/vol7/pp90-113.  Apparently, the Roberts are descendants of the Bruce line and share a common ancestor with Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland.  When William De Bruce moved to Kent, he changed his surname to “Rookehust” (Rook’s Hill) in honor of the first Robert “The Rook” De Bruce, who came to England/Scotland with William The Conqueror.  Then he or his son Stephen changed their surname to Roberts in honor of that same ancestor.

“THE MANOR OF GLASSENBURY is of considerable note, the mansion of which is situated near three miles north-west from the church. This seat was for many generations the residence of the antient family of Rokehurst, the first of whom, who settled in this county, was William Rookehurst, alias Roberts, a gentleman of Scotland, of the shire of Anandale, who, leaving his native country, came to the adjoining parish of Goudhurst in the 3d year of king Henry I. and then purchased lands at Winchett hill there, where he built a mansion for his residence; which lands were afterwards named from him, the lands and denne of Rookeburst, which name it still retains, and there is a tablet put up over a tomb in the south chancel of this church, giving an account of him and his posterity, who bore for their arms, Azure, on a chevron, argent, three miles, sable. This family continued at Goudhurst for 274 years, till, in the reign of king Richard II. Stephen Roberts, alias Rookehurst, marrying Joane, daughter and heir of William Tilley, esq. of Glassenbury, whose ancestors had resided here, as appeared by private evidences, from the time of king Edward I.”


Rookhurst originated in the eleventh century, shortly after the Battle of Hastings, when William, son of Robert “The Rook”, moved from the Annandale region on the England/Scotland border to Kent. He built a manor on Winchett Hill which he called Rookhurst. His son began using the surname Roberts.

About 250 years later, in the thirteenth century, Stephen Roberts married Joan Tyllye, the heiress of Glassenbury, which was a short distance from Rookhurst. They built a new moated manor which they also called Glassenbury just down the valley from her childhood home.

My ancestors remained at Glassenbury for another 250 years. In 1623, Thomas Roberts arrived in America with William Hilton. He settled in what is now the Dover area of New Hampshire.

My family remained within 50 miles of this area for another 250 years, until my great-grandfather went first to Iowa, then his son to Oklahoma.

When we retired to Arkansas, we decided to call our farm Rookhurst.”


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