Edmund Corbin was born in Charleston, SC in the mid-1740s. His father, Francis Corbin, was an immigrant from Stepney, Middlesex in England. His mother, Sarah Stone, was born in Charleston February 24, 1719/20. No record has been found of his parents' marriage or of Edmund's birth, nor of his father's death. He had an older sister named Martha - her name occurs before his in both their mother's marriage agreement and their step-father's will.
The earliest reference to Edmund Corbin is in the marriage agreement of August 18, 1752 between his mother, Sarah Corbin, and his step-father, John Norman. It was witnessed by Jo. Ellicott and Jno. Stone junr.
His step-father mentions Edmund twice in his will of June 8, 1756:
"John Norman ... equal share of my Personal Estate with his Brothers and Sisters that is to say Richard Norman Sarah Norman Martha Corbin Edmund Corbin Rebeckah Norman"
"I Give and Bequeath to my well be loved [sic] Son in Law [step-son] Edmund Corbin one Negroe Boy called Winter and also and [sic] equal share of my personal Estate with his Brothers and Sisters aforesaid ... also one Watch that was his fathers"
Sarah Norman qualified as executrix of the will on November 11, 1757.
His twice-widowed mother was buried at the Circular Congregational Church in Charleston on January 2, 1758 - under her first married name, Sarah Corbin. This was presumably the name by which she was best known in Charleston, having lived on her second husband's rice plantation near Dorchester during that marriage and after his death. No will has been found, nor any reference to administration of her estate. Her youngest daughter, Rebeckah Norman, would still have been an infant, and was presumably brought up by the eldest children of John Norman by his first wife.
His maternal grandfather, John Stone of Charles Town, Block maker, in his will of June 25, 1756 names his three daughters (Susanna Stone, Sarah Norman, Amy Elliott) as beneficiaries. Although not at all complicated, this will was not proved until February 27, 1761 - which suggests that John Stone did not die until several years after making his will.
At some time prior to his death in 1767, Francis Corbin told Joseph Hewes that Edmund Corbin was "the nearest relation he had in the world".
In 1767 Edmund Corbin is listed as a taxpayer in New Hanover County. This indicates that he must have moved to NC, becoming a property owner there, and that he had reached the age of 21. It is the last year in which Francis Corbin is listed. It may be conjectured that, following the death of his grandfather in Charleston, in his mid teens Edmund moved to live with his nearest relation Francis Corbin. It can be further conjectured that becoming responsible for a teenage boy (and also, possibly, his sister, Martha) could have provided the impetus for Francis Corbin's marriage to widow Jean Innes in late 1761.
Following the March 1775 death of Jean Innes Corbin, Edmund Corbin successfully challenged her executor John Rutherford's attempt to succeed her as administrator of Francis Corbin's estate. Edmund was represented before by , and had Joseph Hewes provide . The following year Hooper and Hewes were two of the three signers from NC of the Declaration of Independence, an indication of where Edmund's political sympathies lay - which is confirmed by his being the writer of the copy of the Minutes of the Wilmington New Hanover Committee of Safety now in the NC Archives and by his choice of executors.
In 1777 Edmund sold property inherited from Francis Corbin. Given his political sympathies, the supposition must be that this was to help finance the Revolution. On February 7, 1777 the Cupola House in Edenton, Chowan county was sold to Dr Samuel Dickinson for £400.
In 1780 Edmund was one of the signatories of a Memorial from a group of Wilmington area merchants to the NC legislature
Edmund Corbin wrote his will on January 30, 1781 and it was proved on August 7, 1782. There is no record of precisely when he died. The witnesses were James Moore and Job Howe. He appointed as executors Capt. Thomas Allen, Mr. Frederick Jones and Mr. Thomas Craik. One of the three named beneficiaries was Mr. Frederick Jones, Jr., who received "my plantation whereon I live" [which was NOT Point Pleasant]. Another beneficiary was Thomas Craik, a clothier who had been secretary of the Wilmington Committee of Safety in 1775 and subsequently Commissary of Stores for NC during the War of Independence. Edmund Corbin had two children by a slave Nelly, who belonged to Margaret Moore (daughter of Mr. George Moore), and all three were to be emancipated under his will.