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Full text of "The place-names of Somerset"

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Place-names of Somerset. 




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THE PLACE-NAMES OF 
SOMERSET. 




KixG Alfred. 



THE PLACE-NAMES OF 
SOMERSET. 



BY 



JAMES S. HILL, B.D., 

Rector of Stowey, Vicar of Bishop Sutton, 

Translator of Haering's Ethics of the Christian Life , 

Wrede, The Origin of the New Testament, with 

Prefaces, etc. 



WITH MAP AND ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Utinam tarn facile vera invenire possem quam falsa convincere. — 

Cicero. 



BRISTOL -. 
ST. Stephen's printing works. 

1914. 

All rights reserved. 



111. 



PREFACE. 



The following pages appeared originally in the form of 
articles in the Bristol Times and Mirror. The author tenders 
his thanks to the Editors of that journal for their unvarying 
courtesy. The articles have undergone considerable revision 
and re-arrangement. It is too much to hope that nothing is 
left, which, while suitable for their original purpose, is less so 
when thrown into book form. Obviously, the articles were 
not intended to be mere collections of etymological details, 
but to give such account of the names of places in the county 
of Somerset as might excite the interest, not merely of the 
archeologist, but of that baffling and mysterious person, " the 
general reader." The examination need not on that account 
be unscientific. 

I am not so optimistic as to suppose that I have escaped 
error or said the last word. Nor do I claim to have made no 
omissions, or subjected every name found in the county to 
examination. There are doubtless many local names of which 
I have never heard, and many more obsolete, the examination 
of which would require another book of the same size. I may 
claim that there is no book on Somerset Place Names yet pub- 
lished that contains so many. The two or three books and 
articles that do exist may be found mentioned in the foot-notes. 
The work has occupied my attention,while other work has been 
passed through the press, for some years, since the first of the 
articles, appeared in the journal mentioned on August 22nd, 
1905, and I can only say : " The labour we delight in physics 
pain," for the trouble involved has not been inconsiderable. 



IV, 

The method pursued will be best realised by reading the 
book. I am reminded of the kind words of one of many cor- 
respondents — to all whom I hereby tender my thanks — who 
says : " I have found your articles of great interest from the 
light they throw on the origins of personal names." Indeed, 
personal names have often enough been treated in the slight, 
haphazard way from which place-names have suffered. 
Another interested and valued correspondent is mentioned in 
the foot-notes, the Rev. L. Wilkinson, of Westbury-on- 
Severn, whom I thank. It has been my object to discuss the 
names, especially the more doubtful ones, and to give the 
various interpretations that have been suggested. It will be 
found that Saxon personal names play a great part, and that 
compound Saxon names afford the clue to place-names that 
are otherwise bafifling. I refer the severe critic, if one arises, 
to the motto on the title page. Fortunately the interest in 
such studies is increasing. 

JAMES S. HILL. 



Stowey juxta Glutton, 

Christmas, 1913. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTEE. PAGE, 

I. Place-Names derived from some River Names 1 

II. Place-Names from Religious Associations ... 14 

III. Place-Names from Religious Associations — 

S. White and other Whites not Saints ... 28 

IV, Place-Names from Local Characteristics ... 36 

V. Local Characteristics — Coombes ... ... 44 

VI. Local Characteristics — Marsh and Moor 

Names ... ... ... ... ... 59 

VII. Local Characteristics — Fords ... ... 67 

VIII. Local Characteristics — Lea, Leys, Leighs and 

Leazcs ... ... ... ... ... 73 

IX. Wicks 79 

X. Hays 85 

XI, Ways and Oaks 89 

XII, Mount and Hill Names — Polden, Mendip and 

Quantock 95 

XIII. Hams and Ings 103 

XIV. Names in Ington 110 

XV. Racial Names 136 

XVI. Racial Names (continued) 148 

XVII. Racial Names — Saxon and Norse 153 

XVIII. Racial Names (continued) 159 

XIX. Racial Names (continued) — Blacks and 

Browns, Goths and Huns 165 



VI. 



CHAPTBR. 


PAQE. 


XX. 


Racial Names (continued) — In Gordones- 






Land 


173 


XXI. 


Racial Names (con ti nued) 


177 


XXII. 


Doubled Names 


185 


XXIII. 


Doubled Names (continued) 


203 


XXIV. 


Doubled Names (continued) 


211 


XXV. 


Doubled Names (continued) 


227 


XXVI. 


Doubled Names (continued) 


243 


XXVII. 


Doubled Names (continued) 


259 


XXVIII. 


Doubled Names (continued) — Stones and 






Stokes and other Names 


268 


XXIX. 


Some Obsolete Doubled Names 


281 


XXX. 


Curiosities of Nomenclature 


289 


XXXI. 


Curiosities of Nomenclature (continued) 


304 


XXXII. 


Curiosities of Nomenclature (continued) 


323 


XXXIII. 


Silver Street 


341 


XXXIV. 


Miscellaneous Names 


348 




Addenda 


360 




Index of Place-Names 


362 




I ndex of Personal-Names 


368 



List of Subscribers 



371 



Vll. 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



The Illustrations are from pen and ink illustrations of 
Somerset, by THOMAS Sampson, Esq., an old Somerset 
man, now of London, who most kindly placed them at the 
Author's disposal. 

Facing page 

King Alfred : from Oil Painting in the possession 
of Thomas Sampson, Esq. — Frontispiece. 

Abbey of Athelney. .. 

First Church in Britain 

Window in the Knights Templars' Chapel, Tem 
plecombe 

Brympton d'Evercy — West Front 

Monument of Sir John de Dummer 

The Pyramids, Glastonbury 

Athelney — site of Abbey 



. 


14 


. 


28 


el, Tem- 




. 


188 


. 


198 


. 


211 


. 


261 




293 



The Place-Names of Somerset. 



CHAPTER I. 
Place-Names Derived from some River Names. 

Whyte Melville in one of his novels calls the county 
" Sweet Somerset." It deserves the adjective. It is appro- 
priately descriptive of most of the quiet pastoral scenery of 
the county. It is also a suitable epithet to apply to much 
else that belongs to it, and is not altogether inapt when 
dealing with a subject which is to many repulsive, and only 
dry philological, while it is to many others interesting as 
opening up unexpected vistas of history. Much that is attrac- 
tive lies among words and phrases of forgotten origin until 
the wand of the philogogist, or the touch of the archseologist 
wakes up the slumberer. 

When glancing over a list of the names of the towns, 
villages, hamlets, and tythings of the county, a novelist in 
search of a romantic name for his story, or one suggestive of 
an idyll, or even a name for a love story of the simple and 
non-problematic sort, ending in the most approved fashion 
in a happy sound of marriage bells, could not do better than 
examine this list of names, and choose according to fancy 
and requirement. The numerous double names, of which 
I have counted something like one hundred and thirty-four, 
and which are usually taken as family names, added to the 
original appellation, or in some cases doubled, seem to have 
a halo of story almost naturally clinging to them. A reader 
of English history will easily recall to his memory scenes in 
English history associated with some of those names, and 
picture to himself the belted knights and brocaded dames 
whose glory has passed away — 

" The knight's bones are dust, 
And his g-ood sword rust ; 
His soul is with the saints I trust."! 



^Coleridge : The Knight's Tomb. 



The geologist discovers in a fossil bone a creature (which 
his deft pencil can draw) typical of a whole fauna of a bygone 
period of terrestrial history; and the etymologist, by the 
examination of a solitary word, calls up a whole epoch of 
busy life that has long passed away. The characteristic 
history of a county is embedded in its names. In many 
counties, as that of Worcestershire, the place-names would 
appear to have been predominantly Saxon; in Somerset, on 
the other hand, there are many traceable to Celtic elements, 
with nevertheless a far larger number than might have been 
initially expected of Saxon and other racial names, as will 
appear in subsequent chapters. The Celtic names reveal 
the historic fact that the original British inhabitants of 
this land of England were driven westward by the 
ruthless horde of invading Saxons, whose descendants are 
found in the names of persons whose cognomina are as 
common in Saxony to-day as in England. An interested 
observer may find Celtic personal types as well as Celtic 
names in this land of summer pastures. 

It is curious that the name of the county itself presents a 
problem on which, as in many other names, it is not possible 
to speak with absolute certainty. The late Professor Freeman 
says Somerset is just Regia Aestiva, and so it is translated in 
Latin documents. Professor Rhys, the well-known Celtic 
scholar, of Jesus College, Oxford, asserts that the present- 
day Welsh name for the county is Gwylad yr Haf, the land 
of summer. Somerset is, according to this, just a translation 
of the poetical Belgic-Britons' (it is said) name, and means 
"The land of summer."^ Others prefer other deriva- 
tions; Somer-saetas, the seat of the tribal Somers. This is 
the solution we prefer. " Sumer " is an ancient name, going 
back to the 8th Century. It is found in compounds spread 
through all the county, as Sumerlida. Sumarlith is a name 
on an old dial. The name as a personal name survives in 
Somers, and in such place-names as Sumer-ton. It has also 
been contended that " hav " is a contraction of havren, the 
Celtic form of Severn; " tu " is the root of Avon, a river; 
and consequently the- translation of gwlad-yr-hav (that is, of 



'Musgrave's Antiquities of the Belgic-Britons. 



gwlad-yr-havren) is " the land of the Severn. "^ This is only 
an example of the difficulties which surround the subject of 
place-names. And this obviously gives room for such variety 
of fancy on doubtful cases in which it is possible for everyone 
to have " a doctrine " and everyone " a psalm." 

The subject, as a whole, has never received the attention 
it merits. A thorough examination of the various names of 
towns, villages, and hamlets collected into one volume may 
well afford much food for reflection, and be a useful source of 
historical material. In carrying out such a work, the various 
spellings of the names in ancient documents, parish registers, 
wills, and law suits of the past are not without significance, 
and sometimes convey useful hints of the direction in which 
search is to be made for the origin of the name. Not without 
importance, as, indeed, is generally recognised by the 
archsologist, is the pronunciation of the name by the natives, 
as it has been handed down from sire to son, through gener- 
ations of unsophisticated rustics. The persons who have, 
unfortunately for this purpose, learnt to read and write are 
of no use in this curious quest. Many local pronunciations 
esteemed vulgar are in reality survivals of the more correct 
etymological origin of the word. The name Stowey is an 
example. It is called Sta-wy, and this goes back to an original 
Stal-wei, as will hereafter be mentioned. 

Some of those place-names which, as above indicated, 
history would teach us to expect have their origin in Celtic 
elements, have undergone extraordinary transformations, 
appearing in extremely-disguised forms. Especially may the 
student expect to find remains of Celtic history in regard to 
river names and the appellations of towns and villages on 
their banks, in the notices of which it may be a useful caution 
to say no infallibility is here claimed. 

A common name, for example, contains the element 
" camel." The Welsh Dictionary tells us that modern 
Welsh for trench, ditch, or canal is camlas. In Glamorgan- 
shire is Aber-Camlas. " Cam " is in numerous river names 
in England, Scotland, and the Continent, an element meaning 



^Proceedings of Somerset Archaologital Society, vol. v., 1854. 



bent or crooked.^ And so we have " the Cam " and the 
" Camel." Accordingly, we have the names Abbot's Camel, 
Queen's Camel, Cameley, Camerton, which is found in 
ancient documents spelt Camelarton, and has thus undergone 
shortening, as men in all ages have been afraid of words which 
were too great a mouthful. The name serves to illustrate the 
importance of going back in the quest to the earliest spellings, 
and tracking the name down through successive centuries. At 
least as far as the sixteenth, when there are many vagaries. 
It is tempting to class Camer-ton with those originating in 
Cam and Camel. In reality it is a personal name, Gamal- 
here. We read, "The Church itself holds Camalar." It 
has been suggested that camel is derived from cymle, a 
common field for cattle; or from cinmael, a retreat; but 
remembering the influence which streams and rivers have on 
names of places, the one assigned appears the most likely .2 

Chew is well known. The various names with this prefix . 
can easily be recalled by the lover of Somerset in such well- 
known places as Chewton-Mendip, Chew Magna, and Chew 
Stoke. Chew Magna is a double name, but the appelative is 
not ancient. In Domesday Book it is called simply Chiu. 
In many documents we find that the Bishops of Wells signed 
them at Chiu, and this spelling is frequent in subsequent 
centuries, as here was an Episcopal palace. " At Chiu, April, 
1230," is a specimen, where the Bishop published " An indul- 
gence " of thirty days. The stream rises at Chewton Mendip, 
and falls into the Avon at Chewton Keynsham, and Chew 
Stoke and Chew Magna are on its banks. Chew is the name 
of the river. There is a Chew on a river bank in Brittany. 
In Hampshire is Chewton Glen,^ down which goes a forest 
stream, and up which rushes the sea. Clearly it is a river 
name, whatever its derivation. A Celtic derivation is given 
"Tiau," a river. This we cannot track. We are inclined 



'There are two Camels, one rising at Camely and joining the Avon near 
Freshford, another rising near Maperton and joining the Yeo on which 
are East and West Camel. Camerton is in a deep valley 2J miles 
from Radstock. 

^For other examples of the occurrence of Cam, see Blackie's Dictionary of 
Place Names, Murray, 1887, and on the name Cammel compare what is 
further said — see Index. 

'The New Forest : Its History and its Scenery, by J. R. Wise (Gibbings and 
Co., 1895). 



to regard it as Scandinavian : " Tiw " was the god of war. 
Rivers were deified. The name Magna as a distinction first 
appears in documents towards the end of the 16th century. 
The first we have noted is in a will in 1581. Before that it 
was invariably Chew only. A little earlier than this we find 
the name Chew Stoke, which previously is Stoke-in-Chew. 
Chew Magna was, however, known as Bishop's Chew. The 
name Chew Bishops occurs in a map dated 1680. " Following 
right over Dundry, we come to Chew Bishop " is in a collec- 
tion of maps of itineraries by the " cosmographer " to Charles 
11.^ The name was left to the hamlet of Chew Sutton, called 
Bishop's Sutton, to distinguish it from another hamlet of 
some acreage Knight-Sutton, now called Knighton Sutton or 
Sutton Militis. Chew Stoke also was known as Chew Militis. 
Chew Magna was episcopal property in Saxon times, held by 
Gisa, the last Saxon bishop. Thus it reminds us, as part of 
the civil parish. Bishop Sutton, still does, as well as other 
names with the addition of Bishop or Episcopi, of the period 
when the Bishop of Bath and Wells held very many manors 
and estates in the county, and was a great magnate and land- 
lord. Chew Stoke exhibits a double appellation. The well- 
known Saxon word " stoke," a stockaded place, is added to 
the original name of the stream. 

Of river names giving their appellation to places, Bruton 
is another clear example. Briweton is the spelling of the 
Domesday Book. In the Lincoln's Inn Bath Chartulary, it 
is in 1299 Briytonia. The Prior of Bath apportioned the 
Church of Westbury to the Monastery of the Blessed Mary 
of Brytonia. It is Briyeton in the early 14th century. This 
seems to be the "Town on the Brue." The persistent 
spellings, and the modern form, are in favour of this. The 
town has a street, Quaverlake Street, which is an indication 
of the physical characteristics of the place as it once was. It 
is derived from Brw, swift. Yr ajon Briw means " The swift 
river." North and South Briweton are on its banks. 

Ean is often said to be a Celtic root connected with water. 
It is this root that some discover in Win-ford, Winsford, 
Winscombe, Wincanton, and Winsham. Win-ford, 

Winsford, and Winscombe are, as we shall see later, forms 



^Xoads o/England, by John Ogilbie, 1698. 



of common personal names. It is true that we have the 
etymological Saxon compound " winsome," which means, 
when applied to a damsel, pretty much the same as Sidney's 
" O, most kiss-worthy face," in one of his poems. Win-some, 
having or exhibiting qualities worthy to be won ; thus Wins- 
ham would be the "pretty village." This derivation, given 
by some, seems somewhat too fanciful, especially as it is an 
element appearing in several names of places, all of which 
may not be divinely fair. In Domesday Book, Wincanton is 
spelt Win-cale-tone. Now, Gale is a river name. In Domes- 
day Book the name is spelt Wincalle-ton. In 1374 it is 
Wyngcaultone, and in the early 14th century we have 
Wynghalton. Under these names, the Rectory is connected 
with the Priory of Stavordale. It is built on the declivity of 
a hill. An interpretation given is that it was anciently 
Wyndcal-ton, that is, " the town on the bend of the stream " 
called the Gale. In Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus^ two 
streams are mentioned describing boundaries of an estate 
granted in A.D. 965 to Shaftesbury Abbey, called the Win- 
cawel and the Gawel. In Bishop Drokinford's Register^ we 
read of the Vicar de Wyncaulton. Gawell, Gale, as a river 
name, is not easily derivable. There is a river Gale in Dorset, 
and this, with the two Lyddons, or Liddons, are tributaries 
of the Stur. Stur is recognised as a tribal name. The earliest 
Icelandic author is named Snorri Sturluson.^ The rivers 
receive their names often enough from the tribes along their 
banks. Gale may thus be a tribal name. The words Gaol and 
Gael are Gadhelic, meaning a strait, and as an adjective, 
narrow. If win is for ean, water, the meaning of Wincawel 
would be the " narrow stream." It is very possible, however, 
that this place-name is Saxon, and is the personal name 
Wincild. The modern modern name would be Winchild ; 
but we have not met with any owner of such a cognomen. 
It is far from likely that " win " is connected with water, 
stream, or river. And here it may be observed that " ton " 
must not be hastily concluded to be invariably the Saxon ton, 
a town, as sometimes it is clearly a softening of the word dun, 
dune, which is dwn, a hill or down. 



>Vol iii. p. 455. Tage 289. ^Origin of the Anglo-Saxon Race, T. W. Shore, 
London : Elliot Stock. 



There are other names that have their etymological roots 
in the numerous words for stream, brook, dike, river. Every- 
body knows that " afon " is Welsh for a river, but it does 
not stand alone. Descriptive words of this sort abound in 
all languages. 

How deep the influence of the Celt was in more than one 
country may be seen by observing that the people of this 
nationality or race who lived upon German soil left their 
impress upon the names of its rivers and streams, as we have 
seen they did to some extent in the arcadia of the west of 
England. It is a misfortune that our knowledge of Celtic is 
extremely deficient. Our German cousins have a journal 
devoted to this pursuit, " Archiv fiir Celtische Lexi- 
cographie," in which the subject is (to translate a favourite 
word) " belaboured," and we may hope in time to feel more 
secure in the derivation of words, especially names of places 
clearly Celtic. The Celt was not a husbandman so much 
as his Saxon successor. He is therefore less strongly repre- 
sented in the topographical indication of mountains and hills 
by affixing names, and less still on farms and lands. In Ger- 
many are such well-known river names as that of the Danube 
(Donau), Rhine — which has its analogue in a Somerset and 
West Country term for a dividing stream (rhin, rine) — the 
Main, and the Isar. We are searching for the like characteris- 
tic Celtic stamp in the Somerset rivers and stream names, 
some examples of which have already been given. 

The Tone, on which stands Taunton, is clearly a river 
name and is widespread. Tain is Celtic, as found in Tyneham 
in Dorset, Tynmouth in the North, and Teignmouth in the 
South. It appears also in the shape Tham-es, in which the 
final syllable is derived from Celtic " uis-ge," water. Tam 
is in Tamar (Devon), Tamer, Teane, and the cognate Taw, 
in Taw, Devon and Glamorganshire, Tawey, Tavey, Tay, 
Tees. The Ta is a loch in Wexford, and the Tay in Perth 
and Waterford. There are the Tavy in Devon, and the Taf 
in Wales. In Domesday Book, and long after, Taunton is 
spelt Tantona. We have not found Tflm-tona. The root 
meaning is said to be " quiet." With the " m " sound it 
is taken over into Anglo-Saxon. There seems no adequate 



reason and no evidence for deriving the town name from 
Tangwn-ton, a British hermit, who, according to Rees^ once 
lived there. If so, then the Tone derives its name from a 
saint. It is just as likely that Thane-ton is its origin, or Tan, 
Dana, an owner's name. Remembering the widespread 
occurrence of the river-name, this origin will appear to most 
readers the most likely. Both Tayn-ton in Gloucestershire 
and Teign in Teignton have been derived from Celtic tan, 
" the sacred fire." Don in the river name, the Don in 
England and Russia, the Danube, and Doon in Scotland are 
river names — said to mean " dark," and the Tone would 
mean the dark river .^ 

The Isle is a river name, and has on its banks Ilton, He 
Brewers, He Abbots, and Ilminster. Ilton, as we may see, 
is a name which has another origin. It is by no means to be 
taken for granted, without further search, that the derivation 
which seems the most likely at the first blush is the actual 
derivation. He Brewers, as a double name, will receive 
further notice. Il-minster is clearly the Church on the He. 
It must be remembered that a " minster " was not necessarily 
that which we understand by the name. Isel is the name 
of a river in the Tyrol, and Iselen, Isla, are names of 
meadows, low-lying and damp, on the Rhine. The name 
occurs in Switzerland. The Ise is a tributary of the Aller, 
near Liineberg. Isental is a valley on the Winer , See. 
Iser is a tributory of the Elbe. The name is thus very 
widespread as a name for streams and water-meadows.' 
Isaac Taylor*" gives some mixed-up illustrations of the force 
of "Is." The Ivel, for instance, is of different origin, and when 
he states that Ischalis was the ancient name of the Ivel, he is 
relying upon a conjecture of Arch^ologists that this place 
Ivelchester, called Ilchester, is the Iscalis of Antoninus and a 
Roman station. This name is ancient, however, and there is 
an Ichl by Innsbruck which is probably the same name. All 
we can safely say is that is, ess, perhaps Esk and asc, or Ax as 
in Axbridge and Axminster, is a most ancient root with cog- 



^Lives ofCambro-British Saints. ^Quantocis and its Places and Names, S. A. S. P. , 
vol. xlvi. ^Ortsnamen and Sprachwissenschafi, Ursprache and Begriffs- 
entwicklung — Tauber. * Words and Places, 



nates differently spelt and variously shaped in different 
languages of Great Britain and on the Continent. What is 
the Usk but the Uis-ge or Wisge? 

The river name Ivel has a different origin, as the names 
of the towns Yeovil and Yeovilton indicate. The Ivel is 
called also the Yeo. So, then, it has been said Yeo-vil is the 
ville on the Yeo. Yeovil, it is declared^ is simply a form of 
the British name of the river itself. In fact, it is a combination 
of the two names Yeo-Ivel, easily shortened to its present 
form. This is ingenious. It is clear that Ivel is the name of 
the river anciently, and not Yeo. Ivel is probably the Celtic 
and Yeo the Anglo-Saxon name. What we do find is that 
Ivel is in fact a form of the name Gifla, spelt Givela in Domes- 
day Book. There is a manor " In Givela." It is clear enough 
that as this is pronounced Yifla and Yivella the difficulty here 
is that Gifla is not, or barely, known as a personal name.^ Ivel 
is spelt Evil, and Gefla is just as good a spelling. The 
vowel ending is a Norman trick, and so the name is Gevl, 
which might be a scarcely recognisable form of Gefwulf, which 
is a known name. Yeovil is thus Gevl or Yevl, and Yeovil- 
ton is the town of Gevl, or Gifwulf if the conjecture is correct. 

The spellings vary but preserve a type. Domesday Book : 
Givela, Ivel or Ivla, Yevill, Evill, Evyll, Yeavill, Yeull, Ivele, 
and others.^ 

The meaning of the river name " Yeo " is not doubtful. 
Ea and yea and yeo are clearly cognate with wy, wye, water. 
From this are derived Yea-don in Yorkshire, and other wide- 
spread names. Ea is the old high German Auua, Gothic 
Ahva, and in the Latin form Aqua, and denotes a running 
body of water in particular. Proper names present a form of 
the word which is at once more ancient and more closely 



'Pulman on Local Nomenclature. 'Leo, Anglo-Saxon Names, quotes Kemble's 
Codex Diplomaticus ii. 114, for the form Gifla, and Leo gives Gif- 
heal as the name of the " hall of the nobles," p. 80. "Skeat, 
Cambridge Antiquarian Society, No. xxxvi., has precisely the same 
difficulty with the Bedfordshire Place-Name Yielden or Yelden. Now 
this was anciently spelt Giveldene. This is from A.-S. Gifel, and this 
Skeat considers to be a river name, the same as the form (Celtic) Ivel. 
This is the solution at which I arrived, and there are Northill and 
Southill in the same county in which 111 is the old name of the stream 
Ivel. These are spelt Norgivel. Ilchester is Yevel (Gifel)-chestre in 
Monastic Annals. Gifla is thus the Saxon form of the river-name Ivel. 



10 

approximating to the Gothic and Latin, such as ao, oea, 
oeia, aeg, and eah, as e.g., the Medway is the Meodowaeg. 
The names of a whole series of rivers have this one element. 
Ea, too, signifies the bed of a river. Limin-ea is a small 
river in Kent. Shep-ea, called the Sheppey, is the Somerset 
stream that runs in the Shepton Mallet district through 
Binder. If Shep-ton means the Sheep-town, then Sheppey 
ought to mean the Sheep-river. It is more likely the tribal 
or personal name Sceaf-ea. Scipe-ea is a dialectical form. 
And as Yatton is spelt in Domesday Book Ya-tuna or Ea-tona, 
in spite of the usual derivation, elsewhere given, and as 
a Yeo is in the marsh hard by, Yatton may be Yeo-ton. 
We cannot think that it is the origin of Yatton in Somerset 
to derive it from Eata, a Saxon Bishop of Lindisfarne, of 
the seventh century, though this is given for Yatton in 
Herefordshire, Yates-burh in Wiltshire, Yatten-den in 
Berkshire. Yatton is mentioned again later on. 

It is hard to say that a unique river name is never found. 
A name of a river may be unique, and then we must look 
to the locality for solution. Yr afon Ffrwm is said to mean 
the river of rank vegetation, which the angler soon discovers. 
Ffram is also said to mean fair, but the meaning given below 
seems most likely. The town-name is a form of " Ffram." 
There is a Herefordshire Frome, and the place-name of 
Canon Frome arises, situate a few miles from Ledbury. The 
resemblance of some place-names in this county to those of 
Somerset is, perhaps, worth noting. It has a Burrington. The 
Herefordshire Frome flows through Bishops Frome, and 
there is also Halmond Frome. Its Ea-ton on the Wye is much 
like Ya-ton in one of the earlier spellings. Frome is on the 
river which now bears that name. It, too, has a Celtic origin. 
A Welsh dictionary of to-day has the word ff raw and ffreuan, 
frua, torrent, gush. Ffrau is rippling. To this root is traced 
the name of the river Frome, on which the town stands. 
Analogy is sometimes a safe guide, and by this principle it is 
said that by the analogy of Axminster and Ilminster, Frome 
should be Frominster. From this to Fromster, and then to 
Frome, by the well-known process of word-clipping, presents 
nothing startling. The conjecture is needless. 



11 

The Alum, or Alham, rising in West Cranmore, is usually 
said to give its name to Alham, Alhampton, Alford. This 
latter name is spelt in Domesday, Aldedeford. Alhampton 
is in Domesday Alentona, i.e., Alwine-ton. The river name 
must be called from the locality rather than the reverse. 
There is a word " aim " which means mountain pasture. It 
is not easy to find any explanation of alum or alham as a 
known river name. The mere shortening is not surprising. 
The designation is personal. It is paralleled by Ansford, 
which is given in Domesday Book as Almundes-ford, a ford 
over the Brue. It will be seen hereafter how large a part is 
played by Saxon personal names in designations of fords, and 
that sometimes the whole name is a corruption. Alum is the 
name of a stream which joins the Dee near Chester. 

Wring is the same as rhin, or hrin, or rhein, an open cut 
or drain. Hence, it is thought Wring-ton is the " town 
on the Wring," or rhin. The Domesday spelling gives 
colour to this explanation. It is spelt Werintona. This 
is explicable. The vowel is the Norman orthographic vowel, 
and their methods of spelling avoid two concurrent con- 
sonants " n " and " t." Thus the former is omitted, and it 
represents Wrin-ton. Etymologically, the " n " is ultimately 
an intrusion. The final Sanskrit root is " ri," to flow, and 
this is hardened to rhine, hrin, rain. It is found in many river 
names : Rivers Rye, Rea, Ray (Wiltshire), Ray, Rhea, Wrey 
(Devonshire), and on the Continent.^ Clwd and Dur are both 
Celtic words, and connected with water streams; the former 
may possibly be found in Clutton and Temple Cloud. 
Glutton is Clude-ton. There is a Welsh village in Pembroke- 
shire called after a Saint Clydai. In a Somerset will of the 
15th century there is a family name Clude, and the personal 
name Cloud is not unknown. This latter is the true explana- 
tion. 

In the extreme south-west of the county a river rises in 
Exmoor, which has its course through Somerset, and dis- 
appears into the less important (for our purposes, as well 
as our affection) county of Devon. It bears the name of 
Barle. Bar is usually short for aber, a confluence, and 



^See Isaac Taylor, Words and Places, p. 138. 



12 

the remaining element might possibly be still Isel. On 
investigation, however, we find that in the first and only 
recorded perambulation of the Forest of Exmoor, in the 26th 
year of Edward I., that is, in 1298 A.D., the name of the 
river is spelt Barghel. Bar is here shortened from " aber," 
the confluence of a river, and ghel is the name Gelau, 
said to mean horse-leeches. It is thus primarily the same as 
Abergele in Wales. The "water of Barghel" is shortened 
to Bargel, and then to Barle, and becomes a mysterious 
word to name the river running by the estate called Simon's 
Bath. It takes its rise on a swamp two miles north-east of 
this, and runs to the other end of the Forest of Exmoor. 
At the confluence it is joined by the Exe. This, too, is 
Celtic : Ex, Axe, Esk, Usk, and in Continental forms. Axe, 
Ahse, and others. The word is probably connected with 
aqua (Latin). Aix is short for aquae sextiae. Sextiae is 
Sextus, name of the discoverer of the warm springs. There 
are also several Aigues. The word has undergone the usual 
clipping as the varied elements in a word lose their signifi- 
cance. A very potent influence in the formation of words 
is this human impatience of length. Only the patient German 
tolerates the sesquipedalian syllabification, which, hexameter- 
like and serpent-like, drags its slow length along. 

It is probably a departure from Celtic origin when we 
consider the word " burn," which still for our Scottish fellow- 
coutrymen (or Britons) means a brook of some kind. There 
is the word " bourn, "^ which is a limit, the place " from 
which no traveller returns." But is it a limit because a 
stream is a limit? Whether Burnham has more connection 
with bourn, a limit, or burn, a stream, may not be 
positive. A name that has undergone a kaleidoscopic change, 
so that it is no longer recognisable at first, is Bridgwater, 
which, some assert, has nothing — marvellous to say — to do 
either with bridge or the water that flows under it, but 
is a relic of a personal name, and will be mentioned here- 
after under that head. It is Burgh Walter, from Walter de 
Donai, whose cognomen is found in a book not designed or 



'Skeat, Etymological Dictionary, sub-voce. 



13 

compiled for etymologists, but simply for purposes of 
Imperial stocktaking—the Domesday Book. It is, however, 
Brug, " the bridge of Walter." 

Land-changes slow, but sure, scarcely marked by each 
generation as it passes on in the ceaseless march of life, clear 
away all traces of many physical features of places which once 
characterised them. The process of change that is now going 
on, and slowly leaving Weston as an inland town, so that it 
will no longer be "super-Mare," has already forsaken 
Nailsea, so that it is no longer an island, any more than 
Swansea, which is Sweyn's eye or island, while Nailsea, as 
we shall see, is, in fact, Nigel's Island, i.e., Nigelsig. The 
ig, ey, is of course, Saxon, and means watery ground. And 
we all know that the great swamps have disappeared which 
made Athelney, Athalungeig, in the parish of Ling, the 
Prince's Island. Ling itself is possibly the sole remnant of 
Aethaling, Muchelney, Micilen-ig, is the " muckle," the great 
island close by Langport. 

Other stream and brook names will occur in connection 
with place-names of which the main elements is a tribal or 
personal name, or otherwise derived as the Gary, the Dolting 
water. 



14 



CHAPTER II. 

Place-names from Religious Associations. 
Christian and Heathen. 

Ecclesiastical associations have inevitably left their mark 
on the place-names of a county more than commonly interest- 
ing on this score. It is needful to write with becoming 
modesty of the early Church history of Somerset, as even the 
methods of modern research fail to penetrate very far into 
the dark cloud by which the history of the Celtic Church is 
surrounded. Legendary lore, with nevertheless, a kernel of 
truth, is ever in danger of assuming the place of history. 

There are, however, at least some Celtic saints' names 
which have left their mark in local nomenclature. To sum 
up the traces of the Celtic church in Somerset is not our 
present business.^ Here we are only concerned with them as 
affects the place-names. To this there follows the religion 
of the heathen Saxon, and we might expect to find some 
marks of the successive race immigrations in names directly 
or indirectly connected with Scandinavian mythology. 

Some interesting questions emerge as, for instance, how the 
name of St. David, the Welsh saint and Archbishop, came to 
be given to the little village of Barton St. David, and what 
light, if any, does this and similar less doubtful facts cast 
upon the ecclesiastical circumstances of Somerset at one 
period, and thereby influence the growth of place-names? 
And, we may further ask, how far have certain of these names 
become Saxonised almost beyond recognition? It will be 
obvious that problems, not easy to be solved conclusively, 
arise In the course of such enquiries. 

The well-known legends that cling to the name of Glaston- 
bury, which are so well known and need not here be retailed,^ 



■■Rev. David J. Pring, Traces of the British Church in Somerset, Taunton : Phoenix 
Press, 1910. ^See Memorials of Old Somerset, Bemrose and Sons, 1906. 
High-ways and Byways, Hutton, Macmillan and Co., 1912. Myths, 
Scenes and Worthies in Somerset, Boger, Redway, London, 1888. 



r^:^'^^i^:^€^"''^-::^;'3lFf^^S:''««/rM^ 










THE ABBEY OF ATHELNEY. 



IS 

contain at least the truth that here was one of the very oldest 
seats of the Christian religion in the county. Stillingfleet, in 
his Origines Britannicce, disposes of the story of Joseph of 
Arimathea and the tradition of St. Patrick in connection with 
its church in the most approved fashion of the destructive 
higher criticism of his period. " The holy graal deserves as 
much credit as the book taken out of Pilate's palace." How- 
ever, William of Malmesbury, in writing the antiquities of 
Glastonbury, expressed his firm belief that St. Patrick was 
there, while he doubted whether he was buried there. That 
which seems to Stillingfleet most agreeable to the truth is 
" that in the latter times of the British Churches, when they 
were so miserably harrassed by the heathen Saxons, they were 
forced to retire, for their own security, into places most diflfi- 
cult of access; and there they built such churches as were 
suitable to their present condition, and lived very retired 
lives, being in continual fear of their barbarous enemies." 
Others, of course, may write in a more sympathetic spirit, 
and wish for more than this to be certified history rather 
than merely attractive and wistful legendary lore. 

Such a place was the Isle of Avalon or Glassenbury. The 
name Glastonbury is of course not etymologically connected 
with religion. The origin of the name is traced to a tribal or 
family designation of the Glaestings. Glaestingberia is the 
Domesday Book spelling. In the Cartularhim Saxonicum we 
find " Grant, by the King of Damnonia to the old church, 
of the land called Iniswytryn (A.D. 601)." Innis is Gadhelic, 
and is also said to be a Cornish form, as ynys is Cymric and 
insel is German derived from insula (Latin) an island, or pas- 
ture land near water. Innis is common enough in Scotland 
(as ennis, inch). Wytrin means glass in its primary meaning — 
i.e., in fact, green, blue, or grey in colour; and the Saxon 
Glas-ton has likely enough the same meaning from the phy- 
sical characteristics of the spot. This spelling Glaston is per- 
sistent. The Domesday spelling is a corruption, or meant for 
Glaes-ting, i.e., Glaes-tin or dun. Mr. Edmunds calls in a 
British word to aid, that is Glastennen, the holm oak. This 
is a conjecture, as is also the supposed tribal name. Accord- 
ing to William of Malmesbury, in the year 601 A.D., Domp, 



16 

King of Devonshire, granted or restored to Morgret, Abbat 
of Glastonbury, five hides of land in Ynyswitryn. He says 
that during his Abbacy, 605 A.D., Glastonbury was instituted. 
We may as well add that Morgret is considered by Dugdale 
to be a British name. Inysitryn is " the glassy island." 
Glassy must be taken in the etymological sense. Here, 
according to tradition. King Arthur was buried. Giraldus, 
in the time of Henry II., actually saw the " inscription on a 
leaden cross, which, in Latin, expressed that King Arthur lay 
there buried in the Island of Avalon," and he " saw the 
body," " laid deep in the earth for fear of the Saxons." The 
inscription, like much else, was legendary, but it is interesting 
for our present purpose to observe that St. David is mentioned 
in connection with another touching legend — " St. David, 
having a design to consecrate this church, our Lord appeared 
to him in a dream, and forbade him to do so, having pre- 
viously consecrated both the church and churchyard Himself. 
And for a sign thereof He thrust His finger through the 
bishop's hand." Traditions and monkish legends have their 
root in some fact. And that fact doubtless is that St. David — 
Devi, the patron saint of Wales — was either himself, or 
through his successors in that See, connected with the early 
British churches in Somerset. And these legends of Arthur 
and Devi point to the fact of a considerable amount of inter- 
course and missionary activity carried on across the Bristol 
Channel, where the missionaries braved dangers in their 
coracles, as they now do in varied ways in the still wild regions 
of the earth. In the 10th century the See of Bath was part of 
this Archiepiscopate. It is by such connection that we can 
explain why the Church of Porlock is dedicated to St. 
Dubricius, the predecessor of St. David in the Archbishopric, 
whose seat was then Caerleon, and not as afterwards, Menevia. 
At any rate this is the legend, but it must be confessed that 
St. David, as a designation of Barton Church, is not traceable 
until quite late. In Domesday Book it is simply called Ber- 
thona or Bertona. The name, however, may have been 
traditional. In the churchyard are the remains of a cross with 
the figure of a bishop, whether St. David or not. The name. 



17 

too, is only Barton in the 14th century .1 We are told that a 
picture of David the Psalmist once hung in the church; but 
this could scarcely have originated the name. We certainly 
should expect to find early traces of this name had it been 
original and not a superimposed fancy. Barton is, of course, 
a common name. Other reminiscences of St. David are found 
in St. David's Well, near Quantock Farm, in Over Stowey 
parish. And, of course, there are other sacred wells, as St. 
Peter's Well, close to Over Stowey Church, St. Agnes Well 
at Cothelstone, St. John's Well at Holford ; Lady's Fountain 
is on Kilve Common. This is St. Mary the Virgin, we imagine, 
and some evidence of this is found in the fact that a Combe 
hard by is called Ladies' Combe. Other wells associated with 
superstition or medical properties are Blundwell, in Stowey 
(near Bridgwater), and the Witch's Well in Parleston Lane, 
below Parleston Common. Pardle or Bardel is a known 
Saxon personal name.^ 

A further ecclesiastical interest may be found in the names 
of two hamlets, situate in the parish of Wedmore, one of 
which is called Panboro. This is the usual popular impatient 
abbreviation. The Domesday spelling is Padenberia, Insula 
vocata Padenaberia adjacens GlastingbericB. In the Cartu- 
lariuni Saxonicum we find " Grant by King Edwith to Glas- 
tonbury Abbey of a vineyard at Pathenebergh, A.D. 956." 
In 1366 it is Insula de Patheneburga in British Museums char- 
ters. Probably another local name, Panfield, is also thus 
shortened. It is quite possible that this is the Saxon name 
Padwine or Pathwine, and we cannot be sure that it is Padarn. 
It is attractive to think so, and the name Llan-badarn is very 
common in South Wales. There are no fewer than eight of 
them, of which the principal is the Llanbadarn-vawr, near 
Aberystwith. St. Padarn was Latinised into St. Paternus, and 
St. Paternus was a suffragan to the Archbishop of St. David's. 
Llanbardarn was represented by its Bishop at a synod held in 
the County of Worcester in the year 601 A.D. The Church 
of Holy Trinity, Nailsea, is said to have had the name of this 
saint as its original dedication. 



^Bishop Droken/ord's Register, Somerset Record Society, vol 1. There is here 
one instance in which it is added (1325 A.D.), but this seems to be an 
error against the dominant usage. ^Quantocks and other Place-Names, 
Som. Arch. Soc, vol. xlvi. 



18 

Another hamlet in the same ancient parish of Wedmore 
bears the curious name of Theale. Theale, which may be the 
same as Teilo, and a Celtic name, as the personal name Mat- 
tick is, from Madoc.^ It is an interesting conjecture to regard 
it as a disguised form of Teilo, another Welsh saint. Theale 
is not mentioned in Domesday Book, where it is a part of 
Wedmore, and so we have not its spelling. In Pembroke and 
Csermarthenshire there are four places bearing the designation 
Llandilo. Now this Deilo was a British Bishop of Llandafi, 
and lived in the early sixth century. ^ Teol is, however, also a 
Saxon name of eighth century, which is just as likely to be the 
origin of the name. 

A search through the hamlet names of the county appears 
to give us a name which may not unreasonably be connected 
with St. Dubritius, i.e., in the Cymric form, Dyfrig. The 
case of this place-name stands thus : — 

Doverhay is in West Luccombe (also by corruption spelt 
Luckham). The Domesday spelling is, however, Doveri. 
One part of the Manor of Porlock is so described.^ Higher 
Doverhay Farm is an ancient house in the Manor of East 
Luccombe. The lover of the romantic will be Interested to 
know that a smugglers' hold was discovered here some years 
ago. From this diversity of application, as well as the spell- 
ing, it is evident that the name Doverhay is a corruption. 
In 1325, in a jury to find whether the manor had been held 
"in capite " or of the "honour of Pynkeny " it is spelt 
Dovery, as Cloutesham is spelt Cloude's Ham (compare 
Temple Cloud). In 1559 it is Dawevery. In 1237 it is 
Dovery. It is Dovery in 1280, when John le Deneys and 
Robert le Denis met Nicholas the Forester at Roger de 
Cockerey's tavern. John and Robert beat Nicholas so that 
he died. There was another fracas at the house of Gunilda, 
who had an inn there. The Domesday spelling Doveri is then 
right. But what does Dovri mean? Doverhays is the 16th 
century spelling. We are struck with the similarity to the 
place-name Dover. There is a Douvres in the Saxon shore 



'Mattick is, however, taken to be possibly the Saxon name Madacho found in 
lists. ^Memorials of Llandaff, Walter de Gray Birch. Neath : John 
F. Richards. 'For History of Doverhay see History of Part of West 
Somerset. Chadwick Healey. London : Henry Sotheran, 1901. 



19 

near Bayeux, Dovercourt in the intensely Teutonised district 
near Harwich, and Dovrefjeld in Norway. That is, accord- 
ing to this, the root is Teutonic rather than Celtic. But Mr. 
Isaac Taylor does not say what Teutonic root he derives from. 
The origin of Dover is said to be the Celtic dwfyr water. 
Now, when we have the Domesday Spelling Doveri the final 
vowel implies a lost half-vowel, " g," that is Doverig. Con- 
sidering that at Porlock we have the interesting dedication of 
St. Dubritius, of which the Celtic form is Dyfrig, we are 
strongly inclined to regard Doveri and Dovery as representing 
this word. There is no difficulty whatever in the interchange 
of " f " and " v " and " b." Further, the Domesday spellings, 
that is Saxon and Norman, leave out all the final " g's." Weg 
or way is wei, lig or lea is lei and so on. This is most interest- 
ing, as we are grateful to find a few memorials of the ancient 
British Church before the Saxon or Norman came, and 
trampled out the ancient names. Of course, it was a dedica- 
tion, and must have marked some appanage of the Church. 
Dubritius, or Dyfrig, was Archbishop of Caerleon and first 
primate of what political foes are pleased in their comic 
humour to call the " alien church " in Wales, about 444 A.D. 
It is Dyfrig, and became Dyfri, Dovri, and Doveri, and then 
was set down and spelt as Doverhay. Hay is a frequent and 
recognisable termination. 

It cannot be said with certainty how this supposed place- 
name came to be connected with Dubritius, the disciple and 
friend of Germanus and Lupus, the celebrated early contro- 
versialists against Pelagianism. It is conjectured that he may 
have settled in Somerset for a time, as hermit, after he 
resigned his duties as Archbishop of Caerleon. According to 
tradition he crowned King Arthur. It may be sufficient to say 
that his name was illustrious enough to give a dedication to a 
church — Doveri (Dyfrig) was then, we may assume, a part of 
the church property. The date of Dubritius or Dyfrig is the 
5th century. 

It is said that St. Congar was buried at Congresbury, and 
that from this fact the place derives its name. This is the 
usual account, though of St. Congar himself nothing on earth 
seems to be known but that he was a hermit, who came from 



20 

the East. Bagborough Church is dedicated to St. Congar, but 
it is almost, if not quite, a solitary dedication. It need hardly 
be said that the termination bury has nothing whatever to do' 
with interment. In the charters of Birch and Kemble and the 
Hyde Liber VitcB the name Congar (Cungar) is well attested. 
Conigars are, however, well nigh as common and puzzling as 
Silver Streets and Cold Harbours. The only Coneygree or 
Coneygore in the county of Hereford is at Eastnor. Conegar 
in Dunster is separately noted hereafter. The traditional 
story of Congar is given briefly by Mrs. Boger.^ Butler does 
not include him in his Lives of the Saints, as probably he 
doubts the story. What is clear is that there existed a per- 
sonal name Cynegar (modern Conger). This has become 
Cungar, and then Conigar, and is liable to be confused with 
words of wholly different origin, as for instance conacre. 
Etymologically Kin and Cyn are Saxon words allied with the 
word king. A Cynegar may have been a hermit. The popu- 
lar pronounciation of this place-name is Coomsbury. In 
D.B. it is spelt Congresberia, while the name of the hundred 
is spelt Congresberiet.2 In the 13th century (1297) in the 
Taxatio Ecclesiastica of Pope Nicholas, it is spelt as now, 
Congresbury. In the 16th and 17th centuries the spellings are 
as usual, capricious : Conggesbury in 1560; in 1566 Cunesberis; 
in 1583 same as 1297; 1589 Congerburye; 1599 Conggesbury; 
1612 it is Combebrey ; and in 1758 Coombesbury. Obviously, 
if we had only these latter spellings as a basis for our judge- 
ment, we should go widely astray in conjectural explanations. 
There is, it may be added, a Congerston in Leicestershire, 
but we have no opportunity of examining the history of the 
name. Conhull, in Wilmington, is probably shortened from 
some other word, or disguised, as for instance, from the per- 
sonal name Cynehelm, or Cynehild, a personal name. A 
Celtic explanation has been given from y cyn gar, " the fore- 
most fortification," and y cwining gaer, " the rabbit warren," 
and Saxon cyn-gar, " the King's garth." We shall meet with 
this name Congresbury again in conjunction with the local 
name Urchinwood.^ 



^Mvths, Scenes and Worthies of Somerset. ^Eyton : Domesday Studies. *See 
Index. 



21 

When we travel further down the stream of history and 
arrive at the period when monasticism flourished, and dis- 
played itself in the founding of the great religious orders, of 
which a brief but interesting and sympathetic account may be 
found in Archbishop Trench's Medieval Church History,^ we 
then find names connected with the Church life of the 
past which are not subject to much doubt as to their origin. 
Such are Abbots Leigh, Abbots Buckland, Abbotsbury Manor, 
Abbots Sutton— all these have names from monastic founda- 
tions. Abbots Leigh was also called Legh by Portbury, and 
spelt Abbots Lee, Abbotslie. 

And here it may be noted that the term " minster " in this 
and such names as Pitminster and Bedminster, does not 
signify all that we are apt to associate with the word. It does 
not necessarily imply a monastic house or collegiate church, 
according to the statement of Freeman, in his Norman Con- 
quest. But perhaps there was in most cases a collegiate body, 
if only of modest proportions; Ash Priors, also spelt Esse, 
Eshe-priors, is clearly also a name of monastic origin. In the 
British Museum Charters is one called Compotus of lands in 
Esse of Taunton Priory, dating 1438-9. Its distinguishing 
feature among the names beginning or compounded with 
" Ash " is thus derived. Similarly we have Stanton Prior and 
Buckland Priors, also called Buckland Sororum and Buckland 
Minchin. These form double names and will be found 
treated under this heading in subsequent pages. 

There are two places bearing the name of Charterhouse — 
Charterhouse Hinton, or Henton, and Charterhouse-on 
Mendip. The origin of Charterhouse is very well known to 
all those familiar with the great public school so named, to 
be derived from Chartreuse, which was the famous place of 
the institution of the Order of Carthusians. From the white 
habit of this Order some at least of the Whitchurches in the 
country have their name, and a priory of this Order gave its 
name to Witham Friary, so far as the latter component is 
concerned, but Witham is already Witeham in Domesday 
Book. This is one of the earliest in the country, formed as it 
was in 1181 by King Henry II. 



'^Mediceval Church History, Cap. viii. Trench. Macmillan, 1879. 



22 

The place-name Abdick looks as if it might mean anything, 
but the spelling Abbedyke seems clearly to reveal its origin.* 
This is a boundary name, as a dyke in this usage is, of course, 
most commonly a raised road across a marsh, and not a mere 
ditch. This is so likely that it seems precarious, however 
interesting, to seek and find the Celtic saint's name of Badoc 
or Madoc. By interchange of letters Badoc or Badick, it is 
said, becomes Abdick, and the evidence is adduced that close 
at hand is Madocs (or Badocks) Tree Hill. The reality may 
be that this is the extant Saxon name " Abb," and then it has 
nothing to do with an abbey. In Domesday Book the hun- 
dred of Abbediche is several times mentioned, and as it is 
called " Abedik and Bulstone," this would appear to be two 
boundary limits, a dyke and a stone (Bula's stone). 

Whether St. Phaganus, a legate of Pope Elentherus, is to 
be traced in the local name Vage may be doubtful. Nunney 
and Nynehead might seem naturally to derive their distin- 
guishing appellations from a former existence of monastic 
sisterhoods, though the former is better known to visitors by 
its castle ruins, situate on the " ey " or island. These names 
are elsewhere mentioned. " Chantry," near Frome, explains 
itself, but has no place in a list of ancient names, though now 
appearing as a separate parish, with its incumbent. Chantries 
abounded. They proved convenient hen-roosts, and were 
plundered. The designations from Scriptural saints, and from 
those whose history, so far as known, is easily accessible, 
scarcely need here be mentioned. They are, of course, used 
often to distinguish parishes of the same name, as Buckland 
St. Mary and Buckland Dinham, Bishops Lydeard and 
Lydeard St. Lawrence. Sometimes the name has been 
altered, as Stoke St. Gregory was formerly called East Curry 
(St. Cyrig), where a part of the parish is still named Cur-load. 
Load occurs elsewhere, and merely means a course or way, 
usually a water-way. 

A saint's name, St. Kew, is connected with Kewstoke. St. 
Kew is a most interesting, though perhaps mythological, 
saint. It is known that there is a Cornish church having the 
dedication St. Kew. The town is called after this saint, and 



^Somerset and Dorset, Noies and Queries, vol. i., p. 45. 



23 

stands on a river which bears a name reminding us of certain 
Somerset place-names already dealt with in chapter 1— 
the River Camel. The village, originally called Stoke only, 
on the Severn estuary, and near to Weston-super-Mare, after- 
wards, it is thought, obtained its additional distinguishing 
appellation from this saint, who had his dwelling in the hol- 
low of the mountain above the village. The narrow, craggy 
track, with the full two hundred natural and artificial steps, 
by which he went to his daily devotions, still preserve his 
memory and his name, being called, as it is to this day, the 
Pass of St. Kew. Are we to suppose that the Cornish St. Kew 
was the same? There appear to be neither steps nor passes 
near the latter place. In fact, the name of the place in Domes- 
day Book is Chiwstoke; that is spelt precisely as Chew in 
Chew Magna, but pronounced differently. In the reign of 
Edward IV. in the Court Rolls it is Kywstoke. In 1463 in a 
will^ it is Custoke. Curiously enough, in Herefordshire there 
is a village called Cusop, which, written and pronounced 
Chewesop, is St. Cweydd. This name is taken from the saint. 
Hope means a slope (from the Celtic hwpp). This St. Cewydd 
is identified with St. Cadoc. Perhaps, after all, the saint only 
existed in Cornwall. How the Somerset saint arrived at Stoke 
does not appear. It may be that he came over from Ireland 
like the St. Eia or Ea, with which the name of Yatton has 
been fancifully connected. A little derelict book, Cooke's 
Topography, or British Traveller's Pocket Directory,^ which, 
however, from clear internal evidence, was published in 1800, 
or thereabouts, calls this particular saint " a religious woman 
who came hither from Ireland about the year 460 A.D." The 
number of Cornish and British saints that existed in the 5th 
and 6th centuries is simply prodigious. The truth is that the 
prefix saint was a mere appellation, and did not mean all that 
we imply by the use of the word. It was equivalent somewhat 
to " reverend " in modern use. It is curious that Kew, on the 
Thames, well known by its grand botanical gardens, and its 
connections with royal personages of the past, Kew in Corn- 
wall, and Kew in Somerset, are all on the banks of rivers, and 
the Armoric quae, the Irish ceigh, and the French quai all 



iMediisvalWills, iSs, Dates : 1459,1463. " Custoke juxta Worle. " 'Cornwall. 



24 

mean a bank, and then later a wharf, landing stage or place. 
The place-name in that case is therefore hybrid, and so all 
these might mean no more than " the wharf village," or the 
" village on the river bank." Remembering the exact 
similarity of spelling with Chew it looks as if the derivation 
should be the same, but in the one case the traditional pro- 
nounciation is soft, and the other hard, and so the derivation 
is probably diverse, notwithstanding this orthographical 
similarity. 

Of other saints there was a St. Keyne, who dwelt in Breck- 
nockshire. She was a saint, but her father was more of a sin- 
ner, a reversal of religious character in parent and child which 
not infrequently happens even to-day. Her father was named 
Brychan (Latinised to Braganus), Prince of Breckonshire, and 
she lived in the 5th century (so fruitful of saints) in the church 
and town of St. Keyne, close by Liskeard; and why not at 
Keynsham, in Somerset? — St. Keyne's Ham or home. Hams 
and Hamms have certainly generally, but not invariably, a 
personal name, as prefix, whether of saint or otherwise. Near 
the Cornish church is a well with a charming legend connected 
with it : — 

" A well there is in the West Countree, 
And clearer one never was seen, 
There is not a man in the West Countree 
But has heard of the Well of S. Keyne, 

' ' An oak and an elm tree grow beside, 
And behind doth an ash tree grow ; 
And a willow from the banks above 
Droops to the waters below. ' ' 

Both Keynsham and St. Keyne are also on river banks, or 
close by them. The legend referred to is a pretty one, and 
commends itself to persons about to marry. Of couples who 
were married in the Church of St. Keyne, whichever first, 
after the nuptial knot was rightly tied, and the priest's bless- 
ing duly pronounced, drank of the delightfully cool waters of 
the well would be the master for life ! 

" I'faith (says the song) she were wiser than I, 
For she took a bottle to church." 

Some there are who achieve this distinction of lady master- 
ship without either well or surrepitious bottle. Keynsham is, 
whatever else may be said, compounded of a personal name 
represented by the first part Keyn and ham, not necessarily 



25 

ham, meaning home, but may be hamm, signifying low-lying 
meadow land. This personal name is Cyna, Kyna, formed for 
example in the compound name Kynward, and Kineverd (an 
abbot of Bath).i In the Lincoln's Inn MSS. (1344), we find 
the witnesses' names Thomas de Keynes-ham and John de 
Kaynesford. The names Cynegyth, Cynewulf (Kinnulf) and 
Cymewulf, Cynethryth occur. There is no doubt, then, of the 
existence of the personal name simple and compounded. The 
spellings of the place-names are D.B. Cainessam (1086). In 
the Taxatio Ecclesiastica (in the Deanery of Redclifie) is 
Kanesham (1297). In the Register of bishop Drokensford it 
is Keynesham (1315); in the reign of Henry I. (charter) we 
find apud Chainesam. There is also the spelling Cahinesam. 
Both these latter are in the charter of Bath Priory. It has 
been said^ that Heahmund, bishop of Sherborne, was killed 
in 871 A.D. and buried at Caigneshamme, and that this is 
possibly Cainsham. That Caeg, Gaeg, may become Gain, 
Cain, Cane is certain. Gegnesburh has become Gainsborough 
and might just as easily be Cains-borough. Inasmuch as the 
persistent pronounciation is (we believe) Kanisham (long 
vowel) the name Cyna, Cain, Kain, sufficiently accounts for 
it. But which Cyna we know not. And thus, if we cannot 
connect every place-name with some interesting person, or 
event, with the certainty we desire, we must be content. 

Two names connected with religion, the one Christian and 
Celtic, and the other heathen, are St. Curig in such names as 
North Curry and Curry Rivel,^ and a possible Scandinavian 
deity in Burrington. As the two former are double names it 
may be more convenient to consider them under that head, 
and Burrington, in connection with the many place-names, 
with the characteristic ending ington. 

There seem to be other picturesquely errant attempts at the 
explanation of place-names connected with religion other than 
the Christian. The well-known Somerset town of Wellington, 
from which the great Duke took his title, has been traced to 
the god Weland, who is called the Saxon representative of 
the classic Vulcan. Of course these parallelisms of gods and 



^Bath Chartulaty, Kemble, C. D. No. 566 S. R. S. p. 31. "Rev. C. Taylor. 
In the corres. column, Bristol Times and Mirror. ^Traces of the British 
Church in Somerset. Daniel J. Pring. Phoenix Press : Taunton, 1910. 



26 

goddesses in so diverse religious systems are doubtful. Wel- 
lington will be considered among place-names in ington. 

Heathen religion has left its trace, thus according to one 
mode of explanation, on Seavington. This appears as Seven- 
ham-ton. This is said to be the reverence for the number 
seven, which, as founded on the lunar division of time, and 
" written in the heavens," was, as a number, an object of 
religious veneration in the days of Hammurabi, the en- 
lightened legislator of Babylon, 3000 B.C. The number seven 
was for ages a sacred number, and, according to this inter- 
pretation, a Somersetshire village name is a relic of it. 

It is only the numbers four and seven that figure in German 
names^ of places, as in Seofan wyllas, the seven hills, the seven 
thorns, the seven acres; in England it is in trees, five and 
nine, as for example in Fiveash, and Nine elms. Why? We 
have Seven Oaks, however, as a well-known name. On the 
Quantock Hills there is a Seven Wells Combe, and the Seven 
Sisters, near Milborne port, name of the seven springs at the 
source of the Yeo. 

These are place-names which are said to be connected with 
Wuotan or Woden^ in names such as Wans-dyke, Wembury, 
and the like; Thunor in names in Thur and Thurs; a refer- 
ence to the gods' weapon in Hammer, as Amerdown. Others 
are connected with Hnaef, the Hoeing. These are noted in 
the sequel, but it must be remembered that personal names, 
as with the Hebrews, were taken from the names of the gods. 
So far is it from a certainty that the places concerned were 
directly connected with heathen rites. The name " Winta " 
refers to Winta, an ancestor of the King of Lindisfarne. This 
Wint or Wintr is a name appearing in Winterstoke and 
Winterbourne. In kings as in gods we must also remem- 
ber that names became diffused as common property. We 
find, too, the names Hengst and Horsa in the county. Bath 
was anciently aquae Sulis. The Romano-British Minerva, 
called Sul, said to give its name to the hill called Solsbury, 
near Bath. Camulos was a heathen god, whose name is found 
in the river name Camel, as Tiw in Chew. Woden was the 
god of battles, the Mars of the Saxons, and after him, as is 



^Anglo-Saxon Names of Places. Leo. ^Saxons in England. Kemble, i. 343. 



27 

usually thought, is named the well-known line of embank- 
ment or fortification that runs through so many counties, and 
is plainly traceable in Somerset. It is true that popular tradi- 
tion is after all a safe guide to follow in the pronounciation of 
a place-name or the handing down of a legend, though 
obviously not a guarantee of the truth of the latter. Legen- 
dary lore says that the Wansdyke was so called because it was 
built by the devil on a Wednesday. Perhaps it was. We 
know that Wednesday is Wodens-day. Wanstrow, a village 
six miles south-west of Frome, is usually derived from this 
god's name, Woden. The Domesday spelling is Wandestreu. 
It is a racial name, quite possibly, and is taken by some, thus 
inclined, as a mark of Wendish immigration.^ The name 
Wansford is found in Northumberland. There are also other 
names of places regarded as having the same origin. There is 
a Wondes-lane near Pensford. Wand means in Saxon 
" boundary," and the modern German wand means a wall ; 
the old high German want or wand, wall or side ; and Wod- 
nesdic would thus mean the boundary dike.^ The name is, 
however, almost without question, usually taken to be a relic 
of heathen mythology, and as other prehistoric dykes appear 
to have mythological names attached to them, as Grimsditch, 
from the Norse god " Grim," it is not to be denied that this 
may be the case with the Wansdyke, though we confess to a 
preference for the less interesting derivations. In a charter 
deemed genuine relating to Stanton Prior we find the name 
Wodnesdic as a boundary mark. In this latter case it is the 
boundary-dyke between Celt and Saxon, and tells its tale still 
of the whilom war of races. The place-name Dillington has 
also been connected with idol worship. This name will occur 
in the list of those ending ington.^ 



^Shore : Origin of tke Saxon Race — A very interesting- book ! Eliot Stock, 1906. 
''Dr. Stukely derived from the British wood guahan to separate, which 
seems a far-fetched origin and is far more easily directly from the 
cognate " wand," or wall. "See Index. 



28 



CHAPTER III. 

Place-names from Religious Associations. 
St. White^ and other Whites — not Saints. 

Whitchurch is one of those places where what appears to 
have been the name of a new village (which sprang up round 
a church), beat a better-known, and much older, local name, 
Filton, out of the field. The ordinary topographical account 
is that the original name of the place was Filwood, and that 
a church was erected on the site of an ancient chapel dedi- 
cated to St. White (St. Candida) and that the village gradu- 
ally removed to this new site. Collinson says the original name 
was Filetwood. This is good so far as it helps us to see that 
in Filton (as spelt) and in Felton the initial syllable is an 
abbreviation, as indeed experience in the interpretation of 
many place-names suggests. Whitchurch, alias Filton, is not 
mentioned in Domesday Book save as part of Cainesam 
(Keynsham), and so we have not the advantage and sugges- 
tions of its spellings. We find " Valor of Queen Katherine's 
{Fylton Grange) jointure " in time of Henry VIII. (Rentals 
and Surveys). In the 21st Elizabeth, " Rights of Common 
of Filwood," and there was also at this period the " Manor 
of Whitchurch," as well as that of Lyons. This latter still 



^S. White. — The Cistercian Abbey of Flaxley, Gloucestershire, had a her- 
mitage at the Chapel of Ardlond, near Cinderford, in the time of King John 
(circa 1119), in which dwelt "William, the hermit of that place," supported by 
the Abbey in all thing's necessary for his food and clothing. And in reference 
to this chapel the Rev. Leonard Wilkinson has found the following entry in 
the Bishops' Registers at Hereford: "Pro saccello dive Candide Flexley." 
The entry in Latin is to the effect that on the 18th of February, 21 Henry 8th 
(1S29-30), Thomas Medley, the Procurator and Abbot of Flexley, had received 
special permission to collect funds annually ' ' ad coUigend j pro reparatione 
manutentione et sustentatione sacelli dive candide et sancte Radegundis," 
that is to keep in repair the cell of the two female saints — S. White and S. 
Radgyth. It is described as "at the grange de Arlond, near the aforesaid 
Monastery." — Reg. Bp. Booth, fol. 162b. This is interesting, especially as the 
name S. Whites, at Ruspidge, near Cinderford, still remains, or showing how 
many S. Whites there were, or how wide the cult of the Saint. 



■'#^^.a^«s 



A --V-^S«»,5.A^j^.^^jj.^ 




29 

exists as a local name. Thus the two names were side by side 
in the 16th century. There are wills and leases concerning 
both. The name Filetwood or Filwood came earliest. Filet- 
wood-ton, or Filwood-ton, was sure to be pared down for 
popular use. As an explanatory analogy we may suppose it 
had been Filmore, and then we should think of a moor or a 
mere, and try to interpret the prefix " Fil." Probably we 
should have the sense to see that this would represent the 
quaint personal name Filimaer, now spelt Phillimore, and 
heaven knows why. Filwood or Filetwood suggests to us no 
such well-known name, but it does bring up the old German 
name Filetius, and the wood is in reality a form of " wald." 
Filwald is as perfectly intelligible a name as Filimaer, in 
which Feolu, Fel, are known names in compounds. Prob- 
ably Pilton and Filton are really etymologically the same, but 
as we have not investigated the Gloucestershire name we 
hesitate to go further than to say Pilton is certainly an abbre- 
viation, while " Pil " and " Fil " are dialectically interchange- 
able. This may also be the case with the Somerset Pilton, 
near Shepton Mallett. " Filwald "-ton becomes Filton 
through the intermediate step Filwood or Filet-wood. 
Nothing is commoner than the " breaking " of the pointed 
" i " to " e," and so we find Felton in Felton Common, 
situate partly in the parish of Winford, and partly in other 
parishes. This same name Feolu accounts for Felton, as 
Lulla for Lulgate, in that same parish ; and for Felt-ham, near 
Frome. The former spelling is probably Fletham. This 
latter (in the time of Edward I.) in British Museum charters 
appears as original. Filet-ham, indeed, might become either. 
In the Cartularium Saxonicum we meet the boundary name 
Filet-ham ford. Personal names are, therefore, at the base of 
these otherwise mysterious forms : Pil, Fel, Fil. 

The better-known modern name, Whitchurch, does not 
stand alone. Not even in Somerset — for there is a Whit- 
church in the parish of Henstridge, and another near Binegar. 
The name is, indeed, widely spread throughout the kingdom. 
Without specialised inquiry in each individual case the most 
that we can say is that the origin of the name White, prefixed 
to church, appears to be diverse. We do not know why 



30 

Whitchurch (that pretty village on the Wye, which often we 
have approached and entered, as far as a little hostel and the 
churchyard, skirted by the many winding Wye) is so called, 
or why its church is dedicated to St. Dubricius, a dedication 
known also to Somerset. Nor are we better informed as to 
the Whitchurch in Buckingham, Devon, or Oxford. But 
Whitchurch in Southampton is " on low ground on the river 
under a range of chalk hills." It is natural, therefore, to con- 
nect it with the limestone. And the Whitchurch in Salop used 
to be called Album Monasterium, or Blancminster.^ The 
name seems to indicate the former presence of the white- 
robed Cistercians, or a " Hospital " in existence in the reign 
of Henry III. This Hospital is mentioned in monastic lists. 
Whitchurch Canonicorum seems to tell a different tale. The 
hagiology appears to be somewhat uncertain, as apparently 
there were five saints of this name " Saint White," known 
also in the Latin form as St. Candidus and St. Candida. 
This particular church has a double dedication to St. Candida 
and the Holy Cross. In 1900, after many doubts had been 
tossed about year in and year out, a Sarcophagus was dis- 
covered which had been locally attributed to St. Candida. 
On the box was an inscription cast in lead, and also a reliquary 
with the inscription " here repose the remains of Sci Wite." 
The bones were those of a small woman about forty years of 
age. Hie requesct Relique Sci Wite were the words on the 
leaden box. It still remains doubtful whether the saint is 
called after the church or the church after the saint. There 
are other indications that a saint of this name was venerated 
in the south of Somerset, and the north of Dorset. This is 
said of the Somerset St. White : " On the road from Chard 
to Crewkerne there was formerly a chapel dedicated to St. 
Reigne, or St. Rana, of which no traces now remain. The 
saint is said to have been buried within this chapel, together 
with another St. White, whose name is perpetuated in White- 
down, Whitestaunton, Whitelackington, and other places."^ 
With regard to the latter place-name, it may be safely said 
this is a mistake, and perhaps, though not so certainly, the 



^Three churches in Shropshire were so called, one at Whitchurch, one at 
Oswestry, and another at Atterbury. ^PuUan on Local Nomenclature, 
p. 65. On S, Reign and Whitedown, see Somerset Archceological Proceed- 
ings, xxxviii., ii., 40 fF. 



31 

others also. As there were at least five St. Whites we are 
bound to say it does seem to us that as Hwit, Hhwaet, White, 
and Wight were common names, certain places were more 
likely to derive their names from the saint than the reverse. 
In regard to our Whitchurch this traditional account is as 
likely to be true as not. At any rate, we do not know any 
other reason why the church should be called White, unless 
Filton Grange, already mentioned, points to a monastic set- 
tlement of White canons. White monks, or White ladies, but 
more probably this grange belonged to the black canons of 
Cainesam. The name grange, as an old French word, was 
usually applied to a place where the tithe was paid in corn 
(or grain) to religious houses. This is the solitary and pre- 
carious indication that some of the white-robed " religious " 
male or female may have had to do with the building of the 
church. 

In the Bath Cartulary there is a "confirmation by the Bishop 
of Bath and Wells of the appropriation of the parish church 
of Keynsham with the chapels of Cerlethon, Bristelthon, 
Fylton, and Pubbelewe (that is Queen Charlton, Brislington, 
Filton, and Publow) to the abbot and convent of Keynsham." 
This is in the 13th century. There is no mention of the name 
Whitchurch, but only Fylton. In Wills in the 15th centurv 
Filton is found with the addition alias Whitchurch. It is the 
Whitchurch near Binegar which is mentioned in Bishop 
Drokenford's Register.^ We suppose that this and the Hens- 
tridge Whitchurch are connected with the cult of St. White 
or St. Candida. 

W hitelackington has clearly no reference to St. Candida. 
The spellings show this. In Domesday Book it is Wyslagenton 
(1086) ; Whight Lakenton (T. E.) (1291) ; both of which forms 
show a departure from the true word, which does, however, 
seem to appear in 1174, when we find the spelling Withlac- 
hinton, and in 1250 A.D. we read of Thomas de Sorrels, Lord 
of Wiklacantone. We do not quite know whether Hinton is 
to be regarded as original, but when we find Bower Hinton 
spelt Bur-hinton (1334) in Martock, we wonder very naturally 
whether Burrington is not originally Bur-hinton. And Hinton 



^Pag-es 233, 235, SiaU of Whitchurch. 



32 

is the personal name Heantan. Haen is a well-known 
Saxon name, and so is Tonna, Tona, and Tane. However this 
may be, as to Bower Hinton, it is clear that the first component 
of Whitelackington is the extant personal name Hwittlac, or 
rather Hwaetlac. It is a known name, and indeed was once 
the name of a Mercian bishop. The Hwaet is the same as in 
Hwaetman, the extant names Wightman and Wheatman. 
We do not personally know any modern representation of 
the name Hwaetlac and Hwaetlag, but it probably exists in 
the known name Whitelock, a name found in directories now. 
Hwaetlacan may be the genitive form in the spelling of 1174, 
and then Hinton, if original, which is not likely, has got cut 
very short. Hinton, in fact, is a corruption. Similarly the 
Hinton in Mudford is spelt Estindon, and may originally be 
Eastan tun where Easton is a personal name. The Domesday 
spelling suggests to the etymologist (who does not go behind 
the actual structure of the word and seek for its history) that 
" wys " is for "waes," and that it means "damp-meadow 
land," which is descriptive of the spot, but the " s " is a mere 
wrong deciphering of letters for " t," of which we cite else- 
where other copyist examples. Further evidence of the exist- 
ence of the word as a personal name is that Wightlacs ford is 
a name occurring in the Chronicles of Evesham; it is also 
spelt Witlaegs ford. Wightlaeg was the name of the ancestor 
of Wiga, King of Mercia. Other analagous examples already 
given are Hwittuc's mead (resolved absurdly into White-ox- 
mead) and Whitewych, a hamlet name in Somerset. 

White Oxmead is spelt Whittockxsmede as late as the reign 
of Henry VIII. in the Court Rolls, and Whitokmead in wills. 
Some persons will still prefer to think of the white ox lead to 
sacrificial slaughter, or grazing in the lush meadows. Such 
a natural orthographical corruption illustrates the precarious- 
ness of some of the explanations given in books where a sur- 
face and plausible derivation is taken without further exam- 
ination. The local name Whitacre is, for example, explained 
as white acre.^ In reality it is the personal name Wihtgar, in 
which " gar " is a spear, and the source of the well-known 
name Whittaker. 



lEdmunds' Traces of History in the Names of Places. 



33 

Whitestaunton has, no doubt, white as a prefix, however 
derived, to the original name Staunton. It is only Stan-tuna 
in D.B. (1086), and Stanton in T.E. (1291), and then in the 
later centuries {Kirby's Quest) it is Staunton only. The 
epithet White appears first in A.D. 1331, that is, in nearly the 
middle of the 14th century .^ These Stauntons and Stantons 
are so numerous, so many cannot be explained as stoney 
places, that it is clear personal names such as Stan, Estan, 
Eahlstan, Athelstane are often at the base; but in the present 
case another explanation is plausible. White is thus clearly 
a late addition, and it is not, therefore, likely that the prefix 
is accounted for by the presence of white stones as a prominent 
geologic feature. This descriptive word would in that case 
have almost certainly appeared earlier. The time came when 
the numerous Stauntons needed differentiation, when they 
were no longer merely locally known. We find the same want 
more insistently exists in our postal days. White arose from 
some local circumstance of possession by one of that name, 
or if the legend of St. Candida in the neighbourhood of 
Chard was in any way connected with this hill-side Staunton 
on the dreary Black-down hills, situate on the verge of the 
county where the cult of St. Candida was much in vogue, this 
would sufficiently account for it. We do not know exactly 
when St. White flourished. The most that can be definitely 
said is that the name White as an addition is clearly personal, 
and may be the Saint Hwit. Rev. H. A. Cartwright, a former 
Rector,^ traced the principal name Stanton to a local circum- 
stance, the occurrence of a huge rock. When the West 
Saxons came into the upland hollow, the most conspicuous 
object on it would be this great grey rock, so when they 
settled their tun near St. Agnes Well they named it after the 
rock, the " tun of the great stone." This is quite likely to be 
the origin of the name Stan-ton in this case. 

The stranger who reads the name Witham on the sign- 
board at a railway station most naturally calls it With-am. 
After waiting a considerable time and watching the mysterious 
movements of trains, he thinks that it must be Wait-ham. 



^Bishop Dnkenfortls Register, p. 195, S.R.S., vol. 1. ^Somerset ArchaoUgical 
and National History Society Proceedings, vol. 49 (1903). 



34 

On inquiring of a polite porter whether this is so, he hears 
that it is called Wit-ham. Otherwise the long stretch of what 
must once upon a time have been moorland would tempt 
him to think of the withy beds, growing there abundantly in 
the hammes or low meadow lands, as a satisfactory explana- 
tion of the name. Now in the leisure of waiting on the plat- 
form he thinks of Wide-hamme, for so it is. Then again here 
was the earliest settlement in England of the Carthusians. 
The first house of the order in this county was founded and 
endowed here by King Henry II. This goes back to A.D. 1180. 
They were dressed in shabby white cloth, meaner and poorer 
than other monks. Therefore, it naturally occurs to us 
that it is the " White-ham," from the monkish habiliments. 
This is a natural explanation, but deceptive because it is 
found as Witeham in the Domesday record a century earlier, 
and then it is Witham cum Ulftone. The latter name is, we 
believe, obsolete. It is, however, interesting as possibly giv- 
ing a clue to the origin of the name Witham. For Ulftone is 
a shortening of the much longer name Wulfweard ton. 
Wulfweard was a Saxon thane of " large and ubiquitous estate 
in Somerset." He held Staunton Drew. And hence it is, 
perhaps, that we meet this name in Woolard in Publow, and 
we find it in Woolverton as a place and a personal name. He 
died in A.D. 1085, and he was called Wulfweard Wyte. It is 
pleasing to note that " he survived the wreck of Saxondom." 
To show his county importance we find that he is named in 
the charter by which the Conqueror restored Banwell to the 
Church of St. Andrew of Wells. He attended the Queen's 
Court at Wilton so late as A.D. 1072. Why he was called le 
wyt, or the " little man," we know not. That this personal 
name White or Wyt or Wit is connected with place-names 
seems clear from the two Witcombes, one in Martock and 
the other in Corton Denham, both spelt in D.B. Wite-combe. 
The latter belonged to the Crown and was held by King 
William the Conqueror after the death of this Wulfweard 
Wyte. Wulfweard Wyte held in Corfe-ton (Corton) and 
hence the name Wyt-combe arose. Witham is spelt in the 
Gheld-inquest (1084) Witen-ham, and so later. Beside this 
White there was another Wyt, known as Roger Witen, sup- 



35 

posed to be the same as Roger de Corcelle. That is to say, 
men bearing this cognomen, who were not known as saints, 
were great landowners in the pre-conquest times, and left their 
names in the places where they were best known. And very 
likely from some of these well-known families sprang the 
Whites who were " saints." And hence such names as White- 
wych (perhaps) and Whitenell (in Emborough). The deriva- 
tion of White-stone is, however, usually taken from the exist- 
ence of a cromlech. We also find Whitley and Whitfield. 
Whatley is also Whitley, but requires to be looked at 
separately. 



36 



CHAPTER IV. 

Place-names from local characteristics. 

The physical characteristics have most naturally been sug- 
gestive of names to the localities in which any marked 
speciality is found. When there are rival claimants to the 
honour of giving rise to a place-name, to ascertain the 
presence or absence of these may sometimes be a determining 
test. 

A wide induction of place-names, not merely in Somerset- 
shire, but in England, and not simply in England, but in 
Europe, shows that among the root-elements we have such 
factors as attractive scenery, where wildness and beauty en- 
force attention. It must, however, be carefully noted that 
the feeling for beauty of landscape scenery is quite modern, 
and will scarcely account for very ancient names, whose 
origins go back to a remote antiquity. But marked physical 
peculiarities of height in reference to the surrounding district, 
or of depression, of dead level, of inlet and island, of 
peculiarity of form, colour, readily gave the name to a spot. 
An example of this is found in the name Cadbury. Leland 
speaks of it in a kind of ecstasy : " Good God ! what deep 
ditches ! what high ramparts I what precipices I In short it 
really appears to me to be a wonder both of art and nature." 
South Cadbury is situated at the extremity of a steep ridge of 
hills nearly south of Castle Cary. The old topographers 
called it Camalet. From this popular association it derives 
its romantic interest. " Cadbury Castle " may once have 
been an island. The situation is certainly striking enough to 
enforce a name. Bury is no doubt berg, a hill or burg, a pro- 
tected place, and Cad the Cymric Cadaer, a fortification. It 
may, however, be a personal name from Cadda or Cedda, and 
so mean Cadda's camp. Cadbury is sometimes derived from 
Cath byrig. Cad is said to mean a battle, and we read of it 
as "That Cathbregion where Arthur (says Nennius) routed 



37 

the Saxons in a memorable engagement. Tickenham Camp 
is also called Cadbury Camp, and this, too, is on a command- 
ing situation on a narrow and insulated portion of a ridge, 
overlooking Portbury. It was a station on a military road. 

Metals, minerals, and animals, forest land and enclosed 
land, ploughed land, modes of agriculture, staple trade or 
products, indigenous or introduced, all help to account for 
differences of place-name origins. Religion, with its churches 
and religious houses, as we have seen and still may see, ac- 
counts for a considerable number. And of these last we may 
fairly expect a few at least to have undergone extraordinary 
transmutation. The origin of a hame has been forgotten, and 
another name, sounding very much like it, has been mean- 
inglessly transferred to it; or the name has been adopted as 
a personal name, and the locality given its name to a race or 
clan, and then, by a reversal of the true order of things, to 
the name of the place. Notwithstanding this, there are clear 
cases where a personal name is at the root of the place-name. 
The personal names of owners do, in fact, play a larger part 
in local nomenclature than is commonly realised, and of this 
we shall find abundant proof. 

When places have taken their names from the plants which 
once grew there, or the animals who made it their lair, it may 
well happen that the original features which suggested the 
name no longer exist. The locality may in process of time, by 
natural or artificial causes, have undergone great changes. If 
there be no longer swampy ground, the vegetation or animal 
life formerly characteristic is so no longer. Both flora and 
fauna change with the character of the spot. It has even 
happened that a name has been manipulated, by an uncon- 
scious process, to suit the altered conditions, or the name 
has remained, although the features that gave rise to it exist 
no longer. The meaning has been forgotten, but the name 
is handed down from generation to generation without ques- 
tion asked. 

There are instances in Somerset of an interesting character. 
some of which are, however, of doubtful character, as the 
spellings and comparisons show, as e.g., Cran-Mere. In 
Domesday Book it is, however, spelt Crene-mella. In the 



38 

early 14th century^ " it is Cranmoor, and even as early as 
1241 "2 in the " Reeves Accounts of Crenemere," A.D. 1442.* 
The name does not occur in the Taxatio Ecclesiastica. Cran- 
moor is thus to be explained as meaning Heron-mere, or fen. 
This solution is not, however, altogether without doubt. 
Crene is probably an abbreviation of a personal name, just as 
in a similar fashion Carhampton (Caerwen-ton) becomes 
Cramdon. The prefix denotes the owner of the mill (mella) 
and the moor. The local name Crandon is found. Leo* 
derives it from the bird the crane, and instances such cases as 
Cronuchhamm, Crans-lea, Cranwyl. We may also point out 
that " The Crane " is a local name of land in the Parish of 
Bampton (Oxon) and the Cranes-foot is a manorial mark in 
the 16th century. Green-town, a local name in Litton, is 
probably a corruption of Crean-don. The bird name ob- 
viously well suits as a name of the moor, but is not so likely 
for the name of the mill save as a manorial mark, or the 
name of the owner Crina. 

Mr. EarlyS is inclined to explain the prefix Cat, as found in 
such names as Cats-ash, Cat-cott (in Moorlinch), and the like, 
as due to the presence of the wild cat, now disappeared. The 
origin of many of these names in Cat and Cad is, in fact, in 
the personal name Cadda. Cat-cott is, however, shortened 
from Caldecott, as it actually reads in the 12th century, and 
the form Cadicott of Domesday Book is the Norman omission 
of a harsh consonantal combination. Calda is a personal 
name, as in Caldewine or Galdewine (Goldwin). Cholwell as 
a local name may be compared. 

The Wild boar no longer frequents Evercreech. The 
Anglo-Saxon for boar is eofer, which appears in modern Ger- 
man as Eber. Creech is a crack or crag in the land formation, 
where bold shoulders of rock are lifted over the sky-line, for 
which the modern Welsh is crug. Evercreech is thus most 
naturally explained as " the boar-crag," and a descriptive 
name. In Bedfordshire there is a place-name Ever-ton, 
interpreted to mean the boar-farm.^ Probably, however. 



^Register of Bishop Drokensford. ^B.M. Charters, 203 Harl. Roll, G. 24. ^Som- 
erset and Dorset Notes and Queries, iv., 244. ^On Anglo-Saxon Names 
of Places, p. IS. ^In Somerset and Dorset Notes, &c. ^Skeat : Cam- 
bridge Antiquarian Society, vol. xlii. 



39 

this is " Eofor's " tun, the owner's name. The Rev. W. 
Barnes, the Dorset poet, says that Ever-creech is in reality of 
Celtic origin, that is, Ejwr-crug. Ejwr still stands in a Welsh 
dictionary with the meaning of Cow-parsnip. Crug occurs 
often in Welsh place-names, and is, of course, crag, or a knoll. 
The hill on which the cow-parsnip, according to this poetic 
fancy, grew a thousand years ago, has passed into a proverb, 
" as old as Creech Hill," where it will be observed, as in other 
cases, the meaning of Creech has been as utterly forgotten as 
when we say the River Avon. In truth, as the wild cat must 
be unwillingly let go so must the wild boar of the woods. 
Ever (Eber, Eofor), is a personal name, found simply as a 
man's name, and in compounds as Eoformaer (how easily 
interpreted as the boars' moor or mere), Eoferhardt (Everard), 
Eoferwine and Eoforwulf, and the like. Eofer in this man's 
name was likely enough in its ultimate origin taken from the 
animal name. The spellings of Evercreech are interesting. 
Domesday Book is Evercriz, and later spellings are Evercruch, 
Evercriche, Everchryche, Evercreach, and Everchyrche. 

Neither in Goatcombe, nor Goathill or Goathurst have we 
certain traces of the herds of goats kept by our forefathers. 
Gat-combe is yat or gate combe. The others are noticed later. 

Somerset has always been a pastoral county. Its sheltered 
valleys, where the sweet sights of field and wood have a more 
than human loveliness, which cannot be expressed in lordly 
pomp of language, have always been the home of grazing kine 
and browsing sheep. The names of the numerous " combs " 
recall the circumstance. These vales, of all shapes, sizes, and 
characteristics, with their loaded orchards, cool shades, and 
warm tilth, have intertwined the life of nature and the life of 
man inseparably. The landscape is a background to humanity. 
The speechless rocks and trees, and sea tell us, in the names, 
of the steady, undeviating stream of life of man with his joys 
and sorrows, and of the beasts of the field that served his ends. 
In the West Country " combs " are particularly abundant. 
Where the village or hamlet has not this appellation there 
is with great frequency a " combe " sometimes remarkably 
picturesque and attractive, as Brockley Combe and Harptree 
Combe. 



40 

We shall presently note the various meanings of " Cwm," 
" Cumb," usually thought of as purely Celtic. It is thought 
that Brockley Combe reminds of the badger. A.S. — broc, 
a badger; and Cornish is brock, and Irish broc. "Broc," 
however, also means a brook. And Brog, "Broc,". as in 
Brocces-ham, is a personal name. The name Brock is com- 
mon. Again the animal and the man touch, for the personal 
name Brock and Brog may arise from the animal name. If 
we find Goblin Combe in Yatton, the wild character of the 
rocks, presenting features of romantic interest, mimic battle- 
ments, and rocky pinnacles terminating in Cleeve Toot, are 
sufficient to suggest the name. 

Of the pastoral character of the county the names give some 
evidence. Grass for kine and pasture for sheep have ever been 
its marks. And so we have, it is thought, Shep-ton (D.B. 
Scept-tona) as meaning Sheep-town. Perhaps, however, this 
is Sceaf-ton, as Sceaf and Seep are mere dialectical variations. 
The name Sceaf, Sceaft, was an extant name, well known. 
We read of a connection of Alfred the Great bearing this 
name. The Anglo-Saxon for sheep is sceap and seep ; this ex- 
planation of Shepton is thus the most direct, but may be mis- 
leading. Shipham is spelt in Domesday Book Scipe-ham, 
Sipeham. 

Chip-stable is usually derived from the Saxon ceap, which 
means cattle, and the root staple,which means first of all a pile, 
a place enclosed with piles or stakes, and so a cattle enclosure. 
The Domesday spelling is Cipestapula. Both words appear in 
modern English in the well-known and welcome word cheap, 
after the original has undergone various modifications of 
meaning, which are easily traceable ; and staple, which means 
various things, from a wall-fastener or peg, to its use in such 
a compound as staple-trade. The well-known town of Chipen- 
ham was long a great cattle mart, and so its meaning is taken 
to be the " market dwelling." In the Middle Ages wool was, as 
is well known, as important an industry in England as it is to- 
day in Australia. In one church at least in the neighbourhood 
of Bristol — the little church of St. Nicholas and St. Mary, 
Stowey, there is carved on the north wall near the chancel 
end a pair of shears, the sign of the wool-stapler of the middle 



41 

ages. But in spite of this plausibih'ty it is liere also more 
likely, that as in the case of Chippenham, in Cambridgeshire, 
the derivation is Cippa, a personal name. The dative rase 
Cippenhamme occurs in a charter of King Alfred,^ and is spelt 
Cippenhamm. Hence Chipstable must mean Cippa's enclo- 
sure. 

When we pass on to plant life, we find in the extreme south- 
west end of the county a village bearing the name of Selworthy 
(Domesday Book, Selewrda). The word does not yield up 
its secret to the casual inquirer. It is pure Saxon, however, 
and tells us of forest lands (as some other names do) which 
have disappeared or dwindled into mere little woods or pic- 
turesque tiny copses and knolls, giving entrancing variety to 
the landscape, especially when within sound of the waves 
crashing on the shingle. The ending Weorthi often occurs, 
and means a farm or enclosed land, as in Clos or Close- 
worthy (Domesday Book, Cloueswrda) Tatworth, and Chel- 
worth. Worth is a descriptive ending spread through England 
(as e.g., Chatsworth) and Germany. All students of place- 
names are aware of the value of comparisons, since the same 
name assumes the most varied shapes. Sel means sallow, 
salig is a willow, and both words are derived from 
the Gothic root sahada. We seem, according to modern 
plilology, to have the precise analogue of the name of the 
little village of Selworthy in the German Seligenstadt. It may 
be noted, however, that in a classification of place-names of 
Germany, Seligenstadt is coupled with Heiligenstadt, i.e., the 
city of the saints. This is probably wrong, and Selworthy is 
the " willow farm." Selwood Frome is on the Ffraw, and so 
is the " willow wood " on the Frome. It has been suggested 
that sel is Saxon for large and that Selwood accordingly means 
large wood. It had received a name in British of similar 
signification, Coit mawr,^ " the great wood." There are 
many places in France of this name Saule, the willow, e.g., 
Sailly. In French and Belgian topography Seille as an affix 
means a wood. Hence with this origin the word Selwood 
would be a doublet, and Selworthy would mean " the 



'Kemball : Cod. Dipt, ii., 115, 1. 2. ^PuUan on Local Nomenclature. London ; 
Longmans, Brown & Green, 1857. 



42 

farm in the wood." Af Domesday there were forty acres of 
wood out of a hundred at this place. 

Names of trees have undoubtedly given use to place-names, 
but each case requires separate examination, as there are 
names which have been easily corrupted, and readily 
accounted for by appeal to local circumstances, and forest 
scenery. It will be found that the elements ac, ash, baec, do 
not invariably mean the trees, oak, ash, and beech. There is 
a village under Lansdown, Bath, called Beach, where there 
are no beeches, and where the soil is not suitable for their 
growth.^ This we interpret as the form of the Saxon personal 
name Beag (with soft g). Aesc is an undoubted personal name. 
Bickley, Bickenhall, Ash and Ashcott, and other names may 
refer to the Ash-tree and the Beech-tree, and in some cases do. 
Martock is not the Market-oak. In the Index Villarum^ it 
may be seen how numerous are places with the affix or prefix 
ash, while such a place-name as Chew stands almost alone, as 
does the place-name Martock. There are, of course, many 
Ash-tons. Aller, at least in some names (not all), is the alder 
tree, as Ellershaw, a personal name, means alder-wood. 

The birch and the alder were characteristic Somerset trees. 
We have Berk-ley (Biorca-leah) in a disguised form. In the 
marshes of Somerset alder trees were a marked feature, and if 
we do not discover many place-names certainly derivable (as 
Aller, Aire, Alra) from the tree, it is because the Saxon had 
not so much genius for the picturesque as for the practical. 
Though as Tacitus says, " the settlers fix their abode by spring, 
or plain, or in wood, as suited them, and each person makes 
a clearing round his home," they were little likely to call a 
spot by such a name as Primrose Hill, and so it is, to begin 
with, unlikely that Claverton is from Clote, a water-lily,^ and 
so the name means " the village by the ford of the water lily." 
In Dorsetshire the water lily is called the Clote.^ This, or 
that the burdock is meant is hardly worth discussion. The 
Domesday Book spelling is Clafer-ton, and on this basis 



^Place-names derived from Plants in the neighbourhood of Bath : Bath Nat. 
Hist., see Proceedings, vol. vi.. No. ii., p. 132. ^Alphabetical Table oj 
all the Cities, Parishes, Villages, dfc, of places in England and Wales 
Adams, London, 1680. ^Ellacombe, ibid. ^Barnes' Poems of Rural Life 



43 

various conjectural etymologies have been put forth. An 
earlier spelling found in Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus is 
Clat-ford-ton, of which the Domesday spelling is a softening. 
In the 14th century the spelling is Clatfertune.i Clayt is a Wes- 
sex word, meaning clay, and hence the meaning is Clay-ford. 
There is a Clay-ford in Wiltshire and one in Southampton. 
Without examination it is not for us to say whether Claver- 
don in Warwickshire, and Claverly in Salop, are shortened 
forms like Claverton. There is a personal name " Glaed," 
which would become Glat and Clat, as Slaed becomes Slatt, 
in popular pronounciations. The name is clearly descriptive. 

The elm-tree is not a native tree; the wych-elm is. The 
name ulmus is Latin. It is a tree introduced into England 
from the south-east of Europe, and it is a relic of the long 
Roman occupation of more than three hundred years. It 
must have spread slowly. " In Evelyn's time," we are told, 
" the elm tree was not found in Shropshire and several 
counties." It may thus have happened that the presence of 
one, late planted, would readily give its name to a spot. 
Nevertheless, there are instances of what appear to be a con- 
fusion of the tree with personal Saxon names, as, for example, 
in Aid-helm, and some similar-ending names dealt with in 
later chapters on personal racial names. Emborough is an 
example. 

How possible it is to be mistaken in supposing that a place- 
name is locally descriptive may be illustrated by a reference to 
the customs, which prevailed, of the symbolic marking of 
land. Mr. Wickham^ has an interesting collection of examples 
of field names so derived, of which we only cite Owl's Nest in 
Kilmersdon, and Swan's Mead in Wellow. These symbolic 
names were the owner's mark. This accounts for many 
peculiar local field designations. What has already been said 
on Crene-mella, now Cranmore, may be compared. 



^Chartularies of Bath Priory, i. 29, S3, 74. "^Records hy Spade and Terrier, p. SO. 



44 

CHAPTER V. 

Local Characteristics — Coombes. 

One of the commonest names in Somerset for spots lying in 
a hollow is that of bottom. Bottoms in Cornish dialect are 
valleys, old stream works, stents.^ Streams are loose stones 
containing tin, which explains stents, as stream means tin in 
Celtic Cornish. Bothem is also found, as a dialectical word, 
for a water course.^ Usually there is a water course in these 
bottoms as in Stowey Bottom, also comically called Fiddler's 
Green. But places lying down in a hollow are in the south- 
west of England usually called combes. There is no com- 
moner word in the south-west. 

It is usually considered that this term, so familiar to us, is the 
word which in all cases is derivable from the Celtic word cwm. 
It is commonly thought to be a relic of the language of the old 
British inhabitants. The Welshman still has the word cwm, 
a valley. But we must not fail to point out that words like 
this, and with this affinity, are found in other languages. It 
sounds somewhat startling to those who place implicit reliance 
on such a sole origin for the word to read the definition. 
" Cumb is another name for an extensive sheet of water, that 
is, a running sheet."^ Of course, like a bottom, a combe has 
very frequently a stream running through it. Now this word 
cumb, meaning a stream of water or streamlet, is by the same 
authority derived from a Norse word, kumpr, which is ob- 
viously allied to the Saxon word comb, meaning a liquid 
measure. The Greek kumhe and Sancrit kumbhas both mean 
a vessel, basin-, or cup. Thus the word is more or less found 
in all languages of the Aryan type, in forms variously disguised 
and with divergencies of meaning, yet preserving the funda- 
mental idea. Parts bordering on ponds and streams are in old 
French called cumb. We have then the Saxon combe, mean- 



'Halwell : Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words. ^Anglo-Saxon Names 
cf Places : Leo. ^Ibid, p. 82. 



45 

ing a hollow, as well as the Welsh cwm. Modern German 
has still a word kumpj, a basin or bowl, and a dialectical word, 
kumme, a deep bowl. Moreover, these are genuine Teutonic 
words. The Welsh cwm is paralleled by the Cornish cum and 
the Irish cumar. Nor are these Saxon loan words in the 
Welsh, or Celtic loan words in the Saxon and English, but all 
alike go back to the primitive Aryan base. The Saxon bringing 
his word "combe" with him would readily preserve the Celtic 
cwm, as meaning a hollow of any sort. A pretty confusion 
might arise if, in any instance, the north country word comb, 
meaning " a ridge of land " (the A.S. camb and the German 
kamme, a comb) had invaded the south. There is, however, 
the evidence of existing personal names, such as Coombes, to 
show that by the usual process of assimilation where the origin 
of a name has been forgotten, the personal name so frequent 
of Cyna and Cyma, or Cuma and Gumma, a Wessex name, 
Wiltshire, Dorsetshire, and Hampshire name has resolved 
itself into the valley word coombe. People, it is said, were 
called Coombe because they dwelt in Coombes. Cuma was 
the name of a 10th century Abbot of Glastonbury. And this 
Cyma, as a personal name, is derived from cyman, to come. 
Cyma means the comer or stranger. Now this personal name 
certainly might occasionally account for those place-names 
where we find that the name combe is involved in cases where 
it is not easy to discover any pretence or apology for a hollow 
or a water course. The personal name is properly Coom, the 
sibilant being the usual addition and turned into Coombes. 
Of course we find " de Coombe," probably a pretentious 
vanity. Hence, though the word coombe, meaning a valley, 
is found in but few counties, does not in fact occur at .ill in 
the East of England, or in Hampshire, while there are many 
in Cornwall, a few in Surrey and Sussex, and only one in Here- 
ford, the personal name Coomb, and the place-name 
Coombe-ton (Compton) is wide-spread, and in many cases 
must arise from the personal name. Cumberland, it is said, 
is not the land of the coombs or valleys, though they abound. 
It is the land of the Cumbri, in which this element Cyne or 
Cym as a tribal name may perhaps be found. This class of 
place-name, so derived, is apparently small in the West, and 



46 

the majority of the place-names are genuine hollows, valleys, 
or bottoms, sometimes with and sometimes without a stream. 
The purport of all this is surely clear, namely, that it is not 
correct to explain Celtic cwm, a valley, for it is equally Saxon, 
Norse, and Irish. Thus the word has wider possibilities in it 
than is generally supposed. 

A combe of special interest is that of English Combe, in 
which parish also is found the local name of English Batch. 
It is seductive, interesting, and enticing to find in these names 
traces of the boundary line between the rivals, the English and 
the Welsh or the Saxon and the British in quite early days, 
and believe " that this Southern dyke forms the boundary 
line after the battle of Derham, A.D. 577," between these hos- 
tile peoples.^ According to this the Welsh held the east side 
and the English the west side of the fence as far as the Parrett ; 
and English Combe and English Batch are parts of the line. 
After a prolonged study of place-names it is somewhat unfor- 
tunate to those in search of origins romantic, heroic or his- 
torical, to realise that names were not usually given in this 
fashion, to be so convenient for historical theory as to boun- 
daries of rival peoples. The main question is what do the 
spellings tell us? What do parallel names in England or parts 
of Germany tell us if these are discoverable? If the facts, thus 
ascertainable, bear out the theory, we are more than content, 
gratified, and rejoiced. Few care patiently and impartially to 
try to unravel the skein, and those who have tried least are 
often most confident even of sillinesses. The Domesday Book 
(1086) spelling is Ingelis-combe. The Taxatio Ecclesiastica 
(1291) drops the " n," and reads Igeliscombe. In A.D. 1362 it 
is again Ingles-combe, and Engles-comb in the reign of Henry 
VI. Ingles-batch naturally follows these spellings, and in the 
14th century names of vills it is Engel's-batch. The spelling 
of the T.E. taken alone would give us a pretty historical solu- 
tion. Igles-combe is, we might say, the Welsh Eglws-combe, 
but, of course, Eglws is itself a loan word from the Greek 
Ecclesia, meaning a church. Then the place-name would 
mean the Church-combe. Very interesting; inasmuch as 



^ArctuBological Journal, vol. xvi., p. 105. 



47 

there was very early a church existent there and the church of 
Ingles-combe was given in A.D. 1112 by the Lady Hawisia (a 
name related to the word Huish) de Gurney to the Cluniac 
Priory of Bermondsey, and by the Cluniacs in their turn was 
made over in A.D. 1239 to the monks of Bath. But we cannot 
thus ignore the spellings that persist throughout with the letter 
■" n," Ingel's combe, and we must conclude that the form in the 
Taxatio Ecclesiastica is a case of imperfect spelling. Another 
attractive circumstance which has no doubt suggested the ex- 
planation above alluded to is the fact that the Wandsdyke 
{i.e., the border dyke or ridge — old high German, as already 
said, want, a wall or side, and the old Saxon and Dutch wand) 
runs through the parish. On this dyke beacon fires may have 
been lit. As early as the 9th century we have the word Ingle, 
and in Gaelic Engeal meaning light, fire. These must be set 
aside, however attractive, when we find all over the country 
Engle-fields, Ingle-leas, Ingle-hams, and Ingel-tons, where 
there were neither boundary nor " wand " dykes, nor beacon 
fires. Then when we travel over to Germany we find Ingle- 
heim and other similar names. The evidence then clearly is 
that this is the Saxon personal name Ingold, that is Ingwald, 
and it is Ingold's combe, and Ingold (Ingwald's) batch 
shortened to Ingel. The way in which it has become English 
Combe is clearly traceable in the spellings. The other side of 
the ridge ought, we might be tempted to think, to have been 
called Welsh Combe, if one side was the combe of the English, 
but we have found no trace of this. And in German Ingelheim 
is Ingwald-heim, the home of Ingold, or Ingwald. We have 
tracked this out at length to show the method pursued, and 
we may add, that we really feel vexed if the evidence will not 
allow us to fall in with pretty theories. As Combe is by itself 
an indefinite designation, we are not surprised to find that 
most of them have a distinguishing epithet. Many are double 
names, and are noted under that heading, as Abbots, or Abbas 
Combe, or have a personal name as prefix. Ads-Combe, in 
Overstowey, is the abbreviation of a personal name or the 
•simple name Ad or Aad, a known and extant name. There is 
still the name Addy. 

There are also the local names Ashcombe, Balcombe, in 



48 

North Petherton, and as there is Baljord, this is an evidence 
of the Saxon personal name Beald, and Bald and Ball and 
Balford is Bealdfrith.^ Baldaeg was the name of a Saxon god. 
Birdcomhe, in Wraxall, is probably descriptive, but is quite 
possibly merely a corruption of Beorht or Bert (an owner's 
name elsewhere found), as Brinscombe is the name Beorn (as 
in Beornhard). 

Ramscombe, in the Quantocks, is doubtless the personal 
name Hram, and is shortened from Hraban, a raven. The 
name Raban is still found in Somerset in a clergy list; Hra- 
banus was the name of a well-known theologian in the 10th 
century in Germany. Thus the real explanation of all these 
names is not from Ram, a male sheep. If monkish writers 
rendered Rams-ey insula arietum, this only proves that they 
translated into Latin their own idea of the interpretation and 
meaning of a Saxon name. 

Syndercombe (Domesday Book, Sindercoma) is in Clat- 
worthy. Sindercombe was one manor, and Middleton 
another, in the parish of Clatworthy. The A.S. Sinder means 
scoria, slag. The phrase is not necessarily connected with 
coal-workings or mine debris. Where this word occurs in 
compound place-names it is possible to interpret it as a name 
descriptive of the permanent physical, or accidental local 
characteristics. Synders and scoria are found in this combe.^ 
Again, sondern is a German word meaning to separate, and 
in A.S. synder, syndor, meant separate, singular, peculiar, 
private. Thus Sunderland, in Durham, is interpreted as 
meaning separate, privileged land.^ Sunder-edge, Sundridge,. 
in Kent, is said to mean " the privileged place on the ridge." 
What it was privileged for we cannot tell. The separation 
may perhaps be physical or legal. There are in the parish of 
Stowey lands called Sinderlands. A deep gully without much 
obvious reason for its existence separates it from the next 
" ground." This etymological explanation, however, does 
not suffice for Middleton, which is the personal name Milda. 
It is thus still possible, then, in the other case prima jacie the 
name is due to ownership, and is accounted for by the Saxon 



'S«e fhe Chapter on Fords. ^Wickham : Records by Spade and Terrier, p. 257. 
^Edmonds : Traces of History in Place-names. 



49 

lady's name, Syndthryth, also spelt Sinedrudis, or Sindred. 
The final syllable drudis is the same as trude in the pretty 
name Gertrude. Syndred or Sintrude's combe could become 
Sindercombe quite easily. The ownership names are every- 
where so abundant as to suggest that this is often the most 
likely explanation. But when a name (unlike Gertrude) has 
utterly died out, and no pretty girl now bears it, it is not re- 
ceived back again with open arms, although it is feminine. 
Sind, the first component, is found in Sinderbeorht and Sind- 
perht. While it is useful to point out the possibility of this 
explanation, inasmuch as it is the fact that the iron industry 
was carried on in early days in the western part of the county, 
and it is stated that " a flourishing industry " once existed at 
Sundercombe and Treborough, and many Roman relics were 
found among the heaps of iron in the district, the most 
natural explanation still is that it was named from these ex- 
isting scoriae. 

Is Holcombe in a hollow? As it cannot be anything else 
(as is supposed) than hollowcombe, that is, hollow-hollow, it 
must be in a vale. As a matter of fact, an old church, now 
disused, lies in a dingle in some fields a mile away from the 
village. The name has thus been transferred from the old to 
the new village higher up the land. This is Holcombe, near 
Radstock. There is also, we believe, an Holcombe in Asholt. 
Asholt is near Bridgwater. The church of Asholt, or Aisholt, 
is hidden away in a small combe. As the name combe already 
denotes a hollow, the hoi in the Holcombe has been explained 
as really from holt, a wood. Holton means (Domesday Book, 
Haltona, Al-tone), according to this, the wood-town, and 
Holcombe the wooded combe. We may as well connect, for 
the light it throws on the several place-names, Holford (in 
Lydeard St. Lawrence and elsewhere), spelt in a two-fold way 
in Domesday Book— Hulofort and Holefort. In Register of 
abbey of Athelney it is called Holeford St. Mary Magdalene. 
Now Hulfrit was (A.D. 943) the name of a Cornish dux, and 
these spellings show that we have not here to do with a hollow- 
ford or a wood-ford, but with an owner's name far back in 
history. This is the same name as Ealdfrith. And so also the 



'Pullan on Local Nomenclature, p. 125. 

D 



50 

other names are likely enough the personal names Ealh and 
Healh. Holton is the tun of Healh. In the Bath Chartulary* 
Holton (if the same) is spelt Healhtune.^ Heal is still a per- 
sonal name. Holcombe thus may not be the " hollow- 
hollow," but the combe of Healh. At any rate Healh (and 
Ealh) is a name found compounded in Ealhwine, Eahlwulf, 
and other names. There is also the place-name Alcombe, in 
Dunster, which is spelt Aucoma in Domesday Book. The 
various spellings of the latter are Alcombe, Aldcombe, Awle- 
combe. Aucoma is clearly a softened Norman spelling of the 
same name as Holcombe, unless it is the personal name Ealh- 
cyma, of which, however, there are no recorded examples, 
though Ealh is combined, as above said, with any number of 
names, Ealhfrith, Ealhelm, Ealhgyth; and there might be 
Ealhcym. The place-name Aldwich is not the old vicus 
(Latin) for wick or hamlet, that is the old hamlet, but an 
assimilation from the personal name Ealdwig. An ancient 
spelling is Ealdwicke. 

Shoscombe would naturally be regarded as a " combe of 
copses." Very pretty. 

" In Summer when the shawes be sheyne 

And laves be large and long, 
Hit is full mery in feyre foreste 

To hear the foulys song." — Old Song. 

The earliest spelling we have met with appears in A.D. 1298, 
when it is Schascombe. In the reign of Henry VI. it is Sheves- 
combe. We have noticed that a local pronounciation intro- 
duces a slight sound of " f," Schafscombe. In addition, in the 
county there is Chascombe, now Chacombe, erroneously in- 
terpreted as Chalk-com.be,^ and there is also a hamlet name 
Shascote. These three throw light on each other and clearly 
point to a personal name. As an illustration of similar changes 
Shurton is spelt Schreveton and Shurreton, which finally is 
shortened to Shurton. But for the spellings no one would 
guess this origin of Shurton, and there it seems clear that it is 
the " town of the shire-reeve," Scir-gerefa (long e). This 



'Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus, No. dcxciv. ^Heald dat : sing : heale is very 
common in O. E. Charters. Skeat says it means a hollow. There is a 
hamlet Healh on the West side of Curry Rivell. The personal name 
Healh occurs in the parchment register of the parish of Stowey, in 
A.D. 1570. ^Kirby's Quest. Preface, p. xxxii. 



51 

Sceaf in Sheves-combe is also found in Shapwick, and possibly 
in Shep-ton. Sceaf is a notable name. The descent of the 
royal house of Cerdric (Chard, Cheddar, Ceodr) was traced 
even by a Christian Bishop (Asser) up to Woden, who was the 
son of Trealaf, who was the son of Frithawulf, who was des- 
cended from Sceaf, "the son of Noah," " who was born in the 
Ark." And Sceaf was a common name, and is connected with 
the history of Alfred in Somerset.^ And remember to pro- 
nounce " Sceaf " with a soft sound of the " sc," Sheaf, and 
not with a hard " c," or you will stumble at this word. 

It is when patiently plodding through the lists of local 
boundary names in descriptions of ownerships, private or 
monastic, and in the interesting accounts of perambulations of 
forests, that you meet with numerous names which overthrow 
your faith in merely etymological explanations of place-names 
(reposing on no obvious foundations of fact), while at the same 
time they afford a clue to the explanation of other names 
which are better known, and still extant. For instance, in 
the Cartularium Saxonicum, in a boundary description, you 
read : sic ad rivulum Neglescumb. Neglescumb is the name 
of a stream according to this. Cumb here may be directly 
connected with kumpr, a water course. And Negles is dis- 
tinctly illuminative. It surely throws light on the origin of 
the place-names Nailsea and Nailsworth (in Gloucestershire). 
Neagle is a personal name, Negle, Nagle would be pronounced 
Nayle. Naalsoe is a Norwegian name, in which " oe " is an 
island, and Naal (Nayle) the viking's name (or a personal 
name) who carried his spoil there. Nailsea already mentioned 
may be compared. There are three Domesday subtenures 
mentioned under the name Nigel, one of whom, Nigel 
Medicus, the conqueror's doctor, was a large property owner 
in various counties. So far as we can make out from notices 
of the name, this may be the Irish name Niel, Saxonised, or a 
cognate name. In the same description is Leolles-cumb , in a 
forestal perambulation, and calls to mind the local name of 
Lillicomb, in Litton. Lillies grow there, and therefore it is 
supposed without question to be the Lily Combe. Very 



^The name Scaife is still extant. 



52 

natural, and very possible. The comparison, however, suggests 
a personal name in each case. This idea is further strengthened 
when you examine such place-names as Lihtoke (Domesday 
Book, Lule-stoc), in the hundred of Williton. In addition is 
Lulsgate, in Felton Common, Lullington (Lolig-tona) and 
Lullworth. Further afield are Lilbourne, in Northampton, 
and Lillis Hall, in Salop. There are similar names in Ger- 
many all derived from the name Lolle, Lulla. It is indeed 
possible that Lilcombe, in Litton, throws light on the origin 
of that parochial name. It is spelt Li-tuna in Domesday 
Book, and it is so spelt on a chalice of 16th century (?) date. 
Now this might be Lil-tona, and the " 1 " has become assim- 
ilated, or, if not, it is far more likely the personal name Luti, 
Liut, Lutto, Lioda, and Lyde, which last are Frisian forms. 
If this be so, a " Lyde " has been associated with the neigh- 
bourhood to within a decade or so. Lyte-ton is easily become 
shortened into Li-ton. 

In the same Carta of Adulf of Tantan (i.e., Taunton, A.D. 
848) in which Negles-combe is found, we also read ad rivulum 
Beannancumb. Bunscombe Hill is described as a " ferny and 
woody slope." The name is usually taken to pieces and 
etymologically interpreted as pen-i-combe, " the head of the 
vale." No doubt it answers to this description, and hence the 
attractiveness and plausibility of the explanation. Pen-i- 
combe is thus supposed to be thoroughly Celtic. Pen, cwm ; 
but the spelling of Beannan-cumb tells a different tale. It 
reminds us at once of Beannan-hangar, which is the original 
spelling of the compressed word Binegar and may even carry 
us to Beannan-wyl for Banwell and other names. And 
we see that Bean (Beonna, and Beon) was a name of owners of 
property. These are here given at the risk of repetition to 
make some attempt to show the connection of names through 
the county. 

There is one strange boundary mark worth mentioning. It 
is called Ceartuncombesford. It seems to be a genuine ford. 
Then a casual examination finds the elements combe, tun, 
ford, and, perhaps, stops at " Cear " as a bafifler. In reality 
the tun is a mere misleading assimilation. The name is 
Carthegn or Garthegn (gar, a spear, and thegn, a thane) and 
combes is the ending of the personal name Cyme, and so 



S3 

accounts for the possessive. Of this last we are not certain, as 
it may be Garthegns (Carton's) combe. And in further search 
we soon drop on such names as Snell's cumh and Withig- 
comb. Withycombe is known; Snelles-combe is not promin- 
ent, or known, unless locally. Of course. Withy-combe is by a 
natural explanation the " combe where the withy grows." 
May be, like the rest, it is a personal designation, and the 
original Saxon name is Wihtgyth, or Hwitegyth, or Wight- 
haeth, and this is indeed the origin of the modern personal 
name Withy, which is so common in some parts of Somerset. 
These " Witheys " did not all emerge from withy beds. 

Crockercombe is said to be one of the finest of the many 
fine combes on the Quantocks. We meet this word Croker in 
another place-name. The present village at Pill on the Avon 
was called Crockern-Pill, and this shows the most delightful 
vagaries of spelling : Crakers Pill, Crockers Pill, Crockham 
Pill, Crockanpill, Croken Pill, and Crock and Pill. It 
must be noted that Crewkerne has the varieties Croke- 
herne, Crokern, Crowkerne, Cruchorne, Crookhorne (in 
Defoe's Tour). Any explanation must surely account 
for all these three names of obviously the same 
origin. It is easy to divide Crewkerne into two syllables 
and explain each of them. And so we have Collinson's ex- 
planation Cruca earn, " the residence of the hermitage at the 
cross." Very pretty. Or Mr. Barnes' Carw Coryn, " the stag 
brook." In Domesday Book it is Chruca, and the Anglo- 
Saxon for cross is rood, only lamely set aside by supposing 
that the Saxon followed the British in borrowing the Latin 
Crux. All these three names are best accounted for as originat- 
ing in a Norse name, Krokr. Krokr is said to mean vir fortis 
et grandis, a big strong man. The Saxon form of Krokr is 
Crucga (hence the Domesday Cruca as in Cricket St. Thomas) 
and Hrock. The name Croker is still in use in Somerset as 
a family name, of whom some may be descendants of the 
original Scandinavian Krokr, who might, perhaps, have put 
into Pill with his plunder. 

Crowcombe seems an allied name. Crowcombe is " one of 
the most picturesque spots in the British Isles." At such a 
spot it is tempting to describe scenery rather than worry about 
names. In Domesday Book the spelling is Crawcombe. We 



54 

find the variant Crockham in a law-suit in the time of Eliza- 
beth. It is natural also to connect the place-name Crow- 
thorne. We might well find in such a name the Celtic Carw, 
the stag, and so it is " the Stagcombe." The Carew family 
owned the manor, but before them the Biccomb family. It 
is curious that a John Croke and Hugh BIckham had a lawsuit 
about the manor as late as the time of Henry VIII. Is it then 
properly to be divided as Craw-Combe or as Croke-combe? 
as it may easily be either. Crawthorne suggests Craw-combe, 
and that Croke-combe is a mere vagary of spelling. The one 
thing fairly certain is that Crow or Crawe is here, as in Crow- 
thorn, a personal name. In 960 A.D. Crawe is the name of 
a feminine relative of Ethelflaed, the second wife of King 
Edmund the First. Personal names were given from animal 
names. The animals were supposed to be typical of the men 
or the women. The nobler species of animals were chosen 
for the emblem of the ship's prow or banner. They were 
Viking symbols, like the dreaded black raven flag of the 
Danes. A crow as a woman's name is explicable. Or the 
local name Craw may be the Celtic Carw, and is still an 
animal name. We do not know who or what the first owner, 
Crawe, was. We want an earlier spelling than that of Domes- 
day to determine whether Crawcombe may not be a reading 
for Crocum, that is, Croke-ham, and thus derivable from the 
same Scandinavian name Krokr. It is to be noted that 
crawan^ hylle is a boundary mark near Weston, Bath. 

Thorncombe is in the same neighbourhood, for an itinerary 
over the hill country of West Somerset and the Quantocks 
brings you through a constant succession of coombes. The 
rolling steeps of Exmoor are channelled by many a deep 
combe, each the bed of a torrent. Thorncombe has a barrow 
on its crest. It will be thought that Thorn is just what the 
word says, a place abounding with thorns. In Germany there 
is the tribal name Thurninga Diirningen in Alsace. The 
name Thorn is found in lists of early settlers, and is Norse 
rather than Saxon. And so the personal names Thorne and 
Thorning arise, and a number of place-names in thorn and 
dorn find this natural explanation. The origin, if it were 



'Birch's Cartularium Saxonicum, No. 1009. A.S. CrSwan gen. of CrJtwe. 
The genitive case suggest that Crawe was a woman. 



55 

Saxon, might be shortened from Thorwin, which has a root 
Thoran, meaning boldness. 

Weacombe is a deep glen. The late author of The Harvest 
of a Quiet Eye^ has in that book described the glory of Wea- 
combe, or a glen just like it. He ends : — 

These are words, 
There beauty is their beauty." 

But what (for the picturesque is not our present business) is 
the meaning of Wea-comb? It is in West Quantoxhead and 
is spelt (Domesday Book) Waie-comb. This seems to say that 
it is the Waycomb. And so it is spelt (1558). Comparison 
helps us to realise the possibilities. To take each place-name 
by itself, as if it had no connection with other names, is surely 
a mistake, though this is the plan usually followed. In Yatton 
there is the local name Waymeram. And in Domesday Book 
the obsolete name Weimorham (in Congresbury) Pascua de 
Weimorhan. This is easily interpreted to mean just " way- 
moor-ham." In reality it is the personal name Wimer, that 
is, Wigmaer. Again in Crewkerne there is Wayford. This is 
meaningless as the wayford, all fords are way-fords. It is 
shaped out of Wigfrith. Similarly Weacombe is Wig, Wih, 
or Weoh combe, or even the complete personal name Wigcym 
as the origin of the modern name Wiccomb, Wickham. And 
there is a Wacame in the parish of St. Cuthbert's Wells, which 
is usually spelt Walcombe and explained accordingly, that is, 
it is the Wealth-combe or Welsh-combe. What is the earliest 
spelling? 

Bittiscombe is the name of a manor in Upton Noble. There 
was such a manor in the days of Queen Elizabeth. Now 
Biddisham, in Wedmore, is, in Domesday Book, identified 
with Bodeslega. In the names of vills (1343) it is Bydesham, 
and from the tongue-clipped spellings arise the egregious and 
unintelligible forms Bitsum and Bytsam. The latter must be 
regarded as a real poser, if it stood by itself with no light 
thrown upon it by the history of the spellings. These are 
popular clippings of the word Bedes-ham ; the name is wide- 
spread — Bed-borough, Biddenden, Biddenham, Biddiscote, 
Biddis-ton, Bedford. No one would recognise in it the name 



^The late Rev. J. Vernon, Rector of S. Audries. 



56 

which in its Northumbrian owner has acquired the permanent 
epithet " Venerable," Bede. Bitsum helps us to see that 
Bittiscombe is Bede's combe, and in addition is the local name 
Bidstone, while Pitcombe, in the hundred of Bruton, is in 
Domesday Book Pide-combe, and in 1343 Bide-combe. 

Croscombe is in Domesday Book Coriscombe. In a charter 
supposed to go back to A.D. 705 the name is Corregis-comb. 
Cross-comb may be a place of which this name is a literal 
description, for ought one knows, but even if that is so the 
origin of the word is the name Correg with the " g " dropped. 
This is not the only case of the sort, we note that Curry, 
in Curry Rivel, is the name Cyrig. We make but little doubt 
that all these mysterious words in Domesday Book — Cur in 
Curland, Curi in Curry Mallett, Chori in North Curry (Nort- 
Chori), Curry-Pool in Charlinch (Domesday Book, Currie- 
pol), Churi in Curry Rival, are all words in which — in the 
manner of which we find so many illustrations — the " g " 
disappears in a vowel, and that the original name is Curig. 
We find no indication of a Saxon origin of the name. Cross- 
comb is thus, strangely enough, and almost incredible, when 
taken at one leap — Cyrig's combe. Corston is interpreted 
Cors, Celtic, a bog. Now in the light of the above may not 
this be Coristun, Corig, or Curig, or Cyrig's ton? In Domes- 
day Book it is simply Cors-tuna, and the guess etymologist 
could make nothing of it; but we know that " tun " is usually 
preceded by an owner's name. 

Triscombe is situate in the Cross-combe just dealt with. 
Here occurs also the local name Tris, or Tres-stoke. The 
explanation given is to decompose " Tris " into three Celtic 
words, Tre-is-comb, " the dwelling at the foot of the hill." 
So it is, and the situation suggests the derivation just as a 
waterfall in a glen close by suggests for Treborough the 
derivation Tre-berw, " the place of the water-fall," and 
Trendle for Trull is " tre-yn-dol," " the habitation of the 
bend of the stream ;" but Trendies Ring is a large earthwork, 
said to be from Anglo-Saxon trendle, a circle on a slope of a 
hill behind BicknoUer. The word Le Trendle is often found 
in old churchwardens' accounts; the word trendle means 
corona. "It was the circular metal holder of the wax candle 
which hung before the altars of the saints." Closes of pasture 



57 

on which the charges were made for the cost of these lights 
were called Trendies, and the leases Trendleases.^ We can 
thus understand why. Treborough is, however, paralleled by 
Treberg, in the Schwarzwald, and is of Saxon origin. Now 
Triscombe and Tris-stoke on the analogy of Cori's combe 
suggests to us forcibly that Tris is an abbreviated personal 
name. At present we have found no early spelling with the 
suppressed " g," though the name Thrag, Trag, or Trig does 
exist as a personal name in compound names; and there is 
the name Dryga. The name Treggan is still extant in direc- 
tories. 

Drucombe Wood. The name has, like that of Stanton 
Drew, suggested Druidism and its homes. It is east of a farm 
called Slowly Farm, and at no great distance on a slope to- 
wards Slowly Wood are stone heaps. There is from the 
character of these stones no obvious connection with Druidical 
circles. Dru is, we think, the Domesday Book personal 
name Droga, called " the young Dru," as in Stanton Drew.^ 

Hestercombe is a hamlet name in the hundred of Taunton. 
The spelling is Hesticomb, while Hethcombe and Heticomb 
are 17th century spellings, in which Hetcombe is a shortening 
of Hesticomb and Hethcombe, a further confusion. The 
prevalence of the sibilant is the true index. Haesta and Haeth 
are both personal names. The fact is, Haestacombe and 
Haeth-combe are two distinct names. In Blagdon there is a 
field-name Hester's corner. This is not the Christian name 
Esther or Hester, but the Saxon personal name Haesta, 
Haestan, found in the extant personal name Hastings. In 
Cambridgeshire is the place-name Histon, which is spelt His- 
tone, Hestona (1165) Hesti-tona.^ Haestan is the name of a 
Danish chief (A.D. 8%).^ 

Elstone Combe, in Yeovil, is clearly the personal name 
Edelestan,'' which sometimes emerges as Estan and Easton. 
Meeting with such a name we usually consider where it is 
" east " of. Elston is in the hundred of Stone, or Stan, which 
is probably an abbreviation of a longer name. Many of these 
puzzling names beginning with the prefix " El " are either 



'Wickbam : Records by Spade and Terrier : Gregory, Bath (no date). ^Skeat : 
Place-names of Cambridgeshire, p. 11. ^Onomasticon Saxonicum, p. 277. 
''Adhelston and Aelstan occurs as names of Abbots and "Duces" in 
early Cartularies. 



58 

shortened forms of names or disguised forms. Elworthy, as 
a place and personal name, is not the worth or farm of " El," 
but the personal name Eahlweard, as Elborough is Eahl- 
beorht. Elworthy is spelt Elworth (Elweard), and then with 
the possessive Eyllesworthy (Henry III.), and then adopts the 
aspirant as Hulleworthe (Henry III.), while in Domesday 
Book, as Elwrda, it is nearer to the original form. 

Other combes are derivable from the personal names which 
are elsewhere mentioned as But-combe (Buda or Beadu), early 
spelt Budancombe. We may be disposed to derive it from 
the Celtic Cornish " Boudi," which means a cattle-shed, but 
of this we have no real evidence, and the analogy of names 
suggest that this has its origin in an owner's name, as does the 
early spelling Budan, son of Buda. Buda may itself 
be a shortened word as the spellings show in the case of 
Butleigh. Batt-combe is from the name Bada, and may be 
only another form of Beadu. Batt is an extant personal name, 
and thus has a long ancestry. 

Hillcombe is a corruption apparently of Ilecombe, from 
the river name, as the spellings indicate. This explains the 
apparent contradiction in the name unless it is supposed to be 
a combe on a hill. It is Hyle combe in the 12th 
century in the Muchelney Cartulary. There are also 
He wych and Ilelegh, spelt Hillegh. Mancombe is also a 
personal name, Man, Manning. Gat-combe may be Gode- 
combe; Farncombe in Doulting is Farewine combe. Small- 
combe appears to be self-explanatory; Wit-combe is, we 
imagine, the personal name Hwit, or it may be another form 
of the word wid, as in Wid-combe. Odcombe is Odda's 
combe. All these receive further notice. Many combes take 
their names from the places to which they are adjacent. No 
doubt there are many other combes in this land of nooks 
and corners, and we have met with many in charters and 
other documents too numerous to exhaust. They might 
repay investigation and tabulation. 



59 



CHAPTER VI. 

Names from local Characteristics. 
Marsh and Moor Names. 

The physical features of Somerset, even in the present days 
of drainage and reclamation, are indicative of the immense 
amount of marsh and moor once existent. The area of Somer- 
set is roughly over a million statute acres, out of which must 
be taken nearly twenty thousand acres of estuaries and water 
surfaces. The Somerset of the 11th century was bigger than 
it is now. Dorset and Bristol have absorbed some. A good 
part of this total was not reckoned in at the time of the 
Domesday survey. The vast moors which characterised the 
county were worthless for fiscal purposes. During this short 
period from Domesday date, on the secular scale of geologic 
time, no vast changes have taken place. The sea that rolled 
in to Banwell, to Glastonbury, and washed the steeps of Blag- 
don, where now is an artificial lake (the reservoir) made on 
the spot " where rolled the sea," ceased long before William 
the Conqueror measured his length on English soil, and 
wittily said he had thus taken possession of it. But marshes 
and moors have been transformed. Something like one 
hundred and eighty thousand acres ignored in the survey were, 
for the most part, moorlands. It is little wonder, therefore, 
that marsh and moor names are found in some abundance, 
some obsolete, some extant, some clear, and some disguised. 

There are the well-known names of Marston, which is A.S. 
Mersc, a marsh; or Sedgmoor, a name derived from plant- 
life, the abundance of the characteristic secg, a sedge; of 
Merriott, usually supposed to be a form of Mere-gaet, the 
marsh gate or road ; of Wedmore, of which various explana- 
tions are given, which find mention elsewhere; and there are 
less known names of interest here spoken of. There is a dis- 
tinction to be made between the words moor, mere, and 
marsh. Etymologically and physically a moor (mor) is soft 



60 

yielding bog or turfy bog. Mere is more common in the 
sense of marshlands, boggy swine walks, and places adjoining 
morasses.^ Marsh is from the middle Latin, mariscus. Other 
words indicative of marshy ground are rysc, a rush. Ruishton 
is curiously spelt Rise-tune, Riston, Ruston, Ryscedon, Rys- 
ton, Risstetone (14th century). The earliest spelling is Rise- 
tune : " Grant of land at Risctune by King Alfred to Dene- 
wulf. Bishop of Winchester."^ There is a Rush Close in 
South Cadbury. Mere, it may be noted, is sometimes the 
ending of a personal name, Maer, meaning " distinguished," 
as in such names as Eadmaer, Wadmaer ; and often as a pre- 
fix, Maergaet, Maerwin, and the like. 

Glastonbury Abbey was surrounded by moorland. The 
cultivable portions were part of the monastic possessions. It 
is interesting to read the monkish description of the "beating" 
of its boundaries, as set forth in Cartularies or charters. If 
the names are not all of the dates of the charters, they are 
yet evidence of the traditional early names. 

In such descriptions we find the mention of numerous 
" lakes." A lake is not, as so found, the geographical lake 
defined as an enclosed piece of water. These lakes are, in fact, 
sluggish streams flowing through a marsh, a bog, a fen, or 
mere. The name fen, common in the eastern counties, in the 
fen country of Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, and the 
neighbourhood, is not found in Somerset, unless it occurs 
sparingly in the truly Somerset form of Ven. In Milborne 
Port, for instance, is the name Ven. There is a " Ven," not 
easy to identify, in a will : " Francis Luttrell, of Ven, Somer- 
set. In West Monkton is the local name Venacre. In 
Bishop's Lydeard Venn Mansion. But Venacre is clearly a 
corruption of the name Winegar, old German, and Winagar, 
Anglo-Saxon, and the name Wenna and Wen in such forms 
as Wen-Stan, Wenric, Wentryth, and similar names (with 
which the present-day personal name Venn is connected) may 
account for all these. And the curious name Venelcross, in 
Yeovil, is probably the personal name Wendel. Such a name 
as Wendel's Combe is found. Thus the word fen does not 



'Leo : Anglo-Saxon Names of Places, p. 96. '^Cartularium Saxonicum, No. 549. 



61 

ippear to occur, although there is the Anglo-Saxon word 
Fenna, a bog. Why it has not found a place is no doubt 
worth investigating. It marks a dialectical difference. The 
word Lake as an affix is not uncommon. In the charter alluded 
to, Pinlake is described as a spot only approachable through 
the middle of the marsh per medium morasci. A place-name. 
Lake, occurs in Kingsbury Episcopi. Pin-lake, if Pin is Pen, 
means " the head of the stream." Cock-lake, if cock is coch 
(Celtic), meaning red (as is usually supposed in the place-name 
Coker) is the " red stream." This is in Wedmore. For this 
latter we note a different spelling, Cocklade. Whichever is 
the mis-spelling the meaning would appear to be the same, 
as Lade is Anglo-Saxon for a water-course, and represents 
the Anglo-Saxon lad, a way or course. Our verb to lead is 
from the same root. 

In the Edwardian perambulation of the Forest of North 
Petherton occurs the name Gogeslode. In Buckland there is 
still a Coglett Field. The prefix of this local name Gogo 
occurs in a Bath Abbey Charter " Grant (by the Prior) to 
Henry de Dunstorr, of all the tenement de Gogebure." Gogo 
and Gogan are personal names, the same as Cog (Cocingas), 
Gukkingin in Germany ; Gugging in Austria shapes itself into 
Cock and Cocking in England. It is quite possible that is the 
origin of the name Coker, to which, as just said, a Celtic ex- 
planation is usually given. 

In a charter of King Athelstane, among the gifts of this 
(local?) rex or king to Athelney, is that of the manor of 
Lenge (A.D. 937), and in the boundary descriptions we 
read " Corlac and Ashlake, with the old lake up into Chester- 
lake." Without further evidence it is difficult to be sure what 
Gor-lac is. It may probably be A.S. gor, filth, dirt, the muddy 
stream. Gore as clotted blood is simply an accommodation 
of the meaning to a special form of filth. It can less easily be 
the word gore usually applied to a triangular slip of land. Ash- 
lake is aesc, or ash stream, and Chester-lake, as this name thus 
stands, is from castrum, a camp. There is a Greylake in 
Middlezoy. As we find also Redlake and Whitelake, there 
may be here references to the character of the soil, the rock 
or earthy bank of red sandstone or limestone through which 
the streamlets flowed. In boundary marks of Manor of West 



62 

Wooton by Edmund the Elder (A.D. 946) to his thegn 
Ethelnod, the Pylle stream is called Whitelake ; and Dingan- 
hurst is the name given to a tract of land extending along it. 
Other interesting local names occur in this document. Grey- 
lake may possibly be the name derived from the grey appear- 
ance of the bog produced by the masses of light-coloured 
sphagnaceae or bog-mosses, in search of which we have 
travelled far across the moors, rejoicing to find them capped 
with those marvellous urns, the " fruit " or rather spore cases, 
which excite admiration, and baffle the draughtsman to copy 
with his pencil, as seen under the microscope. In North Curry 
there is a Westernlake, indicative of a former water-course. 
Lichelake is thought to be a relic enshrining in a name all 
that is left to human memory of some long bygone tragedy, 
or bloody conflict, when, after battle and slaughter, dead 
bodies slowly glided down the sluggish stream. It is, of course, 
well-known to everybody that a lychgate is a gate at the 
entrance to a churchyard, where from a time immemorial 
custom the dead body is rested before the final entrance into 
the sleeping place of the departed. Lie is a dead body. As 
an illustration, the place-name Lichfield is said to be so named 
from the historical fact of the martyrdom of a thousand 
Christians in A.D. 304. We note that a byname for the ponds 
at Emborough, in the parish of Chewton Mendip, is the 
Leachmoor ponds. Leachmoor is more likely Lechmere, the 
dead or stagnant pool, and the addition of ponds is needless; 
and it will occur to the reader that Lichlake or Lech-lake 
really means the same thing, the " slow, sluggish stream," 
without calling for slaughter. No doubt other examples may 
be found in these Somerset " lakes." 

If with the monkish guide in our hands we return to Glas- 
tonbury and beat the bounds of the Abbey lands, we find such 
names as Bitwynehorde, Ylake, Ywere, Abbedisdich, " insula 
de Northlade," Wethmore, Tunsingwere, Kympingmere, 
Scearphorde, Mere, and as we are travelling through the 
middle of the moor per medium moram over bridges, the 
jontem de Keneward or Kyneard, and fontem de Bledeney, 
the description makes it clear that these bridges are artificial 
fosseways. Such, perhaps, was the Bitwyne-horde mentioned. 
This we have elsewhere suggested is Bedwyn horde, and the 



63 

name is a reminiscence of King Arthur and the round table, 
though it looks temptingly like Between-horde. But horde 
itself means a division. A hord was a boundary of wattles or 
frame of wickerwork forming an enclosure or district. Scearp- 
horde is such a boundary in the marsh. Scearp may easily 
remind us of the scirpus or tall and graceful bulrush springing 
up and adorning the boundaries of the bog — a monkish Latin 
name — ^but it is, we think, the old word from which the well- 
known term " escarpment " is derived. A scarp is a " curtein 
of a wall," and is so called because it is sharp or steep. There 
is still the place-name Scharp-ham as a local name. In the 
charter we read at passing through the middle of the moor 
subter Scherpham below, Sharpham. In Glastonbury there 
is a Sharpshaw and another in Nunney, which according to 
this ought to mean " Steep-wood." 

These and the like obscure names must not be dismissed as 
without interest, since they afford clues to the explanations 
of otherwise problematical local names of farms, fields, and 
hamlets, and are a caution against wild guesses. In the little- 
known names recited Tusingwere or Tunsingmere, Tunsing 
is the personal name Tunsig. Tunn or Tun occurs in the name 
Tunweald of Tunwealds stan, now Tunstone in Gloucester- 
shire. In the eastern counties a tunmere is explained as the 
line of procession in perambulating the bounds of a parish. 
Possibly some might think it interesting if this name meant 
"" sing a tune here." In Kympingmere, Kymping is probably 
3. disguised form of Cymwine. It is in this charter that there 
occurs the name Osgar in the phrase " domus Osgari," as a 
boundary mark, and when we find Goathurst spelt Gahers in 
the earliest spellings (Domesday Book) and discover the local 
name Gaershill, we may see that these words are corruptions 
of the personal name Osgar. This carries us far away from 
Goat-hurst as naturally meaning goat-wood, and it is only by 
following the steps that you realise how such corruptions 
arise. And again we read of insula de Heorti. Now this name 
■occurs locally in such names near Chard as Hertham and 
Hurtham. 

Another mere is Saltmere. Saltmere was an appanage of 
the Island of Athelney. Salt was a necessary of life then as 
now, and from the brackish lake it may have been derived. 



64 

There are spellings Salmore and Salmere, but these are late 
Saltmore is north of Athelney in the angle between the 
Parret and the Tone, containing more than a thousand aciea 
of pasture. It is Saltmore in A.D. 1382-3. Saltford on the Avon 
is in original spellings Salford, and this is rather from " sahl," 
seal (as already given in Selwood), the sallow-willow, fanci- 
fully called the palm, flowering always about Eastertide. 

Such epithets and descriptive parts of compound minor 
names are worth enumerating as illustrative of the past 
physical characteristics of Somerset. The reader probably 
knows how much of its most interesting history (natural and 
civil) is due to its moors. In Exmoor the Ex is the river name 
(as before explained) aecs, uisg, esk (compare Eskdale in the 
north). Stanmoor is likely the stony-moor, though Stan may 
be an abbreviation of a longer word if discoverable, that is 
of some personal name beginning or ending in Stan, as, for 
example, Eahlstan. Warmoor is not the battle-moor, that is, 
reminiscent of the clash of warrior's steel, but wor, as perhaps 
in Wor-spring (which, however, is probably Worla-spring or 
Work's wood) means stagnum, or a swamp. Thus War-moor 
would be in meaning a doublet, the " moor-moor." Weste- 
walmoor is found as a part of " Wales " between Queen 
Camel and Camel-Abbots or West Cammel. We suppose that 
this local name Wales is in reality a form of the word Weallas, 
meaning the strangers, or of the personal name Wealh, with 
the same meaning. Allermoor is also a moor near Athelney. 
The village of Aller is on this moor, and we find that its name 
has been derived from Aldor, a prince; also from the abund- 
ance of the alder trees, which is mentioned as a characteristic 
to a late period. It is indeed very possible that Aller is in fact 
the clipped form of the personal name Alheard, Aelheard, 
or Alhard. In Westmoor, Curry Moor, Haymoor, in North 
Curry, Brentmarsh, and Chen (or Kenn)-moor, the names are 
taken from the places to which they are adjunct. As also are 
Weston Moor, Nailsea Moor, Clapton Moor. Blackmoor 
in North Buckland, and Houndsmoor in Milverton, are the 
relics of the racial names, the Blacks or swarthy race, and the 
Huns. Kingsmoor, on the Yeo near " Ivelchester " or 
Ilchester, was royal property. There are accounts of the " late 
Queen " in the reign of Edward I. It was pin-money, perhaps. 



65 

Ilemoor is on the Isle. Heathmoor is on the Poldens. In 
Burtlemoor, Burtle has an alias, that is, it is also called 
Sprawlesmead, interesting as the seat of a priory. In the 16th 
century the spelling is Barkle moor. The letters "t" and 
" c " are easily confused in manuscript, and it is possible that 
the true word is not Burtle but Bircle, though the former got 
itself established. Bircle is in " the very sink of the marisch " 
on the river which runs to Hunspille, and a place very fit for 
a hermitage, according to the taste of these solitaries, con- 
cerning whom our present task does not call upon us to en- 
large or explain. " For though there be a stone-ford called 
Burtlesteening 'tis not passable or the place anyway accessible 
in winter. "1 The description cited is as late as the 18th century. 
Burcle is Berkeley or the Birch-lea. If Burtle is the true 
reading this is extremely interesting, as Brislington has the 
spelling Burtle-ton and Burstleton, all indications of the name 
Beortelm, Beorhthelm, Brihtstelm, Beortel's-ton and various 
corruptions. Kinnard Moor is Cyneheard^ Moor. A Cyne- 
heard was brother of Sigebeorht, King of Wessex in the 8th 
century. The modern name is Kennard. Godney Moor, near 
Glastonbury, is Godeney Moor, the name Gode or Good. 
But as " ey " means a watery place, not necessarily an island, 
this is obviously a doublet. But this place-name is of some- 
what doubtful ending, and should possibly be classed among 
the hayes, as it is spelt Godeneya (1344) in British Museum 
Charters, and Godenhay in the time of Henry VIII. The 
ending " ey " is, however, the more probable. There is a 
Gedney in Lincolnshire, that is, Gaedan-ey, which embodies 
the personal name Gaed. The curious place-name Edvin Ralph 
in Herefordshire is anciently spelt Ged-fen with the same per- 
sonal name attached. The letters have been transliterated, 
and Gedfen or Gaedwine becomes Edvin. But for this, the 
most easy explanation of such a name would be to suppose 
that it was Edwine Ralph, and be content. Two local names 
mentioned in connection with Yeovil are Huntley Moor and 
Snowden, Snouwedon in la Marsh. In A.D. 1403^ there is a 
grant of this Snowdon in the Marsh. We must not think of a 
down and of snow. This is doubtless a corruption of the A.S. 

nohn Strachey : List of the Religious Hounes in Somersetshire, 1730. 'British 
Museum Charters, 836, or Cyneweard, the name of a Bishop of Wells, 

cir., A.D. 975. 

E 



66 

Snaedan. A snaed is a piece of land separated from the owner- 
siiip of the mass of land around it — an isolated bit. Huntley 
is spelt Hauntelemersh in the reign of Edward III. This is an 
abbreviated personal name Hund or Huntulf, that is Hund- 
wulf. Shortenings of this kind are too numerous to excite 
question, or provoke surprise. 

In the document above cited another boundary mark is that 
of Renmere, probably hrefn-mere, that is Raven (name), a 
pool which has been drained, but as late as A.D. 1662 was 
a marshy bog called Raw-mere, and actually now known as 
Rodmer and Rodmead. There is also a Herdy-moor, the 
older form of Sedge-moor, and Herdy gate from Hreod, a 
reed or sedge. 

Of names compounded with Marsh we find Peasemarsh, a 
hamlet name in Ilminster. This is Pega's marsh or Peya's 
marsh, as also in such widely-spread analogous names as Pes- 
ford in Northamptonshire, Pease-more in Berkshire, and 
Peasenhall and Pea-kirk in Suffolk. All point to a Saxon 
name, Pega, and the church of Pea-kirk, in Northampton- 
shire, is in fact dedicated to a Saint Pega, and the name was 
common. We still have the hard sound as in the name of 
Pegg. St. Pega lived at the beginning of the 8th century. 
A Saxon would speak of Peya's church. There was a Paega 
who was a Worcestershire abbot. This is the origin of Pease- 
down, in Peasedown St. John, near Camerton. Mr. Healey's 
History of Parts of West Somerset interprets " Peasey's 
Pool " as Pixies pool. It is Pega's pool more likely, though 
we lament the disappearance of the pixies. There are of 
course Moretons, as in Compton Martin and in Fivehead. 
There is a Goosemoor in Brompton Regis, which is probably 
Cors-moor, that is, a doublet, as cors already means a marsh. 
Lidmarsh is Lyde marsh, the personal name. Moorlinch is 
misleading, as the Moor is from gemeare, a boundary. 
Linch is elsewhere explained. 

As a district name there is that arising from what is called 
the river name the Wring, Wringmarsh near to Wrington. 
Wring as a river name is not distinct from Rhin (compare 
the Rhine) which means etyraologically that which runs. If a 
rhyn means a promontory, it is because it runs out to sea or 
is a projecting tongue of land as Pen-ryn in Cornwall. 



67 
CHAPTER VII. 

Fords. 

We have more than once pointed out that some of the 
names ending in ford are in reality assimilations. Colour is 
given to the explanation in cases where even a bit of a ford 
across an insignificant brook actually exists. As a ford may 
mean a way apart from crossing a stream, some of the names 
may be thus accounted for. Others.we may say.are shaped from 
the ending to a personal name, as frid, frith, in such a name 
as Wilfred, Wynfrid (Winford). Frid means peace, the 
modern German Friede. Others again are difficult to de- 
termine owing to confusions that have crept in unawares. 
Such a name is Keyford, near Frome. 

Keyford is of some ecclesiastical interest. Strachey (1760), 
in his account of the formerly existent religious houses in the 
Diocese of Bath and Wells, mentions the tradition of a nun- 
nery at Cayford, near Frome, belonging to Cirencester. The 
origin of it is dated as far back as A.D. 705. The spellings may 
be described as excruciating. Beginning with D.B. Kaivert 
and Caivel, we find later spellings Keyferz, Cayver, Kayver, 
and West Kayver, Cayfords in A.D. 1493, and in the court rolls 
(1478) Cayford. There is also a Kayford near Yeovil which 
is also spelt Cokerford : " Lands at Keyford or Cokerford 
given to St. Augustine's Abbey by Nicholas FitzRobert, 
FitzHarding." Here there must be some confusion. Key- 
ford is not connected etymologically with Cokerford, and is 
scarcely a form of it. If Caivert and Caivel stand side by side 
they are not names of one manor but of two, the two manors 
into which the locality is parted in Domesday Book. A 
gallant attempt has been made to find the explanation as a 
surviving Celtic name. This applies to the form Caivert as 
supposed to be derived from Caegwyrdd, which quite easily 
becomes Caewyrdd and Caewyrt. This compound is then in- 
terpreted as meaning the " green enclosure." It is sufficiently 
obvious that Caivert and Caivel are attempts to represent 



68 

sounds awkward to Norman clerks. Caivert is a corruption 
of an owner's name, Gefheard, and Gifheard is the present 
name Giffard ; and Caivel is a similar corruption of the Saxon 
personal name Caewulf, both known names. Caivert and 
Keyford as names of the same place are really both of them 
corruptions of Gefheard, and Keyford, like so many others, 
is thus not a ford at all so far as the origin of the name is con- 
cerned. Gefheard was a Domesday tenant near Frome at the 
spot with the disguised name of Elm and at Woodborough 
in Wellow. Gifheard, in the Stoke GiflEard of Somerset (now 
Stoke Rodney) and of Stoke Gifford in Gloucestershire, is 
the name of a whilom important and considerable Saxon 
family. It is possible that the components are Gif or give, 
and ward or weard, that is, Gifweard. It will be observed 
that all the diverse spellings here find their explanation, even 
that of Keyferz. 

Of other names besides those given elsewhere (under 
other headings) which are disguised from personal names, 
there is that of Aljord, a small village on the Brue. Alford 
is an illustrious name, and it is connected with the county. 
People get puzzle-headed in dealing with the relationship 
between names of persons and names of places. No one, we 
suppose, denies that large numbers of persons have derived 
their names from the places from which they came. When 
other means of distinction, nicknames or by-names and other 
methods, failed, then resort was had to the place, as, for 
example, we might say Alford of Winterbourne, and then the 
prepositional connection was left out. So John Alford might 
have derived this means of identification from the fact that 
he was born by the Brue at the village called Alford. Or this 
John Alford might go and buy an estate and call it Alford by 
his beloved personal name. Or, if inclined to think that 
names are per se aristocratic or otherwise, he might proudly 
appear as John de Alford. Such considerations do not disturb 
for one moment the fact that Alford is, after all, an abbreviated 
personal name. And, in fact, in Domesday Book it is spelt at 
large, Aldedeford. In A.D. 1315 it is curiously Allecheford. 
It is not only curious but an instance with a wonderful power 
of conviction for the most obstinate, provided there is present 
the saving grace of patience with what is novel to him. It is 



69 

thus : These two forms in spellings found as wide apart as the 
end of the 11th and the beginning of the 14th century confirm 
one another; and the more so as they seem so widely and 
irreconcilably diverse. In the 8th century the name Ealhfrith 
is also Alchfridus, Aluchfridus, and Alhfrith and Alfred ! 
Alford is, therefore, ultimately the personal name Ealcfrid, 
Ealhfrith, with other simple variations of spelling turned into 
the ending ford. If there is a river of any respectable dimen- 
sions or even a ditch that you can jump across, " why ! there 
you are!" It is the " Al-ford," though what " Al " means 
may be impossible to say. When a gentleman is called " Good- 
enough " your easiest plan is to say " good," we know that, 
and " enough " we also know. He had some remarkably 
generous ancestors. " Goden-ulf " and " Goden-wulf " is a 
strange creature. Avaunt ! Such reflections may possibly 
reduce the scepticism of some when it is pointed out that 
this is true of other names. 

As, e.g., Coleford and Cloford. There is more than one 
Coleford in Somerset. There is one in Stogumber. As Alford 
is very close to the form Eahlfrid of the 8th century, so is 
Colford to Ceolfrith, Ceolfrid, and Ceolferth. Cloford, too, 
might be supposed to be Colford with the consonant inter- 
changed. The spelling in Domesday, however, is Claforda, 
and later spellings are Clouford, and in A.D. 1315 Clafford. 
Neither is this a genuine ford name. Not even a Clay-ford 
from the character of the soil. It is a form of the sparsely 
occurring name spelt Hleofrith, Cieofrit, Cleofrid, Cleoferd, 
Cloferd. I suppose that the modern name of this ancient 
Saxon name is Clifford. 

Wadeford is usually disposed of in the customary easy 
method. It is " the ford that may be waded." This would 
appear to be the common attribute of all fords, and is little 
likely to have fixed its name to one alone. However, Waedo 
is Saxon for a ford, and so Wadeford would be a doublet and 
tautological. Ford was added to the Saxon word Waedo, the 
meaning of which had been forgotten. In the case of the 
Wadford near Neroche, Wad is said to be the name given to 
the stream which with another forms the head of the River 
Isle or He. This double name most likely accounts for Wade- 
ford. There is besides the personal name Wado accounting. 



70 

as already noted, for such names as Wemb-ton (from Wad- 
mendon), Wadbury, and Wadmaer, or Wedmore. There is 
in Domesday a Saxon owner Wado in Ashbrittle who lived in 
the days of the Confessor. The derivation may be gwada, a 
mole; but is more likely wado, an immigrant or wanderer. 
If Wado was a tribal name, a stream along whose banks the 
tribe lived may give the name to that river. Here Wedmore 
may be compared. 

Edford is another example of the same kind of assimilation. 
It is in Holcombe. When we find that Eds-ton is a shortened 
form of " Eddeve's-ton," and that Eddeva is itself derived 
from Aedgifu, and that this is a lady's name, we are quite 
prepared to understand that by some changes Edford may be 
similarly accounted for. " Ead " is a very frequent prefix, 
said, by a great authority in such component parts of names, 
to mean " prosperity." We know it in " Edward " and 
" Edwin." We are not prepared to embrace Eadfrith or 
Eadfrid, and Eadbeorht, Eadfrid, is mostly a Mercian rather 
than a Wessex name. Like the rest, it becomes disguised as 
Edford, and is thus no ford at all in the physical sense. Of 
course, there is a stream at Edford, and the site of the old 
village appears to have been on the stream in the woods, 
where is the site of an old mill. In any case, " Ed." is short- 
ened from some personal name. 

Holford, in Lydeard St. Lawrence, is in Domesday Book 
Hulofort. Hulfrit and Hulfrid is the name of a " dux " in 
the 10th century. Broford, in Exton (Domesday Book, Bro- 
fort), is the personal name Beorhtfrith, found also as Bri- 
ferd and Brigferd. Donniford is a corruption of Dunfrith or 
Dunfrid, a compound name. Dun and frid, found elsewhere 
as a local name. Croford is probably Crawe-ford. We do not 
discover any quoted and extant personal name, Crawfrid ot 
the like. For Mudjord, which might be at once set down as 
a " muddy ford," there is the personal name Mundford, and, 
in fact, the name is spelt Mundiford in Domesday Book, and 
Mudford is a corruption. Allerford is elsewhere mentioned. 

Bayford, in or near Stoke Trister, is an instance of the 
prevalence of the name Beaga, Bege, and Bagge^ in Saxon 



'The name occurs in a, charter of Muchelney Abbey, Ahtbegonis Possessio, 
i.e. Eadbega's property, p. 95, S.R.S., vol 14. 



71 

Somerset. It is Bega-ford. Exford would seem to explain itself. 
In Domesday Book it is Aisseford, which, on the analogy of 
other names, should come out as Asford, since Aissa is 
in such names a form of Aesc, the Ax. But here this 
is the river name Esk, Usk, Uisg, Ax, and Ux, as in 
Axbridge, already referred to. There is little or no doubt 
that this is brugia a bridge, as in Bridgwater, and not 
Brugia as Burh corrupted. Ricford, in Blagdon, is a ham- 
let name, and from the ownerships in Saxon times this looks 
like a somewhat unusual shortening of the original name by a 
lapse of the first syllable. There were several owners in the 
neighbourhood of the same hundred of Winterstoke with such 
names as Saric, Bristric, Godric, Edric, and " Ric " may be 
one of these endings; or it may have been the simple name 
Ric now found in the Prankish form of Rich, a local and 
Somerset name. And here it may be remarked that to derive 
such a name as Rich from a peculiar nickname or soubriquet 
is superficial. It is a Frankish form of Reich, Ric, Rich, 
Anglo-Saxon signifying "rule." Richmont in Richmont Castle, 
in East Harptree, is ultimately the name Rikemund of the 
Hundred Rolls, and " Richman " has nothing to do with 
wealth, but is the old German Ric-man. Rich is the Riki of 
the Liber VitcB. Uxford hard by is most likely to be another 
trace of the same name that we have found in Wookey, 
namely, that of Ucca, Ucco, and it is Uccasford. There is, 
however, the personal name Uchferth, which was a Wiltshire 
name and more clearly accounts for it. Cheddenford isCeadda- 
ford (Chad's ford). Stoford, in the double name Berwicks 
Stoford, is in A.D. 1316 written " Berewick Stan-ford," and, 
assuming the correctness of this, we have little difficulty in 
recollecting the stepping-stones that constitutes some fording- 
places. In a charter of Barlinch Priory is the name InefiEord, 
and we are wondering whether this is a trace of the famous 
Somerset name of King Ina. Ufford is simply shaped out of 
the personal names Uvert and Uflert, as in Uffords Hill (in 
Banwell?). Henford, in Henford Matravers, is again a com- 
pound of frid from the name Eanfrid, a frequent name in the 
7th, 8th, and 9th centuries, and is not " hean," high (Saxon), 
or " hean," old (Celtic), " old or high ford." 

Washford is in Cleeve. It is Watchetford in A.D. 1367. 



72 

Earlier, in A.D. 1188, it is Washford. The connection with 
Watchet seems definitely clear. Watchet in D.B. is spelt Waced. 
It is Wachet, Watchet, or Wechet in the reign of Henry III. 
This is interpreted as the " watched head," and explained as a 
look-out place from the headland. The name certainly ap- 
pears descriptive. Wacet and Wash are Prankish softenings of 
Wac, as " Rich " is of Ric in Gooderich for Godric. Wac and 
wach mean " a moist place." Wacsan is Anglo-Saxon for to 
" wash " and the same word. Wak in Lowland Scotch has 
this same meaning. In Norfolk a " wake " is an unfrozen bit 
of water. As bearing on this meaning we note the local place- 
name Watchfield, in Highbridge ; that is, Wac-felt. It is " the 
moist or marsh meadow," and is no more a watched field than 
Watchet is a watched headland. 

Tellisford is spelt Tables-ford (Domesday Book). This is 
the name Tabuel. In A.D. 1166 Dunhet, that is 
Downhead, was held by Richard Rivel in partner- 
ship with Margaret, daughter of Ralph Tabuel, assessed 
with Pitney Lortie in the taxation of A.D. 1327. 
This name is also in the Liber VitcB, and occurs besides 
in the Muchelney Abbey Cartulary. But Tabuel itself is 
shortened from the name Taillebois, found in such shapes as 
Talboys, Tables, Tabuels, and Tallis. As to meaning, the per- 
sonal name from a local name means brushwood. Dubois 
appears to be the equivalent of our Atwood. 

Westford is the name of a tything in Wellington, and is not 
taken from a point of the compass. Waes itself means water; 
or it is quite possibly Waese-ford, or the washing-ford. With- 
out here enumerating all the place-names in which the epithet 
west may be as descriptive of situation undoubted or doubtful 
we mention Weston, in Combe St. Nicholas, i.e., Wes-ton, as 
shortened from an intermediate form " Wast-ton," and this 
again may be traced to a longer word, Waterleas-ton, appear- 
ing as Waterlesston. In other counties this has been oppositely 
interpreted as the water leas, and as water-less. Facts speak 
for the former. Waterless has actually become West. West- 
combe, in Batcombe, is Domesday Book Weste-combe, which 
may be Wastecombe. Freshford, near Frome, is diversely 
Fir-forda, Fecheford, and Freekeford, and (on one identifica- 
tion) Vexford, and may be dealt with as a curiosity. Other 
fords may receive mention in other chapters. 



73 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Names with Local Characteristics — Lea, Leys, 
Leighs, and Leaze. 

Leah is one of the words by which our Saxon ancestors 
designated uncultivated ground, though to us, in poetry, " the 
cattle wandering o'er the lea " reminds us of lush meadow 
land. Other words are feld (Dutch veldt), wudu (for wood), 
weald, holt, beara, den or dene, hyrst, grafe, and perhaps hyse, 
sceaga, and wride. Beara, as a wooded district, is not uncom- 
mon in our county. It has sometimes disguised itself as 
Borough and Barrow. Dene is not uncommon, and Kemble 
says, in his Saxons in England, that in one district in the 
south of England, from Hythe to Maidstone, there are up- 
wards of thirty towns or villages ending in den, i.e., dene. 
Grafe is an estate with boundary stones, and is in signification 
the same as snad or snaed, a part cut off. An estate surrounded 
with a fence of stakes was called pearrocas, or park. We know 
the name Chew-Park, and there are many such local names. 
The other words are not common in Somerset. 

The proportion of leahs to felds is that which prevails else- 
where. In Kemble's charters the ratio is said to be seventy to 
eighteen. Leigh occurs simply and in compounds. Of the 
form Leigh-on-Mendip (pronounced Li) is an example. In 
other chapters instances of this word in compounds are given. 
It may be convenient to collect a few under one heading, 
regardless of the origin of the prefix or afiix, whether, as often, 
it occurs with a personal name or with a descriptive qualifica- 
tion. Chardleigh Green, in Chard, is an example of tautology, 
for leigh is suflftcient without green, as they practically mean 
the same thing. Chardleigh has become a proper name, and 
then a distinctive description becomes necessary. The simple 
name Lega occurs in Domesday Book at least eight times, iden- 
tified with Abbot's Leigh, Angersleigh, Leigh in Carhampton 



74 

Hundred, and in Old Cleeve, as part of Street in Ringolds- 
way'' Hundred and Leigh in Winsham, besides Leigh-land in 
Old Cleeve. Leage is the genitive form of Lea. 

Langley, in Wiveliscombe, explains its own meaning if it be 
descriptive, that is, the long meadow. In Overhigh, in Street, 
the prefix is the Anglo-Saxon form ofre, a dative of ofer, a 
shore or bank of a river. Sometimes the river has shifted its 
bed, or the fen or marsh has been drained, and there seems no 
reason why the spot should be " over," as it does not appear to 
be " above " anything in particular. Other examples of 
" over " in other connections are noted. There are Eastover, 
in Bridgwater; a Northover, near Ilchester; and one in 
Ditcheat. The modern German ufer means a bank. There 
is actually a puzzling local name Underover, Under-ofre 
You want to know how a thing can be both " under " 
and " over " ; and we all know it is when we find that " over " 
here means a bank. 

Wellesley is explained by a personal designation. We read : 
" Grant of confirmation by Richard le Waleys, the Lord of 
Stowey " (near Bridgwater). Le Waleys means the Wallace, 
the stranger, perhaps the Welshman. Welsh, of course, means 
stranger, and to the German-speaking people on the borders of 
Italy the Italians are Welsh, Waelsch. There is a Drewley, in 
Witham, and Drew is the personal name. Some of these local 
names are in truth modern, as Paddoxmead was, says Mr. 
Dickenson in a note in Kirby's Quest, named after John Padok 
of Hurcott.2 If ancient, we must, like Stanton Drew, trace 
back to a Drogo, as Drogo de Montacute, the young Dru, of 
A.D. 1286. A mead is different from a leah, or lea. This in- 
deed may include land covered with brushwood and a clearing, 
while the former means mowing land (found in after-math), 
its root meaning to mow (A. S. mawan, Gothic maitan). One 
of the pretty shepherd's songs in Schiller's " Wilhelm Tell " 
begins "Ihr Matten lebt wohl" — "Ye meadows farewell." 
The words occur in Swiss place-names Zermatt, Andermatt. 
But the name as a local designation is very infrequent, and 



'Ringoldtswei is an ancient road along the eastern part of Golden Hill. 
Mr. Dickinson (Preface to Kirby's Quest, p. xi., S.R.S., vol. 3) calls 
it Reynold's way. ^Ibid., p. xxxii. 



75 

sometimes quite modern, as Stowey Mead. I do not know 
a place-name in Somerset compounded with this word that is 
ancient. 

Edgerley, in Glastonbury, seems simply to be the ley of 
some Edgar, that is, Eadgar, which was in point of fact a well- 
known Mercian name. It is pronounced Eggerley ; but Egger 
is the dipt form of Eadgar. This is included in Edersige, but 
can scarcely be the same as the name of the manor Insula 
Edersige adjacens GlastingberitB.^ Edersige embraced Egger- 
ley and Wick, according to Eyton. We do not see easily how 
Edgerley can be the same as Edersige. There is a further 
interest in the name Edgerley, inasmuch as those who consider 
that the battle of Ethandune (Edington) was fought in Somer- 
set, and not in Wilts or elsewhere, identify Edgerley with the 
Iglea of Alfred's night-halt. If Eggerlea was called Edglea, 
and Iglea Idglea, the identification is not impossible, whether 
it carry a long or only a short way to the historical conclusion 
sought by a late writer in Blackwood's Magazine and by 
others. Edersige still remains a separate name. It is Eadred 
(sometimes Heardred) Island if we are to divide the syllables 
Edersig, as seems most likely, or it may even be Eadredsig 
as a proper name. Names in Sige (Sieg means victory) do 
occur. A correspondent has most kindly pointed out a name 
which we have not met with in any list — one doubtless among 
many others of philological or racial interest — Brinsea or 
Brinzey, " a low hill surrounded mostly by marsh land just 
south of Congresbury." Bryn is a Celtic word meaning a hill. 
Bryn-gwyn is a compound word meaning a "white hill." 
" Sea " or " zey " then remains. This compound of a Celtic 
and a Saxon root is not impossible but suspicious. Sea is very 
frequently the ending of a personal name Sige, of Sig, and, 
as a matter of fact, the name Beornsige, also spelt Byrnsi, 
was a 9th century name. The consonants have been inter- 
changed by Somerset tongues. From its situation it may 
have been Beorn's-ige, but it is probably the full name, 
Beorn-sige. Beorn is one of the commonest prefixes and 
affixes in personal names, as in Beornheard, Osbeorn — 
Bernard and Osborne. 



^Domesday studies, Eyton, vol. ii., p. 41. 



76 

In Domesday Book of Somerset there are seven place- 
names that are simply called Lega. Now this is a genitival 
form of lay, ley, meaning unfilled land, Anglo-Saxon leah. 
In the geld list of names of Somerset hundreds the names are 
written in the genitive case, of which the final " e," with a 
mark of contraction, is the sign. The Legas (i.e., " of Lea's ") 
are Leigh, in Street; West Leigh and Chapel-leigh, in 
Lydeard St. Lawrence; Lega for East Lynge or Lenge is 
probably a mis-spelling; Abbot's Leigh; Lega in Milverton 
is now only Leigh Farm ; Leigh in Winsham ; and Leigh in Old 
Cleeve. We have a local name Barelegs, which is probably 
just the corruption of Barelega or bare-leigh. There is also 
a lega with no modern name of which Chepin was the tenant 
in Carhampton hundred. This might be Chepin lea, Chapley. 
Angersleigh appears to be Lega only in Domesday Book, and 
then the name Anger must have been later superadded, for, 
from their number, it is evident that distinctive names were 
bound to grow up for " leas." It is spelt Angarslegh (1360- 
1427) with a variant Aungers-legh. The modern personal 
name is Ainger. The name in the form (as we take it) Ansger 
is ancient in Somerset. There were no fewer than five of this 
name tenants or officials recorded in Domesday Book. Ans- 
gar is compound, " ans " a god, and " gar " a spear. " Ans " 
is found, for instance, in Anshelm. We think there are ob- 
scure traces of this name in several instances. Gaer Hill, in 
Witham, may be Ansgar abbreviated or Osgar. What par- 
ticular Ansgar or Angar, Ainger or Aunger, it was we do not 
know who fixed his cognomen to Angers-leigh. Names sur- 
vived or sank in the sea of time. Sometimes they reappear as 
bits of wreckage. Hanger, a sloping meadow or wood, as an 
affix is different. A collection of them with their prefixes is 
interesting. In the 15th century is the will of a Thomas Ainger. 

Mudgeley, in Wedmore, is derived by Mr. Harvey, in the 
Wedmore Chronicle, from Mote-ley, the lea on which the 
" mote " or folk meeting or council was held. This con- 
jecture is made on the strength of a spelling in the time of 
Queen Elizabeth, Muddes-ley, and in the early 14th century 
(Nomina Villarum) it is Modesle. It is difficult if not im- 
possible to see how an original " mote-lea " could grow into 
Mudgeley. There is a Midgeley near Halifax, a Midgeham 



77 

in Berks. It is true that there is a Midgehill near Chelvey 
which (D.B.) is Megela. This is the personal name Maegla, 
and Mudgeley, Midgehill, is spelt Mudgill and Muggil. 
Maeg is a frequent name which may be ultimately of Celtic 
origin. Its modern form is Magg, and, of course, with the 
" s " makes a less intelligible name, Maggs. Mycg is no doubt 
a " midge," and so Midgehill is popularly considered to be so 
called on account of the number of the teasing ephemeral 
insects which were, as supposed, very abundant. Now the 
full name of Maeg, Magg, Meg, and Maggs, is probably 
Madacho, an old German name, and there is the Celtic 
Madoc and Madog, which is the same with the Welsh trans- 
mutation of the initial consonant, as Badoc. There is the 
spelling Madsley in A.D. 1604. Madogs-ley may easily be 
rendered popularly Madsley or Mudgeley, according to the 
particular fashion of shortening prevailing at the time. 

Tunley is not mentioned in Domesday Book, unless it is. 
(as Eyton takes it) in the extraordinary Domesday spell- 
ing, Tumbeli. Now the searchers for modern manors to cor- 
respond with the ancient ones, or to fit in with five-hide unit 
theories of which frankly we know nothing, make Tumbeli 
the modern Ubley. Collinson, however, identifies it 
with Tunley. As Elm became Telm, so Ubley was 
written Tumbeli ! Now Telm is At or Adhelm shortened, 
as we think. Tumbeli may easily be the nasal pronunciation 
of Tunley. Collinson was very likely right whatever may be 
the difficulties as regards the attempt to sort the Domesday 
manors, and identify them on some consistent principle.^ 
Tumbeli is Tump-lea, a small, round hill is a tump, or 
more likely still a shortened form of the personal name 
Tunbeald. This is what we think it is. Tunley is thus a much 
shortened word, but we see this abbreviation so often that 
this raises no difficulty save to find out, where possible, what 
the longer original word really was. We have nothing to do 
with the identification of manors save as they help us to track 
a name for a century or two or more. 

Ubley. There is no doubt from the persistence of the 



^See Mr. Bates-Harbin's able and interesting- papers on the Five-hide Unit. 
Som. Arch. Soc. Proceedings, where, as Eyton does, he identifies with 
Ubley. 



78 

double spellings Obbe and Ubbe, as well as (with a single "b") 
Obeleygh, that the name is personal, but not necessarily the 
great Viking Dane. The name Obba occurs frequently as a 
Mercian and a Wessex name as Oba, and in the 14th century 
there is the name, in a list, of a parish priest named Obba. 
Richard de Hoveden says that Hubba the Dane was buried at 
Cynwich, and " near Combwich, on the Parret, is a tumulus, 
by some considered more likely to be his grave than the 
mound at Stogursey." " Upper Cock Farm " is presumed to 
be a corruption of Ubba-Cocs, or Ubba's heap. Of Cynwich, 
Combwich, and Cynwit, involved in the controversy of the 
battle of Edington, we have elsewhere spoken. 

Warleigh, in Bathford, may be the " leigh " on the weare. 
" Wor " also means a swamp. There is a Worminster, spelt 
Warmester, where Court Barons were held up to the 16th 
century in Dinder, which seems to be a corruption of a per- 
sonal name, " Waermodestre," or Waermunds; as Warleigh 
is probably " Woria " as a personal name found in " Worle," 
and perhaps Worspring (Woodspring) or Wor(I) springea, or 
Worle's plantation. There is a Wirrall in Cheshire. There 
are Worle Hill (and the ridiculous explanation of Worrall 
as Weary-all hill), Worlebury, and Worleston. Worla, Wor, 
and Worr (Warr and Weare) are all personal names. There 
are many other Leighs. Cotleigh is Cotta or Goda's Lea. 
Bonnyleigh in Beckington is Bonna's Lea, with which the 
numerous Bonhills (in Chew) and Bonhams (in Stourton) may 
be compared. There is the name " Buna " in the Liber Vit<B, 
and there are those who own to the name " Bunn." Bine-ham, 
in Long Sutton, and Bin-ham, in Old Cleeve, are relics of the 
name " Beana," as in Banwell and Beana-hanger, i.e., Bine- 
gar. Chip-ley, in Milverton, is Ceob (Cheob) lea, and Bick- 
ley is Bica, a Saxon name, as in " Bickanhulle," Bickenall. 



79 

CHAPTER IX. 
Wicks. 

The place-names ending in wic and wick are not so simple 
as the tyro in place-names, desirous of a short cut, supposes. 
They are of diverse origin. It is not easy to determine which 
of the possibilities is present, so far is it from the simplicity of 
a mere alternative. It is true that wick denotes a hamlet or 
inhabited place, usually with relation to the principal place 
with which it is connected. But this easy method leads the 
amateur astray. We may instance Stanton Wick. A spelling 
preserves the real origin, Stanton-eswick, which is run into 
one word, and become Stantoneswick. This Eswick is for 
Aes-cwig, the name of an Abbot of Bath, A.D. 965. Here, 
then, it is not a township, but an abbreviation. Stantones- 
wick is difificult to account for as a genitive form unless the 
name Stanton were supposed to be a personal name. It is, 
indeed, not unlikely that Leo is right in asserting that only a 
small proportion of the whole of the wicks refer to cultivation 
and the inhabited place ; Wic (long i, and related to the Ger- 
man " weich " soft) mostly denotes marsh land. Wic, a town- 
ship, is a root referred to the same origin as the Latin viciis. 
In Gothic it is veihs; in old German wich; and In Frisian, 
from which we get our form, it is wlk. Occasionally it is re- 
ferred to "wice," the mountain ash. Those places on the 
seashore visited by Vikings are called wics, where there is a 
bay that bends in, or a creek or inlet from the sea. The wych 
elm is so called because it bends downwards. It is gracefully 
pendulous. Wicker baskets are from pliable withies, and (to 
moralise, with the reader's forgiveness for a moment) wicked- 
ness is pliability or weak-ness. To add to the embarassment 
of choice there Is the personal name Weeks, Week, connected 
with Wig war, and found disguised in numerous modern 
names ; for instance, Wyatt for WIg-od. Weeks' Green, in 
Bishop's Sutton, is from a personal name. Sometimes we think 
that these Weeks' must be the last of the West-Country race. 



80 

the Gewiccas. Besides, some of these personal names may be 
hero names. Wicg is Anglo-Saxon for a horse, and Wicga for 
a beetle. Names are sometimes given from some fancied 
flattering resemblance, or derisively. In the Durham Liber 
VitcB are the personal names Uicga (WIcga), and the Frisian 
form Wicco. We need not be surprised if we find then such 
common personal names as Wicks, Weeks, Wigg, Wickenden. 

The Wichs, therefore, in Berrow, Camerton, Langport, 
Glastonbury, Spaxton, Stanton Drew, Yatton, Mark, Otter- 
hampton, Beckington, and others in a perambulation of the 
whole county, are not to be settled off-hand as to the origin 
of the name in each several case. Woodwich (Domesday 
Book Udewica), in Freshford, as a village and a parish is now 
destroyed. There are fields called Woodward, which thus 
bears some trace of the name. This is probably not the wick 
in the wood as the amateur would be likely to conclude, but 
quite possibly Wodwig, in which the first component is a 
reminiscence of the name " Wodan." Bathwick is most likely 
the hamlet in relation to the larger place. This is usually 
clear when quite locally and manorially connected. In 
Domesday Book it is simply Wica, that is Wic with probably 
long vowel. In the Nomina Villarum (1315) it is Batewyke. 
Alured de Wica (1084) had this " de " from his connection 
with Bathwic, as set forth in Domesday Book. 

Swainswick is not in Domesday. It is hidaged in some other 
manor. There we find, however, that three thegns held Tad- 
wick, which are places close together. This latter name is in 
Domesday Book as Tatewica. It is (in the names of vills) 
spelt Catewyk and Tatwick. The letters " c " and " t " are so 
much alike in medieval MSS. that they are often confused. 
It is also found as " Tata Wick in the hundred of Bath." It 
is Tatewick (Richard II.) and Tatwyk (Henry VI.) and Tat- 
wicke (Elizabeth). So that although Catewyk has an inter- 
pretation alongside other names in Cat and Cad, as elsewhere 
mentioned, there is no doubt that it is "Tat-wick." It is 
illuminative further to find the first component in other 
place-names, as e.g., Tat-worth, in Chard; Tad-hill, near 
Wookey; Tat-ton, in Kingston; and Ted-bury, in Elm. Fur- 
ther afield, and out of the county, are Tad-ley, near South- 
ampton ; Tadlow, near Cambridge ; and Tedston. Tat-ton, in 



81 

Kingston, as, perhaps, the Somerset Domesday Book name 
found as Tedinton, i.e., Tedan-ton. Spellings in the reign of 
Henry II. are Tuthington and Tothindone, which might 
easily be falsely interpreted as Tything-down. Teddington, 
on the Thames, with its famed locks, is well known, while 
the Somerset Teddington is an obscure spot. This survey of 
the component name is abundant. It is clearly the personal 
Frisian name Tad, Tada. The root of this personal name is 
not perhaps tod, a fox, e.g., Tad-caster is interpreted as the 
" foxes' camp," and Tedstone, in Herefordshire, as " the fox- 
town." Tedstone has two additional attractive names, Ted- 
stone Delamere and Tedstone Wafre, which we should feel 
disposed to stop and look at; but they are not in Somerset. 
However, this Tedstone is in Domesday Book Toddes-thorn. 
Nor is the root word tad a toad. It is Dad and Tad, which 
means a progenitor. But it is clearly a personal name, and 
very ancient, going back to primitive roots and the first articu- 
lation of babyhood. It may be added Tate-wick has, with a 
far search for meaning, been explained as Tythe-wick — that is, 
a tithing. Obviously there has been no wide comparison of 
names before arriving at such a conclusion as to the meaning. 
The wick appears to be in this case clearly derivable from the 
word vicus, a hamlet, as part of Sweynswick. And of this we 
may say that, not in Domesday, it is in the Taxatio Ecclesias- 
tica (1291) as Sweyn-burh and Wyk, in which, therefore, the 
burgh has become obsolete, and the wyk (clearly the hamlet) 
has attached itself to the personal name Sweyn (i.e., Swegn). 
This is Danish. Of course, there were any number of 
Swegens, Swains, Suyns, and Sweyns; but the name does not 
date in England earlier than the middle of the eleventh cen- 
tury. Perhaps this particular Swegen who has left his name 
here in Somerset was the son of Earl Godwine, who was Ear! 
of Hereford, Gloucestershire, Oxford, and, be it well marked, 
also of Somerset, about (A.D. 1043) the middle of the 11th 
century. If so, it is interesting enough to find such a relic. 
Standerwick is a disguise if Domesday Book is right, as it 
clearly is, in its form Estarerewicca. The vowel at the begin- 
ning and at the ending are merely the Norman tricks of spell- 
ing to soften the harsh double vowels, and so you get Stalrwic, 



82 

or Stalr-wic. It was formerly a manor. There is now Stander- 
wick Court in Beckington, near Frome. The spellings are in 
the names of vills {Nomina Villarum), Sandewick, which is 
corrupt, and there is also Stanwyck ; but, as if for recovery of 
a clue, in the Exchequer lay-subsidies we find the spelling 
" Staunrwike." We see that one consonant has got substi- 
tuted for another, and a substitution which is not infrequent, 
" 1 " and " n " in careless speech. The Domesday spelling 
clearly saves us from going quite astray. Stallere is not a 
proper name, though it may have become so in Stallard. A 
stallere is a marshal, a stabularius, a master of the horse, and 
so an official, a governor of a place. When in the summer of 
A.D. 1086 the sons of Harold sailing from Ireland had failed 
in their attempt on Bristol they returned to plunder the sea- 
board of Somerset, they found themselves confronted by 
" Eadnoth the Stallere." Eadnoth, with his variously spelt 
name, Alnod, Ednod (that is the original form of " Ealhd- 
noth ") was called Dapifer, Constable, and Stallere. He was 
not the only stallere (which was the name under Harold), but 
quite possibly this Standerwick was his manor, though under 
the Confessor the owner's name is Smeyn, and we find that 
" Smewine " was, as appears, an extant name. 

It is certainly enticing when we find that William the Con- 
queror called the official name of his Stabularius or Stallere 
by the queer name of Eke, to find that Eastwick, in Camerton, 
in the ancient hundred of Wellow, is Ecchewica. This is 
Ekewick according to Mr. Whale. Mr. Eyton has also an 
obsolete place-name, Ecwicke, spelt Hecuiwicca, in the hun- 
dred of Bempstone. But the latter is put with a query by Mr. 
Whale as equivalent to Ellwick, in Blagdon. Ashwick is spelt 
Escuuica (Escwica) in the hundred of Kinmaersdon (Kilmers- 
don), and is, of course, as before said, the personal name 
Aescwig, and has nothing to do with the word wick in any of 
its possible senses. Escwicke could, without much difficulty, 
find itself transformed into a place "east" of somewhere. 
But according to our present considerations Eastwick, as 
Ekewick, was the residence or wick of an eke or stabularius or 
stallere. In Hecuiwicca the aspirate at the commencement 
and the closing vowel are otiose, and the name is clearly the 



83 

same, Ecwic or Ekewic. Elhvick is another name. It is the 
personal name Ealdwig, name of bishop, priest, and common 
man. Nor can we lose sight of the fact that attractive as is the 
idea of the Eke's or marshal's hamlet, that Eccewic and 
Hecwic are probably the personal name Ecgwig. The original 
Ecgwig would not know himself as Eastwick in the present- 
day form of the name. Ellwick is in Blagdon, and either 
the same or hard by is Alduuica (Aldwica), closely connected 
with Ragiol (Redghill) manorially, and set down as in But- 
combe (Budi-coma). This is the same name, Ealdwig. This 
is, we believe, known as Aldwick, the modern designation. 

Shapwick^ appears in the Domesday spelling in the extra- 
ordinary shape Sapoes-wick. Sapoesuuica is an unusual form. 
We find, however. Carta Adelhardi Regis de Shapwick. Peo- 
ple were kings on the smallest provocation in those days. 
Adelhard was in fact " squire " of Shapwick. In a supposed 
charter of King Ina we find the spelling Scapewick. These 
forms at least give us the tradition. Probably the Domesday 
form is meant for Scepes-wick, and there is a rare name, 
Scapius, which, however, must be the same name, Skepe, that 
is, Sceaf and Sceaft. We have already noted, however, that 
Shipham, in another part of the country (in the hundred of 
Winterstoke), is spelt Sipe-ham. Shepton Beauchamp is 
Scep-tona, and Shepton Mallet, Sepe-tona. These are all 
alike founded in the personal name Sceaft and Skepe. Shap- 
wick is then Sceafwick, or Sceaf's hamlet. If, however, the 
Domesday spelling is original and correct, this must be a form 
of the name Saeba, which is found as a shortened form of 
Saebeorht. It is thus Saebeorht, or Saebas-wick. 

Shockerwick, also spelt Shakerwick in the 17th century, 
ought to be the originating place of the Shakers. But earlier 
spellings are Sokerwyk, Sokerwickes, Sokwyk, and Scho- 
kewig. The name is Socawig. Soca is a Saxon name in A.D. 
958. Soc, in Soc Dennis, is spelt in Domesday Book Socca 
and Socche, which is just this name. The name also occurs in 
Soc Dennis. 

Sewardwick is in Compton Dando. Seward has in the 17th 
century been made intelligible as " Steward's wick." This is 



^There is a Shapwick Pleng in Dorset. 



84 

comfortable, as we have no difficulty in knowing what a 
steward is. However, Saward and Seward are the names of 
Domesday tenants. One of this name was Saxon owner of 
Stringston, and another of Remington, while still a third, 
Seward Hundrannus, was lord of Adber, in Trent. The name 
is interesting in Compton Dando (like that of Saint Wulfric 
the hermit there) as one of the English-born thanes who kept 
his place at Adber over the conquest and enjoyed his own. 
Hundrannus means the hundred man. The name Hawker, or 
Hundred man, would attach to any " gheld-collector." 
There was thus a Seward in Compton, whether the same or 
not.^ But now in A.D. 1405 is the strange form Zevereswyk in 
this village, which we cannot think is the same word. This 
reminds us of the modern name Seviour, which is old Norse 
Sebar, Sevar, Saebiorn, the Sea-bear, as a viking name. What 
identification there may be possible we know not, but this 
being interpreted looks like Seviour's-wick. 

There is a Berwick in Somerset found in Stoford and Bere- 
wyk in the names of vills, and Berwick is the name of an 
old hundred. It is said that Barwick as a manorial name was 
left out of Domesday Book in error. The situation is between 
Yeovil and Sutton. It is generally explained to mean " the 
fenced village " from bar and wick. It must, however, be 
remembered that Bere was a personal name, as in " Beer " 
Crocombe, and there must be some good reason why a par- 
ticular place should be a barred place. This is likely enough 
as to " Berwick "-on-Tweed. 

Hone-wyk must cast in its lot with the place-names in Hun.^ 
It was not a place for honey above all others, and Yatewick, 
in the hundred of Wellow, may find a place among the Goths 
from Geat. But Geat also means a way or road. It has now 
descended to a monosyllable, and is known as Wick Farm. 
Grobbes-wyk, in Compton Dando, is Grobbe, short for Gaer- 
burh as a personal name. 



^It is interesting- to show the persistence of names in a parish and find the 
last of this name in this place died lately (Aug., 1913). ^See Chapter 
on Racial Names. 



85 

CHAPTER X. 

Hays. 

Leah, the old German loh (still a provincial word, though 
not in the literary speech), means really a morass, a low plain, 
and an open field. It claims kinship with lucus, the Latin for 
a glade, and accordingly in the primitive conditions of Saxon 
cultivation it is usually (like feld and veldt) employed to denote 
an open piece of grass land, unencumbered with brushwood, 
as feld might be. But in Haga we pass away from the designa- 
tions of uncultivated ground to the idea of enclosure. Some 
of these words define the nature of the Saxon settlement. For 
instance, tun never means the fence itself, but only the area 
enclosed. It may include only a garden in Wyrt tun, or be a 
herb garden. It is a characteristic Saxon word. And the en- 
closures were not quickset hedges, but of stoc or timber. 
Hedges were Celtic in origin. The Anglo-Saxon settlers 
accommodated themselves to the British " d — d land of 
hedges." And, indeed, the greater part of our present fences, 
or a very large part, came in with the Georgian Enclosure 
Acts. Billingsley, in his Agriculture of Somerset, describes 
the era of hedge-making and ditch-making, which for a while 
afforded abundant work to the poor man whose common was, 
for satisfactory reasons, taken from him in those days. The 
peculiar appropriateness of tun is that it is nearly always con- 
joined with a personal name. It is " my tun," as it is " my 
heim " or home. Different is the word ham, with a short, 
sharp vowel. It is connected with hemmen, to enclose, and 
so a hamme is an enclosure, whether forest, field, meadow, 
swamp, reed-bank, or morass. And it is the exact opposite 
of wurd or worth in the ending we so frequently meet with in 
place-names. Other words of enclosure are burg, burh, mean- 
ing any kind of fastness, natural or artificial. By, bolt, thorp, 
are words not common in Somerset. Still, they do occur, 
as in Battel-Gore, buttel, a village, and Thrub-well, or 
Thorpe-well. No doubt " cote " (though there are cases of 



86 

intelligible assimilation where an unusual name has not been 
understood) signifies a humble dwelling, as Healh possibly 
does a stone edifice of more pretensions. This is the meaning 
given to Ealh and Healh by Leo^, who says that it generally 
signifies the house of a king or palace, and its original signifi- 
ation was temple. In a boundary definition of A.D. 814 there 
is mention of a Cyning's healh. When, however, we find the 
personal name Heal, and the territorial Heallinga, the origin 
from a personal appelative accounts for the place-names in 
cases, as elsewhere referred to. It is difficult to think that 
Healh and Heal are distinct words. Seta and seota mean a 
settler or squatter, or even enclosed pasture grounds, and in 
Somerset place-names we find this word in the county name 
Sumersaetas. A Westensaeta is not a settler at Weston, but 
a " settler in the waste," and it is observed that this is how 
we get some Westons that are west of everywhere. Stede is 
another such word, as in homestead, but a survey of our 
county place-names does not give us specimens, of which some 
counties afford a plentiful supply. 

Now, Haga meant a lesser estate, or even a single field. 
The strong masculine inflection hege (gen), heges, or heages 
signifies a hedge or fence. In Germany there are many names 
of places ending in hag. It is a name frequent in Domesday 
Book as a territorial definition. A hayne, too, is an enclosure, 
as a park, and to hayne up is to remove all animals from a 
field or ground to let the grass grow for hay. Hayne is found 
in old English books relating to forests. Haga is obviously 
allied to our word hedge; a "haw-haw" is a sunk fence. A 
Hayward is a hedge-warden, but not of quickset hedges, but 
of boundaries of properties. It by no means follows that the 
name Hayward is always from the employment. Hayward as 
a personal name may represent an old Saxon name Agward, 
and old German Eguard, became spelt as pronounced, Ay- 
ward, Eahward, and then aspirated. The Heigrove men- 
tioned below is possibly the name Ecg-grove. Ag is a root, a|, 
ac, ec meaning point edge. The relations of the word are 
sufficiently clear from all this. 

An obsolete manor in Ston Easton, called in Domesday 



^Leo ; Anglo-Saxon Names of Places, pp. 52-53. 



87 

Book Haia, has left, as we believe, a relic of itself in the name 
Hay Street. No doubt it is, locally, mysterious why the spot 
or road should be so called. It has nothing to do with cattle 
food, nor is it connected with the word of which we have been 
speaking. It might be a Hag, or Hay, as an enclosed property. 
Clearly here it is the personal name Haga, or Hago. Hagana 
was a common name. Hagebert becomes Haicbert. Haga 
is pronounced Haia. Thus it was an owner's name. Street 
is, of course, an early word, as early as the Roman roads, 
stratum. 

Nor is this the only instance in which there has been assimi- 
lation calculated to mislead. We may refer to the instance of 
Avishayes, which Mr. Pullan interprets as Bird-hays. It is 
true that avis is Latin for a bird, but how remote such a de- 
rivation is from likelihood only a little reflection convinces 
us. The truth is that Avishays is a corruption of the personal 
name Avicia. Before the Puritan era of Scripture names set 
in our forefathers were very fond of giving their girls quite 
curious names, as they seem to us. In five minutes in the 13th 
century we pick out such names as Idonia, Dionysia, Sabina, 
Mariota, Alvina, Avicia, and others we have noted in Some 
Ancient Female Names in Somerset.^ Avis-hayes is Avicia's, 
or less likely Avice hayes. Avicia is in an old German 
Namenbuch (Name-book) Avagisa, of which each part is 
interpretable. 

Doverhay, we have already suggested, may be an interesting 
relic of the Celtic saint name S. Dyfrig (Dubritius). We hope 
that this is so, and that the suggestion is a right one. But it 
is to be observed that the spelling Doveri may be a form of 
the word Defer, as found written in Domesday Book, Devre. 
Kemble regards this as a Celtic word, connected with the 
Welsh words dyfrau, to water, dyjredig, watered, dyfr-dir, 
wet-land, dyfr-lan, a water brink, dyfr-le, the bed of a river. 
Defer is said to be probably the Anglo-Saxon pronunciation 
of dwjr, water, plural dyfroedd, waters.^ Micheldever is de- 
rived from this word, as also is Dover, and Condover in 
Salop (Cendefer). 

Now Sparkhaies is also in Porlock, and here we clearly have 



^Times and Mirror Article. '^Leo : Anglo-Saxon Names of Places, p. 70, note. 



88 

the personal name as in Sparkford and Spraccombe. There 
was a family of Sparkes, " going back to the early Edwards. "^ 
As in Sparkford we may here say the original name is Spraga, 
of the Liber VitcB, and the old Norse Sprakr. Sprack and 
Spark are simply instances of the interchange of consonants, 
as any sprack or lively person will see. Here clearly, as in 
many other local names which we have not personally heard 
of, the Hays are distinguished usually by the owner's name. 
Sometimes they are Hays, as in Stowey, without a qualifying 
prefix, and almost everywhere in Somerset locally known as 
Westhay, Easthay, Uphay, Culverhay. There is a Heigrove 
in what was the manor of Bridgwater, a Hayne in Otterford. 
Hey don, near Taunton, appears to be a shortening of a longer 
name, Hayder-don, which we should think was an abbrevia- 
tion of Hahweard, or Haward; this is the same name as 
Heahweard. 

Screedhay, in Milverton, is an example. Screed is the same 
as Scard and Scarth as a personal name. Those who know the 
Somerset twists will understand how the curious name Screed 
would become Scard. No doubt, Tauber^ is right in his new 
researches into mountain names in tracing the element skra 
to a root meaning rock. He instances Skaraborg, in Norway, 
named from its jagged rocks. Sera is said by Mr. Edmunds 
to mean a " sea swallow." So perhaps a Viking called his 
vessel " the Sea Swallow." The former is correct. We do not 
find this latter in Larsen's Dansk-Norsk Dictionary. 



^History of Part of West Somerset : Chadwick Healey. "^Neuen-Gebirgsnamen 
Forchungen, 



89 

CHAPTER XI. 

Ways and Oaks. 

Stowell, in the hundred of Hawthorne, near Templecombe, 
is Estanwella in Domesday Book, and Stanwelle in Kirby's 
Quest, and Stawell in the Nomina Villarum (1315), and 
Stawell, near Moorlinch, in the old (D.B.) hundred of 
Locheslei (Lox-ley), is Esta-wella. The latter is four miles 
from Bridgwater across the moors. Besides this there is the 
hamlet of Staw-ley, on the River Tone, near Wellington, 
which at the Conquest was a moor. The Domesday spellings 
are Staweia and Stawei, which in Kirby's Quest (14th century) 
is Stawleye, and in the 16th century becomes Staw-ligh and 
Stau-ligh, while the two Stoweys, upper and nether, are Estal- 
weia (D.B.). Besides this there is a Stowe Farm and a Stowey 
in Yatton. In the Nomina Villarum, Stowey, in the hundred 
of Chew, is Staweie. A grant of land^ by Richard Le Waleys 
(the place-name " Wales " may be compared) to the abbot of 
Michelney (A.D. 1255) of his domain at Staweie yields 
another place of this name, called by Collinson,^ Stawe, which 
is in the parish of Fivehead. It is also mentioned in the Feet 
of Finest There is Stow-ley also in Luxborough. 

Of these names, Stowell is usually accounted for by the form 
Stan-well, meaning Stonewell, either (it is suggested) because 
of the presence of a well, built of stone, or because of the 
chemical properties of the water turning things to stone. In 
Stowey, near Chew, a water-spring coats vegetable matter 
with a hard accretion. In this way we note that the Stowell 
in the hundred of Bradley, county of Gloucester, is explained. 
And, for the Somerset Stowell, a spring near the church is 
adduced in evidence. There may be more, but there Is at 
least another Stowell, in Wiltshire, six miles from Marl- 
borough. We do not know the aboriginal spelling of this, 
but in Mr. Taylor's Gloucestershire Domesday Studies, 



^Cartulary of Miichelney Abbey, S.R.S., p. 87. ''■CoVAwson.: History of Somerset, 
i., 40. ^/Vrf^ji^tmiare, 47 Henry III., 70, S.R.S. 



90 

Stowell, in that county, is spelt Stanuelle. This and Stawell 
are alike in Somerset Estan-wella, for in the case of Stawell 
(Esta-welle) there is clearly the elision of the consonant, and 
it should be spelt Estan-wella. We confess our strong in- 
clination to regard these names as relics of the personal name 
Eastan, or Athelstane, and we do not mean here Athelstane 
Rex, for Gloucestershire had its Athelstane Dux, and Somer- 
set and Wilts also its Athelstane Dux, and there was an Athel- 
stane about A.D. 967 who is designated Semirex, a monk of 
Glastonbury; and Athelstane Comes in Somerset and Wilts; 
and an Eahlstan, Bishop of Sherborne, in the 9th century; 
and without further words, the name was frequent, popular, 
and local. And, in our opinion, these names may be traces. 
It is said that the Stowells came into possession of this 
property soon after the Conquest. We do not know what 
this may mean. The three place-names contain the element, 
Estan, Stan, and welle may be a form of wila, a hamlet, as 
Pedwell, near Greinton, is Pedwilla. But for this spelling, 
most persons would be satisfied to say that Stowell means a 
village, and so the meaning is simply the "village well."^ 
Stawley, near Wellington, on the borders of Devon, stands 
alone in Somerset and out of it, and so do the several 
Staweias so far as we have been able to make out by search. 
At least the gazetteers do not take note of any such names 
out of the county ; and it will be observed that Stawley is given 
as Domesday Book Staweia and Stawei, and it becomes Staw- 
ley in the 14th Century, or it may be earlier. In the Nomina 
Villarum it is spelt Stauleye. In Staweia we perceive the usual 
consonantal elision, and we should be inclined to suppose 
that it was " n " that had dropped out, i.e., Stanweia, and 
then the explanation usually given is that a Stone-way was a 
Roman road. This might pass if it were not that, by the 
several authorities. Nether Stowey is read in the remarkable 
form Estalweia in Domesday Book. This is accompanied by 
a note informing us that Nether Stowey was " added to the 
lands of Aluui " (Alwi, modern name Olvey and Holvey). 



^In a history of the family of Stowell the author interprets "East-well," 
omitting to note that the initial vowel, as frequent examples show, is a 
euphonic vowel before two consonants, as the final vowel is euphonic 
by Norman spellers ; and so the form is " Stan- well." 



91 

Then we are tempted to interpret the name as East Aluui. 
But this is clearly only a curious coincidence, as the other 
names, Staweia, show, and as the definite and significant 
ending, weia, clearly indicates. A collection of the words 
ending in weia in the boundary lists of charters and the for- 
estal perambulations gives us a strange assortment of names 
of ancient roads and ways worth further investigation. Only 
occasionally do you come across a Magna Strata, and get the 
survival in Street and Stratton (D.B., Stratona), with the quite 
needless explanation " on the fosse way." And there is Over 
Stratton, in South Petherton (D.B., Stratona). They are 
often called by names of persons, and you ask, " Who was 
Ringold?" in such a boundary name as Ringoldt's weia (also 
spelt welle). Stawley, with the original spelling Stawei, 
is indirect evidence of the existence of the form Stalwei, of 
which Stawley exhibits the usual, or not unusual, misplace- 
ment of the consonants. Staweit is a mere mis-spelling. 
Stowey, as Stalweg and Sta-weia, means (if we repeat) "the 
steep way"; and it is steep out of Stowey juxta Chew. 

Of Stewleys there seem to be several in Somerset. There 
is a Stewley, alias Stileway, in Meare. This Stile-way means 
" the steep way " ; in fact, Stowey over again. There is the 
name, whether the same or different, of Stiveley and Stive- 
leigh and Stivel-ligh (in 1580) in a forestal perambulatory of 
Neroche, and there is the name in Ashill, Stewley. In the 
self-same perambulation we drop across the " hamlet of 
Estafway." Among the Somerset chapelries there is also a 
grant of a private chapel to Sir William Everard, of Stiveleg. 
The date is A.D. 1262. This is a portion of the civil parish of 
Ashill (curiously spelt Hashull in the names of villas, making 
us think Ashill is a corruption of Hasle, the personal name). 
Stewley is, therefore. Stive-leg or Stiue-leg, and "stive" and 
" staf " are the same as stab, a staff, and thereby reminding us 
of the name Stavordale. The meadow was staff-marked, and 
so was the way in Staf-way. No one would guess this from 
the form, Stewley, which shows that Stiue-ley was read as 
Stiw-ley, not Stew-ley, and then this is (as is most likely) the 
same as Stile-way and Stowey, the steep way. 

Wookey, Oaktrow.— It seems odd to bring these two place- 
names together. Wookey and Wookey Hole are so well 



92 

known, while Oaktrow is a hamlet in Cutcomb, of which we 
suppose that many never heard. Our reason for doing this 
is that in Domesday Book Oaktrow is actually spelt Woche 
treu — whatever " treu " (usually rendered by trow) may 
mean, whether treu, i.e., trev, tref, Celtic for a village, or 
treo, for treou, a tree, or a softened ending of a personal 
name in trud. How does Woche differ from Wookey? 
Wookey is, almost without question, usually derived from 
Ogos and Ogo. Vugg, or voog, is a natural cavity in a mine 
sometimes "found beautifully encrusted with minerals." The 
various spellings of this Cornish word are worth recording. 
They are vooga, vou, vugga, vug, vugh, vugo, fogo, fo-gru, 
fou, goo-goo, ogov, and ogo. Vooga, or some such form, 
can avowedly easily become Wookey, or the Woche of 
Domesday Book now called Oaktrow. Some of the early 
spellings (Edward I.) are Wokey and Wooky, and then there 
are other varieties, as Okey, Okye, Wokey, Woky, and 
Wookye. Wookey Hole with such a derivation is clearly a 
doublet for Wookey, which itself means a hole. The name 
Wokyhol is found in A.D. 1290: "Lands in Wokyhol" 
(grant by Richard de Bamfield, Canon of Wells). 

We have never thought to question so apparently satis- 
factory an explanation until we lighted upon Woche-trev as 
the Domesday representative of Oaktrow. Oaktrow should, 
on the same principles, be Okey or Wookey-trev, or cave 
village. Is it? Wochetrev (Oaktrow) is, we note, the 
spelling of a Norman clerk. In the well-known Wookey we 
are not helped by either a Domesday spelling or by the list 
in the Taxatio Ecclesiastica. And the earliest spellings appear 
to be in the reign of the Edwards, and Wookyhol in A.D. 1296 
is cited. Our belief is that a Saxon personal name is at the 
base of both these place-names. We meet with the personal 
name Wookey in Somerset. It is easy to say that this name 
is derived from the place. This is often so, of course, 
and is frequently traceable; but in many cases, where this 
is assumed without further consideration, we believe that 
investigation shows that an ancient personal name is very 
often at the back of both. The " w " is no difficulty, whether 
you take the Celtic derivation of Ogos or a Saxon name 
like the Frisian name Hoco, found in the names Hockey, 



93 

Hook. These names become also Hug, Hue, and, with a 
diminutive, Hocgit, which is not far from the mediseval 
Hodges. Now, in the fourteenth century names of manors, 
in Kirby's Quest and Feet of Fines, and the like, we find 
these forms, Hickestok, i.e., Hig-stoke, in Cannington 
Hundred; but what it now is or was in Domesday survey 
we cannot say. It is said to be identifiable with Idstock. In 
the ancient hundred of Andredesfield is Oggeshole, Hocges- 
hollow (1315). That is Hoeg, which has no Domesday re- 
presentation, and we do not know whether the name is now 
entirely obsolete. In the Exchequer Lay Subsidies is Hoc- 
combe, in the hundred of Taunton. Unless this is the 
place-name, Acha (D.B.), Oak, there is no Domesday repre- 
sentative. And again in this document we also find Oggesole. 
And there are the forms Hoggeshole and Heggeshole, there 
is Aggeshall in the County of Suffolk, and Agthorpe in 
Yorkshire. We connect all these names together as having 
the form Hoc, Occo, as in Ocingas and Hoccingas, at their 
base. The "w" sound before "o" is added after the 
fashion of the Somerset dialect, as, e.g., "the wull of it" for 
"the whole of it." It is Wessex speech. The well-known place- 
name, Woking, has thus the same derivation in personal 
nomenclature as Woky and Oaktrow. Oaktrow is thus an 
interesting disguise, and is not simply the " oak tree," 
memorable for somewhat or other, of which there is no 
record. Thus we do not feel happy about these words Oak- 
hill and other Oaks unless we can find out how the name 
really originated. It is interesting to find that in the county 
of Essex there is a place-name Agley which a writer on 
place-names takes to be a corruption of Oakley. The two 
names struggle for mastery on local guideposts. It is Oakley 
which is the corruption, and "Ug" as a forgotten personal 
name which is the original. But then, people do not like their 
village called by such a name of opprobrium, Ugley, any 
more than, say, the " hell-bottom " for Hill or Healh bottom. 
The spelling of Oak as a place-name in Domesday Book 
is Accha in the Exeter and Ache in the Exchequer Domesday 
Book. The modern German for oak is Eiche, and the 
Saxon is Ac. The particular reason for calling a place by 
this name can usually only be conjectured. There was a 



94 

mighty oak or some memorable event under the oak, or it 
was a boundary mark. Oak, a parish three miles south-east 
of Milverton, is, in Domesday Book, Accha. There is no 
apparent reason why it should be so called. And, Indeed, 
Acca was a very common Wessex and Somerset immigrant 
name in the eight and ninth centuries. Nor is it certain 
that this, as a personal name, is taken from the oak as a 
symbol of strength or manhood. Some of those names rather 
hark back to a form Ag, Ac, Ecg, an edge or point. 

There is an obsolete manorial name whose identification 
is doubtful. Mr. Whale gives Accheleia as Oakley, in Chil- 
thorne Domer, and the various spellings — Achileium in the 
Gheld Inquest, Achelaia in the Exon Domesday, and Achelai 
in the Exchequer — represent the name of an estate (accord- 
ing to Eyton) now only known as Hurst, in Martock. We 
are only concerned about the name. It is plainly Accha leia; 
that is, Akey's lea, as a personal name. The name Ake-man 
is, in full, Ecg-mund. Oakley, in Chilthorne Domer, is not 
in Domesday Book, but is Okele in the names of vills. 
Okele and Okel and Acle (in Norfolk) are frequent names. 
In the Lay Subsidies (Edward III.) Oakley is spelt the same 
as Acle, in Norfolk, by the sounding deep blue North Sea, 
as we remember as a boy. It is the shortening of a personal 
name. Perhaps Osketel, Oscytel, became Oikel, Okele, and 
then was interpreted as Oakley. Oke-le scarcely represents 
Oak-lea, nor would this be, so late, spelt Acle. We do not 
know whether Oakhill is a modern name. We have not 
fallen across its ancient track. 

In the same document there is "Fayrok," in Berkeley 
(D.B., Berche-lee). The place-name is now Fairoak. Berche- 
lee is the Birch meadow, as usually taken; Fayrok is, how- 
ever, a disguise of the compound Saxon name, Faerecg. We 
have explained faer and ecg as to their etymological meaning. 
Already mentioned, we may add that Eastwick, of Camer- 
ton, as the Domesday Book spelling shows, is not " Wick 
to the east " of somewhere, but the personal name, with 
the same syllable in it — Ecg, Ecchewig. 



95 



CHAPTER XII. 

Mount and Hill Names — Polden, Mendip and 
Quantock. 

The general rule with regard to mountain and river names 
is that they have a Celtic origin. This is true of many 
widely-spread European names. We might initially expect 
that Somerset mountain and stream names would prove no 
exception to this extensive rule. If Polden were derived 
from Pwll, a pool found in such place-names as Pill, and 
dun, a hill or down, then both these words are not Celtic; 
Pwll is a Saxon loan word to Welsh. A more elaborate 
Celtic explanation is that given in a paper published in the 
Proceedings of the Somerset Archcsological Society, in 
which Polden is explained in harmony wtih its physical 
situation. Pol is, according to this, an example of that 
mutation of letters which is so profound a mystery to all 
but the born Welshman. For example, as in the present 
case " P " will in certain collocations of vowels and conson- 
ants become " M." The mutations are too kaleidoscopic 
for untutored intelligence, and quite bewilder the sober and 
solid Saxon. The original form on these principles is Moel- 
y-don, and changed to Voel-y-don, and by a further muta- 
tion to Poldon. Now Moel is Celtic for a promontory. In 
geography we are familiar with the place-name, the Mull 
of Cantire. Mull in Gaelic is a promontory and a hill. Don 
or dun is also a hill or down, and thus Moel-y-don is a 
doublet or a tautological name. This explanation has the 
merit of being true to the facts of physical history, for once 
the restless sea rolled to the base of the hill. It was a 
promontory in fact. Place-names did not originate in these 
pre-historic times. In its aboriginal position it was sur- 
rounded by the swamp of the River Parret. 

It is scarcely possible to take seriously the suggestion that 
Polden is a reminiscence of the heathen god Baldr, a Scan- 



96 

dinavian deity, interesting as such an origin confessedly is> 
What names there are connected with mythological gods and 
heroes in Somerset, when tracked down, are really due to 
the fact that these religious names of gods become part and 
parcel of personal names, precisely as in the sacred scriptures 
we find numerous names compounded with the " abomina- 
tion of the heathen," Baal, in the Canaanite nature worship 
and the deity of Israel, Jehovah, and Jah. Thor, for ex- 
ample, in Thorlac, and the place-name Thorlac's ton, Thur- 
loxton, of which Luxton is probabably also an abbreviation, 
and other examples may be found in these papers. The 
heathen god Pol for Baldr or Pol simply may be dismissed 
as fanciful and without any certain evidence. 

We ought to remember in dealing with the name that it 
is scarcely so much a hill or mountain name as a district 
name, of which type of name we have several in the county — 
Gordano, Winterstoke, Wedmore, and the like. The name 
appears properly to include a district which extends to a 
considerable distance north of the Gary. Pawlett embraces 
a good part of the Polden Hills. We think it is a true in- 
stinct which discerns and traces a connection between the 
names Pawlett and Polden. In fact, sixty manors called 
Poholt comprised the whole or a greater part of Polden 
Hill. Pouholt becomes Pouelt, and then, by popular 
usage, an interchange of consonants takes place and it 
is Powlett. The personal name Pow, still common, is 
at the base. Pfau is a peacock. Pouhold and Pafuhild are 
Viking names like Wulfhild and Wulfhold, thus Pfauhold- 
don or dun becomes Pouelt-don, and by a further popular 
abbreviation Poulden and Polden. This explanation has also 
the considerable merit of affording the key to the meaning 
of the personal name Polden, or rather Pouldon, and Poul- 
ton, found in directories and clergy lists. Persons bearing 
this name are not all of Somerset origin, nor did they derive 
their cognomina from the place. Polden is thus written at 
full length Pauholddun. The same explanation applies to 
the name of the colliery village Paidton, which is not Paul's 
ton, either St. Paul or any other Paul, nor the god Pol, but 
Pauhild-ton, Pauelt-ton, and Paul-ton in easily traceable 
steps, or probably as once spelt, Pauhild-don (not ton). 



97 

Pilhild is a name found in lists of Saxon names. There are 
Pows now in the villages, showing the local persistence of a 
name through so many centuries; a persistence which is 
bound to excite reflection in the minds of the thoughtful and 
meditative. Another trace of this Somerset name Pow is, 
remarkably enough, discoverable in the place-name Poleshill, 
in Milverton, which in Domesday Book is spelt Pous-ella, 
a form which might well seem indecipherable. It is 
hazardous without further investigation into the origins of 
the individual names to assume that Paul, in Mount's Bay, 
and Poulhead, in Yorkshire, have a similar origin. They 
are on streams. When we find the double name Paulet 
Gaunts we know that Paulet is from the place or district 
name, the origin of which has just been explained, and the 
additionally descriptive surname is from a historical fact con- 
nected with the hospital of Gaunts or Billeswick in Bristol. 
Robert Gurney had an uncle Maurice, about the salvation 
of whose soul he was very solicitous. His affectionate 
anxiety was of benefit to the bodies of a hundred poor 
people, for Robert gave to this hospital this portion of soil 
or its produce to pay for the supper, that is the meal or 
dinner, of this number of people every day, and hence this 
particular spot was called Paulet Gatmts. The name Stoc- 
land Gaunts will be recalled. 

The other great ranges of hill-country are the Mendip 
(vulgarly called the Mendips), in the north of the county, 
and in the south the range of hills and combs called the 
Quantocks. And then there is the hill-country of the forest 
land of Exmoor. Mendip is not usually considered to be 
difficult of interpretation; the spellings are not of various 
types. In British Museum charters a spelling (A.D. 1236) 
is that of " Menedype belonging to Priddy and Harptree." 
But we may note that there is an obsolete manor. Menu, 
in the Carhampton hundred ; the same word is also found in 
the place-name Mane-wurda, also an obsolete name, but 
which was in the days of the great land inquisition the de- 
signation of a manor or ownership. Mane-wurde is appar- 
ently Manworth. There is a name, we remember, in the fen- 
land of Huntingdonshire, which was years ago called Manea.i 



'Compare Skeat : Place-names of Cambridgeshire, p. 53. 

G 



98 

Now in this name Skeate takes ea to be ig, an island of 
which form we have (as we have seen) quite a number of 
specimens in Somerset; and Man is the name Manna, which 
occurs in the 10th century as a personal name. It is the 
origin of such names as Manley and Manton, Manning, 
Manningford, and Mannigham. Now this personal name 
probably accounts for the obsolete manor name Mena also. 
There is, be it noted, a Minehead in Bedfordshire, and the 
same authority explains it as derived from man and head, 
whatever may have been the reason why this name became 
affixed. Mane-wurda is thus the worth or farm of Manna; 
Mane-hefva is the " head " of the property owned by Manna. 
Maneheva and Condicombe were Domesday names of 
hundreds, and so district names. It seems difficult to dis- 
pose of Mendip in the same way. The usually accepted ex- 
planation is that it is a name of Celtic origin. Maen is Celtic 
for rock, and dippa is Celtic-Cornish for pits. In the same 
way hefva with maen is the rockhead in Minehead; or if hefva 
is taken for haefen, a port (which is very possible), then the 
name means the rock-harbour. Another guess, made without 
regard to the Domesday spellings, is Hafod, " a summer 
residence." It is clear that all these and other instances of 
mane, mene, cannot thus be brought under one explanation, 
as probably they ought to be. But what is the origin of this 
word Man, Manning, or Manna as a personal name? 
Probably it may be from Maegen, great, big; and so it is at 
once a personal name, as Maen, Mann, and a descriptive 
word, than which none is more common in Somerset. No- 
where else did we ever so freely hear the expressions, " He 
is main bad," " It's main hard," and the like. It is thor- 
oughly characteristic and a quite archaic expression. There 
is a trace of this in modern German vernacular in manig 
and some other words. Stone pits (maen-dippa) is not so 
thoroughly characteristic or striking as the steep descents of 
this range of hill-land called Mendip. Here it may be par- 
enthetically noted that there is a local name Sparryhole, 
evidently a spot where (A.S., spaer-stan) sparry gypsum was 
found. Deop is Anglo-Saxon for steep, and main-deop, or 
the heavy or great steeps, is possibly, after all, the true ex- 



99 

planation. The personal name Mann may of course be more 

immediately connected with the root word mann, meaning 

person, anybody, in whatever way the name became attached 

to some particular individual as a personal name. Mine- 

hejva may thus, in the same way, be the great headland or 

the steep harbour. But it is to be observed that hefva is so 

frequent for head that the second derivation from haefen 

may be safely dismissed. The spellings are (D.B.) Mineheva, 

Manehevda (T. L.), and this assumes unimportant variations : 

Minhed, Mynehedde, Mynnett, and so on. The Anglo-Saxon 

heafod has a Danish form, heved, much like the Domesday 

spelling, heva. Grimm has treated the word at length. 

Heafod is descriptive of the extreme point (source or end) 

of a sheet of water. It is also applied to heights figuratively. 

Maen is certainly Welsh, a stone, but it is more probably 

that the Saxon heafod has a teutonic prefix, main, meaning 

great; Mr. Skeat's explanation of "Mannhead" in Bedford- 

shire^ may, after all, be subject to the same explanation as 

Minehead on the Severn Sea. 

Quantoxhead, East and West. Domesday Book, " Canto- 
cheheve." Quantock, near Crowcombe (D.B., Cantoca). 
The Quantock Hills as such are not mentioned in Domesday 
Book. "The etymology of the place-name Quantock is an 
interesting but rather elusive study." So it has been said. 
This is true. And that this is so may be illustrated by the 
enumeration of a series of ingenious attempts to explain this 
word. Gaelic or Gadhelic has been introduced here as in 
the explanation of the Somerset linches as inches, to which 
an intrusive initial consonant has become affixed. We want 
some more conclusive evidence of the presence of Gaelic in 
Somerset before accepting such an explanation as that cuan 
means in Gaelic a hill and toich a country. Hence Quan- 
tock is the "hill country." Again the far more probably 
Celtic source is suggested. And so it is said that it is perhaps 
from the British gwaun, a mountain meadow, and taeawg, a 
tenant in villenage.^ Hence Quantock Hills means "the moun- 
tain meadow of the tenants in villenage " ; and Quantoxhead, 



iSkeat : Place-names of Bedfordshire, pp. 27, 28. ^Edmunds : Traces of History 
in the Names of Places, p. 270. 



100 

the head or end of the Quantock range of hills. We may 
add that in the Mabonogian waun is spelt gwaun, and that 
this is explained in a glossary as meaning a willow 
meadow; and in the same romantic source teg means fair, 
clear, beautiful, fine. Thus gwaun-teg means "fair willow 
meadows." Teged is (we may note) an obsolete Welsh word 
meaning fairness. Gwantog, it is again said, means full of 
openings, and of the picturesque combes that run down into 
the sea and the inland this is accurately descriptive. We may 
add to these suggestions that (without any resort to com- 
pounds) gwyntog is modern Welsh for windy, stormy, and 
we believe that the stormy wind from the Bristol Channel 
does make itself felt in the openings. Gwyntog may thus be 
full of wind, or, as " wg " in Welsh means a country and 
gwynt is cognate with the Anglo-Saxon wind and the Breton 
gwent, it may be " the blowy or windy country." Then, fur- 
ther, Cantioc has been taken as a diminutive meaning little 
headlands. Without any jest it may surely be said that " con- 
siderable doubt " hangs round the meaning of this familiar 
place-name. Some may not have heard the story which 
surely is passing-strange. It is the tradition that Julius C^sar 
reached as far west as these hills, and standing on one of the 
loftiest summits surveying the attractive landscape he cried : 
" Quantum ad hoc." Of course it must have been his re- 
porter who shortened this to Quant-hoc. Yet another 
explanation is Cantock headlands, the water headlands. 
" Oc," too, is supposed to stand for oak, and cant is short for 
centum, a hundred. And so it has been explained as receiving 
its name from the abundance of its oaks. After this survey 
we may well fling up our hands in despair. 

Now it is said that an earlier mention of Cantok than that 
in Domesday is in the composite word Cantuc-udu, i.e., 
Cantuc-wood, in a famous charter of the 7th century, that is 
to say, in Centwines famous West Moncton charter. This is 
a grant of land by Centwine (A.D. 682) to Hamegils, Abbot 
of Glastonbury. These are the words, " in loco juxta silvam 
famosam quae dicitur Cantucudu." What Centwine did in 
A.D. 681 may be read in the words of Freeman. " He drove 
the Welsh up the valley where Crocombe was given for the 



101 

repose of the soul of Godwin by Gytha." The point is, how 
far may we take this spelling to be earlier than Domesday? 
For if we follow up the spelling then in T.E. it is still 
Cantukeshevede (1291). In the time of Richard II. Quantox- 
head is spelt Cantakeshede. Then later in the Nomina Vil- 
larum, middle of 14th century (in Kirby's Quest, Edward 
III.) we find the villes or manors of Catokesheved majorum 
and Cantokesheved minorum (identified with St. Audries). In 
British Museum charters in 1311, "Grant in Cantok also 
covenant on a suit for waste on Mons de Cantok on Bishop 
Lydeard manors A. D. 1314." This is enough. According to this, 
from the 8th century to the 14th we do not appear to have a 
trace of the unusual " Qua " as a commencement of the 
place-name. This combination does not usually occur either 
in British or English place-names save under Prankish or 
Norman influence. And the names even then are few. As 
far as we can at present make out, this spelling is not found 
until the 15th century. Of course, this " q " is in Celtic 
" cw " or " gw," and in Saxon it is " cw." But there is not 
an early trace of this spelling as in gwaun and gwantog, and 
the like. We therefore feel compelled to reject this intrusive 
spelling. It is Cantoc that we have to deal with for six cen- 
turies. 

The author of the interesting paper on The Quantocks and 
their Place-names^ says nobody has so far suggested a personal 
name as at the base of this elusive word, and he suggests Caran- 
tacus. And he says Carantacus was known to be connected with 
the Quantocks. The stone on Winsford Hill is given as the 
" Caratacus " stone. There are more extraordinary shorten- 
ings than this which are provable. But with this derivation 
the variations in spelling would, we think, have been greater 
and left some traces behind. We still think, however, that 
Mr. Greswell is right, the origin of the name is a personal 
name. Carhampton is Caerwen or Caerwine-ton (D.B., 
" Caruntona "). Cantoc is a compound personal name 
with the two frequently occurring elements of 
Cyne, Can, Coen, Cwen, and the name Tochi, as 
in Tocheswill, now Tuckswell. Both are frequent names. 



^Somerset Archcsological Society, Proceedings of, vol. xlvi. 



102 

And all the analogies of these place-names are in favour of 
such a plain solution. Cyntoch is the origin of Quantock, but 
who this Cyntoch was we do not know any more than we 
know who Wifela was, of Wivels-combe, or what particular 
Winfred it was who affixed his name to Winford. The 
British original of the latinized name Carantacus is Caradawg 
or Caradawe, a hero celebrated in the Mabonogian romance. 
Caradawe was the son of Bran. Candawg is thus a Celtic 
name. Of the Celtic explanations we think our suggestion 
possibly the best, because it is already found full-blown as a 
place-name in Mabonogian, but we do not find any parallels 
for Gwantog, " full of openings," and the like pretty attrac- 
tive devices. 



103 

CHAPTER XIII. 
Hams and Ings. 

It is surprising how little we really know of the history of 
many periods that have proved to be turning points of his- 
tory. History sometimes turns its curves with no rude and 
awakening shocks, but with the smoothness and stillness of 
celestial movements, and when it is otherwise it is beyond 
human foresight to see the ultimate mighty issues. The first 
inroads of the Saxons were a series of shocks, but much was 
done quietly. Perhaps the quiet and gradual settlement of 
Saxons in Somerset is partially recorded in its place-names. 

It is not altogether unworthy of note that we have more 
detailed information (whether reliable or not from the point 
of view of scientific history) of the Saxon invasion and 
aggression which drove a wedge into that Western district of 
the county in which Britons dwelt, and for ever separated the 
part of the Cymric race which became known as the Welsh, 
that is, the strangers — it is a curious irony that the name 
affixed to them should be the one which the intruding Saxon, 
who was the real stranger, gave to the race he subdued, who 
were the original possessors — from that part which retired 
into Cornwall, including the considerable number who still 
found homes in the fastnesses and swamps of Somerset. That 
these must have been extensive in area is clear from the im- 
portant fact that over one hundred thousand acres of land 
escaped valuation in the Domesday survey. These probably 
consisted for the most part of the moorlands. The name 
moor persists in at least twenty-one instances in relation to 
considerable areas, as Wedmore and Kenn Moor, and others 
noted. 

According to Winkelman, Geschichte der Angelsachsen, 
such fragments of historical lore as the upcoming of Cedric, 
his allies, and his army from the direction of Southampton, 
and the check met with at Bath in A.D. 516, when the Briton 
won a victory over the united forces of Cedric, Ella, and Aesc 



104 

of Kent; and the story of Cymric and Ceawlin, in A.D. 560, 
who finally took Bath and penetrated somewhat further into 
our county of Somerset, do at least give us more than mere 
surmise. For Norfolk and Suffolk, and for earlier and later 
immigrations of whole families and tribes, with all their 
Saxon habits and peculiarities and slaves, we have not even 
so much satisfaction as this affords. For the stories of Hengist 
and Horsa, and of those sons of Woden, Wilhelm, Wechta, 
and his son Uffa — after whom, of course,, his descendants were 
called Uffinggas — do not convey much information, though, 
like all legendary tales, they contain more than one grain of 
truth. 

We are led to institute some such inquiries by the pheno- 
mena presented to us by place-names ending respectively in 
ingham and ington. In order really to enjoy statistics you 
need to have a consuming passion for figures. The whirligig 
of numbers, especially pondus, solidum, and pennyweight, 
are to some as entrancing and absorbing as the intricate 
evolutions of a pleasant dance. To others they are abhorrent. 
Thus men supply each other's lack. It will, however, prob- 
ably prove to be no very serious annoyance to the former 
class, if it do not delight the latter, to be informed that, after 
some search, we can tell him that of principal villages there 
are at least a score and four inghams in Norfolk, and only 
one ington, beside one ingthorp, while in Somerset we may 
count nearly two score of the class of villages, properly so 
called, and of the hamlets and tithings attached to those vil- 
lages — so far as any ordinary directory affords information — 
which terminate in ington. All of these are not genuine 
ingtons, for some are the imitation article. Is this variation 
of inghams and ingtons an accident? The inghams of Somer- 
set are scarce indeed. In Bedfordshire there are no inghams 
and fifteen or sixteen ingtons. Suffolk has two inghams and 
only three ingtons, and amongst these a Lavington, which 
reminds us of a Somerset name. Cambridge appears 
to have seven ingtons and only two inghams. These numbers 
are sufficiently correct to show that there is a curious differ- 
ence that may be accounted for on the ground of dialectical 
peculiarities — Jutes, Angles, Saxons, are the usual categories 



105 

—or perhaps, according to the theory that in some cases the 
settlements were more prevailingly inhabited by considerable 
tribes where inghams abound, rather than by smaller families 
and single adventurers who managed to impress themselves 
permanently in their locality where ingtons are found. Or 
why? 

Indeed, Somerset can scarcely be said to have a superabund- 
ance of hams in the sense of homes, though no local boundary 
name is more common in descriptions of localities than the 
short, sharp sounding hamm, as low meadow land. They 
are everywhere. As for example, in A.D. 1324 the 
Vicar of Keynsham was entitled to a cart load of hay from 
the meadow called La Hamme. This mode of description 
" La " grew not uncommon, and many examples may be 
found. In either of the senses in which the word is used a 
distinction must be drawn between ham with a long " a," or 
hame — with the orthographical device of an added " e," 
hamme, which, despite the phonetic enthusiast, is a useful 
sign — and ham or hamm with the short vowel. Between ham 
and tun there is practically no difference in meaning. They 
both signify an enclosed farm or homestead. Now many of 
our hams in the West seem to be neither one nor the other, 
but as far as meaning goes are more nearly connected with 
hamm in the sense of a rich piece of pasture land, mostly in 
the neighbourhood of a brook, stream, or river. The word 
ham may be the same as hem, the land that hems in the vil- 
lage. On consideration it may not always be easy to decide 
which of these three is the particular ham meant, but where 
the physical circumstances suggest this meaning the short 
hamm is, perhaps, decidedly the most likely. 

As just said, almost every village in Somerset has its ham, 
its low-lying meadow land. There are numerous Ham- 
greens. In Blackford there is a West-ham, and in Crewkerne 
we find East-hams and a Round-ham, which latter is situate on 
the watershed of the Axe and the Parret, the former going 
its own way to the English Channel, and the latter prefering 
the opposite direction northwards to the Bristol Channel. 
There is Bath-ham-ton, in which the first member is accounted 
for without any severe research or exercise of ingenuity, and 



106 

the two following components are not a mere agglomeration, 
as at first sight appears. The name in the Domesday list is 
simply Hamtona, i.e., the tun in the meadow land. In 
Ditcheat, which is Dices-yat, i.e., dikes-yat or dyke's gate, 
there is found the hamlet of Al-ham-ton, which ought to 
afford excellent sandwiches; it is, however, spelt by Norman 
clerks in the suggestive form of Alentona. It stands on a 
stream now called the Alham. In the Bath Charters it is 
spelt Ham-tune and Hamtona from the 10th to the 14th cen- 
turies. The names of village and river have, we think, 
alike often accepted an intelligible but intrusive ending in 
ham. The true spelling easily suggests a Celtic river name, 
the Alyn, a river with steep banks or flowing by a steep hill- 
country. Similarly, in Denbighshire, a village, Trevalun, 
" the village on the Alum," has become Alington. There is 
said to be a hamlet in the parish of Allerton of this very 
name. It is given in a list of Somerset parishes, and if the 
physical circumstances were accordant this might be its mean- 
ing, though, as we have no very early spellings to guide us, it 
may be Alwyn-ton, that is, the personal name Alwine-ton, as 
Allerton arises from Alward-ton (D.B. Alwardi-tona). Here 
we may intrude the remark that as Alynton becomes Aling- 
ton, Edantune, that is, Edwinton, may easily shape itself to 
Edington; yet in the absence of some other evidence, it is 
precarious to set aside such early spellings as are not obviously 
mere Norman caricatures of Saxon speech, or where we are 
unable to see how the jealous Saxon changed a British word 
to the nearest Saxon that sounded just like it, and in Domes- 
day Book it is Edwine-ton. 

Of these apparent agglomerations we have already men- 
tioned Seavington, Seven-ham-ton ; and there is also men- 
tioned before. Car-ham-ton. The famous register here gives 
us Carenton. The antiquity of the name is certified by the 
fact that it is the ancient title of a hundred. 

In the village of West Bradley, i.e., Broadlea, or meadow, 
there is a hamlet or tithing called Lottis-ham. This is derived 
from a personal name, Lotti or Lotto. This Lot can scarcely 
have been named after the slim Hebrew who chose all the 
fair and well-watered plain, and left his unselfish uncle the 



107 

dry upland. Female owners were not unknown in those days, 
and some personal names now existent had their origin in 
female names. Lotti is probably a shortened form of the 
well-known name, not now so fashionable as in the days of 
the queen, Charlotte. The German well-known pet name is 
Lotta. Lottis-ham is the home or the hamme of Lotta. The 
name Lott is still found in the directories of the county. 
Isidore Lotto was a great violinist in Germany. We mention 
such facts, not only for the light they throw on nomenclature, 
both of persons and places, but as corroborative evidence of 
the persistence of a name affixed to a place. 

Gal-hampton, a hamlet in North Cadbury, may possibly be 
the personal name extant of Galland-ton. The name does 
not stand alone. There is a Galby, or Gaulby, in Leicester- 
shire, and a Gal-ton in Dorset; also a Galmington^ in Somer- 
set. These " Gals " look as if they were a form of the word 
Gavel-kind, which is known to be a sort of tenure. The mid- 
dle English is Gavel and the Saxon Gafol. Gafol-geldas were 
tenants paying some kind of small rent among the Northmen. 
The place has no mention in Domesday Book, and at the 
present moment we have not the guide of various forms of 
spellings. Gal is sometimes claimed to be Celtic. Gelli is 
the hazel-tree. It is then Hazel-ton. Green-ham, in Stawley 
or Ashbrittle, would seem to be self-explanatory, as Ham- 
Green or the low meadow land green, but the Domesday 
Book spelling is Grinde-ham, and this at once shows that it 
is not a characteristic Danish green, but the personal name 
Grinde, which is, we consider, a shortening of the intelligible 
compound word Grimond, i.e., Grim-mund, and Scandina 
vian. Altham is in Batcombe. There is another Altham in 
Lancashire, and an Alt-car. The " alt " is possibly the British 
alt, a steep place or highland. Allt is in Gadhelic a stream, 
and found as such in numerous Highland place-names. We 
do not expect to find this in Somerset. Allt is a shortened 
name, but we have no spellings for certain guidance. Aid and 
Eald are personal names; the name Aldanhamal occurs. It 
might even be Althelm became Altham. North and South 



'That is Galmund-ton. Galand is the Galamt of the Hundred Rolls. Gal in 
numerous names signifies spirit, cheerfulness. 



108 

Brew-ham are, it is suflficient to say, on the River Brue, " the 
meadow lands of the Brue," or homes on the Brue. Muchel- 
ney Ham is the " meadow of the great island." Michelney 
is great island, as Littelan-eia is the little island, and Middl- 
ney, in Drayton, describes itself. Huxham, in East Pennard, 
is Hucca's ham, a known Saxon name which survives in the 
name Hicks, which is common in the West Country, with 
which may be compared what is said on this personal name 
earlier. In Yatton there is Claver-ham, reminding us of the 
village name Claver-ton, in Domesday Book as Clafer-ton. 
Llawr means tillage, a spot cleared out of the surrounding 
forest or swamp. In Monmouthshire there is Clawr-plywf, 
" the people's cleared spot," or common land. Claver-ham 
is thus regarded as synonymous with this, but Claver-ton has 
the early spelling Clat-ford-ton.i fhe suggestion has been 
made that Laverton is the Hlaford's town. Hlaford is the 
loaf-winner, and then the master or lord. Hlaford in later 
English became Laverd. 

" That day after thaym ne went 

To do their Laverd commandement.'' — Guy of Warwick. 

But Laverton is spelt in Domesday Book Lauretona. We 
know laurus is Latin, and laur is native Saxon for laurel, as in 
Old French lorier, in Welsh llorwyz. Laverton might be 
fairly expected to be Laferton, and they knew the word lor for 
laurel. Here the " u " may represent the " w " of the Celtic 
word Llawr. Have all these a common root, as has been 
asserted? 

To complete the hams as far as available lists enable us to 
do so, leaving out such as are quite obvious, as Hambridge^ 
seems to be, Mr. Harvey, formerly vicar of Wedmore, in his 
Wedmore Chronicle, introduces to us the quaint local 
name of Picked Ham, i.e., a corner field, and Pill Ham, i.e., 
the pool meadow. Crickham, in which Crick is the Celtic 
crug, a hill, rather than krik, a bend. Here in his pages we 
positively meet with an ending in ingham, in the local name 
Dunningham, i.e., the home of the Donnas, Dunas, or 
Donnes. The fact that it has few, if any, companions makes 
it almost suspicious. Dun is a down or hill, and the name 



'See p. 43. ^A spelling is however Helm-bridge. 



109 

may possibly be an assimilation. The closely-connected name 
of Dinnington (" Dunintona," Domesday Book), will have 
the same meaning— the " home " or " tun " of the children 
of Donna or Duna. There is a Dunton in Bedfordshire, spelt 
Daniton or Dbnitone in Domesday Book. Dunan 
is the Anglo-Saxon genitival form of " duna," and so the ing 
is a mere assimilation. It is Dunantone, or " Dunns-farm." 

Lympsham or Limpsham is in Domesday Book subsumed 
under Brentmersa, that is Brent Marsh, as the property of the 
abbot of Glastonbury. It is so closely parallel with Lymps- 
ton, in the county of Devon, and Limpsfield in Surrey, that 
the common name prefixed to the ham or home or to the 
hamme or low-lying meadow land, and to the ton, surely 
accounts for both. Lymps is evidently a shortened name. 
In the reign of Richard II., 1393, there is the spelling 
Lympelshame. Also in the reignof Edward II., A.D. 1315,^ and 
as late as Henry VIII.^ This reminds us also of Limpley Stoke, 
which is thus Limpel's Stoke. An earlier spelling is that of 
the authoritative Taxatio Ecclesiastica (1291) Lympelesham. 
It is shortened in the 16th century. The name then is Limpel 
or Lympel. The names Lump and Lumpel are not found in 
lists of Anglo-Saxon names, but Lumpe is a present German 
name, and Lump and Lumpkin are now Suffolk surnames. 
Lumpel is a diminutive. A Lumpel is etymologically a raga- 
muffin, and a low German word.^ This is interesting. Ticken- 
ham, Cloutshame, that is Cloud's hame (as in Limpel Cloud), 
are elsewhere noted, with others. 

This introduces us to the " ingtons," which may be taken for 
the most part alphabetically. 



^Court Rolls, p. 200, No. 36. ^Estreats. 'Cf. Kluge : Etymologisches 

Woerterbuch sub voce. 



no 

CHAPTER XIV. 
Names in Ington. 

Ashington is (Domesday Book) Essentuna. Ashing- 
ton is not alone. There is Ashindune, a parish 
in the hundred of Rochford, in Essex. It is spelt 
Assandune in the records of the defeat of Edmund Ironside, 
by Canute the Dane. There is an Ashington in Northumber- 
land, and one in Sussex. Our Ashington is in the hundred of 
Stone. Essen represents the Saxon aescen, meaning ashen. 
The sixteenth century spellings are Assyngton, Astynton, 
Astington. The two latter do not appear to be more than 
mere instances of the tendency to interchange the consonants. 

Babbington is a Somerset name accounted for in Domes- 
day Book, Babbing-tona. This seems to be the patronymic, 
the plural form inga. In the Liber Vitce is the Anglo-Saxon 
Babba and the Frisian Babe. This is interesting on 
account of its exhibiting the spread of this name on 
the continent, as well as in English villages named Bab- 
worth (Nottinghamshire), Babing-ley (Norfolk), and perhaps 
Bab-Cary, in Somerset, while others in Bab and Beb are 
derived from a personal name known to be early extant, and 
surviving in our names Babb, Babbs, Bebb. It means, then, 
the town of the Babbs. Nennius, the 9th century British 
monk, or his interpolator — an ancient editor who bore the 
ingenuous name of Samuel, and performed his work so care- 
lessly or wilfully that we are left in doubt what belongs to 
Nennius and what to Samuel— tells us that " Eadfered reigned 
twelve years in Bernicia and twelve in Deira, and gave to 
his wife Bebba the town Dynguany, which from her is 
called Bebban-burg." The same is Bamborough, in North- 
umberland, to this day. Bebba is in this case the 
name of another female landowner. In Germany 
there is the town Bamburg (which is just Bam- 
borough) and the ruins of the Castle Bamburg, the Stamm- 
burg der Babenberger, that is, the original or race town of 
the Babbas. The knightly family is Babenberg. In Hesse 



Ill 

there is also a place called Babenhausen, "the houses of 
the Babbs," and another in Suabia which is the name of a 
Mark. It is possible that Baba or Bebba may in its origin be 
connected with Babe. In the Farmer's Directory we still find 
Babb, Bebb, Babbs, and even " Baby," which has thus a very 
remote connection indeed with a tender infant and long- 
clothes, and possibly, and likely, the well-known and 
purely Somerset name of Baber is just a corruption 
of Baba. Babba is the name of a "moneyer" from 
a stem which Foerstenmann thinks is originally derived 
from children's speech. Babba is Anglo-Saxon and Babe 
Frisian, both in the Liber Vitce. 

Names in ington require some discrimination. Ing is apt 
to be a delusive particle. Ing, meaning a water-meadow, 
is Scandinavian, and not likely to be found in our place- 
names; and ing or incga, meaning descendants, is found 
in others; while in many it is a mere case of assimilation. 
Thus, we have such words as Cannington, Burrington, Yar- 
lington, Lovington, and Woolavington, and the rest. Is 
Burrington the home of the Burringas? This might possibly 
introduce us to the interesting mythology of the Scandinavian 
race, the Norsemen. The Norse ship, with its Vikings, was 
a terrible apparition, filling earl and churl in saxon England 
with the same terror that their own advent had filled the former 
possessor of the land, the celtic Briton, to whom a sassenach 
was the equivalent of Satan. " God fulfils himself in many 
ways," and " lest one good custom should corrupt the 
world," he sent the hornet among the comfortable 
Saxons, the Vikings, or sea-rovers, the "hell-skins" — i.e., 
clear skins — of the snowy and icy North. They were sons 
of the All-fadir or Odin. Such was Borr or Burr. Thawing 
ice-drops took the shape of a cow. She licked salt from the 
stones, and the first day there came out of the stones a man's 
hair; the second day a man's head; the third day came forth 
the complete man, whose name was Buri, the father of Odin. 
The name Burr was the name of a tribe of descendants, the 
Burringas. This is undeniably pretty, and poetically striking. 
Burrington is a place-name found in the county of Hereford 
which would perhaps favour this derivation. It is a word of 
which the spellings seem to be consistent. Langford, Bur- 



112 

rington, and Berrow formed one manor in A.D. 1086. This be- 
longed to Earl Harold, and was given to Glastonbury Abbey 
by King Rufus. Most likely Burrington was the mother 
church of Langford, Berrow, and Rowberrow. Burrington 
is thus closely connected with Wrington (Rhin-ton) and it 
might seem natural to trace the name to this as Burh-rhinton 
and thus account for it. We do not find any ready authority 
for these Burringas or any German parallel. The derivations 
from bwr, an embankment or entrenchment, or bura, a croft 
meadow, may be left to take care of themselves. This last 
is apparently the same as the North Country word, byre, a 
pent-shed or cow-house; and the same word as Anglo-Saxon 
bur or bower. It is worth noting that the personal names 
Burr and Burrington are found in a present-day Court Direc- 
tory, as is also the name Barrington. 

The village Barrington was formerly called Barentona 
Regis, because it was an appanage of the King's Royal Manor 
in South Petherton. King Edward the Confessor was owner, 
" Ablata de Baritona." This name, according to some, means 
the tun of the Barings, and the derivation has been given of 
Ber-ern-ton, the barley ton or place, from which we get 
our word barn, as Barton is Bere-tun, or the barley-rick yard. 
Bar, a rail, is a middle English word, derived from old French 
barre, and is not therefore likely to account for a word 
known to Anglo-Saxon thanes. The sense is barn-town. 
Berin is a bear. Berin and Beorn are known personal names; 
Bern and Berin and Beorn in such names as Bern-hard. 
Barrington is Berin's-ton. This name Bera is found in Beer 
Crocombe, Beer in Cannington, and Beer Regis in Dorset. 

Brislington is an instance of a word which may easily lead 
you off in very various directions in search of its meaning. 
Of all the places whose names end in ington found in Som- 
erset, this appears one of the most puzzling, some 
may even think indeterminate with any approach to 
dogmatic positiveness. The place Itself is of some 
antiquity. Remains and traces of a Roman villa 
are found.^ Yet it is not separately mentioned in 
either of the compilations known as the Exchequer or 



^Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries, vol. vii. 



113 

Exeter Domesday books, and in both its area is simply ab- 
sorbed in the hundred of Cainessam, now Keynsham. We 
have not, therefore, the advantage of knowing what the Nor- 
man clerks made of it. Their quaint spellings are indeed of 
considerable use when we find them and understand their 
little tricks and turns by which some forms are disguised. 
It might, of course, be initially expected that to them all 
guttural sounds would be abhorrent and twisted into some- 
thing else. As a matter of fact, " gh," which the modern 
Frenchman finds so strange in cough, and plough, and dough, 
until, in weariness and disgust, he says he has had " enow," 
was represented often enough by " st." Bright became Brist. 
We ordinary Englishmen have ourselves lost the guttural 
sound in lough and loch, and other words. Perhaps this 
may have something to do with Brislington, though we can- 
not trace " st " for " gh " in this word down so far. Nor can 
we find the name in the Taxatio Ecclesiastica, compiled two 
centuries later by the authority of Pope Nicholas the Fourth, 
about A.D. 1291. 

Let us see. In the age of Elizabeth, in an action at law in 
Chancery concerning tenements, the name is spelt Bristleton, 
and, sad to say, the Chancery lawyers gave it an alias — Burles- 
ton. In a will of A.D. 1580 it is spelt Brisingtonne, and seven 
years later, in another will, Burstleton. It is in the seven- 
teenth century, apparently, that we get the present form, 
Brislington. Taken as it stands, the derivation has most 
easily been given, without further research, as Bris, the per- 
sonal name Brice, and "lien," which means a "fief" — standing 
alone in Somerset, as far as we at present discover — and tun^ 
that is, Brice's fief-town.^ 

This is historically interesting if it were certainly correct. 
Brice recalls a very sad episode in English history, for on 
this saint's day of St. Brice, or Britius, on the 13th November, 
A.D. 1002, the Saxons, under a weak and unwarlike King, 
Ethelred the Second, and at his instigation, murdered all the 
Danes in England, who were settling in too large numbers 
for Saxon comfort. This soon brought Sweyn and the deluge 
of Danes to wreak vengeance. Sweyn in particular would 
revenge the death of his sister, Gunhild. " Britius Bishop " 



^Edmonds : Traces of History in the Names of Places. 

H 



114 

is in the English Church Calendar. He was a Bishop of 
Tours, and died in A.D. 444. There is a church named after 
him in Oxfordshire, Brize-Norton. Brislington is, however, 
scarcely another instance of such a connection. The form 
Bris-ington would be accounted for as " the place of Brice's 
descendants " where Brice is an ordinary personal name, 
which is, we observe, still found in the county. This spelling 
may, we think, be safely disregarded. We may observe that 
the " 1 " is persistent, and must be accounted for in Bristel- 
ton, Burstle-ton, and Bristle-ton. These are the earliest forms 
we have met with, and they most obviously show that tend- 
ency to the interchange of consonants exemplified, for ex- 
ample, in the name of the hamlet Stert for Straet, i.e., street 
or way — a Roman relic in the parish of Foddington — and the 
delightful familiar colloquialism " gert " for great. Bristle- 
ton seems to give us the type to work on. The name reminds 
us of its big neighbour, whose inhabitants, taught by the 
masters of local history, are doubtless all of them aware that 
Seyer, in his history of Bristol, enumerates forty-seven 
varieties of orthography for the name of the ancient city; but 
the only two, it is said, worthy of notice, as leading to a 
solution of the problem of its etymology, are Bris-tui and 
Bric-stow. The " st " represents^ " gh," and Bright-ric was 
lord of this domain in A.D. 1064. The name Brightricius ap- 
pears as that of a tenant of the abbot of Glastonbury at least 
five or six times in the Domesday record of Somerset. Now, 
Brightricius or Brightrics-lea-tun — " the meadow farm of 
Brightric" — might by the impatient usage of speech be 
clipped down into Brist-lea-tun, just as Brighton is usually 
recognised as the lopped form of Brighthelmstone. Now, 
this is spelt in the Sussex Domesday Book Bristlems-tone, 
and Brightlingsea is spelt Bristlingsea-eye and Brystlings-eye. 
A Brighthelm was a monk of Glastonbury, and subsequently 
Archbishop of Canterbury, transferred from Wells in A.D. 
959. He was buried in Wells Cathedral in A.D. 973, accord- 
ing to Collinson. We cannot discover any connection of this 
Archbishop with Brislington, though Bristleton would as easily 
arise from Brightelm as Brighton from Brighthelm or 



■•Skeat : "ght" was a difficult sound, as it represented the Anglo-Saxon ht. 
They wrote "st" for "ht" as Lestone for Leighton. 



115 

Beorthelm, and this last accounts for Burtle's-ton as a form 
of spelling. The personal name at its base is therefore 
probably Brightric or Brightelm, which becomes Bristelm. 

This may seem too much of consideration to devote to 
only one name, and such length is only permissible (as it 
is certainly of value) as illustrative of the difficulty of tracking 
down some elusive names, and also of the fact that it is only 
on the groundwork of history, as well as of etymology, that 
we can arrive at any certain, or even probable, conclusions 
with regard to some names. We may just add that Bright, 
meaning illustrious, is still a well-known name, without the 
addition of either ric or helm. This would certainly be in 
favour of deriving Bristol — anciently, Bris-stow — from Bright, 
not as a qualitative, or rather descriptive, name — that is, 
" the bright village " — but from an abbreviated personal 
name. Bristle-ton reminds us forcibly of the name Bristol. 
To what date does the form Bristowe go back? In the Lay 
Subsidies of Edward III. it appears as Bristel-ing-ton. 

Boss-ing-ton is the name of a hamlet near Porlock. The 
Domesday spelling is Bosintona. In the seventeenth century, 
in wills, it is Borsing-ton. The earliest spelling thus connects 
the place with a Saxon owner, whose name is also found in 
the little south coast village of Bosham, on the creek, now 
fast silting up, on which tossed Alfred's fleet, and where, in 
the most ancient and quaint of churches, is the tomb, on the 
chancel step, of Canute's daughter. Bosa was the name of a 
Saxon thane or thegn. Por-lock, Port-loc — i.e., the " en- 
closed harbour"^ — is a place of considerable antiquity. It 
was the residence of Saxon kings, who had an extensive 
chase here. Bosa was the name, too, of the first consecrated 
bishop of East Anglia. The name, therefore, was not in- 
frequent. Bosington is a name found near Southampton. 
It is found in Bos-worth, Bos-ley, and some other places; 
but these, perhaps, require examination, as, e.g.. Bos-ton is 
shortened from Botolph's-ton, and Bosworth is (D.B.) Bos- 



'Gerard, in Particular History of the County of Somerset, S.R.S. vol. xv., p. 10, 
following Holinshed, derives it "from that notable rover named Port, 
a Saxon, who in the year 703 did much infest the coast of England, 
and left his name in Portland, PortshuU and Portbury, and other places. 
Port-locan signifies the place or residence of Port." The name is 
Pohta, and this would account for the spelling Potesbury. 



116 

word. In Bede occurs the name Bosan-hamm ; that is a 
genitive form. 

Beckington.—D.B. (1086), Bechintona; T.E., Bekynton 
(1291); MSS. (1260), Bekenton; fifteenth century, Bekynton 
and Bekyngtone in wills. Baec is a beech tree. Accordingly 
Baecantona is interpreted to mean " the town of the beeches." 
The Domesday Book spelling is Bechintona. Beocca is a 
name found in Wilts, Hampshire, and Dorset, and is here in 
Somerset. Bechin is but the Domesday Book spelling of 
Beoccan. Thomas de Bekynton, " the Maecenas of his 
age," built a " fair conduit in the market place of 
Wells," and derived his name from this place. As a pun on 
his name, he was called a " burning and shining — beacon." 
Henry VI. made him Bishop of Bath and Wells, for, besides 
his undoubted learning and virtue, did he not write a 
" judicious book to prove the right of the Kings of England 
to the crown of France, despite the Salique law"? He was 
the son of a Beckington weaver, and sent to Winchester long 
before the so-called modern " reform " of scholarships to 
school and University made them the perquisites of the rich, 
instead of a help to the poor. (It is curious to see how some 
wiseacres are just finding this out.) His monument is in 
Wells Cathedral, in more than one sense. 

Canning-ton does appear to be a tribal name, derivable 
from the personal name Cann, which Bosworth thinks arose 
from the tribal name of the Can-gi. Their origin was pos- 
sibly in the lovely and fruitful vale of the Neckar, for here 
is a great town, Cann-stadt or Kann-stadt — i.e., Cann-town. 
The same authority thinks that the origin of the name is 
originally descriptive of the place from whence the tribe 
came, Kan or Ken, a descriptive term like our Kenn, the 
Domesday Chen. Cannington is thus the home of the Cangi 
or Canns. The names Canning and Cannington survive in 
Somerset as personal names. The Domesday Book spelling 
is Cante-tona, which does not bear out this theory. Can- 
nington with this spelling is clearly a corruption of Centwine- 
ton. 

Chillington. — The double " 1 " is sometimes a mistake in 
decipherment for " tl," and the reverse, and here is an in- 
stance of the confusion, as one early spelling is Chetlington, 



117 

as well as Chellington, Chellinton, and also Chittington. The 
occurrence of names of places, in various parts of the country, 
of Chillingtons and Chillinghams, spelt with both the letter 
" e " and " i," is strongly in favour of the conclusion that 
the " t " is an intrusive mistake, and the double " 1 " right. 
There is no Domesday spelling, apparently. It is derived 
from a female personal name, Ceolwyn, and therefore means 
Ceolwyn's farm or tun. Ceolwyn or Kelwyn and Chellin are 
easy and intelligible transitions. 

Cossington. — Spelt in Domesday Book, Cosintona, and in 
the Taxatio Ecclesiastica Cossyngton. In the time of Edward 
III. the " fees of Cosinton " were held of Sir John Malet. 
In the days of Elizabeth there is a Cossingham as part of the 
manor of Cossington. There is a place of the same name in 
Leicestershire. Cossington as a place dates back to the 
Roman occupation, it is thought, and so the name is British, 
or it may be Roman. Cossington has a probable Roman 
origin,^ and the name is Cosstantin (Custantin) for Constan- 
tine as a name affixed to the place. Cosstantin (900-943) is 
a known name or spelling. Cossington is the corruption of 
this. If this be true, there is a relationship in name between 
this obscure village and the head of an empire, Constanti- 
nople, and it is a most interesting relic of the Roman occu- 
pation. We do not find any name Cos, unless shortened from 
Corsan, found in Corsan-tun or Corston. The Saxon, of 
course, took the name, and in affixing the land also affixed 
his name to the tun. 

Cucklington. — D.B., Cocintona (1086) ; Taxatio Ecclesiastica 
(1291), Cokelington; time of Henry VI., Cokelyngton. The 
" 1 " thus goes back certainly to the end of the thirteenth 
century. It is, nevertheless, probably an intrusive letter. 
There are many other place-names arising from the Saxon 
personal name Cue-win (the " u " is long), both with " o " 
and " u " in the initial syllable, as Cockfield and Cockington, 
as well as Cuckfield and Cuckney. Cue-win means the win- 
ning cock, and, as a name, lives on in Cockayne and Cocking 
and Coker, in Coke, and perhaps some of the Cooks, whose 
names may thus have more to do with fighting than basting 
or baking. The " u " in Anglo-Saxon, especially before " n," 



^Archtsologia, xlv., 104. 



118 

is often represented by the Norman " o." Coccel is cited in 
Bosworth from an authority as a word used for darnel or 
tares, and appears in our " corn-cockle." But Cucklington 
is scarcely the town or farm with a special liking for tares. 
It is Cuckwin's-ton. 

Dinnington. — D.B., Dunintona. In the sixteenth century 
wills it appears as Denyngton, Dynnyngton, and Dynynton. 
There is very little doubt that this is the same name as Don- 
ington, and means the town of Donne, or Dunn, and Dun- 
nings, Dinnings, and D'enings — names still found. Donna 
and Dunna were known saxon appellatives. We have elsewhere 
noted that there is a Dunningham near Wedmore. A field 
in the parish of Blagdon is called Little Dinnings. Edington, 
in Moorlinch, and Farrington we have also dealt with. 

Dillington is a hamlet in the parish of Ilminster, on the 
east, and is clearly an ancient manor, as in the seventh century 
A.D. a saxon Cartulary contains an account of a grant of 
land by one saxon princelet to another, his kinsman. The 
ancientness of the name gives colour to the suggestion that 
connects it with saxon idol worship. The earlier spellings 
appear to be Dilinton and Dylynton. If Dilling is a 
patronymic name (there is a Dilingen in Bavaria) the root 
Dill is one of the oldest in the language. There is a place- 
name Church Dilwyn in Herefordshire, between Leominster 
and Hay. Dillington is Dilwyn-ton. It is also an enduring 
personal name. Its derivation is connected with a root, 
meaning an idol. Dedwol-god is an idol, and the Welsh 
delw, an idol, is probably a saxon loan word in that 
language. These are connected by Skeat with dol, dull, 
german toll, mad, as a weak grade of dwellian, to be stupid, 
and welsh dall, blind. It is interesting to note that the 
present Cornish for a dreamy, sleepy, stupid muttering is 
called dwaling, which is at least expressive enough, as so 
many dialectical words are, as well as often funny. We find 
Dil-stone, Dill-worth, and a Dillington in Norfolk. These 
place-names show us that there is a personal name at the 
base — ^Till. Tilwine (Dilwyn) Is a name in the Liber VittB 
and Tilhere the name of a Bishop of Worcester. And there 
are names Diller, Tiller, Dillicar, Dillon, Tilley (perhaps 
Tiley). At Dil-stone, in Northumberland, Bede says that 



119 

Oswald, armed with faith in Christ, killed a British tyrant. 
He calls it Devils-bourne, which evidently bears out the repu- 
tation of this place as one where heathen idolatry had been 
more or less practised. Dillington would thus be, on this sup- 
position, idol farm or enclosure, the seat of Saxon idol worship. 
Fiddington.—D.B., Fitington. At the Domesday survey 
forty-three acres of moorland are subject to valuation, but its 
ecclesiastical value in A.D. 1291 (in the Valor Ecclesiastica 
of Pope Nicolas) is not, it seems, worth speaking of. Later 
spellings in the fifteenth century do not stray far from those 
of the Doomsday clerks. They are Fedyngton and Fyding- 
ton; and, time of Elizabeth, Fetington and Ffydington. In 
Somerset Pleas, twelfth century, Fitin-ton. There is a name 
Fitel extant, and a Fitel-ford in Somerset. Fitin may be 
shortened from this name Fitelan-ton, or it is from Feda. 
In the eighteenth century we find Finnington. This may 
clearly be neglected as a corrupt spelling. The variation of 
" d " and " t " is of no importance, as it is well-known that 
the Anglo-Saxon " d " (usually printed in that language by 
a special letter) varied between " d " and " th." There is a 
Fiddington in the neighbouring county of Gloucester, and 
Mr. Bosworth, in his well-known Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, 
derives the name of the place called Fethan-leage in the 4n^Zo- 
Saxon Chronicle (where Ceawlin, King of Wessex, obtained 
a victory over the Britains in A.D. 584) from Fedan, an army, 
and leage, a meadow. The same is Fretherne, on the banks 
of the Severn, to this day. Fedan-ton may thus mean army 
town, but as we may compare Fyd-ock and Fidiock (name of 
a hamlet in Bishop's Hull), probably it is a personal Danish 
name. There was a Feada, or Featha — also spelt Feader 
(cir., A.D. 1025) — who was a Danish officer in the army of 
Hardicanute, and was killed at Worcester in 1042. The name 
survives in Featha, spelt Fether and Feather, as in Fether- 
stone, and the like. The meaning, then, is " Feada's tun or 
farm," as Fidi-ock, in Bishop's Hull, is Feda's oak. Fydock 
is spelt Fydok in A.D. 1391, and Fydeoke in A.D. 1570, 
Fydiok a century earlier, and also Fidok as the name of a 
manor. This is one of the traces of Danish influence in Somer- 
set. Fidiok is a unique name, and we think it is possibly a dis- 
guised Celtic name ending in dawg, like Madawg (Badawg). 



120 

In the absence of variety of early spellings the explanation 
given is the most feasible. 

Foddington is a hamlet in the parish of Babcary. In Domes- 
day Book (1086) it is diversely spelt Fodindona and 
Fodintona. In the Court Rolls of 13 Henry VI. it 
is Fodyndon, and in Somerset Pleas, twelfth century, 
Fodin-don. It is Fodyngdon in the Nomina Villarum (of 
1315-16 writs). In wills in A.D. 1572 it is Fordington. This 
latter is evidently a corruption in the direction of intel- 
ligibility. Foddington is rare. Fords and Fordings abound. 
The assimilation is thus easy and tempting. Moreover, the 
don is evidently original, and the ton a corruption. The 
rareness of the place-name is paralleled by the rarity of the 
personal name Fodwine, which, however, is found. A dun 
is applied to almost any elevation. The meaning is Fodwine's 
down. Both holdings were once of equal importance, i.e., 
Babb's Gary and Fodwine's down. The spellings Ffarington and 
Foryington are (if the identification is correct) mere vagaries. 

Hamington. — D.B., Hamintona and Hamingtona. In the 
ecclesiastical valuation of Pope Nicholas, 1291, or Taxatio 
Ecclesiastica, it is Hemyngton. Hama is a Frisian name, found 
in runes, on a small gold coin, and not uncommon. Later, 
as in the early Norman period, it is Hamo. In A.D. 1084 
there was the Manor of Hama, now High Ham and Low 
Ham, in Whitley hundred, which is, from this personal name, 
tempting as it may be to connect it with hamm, meadow 
land, or ham, with a long vowel, a home. In Trent is a 
curious hamlet name. Hummer, which is said to be a cor- 
ruption of Hamo, but is more probably from the personal 
name Humbehrt. A Bishop of Lichfield was so called. Per- 
haps this is the same as the commoner name Humbeorht. 
We think it is Hamon-ton, or the town of Hama or Ham. 
The personal name Ham is still extant, and also Hem- 
ming. Haming was a known name in which in it may be 
that here, ing is the well-known patronymic " son of." Hamo 
may be derived from the old high German Lihhamo, a 
body, which later meant merely covering or dress. Such a 
derivation is interesting, as it shows us how the commonest 
names in modern times, having almost ludicrous associations, 
had originally a quite diiTerent significance. " Where did 



121 

Mr. Ham come from?" was once asked, and the prompt 
response of a naughty wag was, " The Sandwich Islands, I 
believe." The oddest and most objectionable of such names, 
which yet had a really respectable meaning in its origin, is 
the Anglo-Saxon name Bugge. People inheriting that name 
have changed it. In A.D. 1007 the name of the commander 
of the Danish fleet was Heming. There are three Reming- 
tons, two Hemingfords, one Hemingby, and Hemingburg in 
diverse counties. The widespread occurrence is an indication 
of a personal name. 

Hardington (D.B., Hardingtona and Hardin-tona) is in 
more respects than one a companion name to that of Rem- 
ington. The Danish or Scandinavian element is found in both. 
Among the Taini Regis Edwardi, King Edward's thanes in 
A.D. 1066, we do not find the name Reming; there is Ramon 
Fitz-Richard, who was " Lord of Stowey in Chew Rundred " 
in the centuries subsequent to the Conquest, and there is a 
place-name purely local of Richard's hill, which has travelled 
down the centuries since the twelfth. But Harding is of not 
infrequent occurrence in Somerset as well as Wiltshire. The 
greatest of the three Hardings in the county was Hardinus de 
Meriot, who in A.D. 1086 held six manors. Re was also called 
Harding Fitz-Eadnoth. A Harding held Crenemella, now 
corrupted to Cranmore, under the Abbot of Glastonbury, 
and there was a third, who was in attendance on " the lady 
of Bath," Queen Edith, at Wilton. He was her steward. The 
identity and the pedigrees need not disturb us. It is not a 
surprise that the name is part of a place-name of which the 
meaning simply is The tun of Harding. The Domesday Book 
spelling is Hardintona; T.E., Hardyngtone; in days of Ed- 
ward IV. the aspirate is gone, Ardyngtone, and we note in 
the east of the county a name Adringtone. Adryington is the 
same as Ardyington probably, by interchange of the con- 
sonants. Is there a possibility of the name Adrian being here 
submerged, and thus a Roman name lost to sight? Ing is 
usually regarded as a patronymic of Hard, son of Hard, in 
which the name imports just what it says, stoutness of mind 
and courage. We believe that the original form of Harden 
is Ardwine and Rardwine. There is a Harding-ham in Nor- 
folk, Harding's-ton in Northampton, Hardenhuish in Wilts. 



122 

A Harding may have fought in Somerset for or against the 
great Alfred ; may have been at the peace of Wedmore ; and 
possibly a Harding may have witnessed the unveiling of the 
millenial memorial to the peerless Saxon king, and listened 
to the eloquent panegyric of that monarch by the bishop of 
Bristol. Names may be dead things; we prefer to regard 
them as buttons which, merely pressed, kindle electric lights 
in all directions. 

Horrington is a hamlet near the cathedral city of Wells not 
mentioned in D.B. nor T.E. Later it is spelt Horyndon. In 
a will of A.D. 1583 it is Horringdon. In the 17th century it be- 
comes Horring-ton. The dun is original. Est Horyndon is 
the earliest spelling we have found in the Nomina Villarum, 
A.D. 1328 (Kirby's Quest). Now Hornings and Horningdons 
abound. In Essex there are three Horndons. In the Isle of 
Wight is Horringford, and Horringer in Suffolk. In the far 
north of Jutland is the town of Hjorring and a peninsula 
called Oringe, pronounced the same as the Suffolk town — 
that is, the final vowel is vocal. It appears from Sternstrup's 
danish place-names^ that Oringe was in the thirteenth cen- 
tury called Worthing, and Oringhburh, Warthingburgh. As 
Warleigh (Bath) is Heor-leia, or Worleigh, or Warleigh, 
Horrington may be in origin the same name as Worthington, 
in which Wortha (that is, Wyrta, an artisan) is a known and 
intelligible name. It is to be observed, however, that we 
have no indications of this in spellings. It is pronounced Har- 
ringdon, doubtless. Leo interprets Harandene and Haran- 
dun from the Saxon Haran, the hare. Some of these may be 
from the name Florn, but the Wells name and perhaps those 
in Essex may be from the genitival form of Heor, a Saxon 
personal name ; Heoran, Heoran-don. The name Warleigh, 
near Bath, thus gets its explanation. On the principles pre- 
viously alluded to, Heor becomes War. This is clear, be- 
cause the Domesday name is Heor-leia or Heor's lea. We 
are sorry to give up the pretty conceit that, here the hore- 
hound once was found in great profusion. Is this medicinal 
herb discovered here? — 

"An heved hor as horhowne." 



^Quoted in a letter by the Rev. Leonard Wilkinson, of Westbury-on-Severn. 
f'Sternstrup's Dansie Stednavn, p. 12) 



123 

A head white (hoar) as the flower of the horehound. To the 
student of place-names it may be instructive to note how 
the name of this flower has assumed the form of a well- 
known word, hound, by adding on the consonantal grip-letter 
at the end. The Anglo-Saxon is harhune. Harhune-don 
might be attractive etymology though wrong. 

Horsington.—D.B., Horstentona; T.E., Horsington. The 
spelling has therefore endured since A.D. 1291. K.Q., 1315- 
1316, is also Horsington {Nomina Villanim). The names Hen- 
gest and Horsa, the Castor and Pollux of our Saxon ancestors, 
occur in the county, for Henstridge is in Domesday book 
Hengestrich. It does not, however, follow that we can find 
the " cult of the heavenly twins " in the places concerned. 
For both Hengest and Horsa were names in common use. 
The root meaning of Horsa is simply a runner, but that of 
Hengest is not exactly known. It was only at a late period 
that Hengst in German got the meaning of stallion, for, 
curiously enough, earlier it meant a gelding, and further back 
than that was an appelative perhaps meaning nimble. 

Horsington is pretty plainly a corruption of Horsten-tona 
of the Domesday spelling, when already it was forgotten that 
horsthegn or horstain was the name of an ofificer equivalent 
to marshal as an official designation. The name Horsa is 
found in the names Horsleaze and Horseford, Horsey in 
Bridgwater, and Horsey Pignes in North Petherton. In the 
names of a charter of Dunster monastic cell occurs the name 
H or stones- dene} This Horstone is a form of Horsten perhaps. 
The name is compounded in almost innumerable names dis- 
persed through the country. Horsey occurs in Norfolk, and 
there are Horsham and Horsell in Sussex, and a replica of 
the name itself, Horsington, in Lincoln, of which the de- 
rivation may not be the same as that of the Somerset name, 
but another form of Horsa. Of the companion name Hen- 
gest, Henstridge is Hengest-ridge ; D.B., Hengesterich ; (Rich. 
III.) Henxstrige. In the sixteenth century are the forms 
Hendstrendge, Hengestrigg, Henghstrige, Hengystirge, Hend- 
striche, Henxtrigge, and Henstrige. Hengesterich has a pre- 
cise parallel in German place-names, as Hengst-riicke. Hens- 



'Balh Chartulary, Lincoln's Inn MSS., No. 845, p. 170. S. R. Soc, vol. vii. 



124 

ley and Hensman are, as personal names, shortened forms 
of Hengst-ley and Hengst-man. This may be the key to the 
transformed Somerset hamlet name called Endestone, now 
called Yeanstone, which was formerly spelt " Yenstone." 
The half-vowel sound is the dropped aspirate, like yeat for 
heat in South Somerset, and so was Hens-ton — that is, 
Hengst-ton. The personal names Hengston, Hinxham, and 
Hinks are forms of this Saxon name Hengeste which are now 
in use. Henskridge is thus Henk's ridge, and Yenstone, En- 
destone, Yenstone, is Henks-ton. Yenston is a hamlet be- 
tween Henstridge and Templecombe, where formerly was an 
alien priory. Hence the local name, " The Priory Plot." We 
did not like to separate the Siamese twins, Hengest from 
Horsa. 

Kilmington, in Somerset, and Kilmington with Kilmeston, 
in Devon, point to a Saxon derivation. Cwealm means in 
Anglo-Saxon slaughter, and Cwealm-staw signifies a place of 
execution, and as in this neighbourhood King Alfred gained 
victories over the Danes, it is thought that Cwealman-ton 
has historic reference to this. On the other hand, Polwhile 
in his Devon has among many other precarious derivations 
that of Kilmington from killi, a grove, and maen, Celtic- 
Cornish for stone or rock. To follow a fashion once estab- 
lished, the neighbourhood was the abode of the Culmingas. 
Leo, in his Anglo-Saxon place-names, says that tun is often 
united with the names of individuals, but never with those 
of families. This is, we consider, the tun of Ceolmund, a 
known saxon name. Ceolmund becomes in Prankish, Gil- 
man. The "g" and the "c" are distinctive dialectical marks. 
By process of assimilation to other names, Ceolmund (and Gil- 
man and Cilman) becomes Kilmington. Ceolmund is the 
origin of the name Colman. It is a compound word, and 
apparently means bulwark, or a keel of vessel. The same 
word Ceol is probably found in the common personal name 
Keel. 

Lovington seems to be accounted for by the existence of a 
personal name in the useful records we must needs mention 
so often, for there we read of a Thane whose name was Levinc 
of Luvinc. He was also called Elfstan. The existence of this 
personal name is certified, too, by the charter (if reliable) of 



125 

king Edward in A.D. 1001, in which mention is made of Lav- 
ing or Leoving as bishop of Wells at this time. The name 
Leofing is a common name in the ninth and tenth and 
eleventh centuries. One of this name was bishop of Worcester 
(1038-1046), and another abbot of Winchcombe. Leof is 
very common in compounds, as Leofwine (Levinus, Leuvin, 
and the name Lewin's Mead) becomes Livinc and Lofing, 
and Luvinc and Lovinc. He is called Lif-wing, which, if 
right, seems to mean swift-wing, a name therefore arising, 
as so many did, from personal qualities. Leovinc-ton is the 
tun of one who bore this name. 

Luckington is a hamlet in Kilmersdon. The latter name 
contains the same often-bafHing prefix Kil. This is, no doubt, 
the case where the spellings do not give a clue to an inter- 
change of letters in pronunciation, whch is best described as 
a corruption, even though it does proceed according to 
known laws of speech. Now, Domesday book, as an early 
authority, spells Chinemersdon, and this spelling persists in 
the County Pleas and Court Rolls, as in the Nomina Villarum 
we have the hundred of Kinemersdon, and in the 14th Henry 
IV. (1328). That is, it persists from before the Conquest to 
the fourteenth century and later. It is in the doubtful time 
of experimental spelling of the Tudor period that we find 
in the King's books, at the time of " the great pillage," 
Kylmasdon, and in Elizabeth's days Kilmerston. Curiously 
enough, there is Killamarch in the county of Derby, which 
in Domesday book is spelt Chinewoldemersch, that is Cyn- 
wold's marsh, or Kinwald. Similarly Kilmersdon is Cyn- 
maers, or Kinmer's dun or down. Luckington, the hamlet 
name, has a diverse spelling in the Exon Domesday and the 
Exchequer. The Exon book is the first in point of time. 
In the spelling of the names of places and persons there are 
some remarkable differences between them. This is one of 
them — Lochinstone and Loduntune. The former is in the 
later Exchequer book, and is undoubtedly correct, as is 
shown by the persistence of the name. Lockington, 
or Lochantun, is derived from a personal name, Loc (geni- 
tive Locan and Lucan). This name, as we find, may occur 
in other place-names, such as Loxton, Loc's tun, and 
the like. In the Scandinavian mythology is found the name 



126 

Loki, the Norse god of mischief. He is not quite the 
equivalent of the Hebrew satan, as interpreted in the later 
records, except that " he is the backbiter of the gods and 
spokesmen of evil counsel." " Fair in face is he, but ill in 
temper " — a combination not unknown in human kind at 
all times— and "fickle of mood," he hath but all that craft 
called sleight, and he cheated in all things." " Full oft hath 
he brought men and gods into straights, and set them free 
by clever counsel." This is the veritable Mephistopheles 
portrayed by the immortal poet Goethe in the first part of 
the great drama of Faust. The name Loki may have been 
the personal designation of some great Viking. But however 
originating, it is a personal name, found in other names than 
those above mentioned, as Locking, Locksbrook, and 
Locheslie (Lock's meadow), as the name of an old Somerset 
hundred, which, as a hundred name, has been extinct for 
centuries. Other like names are Lockington, in Leicester- 
shire; Loxbere and Loxhore, in Devon; Loxley, in Stafford- 
shire; Loxwood, in Sussex. Lexworthy is spelt Lochesworth 
in the Nomina Villanim, and is of the same origin. Lux- 
borough is, however, a shorter form of Loligsberia, and is an 
instructive example of the way in which we may be so easily 
misled if we proceed without any regard to the history of 
the word. It is, in fact, connected with Lullington. 

Lullington. — Domesday Book, Loligton. In the Nomina 
Villarum, Lollington, and the Lay Subsidies (20 Edw. III.), 
Lullingstone. In the earlier Taxatio Ecclesiastica, LuUyng- 
don. In early Chancery proceedings there are the vagaries or 
caprices of spelling, Lolkington and Holyngton. Loligton 
is a spelling by a Saxon scribe with whom the " g " would 
be so soft as to evanesce in pronunciation, and become Loli. 
However, before A.D. 1000 the names LuUa and Lulling 
are extremely common. It is mostly a man's name of pre- 
fect, princelet, soldier, priest. Lulla occurs as the name of 
a matron, and in a charter of Glastonbury Abbey we read 
of Carta Lullae Christi ancilla de Baltonshergc. Lulla lived 
at Baltonsberge, and was a " handmaid of the Lord." Lull- 
ington, therefore, may have had a male or female proprietor. 
The same personal appellation accounts for the place-name 
in Somerset of Lilstock (D.B., Lulistoc), and Luxborough 



127 

(D.B., Loligsberia). Beria is not the equivalent of burga, 
burh, although in the name in question it has developed into 
" borough." Beorh is a castle, or fortified spot, while borh 
is a town. Lulsgate — that is, Lulla's gate — was formerly the 
name of St. Catherine's, Felton Common, and the 
name still exists in the locality. Gate, we may note, 
obiter, may mean a way, or road. This meaning 
is still preserved in the north. In Yorkshire lips, 
" Get out of my geat " means " Get out of my way " ; " Gang 
thee own geat," " Go your own way." As bearing out the 
personal origin we note that there are Lullings-tons in Kent, 
Derbyshire, and Sussex, a Lullworth in Devonshire, a Luis- 
ley in Worcestershire, and a Lol-worth in Cambridgeshire. 
The personal name Lowle occurs in a Somerset directory 
of to-day, and doubtless elsewhere. 

Pointington is an ancient Somerset parish, which was trans- 
ferred to Dorset on March 31st, 1896. We, therefore, take 
note of it here. In Domesday Book it is spelt Ponditone. In 
the Taxatio Ecclesiastica it is Pontyndon. In the Archeologia 
we find that the manor of Poynkington was held by John 
de Montacute in the time of Richard II. In early Chancery 
proceedings it seems, if the identification is correct, to be 
spelt Portenton. This is at the time of Henry VI. Earlier, 
in A.D. 1198 (Richard I.), we read of Geoffrey of Pondinton. 
Pothinton is also a spelling, and it is Pontinton and Pondin- 
ton persistently in the Montacute Cartularies.^ In A.D. 1490 and 
onward it is Poyntyngdon. The variants are interesting. If, 
for instance, Poynkington was our only clue we might easily 
go astray, as also with Portenton. But these are mis-spellings 
or mistakes, as the type is persistent. The root is either Pund 
or Pont — the Anglo-Saxon peond, from which we derive our 
word pound, the village prison for strayed animals, which is 
now in most villages gone to ruins. In middle-low german, 
Beunde is an enclosed plot. This would then mean the en- 
closed tun. In Dunster is a hamlet called Bondington. This 
is no different from Pondinton. In the Liber Vitce and 
Frisian is the name Bonde and the modern English Bond. 
To take Poynkington as the clue is to forsake the type for 
an isolated spelling. Point is also an Anglo-Saxon name, as 



S. R. S. vol. viii. 



128 

in Pointes-stan. The origin is the personal name Pont, Bond 
or Point. 

Puckington.—D.B., Pokintona; T.E., Pokyngton; Nomina 
Villarum (1315), Pokynton. If the identification is correct, 
this actually becomes Perkinton in the Charters of Wardour 
Castle (dated 1316). In A.D. 1557 we read of the manor of 
Pokington. We may note that in a charter of a grant of land 
made in the time of Edward I. there is the name Poke-land in 
Cannington. We much desire to connect these, and other 
like-spelt place-names mentioned, with the Somerset pixies. 
Now, Pwca is a hobgoblin, and Pwcantun would be the town 
of the elfs, fairies, or pixies. But why these shy creatures 
chose this particular spot might be difficult to explain. Some 
Somerset people call a hedgehog by the delightful and sugges- 
tive name of a poking. The word is highly descriptive of 
this muscular-pawed quadruped, who burrows underground, 
and, like politicians of a certain type, only lets you know 
where he is by the dirt he throws up from his tunnelled 
tracks. They also calls it a " weant," the derivation of which at 
present we do not know. Let us observe that Pightley, a 
hamlet in Spaxton, is spelt in Domesday Book Puche-lega, 
and that in the village of Ash there is a local name, Pyke's 
Ash. All these suggest to me quite clearly the personal name 
Puca, Pucco, and Puch. Of one of the latter name, a comes, 
living A.D. 700, it is related that his wounds were miracu- 
lously healed by St. John of Hexham. In Frisian this assumes 
the form Buco. The names Buck, Pook, Puck are still extant. 
Puckan-ton, i.e., Puckington, as it is spelt by assimilation to 
places in ing, is the tun of Pucca. Pightley is spelt Puche- 
liga, and is the meadow of Pucca. Pyke's Ash is Pucca's Ash. 
Puxton would seem at first sight also to have the same origin, 
and mean Pucca's Ton. But in the days of Queen Elizabeth 
it is Puckerellston, and earlier, in the time of Richard II., 
it is Pokerleston. Here is an interchange of consonants. A 
puckrel is a small fiend or puck, and a puckle is a dialectical 
word for a ghost or puck. " She had three of four impes. 
Some call them puckrels. One like a grey cat, another like 
a weasel, another like a mouse. A vengeance take them ! It 
is a great pity the country is not rid of them." So says Gif- 
fard's Dialogue on Witches, dated the last year of Queen 



129 

Bess, in A.D. 1603. It would be interesting to trace Puxton, 
Pucklechurch (in Gloucestershire), and Pocklington (in 
Yorkshire) to these delightfully mischevious elfs. It is prob- 
able that this prevalent superstitious belief in those airy 
creatures, who play some part in Shakespeare's dramas, may 
have given rise to the spelling of the period, Pokerels-ton. 
We regret to think that we must bring ourselves down to 
plain and drowsy prose, and find that Pokerles-ton is Pucca- 
leas, or meadows, and Puckleschurch short for Pucca-lea, with 
tun appended in the one case and circ, or church, in the other. 

Raddington. — D.B., Radingetona. Having in memory 
other place-names like Reghill, in Winford, Castle-Neroche, 
in the south of the county, with the spellings, it is suggestive 
of possible explanations to find Raddington spelt Rachington 
in the Nomina Villarum, as Reghill is Rachel or Radgel and 
Neroche Nethir-Rached, with numerous variations. It is clear 
that the " ch " was pronounced soft, and not as a guttural — that 
is, Radginton. It is also clear that the second consonant is 
intrusive, as the Domesday spelling indicates — that is, it is Rad- 
ingtone. In A.D. 1533 it is spelt Redyngton. Rading is another 
form of Reading, where the allusion might be to the char- 
acter of the soil, as in Redcliffe, Rad-lynch for Red-lynch, 
or the red slope ; or as some think it is patronymic, the Rad- 
ings. In Luxembourg there is a locality Reding and the 
Frisian name Reid and Reid, and this explanation is har- 
monious with the Domesday Book, Radingetona. Four miles 
from Axbridge there was a " small town " of twelve houses in 
1800 called Rades-ham. This is the personal name Read. 

In truth, in dealing with the place-names with the prefix 
rad, we have an embarrassing wealth of possible roots. Ret- 
ford, for instance, is not the red ford, but, according to Bede's 
derivation, Arundinis Vadum, it is from hreod, a reed, and 
is the reedy ford. Edmonds^ so derives Reading, hreod a 
reed and ing a meadow, in the usual superficial way. The 
roots jostle one another as eager claimants. In the 
well-known mining village of Radstock it is said, in irre- 
sponsible local guides, that rad is the equivalent of road. As 
indicative of this it is suggested that in the immediate neigh- 



^Traces of History in the Names of Places. 

I 



". il.rtiWiMMMfaO'.'- '-**^ 



130 

bourhood there is one of the most perfect specimens of a 
Roman road known to archsBoIogists. If this were the deriva- 
tion we might fairly expect an early indication of it. As a 
matter of fact, in Domesday Book it is simply Stoca, and it 
has not the distinguishing prefix until long afterwards. It is 
Radestoke in the Lay Subsidies of Edward III. — that is, in 
the fourteenth century. Now, rad as a prefix occurs in dif- 
ferent parts of the country, in places where the red-sandstone 
formation is a characteristic, very many times. Sixteen clear 
cases are easily enumerated on geological maps. Radlow, 
near Hereford, is Raden-low, or the red hill. There is a 
Rat-clifie in Notts as well as Somerset. 

Rodden, spelt Reddena (we read of William de Radene in 
1255, and Elizabeth Radon in 1645), or Red-dene, may mean 
the " red lowland pastures," or Rodden, " the clearings," 
according to the meaning given below ; and Red-lea, in Upton 
Noble, is the red pasture. Rad-way (with Fitzpaine super- 
added) is easily deciphered as the red-way, but an examina- 
tion of the Domesday Book spelling confronts us with the 
surprising form Rachedeworde, and reminds us of what is 
above said as to the pronunciation Radged-worde, i.e., " the 
watered farm of Rached or Regenild,"from which it has been 
shortened, as we elsewhere note. And this Rachedeworde 
may, as in the analogous cases elsewhere given, be a full 
name, Regenweard. Regen is indeed compounded with 
many names, as Wealh, Wulf, Wig, and many more. 
There are other roots besides those mentioned. 
As, for example, we know that rood is Anglo-Saxon for a 
cross, or rather a stone pillar for a gallows, as well as a cross 
in stone with the cross cut in relief on its circular head. 
Road, in North Petherton, and Road, near Frome, spelt in 
Domesday Book Roda, and later Roode and Rowde, may be 
from this derivation of Anglo-Saxon Rod, the Holy Rood or 
Cross. In Domesday Book it is Roda. But there is a personal 
name, Hrod, known to Saxon antiquity. And Roden means 
a clearing, a place where wood has been cut. It is, indeed, 
difficult to say which, but the balance of probability is in 
favour of the personal name, as ownership was so often the 
determining element in naming spots not otherwise so plainly 
distinguished as to over-ride this tendency. Is it not so now 



131 

in common speech when speaking of dwelling-places and 
localities, especially when ownership in a family has been so 
long continued as to impress the popular imagination? Rod- 
huish is Radehewis. What Hewis means is dealt with else- 
where, as also Radlet, in Spaxton, spelt Ratdeflet in Domes- 
day Book. Rudlake, North Curry, is the Red-lake. 

Runnington, a little village close by Wellington (N.W.). — 
D.B., Runetona; Edward III. and later, Ronetone; in early 
Chancery proceedings, Rowyngton; in 17th century, Rown- 
ington, and (if correct) East Rommington, which spellings 
are capricious. The village is on the Tone, and it is a very 
natural thought that, as the stream is here swift, the place 
on its bank is called Runningtone. At least such a suggestion 
has been made. The spelling Runetona is by a Norman 
scribe. A Rune is a magical letter or hieroglyph. The Anglo- 
Saxon run (long vowel), rune, means mystery, whisper, or 
murmur, Runa is a secret counsel as in the Welsh rhin, mean- 
ing a secret. It goes back to a Greek word meaning " To find 
out." Runnymede, as is well known, is interpreted as the 
" meadow of the council " where King John signed the Magna 
Charta. Rhin, or watercourse, is written runen in a mediaeval 
document. In certain inquisitions at Bridgwater referring to 
Chynioc, it seems the abbot of Glastonbury had choked up 
certain watercourses called runes. Running is Anglo-Saxon 
for a watercourse. Running-ton is then the tun on the water- 
course. " The town of the council " is also assigned as the 
meaning,^ but the allusion is far more likely to the flowing 
stream, unless there is some historical basis for the idea that 
any council ever met here. Wrington is (as pointed out) 
Rhin-ton. Roncombe Gurt in Axmouth Marsh, where gurt 
and gurts, which in Celtic Cornish has become gut (and 
Somersetshire, gout?), a trench or passage for water. The 
allied Dutch is gote for a channel. Roncombe is the water- 
course in the combe. In South Cadbury we find Runney's 
mead and Rown-ham ferry, near Long Ashton. Wringmarsh 
is a regional name and means the Rhin-marsh. Rimpton is 
in Domesday Book Rintona, and is referable to the same 
root. There are early charters of King Athelstan to the 



^Traces of History in the Names of Places. 



132 

thegn Athelred, A.D. 938, and by King Alfred to Brightric, 
A.D. 956, and it is then spelt the same as Wrington. A mill 
stream runs through the village. Rimpton is the town on 
the rhin, or stream. Rinwell is a flowing spring, as a place- 
name in Essex. 

Besides Seavington and Wellington, mentioned in previous 
chapters, there are the place-names Wallington, Whittington, 
and Withrington, near to Stoughton, mentioned in Mr. 
Harvey's " Wedmore Chronicle." There is Wilmington in 
Preston Plucknett, and the curious name Nugingham. By 
the writer mentioned, Wallington is easily derived from the 
three syllables Wall-ing-ton. Wall is Welsh for stranger ; ing 
is the patronymic children of — that is, it means " the town 
of the children of the stranger," or Britons. The Saxon 
added insult to injury when he called the race that he finally 
displaced vi et armis, the stranger. This explanation 
may, in the main, stand, save that the ing is so 
often merely an assimilation, and is so in this case 
in all probability. It is true that there is the Frisian 
name Walle found in the Durham Liber VitcB, with 
the existent personal names. Waller, Wall, and Walls. The 
Liber Vitce is a continuous record of English names for many 
centuries. But this very personal name is probably of the 
same meaning, and an indication of Celtic descent. Let us 
observe that Wellingtons are on the border lands of Wales, 
in Shropshire, and Herefordshire. Wealand actually denotes 
the Celtic district of Armorica. In Germany are the place- 
names of Wallenstadt (i.e., Wallenton) and Wallensee on 
the frontier of the Grisons. Wallachia is the German name 
for Bulgaria. And thus Wallenton is the foreigners' town, or 
the town of Walle. A derivation has already been mentioned 
connecting it with the Saxon god, which is (allowing for the 
differences of the mythologies) the Latin god Vulcan. 

Warrington. — Curiously enough, the Shropshire Warring- 
ton is in Domesday Book Wallinton, and we ask, with some 
pause, whether this is possibly the case with the Somerset- 
shire hamlet of Warrington. This is, in the presence of the 
other hamlet named Wallington, scarcely likely. The name 
Werenc is in a well-certified list of Anglo-Saxon names. 
Werenc is little different from the Waring given by Kemble 



133 

or the name Warren, still very common. The doubled con- 
sonant is not original. Waeringwick is a very old name. 
" War " and " Waer " are no doubt connected with defence 
or a root, wern, meaning nationality, as in the old German 
name of Warinburg. 

Whittington is best known by a famous personal name. It 
is not difficult to decipher. Where the feline companion 
hailed from may be a more difficult matter. Nor does it follow 
that the Lord Mayor of so much fame came from a little 
hamlet thus called in Somerset. In the Liber Vita, and in lists 
of Anglo-Saxon personal names, is the name, both standing 
alone and as a prefix Witta. There was a Witta Bishop of 
Lichfield in early Saxon days, and a Witta a follower of Hen- 
gist, and a patronymic Witing acted as a witness in Kent in 
A.D. 824. Wittan would be a genitive form of Witta, or it is 
direct from Witing. There are three possible roots at least - 
Wiht, strength ; wid, wood ; and wit, wisdom — the latter prob- 
ably in this case. 

Witherington. — There is a Widdrington in Northumber- 
land. This is doubtless the same place-name. It is a sign of 
the south country to soften the vowels. " Wither " is a local 
name in Wid(th)eres-cumb. Witherwine (Withrin) is the 
name of a Dane, in the times of Cnut, Hardicanute, and 
Harold. The name is Scandinavian in origin. The race 
that conquered Britain was mixed, as is thus clearly shown. 
Other racial names will be treated of in due course. 

Wilmington is in Priston in the hundred of Keynsham. The 
Domesday Book spelling is Wimmadona. The forms of spell- 
ing throughout Wiilminton, Willmyngton, Wylmyndon, and 
the earlier spelling, in the tenth century, show that Wynhelm, 
Wynnelm, is the true spelling, and ton is here as elsewhere a 
mere corruption of don. In a Saxon charter of Stanton's Prior^ 
Wynlmaeddune occurs twice. There is a local place-name 
Woolminstone. This is subject to a variety of spellings, Wel- 
mistone, Wollmiston, Wolmeston, Woolmestone. A field- 
name in the Hilcombe tithing of the hamlet of Sea is Wilmin- 
tons. Here is the place-name become a personal name of 
origin, and then a local field name. Wilman is a local name. 



^Ba/h Chartulary, S.R.S., vol. vii., p. 27. 



134 

as in Wilman-leah-tun, and Wilman-ponda. It is, originally, 
we think, Wilmund, occurring as early as A.D. 844 in docu- 
ments, and is a Wessex name. It is thus Wilmund-ton. The 
names Willow, Will, Willey, from an old German " Willo," 
are found among early settlers, and is most likely just our 
word " will," in the sense of a resolute person, as a mental 
characteristic, and " mund " is protection. Once more the 
" ing " is an assimilation when Wilmund was forgotten. 

Woolavington, near Bridgwater. Wulflaf is indeed a fre- 
quent name, occurring mostly in Wessex, but the Domesday 
Book spelling is Hunlavington. Nevertheless the spellings 
are so persistent and the name Wulflaf occurs as a witness that 
we suspect some confusion, and that this is the true form. 

Woolfrington. — Wulfric is a name found from Edmund 
the First of Saxon days to Edward the Third of Norman 
medievalism. It is Wulfric-ton. It may be from the closely- 
cognate feminine name Wulfrun, the name of a Bishop. The 
first is no doubt right, and S. Wulfric was a well known 
Somerset saint. And the name occurs in the Bath Chartu- 
laries. Woolfryngton is surely distinct from Woolverton, 
which is Wulfweard-ton. Wulfrige was a Bishop in A.D. 901 
to 930. 

Writhlington, Domesday Book Writelinc-ton. — There is a 
precisely similar form in Wurtemburg, Reuthingen. The 
Domesday Book form may be written Ridling-ton, but if the 
" w " is original then the name originates in some such name 
as " Wryt," which is Anglo-Saxon for artisan, our Wright. 
In Essex there is a place-name Writtle, and there is the 
modern name Riddle. Yrthling, a husbandman, farmer yields 
Rithling by the shifting of the " r." This may be the origin of 
the name Riddle. Reutling would in meaning be close 
akin, as reuten means to make fertile by ploughing or grub- 
bing up. The Anglo-Saxon Rithe, a stream, is sometimes given 
as the origin of this name. 

Yarlington is spelt in Domesday Book Gerlincton. The 
pronunciation of these two words is but little different. The 
spellings later are Yerlinton (1270), Yearlington, and the like. 
Some attractive fancy etymlogies have been given. Jar or 
Yare, as in the river of that name, is water. There is a re- 
markable stream here (it is said) that disappears for a while 



135 

underground. The latest guides do not mention it. Yar and 
lyn, as in Lyncombe, are the two component parts. In this 
case it is Celtic. Again, Yarl is, of course, the same as Jarl in 
sound, and Jarl is the old Scandinavian for a chieftain, or 
earl. This would not account for the ing, which the deriva- 
tion from a Saxon personal name Gerlac or Gerlinc does. 
The personal name locally found, of Girling, confirms the 
occurrence of this name as an ancient proper name. 

A curious name, Twington, is that of a hamlet in Selworthy. 
It is sufficiently peculiar to be puzzling should a significant 
etymology be sought from local or other characteristics. The 
difficulty ceases when, as might be initially expected, we have 
a Saxon's tun to deal with. We find the personal name 
Twicga, found in our name Twigg. A Twicga was a moneyer 
of St. Edmund; and this may be Twicg-ton, or more prob- 
ably as we find the place-name Twyn-ing in Gloucestershire, 
Twinehan in Sussex, Twin-stead in Sussex, we have here a 
personal name Twyn. Twyn is also said as a descriptive name 
to mean a curved hillock or bank. Joined to ham, stead, ton, 
not all answering to this description, it is more probably the 
name given by Searle, Tuini, as the name of one of Edward 
the Confessor's thanes. It is indeed possible that the personal 
name originates in a birth-fact, a Twin, as does also Twicga, 
in Twiccan-ham. 

Here it may simply be remarked that clearly it was cer- 
tainly a predominant characteristic of the Saxon to call his 
lands by his own name, and it was of the Celt to give des- 
criptive names. " Proputty, Proputty, Proputty, I think I 
hears 'em zaa," is truly Saxon. 



136 



CHAPTER XV. 
Racial Names — Introduction. 

There are more points at which place-names touch per- 
sonal names than is usually supposed by the tyro in place- 
names. The study of these names is attended with, perhaps, 
even more difficulty than place-names. The personal names 
are of course significant, and the meaning of the personal 
name is assigned to the place. If, as a ready example, a 
personal name " Aesc " means an ash, then, though the 
place-name was called from the owner, it is supposed that 
the place abounded in ash trees. It is not denied that places 
did take their names from such circumstances, as Nine Elms, 
and Fivashes, and Seven Oaks, from the growth of the trees 
named. All we are saying is that there are many cases in 
which this ready explanation is not correct as a matter of 
history. There is always a tendency to an obvious ex- 
planation, and to assimilation of names. 

In the introduction of hereditary surnames the late Pro- 
fessor Freeman, the historian, discovered the greatest and 
most immediate change wrought by the Norman Conquest; 
and it produced, moreover, a revolution in Christian names. 
Camden was the pioneer in the particular branch of study 
which relates to investigations of the origin of names of 
people. If we are studying antiquarian remains, we are 
under no absolute necessity to visit a museum. The study 
of the names of the people In your town and village (and 
perhaps your own) — If you are an old collector of such 
trifles of knowledge, and value a literary curio as much or 
more than one that assumes the solid shape of gold or silver 
or ivory — will save you from a needless pilgrimage. 

We have no concern here with mere surnames, as such, 
in their manifold origins. One thing the professor men- 
tioned makes clear is that they bring before us the social 
life of the Middle Ages. They took their rise in the 
medifeval period. The trades of the time and their titles; 



137 

various occupations which no longer exist; usages and cus- 
toms and peculiarities, social and individual, long passed 
away, all gave rise to surnames. Names are fossils, whether 
of places or persons, and as interesting to the historian as 
the numerous oolitic remains, or those of other formations, 
to the geologist. 

The main classification is into local and patronymic sur- 
names. There are surnames of office and occupation that 
explain themselves, as John the Turner, William the Barber, 
Thomas le Fleicheur, i.e., the butcher. But of local place- 
names there is, as has been rightly asserted, no village in 
England, and scarcely a hamlet, which has not given its 
name to some dwellers or settlers. John of Leigh may be 
taken as an illustration, for " leighs," " leys," or " lys " 
are excessively common throughout the country. It is these 
that are of importance for Somerset (as for some other 
counties), which has its store of names indicating a par- 
ticular social phase of feudal landownership and great 
estates. It must not, however, be lightly taken for granted 
that the bearers of place-names, as personal designations, 
can always be at once associated with the families of those 
to whom they belonged in the Middle Ages. Nor can they 
without more ado be traced to Normandy, and brought out 
with the ease with which a saint is made to trot from the 
east, or cross from Ireland into Somerset. While this is so, 
there are very numerous instances where the reverse process 
is the true explanation. Saxon owners fixed their names 
on their " tuns." The name was frequently tribal, brought 
from Saxony and other parts of the European continent, 
where a searcher finds the prototype of the name on the 
spots from which the immigrants came. The study of a 
single name may throw much light upon the history of 
nations and their migrations. The Teutonic races. Angles, 
Saxons, Jutes, " left but few cities, towns, villages, pas- 
sages, rivers, woods, fields, hills, or dales they gave not new 
names unto, such as in their own language were inteligible."" 
The names may be naturally varied, but they were originally 
made in Germany. 



'Versteegfan, 1605. 



138 

It sometimes requires a hard blow of the professional 
hammer to lay bare the internal secret of a piece of rock, 
and it is recognised that it is often no easy matter to ex- 
plore the history of a name. The most obvious explanation 
is, indeed, often the least satisfactory, and frequently the 
farthest from the truth. "What's in a name?" A town or 
village will flourish or decay as well or ill under one name 
as another. If you know the name of the street or country 
lane in which you live, and from which you can conveniently 
date a business letter, why trouble yourself any more? In 
truth, we all have the making of a Philistine in us. What 
we most differ in is our view of what is worthy of our atten- 
tion, and while philosophy, or science, or art, or music are 
distasteful to some, various phases of past history, such as 
the science of names, is quite without interest to others. 
The romance of the present is not sufficiently obvious to 
the ordinary mind. It is even curious to watch the shock 
of surprise with which some persons are visited when asked 
what is the meaning and origin of the name of your village, 
or farm, or your own? 

In the Ashmolean Museum, at Oxford, there is a stone 
with this inscription : " Earl Odda had this royal hall built 
and dedicated in honour of the Holy Trinity, for the good 
of the soul of his brother Elfric, who in this place quitted 
the body. Bishop Ealdred dedicated it on April 12th, in 
the 14th year of the reign of Edward, King of the English." 
Earl Odda died in 1056. The stone was found at Deerhurst, 
near Tewkesbury. Odda is Scandinavian or Frisian, and 
may perhaps serve to remind us of Odin, the Scandinavian 
god of war. The name Odstone assumes the form of Hod- 
disdon in Hertfordshire, at which place there is said to be 
a tumulus or barrow made to commemorate a Danish chief- 
tain of this name. There are also the forms Hoddington, 
Oddingly, Hodnel, Oddington. We are also reminded of 
the personal name of the present day, Hodson. Odda is a 
frequently recurring name in the 10th century and in the 
11th (936-1055). No doubt Odo is a form of the same name, 
and it is compounded in such names as Odwine and Odweard. 
In Westphalia and Bavaria we find the Odinga, and the 



139 

name Oda occurs in the Liber Vitce and Odde in Frisian. 
The name is also found in Oddy. In Worcestershire is the 
place-name Hodsoak, i.e., Odda's oak, and in Somerset 
Odcombe. 

Closely analogous is the explanation of the name of the 
interesting village of Ubley, a place of rivers and streams 
of wandering waters. This characteristic of the locality has 
not influenced the naming of the spot, and it is indeed 
initially tempting to be content with the surface explanation. 
Ub-ley is just up-lea, the meadow on the slopes, for indeed 
much of the parish does lie picturesquely on the darkling 
sides of many-wooded Mendip. Uptons are numerous, but 
in some cases even this is only a popular form of a very 
different word, even as " Upton "-on-Severn is a name of 
a Roman town with a Roman name put by slipshod speech 
into intelligible shape. The old spelling of the name is 
variously Oba, Ubba, and Hubba. In Domesday Book it 
is supposed to be Tumbeli. An imaginative etymologist 
of poetic mind refers to a passage in a canto of 
Malory's " Morte d'Arthur." Ubbley-bredes are sacra- 
mental cakes. An oble is a kind of wafer cake. " Ete the 
obletes and thou shalt have deliverance bathe aboyne and 
bynethe." An oblete to our mediseval German cousins was 
the like. It is clearly oblata or offerings — " our oblations." 
But in what way the village name so called can be so ex- 
plained is not so easy to see. 

Ubley is clearly derived from a personal name. That the 
name was by no means an unknown one is illustrated by the 
story of Edmund, King and Martyr. It was a certain Ubba 
or Hubba (it was a Wessex and a Mercian name) who was 
a Danish or Frisian chief in 870 A.D., who offered life to 
Edmund if he would renounce Christianity. The offer was 
made in vain. Edmund was steadily faithful. They tied 
Edmund to an oak tree, and he was shot by Ubba, whose 
bolt lay embedded in the martyr's heart; and it is said that 
the actual bolt so discovered is one of the objects of his- 
torical interest in the British Museum. It is not, however, 
hereby suggested that this bloodthirsty Dane, and un- 
righteous slayer of the saints, was the same who delighted 



140 

in the possession of a pretty little property under the deep 
shadow of the Mendip. In the Somerset Pleas (13th century) 
the spelling is Hubbelegh. In various existent legal docu- 
ments of the parish of Ubley, at the court of the parson, 
the name is spelt invariably with an " o," Obley and Obbeley 
in the 17th century. In the North, where there is often a 
very great and unreasonable prejudice in favour of prefixing 
the aspirate to words where it is not required — possibly ex- 
pressive of the Northerners' superflous vocal energy — it 
assumes the form Hubber, in Hubber's-holme, and even in 
Pembroke it is Hubberstone. There is a local name in 
Farmborough called Hobb's Wall, which it may be suggested 
is a popular corruption of " Obbesal " or Obbe's hill. The 
personal derivable names are Hobbs and Hobson. 

A very similar instance is also found in the name of a 
Danish Viking, Othere. The Saxon otyre is given as a trans- 
lation of the Latin liitrichis, the otter. Personal names were 
often taken from animals, or the figure-head of a vessel — 
in which the ancient seafaring adventurer went in search of 
a conquest and a settlement in a pleasant, fruitful pasture- 
would give the name to the owner-chief. In the numerous 
place-names (of which a fairly large number can be reckoned 
in the different counties) beginning with otter, as our Otter- 
ford, and Ottery St. Mary, in the neighbouring Devon, and 
Otterhampton and Ottersey, whether the name is that of 
the Viking or the animal, the meaning is precisely the same. 
In Yorkshire Huddersfield is called, in popular parlance, 
Huthersfield, which is most evidently the same name. 

Baltonsborough has the somewhat rare characteristic of 
standing alone in any list of the towns and villages of 
England. There is nothing quite like it. This is a personal 
name. Its varied spellings are Balstonburie, Baltesburgh, 
Balton, Baltonsberghe, Belchinborrowe, and perhaps Balse- 
burghe. In Domesday Book it is spelt Baltunesberga. This 
is not Ball-tun-berg, but Baldhun-berg, and proves the ex- 
istence of the name Baldhun or Bealdhun, as well as Bait or 
Baldhere and Beald or Beak and Balthhildis or Balthild. 
But, of course, this name has a root-meaning, for " bald " 
means bold or swift, and " hun " is apparently a racial ending. 



141 

Thus the original bearer of the name derived it from his 
personal qualities. And we further see that in all such cases 
the association between the owner of the soil and the place 
became so firm as to leave a permanent trace. 

After the Peace of Wedmore in 878 A.D., and when the 
genius and moral enthusiasm of Alfred the Great, by his 
daily toils, secured peace and good government, then Dane 
and Saxon lived side by side, and continued to do so in the 
subsequent generations; but the Saxon absorbed the Dane, 
as he afterwards did the Norman. When Hobsons and 
Hodders (both of which seem to be derived from Obba and 
Odda) and Hardinges and Bords had forgotten their Scan- 
dinavian descent, even when it reappeared in the physical 
traces which mark the race, they remained peaceful 
neighbours. 

Chard is Saxon. The name carries us back four hundred years 
before the Peace of Wedmore. A band of Saxons struggled 
and fought their way up from Southampton Water, and slew 
five thousand dark-eyed, black-haired Britons on their way. 
The Crown then was set upon the head of Cerdric as first 
King of the West Saxons (519-534 A.D.). Cerdric became 
a frequent name, for it by no means follows that a place 
derived its title from a particular overlord whose history we 
can now trace. History has not always been so kind. But 
this advance of Cerdric was checked. New invasions of a 
more determined character, a hundred years later, converted 
much of Britain into England. Old Sarum and Bath fell, and 
the uplands along the line of the Severn became a prey to 
the Saxon, and the Saxon put a large stamp upon all that 
he held or acquired, as he does now. Charlton is the town of 
the Saxon freemen, or churls ; Charlcombe, or Cherlcombe. 

Chard is written in Domesday Book Cerdre and the type 
of spellings are fairly persistent. The form "Chard" is a 
Prankish form where the " c " is pronounced soft, as " Karl " 
becomes Charles. There is a seal of Cherde in A.D. 1400, and 
of a Walter Bluett in 1363, which latter is interesting in connec- 
tion with the name of Hinton Blewitt. Charlynch, too, is 
Chardelynch— Cherdelynich shortened to Cherlynch. Char- 
lynch is thus Cerdric's lynch. A lynch, or linch, is a balk 



142 

of land, a bank, or boundary for the division of land, and 
also a ledge or wooded cliff. The element occurs in Moor- 
lynch, Redlynch, Stocklynch Magdalen, and Stocklynch 
Ottersay. Stock is, of course. Stoke, from stoc, the stem 
or main part of a tree, for it was around the sacred tree 
the village and primitive hamlet rose, and on which, as among 
some savage races, an image of the god was carved. Still 
another Saxon noble to keep Cerdric and the Scandinavians 
in countenance is Kinwardstone, whose name is changed into 
a form the hero (if he was one) would scarcely recognise, that 
of Kingweston, that is Cyneweards-ton. 

Badgworth is near Axbridge (3 miles). The various spell- 
ings are these : — Bageworth and Baggeworth in the fourteenth 
century; also called North and Nethyr-baggeworth. The 
Domesday Book spelling is Bagewerra. In the same Domes- 
day hundred of Bimastone (Bempstone) is Werra, identified 
with Weare (over and under) a large village near the 
Axe. This is curious, as then Badgworth is Bagwear and 
the ending worth, a farmstead (usually watered), is a corrupt 
form. It is Baggeworth in 1297, Taxatio Ecclesiastica, and 
henceforth. In the time of Elizabeth and onward we find 
Badgworth. The " d " appears, therefore, merely a literal 
sign of the soft pronunciation of the " g's," and does not 
suggest to us Badoc or Madoc. Bougi and Boudi are alike 
Celtic Cornish for cattle shelter; while gwer is British for 
a meadow. Amid the surrounding damp moors of Wedmore, 
where grew the sphagnum or bog moss; the cotton grass 
with its white tufts ; the weide or withy ; and where revelled 
the snipe; where the moor-hen popped in and out of leafy 
shelter ; where the whirr of the wild ducks' wings was heard, 
there uplifted itself a place of grass and shelter for sheep and 
kine. In the Lay Subsidies we read Upweare cum hamel 
(with the hamlets) of Bagworth, Clywore (Clewer) Were 
Burgos {i.e., Weare as a borough). In Saxon lists of names 
we find the names Bago, Bego, and this is either the name 
of the Weare or, assuming the incorrectness of Domesday 
Book in light of subsequent spellings, then it is Bag's-worth. 
We meet with this personal name more than once. The Celtic 
derivation must be abandoned. 



143 

Churchill is a straggling village situated in a pleasant valley 
screened by the steep ascent of Sandford Hill. It is, of 
course, variously spelt Curichill, Cheirchil, Chercheile, 
Churchull, and Churchill. One of the important words 
which Christian technology gave to Celt, Briton, and Teuton 
alike was that derived from a Greek ecclesiastical source, 
which appears as cyric, circe, kirk, cherche, church. The 
forms are not without order. The Anglo-Saxon is cyrice, 
and accounts for the first, and this became later circe, whence 
kirk. The Middle English is chirche, chireche. The name 
indicates Church property, as distinguished from that of the 
Baron. At the end of the 12th century, in the time of 
Reginald Fitz Jocelyn, Bishop of Wells, we read the name 
Robert de Cerceles.i This is identified with Churchill in 
Banwell. The name has, however, been connected with that 
of Roger de Corcelle before mentioned. There were not six 
hundreds of Somerset in which this ubiquitous feudal " land- 
grabber " — to use the sweet phrase of the modern Socialist — 
had not some interest. In 1086 he held no fewer than one 
hundred and eight estates previously held by his father. A 
writer who is content with Delineations of Somersetshire,^ 
confining himself to interesting notes on the north-western 
division, tells us that the place derived its name from Roger 
de Courcil, or Curcelle, a famous chieftain who came over 
at the conquest who, amongst other rewards for his ser- 
vices, had the grant of the lordship of Churchill, where he 
took up his abode, and assumed the name of Courcil, instead 
of the Norman surname de Leon. Collinson, who attempted 
to describe the whole county, and thereby took on his 
shoulders a burden which the strongest literary Atlas could 
scarcely carry, calls this a fable. He appears to be right, for 
Churchill as a manor had no existence at the conquest, and 
has no mention in the survey. It is apparently included in 
Banewella, as the acreage shows. The place arose later, as 
the name spellings imply. It was further part of the Bishop's 
manor of Banwell — hence its name as an ecclesiastical estate. 
At the date of the above item from the Bruton Chartulary 
it appears that property here was held by others than the 



^Bruton Cartulary, S.R.S., vol. viii., p. 30. ^Rutter. 



144 

Church. Eyton shows that Courcelle had property hard by^ 
at Blackmore in Churchill and at " Pantesheda " in Banwell. 
This seems to favour the derivation from the personal name 
Courcelle, as also do the 12th and 13th century spellings. 

Timsbury would clearly appear to have its origin in 
a personal name such as the Saxon Timbra or Tinber. The 
Domesday Book spelling is Timesberua, and later spellings are 
Timsboro, Tymesborowe, and Tymsbrey. In the Bath 
Chartulary^ there are gifts of tythes of Timmbres-baur to the 
Cluniac Priory of Monkton Farley in Wiltshire.^ This is in 
the middle of the 12th century {cir. 1130). In the Taxatio 
Ecclesiastica it is Tymbris-barwe. It is known that land was 
given for the reparation of churches. Terra data ad aedficia 
reparanda, and monastic buildings. Other places in Somerset 
are supposed to bear interesting witness to the care our fore- 
fathers had for those sacred fanes, " the bulwarks of our 
land," such as Timmer-combe (and Timbra-combe) in the 
hundred of Carhampton, and perhaps Tentlands, pronounced 
Temp-lands, a locality near Wedmore.^ The personal name 
is in each case far more likely, and may be regarded as 
certain. We have the modern name Timbs, supposed to be 
a modification of Tim, short for Timothy. And Timber- 
combe is from the Saxon personal name also. 

Of Harptree the explanation of a local savant was that by 
the water course, where are the withys, the dispersed Jews 
hung their harps. To him the English are the lost ten tribes. 
Another explanation, less far fetched, is that here was a tree 
having much the shape of a harp ; and thirdly, it is derived from 
the local situation, from two Celtic roots : hwpp, a slope, and 
tref, tre, a village. The man in the meadow calls it " Artre," 
and singularly enough, in an ancient mediseval map this is the 
spelling given. Here we are nearer the right explanation 
than in the above, or in the further suggestion that this was 
one of the places in which a guild of harpers dwelt : the 
harpers who frequented the merry board of prince and noble, 
and afforded the assembled guests the only musical and 
literary entertainment they ever got in those days. In the 



'Eyton : Domesday Studies, vol. ii., p. 62. ^S.R.S., vol. vii., p. 32., pt. 
'See Dugdale Monasticon, v. 24. * Wedmore Chronicle. 



145 

Domesday Survey the spellings are Harptrev or Harptreu, 
as part of one of the manors (once more) of Episcopus 
Constatiensis, already known to us as the hungry devourer 
of manors, Geoffrey de Moubray, St. Lo, Bishop of 
Coutance. Ar-tre is the compound of ar, cultivated land, 
and tre, a village, a clearing in the forest land by which it 
was surrounded. Ardar is Celtic Cornish for a ploughman, 
and is possibly the original form of the somewhat rare per- 
sonal name Arter. But Ar-tre would be unintelligible to 
Saxon and Norman alike, while Harptree is a decipherable 
name. Who has not found himself supposing that a strange- 
sounding archaic word falling from the lips of the villager 
is only a corruption of some well-known vocable instead of 
being, as it often is, a relic of a vanished mode of speech? 
The spellings of Harptre, commencing with Domesday Book 
Harpedreu and Harpetreu, giving no indication of the 
omission of the " p " save in the map alluded to, that we 
cannot set aside this evidence. A personal name lies at the 
base, and this is the old name Hyrp found in Kemble's 
Hyrpes-ham^ and in the common form Eorp and Earp. The 
ending is not Celtic, but probably an abbreviation of a 
feminine ending of the name Eorptryth, a ladies' name. There 
are also the names South-Harp, a local hamlet name, and 
Harpford. There are the personal names in the Liber Vitce, 
Earpe and Arpe (Frisian) .^ 

Somerset has had its uncanonised saints whose names are 
in no Church calendar. There was S. Thomas of Ken. Kenn, 
the village situate on one of the ancient moors of Somerset, 
one of the many pieces of waste given over to nature and 
her lonely tribes, vegetable and animal, not deemed geldable 
in any ancient survey. In Domesday it is Chen, with the 
variant Chent. This also was a manor of the Bishop of 
Coutance — a mere bagatelle. "Ipse episcopus tenet unam 
terram quae vacatur Chen." It is not worth calling a 
" mansis " or manor (but only a terra — a bit of land), as in 



'Kemble, 1094. ^This is borne out by the spellings found in the Wells 
Cathedral MSS. Arpetru, Est Harpentre, Harpetre, Herpetreu, Arpetre. 
There is the singularity Carpetree. The "p" sound is persistent and so is 
also the "r" sound. This rules out the conjectural Celtic derivations. 



146 

other cases of his immense landed possessions. Its extent is 
only half a hide. It only has one servum or serf on the spot. 
Its value is five solidi. But now the church of Kenn — which 
did not exist in the eleventh century — is surrounded by a 
parish of over a thousand acres of whilom moorland. So 
much for the physical circumstances. There is a Kenn situate 
on a river of that name near Exeter, and there is another 
river called the Kennet. Chen, if Celtic, is short for Cefn, 
and this abbreviated from Ken-y-vigyn, a mound on the 
moor, a ridge of land rising out of a flat and boggy place. 
A frequent saxon name is Coen, also Cen and Ken, simple 
and in compounds. This may be the origin alike of the 
place-name and the personal name Kenn. The saintly Thomas 
Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells, the pure-minded and un- 
worldly prelate in a time-serving age, was a descendant of 
the family which possessed this estate for four centuries, from 
the thirteenth to the seventeenth, in fact. It is clear they 
took their name from the place. Kennet, in the Cambridge- 
shire Domesday Book, situate on the river of that name, 
is spelt Chenet. The village of East Kennet in Wiltshire is 
situated upon a river of that name, which joins the Thames 
at Reading. It is stated that the Berkshire Kennet is derived 
from an old form Cunetis. Cynwydd, in correct sequence, 
is a Welsh river name. The origin of the name Kenn as a 
river name is not clear. In reality Kenn may be simply 
the qualifying word for Afon — the head river. In 
all these cases the river name is the oldest, and probably des- 
cribes the river, as in the Somersetshire village, Kenn des- 
cribes the place. 

The designation Breach Hill — a picturesque slope that 
leads from the grassy vale of Chew Stoke to the mysteriously- 
named village of Nempnett Thrubwell — is a lesson in place- 
names. When you look down into the combe it is a palpable 
breach between you and the village you descry. The descent 
into the combe and the climb to the church, if a straight 
course were taken, would prove a somewhat serious per- 
formance. Wings would be a convenience, or, as we have 
fancied, a car running on two wires stretched between the 
two points. When mid-way you would look down a dizzy 



147 

height. No more straightforward explanation could be found 
than this, the hill is called from this breach. And yet it would 
appear to be misleading. In our love of saints "we think of 
St. Brychan, of whom so many legends are told in the land 
across that water which you may decry shimmering in the 
summer sun from the top of Knap Hill. There is no clue to 
a saint here. But we are told that the manor of Nempnett 
Thrubwell was early in the possession of a Flanders family of 
the name of Bretesche.^ Indeed, the lord of the manor of 
Thrubwell had the audacity to trespass — it does not appear 
that he was " in pursuit of conies " — in the Royal forest of 
Cheddar or Winford. It was as far back as 1177 , in the 
reign of the feudal reformer Henry the Second. He was duly 
fined. Bret-esche is good low German, as Breit-esche is good 
high German, and Broad Ash good English. From the days 
of William the Conqueror Flemings were encouraged to settle 
on the land, and bring with them their profitable wool- 
stapling industry. Later on, in the days of Edward the Third, 
this trade developed on a larger scale, and it was in these sub- 
sequent days that the wool-staplers' mark — a pair of shears — 
was carved on the north wall of Stowey Church. Richard de 
Bretesche may have been or may not have been the first to 
hold this estate of Thrubwell, and perchance of Nempnett. 
But he has evidently left behind the family name in Breach 
Hill. Bret-esche became Bretche, and Breach. We think 
that this case may help us to give serious consideration to 
many other names for which facile explanations are so 
tempting. 



"Gerard spells it Britische, who anciently possessed Bag-borow. Richard de 
Bretesche died in 1198 at Thrubwell. They had large possessions and 
a mansion. Gerard, p. 49. 



148 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Racial Names (continued). 

The Saxons were very fond of the intoxicating beverage 
called mead. It was made from honey. And so it is declared 
that it is by no means an unlikelihood that place-names 
such as Honibeere and many others are due to this fact. 
Honey was a staple produce. Thus Honiton, as a well- 
known name, was, it is cheerfully said, a place famous for 
honey. This is soberly said. The land flowed with milk 
and honey, like Canaan of old. Bea-minster, on this theory, 
might well be a place famous for its productive bees. Ex- 
planations of this kind are clearly unscientific, and merely 
popular catch-straws. Place-names such as Huntworth, in 
North Petherton, Huntsile, in Chilton Trinity, Honewyk, 
in Pitcombe, Huntspill (Honyspill), Honestone, in Brimp- 
ton, Honybere (Frome), Houndsborough, Hounstone (Hun- 
derstone, Hunstone), Houndstreet (Honistreete and Hun- 
street), are too numerous and varied to be thus accounted 
for. The personal names Honnywill (Hunweald), Humphrey 
(O. G., Hunfrid), and many more are indicative of another, 
and certainly a racial origin. It is probably Huntsile that 
assumes the form Hunsell, given as a Mercian name. 
Whether so extensive as to be tribal settlements is another 
and separate question, on which we do not feel so confident 
as some enthusiastic theorists. 

Honibere, in Kilton, is an alteration and assimilation, as 
the history of the place-name shows. Honibere is joined 
with Lilstock. It is D.B., Hedenberia, and in the Ex- 
chequer Book, Hedernberia, according to Mr. Whale's 
identification of manors. Mr. Eyton regards Hedernberia 
as an obsolete name, and this identification is not by any 
means certain. In one spelling there is an indication of the 
change. It is Honibeere, which becomes Honnybeare and 
Honybeare. Heddern means a hedge or house. But we have 



149 

no similar name elsewhere, which renders this derivation 
precarious; while in Wales we have the significant name 
Edeyryn, and Llan-edyern, in Glamorganshire. Romney 
Church is dedicated to S. Edern, and Hedern. The place is 
on the Bristol Channel, and so may possibly have been in 
touch with Welsh sainthood. It is thus part of the hagi- 
ology of Somerset, and this name gives no sign either of 
honey or the racial Hun. Honibere, as it stands, must be 
taken as a racial name, a form of Hunbeorht or Hunburh. 

Huntspill. — The Pill is no doubt the pwll, creek or pool, 
of which several examples occur and will recur. Hunt's 
pool seems plain, but in Domesday Book the spelling is 
Hunespil. In 1284 (Henry IV.), and the T.E. of the next 
decade, it is Hunespull and Honespulle. Evidently in the 
further history of the spellings the " t " is intrusive. It is 
Hunspill in days of Elizabeth, varying now with Huntspill, 
in which what is supposed to be the sense-giving consonant 
appears, and tends to persist. The meaning is clear, it is 
Honi or Huni's pool. Huni is the name of a man. It is 
Hunni, Hunno, and appears as a prefix to many compound 
personal names. Hunweald (Honnywill) was the name of 
a Mercian Bishop. It is in any case a racial name. Holnecott, 
in Selworthy, is another instance which is also D.B., Hone- 
cota and Honnecota. It is almost a surprise that it did not 
become Nunnecota, as the Domesday tenants were two nuns, 
to whom this was given as alms, and set apart for their 
support, when people paid willingly for charitable deeds 
and prayers. The spelling Holne occurs first in the time of 
Edward III. Later, in the days of Henry VII., it is Hony- 
cote, and Honnicotte in a will in 1587. Only in the 17th 
century does it become more definitely Holn, and the de- 
rivation from holegn, the holly, finds favour as in Holne, 
in Devon. Thus it is interpreted as holly-cottage. In 
reality the name is Hun, and the cott is a corruption of 
gyt, or geat. Hunngyt was the name of a queen and 
abbess, and the name of a female landowner about 900. 
Hunnagyt has become Huncot and Holnecot. There is also 
a Honeyburna in a charter of the Priory of Witham in the 
time of Henry II., also a Honestone Manor, and in Frome 



ISO 

the curious name Honeyreere-Froome. This looks like a 
relic of the roman name Honorius, but we want some his- 
tory of the name. 

In such names as Houndstreet, which is between Chelwood 
and Compton Dando; Houndsborough, as the name of a 
hundred ; and Houndestown, in Odcombe, Hundwood (D.B. 
Hunteworda, Hounteworthy, in the time of Richard II.), 
in North Petherton, the forms arise from the forms Hunt, 
Hunting. The name Hunta existed as a Mercian name in 
765. It seems likely that Hunt is in reality a primitive 
word, meaning a captor or taker of prey. Hence the German 
hund and our hound, a dog. Numerous compound names 
of places with Hun and Hunt are found in North Germany, 
and the Huni were a teutonic tribe. The well-known name 
Humboldt is O. H. G. Hunbold, and in Baden there is 
Huntingun, from the name Hunt. There is also a local 
name Hund-comb in the charter of Witham Priory, time 
of Henry II. 

Woolavington, mentioned in the series of place-names on 
ington, is in D.B. Hun-lavington. This is curious, as Hun- 
lavington is a really distinct name. We suspect some con- 
fusion in the identification of Woolavington and Hun- 
lavington.^ Hunlaf is a Wilts and Wessex name. Hunlafing 
is even given as the name of a Jute warrior, where 
lafing is shortened from Leofing, and this is the 
same name as Leofwine as the name of the Bishop 
of Bath and Wells (999). Such names as Honeychurch, 
Honeychercha, and Hunnesan (Hunna's Ham) occur. A 
detached part of Monmouthshire is called Hunts-ham- 
shire. Hunstilla, in Chilton Trinity, is (D.B.) Hustilla, 
and is from a personal name, Husse, Hose, and so 
means Hosett-hill. In the Somerset D.B. is the 
name William Hosatus, as an abbot of Bath and 
abbot of Glastonbury, and it is the name of a thegn of 
William I. Hosatus is, of course, latinised. Besides those 
names that afford some evidence, the weight of which is 
variously estimated, of Hunnish, Jutish, and Wendish im- 



^Eyton : Domesday Studies. 



151 

migrants, there are others which in the extraordinary mix- 
ture of race elements have gone to make up the stamina of 
the conquering race that has won a world-wide empire. The 
particular races are not always distinguishable by the names. 
The continent of America is, in the present age, the theatre 
on which analogous phenomena are being exhibited. There 
is a startling admixture of races, the results of which will in 
due time develop. How far a practically new race will emerge 
is in the hidden womb of time. Every admixture does not 
result in strength, as the Eurasians of India show. An in- 
quiry of this kind is not merely of etymological interest, 
but is ethnologically and historically of importance. 

Ulfilas was the great Arian apostle of the Goths, and, as 
already indicated, the name is probably Gothic in Woolver- 
ton (Ulfertona in D.B.), in Willton hundred, and in one 
near Road. Ulvert is the name of one of the tenants of 
the abbot of Glastonbury in the pre-conquest period, and 
in 1066 and 1086. Ulfer and Ulvert are shortened forms of 
Wulfweard. The name of the Bishop of Hereford (9th 
century) is spelt thus and in the form Uulfward, and Wul- 
ward (Woolard). Woolford's-hull, in the Manor of Banwell, 
is mentioned in documents of the reign of Edward III.^ 
Another name is Ulmaer, found in Woolmers-don, in North 
Petherton (D.B. Ulmer's-tona). Ulmar was a thane of Queen 
Edith, the " lady of Bath," and Ulph is again discoverable 
in Ulftona, Ulfetona near Witham in the charter above men- 
tioned (D.B. Ulftona and Ufetona). There is a Woolstone 
near North Cadbury which is the name Ulfstan, Wulfstan, and 
Ulphstane. In addition, we have Wilmaers-ham, in Stoke 
Pero, on the borders of Exmoor, and as the hundred is 
Winemaers-ham this is from the name Winmaer. Wine 
means a friend, and maer, strong; and Mr. Chad- 
wyck Healey^ tells of a William Winmaer as late 
as 1325. Woolminstone, in Crewkerne, is Ulmund or 
Wulfmund's-ton. Woolstone is not Ulfstan, in Bick- 
noller, but is spelt Ulwardstone (D.B.), and so is trace- 
able to Wulfheard or Ulfheard's-ton. Eard or hard means 



^Bath Chartulary. S.R.S., vol. vii., p. 145. ^History of Part of West Somerset. 



152 

brave, and this is the origin of the hamlet name in Compton 
Dando called Wollard, Wooleard, i.e., Wulfheard. Ulward 
occurs as the name of a Saxon thane in Ilminster in A.D. 
1066. Wulfward is the name of a tenant of the Bishop of 
Winchester, and another of Roger de Courcelle. It occurs 
fifty-eight times. Let us observe the differences caused by 
dialectical spelling. Our William is the Frankish Gwillaume, 
as a simple instance. Ulf, Wolf is the Frankish Guelph. Is 
not this the Royal Family name? 

Redghill, Regill, or Ridge Hill is again a complete disguise. 
It is a hill and a ridge. In D.B. it is Ragiol, and earlier, say, to 
1000. Scarcely removed from this we read of John Sprot (a de- 
lightful name), of Raggel, in 1287. In 1304 " Norton, Raggel, 
and Wodewyk, and Hundes-ligh (a name which may be 
added to the above list in this chapter) juxta Raggel." In 
1318 it is Ragel. These are all clearly abbreviations. The 
folk there now call it Radgel or Rudgel, with the modified 
sound of the vowel. Hard by is an old manor place called 
Regilbury, in Nempnett, and there is very little doubt that 
both the names are traceable to personal designations. On 
the one hand, Redghill is a shortened and intelligible change 
from the female personal name Regenhild, Ragenhild, a 
name found on Danish runes, the daughter of King Thurstan, 
and as late as the twelfth century. Who knew Regenhild? 
Ridge Hill, which seems a needless re-duplication and a 
tautology, a ridge and a hill, is in reality a form of Regen- 
hild, and Regilbury is another shortening of the same name. 
Regenilda burh easily becomes Regil-burh. It is true that 
A.S. wrycg is a ridge and rhigol a groove or notch. The 
compound Regel-bury is fatal to this explanation. In the 
curious spelling Rochelsbury it is evident that the pronuncia- 
tion was Rotchel's burg. 



153 

CHAPTER XVII. 
Racial Names — Saxon and Norse. 

Very much like Regil is the extraordinary name in the 
south of the county, Castle Neroche. The word Roche is 
quite Ike the Norman French Roche, a rock. A rock 
it is, and what more do we want in explanation? But 
things are not what they seem only too often for our perfect 
comfort and ease. Mr. S. George Gray^ has collected an 
extraordinarily large number of spellings of Neroche and 
Rach, extending from the thirteenth century to the present 
day. There are sixteen of the Rach type, and the remainder 
with the prefix "ne." The people, who preserve the tradi- 
tions, call it Ratch, very much as Ridghill, near Winford, 
is Ratchell, and the like. The meaning of the " ne " seems 
clear from the spelling in the time of Richard II., which gives 
Nethir-rechich. This becomes Nere-rechich and Nerachiche. 
The forest of Ne-rachist was the property of the abbey of 
Athelney, and one of the five Royal forests of Somerset.^ 
These are Norman spellings of a forgotten Saxon name. 
Comparison Is useful. A Rachedes-worde of D.B. has be- 
come Rexworthy, in Durleigh, according to Whale, and by 
Eyton is identifiable with Rakes-worth. Rach is a persona! 
name, as already given in Rachenild and in the female name 
Rachtrida. It is no different from Rich, as in Richere. 
Rachwig becomes Rachich. Rhwych is Celtic for a wide, 
open country, and Rig is Celtic-Cornish for a heath, but 
these words could never have developed into such surprising 
forms. Rachedes-worthy (Rexworthy) is this same personal 
■name, Rachride (and rithe) — an extant name, also in the form 
Rachtrida, the name of an abbess (786). Neroche is 
therefore short for Nether-Rachrithe. Only a personal name 



^Somerset Archcelogical Society's Proceedings, vol. xxix. ^jhe others were 
Northpetherton, Mendip, Selwood, Exmoor, and the Warren of Somer- 
ton. " It is called Neerechist, and fifteenth Edward the III. Neerhich 
and Sithence by corruption. Neroche and now Roche, a. dirty soile 
enough it is." Gerard, Particular Description, p. 144. 



154 

accounts for the number of spellings of an otherwise un- 
intelligible name. 

Among local place-names which originate in a personal 
name are Planesfield and Perleston. The name Planesfella, 
now Planesfield, in Overstowey, is a corruption of the Saxon 
name Blanda, Blanda's field, a name cognate with blend, a 
mixture, as in the names Blindman, Blinman. It is Teutonic. 
" Perlestone, now Pardlestone, farm is Perlo's tun." Perlo is 
the name of a Saxon thane in the Somerset survey. 

Wiveliscombe is a better-known place than some of these 
obscure local names. It is a combe : a gentle eminence in 
an extensive valley. A comic explanation (as it must be con- 
sidered) is that of "wifeless combe," with the suggestion of a 
monastic establishment to account for such an origin. Failing 
this, it is said to mean weevil's combe, from the abundance 
of a particularly interesting species of beetle, curculio, the 
barn-weevil, the curculio granarius. The artful and sly 
weasel has also been called into requisition, and 
also guivel, a widgeon. In reality it is, we think 
from the name Wifhelm, a known name. This be- 
comes Wifel in Wifels-ford. In 925 there is a Bishop 
of Bath and Wells called Wulfhelm, which might easily 
account for the form. In D.B. it is spelt Wivels-combe, and 
in T.E., Wyvels-coma. At various times the word has been 
diversely spelt — Wivis-combe, Wils-combe, Wivellis-combe, 
Welles-combe, and perhaps Wines-combe, which last is a 
mere confusion of copying. A spelling Wrodis-combe is a 
sheer blunder. This is another combe, in which the per- 
sonal name Hrod appears. A curious circumstance is that in 
Cambridge Place-Names a name Wiveling-ham (probably 
Wiflan-ham) is subject in documents to similar varieties of 
spelling. Wifelingham appears as Wenelingham. When you 
note that this is Uiu for Wiv, it is easy to see how mis- 
reading occurs in such forms. Wiveling-ham is now called 
Willingham, as our place is called Willscombe. That all 
these are personal names is clear from the less-known place- 
names Wiflehurst, Wiflesford, Wifleshali, Wifles-lake. It 
may, after all, be an independent name, Wifela, 
a javelin, and so a Viking name, or, as I prefer, 
from Wulfhelm, the bishop, as first suggested. It 



155 

is the popular pronunciation that shortens it to Wils- 
combe, and so it appears in a will (1624), varied by 
Wells-combe. Is Wills-neck to be so explained? It is possi- 
ble that this was episcopal property right on from Wulf-helm, 
as it certainly was at Domesday part of the estate of Giso, the 
saxon bishop of Wells. Will's Neck is, however, explained as 
the Weala's neck, that is, it marks a boundary of the Wealas 
or Welsh. In King Alfred's will the counties of Somerset, 
Devon, and Cornwall all appear under the name Weal cyme. 
They were in documents called Wealhas, and their territory 
the Wylisc, and so Wills' combe would be the Weala's combe. 
This is the almost natural explanation unless some name 
which has undergone abbreviation is discoverable, a thing 
by no means unlikely to have happened. 

Sheerstone is in the parish of Petherton (Domesday Book, 
Sireds-tona). The Saxon owner bore the name Siret or Sired 
in the time of King Edward the Confessor. In the time of 
King Edward III. (in Kirby's Quest and the Lay Subsidies) it 
is still Siredstona. But Sired is an abbreviation of Sigered or 
Sigred; and it is a female name, Sigrida. We are beginning 
to see, from these numerous female names, that women 
owners were of some account in Saxon times. In the same 
parish is another Anglo-Saxon name, now obsolete — Siwold's- 
tona. This is Sireweald in full, and is also a known man's 
name. Sig means victory, and red is rede, or counsel, while 
weald means power or rule. This wald is frequently mistaken 
in place-names for the descriptive word wald, a forest, or 
weald, a heath. In the parish of East Harptree is a local 
name of a hamlet Shrowle. Without the history of the spell- 
ings it seems impossible to make much of this. Shrowl does 
not exhibit early spellings apparently, but in 1387 grants 
in Shrowle, East Harptree, the name is spelt Schirwold, alias 
Shirwell and Shyrold. In 1405, in a British Museum 
charter feofment. it is spelt Shirewold and Sherald. Then 
later it becomes Sherrol, in which the " d " sound is dropped. 
The final clipping is Shrowle. The name Sirewold, Syrewald, 
Schyrewald is the name of one of Edward the Confessor's 
thanes, and another of the name is owner of Cricket St. 
Thomas in the Domesday Book survey, and yet a third the 
owner of Hallatrow. 



156 

The personal name Wintr is found very often com- 
pounded with personal names in Wilts and Dorset. It is also 
discoverable in Somerset. The name Winestoc for the hun- 
dred of Winterstoke given in Domesday Book is probably 
meant for Winta-stoc. Winta was the name of a son of the 
mythological Woden. The name Wintr, Wintar, is not in- 
frequent. Hereward "the Wake's " handyman, with the 
sharp axe, brought with fatal effect on a foe's brainpan, was 
called Winter. It is still a known name, which, of course, 
never originated at all in the season-name, winter. Wint is a 
regional name, variously explained. It is really the name of 
an owner, and is probably racially allied with Windisch, and 
Wendisch. The name is Norse, and may be tribal, as in- 
dicated by such a name as Winterbourne. Wintret is now 
Winterhead, as the name of a hundred, and is probably 
another tribal mark ; or it may not be the head, as the region, 
but the name Wintr-heard, shortened to Wintred. 

Willet is a local name. There are such names as Williton, 
Wilton, and Wiltown, in Curry Revill, Williton in St. Decu- 
mans, Wilton near Taunton, and a well-known Wilton in 
Wilts. The name Willett is from an ancient compound name, 
Wilhild, also spelt Willehilt. Wilyt and Willett are racial 
names. Wiltshire is often explained to mean the shire of the 
Wilts. 

As a Scandinavian name we also have that of Cottle in 
Cothelstone, or Cottle-town. The Danish name Chetol ap- 
pears also in the form Kettle, and Chetolwald as Kettlewell 
both in place and personal names. Chetol is the name of a 
Somerset Saxon thane. It is possible that a Chetol was one 
of the eight thanes, set down in Domesday Book, who held 
Cottlestone under Archbishop Stigand at that time (in 1066). 
Kettle is a name not uncommon in compounds in the Danish 
districts of England. Anketel, Anscytel, was one of the com- 
panions-in-arms of Guthrun, the Danish antagonist of King 
Alfred. After baptism and a treaty Guthrun, we may be sure, 
did not depart without leaving some followers behind him. 

Carnicott, in Camerton, is in Domesday Book Creedlingcot. 
This is also spelt Creedilcot. It is illustrative of a growth. 
The personal name Cridagot, or Cridagaud, has received a 
euphonic consonant and become Cridalgot. As "got" was 



157 

meaningless to the popular tongue it became cot, as in many 
other cases. The development of " ing " is too common to need 
remark. Creoda is the name of a son of Cerdric, as also was 
Cynric. Now we can understand Cynric becoming Carnicott, 
but not how Cridagot so developed. These personal names 
which became common are still found in such shapes as 
Crowdy and Griddle. In the hundred of Frome, further, is 
the name Criidde Medes (Meads), and in Worcestershire is 
the obsolete name Criddes-hoe, i.e., Crida or Creoda's Hill. 
It is worth while observing, by the way, to account for some 
transformations, that the hard " cr " in a dialectical Prankish 
change becomes " hr," and there is thus no difference in point 
of ultimate origin between Crida, Creoda and Hrida, Hrod, 
as in Hrodney (Rodney), Hrod (Road), and the like names. 

Bathealton is in Domesday Book Badehelton. It is in the 
hundred of Milverton, on the River Tone. It is quite easy to 
split this curious name into three parts, viz., Bath, hel or heil, 
healing, and Tone, the river name. But are there any pre- 
tensions that this spot by the riverside has been or is a 
Bethesda? It is a metamorphosis of the name Beaduhild, a 
female name originally borne by a daughter of King Nidhad. 
The meaning of Beadu is war, as in the name Badman, which 
therefore, as a personal name, does not describe the moral 
quality of its owner. Also it is an element in Biddulph, i.e., 
Badulf or Beadeoulf. We should say Badhelm, a known 
name, was the origin, if in the spellings there was any trace of 
the consonant " m." There is a spot in Cheshire called 
Baddil-ley, i.e., Badhild's lea. The spellings referred to above 
are Badhelton (1086), earlier Badialton (Edw. III.), Badyal- 
ton in 1408. This same name (here again mentioned for 
the advantage of comparison) Bed (long e, i.e., Bede), Beadu, 
we have already found in Bidston, Biddes-ham, four miles west 
of Axbridge, Bet-ham, in Combe St. Nicholas. 

Chaffcome is spelt in Domesday Book Caffecoma, and in 
Taxatio Ecclesiastica (1297) Chaftcombe ; and Charffcombe in 
uncertain spellings of the 16th century. It is Charcombe in 
the amusing item from a will " to John Grumble of Char- 
combe I give my young sucking colt which now goeth with 
him to pasture." His name ought to have been Nebuchad- 
nezzer. The peasantry still call it Charcombe. But for the 



158 

early spellings this might easily lead us to infer Charlecombe, 
that is Ceorl-combe. But the name of a place from 
Ceorl-combe, or Charles-combe, or Churle's combe 
(Domesday Book, Cerla-cuma) is still found in a separate 
item. The " f " in Charf must be taken account of. It is in 
truth a part of the personal name Ceofa, still found as Cuff and 
some similar names. Collinson derives it from " gaf " sharp 
as an etymological guess. Such conjectural explanations of 
interesting names are of course numerous. There ought for 
their acceptance to be some fair background of evidence. 

As an illustration, in such a name as Battleborough, for in- 
stance, it is conjectured that this means Battle Brow, or 
Battleburh, from an occurrence of a fight there. It is close by 
Brent Knoll. The Wessex men, it is said, made use of this 
spot as an important and invincible stronghold, and King 
Alfred, ever worthy of the name " Great," here defended 
himself against the Danes. In reality it is another female 
name, Bethild. The spelling Batil-borough, or Batil-berga, 
means Bethild's hill (berg). Sometimes this word battle is a 
form of the Teutonic biittel, a village, hamlet, or dwelling, 
and not the proof of whilom fighting. 

How the name " Bill " became an affectionate and familiar 
designation for William is at least interesting. The immortal 
ruffian " Bill Sykes " is disguised as William. Certainly 
Sykes never ought, having regard to etymology, to be prettily 
and affectionately called Bill, for Bill and Bille are ancient 
names that appear to be more connected with billing, as well 
as cooing, than with murder, arson, and burglary. There is 
a name Bil-ric, which ought to mean mild rule, and it is 
found in both Nailsea and in Witham as a quite local name, 
Bellerica, and has even travelled to New England, and is 
mentioned by the original-minded but conceited Thoreau in 
his book, " A Week on the Concord, as ' Bellerica.' " There 
is Bilbrook, in Old Cleeve ; that is, Billebroc. A compound 
personal name as Lydbrook is Luth-broc. Bill occurs in very 
varied compound names, such as Billnott, Billstan, Bilswith, 
Bil-thegn, Bilweald. Some of these names in altered form 
may be found on grave-stones in the ancient churchyards of 
Somerset. Billing is, of course, a common name as a pat- 
ronymic. 



159 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
Racial Names (continued). 

The names into which the word " ash " enters are worthy 
of some further notice. They are too widespread to permit 
us lightly to dismiss them with the assertion that they uni- 
formly take their origin in the growth of a well-known 
timber tree. The various spellings in D.B. are curious: — 
Asc, Aissa, Hetse, Aisa, Aisxa, Esse, Esk, and Ese all appear 
as Ash. The root in old high German is essisc, and middle 
high German is esch, and there are the forms ax, axen, 
aschs, asc, and aschi. Ask or asc is the Scandinavian form. 
It is to be observed that many continental, and particularly 
Swiss, names are derived from the same root. Mythic lore 
is perpetuated, or at least hinted at, in some of them. Aesc 
was the name of a son of Hengist. Esa was the forefather 
of the Kings of Bernicia. The ask, aesc, was a tree associ- 
ated with divinities, just as were the oak, the elm, and the 
lime with war. This may be recognised in the poems which 
hand down to us the old German fables; and in runes and 
runic-poems. In some of the Swiss forms it is said, on some 
evidence, that the root meaning is a meadow enclosed by 
brushwood. It is certain that some of the place-names are 
derived from personal names. In the Somerset Domesday 
there is the old liberty of Ascleia identified with Ashill, 
which latter is more surely the same as Aissella or Ashill. 
The name at the base is Ascytel, which assumes the form 
Askill and Aschetillus. Ascelin (us) is the name of a Somerest 
thane. Asclei is a Normanised form of this, and of course is 
only too readily interpreted as ash-lea. We have the hamlet 
name Ashwick, which is most clearly the personal name 
Aescwig; one bearing the name was an early Prior of Bath 
Abbey in the 10th century. The name Ashway, in Hawkridge, 
is not the way adorned with the graceful ash-trees, but this 
more prosaic personal name Aescwig. Ashington is Domes- 



160 

day Essentona, and may mean the tun of Esa or Asa, already 
mentioned as a personal name in the names ending with 
ington; as is also Ais-coma, Ashcomb, in Weston-super-Mare, 
and Aisecota, Ashcott, which, however, is a compound name. 
As-got (compare Ascott). The place-name Ash is Aissa or 
Aisxa, as given in the case of Ash Priors. In the 
North the Scandinavian form appears in the village name 
of Asqwith or Askwith. Ask (Aesc) is softened to Ash in the 
south, as noted previously. Askwith is the personal name 
Asquid; Ascuit in D.B., i.e., Ash-wid or Ashwood, and is 
not a wood of trees at all. Warlike spears were made of 
the ash. 

Allercote, Allermore, Allerton, and simple Aller may go 
together. Allerton is Alwarditone (D.B.), from the personal 
name Alweard, which is itself a shortening of Aelfweard, and 
is therefore Aelfweardton. The spelling Alverton is another 
proof of this origin inasmuch as Alverd is the mere abbre- 
viation of the full name. Aller is spelt Alra in D.B. (it is 
Aire as late as the reign of Henry VII.), and Allerford is 
Alresford. The present pronunciation is Oiler, and in the 
17th century are the forms Auler and Awler. Alra is the 
curt form of the name Alhere, which in full is Ealhhere. It 
goes without saying that such hard forms were unpronounce- 
able by Norman scribes. Ealhere is we think the original 
form of the puzzling Aller. There is Aller in Somerset 
hundred which has been read as Aure and confused with the 
name Oare, of " Lorna Doone " fame. There was another 
Aller in Carhampton hundred. The curious name Oare 
must wait its turn. Now all these are in D.B. spelt Alra, 
and, in addition, so is Allerford, in Hill Farrance, simply 
Alra, while Allerford, in Selworthy on the Horner, is Alres- 
forda (D.B.). And besides these is Aller, or doubled name 
Aller Butler, in Sampford Brett. Aller is an interesting vil- 
lage not far from Langport. It witnessed the baptism of 
Guthrun after his defeat at Ethandune (879). Alington, 
in the parish of Weare, is spelt at large Allerington. Aller 
is evidently an abbreviation of a longer name. The name 
Ealhhere is a Wessex name. This easily assumes all the 
shapes this place-name has taken. Allar, Awler, Aire, Auler. 



161 

This is tiie most likely origin of the present Somerset personal 
name, which seems meaningless, of Horler. The aspirate is 
nothing. Ealh-here has a meaning. The Allerford put 
doubtfully in Hill Farrance as a Domesday estate, has an 
alias, Alra or Scobinalra. This is a remarkable double. 
Scobban-byrigels is cited, and the rare name Scop, Scoppo, 
Scobey, is a name we know of a living person. Possibly a 
farming name, Schobar, a rick. Scop occurs as an element 
in Betscop, which, it is hastily assumed, is only Biscop or 
bishop. It is worth while noting for comparison. Aller as 
Alra is often simply explained as the alder tree. Alder has 
certainly abounded in the Somerset swamps, and Aller-ford 
would thus be the " ford of alders." It is the recurrence 
in various situations that suggests that these fords and tuns 
were named after owners. It is easy to see how Aller could 
become the name of a hundred as an owner's name. 

As Aller is Ealhhere so the ancient name of a hundred 
Andersfield is Andere's felt, velt (Dutch), or field. And here 
it drops to Andar and then is confounded with the old Greek 
proper name Andrew (adopted by Jews). Andrew is not 
in names of Saxons or early place-names before they were 
Christianised. Andres-ey is quite probably of the same 
origin, though later there was the Church " Sancti Andrew." 
Andersfiield is a hamlet in the parish of "Gahers," and spelt 
Andres-field in Kirby's quest. Gahers has blossomed into 
Goathurst, or Goathurst dropped to an unintelligible dis- 
sylable Ga-hers. 

Spargrove is in Batcombe. It is not in the Domesday list 
of names, but in Kirby's quest as a medieval spelling it is 
Spertgrove, Manor of Spertgrove (Henry VI.). Sprot, Spret, 
and Sprott is an Anglo-Saxon name found in lists. It is 
probably Spreot, a spear, as to meaning — a warrior name. 
The consonants are interchanged, Spert-grove. The names 
Sprat-ton and Sprat-borough are found. The Anglo-Saxon 
graef is a collection of trees. In some names it is spelt grave, 
and then people ask, whose grave? Then a legend grows up. 
And graf is also an ancient Teutonic word meaning a com- 
mand, and even a district, and so a count and county. 

Sparkford, near Yeovil. In D.B. it is Sparche-ford. Later 



162 

spellings are Sparke-ford and Sparcke-ford. Very consistent. 
Besides there is the local name in the county, Sparkshayes 
or Sparks-hay. These all indicate a personal name. It is 
the name Spraga of the Liber Vitm, and in other lists extant. 
It is the old Norse Sprakr. The name is cognate with the 
colloquial word sprack in the sense of nimble, lively. We 
do sometimes also speak of a "young spark." In Spart-grove 
the " t " was dropped in the 16th century, and then, as an 
illustration of the purely etymological explanation of place- 
names, minus all history, it was interpreted as bar, meaning 
a house or dwelling-place, a place with a bar. 

Pawlett wears a Norman look. Yet it is good old Saxon. 
The aristocratic air disappears on investigation. In the Carta 
Athelardi Regis de Schapwick of Glastonbury Abbey it is 
spelt Pouholt, that is, Pow's wood. Pou is still a personal 
name in the county. The word Pfau means a peacock, and 
was a 6th century word in German and Saxon. It may have 
been the cognizance of a Viking, and then his name. It may 
have been Peacock wood, but the name is clearly personal. 
Then we find Pouholt shortened to Poult. By the date of 
the D.B. book it had become Pawlet. But before this, as 
early as 705 (if the record be genuine), in a grant of 
King Ina to Abbot Beruuald (Berwald) of land on the river 
Tone and at Pouelt (Pouholt) ; and in 729, grant by 
Ethelheard, King of Wessex, to Glastonbury Abbey of land 
at Pouholt. In the reign of Henry VI. this becomes Paulet's 
land. These are among the " devices to turn the vulgar to 
the genteel by the change of a letter," as Miss Mitford 
shrewdly remarks in Our Village. As a specimen of trans- 
formation, note that Bagsholt has become changed to Bag- 
shott. In the Polden Hills, Polden is possibly a shortening 
of Pouholt-down. 

How fallacious some initial syllables in well-known place- 
names may be when taken merely at their face value is clearly 
illustrated by the name Pitminster. This has been explained 
as the minster in the deep valley or pit. In 938, how- 
ever, it is called Piping-ministra. In 1086 (D.B.) it has be- 
come Pinpeministra, while the Taxatio Ecclesiastica makes 
it Pypminstre and Pypenministre (1297). In the 16th century 



163 

it is Pyttemista. These three spellings indicate the genitival 
form Pipan of the personal name Pippa or Pipe. The vowel 
is short. There was a Pipe or Pippa who was a saint 
and a bishop. The two things are not uncommon, 
and the name is found in the forms Pippen and Phip- 
pen. In 1086 there was a Pipe or Pippa tenant of the 
Abbot of Glastonbury in Winscombe. Near Pitminster 
is a spot now called Piper's Inn, which is surely a 
corruption of Pippa or Pipe. Piple-pen, in North 
Perrott, is perhaps Pippa-Pen, in Piplepen Thames cmdr 
Pipplepen-Downe. In Somerset dialect a piplin is a popular 
tree, and the names may be descriptive. We are more in- 
clined to connect Piple with Pople, as in Poble-lowe, Pub- 
low. Pipe-and-Lyde is a curious compound name for a 
parish in Herefordshire, probably indicative of double owner- 
ship, and Pipe is said to be the first Saxon saint to whom the 
church is dedicated. The Norman suppressed the Saxon saint 
and called the church after St. Peter. Lyde is also a Somerset 
name. 

Pitcot, in Stratton-on-the-Fosse, is D.B. Picota, and this 
is obviously the name for which no unimpeachable account 
can be given, namely, Piggott, Bigot, and Bigod. The most 
probable is that it is an Anglo-Saxon name. Pieced, which 
represents the form Pichad, Bighad (quite likely the origin 
of the name Bigwood and Bidgood by easy interchange of 
consonants in pronunciation). The name Picota occurs as 
a witness to a deed of gift, by William de Moione, of the 
Church of S. George of Dunster to the Priory of Bath.^ 

All these names in Pit, as Pitney, Pitcomhe, Pitt,''' in Tim- 
bercombe, and Sutton Montis, Ped-well, in North Greinton 
(D.B., Pede-Villa, and in 1102, in Charter of Glastonbury, 
Pede-well) are interesting as connected with the Anglo-Saxon 



'Bath Chartulary, No. 34, p. 38, S.R.S., vol. vii. "From a Bath Charter it 
appears the monks of Dunestorr gave to Richard le Fort land in 
Timmercumbe and La Pitta in the 13th century. This is probably the 
personal name still extant and well known. A coalescence of the article 
with the name would produce a crux in place-name etymology " Lapit," 
There is a " Pitt" in Odcombe, where "Sir Thomas Phelippes built a 
mansion at it in a place well deserving the name 'Pitt.'" Here the 
name is taken from the situation. Gerard, Particular Description, etc., 
p. 103. 



164 

name of Peoht (Peat, Peada), and as this is closely allied 
with Pect, in Pectgils, Pechthelm, Pectwald, and other 
similar names, it is indeed possible that this name (which 
was not made in Germany and then travelled to England, but 
originated here) is connected with the racial name Pict. But 
then it is held that the Picts were racially Teutons. Pitney 
is, D.B., Peteneia, and in 1315 it later became Putteneye 
and Pytteneye. As Pitney in its ante-Domesday condition 
appears to have been an appanage of the Abbey of Muchel- 
ney (of St. Peter of Muchelney), it is not unnatural to connect 
them. Peteneye is thus considered to mean Peter's island. 
Hadspen and Godminster, in Pitcombe, belonged to the 
same allegiance. The former presence of fishponds is still 
marked by the embankments which remain. After all, the 
names are older, and these and Petworth (D.B. Petewurda) 
are traceable to Peada, or more probably (if these are not 
the same) Peoht. Panborough is short for Padenbeara, al- 
ready mentioned as perhaps a trace of a Celtic saint. The 
name into which the word Piddingbeara, in Sussex, Pidding- 
ton, in Northampton, and Oxford Pidlea, in Huntingdon- 
shire, are traces of the same name. 



165 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Racial Names (continued). 
Blacks and Browns, Goths and Huns. 

From the evidence already given in the preceding pages, 
that some names of places were derived from tribal or clan 
names can scarcely be doubted. The question is. How far 
may we go, and what amount of certainty is there in the 
evidence? And even these tribal names were derived 
ultimately either from personal names or local names, and 
these designations themselves had their meaning. If these 
meanings are discovered or discoverable, that is clearly the 
explanation of the name, whether a personal or place-name, 
or both. Names were doubtless here, as elsewhere, intro- 
duced by the conquering or dominant race. The Saxon 
names and the Scandinavian names were from their homes 
in various parts of the continent of Europe. All kinds of 
adventurers arrived to take their share of the milk and honey 
which was reported to flow in abundance in the land across 
the sea. The good things were to be had by tbe bold and 
adventurous. Was it not so in the advancing tide of im- 
migration to the newly-discovered world across the stormy 
Atlantic? Is it not so now? May not a band of Somerset 
seekers of a new home desire to find something in their 
native land, and so at least call the new spot by a much- 
loved name of a Somerset village or hamlet? Melbourn 
(in Milborne Port and the old hundred of Melebourne) is 
a name in this county as well as in Cambridge, Derby, 
Yorkshire, and elsewhere. Mel is Melda, a Saxon name 
sometimes becoming Middle, which came across the sea here, 
and has gone across a mightier sea again. The loss of the 
" d " after " 1 " is regular in Norman-French. 

Old names and new names exist side by side for long, and 
so we may find Merrimac, or Sturgeon river, alongside 
London or Bedford, and the lake Winnipeg alongside 
Framlingham or Taunton, in the new Anglo-land. But 



166 

Winnipeg is a poetic word, " the smile of the great spirit " ; 
a designation that Is as full of poetic fire as the word 
Aeschylus put in the mouth of Prometheus when at last, 
after impatiently listening to awkward consolers, the rivals 
of " Job's comforters," he at last breaks forth into apos- 
trophe and speech of " the many dimpling ocean " — 

The spring's of rivers and of ocean waves 
That smile innumerous. 

It is quite like this that we occasionally find the old Celtic 
name alongside the new Saxon or Norman name, and the 
one supplants the other. When we reflect that some of these 
place-names were but transplanted, transferred from the 
original homes of Jutes and Saxons, Goths or Huns or 
Northmen, we are led to look for parallel cases in these 
continental corners, and, of course, we find them. A theory 
is founded on the settlement of the Saxons and their tribes. 
The period embraced is from the middle of the fifth to the 
middle of the seventh century, according to Bede, writing of 
course, on traditions handed down through six generations. 
Anthropological evidence is called in to support and sup- 
plement the theory. It is the theory of place-names as in- 
dicative of great tribal and racial settlements. The Blacks 
and the Browns are adduced as evidence of racial marks of 
distinction, while other names point to Goths and Huns. 

The Hunsings were Frisians, and the Goths and the Getae 
were Jutes. Certain tribes of the Wends were called Wintr 
by the Scandinavians. Relics of these settlements are looked 
for in such district names as Winter-stoke, before-mentioned, 
the name of a Somerset hundred, in Winter-bourne in 
Gloucestershire, and along the banks of the Thames. 
So Barrington, Barton, and the like are supposed to conceal 
in themselves remembrances of the former denizens, the sons 
of Bera. Bera means a bear, and was perhaps, it is suggested 
by this theory, originally a by-name or a tribal cognizance. 
According to this theory, if we look for the racial character- 
istics of swarthy peoples we find them recorded in place- 
names involving the verbal elements of black and brown. 
Of examples there are instanced such names as Blackford, 
in Wincanton, and another Blackford in Wedmore. Similarly 



167 

Blagdon (D.B., Blache-don), Blake-down in Kirby's Quest 
1315 and 1343, is Black-down, Blackenhill, Blackland (Blake- 
land 1408), Blackmore, in Cannington and Churchill, 
Blackwell, Blackamore, in Carhampton hundred, an obsolete 
name, Blackesalla, in Andresfield hundred in Enmore. Thus 
also of Browns there are Brunfella (D.B.), Brunfeld (Edward 
III.), which is Brownfield, now spelt Broomfield, and by its 
form tempting us to derive it from the Planta Genista or 
Broom ; also Brown, in Treborough. The derivable personal 
names Blake, Blakeman, Black, Blacker, Brown, and so 
forth, are, of course well known. 

It ,is, however, by no means a certainty that the name 
Black and its congeners are to be traced to a root meaning 
swarthy, or that Brown or Brun refers to colour. Some of 
the modern bearers of the name are not dark, which might 
be accounted for by admixture of blood. No doubt bearers 
of the name Black or Brown were among the early settlers. 
A man named Blecca, which is modern Blacker, was the 
governor of Lincoln in 627, and Blac is a Domesday 
name, though not in the Somerset list of owners and occu- 
piers. Curiously enough, in meaning the root is more likely 
the very opposite of dark. Blic, found in some old German 
names, actually means to shine. Thus Black as a name means 
light rather than dark, curious as this sounds and seems. 
It is easily seen that the name White is from colour ideas. 
It may, however, often be derivable from wiht, which means 
wit, or wight, meaning little, as in the name Wightman, 
sometimes the name of a big man. Little John, Robin 
Hood's companion, was, it appears, a big man. The name 
was, of course, only given ironically. Nor is Brun neces- 
sarily the colour of a dusky race. It may be Brun, Born, 
Brunner, Bourne, a spring, the Gothic Bruna, and old high 
German Brunne, from Norse brunnr, a spring. All that, 
after all, can be affirmed with any certainty is that at the 
base of these names are the words Blecca and Brun, which have 
become personal names. A Blecca was an alderman of 
Lindsey, in Lincolnshire, " converted " by Paulinus, and 
Blaecman, the son of Ealric, or Elric, of Bernicia. The 
obsolete Somerset name (Blackesalla) mentioned above is an 



168 

indication. Blackes-all or Bleceas-all is, in the reign of Edward 
III., spelt Blackesole, whether hall, hill, or hole is doubtful. 
The Blackamore mentioned is not now identifiable with any 
known manor. It is either the name Blec or a descriptive 
name, as Bleakmoor. At anyrate, as we are not now busied 
with an ethnological investigation so much as philological, 
this knowledge of the names is sufficient for an explanation 
of the place-names and their origin. 

The Goths and Huns of Somerset are of considerable in- 
terest if we can find them. Gothi, Getae, and Guthi are 
said to be all names of the same people. The Jutes were of 
the same race as the northern Goths. King Alfred was 
descended on his mother's side from the Goths and Jutes 
of the Isle of Wight. Ulph, Ulf is a Gothic word of which 
an instance has been given in Woolverton, Ulferton. It is 
assumed, in the search for gothic tribal and racial names, 
that the traces are to be found in many if not in all words 
beginning with God, Godi, and Geat. Goda and Geat, it 
is asserted, mean a Goth or Jute. In such names for in- 
stance as Godstow, Godmanchester, Godmeston. In Charl- 
combe, in Somerset, we meet with the name Gautheney 
(D.B., Godelega), Goathill naturally reminds us, as does 
Goathiirst, of the goat kept for milking purposes. Goathill 
is D.B. Gatelma, and Goathurst is very curiously Gahers. 
In addition is Godney Moor. These are all claimed as signs, 
proofs, and indications of a Jutish occupation of the fertile 
fields of Somerset. Gautheney may be identifiable in a 
manorial survey with Godelega of Domesday, but the names 
are not so as they stand. Gothen-ey might be Goth or God 
Island, or a form of Goden-hay, and Gode-lega is Goth or 
God-lea or meadow. Goathill is a decided corruption and 
abbreviation of the Domesday spelling Gat-elma. Geat, 
Geta was in Scandinavian mythology the son of Taetwa, 
ancestor of Woden, according to Kemble's Saxons, and 
similarly Geat was an ancestor of the Goths. But Gaethelm 
is a name of a similar type to Aldhelm. It is easy to 
see how this significant compound name has become Gatel, 
and then made into Goathill. And then, of course, the 
explanation is given that it was of yore a famous place for 



169 

goats ! In 1270 it is Godhulle. In 1315 it is Goathill, and 
Goatehull in the 15th century. Godhelm or Gotelm is a 
name which has by popular corruption assumed the profane 
and ludicrous form of Goddam, a wonderful personal name 
of which it is difi&cult to feel proud. 

Goathurst is in the Domesday form Gahers. According 
to Hope's Glossary of Dialectical Nomenclature, which pur- 
ports to give the popular pronunciation and is not an index 
of meanings or etymologies, it is usually pronounced Go- 
thurst. If so, this preserves the first syllable of Ga-hers, and 
here we scarcely find a Goth or the personal name Goda. 
In 1166 we read of Hugh, son of Malgar de Gaherste, hold- 
ing one knight's fee in the Barony. In 1343 (Nomina Vil- 
lariim, Kirby's Quest) it is spelt Gaurste. In 1315 in writs 
it is Gathurst (compiled in time of Elizabeth). Now Gahers 
and Gaurst are unintelligible forms to the popular appre- 
hension, and the name appears to have developed into a 
recognisable word, Goathurst, a goat-wood. It might be 
Celtic caher, the same as caer, a fortress, and it is indeed 
like the form Caerews, in Montgomeryshire, and Cahors, 
in France. Gahers is in reality the personal name Gaer and 
short for Ansgar. This appears to be an almost incredible 
transformation, as incredible as that Grantabrig should 
change to Cambridge. 

Godminster, in Somerset, is variously spelt. It is in the 
parish of Pitcombe. Mr. Weaver, the most able editor of 
Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries, gives the following 
list of spellings taken from original sources. In 1250 God- 
manneston, in 1316 Godmaston, 1327 Godmanston. The 
16th century spellings vary between miston and maston. The 
earliest date for the full-blown word minster is in 1836, and 
is that of Mr. Phelps, the historian of Somerset, while Mr. 
Hobhouse, another reverend authority, relying on the form 
munster, suggests that here at one time there existed an 
association of missionary priests. But this name may be 
Godmerston. Godmer and Godmaer is a personal name, or 
as there is no sign in the spellings of the " r " it is with far 
more certainty the well-known name Godmunds-ton, from 
which the other transitions are easily explicable. God is an 



170 

ancient name, as we have seen. God was the name of an 
English writer of the 13th century. Gode has become Good, 
as such a name God would sound irreverent to English ears. 
Among the witnesses to a charter of Ethelred is God, 
minister, that is an official. It also appears in the less 
startling form of Codd. The various spellings of Godney 
Meare, the moor near to Glastonbury, suggests to us that 
this is God's Hay, or enclosed field, for it is Goden-eya in 
1344 and Godden-hay in the 16th century. But that " eya " 
is doubtless " ige " of the Saxon, Godenige, that is God's 
island, the abbot of Glastonbury had jurisdiction here, and 
so its origin may really be God's island in the divine sense 
of God, and not the everyday man's name of Good. In 
Dunweare there is Godwines Bower, and we also find Gotton, 
a hamlet in West Monkton, while four and a half miles 
from Bridgwater is Gothewif (" the water-mills at Goth- 
wif "), usually supposed to be a surname derived from a 
woman's name. There is a name on record in the county of 
William Goodwife. William was thus both husband and 
undeniably "wife" also, without the need of disturbance of 
domestic bliss and household peace. Remembering the 
dialectical interchange of " f " and " p " in various periods 
this is probably the same name as Godwip. It is the name 
wip or wippa found for instance in the modern name 
Whipple. There is a local name cited of Wippanhoh, 
Whipp, Whippy, Whiff, Wipple, Wipping, and Wipkin. 
The Wippinga (so called) were early settlers. Wip or wif 
means woman. This name easily accounts for Wapley, in 
Gloucestershire. Of course, the easiest etymological ex- 
planation is seized upon, and it is supposed to mean the 
weapon lea, where the Saxon territorials drilled in the days 
of yore. In the midnight hour is heard the clash of ghostly 
weapons. A Wipo by name was chaplain of the Emperor 
Conrad II. (1040). The name is thus not unknown. In a 
14th century list of men's names in Somerset we are amused 
by the nicknames William le Wop, as well as William le 
Rat, William le Coiner, Hugh le Blod-leter, Adam le Pud- 
dying, and John de Smallfish ! It may be supposed that 
le Wop is for wopse, and not the genuine name Wippa. 



171 

The Terra Colgrini, Colgrin's land, mentioned as an obso- 
lete name is put, in arrangements of manors, in Charlinch, 
D.B. Cerdeslinc, i.e., Cedrics-lynch. Terra Tedrici, the land 
of Tedric. Tedric is the same as the well-known frankish 
name of the eighth century, Theodric. A Tedric was a thane 
of Ford (Eford, D.B., i.e., Eadfirth), in Norton Fitzwarren. 
Theodwulf, Theodwig, Theodfirth, Theod-red also occur. 
From these it may be fairly inferred that in Terra Olta, Olta is 
the relic of a personal name, which Asholt preserves. Ash- 
holt, taken at its face value without further inquiry, means 
Ash-wood. In reality it is the doubled personal name 
Aescwald, and became Ashald and then Asholt. This seems 
to corroborate Eyton's identification.^ 

Cholwell is the name of a small district in the parish of 
Temple Cloud, as a part of Cameley. We find, in the list 
of field names in Blagdon, a spot called Cholwell. And 
there is at least a third in the south of the county mentioned 
in the boundaries of the cell of Dunster, Codecomh apud 
Chaldewelle. This is a spelling of 1201, and later, in 
the Pedes Finium, it is Cealdville and Childwelle. The little 
district we best know is usually bleak and cold enough, as 
it is all along Glutton Slade, or Slatt and Sleight as they 
call it. Obiter, Slade is a word with a meaning; it means a 
breadth of greensward in a ravine or a wood. But what 
Slatt means who knows? Why corrupt names? It is done, 
as the student of place-names knows, without either why 
or wherefore, by the etymological slattern. I am hoping to 
see on a farmer's cart " Slade Farm " some day in place of 
Sleight. It is cold enough, we say, to be derivable from 
Ceald, cold. We do not know where the well is to make 
it mean Cold Well. Weald, we find, does occur in Somerset, 
(if Mr. Pullan is right) in the name Monkton Weald (West 
Monkton?), but it is so rare that we are not disposed to 
make Clutton Slade into a Wealden. We have always to 
bear in mind that the influence of what is originally a 
frankish pronunciation affects the form of words. And 
thus hard letters are softened; " c," for example, into the 



'Eyton's Domesday Studies. 



172 

soft " ch." Whether the initial letter assumes this form or 
not seems to be almost a matter of caprice. Thus, Ceol is 
Keel ; in Ceolwine it has become Collin, and after the usual 
fashion adds a ridiculous sibilant. Collin has an etymo- 
logical meaning, but Collins none. Hill means something 
as a tribal name, but Hills is ludicrous. Ceol, too, becomes 
Chel and Chal, and Cholwell in the three instances given — 
with doubtless others — is the personal name Ceoldwald, and 
Chelwood, with its Domesday spellings, noted, is Ceol- 
worth. Chelwood is a very late corruption, for the place- 
name is spelt Chelworth when Stowey and Chelworth were 
joined together in one ecclesiastical charge. The Domesday 
spellings of Cellewert and Celeworda are thus become Ceol- 
worth. Wrda and urda are usually forms of worth, a 
watered farm, but wert and worda in this case seem to give 
indication that the original name is Ceol-weard, and Ceol- 
weard is a Mercian name, but here found in Wessex. Ceol- 
weard is a known and intact name, answering precisely to 
the D.B. spellings. In the same neighbourhood there is in 
Compton Dando a local name, Chel-grove ; that is, Ceol- 
graf — graf as before explained. But this is still further soft- 
ened in local pronunciation to Shelgrave, and people may 
well wonder what Shelgrave means, who he was, and when 
Shel was buried. There is also Chel-lynch in Doulting, which 
may probably have this origin. 



173 



CHAPTER XX. 

Racial Names (continued). 
" In Gordones-Land." 

Some place-names have, from various reasons, inevitably 
given rise to almost interminable discussion. One of these 
is Gordano, and another Silver Street. The latter may be 
sometimes, but is by no means certainly, a personal Scan- 
dinavian name, not unknown of Solfra and Solvar. It was 
the name of a Danish chief. We reserve the consideration 
of this interesting name, merely saying that a fairly wide 
induction does seem to point to the fact that there is water, 
a stream, and ford where the name mostly occurs; adding, 
however, that the name is found in the form in which it 
is spelt in Somerset D.B. in the Alps, as Tauber, in his 
Ortsnamen (place-names) shows. This gives us pause. 

Gordano is a district rather than a place-name. The dis- 
trict is within the limits of the hundred of Wynstok, now 
called Winterstoke. It is an intermediate district between 
two ridges. One terminates near Clevedon; another, pass- 
ing north-east, ends at Portishead. From the situation and 
shape there are given some attractive and plausible ex- 
planations which we only unwillingly let go. For example, 
the area included is wedge-shaped. It is in shape a veritable 
gore, as dressmakers use the term. Undoubtedly, denu 
and dene are originally Celtic words, meaning vale, or at 
least low-lying ground. So it is stated to mean, the tri- 
angular vale. It is still true certain parts that do not lie 
in the real triangle are styled in-Gordano. Similarly it 
is said that Battle Gore, lying between Williton and 
Watchet, is named from its being the site of a battle, and 
the existence of a gore of sand comes into view at low 
tide. These are local names, as Gore Hedge, in Frome, 
and Gore House. Another very pretty explanation is that 
it is possible that the name is derived from the Celtic word 
gyrwe, a marsh, and the aforesaid word dene is com- 



174 

mon in the county. Again, the district of Gordano is 
limited by a ridge which so pleasantly overlooks the 
shining Severn sea, where, under a hedge you may enjoy 
yourself " with a book " (on place-names) " in a nook." 
Accordingly, what is to hinder us regarding the derivation 
as deducible from a double Celtic word (which is cer- 
tainly preferable to the above-mentioned hybrid), and say 
gor means a limit, which is actually the case, and denu 
a vale? Either of these, the marsh-vale or the ridge-vale, 
are correspondent to facts. There are other ingenious and 
suggestive explanations. It is said, for instance, that once 
upon a time there was a fishing wear or were or waer or 
Gwaer, and it is Gwaer-don. This is very far-fetched and 
forced. We might also say Gyrwa is Saxon for fenny land. 
This is true to fact in part. The prose of fact is often a bitter 
descent from the poetry of the imagination. The truth is 
that no history of the place-name bears out these conjec- 
tures, however delightfully plausible. The facts seem to be 
that if we are to go back to remote Celtic or even later 
Saxon for the geographical and etymological explanation of 
the name, we in vain search the records available. We 
might, as in other cases, fairly expect to find some relics. 
But, as far as our research goes, Gordano as a district name 
does not appear until the thirteenth and fourteenth cen- 
turies affixed to this locality. In 1270 it is described as 
Gordeyne. In a thirteenth century list of landholders was 
Thomas de Gardino, who held a knight's fee in Side and 
Gardina. The place-name is not in D.B. or mentioned in 
the Taxatio of Pope Nicholas (1297). In the 14th century 
we find the description " in Gordones-land." And grant 
in 1404 (Henry IV.), and in 1430 Earl Mortimer held the 
manor of Easton in Gordano. The name occurs elsewhere, as 
in the Historia Walteri Hemingford Walter was a canon of 
Gisselburne. It is a history, in Latin, of the reigns of 
the three Edwards (I., II., III.), and is in point of fact 
copied from the original work of that prince of archsE- 
ologists and hagiologists, William of Tynemouth, to whose 
ceaseless and prodigious labours we owe nearly all we know 
of the medieval saints of England, Somerset included. He 



175 

was a marvel for his era. And it is he who tells us of Wil- 
helmus de Gardina and Humfridus de Gordino, the first of 
whom perished cum valentibus, i.e., forces numbering one 
hundred and sixty, in the Scotch border wars; and 
the second was, with Adam Gordoun, in the first 
line of battle among the Scots who were worsted by Edward 
III. at Berwick (1333). It is a coincidence in date that in 
1330 Edward III. we meet with the name in Gordano. It 
is in origin a personal name. As these men were Scotsmen, 
the name would seem to be as north-country as the sur- 
name Gordon. Now, in the Somerset Domesday Book this 
name, nearer perhaps to its original form, does occur. 
Godroano was the lord of Carnicot, in Camerton. In a 
later charter the name is spelt " Godrenes land." Now, 
Godrene is as explicable as Godwine, Godhold, and Godric. 
The prefix god we know, and " rene " means " pure " in 
Scandinavian. It occurs in the name Rainhold, the name of 
the priest who was confessor to the pious King Edward himself 
called the Confessor. And we also find Rainelf, Renewaldus, 
and is there not the place-name Rains-worthy, in Glouces- 
tershire? Now Godrene is a known Saxon name. It is 
much like Godrun. In the place-name the consonants have 
interchanged, Godrene has become Gordene, while the 
aristocratic Norman becomes Godroana and Godrano. The 
name is not Norman save so far as it is the name of a 
Northman. The curiosity of this name would appear to 
consist in the application of a personal name to a whole 
district, but it does not stand alone as Winterstoke testifies. 
If D.B. Winestoc is correct, the personal name Wine, as 
in Winsford, is the explanation of the first syllable, or the 
name Wintr, previously mentioned. That the name does 
not appear until the medieval period is strong evidence 
that Gordones, namely, Godrene's land, is no mistaken ap- 
pelation, but arises from some circumstance of possession, 
of which we do not appear to be able to find any precise 
account. A Celtic compound is not likely to shoot up 
suddenly after this unusual fashion. It is needful, in such 
a case, as in Silver in Monksilver and Silver Street, to enter 
into a detailed explanation. 



176 

If Godrene is Scandinavian or Norse, Clappa, in Clapton- 
in-Gordano, is Clappa's-ton, Saxon. A Clappa was a King 
of Bernicia. An Osgod Clappa was father-in-law of Tofig 
Pruda (1064). By the way, we may express our wonder that 
Tofig or Tovey, has not left a mark in local nomenclature. 
The personal name is still tolerably frequent in Somerset and 
the neighbourhood. The name Clappa, therefore, was extant 
and well-known. And there are several place-names in 
Somerset that show this. There is a Clapton in Crewkerne, 
another in Cucklington, a third in Midsomer Norton, and 
a Clapton-wick and a Clypton in Marston Bigot. We may 
compare Clap-ham, so well known for its railway junction, 
and in Norfolk we find Clippes-ly, and Clippes-ton elsewhere. 



177 

CHAPTER XXI. 

Racial Names (continued). 

Publow is a baffling name treated merely etymologically. 
The Ajiglo-Saxon word lowe is more usually applied to arti- 
ficial tumuli than to natural mounds, but later it acquired a 
more general meaning : — 

He is, he seide, ther, he is won 
With our shape upon the lowe, 

says an ancient distich. In some names it is difficult to tell 
where, when there is a compound, we are to divide the syll- 
ables. Is it lowe, or Norse, haugh, a hill? As early as 1258 
we read " At Westminster in the octave of the purification 
John de Sandlands (St. Lo) querent and Peter, abbot of 
Keynsham, for the advowson of the Church of Pubbe-lowe 
or Puppel-lowe. John quitted claim to the abbot. It is 
spelt Pobbe-lewe in 1315-16 in the Exchequer Lay Subsidies 
(this is from the Harleian MS. written in the time of Eliza- 
beth, but doubtless maintaining the earlier spellings) as 
copied. Unfortunately we have no Domesday spelling or in 
the Taxatio Ecclesiastica. The form Puppel-lowe is an in- 
dication of the suppression of the double " 1 " in the later 
forms. There is a Popple-ton in Yorkshire, and a Popple- 
ford in the south. This last name is locally and popularly 
derived from the pebbles that line the stream called the 
Otter. The word Papolstan means a pebble stone. A pap- 
pel, too, is a poplar, but there are no signs of any unusual 
quantity of stones lining the ripling Chew at Publow or 
of any unusual abundance of the poplar tree to give rise to 
a descriptive name. We think that these spellings might 
indicate the derivation Poble-lowe and not " Pobe "-lowe. 
Poble is probably a form of the Celtic name St. Peblig. 
Poble indicates the ultimate derivation from populus. Pop- 
ple, people. And so Pople-lowe would then mean the peo- 
ple's or common land. But let us see. In TintinhuU there 



M 



178 

was a priory called Bablew Priory. It was two miles from 
Ilchester and annexed to Montague Priory, which, being 
alien, was early suppressed (2 Henry V.). According to 
Strachey there was in the time of Henry VIII. a licence to 
Sir Thomas Wyatt (who had the grant of Montague Priory) 
to alienate lands in Balhow (evidently a variant and corrup- 
tion or mis-spelling), in Bearcroft, and other lands in Tintin- 
hull to the use of Elizabeth Darrell, and later (6 Edward VI.) 
a licence to John Light to alienate the capital messuage 
called Bablew Priory, in Tintinhull, to John Cuff and John 
Timbresburg. This name helps to the solution of 
both. It is the known name of an owner, Babilo and 
Pabilo, names which are still perhaps akin to Peplig. The 
interchange of " b " and " p " is easy and frequent. Thus 
neither of these place-names are compound words. Babilo is 
cited as an extant name. The name is, of course, Babil or 
Papil, and it is possible that the place-name is Babil-lowe or 
Babil-haugh, there being no difference in the meaning, i.e., 
hill. As already hinted, the local name Pipple-pen may 
throw additional light on the subject. Papil, Babil, Piple, 
and Pippel are forms of a name. We met a labourer named 
Poble, and when first greeted with it we pondered it much. 
It seems to be a very rare name even now. Thus the puzzle 
of Publow resolves itself into the rarity of a personal name. 
Pipple-pen farm stands on an eminence close to the road 
leading from Grey Abbey Bridge to South Perrot. In the 
time of Richard I. there were the De Pipple-pens of Perrotte, 
and, in the days of Henry III., Thomas de Pupel-pennes. 
This is clearly the same name. Pen means a headland, Poble's 
headland, as Publow is Poble-lowe or Pople-haugh, if not 
just the one whole name Pabilo, as above suggested. 

We have perhaps a change from this series of Saxon and 
Scandinavian names in that of Discove, a hamlet name in the 
parish of Bruton. The Domesday spelling is Digenescove. 
Cofa in A.S. is first a bed chamber and then means generally 
a hut. In the Valor Ecclesiasticus (Henry VIII.) this has got 
spelt Discowe. In 1428 it is Dishcove. It is also spelt 
Dickenscove, which is interesting. Diga is a monk's name as 
early as Ethelred. And Dycga was the name of a priest in the 



179 

diocese of Hereford in the year 803. The name is, we think, 
Celtic, and the same as Tigawny or Digawny, i.e., the name 
of a Welsh saint. But it is found in Saxon compound names 
and may have been originally of Teutonic origin. Perhaps 
Dycga was an early Somerset hermit. Is Digene the origin of 
the name Dickens as the above spelling at least suggests? 

Bolestan is the name of a hundred, and it has been derived 
from bole, meaning the stump of a tree, very much like 
Bempstone is the beam or hem, meaning a pillar : " I led 
thee by a pillar of cloud " is " In Bem of cloude Ich ladde 
the." Bolestan is in fact Bula's stone, or even the whole per- 
sonal name Bulstan, of which, however, we discover no 
example or an existent illustrative personal modern name. 
Bula is no doubt the modern Bull, Boley, Bui, which is not 
from the animal name. The same element is found in the 
local Somerset name Bellysmere, which is a twist of the man's 
name BuUmaer. There is a Bols-ton in Glamorganshire, 
and a Bouls-ton in Herefordshire (where no explicative stones 
are found), all of which are interpretable on the same lines. 

Bempstone may be a corruption of Bins-tone, as in Binegar 
as elsewhere suggested. 

Alfoxton, in Strington, is Alf ages-ton in D.B. In 1498 it 
appears as Olfoxton, later as Alfoxdon. Alfage is in 
971 Alfegus. The stem fag, in the place-name as a double 
name, Fage and Vage, and the modern Fagge, is taken by 
Foerstenmann to be from the Gothic Faheds, A.S., faegen, 
agreeableness or cheerfulness. The name is really Aelfegus or 
Alfegus, as Aelf-red or Alfred. This name Vage, Fage, Fag- 
gus, and Veggus, as it is variously spelt, was the name of the 
legendary highwayman of the West who is said to have had 
his robber's retreat at Oare. The author of Lorna Doone was 
the son of a former rector of Oare. Was Vage the prototype 
of a Doone? 

Emborough is not, it appears on examination, simply Elm 
borough, because of the presence of the wide-spreading, 
shallow-rooting ornament of an English landscape, the tree so 
called. We have no very early spellings. We find in D.B. 
the spelling Amelberga. Three centuries later, in the Nomina 
Villarum, it is but little different, Emeleberga. In 1419 we 



180 

have, perhaps, a freak of spelling, Empnebergh.^ Clearly Em- 
borough is an abbreviation. We might suppose that amel is 
for hamel, an old French word of which hamlet is a diminu- 
tive. In the lists of manors cum hamel is not infrequent. And 
as berg is a hill, this would yield us the amel, or village on the 
hill, which it is. But, plausible as this seems, the hamel 
meaning hamlet is a later word. Imela is another name, and is 
the dipt form of the female name Imhild. But the first vowel 
shows no variation. Now, Amal is the name of a mythical 
forefather of the Goths, and, quite in the usual way, this 
name was used both singly and in compounds, as in Amal- 
heard, Amalgaer, Amalbeorht. This is Amalberga, probably 
the name Amalburh. The modern names are Hamill and, 
perhaps, Hamling and Hambling. Amal is Gothic. 

In Thurlbeare we find Scandinavian. The name is not in 
D.B. It is spelt Thorlbeare in 1270. " Manor of Thorlebere, 
held by William de Monte Acuto." In Kirby's Quest it is 
Thurlbear. A sixteenth century spelling is Thurelbare. In 
a map of Somerset published in 1799 the name is spelt Thrul- 
beare. This reminds us of the place-name Trull, also near 
Taunton, two and a half miles south-west of this town, as 
Thurlbeare is three and a half miles south-east of it. Nor is 
this in D.B. Nor in the lists of vills and manors. There is a 
spelling Trowle. Among the names in the Somerset domes- 
day is filius Turaldi. This is Thorold. Thorold is also found 
as Toral. The full name, with significant syllables, is Thor- 
weald, or Thorvald. The steps are seen. Thurl and Trull 
are the same word differentiated. Bearw is flat land. Trull 
has been explained as a Celtic word, a huddled-up form of 
Trev-Uan, the village church. Why this should be called the 
village church more than any others does not appear. It is, 
we fear, an etymological prettyism. Trull is the Somerset 
way of saying Thurl. Thurlbeare we have heard in that vil- 
lage called something like Drullbeer. 

Thurloxton is a similar name. It is Thorlac or Torloc's 
tun. Thurlac and Durlac and Thorlac are names for which 
evidence is producible, as mentioned previously. It is inter- 



'See on Nempnett where is the suggestion that this may be an original spelling. 



181 

esting to bring these names with the old Scandinavian god 
Thor, as a part of a compound name, into juxtaposition, 
albeit we may not infer that Thorlac was some great and heroic 
person, or that place-names with Thor were scenes of idol 
worship. There are some names that are very old and ultim- 
ately Gothic that have come to us in changed shapes. A very 
old high-German name which has reached us with a Norman 
or Prankish tinge is that in the place-name Wedmore. It is 
surrounded by moor, but the higher land scarcely answers to 
this description. Farmers must have wondered why the 
plough land was called moor. On account of its surround- 
ings the interpretation wet-moor easily occurs as an explana- 
tion; as also does Weide-moor, because weide is in modern 
German a heath, and is an ancient word. Because a most 
interesting event took place there, and the peace of Wedmore 
was signed a thousand years ago between King Alfred and his 
Danish foe, Guthrun (or Gudrun), the place was called wed, 
a pledge, and, of course, the moor explains itself. But it was 
doubtless so called before this interesting historical event. 
Having regard to other place-names with the ancient 
word wade in them as a personal name usually con- 
sidered to be from wado, to wander, this name of 
Wedmore is the old name Vadomar, now known as Wad- 
more. The name Wada occurs in the Liber VitcB, and its 
Frisian form is Watto. We know Watts, both with and with- 
out the sibilant. Wado is a frequent name. It occurred then, 
for in D.B. there is Wido, a presbyter of Long Ashton, hold- 
ing under the Bishop of Coutance " a virgate of land belong- 
ing to the Church." Vadomar, or Wadomaer, is com- 
pounded of Wada, and maer means famous in this and other 
names (Kinmaer in Kilmersdon). The moor land attached to 
the manor of Vadomar was merely an expression at domes- 
day. The land called Mark-moor (from Maerc, a boundary 
of proprietary rights) was truly a wet-moor, for it was prac- 
tically a sheet of water in the winter, while the land which 
was originally Vadomar's stood high and dry. There is here 
the place-name Mark and the old fosse-way across it, called 
mark's Causeway, and the abbot's Causeway, still remain as 
memorials of the time when spots, previously unapproachable 



182 

save by boat, came to be visited by dry-shod pedestrians. The 
name Wedmore's land in 1242 was really right in the use of 
the possessive — William de Wedmoresland — and is as evi- 
dently historically correct as the expression " in Gordone's 
land." 

Other cognate names are Wadbury, a hamlet of Mells. 
Wembdon is in Domesday Book Wadmen-dun. This is, in 
fact, Wadmund, as in Edmund with the like meaning of 
" mund." This has been explained to mean "women-down," 
the reason for which, it is further said, is not now known. 
Again there is a Wadford near Neroch. They say it is the 
" ford that can be waded." Most fords can. It is Wadafrid, 
as Winford is Winfrid. 

Traces of a very ancient name with its easily interpreted 
(and not in this case so incorrectly as in many other instances) 
modern representative Gold and Gould as personal names 
is discoverable in the hamlet-name Goldonscott, Goldenscott. 
It is also spelt Gildencota. The forms of the name are Gild, 
Gald, and Gold. The D.B. spelling is Goldencota. It is Gil- 
dencota in 3 Edward I., and was a tithing. In 1069 the name 
William Goueld occurs. William Guald and Brien, both 
counts of Bretagne, two of the Conqueror's lieutenants, de- 
feated two sons of Harold, the only time these elder two sons 
of the unfortunate Saxon appear in English history. They 
were leading an Irish expedition against Devon. The name 
Goueld occurs in reference to lands the property of St. 
Saviour's Abbey, Bermondsey. In the Liber VitcB is the 
Anglo-Saxon form Golde, and the Frisian form Giolt. The 
origin does appear to have reference to value, but not neces- 
sarily metallic value. Gelten means to be worth. It will be 
seen that the sibilant is intrusive. It is not Goldson. Nor 
are we sure that Coat is here a cot, or house, any more than 
in some other cases. Cot is often the Anglo-Saxon form of 
the Gothic gaud, god, geat, and " Goldengyt " thus may be 
a compound name, as Sidcot, in Winscombe, Sidagaud, or 
Sida's cot. Sida is the old German name Sido, and there is 
the local name Syde-mann, Sidewine, and Sideflaed. Siden- 
ham is in North Petherton, and has, we know, become a per- 
sonal name taken from a place, and not given to it. There 



183 

is a curious name, Nightcott, in Brushford. How easy to say, 
"A place of night refuge for some now unknown reason." 
It is the name Noedt, Nytta, Nette (Frisian form), Nith in 
many names compounded in the customary way with heard, 
weard, mund, and perhaps gaud, a Goth, Nihtgaud. And so 
in Ashcott, in Horethorn, is aesc, the personal name " ask " 
and cott, Ascquid. And Wal-cott would thus, by analogy of 
these forms, be the personal name Wealh or Wall, from 
meaning the stranger. It must not be forgotten that the word 
Welsh is itself Saxon. 

There is also a Will-cot in Alms-worthy (Eahlmundes- 
worth). The prefix Wil corresponds to a Wiltoun in Curry- 
Rivel, a Wilhayne in Combe St. Nicholas. There is no more 
frequent element in personal names Wilmund, Wilhild, and 
a dozen or more others. And in this case, the name Wille- 
god occurs. Willcot is this name disguised, and Wilhayne is 
not a hayned up place any more than Pighaynes is a place 
of enclosure for pigs. Wilhayne is Willehun, as Pighanes is 
Pighun. Pigo is an old German name, but it has nothing to 
do with swine, but with the sword. Grimm says the word 
hun became a synonym for a giant, and a metrical writer of 
the ninth century describes the giant Polyphemus as the 
" groose hun," the great giant. Pigou is a name we know. 
Wilhun is known as a Mercian name, and here inWessex, too. 

How nearly connected this name is with Will, Wills, Willa, 
in such names as Wil-helm, Wil-frid, Wil-maer (as in Wil- 
mers-ham) may be seen from the Prankish spelling of the 
place-name Williton, in St. Decumans, and as the name of a 
hundred, "Williton and Free-Manors hundred." Willet 
Hill is in Elworthy, already mentioned. The Frankish spell- 
ing in the form Gilletona, precisely as William or Wil-helm 
is in French Guillaume, and in Welsh Gwillym. It was in 
1170 that Reginald Fitzurse inherited his father's estate of 
Gilletona, and in this twelfth century that Reginald Fitz-urse 
(of Becket fame) granted to his brother, Robert Fitz-urse, a 
moiety of Gillestone. In Henry II. 's reign this grant is con- 
firmed of lands in Willeton. In 1192-1205 Bishop Savaric of 
Wells allows that a chaplain shall reside in the vill of Wile- 
tone. In the fourteenth century it is Willi-tone and Wyle- 



184 

ton. In 1403 is a grant near Terra Templariorum. This is 
worth note as bearing on names with Temple, as Temple 
Combe, Temple Cloud, and Temple Hydon. The names 
Wyly and Willy are extant names of people in Somerset with 
whom we are acquainted. 

Foxcott is on or near the well-known Fosseway, and so we 
might say that thus it gets its name. The D.B. spelling is 
Fus-cota. In 1291 it is Foxcote and Fors-cot. The name is 
Furs-a, as in Furseman, a modern name. This name occurs 
elsewhere, as in the Fescheford, now Freshford, of which this 
appears a not unlikely explanation, but as it is situated near 
the confluence of the Frome and the Avon the puzzle of the 
spellings may find some other explanations. 

A pretty instance of the tendency of the popular tongue to 
get a good grip of a word is seen in a mysterious local name 
in Nunney, near Frome. It is Trullox Hill. Now, we should 
say this was Thorlacs Hill, as in Thurloxton, if it were not a 
sixteenth-century spelling (as would appear) of earlier forms, 
Tricox (which means Tritox, by confusion of the old form of 
the letter " c ") and Trotox and the spelling Truddox. This 
is Drud, or Trud, as Drud-here (Drury), the same as Trid, 
Trit and Trot, and the name Truttuc existed in A.D. 706. 
Drudhere or Trothere has become Trotter, and you wonder 
why your friend bears such a funny name, " Tom Trotter." 



185 

CHAPTER XXII. 

Doubled Names. 

The double names are mostly manorial. The Saxon cared 
less about the poetry of a waterfall, which the Celt would 
designate by a descriptive name, than he did about broad 
acres on which he would stamp his name. The Norman 
came, and with him a more perfect subinfeudation of his 
dependants. The aelh, or hall, of the Saxon thane gave place 
to the castle of the Norman baron. Lands are held on the 
tenure of serving in the wars in a gradation from the monarch 
to the man-at-arms. Many of the harsh laws of feudal times, 
rendered needful where armed watchfulness was the condition 
of a safe life, lasted until quite late times, like some other 
so-called relics of feudalism. When a Norman with a dagger 
in his throat might not infrequently be found in a lonely 
woodland path, to be armed and ready, and to send the tur- 
bulent Saxon early to bed, by sound of bell, was a prime 
necessity. The Manor, with its over-lord and gradation of 
ranks to the cow-herd, lasted for some centuries; and the 
names added to the original ones indicate the system at work. 
In this case, where the personality of the over-lord is pre- 
dominant, the name is a sign of proprietorship, and, taken 
in connection with the first name, advertises us of an altered 
ownership. Now certain names become dominant in the 
county or neighbourhood. Occasionally the double name 
appears to be an appellation added principally to distinguish 
a place from another with the same name. The names are 
cameos of English history. In no county are double names 
more numerous, so far as our observation extends, than in 
Somerset. In certain cases they are family names imported 
from Normandy and Brittany. Ruins of old castles in these 
and other parts of France still bear the titles; soldiers of 
fortune who came over not merely at the conquest but in 
successive centuries; able soldiers and statesmen who were 



186 

raised to position and possessions for their services to their 
liege lord, the king. More than once were the ownerships 
shifted at successive crises in national affairs. Rebellious 
nobles with their retainers in strongholds were as thorns in 
the side of a monarch, and in civil strife the plunder went as 
usual to the victors, and the vanquished were rebuked, de- 
graded, and beggared. The wheel of life, of war and of 
politics has raised the lowliest and depresesd the highest. 
Blue blood is as much a fiction as the epithet is shockingly 
misapplied and physiologically absurcj. The peers are the 
people and of the people, and raised from the people. The 
inheritor of a foolish face yields place to a commoner with a 
wise one often enough in the history of this land. The sur- 
viving names make you ask the question : " Where are their 
descendants?" And the answer is often enough : " Dispersed 
among the people, in shops of trade, in shops for manual 
work, even in lowly cottage homes." 

The names, too, remind us of religious conditions that have 
long since passed away. We follow the tracks of monastic 
institutions, and the surviving names are fossil marks, like 
ferns in coal shale, or trilobites in oolite rock, of conditions 
of village and land over which the waves of time have swept. 
Occasionally they are descriptive, geographical, and personal 
rather than merely manorial or monastic. In all respects 
they are interesting. Sometimes they wear the appearance of 
being the products of vaulting ambition. The name is lowly, 
but is capable of exaltation. The ginger-bread is plain, but 
it may be edged with gilt. Human vanity and the craving 
for distinction, the wish chiefly to o'ertop your fellows no- 
where comes out into clearer light than in names. Breed is 
not to be despised. The record of a race is of immense value. 
But breed wears out, and needs renewal. How long on an 
average does a great family last? Neither one good custom 
nor one good family is allowed to corrupt the world. With 
some such reflections do we ever and anon pause in the study 
of these added names. As far as possible, we take them in 
alphabetical order. 

Abbas Combe is also called in the Taxatio Ecclesiastica 
Combe Templer, and the name Temple Combe has ousted 



187 

the older name. The names strike two strata of his- 
tory. Abbas Combe is in reality Abbess Combe, for 
the land of this manor was at Domesday in the pos- 
session of Lenora Abbess of St. Edward, Abbess of 
Shaston, Abbatissa Sancti Edwardi, who was the 
Domesday tenant in capite. Abbas has become Abbots 
Combe in some documents. Combe Templer, now Temple 
Combe, is a name of considerable interest, because connected 
with the famous order of Knight's Templar, founded early in 
the twelfth century. "The Master of the Temple" in those 
days was not a cassocked and surpliced clergyman holding a 
dignified position in the Temple Church in London, but the 
head of a dignified military order set apart to guard the ways 
to Palestine, and to protect the holy places. The earliest 
Preceptory known in England was in 1136, at Cressing, given 
by Maud. Within fifty years of this Serlo Fitzado founded a 
preceptory of the order (1185) at this Combe. In 1309 
Clement 5th suppressed the Knight's Templars, and their 
lands were given to the somewhat older order of Knight's 
Hospitallers, so called because they began with the building 
of a hospital for pilgrims at Jerusalem. These were sup- 
pressed by the burly monarch, Henry VIII., in 1540, and in 
the 35th year of Henry VIII. the manor of Temple Combe 
was granted to Lord Clinton,^ and of course a " grant " — for 
a consideration — made to a useful person. Of so much in- 
terest is this name, which is also doubtless shared by Temple 
Cloud. John Strachey, in 1730, places this as a cell of the 
Templars' house in Temple Street, Bristol.^ Other names of 
like kind elsewhere are Temple Brewer, in Lincolnshire; 
Temple Newsom, in the county of York; Temple Beverley, 
in Westmoreland. There were only eighteen in the country. 
Other relics are Temple Down, in West Harptree, and the 
name of Temple-Hydon, also called Hydon Grange, or Char- 
terhouse Hydon, where the lands were possessed by the 
Knights Templars. Temple-Hidon is in the register of lands 



^List of the Religious Houses in Somersetshire. Strachey, p. 663. 'Bristow 
was one of the chief seats. The owners of Temple Combe may be 
found in Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries, iii., 88 ; Somerset 
Archaeological Society's Proceedings, XHV., ii., 63. See also Gerard, 
pp. 163-4, and Mr. Bates-Harbin's note. 



188 

belonging to the Preceptory of Temple Combe. It is in the 
report for 1338, Camden Societies' publications, " Knights 
Hospitallers in England." Templeton, in Devon, and 
W estcomh eland, in Buckland St. Mary, and Clayhanger, on 
Somerset borders, are also in this list. A picture of the re- 
mains of the Chapel of the Preceptory may be found in the 
fifth volume of Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries. The 
British Museum charters contain records of a grant of land 
in Heidune to Bruerne Abbey in A.D. 1180-1190. In the 
time of Henry III. there was notification of an exchange for 
land in Hidon with Bruerne Abbey. This Bruerne, or Tem- 
ple Bruer, or Brewer, must have been the one mentioned 
above in Lincolnshire, and not the Cistercian one in Oxford. 
This the name Temple tells us. The Charterhouse Hydon is 
land connected with Charterhouse Hinton, probably, where 
there was a Carthusian monastery. 

Abbot's Leigh formerly belonged to the Hundred of Bed- 
minster, and when the Church lands were confiscated, it, as 
was commonly the case, was transferred to another hundred, 
that of Portbury. It was only Lega, or Lea, in D.B. Robert 
Fitz-Harding gave this part so indicated, and another part to 
the Augustines, of Bristol. And so it acquired its distinctive 
name. Other names — ^Abbots Camel, Abbots He, Abbots 
Buckland — occur, and are mentioned hereafter under their 
more modern designations. There is also found in the 
boundaries of the manor of West Norton (Edmond the Elder, 
946, to his thegn Ethelwod : " Dunning-lea, leading to 
Crich-hulle," the boundary through middle of Abbing-leah, 
i.e., Abban-leigh or Abbots-leigh, to the Dulting stream. The 
name has been changed to Mapleaze, probably a corruption. 

Ash Brittle. — We have observed that in D.B. Ash is not uni- 
formly spelt. This is no wonder, but here the variations are 
suggestive. Ashley is spelt Asc-lea. Ash Brittle is Aissa, Ash- 
combe is Aisecoma, of which the spellings in the Nomina 
Villarum Hesecombe, Hececombe, and Hetsecoma are 
variants. Ash Priors is Aisca and Aisxa; Ashcombe in 
Weston-super-Mare is Aisecoma; Ashcott, Aisecota, Ashing- 
ton, Essentona ; Long Ashton, Eshtuna ; Ashway in Hawk- 
ridge, Ascwei ; Ashwick, Esewice. Now the personal name 



189 

Aesc, Aes, As, Aesc, Aescmann, is thus variously spelt, and is 
found in numerous compound personal names, As-cytel (Ash- 
kettle), Aescbeorht (Ashbert), and the like. In those very old 
names when the Saxon thought more of his personal posses- 
sions than physical features of his ownership, the name, as in 
Ashton, is personal, i.e., Aesc-ton. This same element is in 
Ash-with. Asec was the name of the son of Hengist. No 
doubt ultimately you get back to the tree for, mythologically, 
the origin of the name is in the " conceit " that man sprang 
out of the ash tree. Further, it was the wood out of which 
spears were made, and the name secondarily imports warlike 
strength and vigour. 

From this to the second name Brittle (though the two are 
commonly written as one word Ashbrittle) is from mytholo- 
gical Saxon to a Norman name probably having a Celtic base, 
for words of this origin are as common in the stretch of country 
once called Armorica as in Cornwall. In D.B. the subtenure 
was that of Brittel de St. Clare. In 1343 the name is read as 
Esse Britel, though in D.B. it is only Aissa. Montague Bretel 
derived his cognomen from a ville in Normandy. But the 
name is Celtic; Brithyll is Celtic Cornish for a trout. It is also 
Welsh. The root idea of Brith is that of " dappled." The 
name was appended very early, if not continuous, from the 
conquest. 

Ash Herbert is probably the place now known as Ashington 
(D.B., Essentune). The super-added designation is that of a 
Saxon name Herebeorth. A penny of Lincoln coinage bears 
the solitary name of Heribert, who was an ealderman. It is 
of frequent occurrence in the eighth and ninth centuries, and 
usually of those who were leaders of men. Har is " army " or 
soldier, and Beorht bright or illustrious, which appears in the 
name Bright, Bertrand, and the like. Ashington is situated 
in the hundred of Yeovil, and here Herbertus was a sub- 
tenant under Alured de Hispania, Roger de Corcelle, and 
Wm. de 'Ou. The Saxon name in the county has, whether 
continuous or not, shown a remarkable persistence. 

Ash Priors, or Priors Ash, Aissa in D.B. Esse Prior in 
Taxatio Ecclesiastica (1297). It is doubly surveyed in D.B. 
Part of the land was, in the time of King Edward the Confes- 



190 

sor, under the feofdom of the last of the Saxon bishops of 
Wells, Giso ; another part was held in chief by Roger Arundel, 
who gave it to Taunton Priory. According to Dugdale, this 
was a priory of Augustinian monks, and according to Speed, 
a nunnery, founded by Henry de Blois, Bishop of Winchester. 
A prior Stephen is mentioned in the Wells Register in A.D. 
1175. The vicarage of St. Mary Magdalen had some dozen 
chapelries attached to it, among which was Ash Priors. The 
name, accordingly, may be, as the connection certainly is, 
hoary with age. In 1438 in B. M. Charters is " Compotus of 
lands of Taunton Priory of Esse," in which it will be noted 
the descriptive name is not given. 

Ash Mayne is in Martock as a local name. If this is a per- 
sonal name, Mayne, it is a very old one, for the name 
Maanus and Meinus is found on old Roman pottery, and is 
Celtic, or more probably Gothic, and a word indicating 
strength. The forms are Magan, Main, Magnay. In German 
Mehne, and French Magne, Italian Magini. We have some 
suspicion that it is the same name as Moione (of which 
Gerard considers Mohun a corrupt spelling^) of Domesday 
Book. De Moione of Dunster was not only a considerable 
owner of landed estate in the county, and Sheriff of Somerset, 
but also King William's custos of escheated estates for the 
Conqueror, of which a manor in Martock, primarily owned 
by Queen Edith, was one. As it is " in dominio," it is just 
possible that Mayne may be the remanet of the full word 
desmesne, but scarcely likely. Of other names with the pre- 
fix ash are Ashley, near Bath ; Ashway, in Ashill, Dulverton, 
probably from the tree, as also Ashcombe and Ashford, in He 
Abbots; Ashold, also spelt Ashault. Aysseholt is ash wood. 
On the other hand Ash-wick, as we may here again say, is a 
compounded personal name, Aesc and Wig.^ 

Long Ashton, with Ashton Keynes within its borders. 
There are tythings Ashton Dando and Ashton Alexander, 
from Alexander Dando. Rutter^ says it was called Easton, 
because east of Portbury, and the most important place this 



'S.R.S., vol. XV., p. 19. ^See also p. 42. ^Delineations of the North Western 
Division of the County of Somerset, by John Rutter. Lond., 1829. 



191 

side the river. But this is a mistake, for in D.B. Eshtuna is 
the spelling. The prefix Long is fairly descriptive of the vil- 
lage street. It is length without breadth. But "Long" is 
said to be a corruption. In the Lincolns Inns MSS.^ 
it is simply Aixton and Axton, and Axston (1250 cir.). The 
original name from which Long is said to be derived is that 
of Lyons. It was Lyons Ashton. No doubt Ashton Lyons, 
Ashton Dando, were tithings. The Lyons family date from 
the 14th century. It is doubtful whether the whole parish 
was ever called Lyons Ashton. Ashton Theynes was possibly 
the original name of the picturesque village under the lee of 
the hill. In the D.B. survey the land was held by three 
theynes, thegns, or thanes, as we more commonly call them. 
They held pariter.^ A family called de Theyne existed up to 
the time of Edward the Third. Lyons is said to be a name de- 
rived from the French town of that name. In the Bath Char- 
tulary^ there are signatories mentioned named Edward de 
Lyonis, and others of the same name in the 13th century 
and early in the following. Some family may have come over 
here during the French wars, and become duly anxious to be 
descended from some plunderer who " came over with the 
Conqueror." It is just possible that the name is really a form 
of Lewins (Leofwine). A name wide-spread needs accounting 
for. Anyhow, the name did not become connected with Long 
Ashton until quite the end of the 14th century, and in two 
more centuries gave place to the ownership of the Choke 
family (1454, Richard Choke, Chokke, and Chocke, of Stan- 
ton Drew), a Lord Chief Justice of England. In Chew Magna 
is the local name Chalks. This is the origin of it ; but Chalks 
is puzzling enough as there is no lime about. There was also 
later a manor Ashton Philips, now Lower Ashton Court. 
This manor existed in the time of Elizabeth. There was a 
Hugh Phelippes concerned in a dispute as to the right of 
Rownham ferry, with William, abbot of St. Austin. This 
Philips is said to have derived his name from this locality. 



^Two Chariularies of Bath Priory, S.R.S., vol. vii. "According to Eyton's 
Domesday Studies, vol. i., p. 171, pariter merely implies that the status, 
degree, or quality of the tenure of the co-tenants are equal, and has no 
reference to the extent of the holding. ^Page 173. 



192 

The reverse is more likely. The family is of importance in the 
Tudor period. 

Barry Gooseford, or Barrey Gosejord is an obscure name 
little known out of its locality. It is a hamlet name in 
Odcombe. The hamlet and local names must not be left out of 
account. What they lack in importance is made up for in 
etymological and historical interest. Goesford is not the goose- 
ford. Gose is possibly a form of cors a bog, and Celtic ford, 
the way or road across the marsh. Gosemoor, in Broughton 
Regis, is then a doublet, for Gose already means a moor. Barry 
Gooseford and Barreys Goseford is a name found in British 
Museum charters of the time of Edward I. It goes so far back 
as the 13th century. We find no such name in Somerset D.B. 
Gosford is more probably the Saxon name Gosfrid and Gos- 
frith, or Gosa. The name is wide-spread — Gosfield in Essex, 
Gosford in Oxford, Gosforth in Cumberland, and also in 
Northumberland, Gosport, Goswick. Gos is a supposed high 
German form of gaud, a Goth. The English name Casswell is 
the old German name Gausvald, or Goswald. In 1294 we are 
informed of an Anthony de la Barre, and Christiana, his wife, 
in a question of property in East Luccombe, that is in the time 
of Edward I. We cannot absolutely determine whether Barry 
is the original place-name or a personal name. Barry is some- 
times derived from the Welsh with the prefix ap, and is the 
same then as Parry. This to us is doubtful. 

Barrow Gurney. — A barrow is, shortly, a mound of any 
kind. It has come to mean often, specifically, a " burial 
mound." This is a specialised meaning. The words " par- 
son " and " person " are precisely the same word in origin. 
The middle English of Bergh, a hill, is Berw. The modern 
German is Berg. The high road through Barrow Gurney un- 
mistakably passes under the lee of a tolerable " mound," and 
alongside an intolerable streamlet. We need not look for the 
bones of the dead. The D.B. spelling is Berua, and, needless 
to say, with no addition of manorial owner. The final vowel 
is only the Domesday speller's trick of a final vowel, as in 
" tona," for " ton." It is thus precisely Berw. It is Barwe in 
1304; " feofment in Le Barwe." Barough and Berghes in the 
time of Henry VIII. At the time of the much-mentioned 



193 

survey, Nigel de Gurnai held a sub-tenure of it under 
Geoffrey de Moubray, Bishop of Coustance. Notwithstand- 
ing this early connection with this family the name did not 
become inseparably affixed in documents until a much later 
period. In 1297 the Taxatio Ecclesiastica has only Barwe in 
the Deanery of Redclyfie. 

Barrow Minchin is another name for Barrow Gurney, or 
for some manorial portion of it. The explanation of this is 
that a Benedictine nunnery was founded there (it is said) as 
early as the reign of Richard I. In 1296 we read of a question 
arising : " East Harpetre and the Prior of Muneschinbarwe." 
In 1316 Joanna de Gurney was elected prioress, and in 1511 it 
appears this nunnery at Minchin Barrow, as it is called, had 
a pension of two marks out of the appropriated tythe of the 
church of Barrow. Speed says it was of Black Nuns dedicated 
to St. Mary and St. Edwin, built by Gournay. It is called 
Minchin Barrow in the time of Elizabeth, and as late as 1768 
in a will. Minchin is A.S. muncen, a nun. A nunnery at 
Brittlemore was called " the minchery." Munkin is short 
for monachina. The root, of course, ultimately is Greek, 
monachos. It is found also in Buckland Minchin, also known 
as Buckland Sororum (" of the sisters "). 

The original family of Gurneys in the male line appears to 
have died out. Eva de Gurney married a Thomas Fitz 
William Fitz John, of Harptree, and the latter took the name 
of his wife, Gornai. It is from this time and family that we 
get the names of Barrow Gurney, Farrington Gurney, Gurney 
Slade.i The latter name " Slade " is of frequent local occur- 
rence. We have seen that it is applied (from A.S. slaed) to an 
elevated open country, as in Glutton Slade, corrupted to 
" Slate," as in " Slate Farm." 

In the hundred of Whitley are the geographically-distin- 
guished names of North Barrow and South Barrow, in the 
south of the county, represented in D.B. by Berua and Ber- 
rowena. In Wincanton there is a local name, Barrow lands, and 
there is Berrow in Row-berrow. Between the village and the 
beach on the Bristol Channel there is a natural barrier of high 



'There is also Gournay Street in Canning:ton. The original name is from 
Gyvernay, in Normandy. 



194 

and extensive sand hills, or dunes, or barrows. Row, the prefix 
is ruh, which means rough, as in Ruborough, alias Money 
Fields, near Broomfield. Some regard this as the probable 
site of the famous battle of Brunanburh. 

Bishop Lydeard, or Lydeard Episcopi. — We may con- 
veniently bring together all the place-names which have this 
affix or suffix in the county. Such are Compton Bishop, 
Bishops Hull, Bishops-worth, Bishops Wood, Bishop Sutton 
(Chew Episcopi), Huish Episcopi, and in the Axe Drainage 
Commission of 1810 we find Bishop Axbridge. Not all the 
places that belonged to Bishops have preserved the record in 
the name. The principal Episcopal landowners of Somerset 
at the time of the survey were the bishop of Wells, Giso ; the 
bishop of Coutance, Geoffrey de Mowbray; the bishop of 
Winchester, Walcheline ; and the first of these is credited with 
about eighty thousand acres. Among the manors belonging 
to Giso were Chui, i.e.. Chew; Huish, Lidegar or Bishops 
Lydeard, Compton Bishop (as part of Banwell), while 
Lydeard St. Lawrence, Otterford, and Bishops Wood in 
Otterford, some part of Bishops Lydeard, and Bishops Hull 
were parts of the manor of Walchelinus, bishop of Winches- 
ter, chief tenant on the Domesday survey ;i at the time of 
Edward the Confessor the latter place was held by eight 
thanes under Stigand, the Saxon archbishop of historical 
fame. 

Lydeard in both names mentioned above is a personal 
name, Lidhard. Luidhard is the name of a bishop of Senlis, 
chaplain to Queen Bertha. The D.B. spelling is Lidegar (pro- 
nounced Lide-yar), and the T.E. Lidiard. The Saxon name is 
a compound of Lid, Leod, found in other place-names and in 
modern personal names as Lloyd, Lyde, and Cornish Floyd 
and Geard, Yeard, or Yarde, also an ancient name of a person. 
There is a place-name Lyde in Yeovil. How early is the oc- 
currence if this name is seen from the interesting fact, else- 



'Called Bishop's Lydiard " ever after King- Edward the Elder, during tbe 
rule of ye Saxons, gave it to the bishopp of Sheirbourne, but when, as 
the Bishopricke of Wells was taken out of that church, this amongst 
other lands fell to that bishop." Gerard : Particular Description of 
Somerset, p. 54, S.R.S., vol. xv. 



195 

where noted, that the earlier name of Montacute was Bishop- 
ston, and that its still earlier name was Lodegars-bury, and 
this is sometimes given as Logderes-don by an interchange of 
the consonants that might easily lead us on the wrong track. 
Lodegar is the same as Lidigar, and is the same personal 
name, Leodgeard. Further, there is supposed to have been 
a prelate of that name associated with the place, which gave 
rise to the name Biscops-ton. The chief tything and a street 
still bear the ecclesiastical name. Drogo de Montague was so 
called from the name of his seat in France, Mont Ague. 
Count Robert of Moretain, half-brother of the Conqueror, 
had just one hundred manors in Somerset, and Bishopston 
was a manor purchased in exchange with the monastery of 
Athelney. Gerard gives the name as Logwersbroch, " of one 
Logwer, whose name was inscribed in one of the peramides 
that stood in the churchyard of Glaston Church." It is also 
written " Legios-berghe," and so he is inclined to find the 
Roman " legion " in the name. This is William of Malmes- 
bury's spelling. A local name " Legcott " he supposes to pre- 
sume the same manorial. The Saxon origin is correct. 

Bishops Hull is curiously spelt at different periods Hill 
Bishops, Hill Bishop, Hillbrische, Hullbishops. Of these 
Hill-brische is the most curious. Bishops-worth is early spelt 
Bishport, 1315, and the fact is, it is so called to this day, 
while the usual documentary spelling is Bishops-worth. The 
Domesday spelling is Bisheurda. Bish and bisp are curtailed 
forms of bishop. Urda finds in other cases its modern represen- 
tative in worth, but it is possible that urd really is intended for 
a form of ord or ort, which means a corner, starting from the 
idea of a point of a weapon, and hence the spelling Bishp-ort. 
In any case, the meaning is clear, " Bishop's Place." 

Bower Ashton. — ^There is Bower (Boure, Bowe, and 
Bure) simply; East Bower and West Bower, North Bower, 
Bower Henton (Hinton, Bourehenton), Bower Mead in the 
parish of Martock, Bowerwaie in Thorne St. Margaret, Bour- 
ton (Flax Bourton), Bour-ton or Burton in Compton Bishop. 
The Domesday spellings are Bure, Bur, and Burw. Burw is 
a cottage or dwelling. Ashton became a personal name, 
and may be so here, as the name is found in the time of 



195 

Elizabeth. In Bower-Hinton or Hean-ton (Hea-ton), Hinton 
is probably Hean-ton or high-town (Hean, Celtic high), and 
is compound. But Hinton also became, and is, a personal 
name. These place-names transformed to personal names 
arose from designating, as is well known, persons by their 
abodes, John atte Bower or William de la Bure, which be- 
comes Bury. When the additional names were very late 
they often thus arose. In Domesday there is a tenant Hugo 
de Bures, which now, of course, would be Hugh Bury. 
These names Bures, Buri, or Burs are noticed in the first 
volume of Domesday as synonymous with Coliberti. In Du 
Gauge's Glossary this word Coliberti is derived from Roman 
civil law as meaning tenants in free socage, free rent, a 
middle sort of tenant between servile and free. If this be 
so, the various Bowers and Bures are relics of ancient modes 
of tenure. 

Flax-Bourton is not separately mentioned in the Survey, 
and there was no cause for its separate valuation in the 
Taxatio Ecclesiastica. In Historical Manuscripts of the time 
of Henry VI. (1422) it is mentioned as Bourton only in a 
grant of lands. In the time of Queen Elizabeth, in a 
calendar of Chancery proceedings, we have the distinctive 
name Flax-Bourton. But it is clear that the name originated 
late from some special circumstances connected with the 
place, and nothing is so likely as the connection with the 
priory of Flex-ley, in Gloucestershire. The Prior of Flexley 
had an estate at East Brent valued at twenty marks a year, 
in 1444, and possessed lands in or near Regill.^ The origin 
of Flex-ley is not far to seek. Flaec or Flecg is a personal 
name, with the modern form Fleck. It is rather Scan- 
dinavian than Saxon, Floki. And this is borne out by the 
occurrence of the word in the North Country place-names — 
Flex-by in the West Riding of Yorkshire, Flax-ton on the 
moor in the East Riding, Fleck-ney in Leicestershire. The 
basis is Flaka, a rover, perhaps a viking, and the word flag, 
indicating the iris waving in the wind, and our word flag, 
an ensign, are connected etymologically. The plentiful 



'Strachey : Religious Houses in Somerset. 



197 

growth of this plant will of itself hardly account for all these 
separate instances. Flax Bourton is Flex-ley Bourton, and 
the personal name originated with Flex-ley in Gloucester- 
shire, or Flecg's meadow. 

Bratton Seymour is simply Broc-tuna in 1086. Broctuna 
also in T.E. 1297, and in 1315 in the Nomina Villarum also, 
and in the Bruton Cartulary passim. Broc is a brook, and 
brock a badger. But broc, a badger, became, like so many 
animal names, a personal designation from some supposed 
resemblance in appearance and character. There are numerous 
place-names with the personal name Broc, as Broc-ley, Brock- 
hampton. Brockington is a patronymic name. The Broc-men 
were East Frisians, and, adopting this, the explanation of the 
names is racial. Broctuna evidently becomes Brot-ton by 
assimilation of the consonants, and Brat-ton is but a Somerset 
twist of the vowel. Some may still prefer to think of a brook, 
especially as a brook rises there, and note that Broctons 
become Broughtons all the country through. But this 
prevalence of the name is an argument in favour of the 
racial origin, rather than that from the local circumstance of 
the existence of a brook, or the possibility of badgers. The 
additional name of Seymour must have arisen at the end of 
the 14th or beginning of the 15th century, when a Roger de 
S. Maur, a great-grandson of Wm. St. Maur, apparently by 
alliance with the Lovells, Lords of Wincanton and Castle 
Gary, brought to the Seymours this manor. Thus, later in 
became distinguished by this family name. Wm. St. Maur, 
it is explained, took his name from St. Maur-sur-Loire, in 
Touraine. Another place-name, with the addition of Sey- 
mour, may here conveniently be considered. Kingston Sey- 
mour is so called in the T.E., that is in the 13th century. 
In 1197 this manor was granted by Richard I. to Milo de 
Sancto Mauro. This was, therefore, earlier than the former. 
It must not be forgotten that Semaer is a Saxon name. 

Bratton in Minehead is in D.B. Bradeuda. Bratton has 
thus a twofold derivation. Whatever the explanation of 
this may be, if the identification is correct, Bradeuda means 
Broad-wood. There are several Brattons, but they are con- 
fined to Wilts, Devon, and Somerset. The one in Wilts is 



198 

famous as identified by some with the historic Eddington- 
down. Probably they are Broad-tons, but the history of the 
place-name spelling needs investigation before a conclusion 
worth so calling can be arrived at. 

There is also a little-known local name in Somerset, 
Bratton Lyndes. Lyndes may be a personal name. In 
the Pedes-Finium, beginning of the 13th century, there occurs 
the name John de la Lynde and the name Lynde-cumb. 
Lin and Lind is a Saxon personal name. This explains Lyn- 
combe. It is found in compounds as Lind-win and Lind- 
wulf. " La Lynde " becomes a local name, like some others 
with the article La. Bratton and Lynde were separate manors.^ 

Brympton D'Evercy. — No one would guess that what the 
Domesday spelling gives as Broc in Brock-ley and the like 
is by some supposed to denote a racial distinction. Accord- 
ing to this the Brocmen were East Frisians. Nor would 
Brympton as it stands in its modern form suggest another 
real or supposed racial distinction. What is meant will be 
readily seen when we remark that the Domesday spelling of 
Brympton is Bruneton. This becomes Brempton in 1297. 
That is, Brune is Normanised into Bremp as a nasalised 
pronunciation. Brun is simply Brown, and Brun alone and 
in compounds as Brunhelm and Brunhild, Brun-man and 
Bruning (as a patronymic). Browning is prevalent from the 
seventh century onward. Racially, its members were of a 
brown tinge. There is a Brown in Treborough as a local 
place-name. Broomfield is in D.B. Brunefella. Besides, 
there is King's Brompton, and the old hundred of Brompton 
Vicecomitis are all spelt Brune-ton, and Brompton Ralph 
noted below. Brom-ley in Stanton Drew is Brun-lea. The 
name is Brampton in Henry the Third's reign. In this reign 
the manor of Brympton came to the family of D'Evercy. 
Peter D'Evercy was patron of the church in 1321. It is pre- 
sumed that the family sprang from Evercy, a place situate 
a few miles from Caen. The family was found in England 
at an early date. There is a Robert Evercy who obtained 



'See Mr. Bates-Harbin's note, p. 195, Gerard's Particular Description of 
County of Somerset, S.R.S., vol. xv. 



199 

confirmation of grant of lands in Yate, and it is likely that 
in 1226 Thomas D'Evercy purchased Brympton. The 
Gloucestershire and the Somerset families were one. The 
previous possessor was Richard De Cilterne (Chilthorne). 
Sir Peter d'Evercy, Knight, sat for Somerset in Parliament 
summoned to meet at Carlisle in 1306 and also in the Par- 
liament which met at Westminster in 1314, and was also 
returned for Southampton in the Parliament of Edward II. 
in 1318. 

Brompton Ralph,^ alias Fulford. — Ralph de Moione was a 
descendant of the great Domesday lord, William de Moione. 
At that date there existed a hundred of Brunetona Vice- 
comitis. This dignitary, the Domesday sheriff of Somerset, 
was William de Moione. In the Taxatio Ecclesiastica it is 
entered as Brompton Radi and Brompton Rauf, and valued 
at twelve marks. Radi is short for Radulphus. Therefore, from 
the thirteenth century onwards it has this name Rauf. Radi 
and Rauf are short forms of Radulphus. Another title is 
Brompton Fuljord, a title which it derives from a family 
Fulford. Sir John Fulford, Kt., was in possession in the 
time of Elizabeth. 

Brompton Regis (T.E., 1297), or King's Brompton, was 
a Royal demesne of William the Conqueror. "The King 
holds Brune-ton," displacing the Saxon owner, the Countess 
Gytha, widow of Earl Godwin. In the time of Henry III. 
Ralph Fitzurse held two parts of a knight's fee. In the reign 
of Edward III. there is a grant by, and to, John de Fitzurse, 
the parson. Curiously enough, it is called King's Brunton 
in a will of the days of Edward VI., and also King Brimton. 

Buckland Denham. — Buckland is of frequent occurrence in 
local nomenclature. There are twenty fairly well known, 
besides many of not sufficient importance to find mention in 
name-lists. Of these twenty, all but four are in the West of 
England, and none are in the Northern counties. It is a 
name descriptive of a particular kind of tenure. Boc means 



'Gerard derives from the abundance of the "broom" plant. It was 
"encrew'd with broom." So are many other spots. "It's called 
Brompton Rafe because Rafe Fitzurse held it.'' (14th Edward 1st.) 
S.R.S., vol. XV. 



200 

a book or parchment. But copyhold has apparently refer- 
ence to the manorial tenancy which arose subsequently, the 
"tenure of estate by copy of court roll." These rolls were 
of the nature of court memoranda. Buckland is spelt Boche- 
land in D.B. Charters were granted by Saxon kings to 
thanes free from all fief, fee, fines. Boc-land is said to be 
land taken from the folc-land and held in private tenure. 
Now in the time of Edward the Confessor a Saxon thane 
held this estate, whose name was Donna, Donno, Dun, or 
Dune, and continued tenant in chief under the Conqueror. 
It is, however, simply called Boc-land in A.D. 1297, and 
the name Denham is not traceable clearly to this Donno's- 
ham or home. This name occurs in the charter of King 
William (1068), restoring Banwell to the Church of St. 
Andrew of Wells, as Dinni. This Dun had IX. hides, and 
the local name may have continued side by side with that 
of Boc-land. In the time of Henry III., Geoffrey Dinant 
was Lord of the Manor, as we find from the grant of a market 
at Michaelmas. It looks as if the descendants of Donnus or 
Dun continued, and (of course) Normanised their name, 
and " came over with the Conqueror " from Dinant.^ 

Buckland Minchin, also called Buckland Sororum, " The 
Sisters' Buckland," owes its name to the existence of a 
nunnery. But it has another name, which arises from an 
earlier fact, Buckland Prions, the Priors' Buckland. William 
de Erlegh founded here a priory and a convent of seven 
canons of the Order of St. Augustine. The canons killed 
the steward of their founder, and Henry II. (1182) placed 
in their room a prioress and eight sisters of the Order of St. 
John of Jerusalem. The Notitia Monastica mistakes it for 
Buckland St. Mary, whereas this place was in the parish of 
Ling, four miles from Bridgwater and two from Borough- 
bridge. The tything is in the hundred of N. Petherton, and 
called Buckland Fee. Its subsequent history has no influence 
on the origin of the interesting names, and we are therefore 
not concerned with it. It appears also to have been confused 



'" The noble family of Dyrham deducted their descent from Little Brittaine in 
France," says Gerard, p. 199. 



201 

with Buckland Monachorum, in the hundred of Rodborough, 
county of Devon. 

Buckland St. Mary (Sainte Marie Bokelande) explains 
itself. It is St. Marie Bokeland in 1346 and earlier. 

Butleigh Wootton. — ^This is sometimes found written the 
reverse way, Wootton Butleigh. If we trace the spellings 
we find that this is an abbreviation of a Saxon name, Bodeca. 
D. B. it is Boduceheleia. Boducche and Bodeca are alike 
forms of an old German name Baudo-char, in which the 
first component is bod or bud, an envoy, correspondent to 
the modern German bote, a messenger, and char or gar is 
a spear. The modern name Bodicker still occurs, though 
rare. In 1297 it is Bodeclegh. In a charter of Glaston- 
bury it is Bodekeleia. There are " Market Pleas of Bode- 
clegh," 8th and 9th Edward II. Release of a wood in 
Buddecleye in Glastonbury Abbey, in British Museum 
charters, in 1355. Butleigh is, therefore, originally, Bau- 
dogar's Meadow, in which name the part Baudog pre- 
served its identity for some centuries. This was one manor. 
There is some doubt existent among authorities as to the 
present counterpart of a Domesday manor, Bodeslega, of 
one hide only. Whale identifies it uncertainly with But- 
leigh Wootton. Collinson also says Bodeslega is Butleigh. 
The etymology plainly is not unfavourable to this view. It 
is only a little variety of the longer name. Wootton is 
another, and the two names are conjoined. Whether 
Wootton is in some cases a family name or not, here it 
probably took its rise in that " release of a wood " men- 
tioned above. For Wootton is spelt Wodeton in one in- 
stance of its occurrence. "Grant of land in Wodestone, by 
King Edmund, to the thegn Athelnod in 946," in the Cartu- 
larium Saxonicum; the Domesday spelling in the case of North 
Wootton and Wootton Courtney is truly Somerset, viz., Utona 
and Ottona, for now a wood is, to the peasant, only a " udd."^ 
Utona is North Wootton, and the property of the abbot 
of Glastonbury, in the hundred of Whitstone. Athelnod 



'It is possible, as sug'g'ested earlier, that this is the personal name Uta, Uto, 
Utt, a known name. 



202 

is shortened to Alnod, the name of a tenant of the Abbot, 
just as Estan is short for Athelston and Eahlstan, the name 
of a Bishop of Sherborne in A.D. 871. 

Wootton Courtney^ may as well be disposed of here, to 
avoid repetition. Courtney is a family name going back to 
the Domesday record in Somerset. It is said that this 
second name is traceable to the William de Courtney who 
founded the Priory of Worspring, now Woodspring, who 
was descended from William de Tracy (one of the assassins 
of Thomas Becket), or, according to some, of Reginald Fitz- 
urse, and his last descendant. In 1297 it is in the official list 
of T.E. only Wooton. The fact is these second names mostly 
originated when the feudal system in its original rigid mili- 
tary form had given way to the later mediseval manor, and 
the holder became an owner, and marked a stage in the 
development of the modern squire. 



"' It was first called Wooton Bassett until that Philip Bassett gave it to John 
de Courtney," Gerard, p. 13. 



203 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

Doubled Names (continued). 

Camel Abbots, also Queen Camel and East Camel. Besides 
this, there is West Camel. It is convenient also again 
to recall the name Camerton, which in full is Camelarton. 
These are situate in different hundreds, and it would, in 
spite of the prevalence of Camel as a river name, appear 
that they are derived from personal names. Camel is spelt 
Cantmael in an ancient charter of Muchelney,i and this 
must be Kentmael. In that case we must take it that the 
river names are taken from the personal name and are not 
Celtic. This is in a Confirmation of Royal Charter of Ethel- 
read the Unready in A.D. 995. Cameleia is Cameley or 
Camley, and there is every probability that this is a relic, 
as to its first component, of the Celtic gam, cam, already 
mentioned under river names, and this is the name of a 
bending, tortuous stream like the " many winding Wye." 
Gamal is the present-day personal name Gamble, and has 
nothing to do with stakes, cards, and games of chance. The 
consonant is brought in to strengthen the word. Cameleia 
thus appears to mean the Cam Meadow. There is, however, 
a bishop of Llandaff name Camelge-geag and Cameleac. 

The designation. Queen Camel (East Camel) (Cantmael), 
also less known as Cammel Rumara. This name was derived 
from the family Rumara. Of this family was William de 
Rumara, the founder of Cleeve Abbey .^ It is at the same 
date (1277) called Estcammel. It is entitled to this designa- 
tion by a double right, for Queen Camel was, in the days 
of Edward the Confessor, the property of Gytha or 
Guitda, the widow of Godwin. However, it really derives 



^Chartulary of Muchelney, p. 70, S.R.S., vol. xiv. '^Ibid. Intro. -. p. 7, also 
p. 44. 



204 

its additional appellation of Queen from the fact that Ed- 
ward the first granted to Queen Margaret the manor of 
Cammel, of which the "letters patent" are still found in 
the British Museum. This was in the 32nd year of the reign 
of that monarch. And in the Lay Subsidies the hundred of 
Somerton Forum is headed Domina Margareta Regina, and 
it is called there Cammel Regis, or King's Cammel. The 
doubled consonant is accounted for by the derivation from 
Cantmael, which becomes Cam-mel. Cant and mal or mael 
are names found, but I have found no instance of the com- 
pound form except this. The manor of Cammel subse- 
quently came into the possession of Henry the Eighth, 
through the Countess of Richmond. In deeds of the 16th 
century it is often simply called East Cammel. 

Camel Abbatis (or West Camel), also in old records called 
Cammell Downhead, because there the hill begins. Downhead 
is a hamlet on the western slope. The origin of the designation 
goes back to the time of King Ethelred, who confirmed an 
earlier gift of Abbot Leofric of certain lands at that place. 
Mr. Bates-Harbin regards the name Cantmael as a joke, " the 
point of which is not now apparent." Surely it is the Saxon 
name. The abbot was that of the famous Muchelney Abbey. 
It is entered as the manor of St. Petrus (Peter) de Mucelneia. 

Chapel Allerton. — The full spelling of Allerton is (D.B.) 
Alwarditona, this is, Alward's town. But Alwgrd is an abbre- 
viation of the significant compound, Aelfweard, which is a 
name of frequent occurrence. In 990 one of this name was 
Abbot of Glastonbury. Allerton was therefore Aelfweard's 
town. A trace of this is found in the spelling Alwerton 
in charters of grants of land. In the reign of Edward 
the Fourth, Alwartone. The " Chapel " dates from an earlier 
time than the additions made in the 17th century to 
the church. There were then rectors or chaplains of the 
libera capella, who in the great number of instances were 
canons residentiary or priests' vicars, whose duties at Wells 
came first and at Allerton second. This was in the 15th 
century. The libera capella was in existence in the 13th 
century, and there was a chapel standing in 1247. It is not 
improbable that this free chapel existed in the days 



205 

of Aelfweard of Glastonbury, and possibly earlier. There 
are other " Chapels," as Chapel Cleeve, and Chappie Hayes 
in Claverham, which last was dedicated to St. Swithin. With 
Chapel Cleeve an interesting story is connected. An ancient 
chapel once stood on the cliff called St. Mary le Clifi. It 
was destroyed by a landslip in the reign of Edward IV. An 
image of the Virgin escaped destruction. In recognition of 
what was thought a miracle King Edward granted a charter 
for a market and a fair, the profits of which in tolls were 
to go to support the new chapel which the abbot of Old 
Cleeve (David Joyner) commenced to build further inland. 
This is Chapel Cleeve. It is now, however, merely a man- 
sion. It was a rainy time like that of 1910 which swept away 
the Cliff Chapel. 

Other chapels, or kappella, are mentioned in Valor 
Ecclesiasticus of Henry VIII., Capella de Comage or Comb- 
wich, Capella de Blakedown. In the Hundred of Taunton 
is Chapel-ligh or Chippel-ligh. In 2 King Henry IV. Gilbert 
Hareclive gave to Joan Panes, prioress of Barrow Gurney, and 
her successors for ever a meadow in an enclosure called 
Chapel Mede, in Barrow Gurney, of two acres in extent. 

Cary Fitzpaine (in Charlton West, or Makrell, Castle 
Cary). — Both are in D.B., Cari. The spellings are Carith, 
Kari, Careis. The Carey river is a tributary of the Parret. 
It takes its rise at Castle Cary at the base of the hill where 
the castle stood, called Lodgehill, and runs through Cary 
Fitzpaine, West Carlton, Lytes Cary, Somerton, and Bor- 
oughbridge, through Sedgmoor, into the Parret. The river 
name may be derived from its place of origin, and Cary 
may be connected with that widely-spread root, meaning 
stone or rock, found in such widely-extended words as 
carrara, the famous marble, and the Celtic carag. The 
examples from various languages are too numerous to men- 
tion. From this it gets the meaning of stronghold or castle, 
and thus Castle Cary is in significance a doublet. Down to 
the time of Edward III. (Kirby's Quest) it is simply known 
as Kari, and in the Bath Chartularies. It is Castle Cary in 
Drockenford's Register. On 8th July, 1328, there was an 
institution of a vicar of Castra Cary by the prior of Bath. 



206 

In an institution in 1402 it is only Gary. There are, 
however, earlier instances in the 13th century : Castell 
Cairoc, and later " Richard Lovell, lord of Caricastel." 
Cairoc is suggestive, as this looks like a reminiscence of 
Careg, rock. The name Fitz-paine is interesting. Paine is 
an old name Paga (Baga), Pago, Pagan, in which the "g" 
is elided in pronunciation. Probably its root is bagan, to 
contend. Pagan becomes Paine or Pane, and Fitz-Norman- 
ises the Saxon name. In 1084-6 there is an Edmund Fitz- 
Paine, a " servant of the King." He was a king's thane, 
an officer of the Crown or royal sargeant, and in spite of his 
Saxon name he is put down as a Norman thane (Francus 
Thegnus). The name is thus ancient in the county, but it 
is later attached to this Gary, as also to Cheddon Fitzpaine, 
Rodway Fitzpaine, and Staple Fitzpaine, not earlier than 
late 14th century apparently.^ A useful example of an 
absolutely unintelligible abbreviation of this name Is found 
in the days of Queen Elizabeth. It is called Phippens Cary, 
Phippens Gary Farm, and Cary Phippen. The historical" 
method shows this as an abbreviation of Fitz-paine. Much 
etymological ingenuity might otherwise be exercised in vain. 
Cary Tuckares, or Tucker's Cary, is another name, seemingly, 
of the same place. Whatever Tucker may have been, his 
name is old Norman French Toquer, to beat, which became 
the name of the cloth-beater or fuller. Hence the local name 
Tuckingmill, and perhaps, Tuckmarsh, in Frome. Bab-cary is 
Babba's Cary, and Lyte is a personal name. Lyte is probably 
the same as Lyde. It is an old Frisian name, and may be 
ultimately Celtic. In the Durham Liber Vitce are Lioda and 
Ludde. 

Cheddon Fitzpaine, or Over Cheddon. The Exeter and 
Exchequer Domesday spellings show that some mistake has 
arisen difficult to account for. Cheddon Fitzpaine is spelt in 
two ways, Ubcedina and Opecedra, that is Over Cheddon 



^In 1308 the hundred of Cannington, with the castle and manor of Stoke- 
curcy and the manor of Radwaye, were committed to the charge of 
Robert Fitzpayn (Close Rolls, Edward II.). In 1322 the manors of 
Cary, Charleton, Radwaye, and Stokecurry were settled on the family 
of Robert Fitzpayn (Pedes Finium, 16 Edward II.). 



207 

and Over Cheddar, and Lower or Nether Cheddon is also 
Succedena and Cedra. This is a part of Cheddon Fitzpaine. 
In British Museum Charters we have " bond concerning the 
manor of Cedene," and also in the T.E., 1297, and this name 
has persisted. The spelling Cedra, i.e., Cheddar, must be a 
lapse of a scribe. Cheddon is correct. Ceddan-leah is a 
local name, as also Ceddis field, old and new forms of geni- 
tive. The name Ceada, Ceadda, Cedda, and the better- 
known form Chad, is widely spread, both as a simple form 
and united with other names, as Ceadwalla, Ceadman, and 
the like. In place-names there are such forms as Chadmede, 
Cedda's mede, and Cedda's marsh. It is found in Chedzoy, 
Chad's marsh. In 1328 Richard de Fitzpayne, Kt., is the 
patron of the living of Cheddon.^ In 1310 Robert Fitzpayne 
is the patron of Staple. The names are frequent as patrons 
and witnesses. As owners of property they appear in the pre- 
ceding century The additions are therefore 13th or 14th 
century. 

Fitzpaine is also attached to the name Staple, in Staple 
Fitzpaine. Staple means a prop, support, to begin with, but 
in the middle ages it was applied mostly to places, buildings, 
towns in which commodities were stored. The old French 
estaple, low German staple, a heap, then a store or emporium. 
How far this is borne out by historic facts in regard to the 
Somerset names Stapleton, Staplegrove, and Staple Fitzpaine 
may be difficult to say. We may note that staple is spelt steeple, 
that Stapleton is perched on the high shoulder of a hill 
from which the view is very fine, that Staple Fitzpaine is on 
the steep, and the derivation is from the A.S. steap, high, and 
that a stepel is a lofty height, and hence the specialised sense 
of steeple for a church tower. The low German is stipel. 
Stipleton is the spelling in 1355. These Fitzpaines were all 
added permanently in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 
Somerset Writs we find one issued to Johannis Fitzpaine in 
1315. 

Queen Charlton, Charlton Adam, Charlton Makrell, 
Charlton Musgrove, Charlton Horethorne. There is a Charl- 



^Drocienforas Register, p. 291, S.R.S., vol. i. 



208 

ton also in Wraxall, and one in Creech St. Michael and one 
in Doulting. 

Queen Charlton. — Queens have certainly been connected 
with this small village near Keynsham. It was an appanage 
of the Saxon Queen Edith, Eaditha Regina, the lady of Bath. 
In 1179 there is evidence given in the Archseologia of land 
belonging to Bath. But the epithet " Queens " does not date 
so far back. It was Crown property (Rex in dominio at the 
Conquest), and in the time of Henry VIII., who granted it to 
Catherine Parr. In 1573 Queen Elizabeth made a royal pro- 
gress through the village, and granted it the privilege of a 
fair. A culprit in the days of Queen Elizabeth confessed to 
having appropriated a quarter of an acre of " Queen's lands." 

Charlton Adam, or East Charlton. — ^Adam is a personal 
name. This village is near Somerton. In the 8th year of King 
John, William Fitz-Adam, gent, claimed all his right in the 
advowson to the prior of Bruton. It is called Cherleton Adam 
at this date in a grant of an acre of land to Bruton.^ With 
regard to the name Adam, it is too easily supposed that this 
was derived from the Hebrew name of the first man. It is 
found in runic characters on a coffin lid in the tenth century. 
Scripture names were not common even among monks. It is, 
in some cases, at any rate, an abbreviation of Aldhelm and 
Adhelm, which uttered rapidly easily becomes Adam. This 
ancient name has very likely in some cases also dropped to its 
final syllable Elm in place-names. Adam, too, arises from 
Atte-Ham, that is, probably, " at the Ham." 

Charlton Mackrell. — D.B., Cerleton, or Churl's town. 
This is the spelling in all the cases of its occurrence. Charl- 
tons are numerous. This Ceorl is one of the numerous refer- 
ences to gradations of personal rank in Saxon civilisation. 
Above the servile class or the thralls, the nation was broadly 
divided into eorl and cheorl, all of whom were freemen, the 
former gentle-born and possessing privileges of precedence 
which gather round certain families. Charlton Makrell bears 
this name in the Taxatio, which shows that in 1297 it was of 
some ecclesiastical value. The name is found in a deed of 



^Bruton Chartulary, S.R.S., vol. viii. 



209 

the 12th century. The last of the family, Herbert Makarel, 
died without heirs shortly before the assize of 1242-3.^ 
Maquerelle is a word of unpleasant, meaning, but when 
we remember how prone the Normans were to all kinds of 
nicknames, applied even to Norman kings, and sometimes 
disagreeably suggestive of some personal defect, or patent 
lack, this is no stumbling block. In 1483, in Caxton's Cato 
Magnus, we read : " Nyght his hows dwellyd a maquerel 
or bawd." It would be pleasanter to think of a saint 
rather than a sinner. In Cornwall there is a parish with the 
name of the church dedicated to St. Macra. Macra would 
soon become Macral to get a firm grip of the final syllable.^ 

Charlton Musgrove. — Musgrove is a changed form of a Nor- 
man name Mucegros. There is a place-name Mucegros near 
Ecouen in Normandy. A Robert de Mucelgros is mentioned 
about 1080, who was a tenant-in-chief in Herefordshire, 
where he has left his name in Lude Muchgros. Charlton 
Musgrove in Somerset was held by Richard de Mucegros in 
the time of King John. In 1231 in the Close Rolls is the 
name Richard de Mucegros in Thrippe. This is perhaps 
Thrupe (Thorpe) in Croscombe. He was also "farmer of 
taxes of Gloucester " in the time of that king. Robert de 
Mucegros married Heloise, one of the co-heirs of the barony 
of Malet. The name is found in other counties. There was 
a branch of the family in Westmoreland. The name is 
traceable through the reigns of Henry III., Edward III., when 
the manor passed into the hands of Hawisia, wife of John de 
Ferrers. It is a name possessed of some local vitality, and a 
striking instance of the length of time, in centuries, that a name 
may be associated with a parish, since Dr. William Musgrave, 
a distinguished physician and antiquary, was here born in 
1657, and died in 1721. It is this Dr. Musgrave, writing in 
1718, who supposed that the stones of Stanton Drew number 
thirty-two. The derivation of Mus-grave from Mews-graf, the 
keeper of the hawks, is thus absurd. It is more likely that 



'S.R.S., vol. xi., p. 904. ^" Why soe or called (Mackrell) I assure you I can- 
not tell, yet it hath continued that name ever since Edward the first's 
time." Gerard : Particular Description of Somerset, p. 228. 



210 

Mucelgros should remind us of Mucel-ney and Muchelney. 
Shalford, a hamlet name in Charlton, is earlier spelt Shalde- 
ford.^ This is probably the name Scyld (as Schyld-)frith, and 
not Shallow-ford. 

Charlton Horethorn is also called earlier Charlton Canvil. 
This ceorl-tuna derives its name of Horethorne from the 
ancient hundred name. In documents older than the Domes- 
day Inquest it is Haretuna. In 1086, however, this Hundred 
was called Meleburn, and Horethorne is a revival of the 
ancient name, and appears as the name of a Hundred in 
Nomina Villarum, Edward III. The origin of the word is 
traceable to the idea of a boundary tree, like the Haranstanes 
or boundary stones. Trees of peculiar sizes and beauty, often 
carved with the figures of birds and beasts, for some special 
reason served the purposes of delimination in the days before 
ordnance surveys. A hore-thorne was a boundary thorn. 



'Archseological and Natural History Society Proceedings, vol. 1., p. 94. 



211 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

Doubled Names (continued). 

Cherlton Kanvil. — In Kirby's Quest, Nomina Villarum, 
time of Edward III., this is spelt Cheltone Kaunvil, while 
earlier, in 1297, it is Cherleton Camoyle. These changes from 
Ceorl-tun to Charlton and the omission of the consonant in 
a softer Norman pronunciation in Chel-ton give rise to the 
suggestion that some of these mysterious syllables, chel and 
chil, which trouble the etymologist so much that a consider- 
able authority says that they are uninterpretable, probably 
have arisen in the same or a similar way. Chel, that is, is 
sometimes ceorl. Camvil, Cauntvil, is said by the author 
of The Battle Abbey Roll to be derived from Campville, 
near Coutance. The advent of the family to Cherlton dates 
back to the reign of King Stephen. But now let us note that 
in the Milbourn Hundred, at the date of the great land in- 
quest, Ralph de Contivil is named as Walcheline de Douai's 
tenant at Ateberia, now Adber, in Trent parish. In the 
Pedes Finiiim in the thirteenth century the place-name was 
Cantivile. No doubt this is the same name. Whether the 
family came from Normandy or not the name is Conti, which 
is, after all, probably the name Kenta, Kennta, found in the 
Liber Vitee and in lists of Saxon names. There is a John 
Canvill, Canon of Wells, in 1401. 

Chilthorne Domer and Chilthorne Page. — The prefix chil 
above all needs careful attention to the earlier spellings as 
well as the later. These are in D.B. Cildetona for Chilton 
Trinity, Cilela for part of Chew Stoke, Cilletona for Chilton 
Trepit, in Cannington, Ciltorna for Chilthorne in Chilthorne 
Domer and Chilthorne Vagg, Citerna for Chilton Cantelo. 
It is easy to say, especially where the local circumstances, as 
in Chilton Polden, are favourable, that the derivation is from 
chill, cold, the cold spot or town. 

Chilthorne Domer and Chilton Trinity both carry the clear 
marks in D.B. of the prefix child. The latter is cilde-tona. 



212 

and the former cilde-terna, " chilterna." Chiltona Domer is 
Chiltene in 1297, and Charlton, in Shepton Mallet, is Cerla- 
tona (D.B.), and Chilton in 1297, T.E., also called Charlton 
Dolting, a member of the same manor. Chilcompton is Cont- 
tuna in D.B., and in T.E. Childercompton and Childecomp- 
ton. In Kirby's Quest in two words. Child Cumtone. It is 
Childecompton in 1384 and 1419, and Chyldecompton in 1397. 
In the Nomina Vilarum {Kirby's Quest) we have Chilterne 
Dunmere, Chilton Trinity (in which the consonant is already 
dropped). In the list of villas we have Chilton Cauntelow, 
Chilterne Dommere, and Chilthorne Vage. It seems clear 
that in some cases, as mentioned, chil and chel are softened 
abbreviations of ceorl, and in others of the significant prefix 
child. Child is the Anglo-Saxon cild, meaning an infant. 
Child is again a Prankish form of hild, war. The aspirate of 
the Saxon was frequently changed to the Norman soft " ch." 
This was one of the peculiarities of the Prankish dialect, and 
especially, it is said, during the Merovingian period. Thus the 
Cedric and Cedre of D.B. and Ceadd become Chard, Chad, 
and the like, as when Hilderic changes to Childeric, Hildebert 
to Childebert, and perhaps in the place-name Cheddar from 
Ceodre Cedric rather than direct from Chad, Cead. Child 
thus became a title, as in Parmborough and Compton Dando, 
the owners under Edward the Confessor, Edric and Aluric, 
are respectively designated cild, not infant, but knight. 

Cild is translated into the Latin puer, in the sense of youth- 
ful knight. It then passed into a personal name. The sur- 
names Domer and Page are both personal or family names. 
"The village of Dummer, anciently called Dumere, Dunmere, 
and Domer, near Basingstoke, was the berceau from which 
the Somersetshire Dummers originally sprang."^ And this 
latter village derives, it may be added, its name Dummer 
from a Saxon name, Domhere. Dom is the Anglo-Saxon 
dom ; Old High German, tuom, corresponding to our doom. 
Domhere is the Doom Herr, or doom-lord — judge. Herr in 
Old High German is Here and Hero. Fage is also a personal 
name, as our present names Pagg and Pagge show. In his 



^Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society Proceedingfs, vol. xvii. 



213 

Alt-deutsches Namenbuch, the great authority, Foerstemann, 
derives it from a Gothic root— faheds, joyfulness; Anglo- 
Saxon, faegen, joyful, with a correspondent Celtic stem, as in 
the Irish name, Fagan. In a Montacute charter of reign of 
Henry I. it is found as Cilterne Fageth and Faget.^ Early 
in the 14th century is the name Robert Faget. The double 
name is very early. Fage becomes Vagge in pure Somerset, 
as fire is pronounced vier. Hence the name Chilthorne Vage 
in Nomina Villarum. Then the name occurs of Johannes 
Vage. There is a place-name Vagge in Yeovil, " John Clarke, 
of Vagge, in Yeovil." 

Skeat explains Chilton in Berks, found spelt Cilda-ton in 
1015, as children's town or farm, and says the allusion may be 
to a farm carried on by young men whose parents had died. 
He explains Childerley (in Cambridgeshire) spelt Cilderlai 
(D.B.) as meaning children's lea. Cild has a double genitive, 
cilda and cildra. Childern is the true plural of it, of which our 
"children" is a corrupt form. Hence Chiltern Domer would 
be Children (there is no tun added here) whatever the explana- 
tion of children may be. Also Chilford (1168 Pipe Roll) and 
Cildeford (in D.B.) is explained as the children's ford, because 
of its shallowness,^ and is analogous to Ox-ford and Swin- 
ford. We confess to a preference for the explanation as to 
the Somerset names that Childthorne is a true form of Chil- 
tern, and that the place-name Thorne elsewhere found has 
the prefix " Child " as a form of Hild, as in Childhey, near 
Crewkerne. 

Chilton Cantelo. — Collinson derives from Ceald, meaning 
cold, but it will already have been seen from what has been 
said that this is Child, too, as a personal designation, as in 
Chil-compton, and Childcombe in the Montacute Cartulary. 
The word is repeatedly found for Knight in Chaucer's Canter- 
bury Tales. Cantelo is interesting. At the beginning of the 
reign of King John, Walter de Cantilupe granted the whole 
ville of Childeton to Robert de Cantelupe subject to the usual 
feudal service. In the time of Edward I., Richard de Cante- 



'S.R.S., vol. viii., pp. 122, 135. ^Skeat : Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 
No. xxxvi. 



214 

lupe held the fief. In the days of Edward IV. it passed to the 
Wadhams. Cantelo is thus a shortened form of Cantilupe. 
The first baron was William de Cantilupe in 1239. It is Cild- 
tona only in D.B. It is Cannteloos 2 Richard III., and varies 
between Cantloos and Cantloye in the 16th century. In the 
Pedes Finium, 1201, we read of " Walter de Cantilupe for all 
the ville of Childeton." 

Chilton in Moorlinch, or Chilton-Polden. Polden is the 
name of a range of hills dealt with in the names of Mount and 
Marsh in the county. This Chilton is identified with D.B. 
Ceptona by Eyton. In Whale's Somerset Domesday the name 
is given with an index number which fails to be found in his 
list. Certainly etymologically there is no connection. Later 
it is spelt Chitton. Assuming that Chilton is right, this, too, 
is probably. Child-ton. 

Cilela, in Chew Stoke, is now called Chilly Hill. The 
spelling is by a saxon clerk, distinguished by a particular style 
of writing " et," according to Sir Wm. Ellis.^ The hill may 
be chilly, but a Saxon scribe would scarcely have so spelt it. 
It is the name of the owner, Ceola, which was a known name. 
A messenger of St. Boniface (Wynfrid) was so called. The 
lea is added — Ceola-lea, and this becomes Chilly Hill, when 
Ceola was softened to Cheol, and when the name was utterly 
forgotten. This is no doubt the explanation of Chelshill, near 
Chard (Ceols), and Chelecote, in Bultecote — Chelecote in the 
Lay Subsidies, 20th Edward III. 

Chilton West, in Cannington, is Cilletona in D.B., and 
Chilton in 1315, N.V., and is called Chilton Trepit; also 
spelt Trevet. These spellings and Chillington, Cheleton, 
yield no trace of the prefix Child, and the origin is thus 
diverse. It may be Ceol. This diverse spelling may point to 
the personal name, Cilli, found in the list of names. The 
name Trepit, Trefit, Trivet, Cilli, and Cill occur in the 
Cartularium Saxonicum. Trivet is probably a form of the 
name Truefit, and this of Treufot, i.e., a trusty runner. 

Combe Florey. — This is a Combe that has added on a dis- 
tinguished name. Of names with the addition Florey there 



'Introduction to Domesday. 



215 

are also Nynehead Florey and Withiel Flori, all of which are 
included as members of Taunton in D.B., and are all within a 
few miles of it. The name de Flory is found in 1212 as pos- 
sessor of " four hides of land in Ubbele," and, 1215, the name 
of Simon Fluri, fee of one knight, in Leigh. In 1268 (Henry 
III.) a carucate of land in Hamme, belonging to Philip de 
Flori and William de Hamme, John and Giles de Flory, 
carucates of land in Clafiord, 1271, and two carucates of land 
in Midsomer Northton of Wm. Gowiz in 1271-2. It is cer- 
tainly Combe Flori in the writs of 1315. The name might 
originate from the place-name Fleury, on the Loire. But 
then in what did this place-name originate? In the Montacute 
Cartulary are two signatories that give the clue-name Robert 
Flore (13th century), and another the longer name R. 
Floghere. This is A. S. Flohere, and gives origin to the ex- 
tant names Floyer, Flower, and Flowry. Floghere has per- 
haps more to do with flying (fliegen, to fly) than buttercups 
and daisies. Then it takes on the Norman shape in Fleury. It 
is not in D.B. Corneflowry, Comflory, in the time of Eliza- 
beth, and the like, are amusing spellings. Collinson's account 
is that the name Combe is derived from the situation in a rich 
vale, well wooded. A family de Combe, anciently possessed 
it, and an owner, Hugh de Fluri. After him came Ranulf de 
Fluri, from whom it received its additional appellation. This 
appellation is, like Combe in " De Coomb," itself significant. 
The other Florys, Nynehead and Withiel, are of diverse 
origin. Nynehead is near Wellington, and Withiel near Dul- 
verton. Unfortunately for the easy interpretation that this 
means a ville of nine hides, the strange spelling in the Exon 
Domesday is distinctly discouraging. It is Donichehede, and 
in the Exchequer, Nichehede. In Montacute Cartulary (No. 
1) it is Nigenid (1100 cir.) and (No. 2) Nigheyd. The former 
might be, perhaps, accounted for by the prefix " de," which 
has got incorporated, and the " b," a mis-spelling or a mis- 
take in transcription, and should be Niche-hede, whatever 
this may mean. From Bradford it is approached by a deep 
artificial cutting, and this would suggest a niche. But in T.E. 
(1297) the spellings are Nienhid and Nithenhide, while in the 
Nomina Villarum (1315) they are Negenhude Flory and 



216 

Nygenhude Monachorum. Now, Nithenhide may be read 
Nidenhide, and the " g" in the other two is the soft and not 
the hard consonantal sound; that is, Nedgenhide, as is sug- 
gested by Nidenhide. In 1519 it is Nihed Florye in a suit, and 
in the preceding century, in a petition by Richard Percival 
for the manor, it is Nienhides Flori. It is Nynhide Flori in 
the reign of Henry VI. These are shortenings of niden, and 
nithen, and it is far more probable that they underwent this 
process of abbreviation than the contrary unpopular usage of 
lengthening a name. We think, then, that Niden, or Nithen 
as a genitive, is the original form. Even in Nichehead the ch 
was hard, according to the prevailing analogy of the word. 
Niched is a still further abbreviation. Nithe and nied and nie- 
den are middle high German words for below, beneath, 
allied to our nether, and hide is the Saxon, and German 
Heide, a heath, i.e., low-lying meadow land; or it may be 
the measure of land estimated at from 120 to 100 acres, but in 
the absence of the measure this is not, it must be confessed, 
quite so likely. Neghenhude and Nygenhyde do favour the 
interpretation nine hides, as neghen meant ninth, as a dialec- 
tical form from the old Saxon nigun, nine; but, if we take 
the earliest spellings, the interpretation must be otherwise. 
Rev. L. Wilkinson^ points out that the Exon Domesday 
spelling probably affords the true solution. Denichehede is 
really Denithehede (the c should be read a t as often) ; and 
then following the spellings I have given. This name is 
shortened successively to Denyth, Nith, and Nithen (a gena- 
tive), and so to Nien. I believe this is right. Denegyth is a 
name, and hede is head, that is the chief-place, or if hide is 
correct, Denegyth's hide. If there is a full name Denegythed 
(which we have not found) this gives the origin of the name, 
and the various forms afford a brilliant illustration of the way 
in which names can undergo metamorphosis. Nothing is 
easier than the explanation " Flori had nine hides." If it 
had this would merely be a coincidence and show how the 
" Nien hide " was evolved. Withiel Flory reminds us of the 
Cornish place-name Lostwithiel. Withiel is clearly Celtic, 



'A kind and helpful correspondent. 



217 

however it became applied to tiie Somerset location. Gwyd- 
del is, in modern Welsh, an Irishman. Irish Celtic mission- 
aries were found travelling in districts wide apart. It is, per- 
haps, Gwyddeli— the double consonant is, of course, "th," 
and the " g " is the same as the Welsh Gwyllym for William. 
Withiel means bushes or brakes. It is descriptive of the 
locality. 

Combe Hay. — Hay, we have seen earlier, is short for haga, 
a hedge or enclosure. But this will by no means hold as an 
interpretation when confronted with the earlier spellings. In 
a charter in Wardour Castle it appears as Combehaweye. In 
Kirby's Quest, Comberhaweye. This might be confounding 
did we not find that this was the preliminary shortening from 
the form in T.E. (1297), Combe-hatheway. It gets to Combe- 
Haweye in the time of Edward II. There is also a Haweye 
in Wilton Hundred in the Nomina Villarum — Hathaway. It 
is in Stogumber or Crowcombe, and Halsway or Halfway are 
apparently mis-spellings. Hathaway is a personal name found 
in Saxon lists, Heathuwig and Hadwig, and Old German 
Hathuwi, a warrior. Both " had " and " wig" are words im- 
porting war. No Hathaway was a Domesday tenant. So far 
as we know this " war-man " left no memorial, and was prob- 
ably a peaceful denizen of Saxon race under Norman kings. 
A similar shortening is that of Combebrey for Congresbury, 
which is far away from the original word. 

Compton Dando. — Compton Dando is called Compton 
Godfrey in the Amercement Roll.^ No doubt the full 
name of Godfrey was Geoffrey de Anno. This veritable 
Combe was, in D.B., simply called Comtuna. There is a 
dispute, or a series of speculations, among the investigators of 
the Domesday location of manors and the hidage of the 
county whether this is, as Collinson aflfirms, the mysterious 
lost manor of Contetona. Apparently this is a wrong iden- 
tification. Count Eustace held this latter manor, wherever 
it was, and he did not hold Compton Dando. Consequently 
we may neglect this spelling. It clearly means Combe town. 
In T.E. (1297) Dando is now added; and at the time of 



^Somerset Pleas, S.R.S., p. 49. 



218 

Edward I. — that is, in tlie same period wiien this ecclesiastical 
valuation was made — we read of Alex. Danno Dominus de 
Compton Danno, in Harlean MSS., in the British Museum 
Charters ; and also there is a lawsuit in Compton Danno, time 
of Richard II., a century later. In Lincolns Inn and other 
MSS. this Alexander Danno is cited as a witness. A Walter 
de Anno was Prior of Bath. Two curious names occurring in 
the 15th century, Severeswyke and Grobbyswyk, as names of 
manors, may hereafter receive attention. In a map of a two- 
volume edition of Camden it is curious that Compton Dando 
is spelt Compton David. If left alone with this phenomenon 
we might associate Compton with the Welsh Saint, as doubt- 
ful as St. David in Barton St. David. Danno is an ancient 
personal name. It is old German, of which Dando is the 
original form. In "Blind Old Dandalo" this latter is a 
diminutive. It was the fashion to Latinise names according 
to the real or supposed meaning, and so Danno spelt Daunay 
became D'Aune, and this was translated into De Alno, D'Alno. 
In 1217, in the Pedes Finiiim, we read : " Between Geoffrey 
de Anno and the Prior of Bath all the land between Wodens 
dich." There is also a Father Fulco de Anno. A Hugh de 
Alneto or D'Auynay, was prior of the Hospital of St. John 
of Jerusalem in 1227. Ashton Dando received its name from 
this source. Adam de Herun, in the time of Henry I., had 
a daughter, who married a De Alno, and thus the name came 
into Long Ashton. 

Compton Dundon. — Dundon Beacon is a striking-looking 
hill, with a camp at the top. In D.B. it is Contona as part 
and Dondena or Dondene as another part of the locality, 
that is two manors. In 1397 it is Compton Dondene. These 
are clearly an agglomerate of two names of manorial proper- 
ties. The Comb-town part and the higher part the down, 
with the fortress on it, may be Donna's dene, as Doneham, in 
North Petherton, is Dunn-ham. Donehetva and Dunehefde 
is Down-head, in the Whitstone Hundred, as the " head of 
the down, Donyatt (Donieht and Doniet in D.B.). Compton 
(not Dunden) was held bv the family of Malet until 1216, when 
William Malet (son of Gilbert), who gave eight acres of land 
in Compton and half an acre of the meadow of Raddeker (Red 



219 

acre) to God, St. Mary, and St. Athelwin, that is unto the 
Abbey of Athelingey, was found in arms against the king, and 
all his lands were seized and given to Hugh de Vivonne.^ 
Hence the later name Compton Vivonia. There are other cases 
where two manorial names have been amalgamated, as e.g., 
Charlton Makrell. The historical changes of baronial owner- 
ship are here illustrated. At an inquisition made at Charlton 
Mucegros (1329, Edw. III.) affirmation was made that "Alex- 
ander de Cantelupe came into England with William le Bas- 
tard, and he then had en conquestu the hundred of Bruton." 
The heirs were exiled, and so Bruton Priory came to hold of 
the king in chief. Eyton regards this as a " monkish fable."^ 
It is still true that the baronial struggles in the times of the 
Henry's caused changes of ownership, and the names of the 
places bear interesting witness thereto. 

Compton Durville is now a small tything in the parish of 
South Petherton. D.B., Comtuna. It is Compton Dureville 
in the time of Edward I. in the late thirteenth century ; Dore- 
vyle in 1298, and Durvill in the writs of 1349. The family 
goes back to the Conquest, for there is a William de Durvill 
in the Inquisitio Gheldi of 1084, a tenant in the Bruton Hun- 
dred. Eustace de Durvill in the beginning of Henry III. time 
forfeited the manor, being convicted of felony and hanged, but 
the name was fixed and continued. In the story of St. Wulfric, 
born in Compton Dando, it is said he exercised his office in 
Compton " Direville." Durville is shortened from D'Everille. 
In a charter of Glastonbury Abbey among the possessions said 
to have been bestowed on it by King Arthur there occur, as 
place-names, Deveril and Over Deveril. 

Compton Martin. — Martin is a family name. It is Com- 
tona only in D.B., when it was the appanage of Serlo de 
Burci. His descendants were the Barons Fitz-Martin. Blag- 
don was the caput of the manor, and his greatest manor (ten 
hides, or upwards of a thousand acres) was usually known as 
the Barony of Blagdon in later times. It was so as early as 
the time of Henry I. (1100-1135) that Robert Fitz-Martin, 



'CoUinson : History of Somerset, iii., 447. ^See Eyton, Domesday Studies, 
vol. i., p. 113, Bruton Chartulary, p. 102, S.R.S., and compare Collinson. 



220 

who, according to Collinson, was "son of the famous Martin 
de Tours, the conqueror of Kemeys-Land and founder of St. 
Dogmaels." succeeded to his barony. In the Lay Subsidies, 
Edward III., we find Compton Martin-cum-Hamel (hamlet). 
Morton, and Comton Martin in Kirby's Quest. In the reign 
of Edward II. it went to co-heiresses married to Columbiers 
and to Audley. The name lasts. In the parish is Moreton, 
low-lying moorland, answering to its name. It is Morthona 
in D.B., and part of Serlo de Burci's estate. 

Compton Pauncefort. — D.B., Comtona. As early as T.E., 
1297, it is Compton Pauncevot. There was a considerable 
Domesday owner, Turstin FitzRolf, who had a tenant of 
Dunkerton, Bernard Pancevoldus, whose descendants in- 
herited or obtained most of Turstin's manors. Turstin held 
Contuna, and this was one of them. Pauncefot, therefore, 
dates from about the middle of the thirteenth century, in the 
time of Henry II. The Latinised form, Pancevoldus, appears 
in the Inquisitio Gheldi (1084) as a tenant in the Frome Hun- 
dred. In the reign of Henry II. Walter de Pauncefoot held 
lands in Maperton of Alexander de Alno. In 1316 John de 
Pauncefoot, lord of Compton Pauncefoot, bestowed the living 
of Compton P. on Walter de Pauncevot, who held one 
knight's fee in Compton Pauncefoot. How many centuries 
this name lasted is interestingly illustrated by finding that Sir 
Walter Pauncefort held the manor in the time of Henry VIII. 
Who will deny its right to the surname? In 1672 this is spelt 
Panisford in a record of John Caine or Caines, of Compton 
Painsford, a Jesuit, buried at Somerset House, if this identifi- 
cation is correct. The names Caines and Keynes occur in this 
parish as Jesuits and Recusants. We find no trace of Pens- 
jord having been called Compton, though it is a veritable 
combe ending here. The spellings Pauncevolt and Pauncevol- 
dus are, in the light of those which persist in Paunceford and 
Pauncefort (in a Whitworth pedigree), specimens of the con- 
fusion of the consonants. The persistence of the Paunce is 
evidence of the Celtic origin of the name, Pantes-ford, or the 
" valley way," which is possibly found in Pens-ford, on the 
Chew. In Banwell is Panteshed, and in Milverton Pantisheye 
(Polehill), with the same Celtic root. 



221 

Compton Bishop, or Episcopi, was part of the estate of 
Giso, Bishop of Wells, according to prevailing authorities. 
But this Compton Bishop may have been part of Walter de 
Douai's manor, subsequently given by him to the see of Wells. 
In writs of 1315-1316 it is Combe Episcopi. 

Compton, East and West, in the parish of Pilton, explain 
themselves, as also Compton Magna, " surveys of the manors 
of Compton Magna and Axbridge." Did Compton Episcopi 
become Compton Magna in the 37th year of the reign of 
Elizabeth? There are other Comptons where this is the 
second name. 

Combe Sydenham is in the parish of Stogumber. This is 
the first, after leaving Elworthy, of the most delightful of 
Somerset Combes. Combe Sydenham is "a very deep and 
narrow vale, luxuriously clothed with fine trees " and 
"watered by a bright trout stream." The name as an affix 
appears to have originated after the day of Richard II., as 
previously it was called Combe Allein (Alwin), thus 
bearing a Saxon name. One of these Alleins sold the 
property to Richard de Sydenham, a judge in that 
reign. Yet the Sydenhams possessed it in the reign 
of King John and earlier. A Richard Sydenham 
held a messuage and one carucate of land at Combe Syden- 
ham. Apud Combe juxta Monkynseluyr in 1370, i.e.. Monk- 
silver. In 1468 John Sydenham was " seized " of several 
manors. Combe Sydenham is haunted by Sir George Syden- 
ham, a Royalist officer who died in 1596; it is a pity he has 
not been seen of late years. The parent stem of this Syden- 
ham family originated near Bridgwater, a family that " flour- 
ished exceedingly in the county, and overflowed into Devon 
and Gloucester." They owned Brympton, Bossington, and 
Combe Sydenham. They continued until the 18th century, 
and the family still has its representatives. Of course, Syden- 
ham may originally be a place-name, but more probably a 
form of Sidemund, an ancient Saxon name. There is also 
Sydenham Kittisford. This is in Domesday Chedesford, owned 
by Roger Arundel. " In old evidences it is called Kedeford." 
Sidenham is not in this parish. Chedes (Cedda) ford is over 
the Tone. 



222 

Corton Denham. — D.B. reveals to us the fact that this is 
spelt Corfe-ton, and that Corton is, therefore, an abbrevia- 
tion. It is near to Marston Magna, while there is a parish 
Corfe a few miles from Taunton. Whether the Gortons of 
different counties have a like origin is a matter of separate 
investigation in each case. The historic Corfe Castle, in the 
county of Dorset, is the best known from its weird, tragic 
interest. There is a personal name Corfi, of which evidence 
exists in the days of the Danish kings. Corfe may be a name 
of Celtic origin from Corfryn, a hillock. Corfe Castle stands 
on an eminence, as does also the Somerset Corfe. On the 
whole, it is in the place-name Corfeton probably the personal 
name, Corff. Denham has already been alluded to in connec- 
tion with Buckland Denham. There is a place-name Denham 
in Buckinghamshire, and one in Suffolk and elsewhere. Den 
is Degn, i.e., thegn — ham, the Saxon thane — and ham, the 
" home " or the low-lying " ham " of meadow land, according 
to the original vowel length. An Inquisitio of King John 
shows that the family of Dynham possessed the manor and that 
it was earlier Corfeton Dynham. It is Corton Dynham in 
1309 in a clerical subsidy to the King, found in Droken- 
jord's Register. The name is sometimes spelt Dinham and 
identified with the French place-name Dinant. 

Cricket Malherbie and Cricket St. Thomas. — These two 
like names are differently spelt in D.B. (1086). The former 
is Cricket and the latter Cruca. They are in different 
hundreds, the first in Abdich and the second in South Pether- 
ton. Beside these there are Cruca or Cruce in North Pether- 
ton, now quite obsolete; Creech St. Michael, in the hundred 
of Andersfield, is Crice. Crewkerne, too, is Chruca in D.B. 
Obviously, these names are all connected. In the Taxatio 
Ecclesiastica (1291) we have the Cruk Deanery, and in it 
Cruk (Cricket Malherbie) and Cruk Thomas and Crick, re- 
presenting Crick of D.B. in North Petherton. In the Nomina 
Villarum (1343) Cricket Thomas is Suth Croket (South 
Croket). It is S.E. of Cricket Malherbie. It is clear that 
Croket is the original place-name, and Crok, Cruca and Cruk 
are Saxon personal names. We can scarcely resort to the Latin 
Crux, a cross, for the Saxon name for this was rood, as in rood- 



223 

loft. Cricket might easily be Celtic. In Glamorganshire 
there is the place named Criccaeth, which was anciently Crug- 
caeth, or the narrow hill. Crug is pronounced creeg, with 
the " g " soft, by the Saxon. Cerig means abounding in 
stones. The Irish is cruach. A Saxon charter of 682 of 
a grant to Glastonbury gives the twofold name of Cructon 
(said to be British) and the English form, Cryc-beorh, for 
Creech Michael. The ton is here said to be the river name 
the Tone, and originally Creech was on a creek flowing into 
the Tone. Hence the British and the Saxon name. Cructan 
would thus account for the form Cricket. Creech St. Michael 
is D.B. Crice, 1086; Taxatio Ecclesiastica (1297), Cryz only. 

Christon is under Crook's Peak. Christon is Crichiston in 
1299, and later. Christon is an abbreviation, i.e., Crugas- 
ton, and the peak derives its name from the same ownership. 
Crucgan is, whatever it means, an ancient Saxon personal 
name. Crick, in Crick-lade, the final element means a running 
stream through a bog, spelt Crekke-lade in the 13th century. 
Wedmore has Crick-ham. 

Curry Malet is in all cases in the Domesday Survey spelt 
Curi, and Chori, and Churri. Curry occurs in North Curry 
(D.B. Nort Chori) as the ancient name of a hundred; Curry 
Manor; Curry Pool (D.B.) Curiepool, Coripel in Kirby's 
Quest, 1343, in Charlinch ; Cur-land is part of Staple Fitzpaine. 
The explanation of Curry^ is suggested that it is from celtic 
cwr, meaning border, edge, limit, corner. There are the names 
Kyrewood in Tenbury, on the border of the county of Wor- 
cestershire ; Curry is on the sea, as a sort of land's end in Corn- 
wall. There is a Cuer on the boundary of Herefordshire. The 
early spelling Curig is not in favour of this suggestion, and 
each requires separate examination. Curry Malet is Curre- 
malet and Cory Malet in 16th century documents. East Curry 
is Est Cory in the time of Henry V. in Reeve's Accounts, pre- 
served in Lambeth Palace Library. Currypool, in the parish 
of Charlinch, is Coripole at the same period, and in the 16th 
and 17th centuries Curry Revell is Cory Ryvel, Curririvell, 
Curryvel, and it is Curry Revell in the time of Elizabeth. The 



'Rev. Leonard Wilkinson. 



224 

origin of the name Malet is known. William Malet, or Mal- 
lett, flourished as a great landowner or feudal lord in the 
period from 1166 — 1215. He was Baron of Curry Mallet and 
Shepton Mallet, and Sheriff of Dorset in 1211. Mallet maybe 
the name of a doughty knight, who struck hammer-like blows 
as with a " maillet," and was rewarded with a propertied 
estate in the disturbed time when the Norman kings had more 
than enough to do with powerful barons, who knew no master 
but themselves. The estates which fell to Robert Malet in the 
time of King Henry I. co-ordinated with those vast landed 
possessions previously held in 1086, the date of Domesday, by 
De Courcell. The caput, or chief centre, was, it is said, Shep- 
ton Malet. The previous reign had been one of revolt, and 
the immense areas of land which had fallen to the Crown 
through forfeiture were given to new men, dependent on 
Royal favour. The anglicisation of a Norman word and Nor- 
man name is a picture of the fact that, in the days of this great 
king, Norman was giving way to Englishman. Maillet 
becomes Mallet. 

More must be read in the proper authorities, as we are 
solely concerned to show that a personal designation affixed to 
a town's name is connected with a definite period of English 
history, and occasionally marks great changes in social life. 
If Curri, or Curry, is, indeed, S. Curig,^ and the name en- 
shrines the influence of a celtic saint. Mallet brings before the 
student the country's life after several centuries have lapsed; 
when the Teutonic conquerors have displaced the Celtic and 
Roman inhabitants ; and the Teuton and Norman are becom- 
ing merged into one English people. In his Western 
Europe in the Fifth Century, Freeman says : "The Teutonic 
kingdoms in Gaul were formed in a moment ; all save one fell 
in a moment. The Teutonic kingdoms in Britain were the 
work of generations." The Teutons became the people of the 
land, and absorbed the norman element. The Normans, we 
may say, were the conquerors in arms, the Saxons in the social 
life. 
If we might thus definitely connect Curry Mallet with a Nor- 

'See p. 25. 



225 

man knight and a British saint, Curry Rival does not present 
quite the same sort of family history. In Domesday the name 
is Chori Regis, or King's Curry. Hardincus, in which we 
recognise the name Harding, was one of the greatest of the 
Somerset Anglo-thanes, and received a piece of waste land 
in 1086 of Regis Chori. That is, it was a Royal manor. The 
two Stocklinches were appendages of it. It is called Couri or 
Chori or Churi in D.B. In very early charters, pronounced 
spurious, it is Cori. It is Curirivel in an agreement 
dated at Muchelney in May, 1271.^ In the British Museum 
charter, at the date of 1344, there is a " Compotus of the man- 
nor of Cory Ryvell." It was a family name. We have 
evidence of the Rivall or Revell family in the reign 
of Henry the Second. Some derive the name from Reville or 
Ravill in Normandy. Revills were among the principal barons 
of Somerset in the time of Henry II. Curry Rivall and Lang- 
port were granted by Richard I. to Richard Revell. He 
was alive in 1211.^ Revell was evidently, in receiving the grant 
of Regis Chori, which henceforth bore his name, one of the 
" New men " created in the time of Henry the First, a pro- 
cess continued by Henry the Second, who " initiated the rule 
of law," and fought the lawless feudal party in their defiance 
and determination to secure their own independence. Those 
kings replaced the old conquest tenures by the creation of a 
new baronage, of which Curry Rivell reminds us. The name 
thus marks a step in the emergence of the England of the con- 
quest to the England of the charters of freedom. It was the 
day when Archbishop Langton hung twenty-four knights and 
their retainers before the besieged castle of Bedford, while 
the lay lords were comfortably dining. During those dis- 
turbed years estates were "to let," and new men arose. 
There is a Revill's Hill near Minten, in Dorset. There was 
a William Revell in Wiltshire, and Hugh Revell in North- 
amptonshire. It is from the time of Henry the Second 
that King's Curry becomes Curry Rivell, or Revall. 



^Ckartulary of Muchelney Abbey, S.R.S., vol. xiv. ^See Pipe Rolls and Liber 
Ruber. 



226 

To bring these similar names together is a convenience, and 
avoids repetition. But now of the double names, " Thomas " 
in Cricket Thomas explains itself, but it may be, and probably 
is, Thomas Beckett, and not, as we are apt to think, the 
doubter in the Gospel narrative. Malherbie, in Cricket Mai- 
herbie, occurs as the name of a place in Henry II.'s 
charter of the foundations of the Carthusian Priory of 
Witham. In 1166, Robert Malherbie held one knight's 
fee of William Mallet. Malherbie is not found in 
Somerset Domesday Book, but this family were the 
direct heirs of Drogo (de Montacute), a tenant of the 
Count Moretain, and so came early into possession of this 
manor. The name is Norman-French. In the Pedes Finium 
for 1197-1198 there occurs the name of Robert Malherbie 
in a case in which he is "claimant" as against Milo de St. 
Maur, " tenent " relating to property in Cheritone. In the 
Lay Subsidies of Edward III., Wilhelmus Malerbe was 
assessed for the marriage of the king's daughter for 
Stoke Malarby. In 1314 there is a Hugh Malerbe, 
of Schipham. Curiously enough, this is called Veater Stoke 
in the Lay Subsidies. Veater is an extant name which is 
puzzling. It is probably a corruption of Viteau, which again 
is a form of the Saxon Wido (Frankish, Guido), found in 
the Liber VitcB of the 12th century. Wido is probably "a 
wooden weapon," as in the " with " of Askwith. Malerbie, 
on the other hand, is clearly a nickname, a " bad weed." 
It is, in fact, a name for one of the poisonous unbeliferje, 
perhaps the " fool's parsley " of our hedges. 



227 

CHAPTER XXV. 

Doubled Names (continued). 

Farleigh Hungerford.—D.B., Ferlega, 1086; T.E., Fran- 
leigh, 1297; Farleye, in Kirby's Quest, 1343. This is a com- 
pound of personal names linking together two ages — the 
age of early Saxondom with the much later medijeval period. 
Far-leigh might conceivably be from Ffrau-leigh, or lea, the 
meadow by the river, now the Frome ; or Scandinavian farre, 
a sheep, the sheep-Ieigh; or taking the Franleigh as a form 
of fern-lea; or faer, Saxon, a way. This, in reality, brings 
us closer to the origin. Faer, fair, for are well-known 
Saxon names, especially in compounds. A remarkable and 
interesting example is found in the name Faerthegn or Far- 
thegn {i.e., Farthane), spelt also Fardain and Farthain, 
meaning the travelled thegn. This has become a personal 
name. Farthing, but Mr. Farthing, although a tradesman, 
has thus not a name derived from the smallest coin of the 
realm, whatever pun may now be made on it. Faerwulf 
is another example. Fara is the name of a whilom abbess 
of Brie, near Meaux, and this is found in Faran-don (Far- 
ington Gurney). We have another example in Backwell, 
namely, Backwell Farley, when Farley has probably be- 
come a personal name. The name occurs in a Somerset 
will. In Canyngton, in 1394, there were local names North- 
erferthying and South-erferthying, which looks like a name, 
Erfaerthegn or Herferthegn. 

The additional name, Hungerford, most evidently a place- 
name, became a personal name. Hungerford is in Berks, 
in the hundred of Kinwardstone — a Somerset name in King- 
stone. Hunger again originated in the personal name, Hun- 
gaer. The previous name is said^ to have been Farlegh 
Montfort, and the manor was sold by the Montforts in 1337 
to Bartholomew Lord Burgherst. This dates (in Farleigh) 



^Baih Chartulary, S.R.S., vol. vii., p. 188. 



228 

from 1369, when the manor was purchased by Sir Thomas 
Hungerford from Bartholomew, Lord Burgherst. Collinson 
informs us that it was originally called Farley Montfort be- 
cause on Roger de Corcelle's death (who was the Domes- 
day tenant in capite) William Rufus gave it to Hugh de 
Montfort. This name, however, was not found in the 
Taxatio or the other lists quoted in this book, and that is 
simply Ferlega right on into the 14th century. Farmborough 
is a complete disguise. It is D.B. Feren-berga. The earliest 
spelling is an A.S. charter of date A.D. 901, " Grant of land 
to Malmesbury Abbey of land at Hawkerton, Wilts, in ex- 
change for land at Fearnbergas." This Feren is of similar 
but compound origin. It is the Saxon personal name for 
Faerwine. 

Of Flax Bourton we may say it is, in the great survey, sub- 
sumed under Wraxall, and has no separate mention. But 
Bourton is the original name, to which Flax is a prefix, and 
in this respect is unlike the majority of the double place- 
names, as will already have been seen. But Bower occurs 
as Bur in D.B. in East Bower and West Bower in Bridg- 
water. These Bowers turn the compass, for there are also 
North Bower and West Bower. Besides this, we have Bozeer 
Ashton, Bower Henton, Bower Mead, in Martock, Bower- 
waie (or Bower Way) in Thorne St. Margaret. Moreover, 
there are other Bourtons in the county, and plenty in the 
country, of this name, in the form Burton; the best known 
is the celebrated brewery town on the Trent, where the 
water from the gypsum produces the best beer. In Somerset 
we have Bourton, or Burton, in Compton Bishop, and simple 
Bower (Boure, Edward III.), Bure, and Bower, where, 
according to the journal Archeologia, there is an ancient 
fortress. Bur might be connected here with Burh or Burg, 
a fortress, a fortified hill. Bur in A.S. means a cottage, 
from which we derive our word bower. Boer (modern 
German Bauer) means a peasant, our word boor. The 
widespread name, where there is no pretence of hill or fort, 
gives evidence once more of a personal name Bur, Bure, 
softened forms of Burg very frequently indeed in compounds 
as Burgheard, Burghelm, Burghild, Burglaf, and Burgman. 



229 

Burg means protection, strength, applied to a man as well 
as a place. This is far more according to philological 
analogy than the old German Baior, the modern Bowyer, 
or the tribal name Boioaria, which appears in Bavaria. Bury 
is a modern name (pronounced Boory). What has already 
been said of the Bures, representing the Colberti, may be 
compared, and probably this accounts most satisfactorily for 
these Bures and Bowers. 

As to the prefix, as late as Henry VI. in documents it is 
Bourton only, as it is now locally. It is clear, then, that 
Flax is a late edition, and therefore here it did not arise 
from local circumstances, such as the abundance in the low- 
lying grounds of the iris, the flag or flack, which is, in- 
deed, the modern Welsh form for sedge, with cognate words 
in other languages. The leaves make excellent thatch, and 
were grown for this purpose. The word has, in fact, a re- 
ligious or ecclesiastical interest. According to Eyton,^ the 
whole parish of Nempnett Thrubwell consisted of parcels of 
ground taken from diverse Domesday manors, and became 
parochially consolidated by most of them having been 
granted sooner or later to Flaxley Abbey, in Gloucestershire. 
In 1444 the prior of Flexley held an estate in East 
Brent valued at twenty marks a year. There seems, therefore, 
every probability that Rutter's^ statement is true as well as 
Eyton's, that one of their estates was in Bourton, and so 
it was called Flexley Bourton. It is frequently spelt Flex 
Bourton, but is very often Bourton only in wills and deeds. 
Flaxley Bourton is a mouthful, and readily yielded to cur- 
tailment. Flex is a prefix in place-name, as in Flaxby, 
Flaxton, in Yorkshire. It is a personal name. Flee, Flace, 
Flack, re-appearing in such present-day names as Flick, 
Flegg, and the like, and is Scandinavian rather than Saxon. 
In the Charter of the Carthusian Priory of Witham (Henry 
II.) occurs the name Flec-stoka and Fley-stoke. 

Farrington Gurney. — Farrington, D.B. Ferentona, as 
Farmborough is D.B. Ferenberga. Feren is not 



'Eyton : Domesday Studies, ii., 148. "^Delineations of the North West of the 
County of Somerset, p. 16. 



230 

fern, but a shortened form of the personal name 
Faerwine (compare Hulleferun, Hill Farrance). In 
1242, in Bath Chartulary, it is Ferenton. In 1401 
it is Faryndon, and the spellings are Farnton, Feren- 
don. The form in "ing" is 14th to 16th century, and is 
an assimilation. Don and ton are confused, but ton seems 
the older. In receiver's accounts of the possessions of Thomas 
de Gornay we have the spellings Farnton, Franton, and 
" Farington Gurney Town." There is a Farringdon in 
Stogursey, where Faringdon Bluet seems to be. Gurney 
was, as in Barrow Gurney, clearly added to distinguish from 
other Faringdons and Faringtons, and, as such, dates from 
the 14th century. The Domesday Gornai was Nigel de 
Gornai, a tenant of the Bishop of Coutance. The later 
Gournays of these Somerset names appear to have been, 
according to Collinson, descendants of Baron Fitz-John oi 
Harptree, and the Gurney of Gurney Slade a possible des- 
cendant of Asceline, a considerable tenant under the Bishop 
of Coutance. The Slade is likely enough the same as the D.B. 
Eslida.^ The initial vowel is for ease of Norman pronuncia- 
tion, and so Slida is the word, and like Glutton Slatt is 
from the Saxon slaed, a plain or open tract of country. 

Hardington Mandeville. — The obvious connection of the 
first component with the personal name Harding has been 
mentioned earlier. Whether this was the interesting Heard- 
ing, son of Eadnoth, of the Cartulary of Muchelney Abbey,^ 
cannot be said with certainty. Harding may represent the 
name Heardwine, and probably does. Among the Somerset 
hermits, besides Wulfric, was Herduin. Curiously enough, 
both these names Herduin and Mandeville occur in a charter 
the date of which must be before 1166. The donor, Roger 
de Mandeville, and the third Roger, son of Stephen Mande- 
ville (1147) gave to the Church of S. Peter and S. Athelwin 
(also a hermit) by the entreaty and prayer of Herduin, the 
hermit, the island which is called Andreseia^ (Andersey, on 
the bank of the Parrett). Ander is the Saxon name Andhere. 



'See Eyton's Domesday Studies, vol. ii., pp. 216, 217. 'S.R.S., vol. xiv., p. 107. 
'Batten : Historical Notes on South Somerset. 



231 

Mandeville is a curious instance of the dropping of a letter 
and the adoption of another consonant by a very natural pro- 
cess in speech if its origin is Magnaville. The place-name is, of 
course, Hardintona only in D.B., while Mandeville is a nor- 
man name found early in the county. Geoffrey de Magna- 
ville was the Conqueror's companion in arms, and the third 
Geofirey, called De Cochra (Coker) because he lived there.who 
paid scutage for his possessions in the counties of Dorset and 
Somerset — the estate in Dorset was Sutton Canonicorum, — 
certified that he held Hardington from the King in capite, 
and that it was an ancestral estate which belonged to the de 
Mandevilles from the time of the Conquest. In 1284-5 a 
John de Mandeville held half a knight's fee in Wilmersham 
of the King. Besides this there is Keinton Mandeville. In 
D.B. Chintona, or Chigtona, 1086; in T.E. Cynton, 1297, 
Kington Marmdeville, 1330; Kenton, 1594; and Kington 
Manfield, 1633. The spellings indicate the derivation of 
Keinton from cyning, a noble or princelet. The later spell- 
ings are true interpretations. In the time of Henry III , 
1243, there is a Stephen de Mandeville of Keinton. It 
is a thirteenth century addition. 

Heathfield Durborough.^ — Durborough is in D.B. spelt 
Derberga. It is in Stogursey. The name is A.S. Deorbeorht. 
The prefix is found as a separate name, Deor, as a Wessex 
name. The ending in " i " was common among the old 
Saxons, as " o" was preferably used by Franks and High 
Germans. Hence, Deor assumed the form Deori, and the 
modern name Deary thus arose. Deor is in meaning the 
same. Deorlaf has become Dearlove and Deormund, 
Dermot. And Deorli has become Durleigh (D.B. 

Derlega), Durlegh in Nomina Villarum ("writs") 
1315-1316. In Hants is Derlie also. Deoring is the 
present-day name Deering. Durhill is in Crewkerne. Dur- 
borough is not, then, Deor's-burh, but the spelling of the 
name Deorbeorht .became Deorbor.^ Heathfield is not an 



'Also called Heithefeild Talbott, see pp. 14-44, Gerard's Particular Description 
of the County of Somerset, S. R. S. , vol. xv. The Dessboroughs assumed 
the arms of the Talbotts. ''Cf. Durboroughscantok, 1438, Harl. MSS. 
and B. M. charters. Here it is clearly a personal name. 



232 

infrequent name in the county. It is apparently at once in- 
terpretable, and it is usually said Heathe is A.S. for heath. 
In the one case in which it does occur in D.B. it is, how- 
ever, a corruption of Herfelt. This is in the Taunton 
hundred. It is not uncommon to put in a strengthening 
consonant which disguises a name, especially after a liquid. 
Herfelt is thus Herfel. Thus, Bromfield has arisen out of 
Brunfella, i.e., Brunfel, the vowel being merely the usual 
euphonic addition. Fil, ful, and fel mean great as a name. 
Her, as in the names Hereward, Herepath (a current name), 
means army, or warrior. Harvey is an additional example, 
the Saxon Herewig became Herewi (Hervi). Heathfield 
is here one of a number of complete transmutations, and 
another instance of the determination of the man on the 
meadow to turn a mysterious or puzzling cognomen into 
something intelligible. In 1517 it is complete " Grant of 
the manor of Hethefield." There is also a Heathfield with 
Adsboroiigh in Creech St. Michael. The latter of these is 
extremely interesting, and, fortunately, we have a clue to 
it. The full name is of considerable antiquity, going back 
to the ninth century. In the Cartulariiim Saxonicum there 
is a grant of land by Alfred, " King of the Saxons," to 
Aedelstan the theyn. The " d " is the Saxon letter for 
which no equivalent is usually kept (as we suppose) in the 
printer's repertory, unless he sets up Saxon type, which is 
between our " d " and " th." We have often wondered that 
we do not come across two names that surely ought to have 
left a larger impress in local terminology. The fact is that, 
as in well-worn coins, the image and superscription gets 
partially effaced, so that you have to infer the full name 
from the fragment left, and do so with some certainty when 
other clues do not fail you. So here. Inscriptions on 
monuments would often enough convey much less informa- 
tion than they customarily do to the antiquary but for this 
method of inference. The two names are Athelstan and 
Aldhelm or Adhelm. There were three moneyers whose 
names appear on coins struck at Bruton — dates from Canute to 
Edward the Confessor — namely Aelfelm, from which a place- 
name Alelm, Alam, Alham would easily arise, Leofwine 



233 

(place-name Lewin, Leofington), and Elfwine (place-name 
Alwine, Aling-ton). They do occur in abbreviations. Ad- 
helm is reduced to Helm and Elm, and Athelstan to Estan— 
in the name, for intsance, of a Bishop of Hereford in 1012- 
56— and even to "Ads." In other words, iEdelstan-burh 
has just been clipped down to Ads-burg, the personal name. 
Estan actually occurs as the name of an owner under 
Edward the Confessor in several cases. Who in the world, 
even in less busy times than ours, is going to keep on saying 
Aedelstan's borough? He says Adels-burgh, and then Ads- 
borough; and Adescombe in the writs of Edward III. is a 
ville then existent situate in Over Stowey. Adstan, in the 
same place, is clearly an abbreviation, perhaps of Eadstan- 
stowe. Adborough may be clipped to Adbeer. There are 
Adbeer, Nether Adbeer, and Over Adbeer. Now, the 
Domesday spellings are Eatteberia, Etesberia, or Ateberia. 
These may equally well be spelt Eadber, Ades-beria, and 
Adeberia. We have no positive clue, as in the other case, 
but the analogy is clear. 

Haselbury Phicknett, Preston Plucknett, Wearn Plucknett. 
Haselbury is Hal-berga in D.B. It is not mentioned 
in T.E. In the Nomina Villarum of Kirby's Quest it is 
Haselbere only. Dugdale's Monasticon mentions " the 
priory of Austin Canons at Haselborough." In 1150 Wm. 
Fitzwalter was lord of the town of Hazilberg. In the 
British Museum charters we read of " Fine in Hisbere," 
and this is the frequent spelling, varied by a vowel — Hisbere, 
Hysbere, and Hysebeere — all through Edward III.'s reign. 
In the sixteenth century we have it with Haselbare, Hassel- 
beare, Hasilbeare, Haselborowe; and in the seventeenth 
century Hassiborough and Hazelborough. Hassel is clearly 
the correct spelling of the personal name, of which Hazel, 
reminding us of the shrub, is the " Zumerzet " rendering. 
Clearly then, the Hal-berga of D.B. is an abbreviation. The 
name is not Saxon, but Scandinavian, as a personal name. 
Hasel and Hesel are Anglo-Saxon for the bush-name ex- 
tending through the cognate languages. Names of persons 
were derived from trees, as, perhaps, the old Gothic Asilo, 
connected in dark mythology with the Scandinavian root 



234 

"as" or "os," a demi-god. The name is widespread. There 
is a Frisian name Hessel, and in the Liber Vitas it appears 
as Esel. There is a place-name Hasaling, near Bremen. 
The place-names, too, are widespread, and certainly are not 
all derived from local circumstances, where many nuts grow 
loved of boys. For example, Hasel-ey, in Warwick and 
Oxford; Hasels Marsh and Haeslan-den, in Lancashire; 
Haseling (Haeslan-ton) and Hessle, in Yorkshire. 

Plucknett is a name of which the origin is not too clear. 
The Irish Plunketts consider that their name is of Danish 
origin. Bardsley lets it down to Blanket — Plucknett is 
Blanquette. It may be from Plen, a village in Brittany, and 
gwent, fair, open region. Celtic name, Planquenet, near 
Rennes. The double name does not appear to have come 
into use in documents until quite late, but the connection 
of the family goes back to the days of the rebellious barons 
in the reign of Henry III. Alan de Plugenet, as the name 
is spelt, we may conjecture, made himself of use to that 
monarch in the struggle who should be master, the King or 
the Peers. He fought for the king in the Battle of Evesham, 
1265, and was made custodian of Dunster Castle. Alan- 
more, in Herefordshire, is called after him (1299). By feudal 
right, the great over-lord could displace one manorial 
possessor for another. So in A.D. 1270 there was granted 
to this useful person the manor of Haselbere. In Kirby's 
Quest (12 Edward I.) Alan appears as Lord of Haselbere. 
A.D. 1272 was the death year of Henry III., and Edward 
Longshanks confirmed him in his new possession. Sir Alan 
de Plugnett itis said to have been a Breton. 

Preston Plucknett'- was also held by Sir Alan by military 
service. It is in the hundred of Stone. The former pos- 
sessor, William Marshall, took part in the rebellion against 
Henry. Preston is D.B. Preste-ton, found also in Preston 
Bowyer, Preston Torrells, Preston Kingweston, Presbridge, 
in Ashbrittle, Presmead, in Stowey (a vicar's glebe, and else- 



'In his account of Preston Plucknett Mr. Batten, Historical Notes on South 
Somerset, traces the descent of Haselbury Plucknett (a barony) from 
reign of King- Stephen down to the third and last Alan Plucknett, and 
CoUinson down to reign of Edward III. 



23S 

where), Prestley and Presley, in Whitestone hundred. There 
are also Presfields, Prestmoors. There are a score or more 
of Pres-tons. These were priests' possessions as distinct from 
the monastic, or were, as Preston Torrells, held in elymosyna 
regis, a kind of "crown living," as we should say. It is 
interesting to find that a manorial name here in Somerset 
was Preston Bermesey, at the east end of Preston Plucknett. 
The abbot of Bermondsey had his portion here, and, accord- 
ing to Pope Nicholas' Taxatio in 1297, in Yeovil and Yeovil- 
ton. Bermsey is an instructive abbreviation for the meaning 
of which we have not far to seek, as in some cases more 
obscure. In time of Elizabeth " Manor of Bermondsey Pres- 
ton, formerly belonged to the monastery of Bermondsey." 
Hence its name, Preston Monachorum. There are " Abbots' 
accounts " in the reign of Henry V. 

Hatch Beauchamp. —D.B., Hacchia. A hatch or bar-gate, 
entrance of yore into the forest of Neroche. In a charter of 
Witham Priory occurs the name Hachstock. Haca is a bolt 
or bar. Our word hatch means a wicket gate. The name often 
indicates boundaries of forests and demesnes, and there occurs 
Hachweia or Hatchway. There are also East and West 
Hatch. It is Hacche only in reign of King John, who gave 
the church and land to canons of Wells. It is Hatch 
Beauchamp in the Lay Subsidies of Edward III. (1345). 
There are seats of John de Beauchamp, first Baron, who 
died in 1361, and of John de Beauchamp, Lord of Hatch 
Mercatorum, or Hatch Beauchamp, third Baron Beauchamp 
(1261), and one of Cecilia de Tuberville, Lady of Hatch 
Beauchamp, his daughter. In time of Elizabeth it is in 
Chancery proceedings " Manor of Hatche Beacham," and 
variously Beachem Hatch and Hatch Beacham in wills. The 
name thus varies but little. The name does not appear in 
1297, T.E. Shepton Beauchamp is so called in Kirby's Quest 
(1343) on. The holdings of the family in the northern part 
of the county came to them by the marriage of John de 
Beauchamp with Cecilia de Vivonia about 1270, accord- 
ing to Mr. J. Batten. Accordingly it is said that the " Beau- 
champ Stoke," near Chew Stoke, was never part of their 
possessions, and that there is no trace of it. It is, therefore. 



236 

as spelt, Bichen-stoke, probably Beechenstoke or Birchen- 
stoke, or even By-chen-stoke. Hatch Mercatorum, as our 
alias of Hatch Beauchamp, is an earlier fixed name, which died 
out. The first baron obtained the grant of a fair and market in 
1301. It was, that is, Market Shepton as an important business 
centre in the mediseval manorial period. 

Hill Farrance— It is D.B. Hilla, T.E. HuUeferun. There 
are the court rolls of Hillferoun of Edward II. Kirhy's, 
Quest, Illeferun. Then the spellings in Elizabeth's time 
became Hillfarence (Chancery proceedings) and Hillfarrance; 
in wills of the 16th and 17th centuries Hyllfarens, Hilfarrints, 
Florence (1540), viz., in a will John Lane left a quarter mark, 
three shillings and fourpence, for the building of the church 
tower. In the Exon Domesday Hilla is spelt Billa, a clear 
blunder, as the persistence shows, and the Exchequer gives 
Hilla. Both are personal names. Both are Saxon. It is a 
■village on the Tone, and this Hill is doubtless again the river 
name " He," disguised by the aspirate. 

Hilla is a personal name, which sometimes assumes the 
Frankish form Hillo. It is used in compounds, Elfhilla 
and Alfhilla, as the name of a woman. As early as A.D. 
744 Hilla was a benefactor of Glastonbury Abbey. It is, 
therefore, a very old Somerset name. But it is not very 
particular about its county. It is a name as common in 
Saxony to-day as in England. It is a tribal name. Mr. 
Kemble, of course, has the Hillingas, and there is an lUengen 
in Bavaria. When you discover a place called Hill situate 
in a vale it is obvious that the physical circumstances do 
not account for it. At-Hill is not necessarily the man who 
lived at the hill. Atta-hill is a compound Saxon name, and 
may even be Athellen, whose name occurs in a Glastonbury 
deed (A.D. 744). Hill, again, is sometimes shortened from 
Hilde, as Hillman from Hildeman; sometimes it is Hyl, a 
hollow or hell; again, it has developed from II, isla, or a 
watery spot, in place-names, and as seen^ from Ivel, a very 
ancient Celtic river name, found in various disguises in many 
parts of the country. It is little wonder if we find Bishop's 

•Chap. 1. 



237 

Hull is Hilbishops, Hill Bishop, Hulbishops, and Hill 
Bishops. And so with Hile, in S. Petherton, and Chil- 
thorne; Hilborough, Hillcombe, and Illcombe, Hillgrove, 
Hillhouse Liberty, and Hill, near Kilve. In the Liber VitcB- 
the name is spelt Ylla, and Hille. The great Hill family 
thus appears to be of diverse origin. Not to say that Heale,. 
as in Curry Rival, may be a variety. In Hill Bishop and other 
cases it is not clearly a personal name of an early proprietor, 
but a form of He as situate on a rising over the river. The 
Bishop is the Bishop of Winchester, Walchelinus in D.B. 
Farence is a disguised form of Ferun, become Feruns with the 
addition of the " s " so frequent, and this again is the original 
name Faerwine, in which " faer " means as already given, and 
" wine " means friend. 

Horsey Pegnes, in Bridgwater. — Horsey is here a personal 
name. In D.B. it is Peghenes only. This has been explained 
to mean Pig-haynes, or enclosures. In 1315 it is Pegennese. 
Pig appears, however, to be a mid-English word, and cer- 
tainly swine, as singular and plural, is the more usual word- 
Pig would scarcely have been found in the Domesday 
record. There is a Swin-dun in Carhampton Hundred. Peg 
is short for the name Pegg or Pega or Pecga, an A.S. name, 
found also in Peglinch, in Wellow, also called Peglegs (Pega'& 
lea), Peglin, as well as Peglinch, and here clearly it is the Saxon 
name Peghun or Pighun, i.e., Horsey Pighuns. 

Hinton Blewitt and Hinton St. George are both simply- 
Hantona in D.B., Henton T.E. Also, there are Henton 
Charterhouse, Henton in Martock, called Bower Hinton^ 
Hinton Charterhouse is, besides, called Hinton Abbot and 
Hinton Grange. Other names with the same slightly-varied 
prefix are Hendford, or Henjord, and Hyndeford and Hyne- 
ford, called Hendford Matravers, and Heniton, or Henning- 
ton Hill, in Ashbrittle. It is usual to derive Hinton from 
Saxon heah, heane, high, chief, but this does not account 
for all the cases. In Glastonbury there is Henley. The 
truth is that Hean is a saxon personal name. It occurs as 
a prefix in Heanfled, Heanfrith, Heanric, Heantan, and 
the like, personal names. A Hean in 690 was the 
founder of Abingdon monastery. This is the name Anna 



238 

and Hanne, of the Liber Vitw. The forms of the personal 
name are Eana, Enna, Hean, Onna, and Hona. Hanny is 
a Somerset name now, as well as Hannay and Hanning, 
Hean, Heaney, Honne. Henton is even given in some books 
as meaning " poultry town." The origin of the name is the old 
German Ano, meaning ancestor. In Hendford the " d " is 
a grip letter and intrusive. Enmore is mysteriously Animera 
in D.B. This is a compounded name of Ano and maer. 
Maer is found also in Mergeat (modern Merriott). 

Blewitt is Norman. The cradle of the family appears to 
be Briqueville-la-BIouette, in Normandy. Randulphus, i.e., 
Ralph Blouet had six and a half hides of this manor, and 
Hugo Matravers two virgates under William d' Ou (Howe). 
It is curious that the same tenant in chief also held Hantona 
(Hinton St. George), spelt Henton S. George (21 Edward 
III.), in the Crewkerne Hundred, and in each case displaced 
Alestan de Boscomb in Edward the Confessor's list. The 
Blouets remained connected with Hinton for many centuries. 
This Ralph held a sub-tenure of Aller, Worth, and Yeovilton 
(Aire, Worda, Gifeltona), under the same chief lord, and 
again displacing Alestan de Boscomb, who must have been 
one of the beggared Saxons. There are other place-names 
with the addition Bloet. The name occurs frequently in 
various documents as witnesses in the 14th century, in different 
localities in the county. A Robert Bloet, brother of Hugh, 
Bishop of Bayeux, the Conqueror's Chancellor, was conse- 
crated Bishop of Lincoln in 1094, and was justiciary under 
Henry I. 1123. The name is spelt Bloet. Blewitt more nearly 
represents the Norman Blouette. 

Holford Trebbles, or Trebbles Holford, is in Lydeard 
S. Lawrence, spelt in D.B. Hulofort, Holefort, and Holeford. 
But Hulofort as a spelling represents a form of the name 
Hulfirth, which occurs in 943 as the name of a Cornish 
dux (already mentioned). The names Holloway, near Bath, 
and Holloway, near Taunton, and in the parish of Gorton, 
are forms of Halui, or Alwi, represented by the French 
Halevy and the English Holvey. It is commonly supposed 
that these old English names were taken from places. The 
reverse is true. The place-names were most frequently taken 



239 

from the whilom owners, and handed down in disguised form 
with the persistence with which names cleave after the other 
memorials of bygone proprietors have utterly perished. 
Tribbles is probably a form of the name Trumbald. Trum- 
bald and Trumhere occur. Trumbald has assumed several 
strange disguises, Trumbull, then Tremble, and Turnbull, 
then the easy-going south countryman leaves out the hard 
collocation of consonants, and calls it Trumballs and 
Trebbles. 

Huish Episcopi (also called Huish Lamporte), Huish 
Champflower, Cushuish, Lud-huish, and Baggearn-Huish, in 
Nettlecombe; Huish in Burnham; Huish near Crewkerne; 
West Huish, near Yatton ; and a local name, Colinshwys and 
Huish Gaunt. Where these names, Lode-Huish, Huish, 
juxta altum pontem, that is Highbridge, are found in D.B., 
the spelling is Hewis, Hiwys, and Hiwis (unimportant varia- 
tions), as also in T.E. Hywys. That is, from 1086 to 1297 
the spelling did not alter much. In the early part of the next 
century we find Hewish, and the spellings show a delightful 
variety, as Hewishe, Hewysh, Huwysch, Huysche, Hwish, 
Huyssh, Huysch, and the like. Huish has been derived from 
the A.S. hus, a house. That is, Huish-Episcopi is the 
" bishop's house." Episcopi is a later addition to the 
original Huish. More important than that consideration is 
that hus, with the long vowel, would scarcely be called hewls 
(D.B. spelling), and the appearance and persistence of the 
" sh " are thought to indicate another source. It has, 
therefore, been supposed that this points to the gadhelic 
uisge. Certainly it looks like it, for at Huish Episcopi the 
rivers Parret and Ivel unite, while North Huish, in Devon, 
has the river Avon running through it. But the coincidence 
is possibly deceptive. There is a Hewish in Wiltshire. The 
form in Cumberland is Hawes, and in Yorkshire also Hawes. 
Hawisia is a frequent personal lady's name in Somerset, and 
Hewis, Hewish, Whish, still known as personal names, are 
from the old German name Hugizo. In French this is 
Hugues. In Wales this has become Hughes; in low Saxon 
the " g," of course, is a slide, and the word pronounced 
Huyis. The woman's name Hawys occurs in the Liber 
VitcB. 



240 

Huish is called Episcopi because the lands were the 
property of the See of Wells. If ^Ey ton's identification and 
that of Whale is correct, the Domesday name is Littlelaneia 
(Liteland in the Exchequer copy), then it was the property 
of Giso, the Saxon bishop. There are " keepers' " accounts 
of the See of Bath and Wells from 20 Edward I. to 8 
Henry VI. extant. The name Lamporte is later, and arises 
from its proximity to Langport, and in the 18th century John 
Bush was vicar of Huish-cum-Langport. 

Huish Champflower (D.B. Hywis only) is Hywes Chamflur 
in 1316. In 1397 it is in early chancery proceedings 
Hwyss-chamflour, and, of course, in 16th century there are 
numerous vagaries, such as H. Chaumflowers, Huishcham- 
flore. Of the family not much seems to be on record.^ It is 
a grand normanised form, as we suspect (and are led to 
think by the spelling) of a compound saxon name, Coenflur, 
or Cyneflohere. There is a Matilda de Chamflur in 
1262, of Batheneaston,2 who has a perpetual mass on account 
of her devotion to the Priory. Chamflours, also called de 
Campo Florido of Stert, from several gifts to Bruton Priory^ in 
the late 13th century (1276, etc.). In 1349, John de 
Chaumflour has an assize case which he lost to the Prior> 
whom he had disseised of certain lands in Stert (or Steorte). 
This John said that he was wrongly named in the attachment. 
His name was Chaumflour, not Chanflour. Anyhow, it is 
grand. Lud-huish leads us into the question of the origin of 
Lud, found as Lyde and Lyte, as Lloyd and Floyd (Cornish). 
There are no doubt the Saxon names Leod (people) (modern 
German Leute), Lod, and Lud, and this is found in com- 
pound names as Lydgeard (place-name Lidyard). This 
Somerset and Welsh and Cornish name is, however, probably 
more connected with the Welsh name of the god Nodens, 
known as King Llud, the Loth or Lot of the Romances. 
This name has been with some plausibility connected with 



'The family of De Campo Florido held two knights' fees under Mohun in 
1166. Thomas held Hewish and Atherstone in White Lackington. 
The last owner of Hewish of this name was in 1227. ''■Bath Chartulary, 
p. 26, S.R.S., and Feet of Fines, p. 208. This is another branch. 
^Bruton Chartulary, S.R.S., vol. viii., p. 52, etc. 



241 

the place-name London, and the Welsh name for London is 
Caer Lud, or Lud's fort, and with more certainty in Ludgate 
Hill. A temple on a hill found at Lydney on the Severn 
river is paralleled by a possible more ambitious temple on a 
hill on the Thames. Lud was the Celtic Zeus.^ Whether it 
is the Saxon or the Celtic Lud, it has become a personal name 
in Lud-Huish. We find Lydford (as Ludeford Edw. IV.) 
and Estludeford in 1397. Thus we read of Richard Backwell 
persona of Estludeford, and Lydford West (Luddeford 1384), 
and Lud is part of the name Luthbro and the name Luth- 
broka {i.e., Ludbroc, as mentioned previously, in Witham 
Priory Charter). 

Baggearn Hiiish (D.B. Hewis). — Beggearn is clearly a cor- 
ruption of some Saxon name. The first part of the word is 
a personal name, plainly enough Baega, also Bagge and 
Begga, found in other local names, such as Baggebere (D.B. 
Bageberge), now Bagborough, that is Bagge, and Burg. The 
German etymologists of authority tell us that the compound 
names are the earliest of which the extant names are often 
the clipped forms. Other names are Baggeridge, local name 
of a farm, i.e., Bagga-rich, and Bagga-rig, made into ridge; 
Bagbury, near Evercreech (same origin as Bagborough); 
Baghayes, Bagingeham, in the parish of Aller (Bagan-ham, 
a genitive form). The "r" sound in Baggearn and 
Beggearn is intrusive for the sake of a firm 
grip in the original form, Bagan or Baegan, seen 
in Bagan-ham. There is also a Bag-ley, in Wedmore, 
and another in Exford. Badgeworth is D.B. Bage- 
werra. " In A.D. 1308 grant in Bageworth." But as in D.B. 
worth usually appears as wurd (th), this "werra" is no doubt 
the river wear or fishing place, or pond. The name Bage 
occurs, as we shall see, in Bawdrip, D.B., Baga-terpe, i.e., 
Bagathorpe, which may be added to the other occurrences of 
this form thorpe in Somerset. 

Beggars-bush, in Long Ashton and elsewhere, is, we are 
persuaded, a thorough-going corruption of Bega's-Batch. 



'Rhys : Lectures on Celtic Heathendom, p. 129. Williams and Norgate, 1898. 

9 



242 

Beckery Island Is a name in a Glastonbury charter. Becaria 
quae parva Hibernia dicitur, i.e., which is called Little 
Ireland. Now, S. Begga (A.D. 630), or Becca, was an Irish 
princess, and S. Begha was an Irish virgin saint, and St. Bega 
was a Cumbrian saint of uncertain history, probably Irish, 
from across the Channel, when Irish missioners were 
" missioning " England and elsewhere dispreading them- 
selves. This might account for the name of Little Ireland. 
Bega, further, was the name of an Irish nun at Hackness, near 
Whitby. The personal name Becker has some such origin. 
In a supposed charter of Ina, the name Beganus, which is a 
latin form of Bega, occurs. 

Cushuish has, of course, become Cowshuish. We know 
what a cow is and what a cowhouse is, but Cushuish is a 
partially defaced inscription. This is a local name, a tything, 
comprising the hamlet of Toulton, in the parish of Kingston, 
about five miles from Taunton. There are numerous place- 
names called Cow-leas, Cow-pens, Cow-thorns, thorps, and 
bys, folds, and wicks, some of which may have originated in 
the " lactiferous maids " and others in the Saxon personal 
name, Cusa. Each needs dealing with according to its 
history. It is observable that such a name as Constantine 
becomes Custantin, and Cus-huish may be Cunds-huish 
imperfectly pronounced. Cunds is a frequent Saxon name in 
the 8th century. In the absence of early spellings we are 
unable to determine. If Colins-huwys is an ancient name, it 
is probably the compound Saxon name, Cylne-hawis. 



243 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

Doubled Names (continued). 

Marston Magna and Marston Biggot are respectively Mer- 
stona and Mersitona only in D.B., also spelt Mershton 
Bygod, Mersheton Bygotte. In Merstona, Maer is a personal 
name, as in Kinmaer (Kilmersdon), but here the spellings 
appear to indicate, as I suppose, the localities, and that those 
are " marsh " towns. This is the usual explanation, but the 
origin in the personal name is more in accordance with 
analogy. Kilmersdon, as noted, is not Cil-marshton, but 
Kinmaersdon. Magna is a quite late name, as in the time 
of Elizabeth it was more commonly known as Brodmerston, 
Brodemerston, and Broad Marston. In Chancery proceed- 
ings in the time of Elizabeth we read of the manor of Little 
Marston. The name Biggot opens up a pretty controversial 
field as to the origin and meaning of the name. It is Merston 
Bygod in the reign of Henry III. In mediaeval lists of the 
15th century it is Mershton Bygod. The first person in 
history bearing the name of Bigod or Bigot appears as a poor 
knight, who gained the favour of William I. by discovering 
to him the intended treachery of the Count Montague. He 
had six lordships in Essex and one hundred and seventeen in 
Suffolk. Walter de (?) Bigot was Lord of Merston 43 Henry 
III. (1259). The name has not any profane origin. The first 
to bear the name was not a swearing man, only a Goth. The 
" got " is Goth, as analogy seems to show. In the 12th and 13th 
centuries the names Pigota, Picgod, and Picotus appear in the 
Liber VittB. Isaac Taylor^ takes Bigot to be the same as Visi- 
goth. The origin was forgotten when stories were invented to 
account for the name, as in other cases. 

Midsomer Norton reminds us very forcibly of the ease with 
which false traditions arise and maintain their sway, and even 
find their way into official documents like the magnificent 



' Words and Places. 



244 

ordnance maps. The river Somer is, for example, marked 
and so named by the surveyors ; but what historical authority 
is producible for this name of the stream flowing through this 
well-known village? We have not found any. But the 
presence of the name Somer in such a document easily 
satisfies most men that this Norton is in " the middle of the 
Somer," and so it is called " Midsomer." John Wesley's 
explanation in his famous Journal has more merit. It was, 
he suggested, so called because it was so surrounded by bog 
as to be only approachable at mid-summer. Perhaps it is as 
good a name as any. The truth is, this river name is inferred 
from the place-name, and is absolutely of no authority that 
we can discover. As another instance, the ordnance map 
gives Battle-gore, with the date of a battle, for which no 
authority exists, but the dubious name. The facts are that 
this place has no separate mention in Domesday Book. 
It was originally, as other plentiful historical evidences 
show, closely connected with (D.B.) " Ciewe-tona," or 
Chewton Mendip. But in the Taxatio Ecclesiastica of Pope 
Nicholas in 1297 it appears as Norton Canonicore, which is 
short for Norton Canonicorum. It was also known as Norton 
Friars. Its connection with Chewton points to the origin of 
the name Norton. " Agreements as to Tythes of Chewton 
and Norton 1189," " Northona " in D.B. It is north-east of 
Chewton, the manor to which it was joined; the advowson 
of which was previously held by the prior of Augustinian 
Canons of Merton in Surrey. It is, however, due north of 
Stratton-on-the-Fosse, but the connection is not discernible 
in D.B. So it became known as Norton Friars and Norton 
Canonicorum. It is said that the former of these names 
appeared in maps as late as the 18th century ; also that in the 
books of Christ Church, Oxford, to which the advowson was 
given at the dissolution of the monasteries, it is entered in the 
latter name. These names date back to the 12th century. 
The epithet Midsomer is of late origin. In the Feet of Fines 
" John and Giles de Fleury two carrucates of land in Mid- 
somer Northton 1271-2." In 1334 it is called Midsomer 
Norton. " In the bailiwick and hundred of Midsomer 
Norton, Compton Dando,' and Stoney Eston," which is 



245 

east of Chewton, and earlier in 1303 it is Midsomeres Norton. 
It lias been pointed out^ tiiat the derivation is due to the fact 
that the patronal festival of the church is at Midsummer on 
St. John's Day. Of this derivation we were scarcely con- 
vinced, until on investigation we find that besides, of course, 
the numerous distinguishing surnames derived from dedica- 
tions, as Norton St. Philip's or Philip's Norton, there are 
others that have dropped out of use, derived from such 
season-feasts. An example of this is Wode Advent. Wode 
Advent is in the hundred of Williton, and is mentioned in 
the Nomina Villarum of 16 Edw. III. If the name had any- 
thing to do with a river (which does not appear as a river 
name to be easily paralleled), traces would be earlier found. 
This may also be said of the personal name Soriier, the Saxon 
personal name, which the form " Someres " as a genitive 
would seem to favour, as in Somer-ton ; but (as already said) 
it does not appear until the 13th century, at a period when 
country rejoicings and wakes were in vogue on Midsummer- 
day, and were known as summerings. In the place mentioned 
called Wode Advent, in Nettlecombe, the " wake " was at this 
season. These feasts were, of course, evidently in great local 
repute, and so well known and popular as to give a name to a 
village. Whether the wake is still kept up we know not. Per- 
haps St. John's Day is of no special importance in Mid-Norton, 
as they now provokingly call it, and lose the picturesqueness 
of the place-name. It is not a " red " letter day now, and we 
also note Stogursey Whitweek in Stogursey, which, however, 
may be a corruption of the personal name Hwittuc, but is more 
probably from the feast week. 

Pitney Lortie. — The second name has apparently ceased to 
be distinctive in any way. This befalls easily where there are 
no competitive names demanding distinction. Pitney is D.B. 
Petencia. In the Nomina Villarum 1315, Pitney is spelt 
Putteneye, " Puttene cum hamel de Knolle in Long Sutton." 
In the " Fines " 1341 it is " Putteneye Lortie manor and 
advowson." In 1425 it is " Putteneye et Werne," and 
"Pytheney Wearne manor" time of Elizabeth. This easily 



^Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries, vol. iii. Mr. Alan Thatcher's note. 



246 

reminds us of place-names derived from the man's name 
Putta. The question is whether the " u " sound has not in 
Pitney arisen by mistake in spelling, and, as the original " e " 
of a stem syllable changes to " i " by the process known in 
German historical grammar as Brechung, we conclude that 
the " e " of the Domesday spelling is original, and the 
derivation is from Peoht, Pet, a known name; or, as clearly 
connected with the manorial property of St. Peter of 
Muchelney Abbey, it is a form of Peten-eye, i.e., St. Peter's 
Island, or Poehts, Pet's Island in the former case. We like 
to think that the derivation from St. Peter is the more likely. 
Pet as a personal name is found widely spread, as Petsoe 
(Buckingham), Pett (Sussex), Pettaugh (Suffolk), Pettistree 
(Suffolk), Pet-ton (Salop), Pet-worth (Sussex). Lortie is a 
specimen of a type of name of which others may be found, 
in which an ancient Saxon name has become Normanised, 
Lorta, as in Lortan-hlaew. This fancifully and proudly 
became L'Ortle, the nettle, and then is translated into Latin 
with swelling importance as De Urtiaco. There is Lort-ton 
in Cumberland. It is likely that in modern nomenclature 
this name disports itself as Lord or Lording. In 1719, in the 
list of names of marriage licenses, granted in the royal 
peculiar of Ilminster, is the curious name of Susan Loarding, 
which is in fact Lortan. Lorty, as an adjective in the North 
Country, means dirty, filthy. Lord as a personal name is, of 
course, in numerous cases simply our word Lord, master, 
from hlaford, the " breadwinner," i.e., " loaf-ward." 

Podymore Milton. — According to the analogy of the names 
already treated, we should be apt to conclude that Milton was 
the added name to an original Podymore. It appears to be 
a case, however (of which there are other examples) of the 
juxtaposition of two local names, Podymore and Milton. As 
far back as 966, in a charter of King Edgar's to abbot 
of Glastonbury, this is spelt Middleton. To this monastery 
it belonged in time of the Confessor, and in D.B. it is spelt 
Mideltona, and it is Mideltona in time of Edward II. in 
accounts of lands belonging to Glastonbury Abbey. In the 
Taxatio Ecclesiastica, which is given to abbreviations, often 
with the sign of such abbreviation, it is spelt Mylton. On the 



247 

"fosse way" and the two "tuns" on the same ancient road 
that are nearly equi-distant from it are Ilchester and Babcary. 
Podymore derives its name, according to Collinson, from its 
situation in a low, marshy ground. It is Pody-moor. But 
this does not account for the pre-nomen. This is the A.S. 
personal name Podda (and Putta). A Podda was Bishop of 
Hereford circa A.D. 750. The name appears frequently as 
Pudding and Pudifer, and Puddifot has become Proudfoot. 
The root is pud, fat, and Pudda, the original man, was 
probably dumpy and fat, or extremely thin and called fat 
ironically. Puden as a Teutonic root means to swell out. 
Yorkshire people still call a fat person by the epithet " a 
puddle." There is, in addition, a Pudde-combe in Bromfield, 
as a local name. 

Of Middletons in Somerset we have several more, as e.g. 
Milton Clevedon. Nortons and Buttons might well have 
their complement in Middle-tons. We find, for instance. 
Middle Chinnioc, Middlecot (in Babington?), Middleney in 
Drayton, the middle of three islands cropping up out of the 
swamp, and Middlezoy, the "middle of the marsh," and a 
Middleton in Clotworthy. But we must observe and dis- 
tinguish, for this latter is spelt Milde-tona in D.B. and Milde, 
Milda, which is a Saxon woman's name. Mild is frequent 
in compound names, as Mildgyth, Mildfrith, Mildthryth 
(Mildred) as a feminine name, and Mildecot is (D.B.) Milles- 
cote, which is probably Mildes' cot, for Norman spellings 
shrink from " d' " after " 1," as they hate " w " followed by 
" o." Their peculiarities of spelling are important in identi- 
fications. The modern name " Middle " is no doubt this 
ancient Saxon name Milde, with the consonants interchanged. 

Milton with Clevedon. — The latter is a name added in con- 
sequence of ownership. Clevedon is, of course, an etymo- 
logically significant name. It is just Cliffdown, and some- 
times Clif-ton. But this is one of the cases where a family has 
taken the name of their residence, with a " de " prefixed, of 
course, acquired by heirship or purchase. In this case it is 
quite obvious, but this is true of many cases where it is not 
easily recognised. Many place-names are eponyms. The 
explanation of the name as such is valid even when this is so. 



248 

Clevedon was added to Milton (Middleton). It is Miltone 
Clevedon in 1315. In 1166 " aid to marry Maud the 
daughter of Henry II., to the Duke of Saxony," we have the 
certificate of Henry Lovell that William de Clevedon held 
two knights' fees (as is concluded) in " Middleton." In 1229- 
1230 (Testa de Nevill) a Matthew of the same family held one 
of the two knights' fees in Middleton. 

Milton Fauconbridge is Milton-in-Ash (Martock). Milton- 
cum-Amel (hamlets) in 1315. We have no spelling of Milton 
in D.B., but in T.E. it is Middeltone only (1291). In the 
days (1435-6) of Henry VI. it is Melton or Multon Faucon- 
berge (1443), Melton Fulcumberge (1437), Melton Faucan- 
bridge in the time of Edward IV. (1477), and later is Milton 
Fawconbridge and Haukenbridge. There were three Villes 
in Martock, Ash, Milton, and Witcombe, and this was 
probably the middle of the three. There is a Fauquenberge 
near St. Omer in France, said to be the berceau of the family. 
The family is found in Somerset in the 13th century and 
earlier. In the Feet of Fines, 16th Edward I., " At West- 
minster in the octave of St. Martin between Peter de 
Fauconberge querent and Richard de Younglomb concerning 
land in Essebolon, j.e.,i4.s/i-jBa//en." This is in 1287. William 
de Fauconbridge married Matilda, a sister of Robert de 
Mandeville, and Peter, a son, died in 1350. Milton, 
near Kewstoke, is D.B. Middleton. In 2nd Richard III. it is 
Miltone (as we suppose) between Kewstoke and Worle, or, 
as in historical MSS. or reign of Richard III. (2nd), there is 
conveyance of lands in Bartone, Miltone, and Wurle, it is 
perhaps the middle one of these three manors. 

Milton Skilgate. — This is a compound of two manors find- 
ing separate mention in D.B. as Milde-tona and Schillegeta 
(now Skilgate). The name Milde has been referred to above. 
Schillegeta is a Saxon name of Gothic origin. Scealda, Scela, 
Sceald was the mythological ancestor of Woden and Geat 
also, according to Kemble's Saxons. It became a personal 
name. The interest is in the mythology which lies so 
innocently (to all appearance) embedded in the name. 
Milton (called Mill Town and Middle-ton) is in Clot- 
worthy. 



249 

Newton S. Loe. — The spellings vary. In 1481 it is S. 
Clo and Segn Clow, and numerous other spellings of the 
family name S. Loe. Newtons obviously gained this 
name from the upspringing of a fresh group of houses 
in the neighbourhood of, or as part of, an older vil- 
lage. So in Domesday Book there are Nieue-tons 
(with long " i "). Thus in the hundred of Willitone 
there was Niewtona, now I suppose no longer existent, as 
part of Chilvetona (now disguised as Kilton). It was also 
called Duictona, perhaps because its owner, Wilhemus de 
Moione, was Sheriff of Somerset (1084-6). The Neuuentons 
mentioned in D.B. separately number seven, and five of these 
are parts of Newton, in North Petherton, in which there were 
several ownerships. Another is Neuuetone in Newton S. 
Loe. Of Englishcombe, Twerton, Tellisford, and Newton 
fourteen thegns were the Saxon owners. All this became the 
property, at the conquest, of the Bishop of Coutance. The 
name indicates the rise of new ownerships and fresh divisions 
among IX Thegni pariter long before the Conquest. 
Curiously enough, Neuetona, in North Petherton, was held 
by at least six thegns pariter, and the manors remained 
separate (unlike Newton S. Loe). After the Conquest, how- 
ever, the Bishop of Coutance was Geoffray de Mowbray, or 
S. Lo (Latinised into Sancto Lawdo), from a place of that 
name in Brittany. He is frequently called the Bishop of 
S. Lo, in the Gheld-Inquest of 1084 and in charters. He died 
in 1093. Still, in Pope Nicholas' Taxatio (1291) the place has 
no distinguishing surname. It is Nyweton only. When 
somebody " stole a chalice and a vestment from the church " 
in 1340, it was from the " Church of Niewton." 

In 1328, in the Inquisition of Edward III., it was found 
that John S. Lo held two-thirds of the manor of Seyntlo. 
In B.M. Charters there is " exchange of land of Crocken- 
hulle, near Newton (S. Loe) " late in reign of Henry III. 
It has continued to be so called from the fourteenth century 
or late thirteenth. In 1310 a John de S. Lo manumitted 
a slave in Chew Church. It is in 1428 that John Saintelo, 
a younger branch of the Newton family, is certified to have 
held half a knight's fee in Sutton Militis or Knighton, a 



250 

part of Chew Sutton or North Sutton. The family of St. 
Lo or Lando was evidently descended from one of the 
vassals of the Bishop, brought over by him from St. Lo 
in Brittany.^ 

Newton Somerville, N. Yeovil. — It is easy enough to de- 
rive this from a personal name originating in S. Omer in 
Normandy, or Somerville, now Somervieux, near Rouen. 
This might pass if we did not find in the Nomina Villarum 
of reign of Edward III. the names Newton Sermonville and 
Nyeton et Sarmabille. Now, Sermon or Saraman is a 
known Saxon name, and Saraman has become Sermon, which 
is also a modern name, and Villa is disguised as Bille. In 
Edward the Confessor's time, Samarus tenuit in firma Regis in 
mansione qui vacatur Petret, i.e., N. Petherton. Samarus is 
latinised from Saraman, or Sarma. This is the name in Somer- 
ton. It is also written Semar and Saemaer, which suggests to 
us the name Seymour, which, of course, becomes St. Maur, 
putting on a Norman cloak. It is, however, not even so simple 
as this, inasmuch as it is by no means absolutely certain what 
the original form of the name is. Sarmavile is a corruption of 
Salmaville. Before 1225 Philip de Salemunville pur- 
chased Newton for one hundred shillings, and Somerville 
represents perhaps the modern French spelling of the original 
home of the family. Seleman is an extant name. There are 
also names Selefrith, Seleheard. Salaman is old German, from 
a supposed root " salo," dark or swarthy. Perhaps this may 
be a characteristic of the Somervilles. 

lie Brewers is called in D.B. Isla and Ila only. It is not 
in T.E. It is Ilbruere, in a Charter in 1335 and in 
1425. It is on the east bank of the River Ivel, or Isle. 
Ilbrewer and Ilbruweri. William Brewere was Lord of 
Northover in the time of King John. Briewere is the same 
name as the Norman Bruyere, and of course has nothing 
to do with the art of brewing. Certainly the name Brewer 
may be derived from the trade in some cases. The origm 
of this form is the Saxon Bregowar, in which Brego means 



'Some account of the family pedigree in England may be found in Wood's 
Materials for a History of Chew Magna, F. A. Wood, Bristol, 1903. 



251 

ruler and war, and is perhaps shortened from ward or geard. 
The William Brewere or Brewer whose name is preserved 
in He Brewers died in 1226.^ He was the famous Baron 
and judge who held Bridgwater, the Manor of Odcome, 
and other places in Somerset. There was a William Bruere 
who was bishop of Exeter in 1224 who conducted Isabella, 
a daughter of Henry III., to Germany on her marriage 
with the Emperor Frederick II. as his sixth wife ! He was 
present at the siege of Acre, 1228. " Hie jacet " is in the 
choir of the Cathedral. He died in 1244. The name is 
therefore of historic interest. 

Ilminster is clearly the " Minster of the Ivel." The Ivel, 
it is scarcely needful to repeat, is the name of a river. Isla is 
one of the most ancient of roots, meaning moist meadow 
lands, of which an abundance of Swiss, Alpine, and other 
continental examples can readily be given from Taiiber. 
There are many amusing forms of spelling, including Ool- 
minster and Ileminster, and Evilminster, Luminster, and 
Heminster, which teach us nothing of this particular name, 
but give us afresh the hint that in the diversity of spelling 
we must look for the prevailing type to get the right clue. 
The earliest spelling is on a charter of Ethelread the Unready, 
A.D. 995, He mynifter, i.e., the " f " is really the long " s." 

Ilchester is the camp on the He. Camden says the River 
Isil runneth from this to Ischalis (Ilchester). This was 
called Pantavel coit, i.e., bridge, isle, wood, the Ivel Bridge 
in the wood. He Abbots was a manor of the abbot of 
Muchelney. In the quaint language of the day, the " ten- 
ent " was St. Peter. Other names from the same river were 
Hilcombe (i.e., Isl-combe, Ilcombe, and Ylcombe), He Moor, 
Ile-leigh, and we should say Ilton (also misleadingly spelt 
Hilton), only in D.B. this is found as At-Ilton, which is 
not the preposition " at," but shows that it was originally 
Adel-ton, or Athel-ton, like Athel-ney. It belonged to the 
abbot of Athelney. 

Milbourne Port and Milbourne Wick. — It is simply 
Meleborna in D.B. According to Kemble, the ancient spell- 



^Dictionary of National Biagraphy, vol. vi., p. 297. 



252 

ing is Melda-bourne. There are numerous Melbournes and 
Milburns scattered up and down the country. It has also 
been carried across seas, just as Saxon names of places were 
imported in the Saxon immigrations into our country so 
long ago. Mill-stream is an easy explanation which will 
not always suit. A glance at the land valuation made at 
the uncontested order of William the first shows that 
nearly every parish, and, of course, every manor, had its 
Molendinus, or mill, valued at so much. Milborne Port is 
in the vale of Blackmore, on the border of Dorset, watered 
by a streamlet rising at Bradley Head. Here are the elements 
required — the stream and the gate — as is supposed. Un- 
fortunately, this does not explain the ancient spellings 
which the Norman modified from Melda to Mele. As 
already pointed out, there are Saxon personal names Mildeo, 
Melda Bourne. Milbourne Wick is in the vale by Kingsbury 
(i.e., a Crown domain) and here Wick is the village. From the 
same Saxon owner's name we have also Melcombe Paulet, in 
South Petherton, which in D.B. is merely Mele-combe, i.e., 
Mel(d)e-combe. There is also a Milcombe in the parish of 
Mells. The additional Port might conceivably be derived from 
one of two roots, from porta, a gate, or partus, a haven. In the 
latter case it comes to mean a tower built at a harbour; "a 
walled town on a milled stream," is Mr. Pulman's explanation. 
Port here means " entrance " into a forest, or mere, or as a 
border town where dues were taken. It is Muleborne Port in 
1315, Nomina Villarum. Melbourne is the name of an ancient 
hundred now mostly represented by Horethorne : Ecclesia 
S'ti Johannes in Meleburna. It is interesting to note the 
name of the Domesday incumbent called Reinbald, 
Presbyter — appearing in other places (e.g.. Road) as Sacerdos 
— who had been chancellor of King Edward the Confessor. 
Its Saxon owner was named Vitel, and we are wondering 
whether any local names recall it, probably much disguised. 
In 1086 it is the " Royal borough of Melbourne." The origin 
of the name Mells may properly and conveniently come in 
here. Let us observe that Middlecote, mentioned pre- 
viously, is properly Millescote. In the time of CoUinson 
it was depopulated, but its site is known. It was a separate 



253 

part of Melles. That Millescote became Middlecote, and 
Mells is always in this (not plural, but genitive) form, in- 
dicates the original presence of the " d " neglected by the 
Norman spellers, and it is Milde's, Meald or Melde's; and 
Millescote is Melde's Cot. In the D.B. it is spelt Mull(a)— 
i.e., Muld(a). Mells is thus a personal name, like those 
already noted — Middlecote (Milles, i.e., Milde's Cote) in 
Babbington, and Middleton {Milde-tuna) in Clatworthy. If 
the list of molendi or mills be examined, there is only one 
credited to Mells, and so it has no superfluity of mills to 
account for the origin of the name. The Mill-leaze in 
Kingston Seymour and the Mill-piece on South Cadbury are 
probably named from a mill site. A local name. Marsh 
Mills, in Over Stowey, appears in D.B. as the 
Mulse'ella, which is clearly not marsh mills, but the " ell " 
is a form of hell or hole or low-lying place or hill or ile, 
a stream, it may be according to the conditions ; and mul is 
the personal name or the form would not be genitival, Muls- 
ell. It is a manorial name. Milverton is most easily ex- 
plained as " the tun of the mill-weare." As there were many 
tuns with mill-weares there must have been something 
specially distinctive of this Milverton to secure it this name. 
It is Mildweard, a compound name from which we get our 
common Somerset name of Millard. It is the tun of " Mild- 
weard," and, of course, the hard consonants have as usual 
disappeared. 

Monkton Combe is D.B. Cuma. It was there the property 
of Sewold Abbas de Bada and the Domesday tenant in capite 
was "Abbas Ste Petri de Bada." Its connection with Bath 
Priory therefore gave the additional name of Monkton. 
There is a Monks' Ham in Marston Biggott probably repre- 
senting Glastonbury property, as also did Monacheton, now 
West Monkton. The spelling Morcheton is a vagary in 
which the letters have been wrongly copied. In the Car- 
tularium Saxonicum there is a grant by Centwine King of 
Saxons to Hamgils, abbot of Glastonbury. Date 682. 
It is the property of this abbey at Domesday. The spellings 
Monton, Mounketon, Muneketon, Muncketon are too per- 
sistent to allow the idea of a corruption from Morcheton. 



254 

Orchard Portman. — There are also Orchard Leigh and 
Orchard Wyndham. Orchard is a personal name. The 
first of the family that we have any account of (it is said) 
was James, the son of Baldwyn le Orchard. In this case 
the name is thus from an employment Le Orcharder. 
Similarly there was le Perrer, the Pear-man. The name 
itself is a compound, ort-geard, probably wyrt (wort or 
herb) garden. The Gothic is Aurtegard, a garden. Of 
course its ultimate is the Latin hortus, a garden. And when 
Orchard-leigh, watered by the Frome, is spelt Hord-cer- 
leia in D.B., Orcher-leia in T.E., we see at once that this 
is the personal name. Hordgar and Ord-gar, a frequent 
Saxon name of the same origin, and indeed the name 
Orchard, so frequent, has probably this as its real origin. 
Baldwyn le Orchard lived in the reign of Henry III. in 
1241. Mr. Chadwyck Healey tells us of a James de Hor- 
cherd in 21 Henry III. of whom a carucate of land was 
bought in Doverhay, or Dovery. For several generations 
to the time of Henry VI. it passed down in the Orchard 
family, but at this time it came, in default of male issue, 
to Walter Portman, by a marriage with an Orchard. Walter 
died in the reign of Edward 4th. And so it became Orchard 
and Portman. Wyndham is a name closely connected with 
this place Orchard from the Stuart period. The pedigree 
is started with Sir John Wyndham, Kt., of Orchard, who 
married a daughter of Sir Henry Portman. He died in 
1641. The historical MSS. Commission gives an account 
of the Wyndhams of Orchard. The adventures of Carew, 
the King of the Gipsies, and Sir William Wynham and 
Lord Bolingbroke are told in Carew's life. 

Preston Bowyer and Preston Torrells; Preste-town (D.B.), 
both in Milverton. The descendants of Alured de Hispania, 
who displaced the Saxon Alwi (Holvey), gave the former 
to Goldclifi Priory in Monmouthshire. But it was Preste- 
ton earlier than this, arising from its connection perhaps 
with Milverton Church. The prior of Taunton had lands 
in Milverton in 1293 valued at ten shillings, and the account of 
lands to the Priory would not displace the name. The 
name Bowyer is, according to Collinson, a corruption of 



255 

Bures, and as the Domesday subtenure under the Con- 
queror was Hugo de Bures, the additional name is scarcely 
less ancient. Torrels goes back at least to the 14th century. 
In 1248, at Ivel-chester (Ilchester), in the octave of St. John 
the Baptist, Nicholas de Bosco and Roger Thorel, tenant, 
the wife of Roger Thorel, was called to warrant at Est 
Preston in question of land ownership. Nicholas de Bosco 
quitted claim, and perhaps at this time arose the name 
" Torrells Preston." In the time of Henry II. Wm. Torrell 
was lord of the whole manor of He Brewers. In time of 
Henry IV. R. Torrells gave the rector " minster lands," 
twenty acres. In the time of Elizabeth we read of Thorells 
Preston manor in chancery proceedings. The name, under 
the form Walter Turals, is found in D.B. in connection with 
Compton Martin and Seaborough. Thorell is apparently the 
name Thorold, a Scandinavian name, and this is short for 
Thorwald. 

Preston Kingsweston. — In this the name Preston was a late 
addition, which did not exist early, and has been dropped. 
Kingweston is Kinwardtona (D.B.). The Preston arose, and 
was occasionally used, on account of the ownership of lands 
by St. Saviour's abbey of Bermondsey. Abbot's accounts 
exist for the year 1 Henry IV. 

We may as well note here the place-name Priston, because 
it has been supposed to be derived from its connection with 
Bath Abbey. There is a charter which purports that a grant 
of land was made here in 931 to the Abbey by King 
Athelstan. The D.B. spelling, however, is Prise-ton and 
Prise-ton, and if this is correct it has been softened to 
Pryssheton and Prysshton, just as Aesc is softened to ash; 
Prise means a coppice, copse, or brushwood. It is celtic. 
There is a Prik (Prysc) in Cardigan, and others in Breck- 
nock and near Swansea. But it is, after all, more probable 
that this spelling Prise is simply a mistake not infrequent 
on account of the similarity in mediaeval MSS. in the shape 
of the letters " c " and " t." It is thus Prist or Priest-ton, 
arising from its ecclesiastical connection. 

Norton Hawkfield and Norton Malreward are close to- 
gether locally. Norton is a geographical name given because 



256 

it is a tun north of the mother parish of Chew, to which 
Hawkfield still belongs. Bishop Sutton is south of this 
parish of Chew, of which it is a part civilly. Hawkfield is 
identified by Collinson with the Hauckewella of Domesday, 
and is so fixed in Mr. Eyton's^ scheme. With this Mr. 
Bates Harbin^ disagrees. In his five-hide scheme he identifies 
this Hauckewella with Hawkwell in the south of the county. 
It is called Hawkwell in chancery proceedings in the time 
of Elizabeth. This Havechewella is, of course, Hafoc (A.S.) 
a hawk, and wella a well. As a matter of names the present 
designation, Hawkfield, is more likely to be a corruption 
of Hautville than of Hawkwell, and we have noted that 
the local pronunciation of the old people is " A-vill " as 
nearly as one can re-produce it. A later spelling, Hawtfeld, 
is a stage in the process of corruption. In 1325 a licence 
to Sir Geoffrey de Hauteville to choose a confessor for 
one year is granted.^ Then Sir John de Hautville was Lord 
of Norton — perhaps earlier. In 1316-1324 Sir Geoffrey was 
M.P. for Somerset, Bucks, and Wilts. This Hautville 
family is identified with that of one of the most interesting 
in Europe, a branch of the Norman kings of Naples and 
Sicily, descended from a Norman viking, Hialt, or Heal- 
thene, and traceable to the ninth century, and of the line of 
Tancred de Hauteville in the diocese of Coutance. 

If Eyton is correct, the D.B. spelling is Hauckewella, and 
after that the first mention is in a deed, according to which 
bishop Jocelyn (1229) gave Thomas de Altavilla half a hide, 
or sixty acres of land in Dundry, in return for service of 
knight's fee in Rockesburg and Draycott. This land was held 
by Reginald de Hauteville.^ In 1620 it is Hautefield or 
Hawkfield in a conveyance. A most easy, but really false, 
explanation of the name as it stands would be to resolve it 
into the two words, a hawk and a field, and further suggest 
that these were the emblems of an escutcheon, or preserved 
some trace of legendary lore. 



'Eyton : Domesday Studies, vol. ii., p. 21. ^S. A. Soc. Proceedings, Article on 
Five Hide Unit. SDrokenford's Register, p. 250, S.R.S., 1887. ^Somerset 
Fines, S.R.S., vol. vi., pp. 72-73. 



257 

John de Hauteville, the hero in question, " called by the 
7oice of war to martial fame," is said to have been with 
5dward the First in Palestine, and he may or may not have 
)een the first of his family to possess the manor as the gift 
jf that king. If the question be asked. Did the family take 
heir name from the place or give their name to it? — which 
s variously spelt Hauteville and Altavilla — it may be 
mswered that in regard to the origin of personal names the 
srefix " de " is significant of origin from a place, and " le " 
3f origin from an employment. Now Altavilla is evidently 
the latin form of the French Hauteville, and must mean 
" high-town " or " high-hamlet." Sir John Hauteville is the 
subject of more than one fairly well-known legend. There is the 
5tory of the quoit. This man of muscle flung a huge stone from 
the top of that portion of the Wansdyke called Maes Knoll, all 
adown the steep gradient to a spot half-way between Pensford 
and Stanton Drew — a distance of two miles, called, from this 
wonderful feat, the Quoits Farm. The quoit is there by the 
door of the farmhouse. What more evidence do you want? 
True, it weighs some tons. But now, quoit is a Celtic word, spelt 
by Borlase, the distinguished author of Cornish Antiquities, 
koeten. A cromlech in Cornwall is called the giant's quoit. 
Koeten means a broad, thin stone, and some modern men 
connect the one in question with those other great stones 
at Stanton Drew, usually called druid stones. Is the 
quoit the serpent's head of this great circle? The story is 
also told that when S. Looe, of Southetown (Sutton) Manor 
House, in Knighton Sutton, was building his battlemented 
wall, Hawkwell passed by, and asked what this wall was meant 
[or. On being told " to keep out such fellows as you." this 
warrior stepped over it, having legs as long as his arms were 
strong. 

Norton Malreward. — The usual explanation of the family 
lame Malreward is the tradition that the name was given 
jy John de Hauteville when the manor was granted to him 
jy Edward I. as a reward for his services in the Holy Land, 
and to which he scornfully applied the epithet indicating that 



258 

he had received but a poor reward.^ Whatever may be the 
origin of the name Malreward, it is found in Domesday. Gos- 
frid Malruard was a tenant of the Bishop of Coutance, dis- 
placing the Saxon thegn Alvered. In 1260, John Maure- 
ward and Thomas de Alta Villa are witnesses to grant by 
prior of Bath of a piece of garden ground.^ The Maure- 
wards also possessed estates in Devonshire, Dorsetshire, and 
Wiltshire. Sir Wm. Malreward gave the church of Twer- 
ton to the nuns of Kington S. Michael, Wiltshire, a grant 
confirmed in reign of Henry III. by his grandson. Sir Geof- 
frey. The name is thus either Malreward or Maureward, 
and the latter is probably a Norman softening of the former, 
and thus we get the names Marwood and Morewood, to 
which fanciful explanations may be given. In the Battle 
Abbey Roll there is a name Maulard, i.e., a nickname, the 
Mauler. If Maureward is the original mar, meaning famous, 
and weard defence, this explains the personal name. Norton 
was called by this additional manorial name in 1257 and 
therefore at least early in the 13th century. In Somerset 
Itinerant Justices' Pleas : " The assize of novel disseisin 
which Thomas de Hauteville arrangeth against William 
Malreward, John Maureward, touching his pasture in Nor- 
ton Malreward." 



^Collections /or a Parochial History of Chew Magna. F. A. Wood, Bristol, 
1903. ''Bath Chartulary. Lincoln's Inn MSS., S.R.S., p. 25. 



259 



CHAPTER XXVII. 
Doubled Names (continued). 

Sampjord Arundel is Sampforda D.B. and T.E. There 
are five places spelt Sanforda, with variants Sanfort and 
Santfort. These are identified with Samford Brett, Samp- 
ford Arundel, Sampford Orcas, and Saltford, near Bath, and 
in Wembdon in Sandford Farm, alias Sampford Bickfield, 
and a Sanford in Winscome, and a Sandford Cheslade (manor 
name of the 17th century), and there is La Sonde, perhaps 
in Kew Stoke. Sandford with Cheslade is an interesting 
doublet, inasmuch as the prefix ches is for ceosel, in 
numerous place-names indicative of a gravel soil, and lade 
is a course or way, mostly a water course. Cheslade may 
in this instance have become a personal name — modern 
Chislett. We are inclined to regard this name as from the 
personal name Ceolsig (-lade), shortened to chis. Anyhow, 
it is curious and worth noting. Saltford, on the Avon 
near Bath, is Sandford (D.B.). It is the development to Salt- 
ford which differentiates the name from the rest. The per- 
sistence of the sound sal through the subsequent spellings 
shows that san is an imperfect spelling. Saltford is the 
saehl — salh or sael — ford, " the ford of willows." There is 
a late spelling, Sawffomde, for Sanford and Santford in 
Sampford Arundel. The early spellings, Sant and San- 
ford, the Norman sounds for the heavily consonated word 
Sumpf (our swamp) abhorrent to Norman lips and 
Norman ears. It is on the moor-way on the high road to 
Exeter, a short distance from Wellington. The remainder 
of those Sandfords have the common element of possessing 
a sandy soil or subsoil, and so are geologically descriptive. 
They are sandy fords or sandy roads. As early as 1297 the 
T.E. gives the double name, Saunford Arundel. In reality 
the family connection with the place-name goes back to the 



260 

conquest itself. William disposed of this manor to Roger 
Arundel (which some consider a form of d'hirondelle, 
swallow or swift, as a sobriquet, which assumed the well- 
known form of Arundel), displacing Ailward and two thegns, 
who were the tenants previously. There is a Sir John 
Arundel, time of Henry III., and so late as 1541 Sir Thomas 
Arundel, Knight of Wardour Castle, had large possessions 
in Somerset. The Domesday Arundel was rapacious even 
to sacrilege, and had tenants in all parts of Somerset. The 
persistence of a name so long is some evidence, if it were 
needed, of the deep impression made by Norman occupation. 

Sampford Brett.— 1329, Sandforde Bret; 1404, Sampford 
Brit. In 1579 Samforde Birte, which, by mistake, actually 
becomes Sampford Birke. It is close by Williton. It was 
a member of the family of Brett that took part in the 
murder of St. Thomas of Canterbury. Sampford Bret was 
held by Simon le Bret of the honour of Dunster, by the 
service of half a knight's fee. His brother William, of Sandford, 
is mentioned in Final Concords 1230-1250. This Simon had 
two sons — Richard, who was called Brito (the murderor of 
Thomas Beckett), and Edmund, who from this place was called 
Sanford. Richard died in Palestine, fighing the Saracens as 
a penance. It was his granddaughter Alice who was a 
benefactor to Woodspring Priory, dedicated to St. Thomas 
of Canterbury. Mr. Chadwick Healey tells us a story of 
1280 in which there was a quarrel in a tavern at Por- 
lock. Walter Barfoot struck Elias le Barun, and killed 
him. The coroner on the occasion of the inquest was 
William le Bret, i.e., William the Breton. There is a seal 
extant of Simon le Breth, or Brito, of the time of King 
John. In Domesday Book there is an Ansgar Brito, Francus 
Tegnus, that is Norman thane, descended from Walter Brito, 
Baron of Odcombe. But there is no traceable connection 
between this family and Sandford Brett. It may still have 
existed.^ 

Sampford Orcas. — Collinson informs us that Richard de 



'See Honour of Odcombe and Barony of Brit, by T. Bond. S.A.S. Proceedings, 
XXI., ii., 8. Also Particular Description of County of Somerset, S.R.S., 
vol. XV., p. lOS. 



Pyramidum dictarum specimen juxta 
Mahnesbiirn descriptionem. 





BenopefK 
BStncomB 



Bave 







Beanm 



The Two Pyramids, 
With Naiies of Benefactors, both Kings and Bishops. 



261 

Orescruilz was lord of Sampford Orcas in the beginning 
of King John's reign, 1199. In the T.E. it has no 
double name, 1297. In Kirby's Quest, reign of Edward III., 
it is simply Sanford and Sampford. In mediaeval wills in 
1415 it is Sampford Orskeys, Orgays in 1502, Orkeys in 
1505, Orgues in 1594, and Orkas in 1586. The ownership 
goes back to the time of Henry I. (1100-1135), when Henry 
Orescuiltz held a knight's fee of the Abbey of Glastonbury, 
and in 1166 this was held by Helias, son of this Henry. 
Helias was the father of Maude Orescuiltz, lady of Sanford 
Orcas, who married William Fitz-John, of Harptree. 

Shepton Montague, Shepton Beauchamp, Shepton Mallet. 
— All merely Sceptona and Sepetona in D.B., i.e., sheep- 
town. The double names, Montacute and Mallet, occur in 
the Eccl. Tax., 1291, and, as might be expected from 
the greatness of those families at the time of the Conquest, 
are the earliest fixed double names found. Charters show 
that Septon was held by William de Montacuto in 1272. 
Earlier, Drogo de Montacute was a tenant of the Con- 
queror's half-brother, the Count Moretain, who purchased 
the manor then called Bisopeston, that is Bishopston, from 
the abbot of Athelney, and within four years of the Conquest 
erected his castle of Montacute. The name Montacute, 
latinised form of Montague, is a singular instance of the 
appropriate transference of a name. The castle is built on 
a peaked hill, and readily suggested the application of the 
Norman name of the family, who appear to have been 
commanders of the castle of the great and prosperous earl. 

Shepton Montague had not only the Domesday name 
Bisopestona, but an earlier saxon name. It was called 
Lodegaresbury and Logderestone. Lodegar is a Saxon 
name, and is the same as Leodgeard, found in Lydyeard. 
Lodegar was, it is said, a bishop, and certainly there was a 
Bishop Lydyeard. From this fact it was called Bisopestone. 
Though the Normans deprived the place of its ancient name, 
there is still a tything in the parish bearing this name. But 
where is Shepton from in this case? Is it short for Bishop- 
ston? We have found no spellings bearing out such a possi- 
bility. 



262 

Shepton Beauchamp^ is Sceptona Skeptona in D.B., T.E., 
1297. A curious spelling in the Exchequer Lay Subsidies 
(Edward III.) is Shepton Bealchamp. It is quite possible, 
as has been previously suggested, with the known modifi- 
cation of consonants, that seep is a form of the name Sceaft. 
Scaeftwine is a known Saxon name, easily corrupted to 
Sceptone. This would certainly account for the several 
names better than the idea that they were great emporiums 
for sheep. For were they so at this early period? Sceaft- 
wine was a great saxon landlord. In Pipe Rolls of the 
time of Richard I. (1196 Escheats) include Stoke, Merston, 
and Babcary, lands of Robert Beauchamp, son of the first 
Robert, and in 1251 the son of the second Robert died 
" seized " of the manors of Stoke, Merston, Shepstone, and 
Hache. The first mention of the Beauchamp family in 
connection with Somerset is in 1002, when Robert 
Beauchamp, possibly the son of Robert Fitzlvo, of D.B., 
witnesses to a charter by which Ansger Brito gave his land 
of Prestitone to the Priory of Bermundsey Abbey, Surrey. 

In Creech St. Michael is Sheepham Moor. This may be 
the " sheep pasture " or " Sceaft-ham." Shepton Bokeland, 
or a part of it, is also called Shepton Mallet. 

Sock Dennis is a delightfully mysterious name, and beside 
it is also called Sock Malerbie,^ and in Mudford there is 
Olddesock (1342), also called Mudford Soc, later companion 
manor to Woodford Terry, which is Old Sock. This Old 
Sok is the same as Sok Malerbe. The Domesday spellings 
are Socca and Soca, alias Soche, and the Saxon owner is, 
oddly enough, Tochi or Stochi. Tochi is, no doubt, the 
Wessex name Toke. The word soke, soc, in such names 
as Soc-burn, Soc-lege (Suckley) preserve the memory of an 
ancient form of tenure. A soc is a " franchise," i.e., land 
held by socage. It also has an interesting allusion to 
the possession of the power, confined within certain pre- 



'For numerous notices of the Beauchamp family, S.A.S. Proceedings, XXVII., 
ii. , 20 ; Barony of Beauchamp ; also the interesting notes of the Rev. 
S. H. Bates-Harbin in Gerard's Particular History of the County of 
Somerset, S.R.S., vol. xv. ^Called by Gerard "now Socke and Bealy," 
ibid., p. 207. 



263 

cincts, of hearing suits and administering justice. Socu is 
" seeking into," and sacu is A.S., a lawsuit or inquiry. The 
verb is sacan, to contend. The derivative word, "be- 
seech," has thus a sidelight cast on it. Socage is a certain 
service of a tenant other than knight's service. 

The name Soc Denneis occurs as early as 1256, 1278-9. 
" Release in Brudenwere, in the manor of Sok Denis." 
" Grant of seisin in the manor of Sook Denys," 1389. " Seal 
of John de Berkeley, or Bercley, of Sockes Denys Manor," 
1389. On the other hand, in 1175-1189, the manor of Soc 
is confirmed to Richard, bishop of Winchester, and in 1216- 
1272, " grant for taxes in the church of St. John Baptist 
of Sok." Hence the name Denis is late thirteenth century. 

With this name Denis may be connected Seavington 
Denis. In, i.e., Edward IV. 's reign there are receivers' and 
wardens' accounts for Sevenhampton Denis and Denys 
(Seofonamtona). The name Deneys occurs as early as the 
12th century as the name of the holder of Edgborough, and 
Mr. Healey mentions that in 1260 John le Deneys and 
Robert le Deneys met at Roger de Cokerny's tavern in 
Dovery. Denise is a name occurring in Bede, Denises 
burna. As a matter of hagiology, Denis is, as in " Denis- 
burn," a shortened form of Dionysius, the Saint. The per- 
sonal name is, however, usually derived from Dane, Le 
Denis, the Dane.^ A Denis came into possession of Soc in 
the 13th and of Seavington in the 14th centuries. Any par- 
ticulars of the families we know not. As there is also 
Seavington Abbas, it may just be mentioned that abbas arises 
from the possession by the abbot of Adelinensia, or Athelney. 

Sutton Bingham, or Sutton Calvel. These Suttons are, 
of course, Sutona, or south towns, generally south of the place 
near to one which is more important, or of which they were 
manorially or ecclesiastically a part. It was convenient to 
designate them by points of the compass or as New-tons. 
The Norton to Sutton Bingham appears to be Norton- 



'" King John having wrested out of ye citizens exchanged it with William ye 
Dane for ye parke of Petherton," ibid. William the Dane is William 
Dacus. Bealy might be shortened from the Saxon Bealdthun, but it is 
probably a curious corruption of Malerbie. 



264 

sub-Hamdon. A previous name was Sutton Calvel. 
Roger Arundel was Domesday tenant, and his tenant 
was Roger Boisellus, who is also identified with Roger 
Calvus. In 1162, time of Henry II., there was a Robert 
Calvel. Calvus may be a latinised form of this (or a nick- 
name "bald"), and Calvel is very likely to be the A.S. 
name Caefel, which again appears in North Petherton, as 
Clavels-hay, a hamlet, and obsolete. This became Classy, 
Clawsey, and Classway, absolutely uninterpretable until 
tracked down. Caefel is called Clavel, easily in popular 
pronunciation. It changed to Sutton Bingham not earlier 
than the reign of Henry III., when William de Bingham, of 
the family of Binghams, of Melcombe, Dorset, the founder 
of the Melcombe branch, married Cecilia, daughter of 
Geoffrey de Mandeville, and was by this marriage brought 
into connection with the county and this place.^ Bing may 
be a shortened form of Binning, a patronymic of Binna. 
Bing-ham is itself a place-name, become a family name. It 
is true that bing is a Scandinavian word, meaning a " heap 
of corn," and so by a twist, if the vowel be short in ham, 
Bingham means a corn-field. There is a Bingham in Notts, 
Bing- Weston in Salop, Bingley in Yorks. Binns is a frequent 
name, and to the personal name the place-names are 
traceable. 

Sutton Mallet is a chapelry in Shepton Mallett, and Sutton 
Montis is short for Sutton Montacute, found in Shepton 
Montacute. It is also called Sutton Montague and Sutton 
Montaigne, and is mentioned in D.B. as Sutuna only. Sutton 
Abbas (of Athelney) is now Long Sutton. 

Stanton Drew, Stanton Prior. The number of Stantons 
in the land is immense, as any gazetteer will show. We do 
not feel confident that they are all from stony places. Cer- 
tainly not all from characteristic ancient remains called 
Druidical. Stanton Drew may be unique among them in 
this respect. That some of them are disguised forms of per- 
sonal names we feel convinced. Now, among the thanes 
of Edward Confessor, Taini Regis Edwardi, A.D. 1086, the 



'John de Bingham lived in the reign of Henry I. 



265 

name Estan occurs. One Estan was owner of Ratdeflet, 
now Radlet, in Spaxton ; of Toches-willa, now " Tucks "- 
well— remember Friar Tuck in " Ivanhoe "—and of Otram- 
metona, now Otterhampton. And Estan is a frequent and 
very ancient Saxon name, surviving now as Easton, which 
denizons of a village will call Eason — i.e., with the two 
first vowels long. Many of these names are, as authority 
tells us, themselves shortened forms of names, and Estan 
appears as Ealhstan — accounting for the long vowels — and 
Ealhstan is possibly shortened from Athelstane. The proof 
is that the same person is referred to by those several names 
in authorities. Easton is sometimes Heahstan. Ealstan 
was the name of Alfred's fighting bishop of Sherbourne. 
There are other examples of shortened names, as Atilton 
for Adel or Athel-ton; Ling, near Athelney, is clipped up 
from Erlengen, though usually taken to be from 
Atheling; Telm is short for Adhelm, and flourish as 
Great Elm and Little Elm. These are near Frome, and 
we have to remember that Adhelm, Aldhelm, Atelm, founded 
S. John of Frome. These are suggestions which are not 
without corroborations and account further for the extra- 
ordinary fact that Aldhelm and Athelstan — names closely 
associated with Somerset — seem otherwise to have left no 
traces of their presence even in those localities where they 
might fairly be expected. In the fourteen or fifteen cases 
in which there occur Estana, Estona, Estan-tona, Stana, 
and Stantona, and in one case Esta(n)wella (Stawell), it is 
not easy to determine, in some cases, whether the Saxon 
scribes, as is most natural, meant the personal name Eston, 
or a point of the compass. East-ton, or the Norman euphonic 
vowel before two hard consonants. As a rule, when spelt 
Estona, it is a point of the compass, as in those cases of 
manors in Estona, Batheaston, to which Westona corres- 
ponds, and this is possibly the case with Easton, balanced 
by Weston-in-Gordano.^ This may well be, but in the 12th 
century, if the identification is correct, this Easton would ap- 
pear to be an extraordinary instance of the shortening of a 



^Somerset Pleas, Thirteenth Century. S.R.S., vol. xi. 



266 

name beyond recognition. It is Agelineston, and Egelingeston. 
In the Domesday account this is Ascelin's-ton. Ascelin was 
under tenant of Weston-in-Gordano. Whatever this is, Ege- 
lings-ton is near Tiche-ham (Tichen-ham). Whereas Estana, 
called Stone Farm, in Mudford; Estan-tona, Stanton Drew; 
Stana in Hutton, (E) Stan-tona, Stanton Prior, and Stantuna 
(Estan-tona, modern White Stanton), Stawell, Estan-weila,i 
the personal name so well known may be at the base. It is con- 
fessedly difficult to account for the name stone-town in many 
cases by any appeal to the local characteristics, past or 
present, and it is obvious that the explanations of this kind 
thus attempted go astray. In the vicinity of Stanton Prior, 
Adelstan, the king, gave land in Presti-tona to the prior 
of Bath in 931. And that Estan-tona was king's land 
later is clear from the fact that there was a grant of land by 
King Eadgar to Aescwig, abbot of St. Peter's, Bath, 
965. Aescwig is, no doubt, the modern personal name 
Eastwick, and not a wick at all in the sense of a hamlet. 
Stanton Wick is a part and tything of Stanton Drew. From 
this possession of the priory is derived the name Stanton 
Prior. Its earliest clear use is quite late, as it is not so 
called in the Nomina Villarum. — that is, late fourteenth 
century. 

Stanton Drew, on the other hand, is so called in 1297 
(T.E.) Stanton Dru. In the Bath Chartulary it is Standondru, 
which looks like Stone-Dundry. And this is spelt Dundray 
and Dendray, all probably freaks of spelling. " The Young 
Dru " was the name of Drugo de Montacute. It is a personal 
name which we may trace back. In 12th Edward III. (1339) 
Walter Dru is said to hold a knight's fee in Stanton. In 1248 
Alice, who was the wife of Drogo de Stanton, was " tenant " in 
a cause for three " fertings " of land in Stantonerwick. In what 
way Drogo first became connected with Stanton does not ap- 
pear, but Collinson vaguely says Geoffrey de Stanton bore the 
appelation of Drogo, and gave the place his name by way 
of distinction. It does not need again to be pointed out 
how evanescent the " g " sound is. Drogo is probably the 



^This is probably the " Stone Well.' 



267 

old German Trago, derived by Forstenman from a Gothic 
root meaning " to run," which assumed the forms Tray, 
Drage, and possibly accounts for such a place-name as Dray- 
ton, as well as Stanton Drew. There are nine Draycotts and 
a score of Draytons tolerably well known, and several Drew- 
tons and Dreggs. A Bristol family of Drew remained con- 
nected with the neighbourhood so far on as the reign of 
Henry VIII., for the dissolved religious house at Barrow 
Gurney (1536), the house and demesne lands of the Priory 
were granted to John Drew, of Bristol. If Drew were the 
original name from dreagh, an oak, and referred to the 
druidical remains, earlier indications of the use of the name 
would be found than the 12th and 13th centuries. In the 
county of Devon there is a Teignton Drews, where, curiously 
enough, there is a cromlech on the Shelstone estate, a flat 
altar-like stone, mounted on stone legs, and a logan stone, 
the latter, perhaps, artificial. Don-Cairn, in Breconshire, 
is interpreted as the Druids-heap. In the light of the 
numerous other place-names, it is the personal name Drew, 
Trew, as in Trewern. 



268 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

Doubled Names (continued). 
Stones and Stokes and other Names. 

The place-names ending in stone are of special interest when 
they have their origin in remarkable cromlechs, or in boundary 
stones and stones of meeting. Where this is not the case 
they are often the clipped forms of personal names. It must 
not be forgotten that, philologically, the longer name is the 
original form. 

Whitstone Hundred appears clearly to be named from a 
huge monolith. Beside this, the stones at Battlegore, near 
Williton, are the few remains of a cromlech or dolmen. In 
the little valley of Prestleigh, running up to the east, and 
at the head of the valley on the north side and almost on 
the sky-line, seven hundred feet above the sea level, is a lane 
leading from Whitstone Farm, where stands a monolith four 
and a half feet high and three and a half broad, square in 
shape. This is the white-stone. It is of oolitic formation. Per- 
haps it was the trysting place of the hundred. The possibility 
of a landowner Wihtstan must not be forgotten.^ Bemstone, 
near to Allerton, is in D.B. Bimastone. This appears to some 
to be derived from the Saxon beam, which means a pillar, 
originally a tree-stump. The Stone, Bemstone (D.B. 
Stana) is known, but not that of Bulstone. The 
reason of this latter is because it is a personal name, 
Bollo's ton. Hore stones, as boundary stones, are fre- 
quent. Hare means white or grey; haran or graegan, gray 
stones. Stone (D.B. Stana) in East Pennard is probably from 
the name of one of the thegns who held under the abbot of 
Glastonbury, as may be Stane in Mudford; Stanbury^ is prob- 



^The name Whetstone is found as an inscription on the headstone of a 
picturesque farm house where the courts of the hundred of Abdich and 
Bulstone used to be held. Gerard, p. 143. "Now called Stammery Hill. 



269 

ably the tun of Stanburh, a woman's name, between Beamin- 
ster Down and Axminster, where an ancient British and Roman 
road joins the Fosse-way at the latter place. The prefixes 
Stoney Littleton (D.B. Liteltona), in Wellow; Stoney Stoke, 
in Shepton Montague ; and Stoney Stratton, near Evercreech 
(D.B., Stoca), are later additions. Littleton has not the prefix 
in the Nomina Villarum of the 14th century. The numerous 
Littletons needed distinguishing. Stoniland is in Cannington. 
All of which describe physical characteristics. Houndstone, 
Odcombe, is the personal name Hunstan, as found in Hun- 
stanton in Norfolk. 

Stokes are so very many that it was impossible they should 
remain unmarked by affix or prefix. There are double 
names distinguished as Stokes. Sometimes it is a saint as 
Gregorestock, Greegoristoke (in the 16th century, chiefly in 
Wilts), Gregory Stoke and now Stoke St. Gregory (two miles 
from Athelney station). Stoke St. Mary (near Thorne 
Falcon), and Stoke St. Michael (also called Stoke Lane). 
The D.B. spelling is merely stoca and estoca. In the Lay 
Subsidies, Edward IIL is Miglestoke — i.e., Michael Stoke. 
There is no mystery about the meaning of stoke any more 
than that of post. A stoke is presumably a stoc or stump 
of a tree, just as post may indicate a place. So even in 
Anglo-Saxon by a similar analogy a stoc meant a place, and 
grew into usage as meaning a village or hamlet whether 
stockaded or not. If stock meant a fixed storeplace, it is 
little surprise if stock came to mean cattle. The ramifications 
of meaning are no more surprising than the extraordinary 
agility of the word post to express so many relations familiar 
to us. St. Gregory is, we suppose, the 6th century Pope 
Gregory the Great, about whom the pretty story, which is 
like so many pretty stories bien trovato, if not authenticated, 
of the British youths in the Roman slave market is told. 
Miglestoke is also called Miglis-church. We may here find 
the key to a puzzling local name in the parish of Brockley, 
Midgehill. It is spelt Migel and Migle. This has, of course, 
been interpreted as referring to the abundance of midges 
and in other ways. This particular locality was the possession 
of a church of an owner bearing the name of Migel or S. 



270 

Michael. Stoke Lane, the other name of Stoke Michael, is in 
reality Stoke Land, either the village land or, it is said, from 
the root with the longer vowel stoc, meaning the bole of a tree, 
and so means wood-land. But we do not find this double root 
in authorities. This is the meaning of Stocklan in Stockland 
Bristol, called Stokeland and Stokelonde Gaunts from its con- 
nection with the Hospitale Sancti Marci de Gaunt sive Byles- 
wyke juxta Bristoliam. 

Stoke Trister is said to be a vagrant form of D'Estre, or 
Del Estre, so called from Richard del Estre, who in 1166 
possessed the manor, as appears from the Liber Niger, as 
holding Villa del Estre. William del Estre was a feofee of 
the Comte de Moretain at Domesday, and it is thought 
Richard was descended from him. In Domesday Book it is 
Stoca only, and at present it is a mere mean hamlet with a 
modern church. In the Pedes Finium, we find the name 
Richard de Estre, under the date of 1220. In 1284 
it is Tristerestok, and Stoke Tristres in Drokenford's 
Register. In the Nomina Villarum it is spelt Tritestoke. 
Trister has actually been explained by Ducange as meaning 
" the place of tryst," or meeting for a hunt. In the parish 
register of the 18th century it suffers the indignity of being 
called Stoke-Fuster. Obviously the mark in the initial 
consonant was intended to be the stroke of the second. 
Our own opinion of this d'Estre is that it is, after 
the usual silly fashion, a transmuted form of the Saxon name 
Thrista — i.e., Trista — and the people preserved the name 
when the would-be aristocrat disguised it. We still have 
the English surname Trist. Otherwise the more probable 
explanation is that Del Estre is merely a form of De Lestra 
(i.e., Leicester), a tenant of the Count of Moretain at Bicken- 
hall and Poyntington. But how does this account for the "t" 
in Trister? 

Names that are really double which have crushed into one 
word are Stogumber and Stogursey, that is Stoke-Gummaer 
and Stoke Courci. In 1243 and 1246 we find Stoke-Gumber, 
and in 1257 Stoke Gomer, and in 1285 Stoke Gowmer. In 1291 
(T.E.) it is Stokgommer. Its vagaries are delightful : Sock- 
gumber, Stogomere, Stowgummer, and even Stoke Gunner, 



271 

in the Somerset Pleas. Gummaer^ is a personal name found 
also as Gumbeorht and Gumburh. It may seen strange 
that, probably, the local names Amers-ham, have all a 
name Ambre, latinised to Ambrosius at their base. Ames- 
bury was spelt Ambres-bury, the British form of it is 
Ambrius, which was the name of a monk. An estate 
in Stogumber held as a living was Ecclesia Sanctae Mariae 
in Warverdines."^ Warverdine is a Saxon name, and that is 
Waerweard. Waer is wary, and weard is guard. The end, 
" ine," is shortened from the latinised form " inus." 

Stogursey, or Stoke Courci, was so called in the 12th 
century. In D.B. Estocha, it is Stok Curcy in T.E. 1297, 
and in a charter grant of the manor of Stoke Curcy, 1241, 
and Edward I., 1299, it is distinctively so called. But it was 
even earlier. There was a William de Courci, who died 
in 1176, great grandson of William de Faleise. John de Courci 
was the conqueror of Ulster, and a soldier of fortune. He, 
with his brother, Jordan de Courci, appears as a witness to a 
grant by William de Courci to St. Andrew of Stoke, which 
foundation, in days of Henry I., William de Faleise, the 
Domesday owner, or his son, had bestowed on the abbey of 
Lonlay, in Normandy. In the beginning of the reign of 
Stephen, a Robert de Curci was chief butler to the Empress 
Matilda, and founded Cannington Nunnery. The De Courceys 
had a castle in Stoke, of which there are still some remains. 
It becomes Stogursey in the 15th century, or a little earlier, in 
documents. 

Rodney Stoke, also called Stoke Rodney. In D.B. stocca; 
in the T.E., 1291, it is Stokgifford. There is, of course, a 
Gloucestershire Stoke Gifiord. The Giffords were not a 
Norman baronial family. A Walter Gifard (made Earl of 
Buckingham) held Maiden Bradley in time of Edward the 
Confessor. This was Walter Gifard, son of Osborne de 
Boleto, a relation of William the Conqueror.^ The name 



'The origin of the Saxon name is guma or gumman, a man, and maer, distin- 
guished, as in hrydguma, a bridegroom. This is the "goodman," or 
"gumman," of the house in the parable, i.e., the lord or master. 
Gummow is a common name in South Somerset now. ^Eyton identifies 
Stokegomer with this church. Stokegomer itself does not occur in 
Domesday. ^Hoare's Wiltshire, vol. i. 



272 

is Saxon, and appears to be originally Gifweard, Gifheard,, 
also Giforth.i Gifweard becomes Gifard, and with the 
aspirate Gifheard. This name is perhaps a pleasing in- 
stance of a Saxon holding up his head in the flood of 
Normans. It is an ancient name in the county of Somerset. 
A Walter Giffard was one of the heroes of Hastings and a 
Domesday commissioner. An Osbern Gifard is a tenant of 
Canola — that is, Canola or Knowle (Bristol) in D.B. The 
family was, however, widely spread. The "a" in Canola 
is only the Norman way of easing the unpronounceable 
consonants of which examples have more than once been 
given. Knowles abound in Somerset, and some of them 
are truly calvaries, hillocks shaped like a skull — " the place 
of a skull," as that in Chew Magna. A Walterus Gift- 
heard is a witness in 1086 to a charter giving Banwell to 
the church of St. Andrew, Wells. In 1266 a Geoffrey Gif- 
fard became chancellor of England and bishop of Worcester. 
He was younger brother of a Walter Giffard who in 1264 
was Bishop of Bath and Wells and in 1266 transferred to 
York. He made Geoffrey canon of Wells and rector of 
Mells. The name Stoke Giffard commenced in the thirteenth 
century and lasted until the fifteenth, when it gave way to 
Stoke Rodney. Rodney is a personal name. In the time 
of Henry VIII. it was still Stoke Giffard, for the inhabitants 
of Stoke Giffard brought an action against Sir John Rodney 
in Star Chamber proceedings for enclosure of commons, 
stopping of roads, and other high-handed proceedings of a 
medisBval squire, or rather, lord of the manor, as the 
" squire " is a modern product. The Rodneys were there, 
but it is not until late in the 16th century that the name 
begins to change. George Bridges Rodney was an admiral, 
the " saviour of Jamaica," and the first Baron Rodney of 
Rodney Stoke (November, 1792). The name appears there- 
fore much later than most of this class. As to Rodney, this 
is a Scandinavian name, Rhodni, meaning rhod, glory, and 
" ni," young. The village named Road is from this per- 
sonal name Hrod in all probability. 

'See page 68. 



273 

Stoke Pero, also called Stoke Perry. — Stoke Pero is one 
of the three parishes of the local doggerel :— "Culbone, Oare, 
and Stoke Pero, Parishes three, no parson 'el go to." Pirou 
Castle is near to Coutance and Carteret, three miles from 
Lissay seawards. It is at the back of the sandhills, amid lonely 
marshes. A small grey turret still remains. It was the watch- 
tower of Pirou castle. The castle furnished a knight to the 
army of covetous adventurers that conquered England. His 
services were rewarded by the gift of the manor of Stoke 
(D.B. Esthoca). The story is attractive. The name, however, 
does not occur in Somerset D.B. There is really no evidence 
when a family of this name settled at this particular Stoke. 
There is an Alexander de Pirou, who made a grant to the 
abbey of Athelney of a serf, " Frewin my rustic," with one fur- 
long of land of the date 1174-1191.1 There is also evidence in 
the assize roll that a Gilbert de Pirou was there in the time 
of Edward I., and that Hugh Pyro was rector in the 
days of Edward III. (1326). The name is variously 
spelt — Piro, Pirow, Pirou, Pyrrhou, Pero. A family of 
this name lived in Luccombe at Almsworthy. A Robert 
de Piro held one knight's fee in Devon. It is just 
possible that this name is native. It is the Anglo-Saxon word 
Peru, a pear (the Latin pirum), found in our modern name 
Perry. In an MS. Register of Abbots of Athelney a pear tree 
is the mark of a boundary of Ham, near Bridgwater. "Ad 
arborem jructuosum id est Perie." We have Perry Fitchet 
and Perry Furneaux in Wembdon as names of manors, D.B, 
Perri. Perriton is in D.B. Peri-ton. All traces of this name. 
Perry Fitchet and Furneaux, are interesting. In 1335, Henry 
III., "Manor of Purifitchet, part of the inheritance of Thomas 
Fitchet." In the time of Edward III. (24) there are deeds 
concerning Pirie, Purye, or Purifychet. It is Pury, or Pury- 
fitchet, therefore, from the 13th century. In 1242 Little 
Sutton in the hundred of Whitley belonged to William 
Fitchett. There are also witnesses to the same grant to 



'Extracts from the Register of the abbey of Athelney. Chartulary of 
Athelney. S. R. S., vol. xiv., p. 135. 



274 

Athelney of an acre of meadow in Dunmere, a Hugh 
Fichet of Spaxton, and a William Fichet of Merridge. 
Fitchet is a dialectical Somerset word for a stoat or polecat. 
It is therefore most likely in origin a nickname. Furneaux is 
regarded by Bardsley^ a form of Furner, the " ovener," or 
baker. There was a Sir Simon de Furneaux, lord of Kilve, 
who died in 1328. The original name appears to be 
Furnell. A person of this name held lands of the 
bishop of London in Middlesex (1210). A footing 
in the county of Somerset was obtained in the reign 
of King John by marriage with a daughter of Robert Fitz- 
William. De Furnell, De Salice, De Popham (the only one 
who is not " de " is Fitchett) are co-witnesses frequently. 
Dunwere is on the opposite side of the Parrett, and " Hamp," 
i.e., Hamme, and Dunwere is clearly the name of a river wear. 
On the Tian (or Tone) three fisheries are given (1170) 
to S. Athelwin of Athelynganye called Est-were, Mere-were, 
another held by Janswine (Eanwine an 8th century name, 
Janwin, probably origin of Jenning) and another called Hen- 
gestwere. 

Stocklinch Otters-ay, Stokelinch, is a compound name, 
Stoke-linch. There is also Stoke-linch Magdalen, villes 
about which Domesday is silent. Nor does T.E. help 
us. We find Stoke-lynch Ostriter in the time of Edward 
III. As " ay " or " ey," " ig," means an island, Otters-ey' 
would seem to be simply and easily to be taken to mean 
mean the otter's island. We need to find the otters. Collinson 
derives it from a name which, as a search discovers, is men- 
tioned in the Edwardian (1st) perambulation of the forest of 
Neroche. Oter-schaw is the name of a wood of Isle Abbots 
manor. In 1290 we find the name Simon le Ostricer, i.e., 
Simon the Falconer, and the spelling " Ostriter " points to 
this derivation. Oter-schaw is probably a shortening of the 
same name, " the Falconer's wood." An Ostricer (Ostrigier) 
is a term of falconry generally limited to a keeper of goshawks 
and tercels. It assumes the forms Ostringer, and in Shake- 
speare Astringer. A modern personal name from this is 



^ Our English Surnames, Bardsley ; Chatto and Windus. 



275 

Ostrich, so easily confused with the mighty bird. In Kirby's 
Quest 14th Edward 1st, William le Ostricer, i.e., William le 
Falconer, is said to have held the manor of Stocklinch Otter- 
say of Alan Plukenett by the service of bringing up one 
goshawk. 

Stoke Abbots.— In the Lay Subsidies (Edward I.) we find 
this Stoke in the hundred of Chew— and the abbot is the 
abbot of Kynesham (i.e., Keynsham) — alongside Timsbury, 
Glutton, Staweye, Norton Malreward (spelt Marleward), and 
Norton Hauteville, Sutton Militis (now known as Knighton 
Sutton) and Stok Militis. In the reign of Henry VIII., John 
Seyntlo was seized of the manors of Stoke Abbot, Farne- 
borrowe, Edingworth, and tenements in Stoke Bychen, and 
also of the manor of Stoke Knight, that is Chew-Stoke and 
the site of the priory of Worspring granted to John Seyntlo 
by the king. Stoke Bychen was held of the Queen as of 
the honour of Gloucester. Are Abbots Stoke and Knighton 
Stoke part of Chew Stoke, like Beechen-Stoke, which has 
been called Beauchamp Stoke by mistake? In D.B. Chew 
Stoke is divided into five manors, and the name variously 
spelt (without Chew) Stocca, Estoca, Stoche, Estochet, and 
Stocket, and, as noted before, an obsolete manor name 
Cilela.i Mr. Whale (Somerset Domesday) has a note point- 
ing out the etymology, as he calls it, given in Somerset 
Records. Bychenstoke juxta Chew, i.e., by the King's Stoke. 
How it is the king's Stoke does not appear. " Thos. de 
Barry holds half fee in Bychenstoke of John de Humfra- 
ville. Lucas de Barry holds Stoke Militis. Bychenstoke 
is then Stoke Militis, represented most likely by the modern 
Stoke Villici." It is possible that this Bychen-stoke is 
By-chew-stoke misread, and then we get a succession of 
false deductions. It is Beechenstoke and then " Beau- 
champ " Stoke, when, according to the competent 
authority of Mr. Batten, there is no trace of any connec- 
tion of the Beauchamp family with Chew Stoke. As 
" Staweye " is mentioned, it is conjectured that this, too, 
was of the " honour of Gloucester," and is not mentioned 



'CoUinson identifies this Cilela with Cholwell in Temple Cloud. 



276 

in D.B., as Collinson, by a confusion with another of the 
several " Staweyes " in the county, wrongly states and Mr. 
Wood^ repeats. 

Stoke-sub-Hamdon is also E. Stoke, IJ miles west of 
Montacute. Above the village rises what is called Hamdon 
Hill, at a height of 250 feet, celebrated for its Ham Hill 
stone, a brownish yellow oolite. It is with the name we are 
concerned. Ham-don is curious as it is not easily com- 
pounded of either ham, a home, or hamme, low meadow 
land. The clue seems to be given by the name John de 
Elmedone,^ in which " R. Lovell, lord of Castel Cari, quits 
claim to the prior and convent of Montacute, all right 
in the manor of Tyntenhull and Estchinnok " (reign of 
Edward II.). Also in the Lay Subsidies of Edward III. we 
find, "Stok Suth Amel-don and Stoket or E. Stoke." 
Ham-done is therefore a corruption, and abbreviation 
of, a personal name, like Emborough, which is also spelt 
Amel-bergh. This name is probably Hamelin de Cornubia, 
a signatory of an early document relating to Hamedon. This 
name becomes Hampden. It has been derived from Afon- 
don, the hill-fort by the river. Stoke is two hundred feet 
below the down. 

Hambridge is also spelt Helm-bridge, this originating in a 
personal name. Helm-don. 

Thome Coffin and Thome Falcon, Thome S. Margaret, 
Thome Farors, and Thome Prior. — ^The three first occur 
in D.B. simply as Torna, and the first is only Thome 
now. They were all in the ancient hundred of Givela. 
Perhaps the word Coffin has been dropped as too lugu- 
briously suggestive of the wrappings of the dead. But 
in reality it is a most interesting old name. There 
was a family of this name at Thorne in the 13th cen- 
tury. In 1340 Sir Edmund Clyvedon presented to the 
rectory of Thorne Coffin in succession to Robt. Coffin. 
In 1348 a William Coffin presented. Emma Coffyn and 
Isabella Coffyn held by inheritance from Sir Edmund 



'Collections for a History of Chew Magna. ^Montacute Chariulary. S.A.S. 
p. 212. 



277 

Clyvedon. The name spelt Cophin appears in Devon- 
shire as early as 1166, in which county there is a 
place-name Coffinswell. To those acquainted with the laws 
of sound-shifting in dialectical changes it will be no matter 
of surprise to consider it as the same name as Choppin, 
the French Chopin, and that both names alike are derived 
from the Saxon name Ceoping, the High German Coffinga 
in Hesse Cassell, and is possibly traceable to the old High 
German chuppa, Mid-Lat. cofea, or head-dress. Now, the 
names of Caffo and Chepin both occur among the names 
of Saxon thanes and owners in the days of Edward the 
Confessor in the county of Somerset. Torna and Torneia 
have been seriously explained as the " island of anger " 
(" Thorney island ") by Leo.^ Torna is a personal name 
whether originating in the plant, the thorn, or more prob- 
ably from an ancient name, Thorwine or Thoran, boldness, 
as suggested under Child-thorne. The double name originated 
in the 14th cenury, and not much earlier. 

Thome Falcon is Thorne Fagon in 1346. Thorne-faucon in 
1363. D.B. is Torna. The addition Falcon appears in the 
middle of the 13th century. The name is ancient as Fulco and 
Folco. In the Somerset D.B. the name is latinised into Ful- 
cuinus, holding a Norman sub-tenure of Bagewerra (now Badg- 
worth). The name existed early in Lombardic proper 
names, and Kluge, in his Etymologisches Worterbuch, 
suggests that the old High German Falcho originated in 
the Celtic (continental) name of the tribe of Volscae, or 
Kelts. The army of the conqueror had many adventurers. 
We know nothing of any family of Falkons, from which 
we have the modern names of Faulkes, Vaux, Foulkes, 
which sometimes drops down into the sly and short Fox. 
Faulkland in Hemington is, of course, folk-land, and a de- 
scriptive name becomes a personal name. There is another 
Thorne, called Thorne Farors or Thorne in Castle Cary. 
Farors is a form of Ferriers, noted elsewhere. 

Wootton Courtenay, earlier Wootton Bassett, is in D.B. 



^Treatise of the local Nomenclature of the Anglo-Saxons, by Professor Heinrich 
Leo. Lond., 1852. 



278 

Ottona, and North Wootton, Utona. It thus appears that 
Wootton is not wood-town,! but that the modern spelling is the 
usual phenomenon of the insertion of the semi-vowel sound. 
" Ut " and " Ott " are relics of the personal name Huda, which 
appears also as Wada, Hudo, and Hudda. Hutton is very 
probably Huda-ton. The distinctive name Courtenay is de- 
rived from John de Courtenay. Philip Bassett gave it unto 
John de Courtney in the time of Edward I. It was William de 
Courtenay who founded the priory of Augustine monks to the 
honour of St. Thomas (Becket) of Canterbury at Woodspring. 
The additional name goes back therefore to the 13th century. 
It is supposed that this William de Courtenay was the 
grandson of one of Becket's assassins, Reginald Fitz Urse 
and his last descendant. Camden gives this name as one 
of those introduced from Normandy, Brittany, and other 
parts of France in the 11th century. Among these are St. 
Lo, S. Maure, Ferrers, Bonville, Dinant (now Dinham), 
Balun, Valletort, Bluet, Bohun — all found in Somerset. 
Dinham for Dinant is doubtful. We have to take into 
account the numerous French settlements in subsequent his- 
tory and the very many ambitious imitations of Norman 
names. The superstition has not yet died out. A William 
de Courtenay (1342-1396) was Archbishop of Canterbury, and 
held prebends in Wells and Exeter cathedrals. It is at 
least worthy of note that Stoke Courci, Wooton Courtenay, 
and Worspring were connected together in one ownership 
at or shortly after Domesday Survey. 

Wake Dowlish, or Dowlish Wake, Dowlish in D.B. 
Dovelis. The Wake occurs in Taxatio Eccl. as Dowlis 
Wac. The spellings are Dolish, Dowlyschwake, East Dawlish, 
Eastdowlische, Eshdovlisch, chiefly 16th century varieties. 
Dowlysh is a river name ,of which other examples in the 
Crawford charters. There is a Dowlis in Salop, on the 
borders of Wales, and one in Devon, which is spelt Doe-lis. 
We believe the ultimate origin is celtic, Dow and Doe 
and Dee are forms of Tav and Dove, river names, and 
"lys" or " llys," means sloping meadow land. The 



'Though Gerard says, " which name is certainly took from wood." 



279 

super-added name is a family name. The family of Wakes 
derive their ancestry from Hereward the Wake. There 
were a family of Wakes at Dowlish early in the 12th cen- 
tury. Lopen was farmed by John Wac at this date. Lopen 
is La Penne, in which the " La," the Norman way of calling 
places, has coalesced with Pen. Wac, of course, is derived 
from Wac, watchful. 

Wellisjord is in Longford Budville. The name Welisforda 
is that of a manor of which the domesday tenant is Robert 
de Odburvella. It was the manor of Wellisford of which 
Robert was owner. The bridge over the Tone is called 
Harford and Harpford. Langford is, of course, Langa-ford, 
in which Langa is the personal name, or may possibly 
be descriptive. Is it? There are numerous Langs and 
Longs in personal names. Wellisford is Welhiford, 
Wellhisc or Weallas-ford. The name Richard le Waleys, 
the lord of Staweye, occurs in 1225. This Staweye is 
merely a manor in the parish of Fivehead and not to be 
confounded with Nether Stowey, Upper Stowey, or Stowey 
jiixta Chew. This is the same name in Welis-ford. Le 
Waleys is, I suppose, " the stranger." Wellhisc is a name 
attested in 688, and earlier in 679, as a Wessex name. 
Budville, which is a personal name, appears to have under- 
gone some transformations. In 1568 there occurs the amus- 
ing variant Longford Budfill. The form in 1070 is Botter- 
ville, in a Walter de Botteville. This name is said to be 
connected with the place-name Bouterville, in the canton 
of St. Mere Eglise, Arrondissement de Valois. There is 
a William Botteville as late as 2nd Henry V., and another 
family of Boteville who came into England from France 
in the reign of King John. This monarch sent for foreign 
troops to aid him in his wars with his barons. It is at least 
curious that the domesday tenant of, Welesforda is Robert 
de Adburvila. He was a king's forester, and ousted the 
Saxon forester of Edward the Confessor. Now stranger 
transmutations of personal names have secured vogue than that 
of Odburvilla into Budvilla. The schedule of the serjeantries 
gives live estates, and the name is one of the finest speci- 
mens of caprice we have met with. In the Inquisitio Gheldi 



280 

of 1084 is Robertus de Othburgivilla and Otburguilla, who 
had three hides in Milverton, of which Longford was a part. 
It is also spelt Auberville, and is the same family name 
connected with Wellisford. It might possibly be the same 
as Budville. 

If we can find that grand old heathen Penda in the 
name of the village of Pendomer because this redoubtable 
king of Mercia may possibly have made a conquest of the 
mere in that locality, we are delighted. Penda is an in- 
teresting person. He was a determined old heathen when 
all the kings about him were adopting the new religion of 
Christianity. We admire dogged consistency and persistence 
even when the cause is bad. We recognise the value of 
staying power. By being the cause of the death of Oswald 
of Northumbria in the seventh century this long-lived king 
gave to Anglo-Saxon Christianity its first certified saint. He 
is thus a picturesque figure. Alas ! this explanation which 
has been given seems scarcely able to hold up its head in 
the face of the other place-name we, who live in the county, 
have heard of — that is Chilthorne Domer. It must there- 
fore be Pen-domer, and not Penda-mere. We are not un- 
familiar with the prefix Pen. It is ,we know, particularly 
abundant in Wales as a prefix, as, for example, in such a 
word as Pen-maen-mawr, the " end of the great rock," as 
well as in the Cymric Cornwall. Pen means an end or a 
head. Penselwood is the name of a Somerset village, and 
its interpretation is, " the end of the sallow wood." The 
E^-nglish Selwood is added on to the Celtic pen, which the 
Domesday Norman inquisitors spelt Penna, just as they 
wrote tona for ton or tun. Pennard, as a name, represents 
two villages, namely. East and West Pennard, which is un- 
adulterated Cymric. Across the Channel in Glamorgan- 
shire is the well-known local appendix to Cardiff, Penarth. 
It is a headland jutting out into the Bristol Channel, and as 
" arth " means a bear, its meaning is said to be Bear-head, 
from its shape; but as Ardd is pronounced Arth, it may 
perhaps simply be " Land end." Pennard is " ploughland 
end " — beyond was forest or swamp. There is a Pen-hill 
on Mendip. Other examples may be easily accumulated. 



281 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

Some Obsolete Double Names. 

Cutcombe Mohun and Cutcombe Rawleigh. ^-The D.B. 
spellings are Udecombe and Condecomb. Condecomb is the 
name of the ancient hundred. In the T.E., 1297, it is Code- 
comb; in Lay Subsidies of Edward III., Cutecombe; and in 
1445 we find Codecomb Mohun. Condecombe is probably 
a mis-reading of Coudecombe, and Udecombe seems to be 
a Saxon interpretation of the Celtic, Coed-combe, that is 
Wood-combe or vale. For Cutcombe was part of a great 
forestal manor. There were 15,000 acres of wood intermixed 
with pleasing plots of pasture. At the time of D.B. 
the forestal manor belonged to William de Moione, 
the first Norman Sherifi of Somerset, who held the 
ancient forest of the Torre, Dunster, and sixty-seven 
other manors. He dispossessed the thane Aluric. The 
name Mohun was therefore early connected with Cut- 
combe. Thomas Gerard of Trent says it was given 
to one of the seven younger sons of ye Lord John 
Moyne, and then it came to the family of Dodsham, and 
then Pury or Puryman. John Mohun died in 1330. In the 
time of Elizabeth there is mentioned in law actions the 
" Manor of Cutcombe Rawleigh." There are two families 
with names greatly alike, easy to be confused — Rawle and 
Ralegh.^ Rawle is a name appearing in Dunster in the 18th 
Henry VI. as Hiberniits taxed as an alien. 2. The names look 
alike in origin from a philological point of view. According 
to Gerard,^ the Raleys, Knights, took their name from 
Raley in Devon. This latter dates earlier than the time of 
Henry VIII., at least, since the Raleighs of Nettlecombe 
(hence called Nettlecombe Raleigh), held of de Mohun, and 



^Particular Description of the County of Somerset, p. 4. S.R.S., vol. xv. 
'^History of Parts of South Somerset. Chadwick-Healey, p. 4, p. 22. 
^Ibid., p. 25. 



282 

in that reign interest in " Old knolle and Berdesley " passed 
to Sir John Trevelyan. The name Moun gave place to that 
of Rawleigh in the 15th century, and neither name now 
cleaves to the present place-name. It is, of course, possible 
that Cut, Code, Coude represents the personal Saxon name 
Cudda, as in other Somerset place-names. Cud-worth, 
Cudda's farm, and elsewhere, Cuddes-don, Cuddington, Cud- 
ham. There is a Cudworth in Yorkshire, where we scarcely 
expect to find relics of Celtic, and, of course, Cudworth 
(D.B., Cudeworda), in the hundred of South Petherton. This 
is an indication that the personal name is at the base, 
which, as in other cases, Cudeworda may represent Cuth- 
heard or Cuthweard (Cuthred) as a compound personal name, 
and " worda " is not for " worth." Nettlecombe is itself a 
compound of a personal name with the descriptive " combe." 
Nettle might easily be supposed to be the aggressive hedge 
plant, whose sting is an ingenious instrument of torture 
to the delicate cuticle. It is D.B. Netelcombe, and in 
Edward III.'s reign Netelcombe; T.E.. 1297, Nettelcombe. 
The A.S. is Netele and the Dutch Netele. The per- 
sonal name is indicated also by Nettelcombe, a hamlet 
in Dorset; a Nettleham in Lincolnshire, a Nettlstead in Nor- 
folk, and Nettle-ton in Lincoln and Wilts. The personal 
name de Nettelton occurs.^ The ultimate original of the 
word may have indicated in the human bearer of the name 
the characteristics which fixed it on the noli me tangere nettle 
plant. 

Almsworthy Blewitt. — Almsworthy is still found. It is in 
Exford. This is identified with Edmondsworthy in D.B., in 
which, in that case, Edmondsworthy is really a mis-reading for 
Elmond. Almund, or Eahlmond, is a known name. In 
1461 it is Almondesworth Blewitt. The Bloets or Blowetts 
held several Domesday sub-tenures in the county, but this 
is not one of them. It is a sign of the spread of the family. 
Almond and Elmund are known Saxon names in which Al 
or El is said to mean foreigner, and mund means protection. 
This prefix has, therefore, nothing to do with any supposed 



' Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Dean and Chapter of Wells (Index). 



283 

former custom of the distribution of alms. Almsford, found 
as Ansford in the supplementary list of Kirby's Quest, 14th 
century, and in 1291 as Almenesford and Almans-ford, while 
in Kirby's Quest it is simply Alem, has precisely the same 
explanation. It is Elmundsford or Eahlmundsford. 

Chinnock Monachorum, or East Chinnock, also Middle 
Chinnock, West Chinnock. — The Domesday spelling is 
Cinioc. The consonant became doubled as early as 1174, 
in the time of Richard II. This is found in a charter in the 
Bodleian Library, in which the churches of Chynnock are 
appropriated to the use of the priory of St. Peter de Monta- 
cute. It was granted to the priory by the Earl of More- 
taine; the others had different ownerships. In the Taxatio 
Ecclesiastica (1297) it is Chynnok. The spelling Chernocke 
in the 16th century is purely arbitrary. This connection 
and its appropriation to the use of the priory of 
St. Peter gave it the name Monachorum, which has 
not been maintained as an abiding distinction, not 
even as Monk's Chiniok. Cini is good Saxon. The 
" i " ending is characteristic of Saxon, as "a" is of 
gothic personal names. The prefix cyn, cin, kin, or cyn 
means noble. The spellings are Chinnock, Chinnoc, Cynoc, 
Cinnok, Cinnoc. The Welsh have a loan word, Ciniog, 
meaning chief, principle. The explanation King's-oak is not 
far away, save that Cini is a proper name. It is found in 
compound names, as Cynulf, Cyneheard (Kennard), Cym- 
bald (Kemball). Cini appears in modern names as Keen, 
Kinney. 

Churcheye Stathe is a local name in North Curry. Both 
names indicate the presence of a stream. Church-eye is 
Cerc-eige, ciric-ige, or the church island, the property of the 
church. Eye or ige does not, we may repeat, necessarily 
mean a patch of land surrounded by water, but is eloquent 
of the presence of rich and lush meadows by the river-side. 
So does stathe mean the bank of a streamlet, M. H. G. 
stade, old Saxon stath, a bank of a river. The Aryan root 
is sta, meaning a bank in the sense of solid ground on which 
you step from off the liquid way. Modern German in this 
sense prefers the word ufer, a bank of a river, found in 



284 

place-names as over, e.g., Northover, near Ilchester, and 
one in Ditcheat, in Devon, and the like. In Somerset there 
are other examples of words ending in over, Eastover, in 
Bridgwater. Strodham is a local name in South Petherton, 
derived from stathe and ham, low-lying meadow land on 
the Parret. 

Bradon Goviz, or Goose Bradon, is Gosebradone in Lay 
Subsidies, 14th century. There are two distinct parishes. 
South Bradon and Goose Bradon. Bradon at the time ot 
Domesday was the name of a group of four manors. Of the 
four, Bradon Ivans was N. Bradon. The name Ivaus is prob- 
ably a form of Ivo, a known name. Nothing is known of 
the family called Ivaus. Goosebradon is a part of Ham- 
bridge. North Bradon is now a part of Isle Brewers and 
south of Puckington. The present parish is called Bradon, 
and the hamlet therein North Bradon. Bradon Goviz has 
disappeared, like many another ancient dwelling-place, 
" leaving no wreck behind." Gose Bradon is only called 
Brada in D.B. Bredene is a manor of South Bradon in 
Puckington, and Bretda is a part of North Bradon, also spelt 
Bredde. Breda, too, is the name of a city in Brabant. The 
widespread personal name Breda, formed in the modern 
names Bread and Breading, and possibly Bord and Board, is 
attested by such forms as Bredan-eia, the Domesday form 
of Bradney in Broadlip ; Breda, i.e., Breda's island, in 
Sussex, Bredgar (Breda's Court) in Kent, Bredon in Worces- 
tershire, and Bred-hurst, Bredi-cot in the same county. Bray- 
down in Wilts, Breads-all in Derbyshire and Breden-bury 
in Herefordshire, and others. Bradfield, Broad Marston, 
(or Marston Magna), Broadway, Bradford (intersected by 
the Tone), Broadway (ancient old Roman road passed here), 
and Broadwood are no doubt from the adjective broad. The 
boundaries of Ham, now called Hamp, occupying the 
southern portion of the parish of Bridgwater, west of the 
River Parrett, has a stream called Braden-flot. Another 
watery place is Swanmore, and a muddy river called Hollow- 
brook, which is a name found in many parishes, as in Chew 
Magna, and a dyke called Candel-dick. This Braden is prob- 
ably the word broad. Goviz has been shortened to Gose, 



285 

as in Barreys Goseford. Of Goviz we know that a family 
of this name, as appears from sundry deeds, resided there. 
The pronunciation is an indication that this is the Norman 
name Gousse, of Prankish origin, of the ancient form Gauzo, 
and Goz is a Saxon name, discoverable, though not frequent. 
Barry Gosseford (Goseford), in Odcombe, time of Edward I., 
is no doubt the same name. Barry is a personal name. " At 
Kingsdowne lived, in Henry II. 's time, a family of Knights 
sirnamed de Guiuiz and de Guuits, after de Gouis," according 
to Gerard.^ The family of Barry is found in the 14th cen- 
tury, John in connection with Lenge,^ and John and William 
in connection with Cory Mallett by Gerard. 

Simons Barrow, on the Blackdown Hills, and Simonsbath, 
in Exmoor. — These are both relics of the A.S. Sigimund, on 
which sig, modern German sieg, means victory, and mund 
protection. This particular Sigimund was Sigimund the 
Waelsing, as is said. Sigimund has become Sigmund, 
Simund, Simmons, and finally Simon's. 

Knolleworth Skregham, now Knowle St. Giles. — In Kirby's 
Quest this name occurs. In D.B. this is Chenola, i.e., Knoll 
or Knowle. Chenolla is easily explicable. The Norman 
could only feel shy in the presence of a collocation of con- 
sonants unpronounceable by his unaccustomed organs of 
speech, and he inserted a vowel, Ch(e)nolla, and added a 
closing vowel. Knoll. Knowle, in Bristol, is Canola, and 
Knowle in Shepton Montague is Chenolla. Knoll means a 
hill, and yet one speaks of Knowle Hill. The name is 
frequent, as in Long Sutton, Wookey, Bawdrip, Chew Magna, 
and elsewhere. Skregham, as the further name added to 
Knolle, is later. Screg is probably a form of the Scan- 
dinavian sera or screg, a personal name. Sera or screg means 
a sea-swallow, and may have originally been a viking's cog- 
nisance. The name is, therefore, ancient, and is a survival 
which has left but this one trace that we have so far discovered. 

New Hitchings, near Witham, is Newhuchyn in 1458, and 
New Huchons. This is the well-known name Hutchings, 



^TTie Particular Description of the County of Somerset. S.R.S., vol. xv., p. 227. 
''Register of Abbey of Athelney, S.R.S., vol. xiv., p. 161. 



286 

and the old German name, Howchin, is a Norfolk name, 
Ecghun. A part of Northmoor under Lyng is called 
Hitchings, and Henry de Erlegh granted to Athelney a 
meadow called Muridones Leching, which extends from a 
meadow called Flokesmede and Nordmore. Islands now 
called Steep and Flat Holmes were anciently called Ecching. 
There is an Eckington in Worcestershire. This is said to 
be Celtic, narrow places, and a modern Welsh word is 
Eching, a strait. Ecke is German for a corner. Ecching 
as the name of the islands is probably Hecan-ige, Heca or 
Ecca's island. 

Winsford Rivers. — From Winsford the family name of 
Rivers has been dropped. The ford is on the Exe. Wins- 
ford, Winsham, and Winscombe have kept up the possessive 
form, and are from the name Wine (friend), the ford, the 
ham (meadow or home, according to the length of the 
vowel), and the combe. The spellings Winchcombe and 
Wintcombe are late and give no clue. Wynes-combe goes 
back to Domesday, and is in a charter of 1340. The 
double name, Wynesford Rivers Manor, is found in 
1324. Of course. Rivers is latinised, in the comic fashion of 
the day, to de Ripariis. The name is said to be from Riviere, 
near Creulli, in the arondissement of Caen. A Richard de 
Riviere held a barony in Dorset in 1086. In 1107 a de 
Rivers was Earl of Devon. It seems that the Somerset 
manor had this family ownership in the 12th century.^ 
Winsford Bosun is another manorial name. Bosun appears 
to be the ancient name Bosa or Boso, already noted in 
Bosan-tun (Bossington). 

The manorial names in West Harptree are interesting, as 
Harptree Tilly. A family of this name held the manor 
in 1194 (Richard I.). According to the aristocratic account 
the origin is from an illustrious Norman family, who took 
their name from the castle and barony of Tilly, near Caen, 
of which they were Castellans. At this date Henry de Tilly 
of West Harptree, paid scutage. In Kirby's Quest a Tilly 
held of Anselm de Gurnay (13th century), and a Johannes 



'Escheats 7 Edw. I. Johannes Sipariis tenuit Hamlettum vocatum Winsford. 



287 

Tilli, in the Nomina Villanim, held Porteshevede (Portis- 
head), and Johannes Tilli and Thomas Gurney in Est 
Harptree.^ The family may have been Norman French. 
The name is Scandinavian. Toli occurs in Somerset, D.B., 
as a thane of Edward the Confessor, holding at Shepton 
Montague. The root is Til (Dil), meaning good. It is the 
old Norman Thilo, Dilli, Tilli. In French it is Tille, and 
Italian Tilli. Dilke is a diminutive, and the family said to 
be Danish. It occurs in numerous ancient compound names, 
as Tilbeorht, Tilwine (Dillwyn), Tilfrith, which might easily 
become Tilford. Tiley is a name in the neighbourhood now. 
The name Tilly has thus lasted in West Harptree some 
eight hundred years. The last of this name to hold the 
manor was Lionel Tilly in 1476. There is a Theale (Dillo) 
near Reading, and it is in the parish of Tile-hurst. Also a 
Thelbridge in Devon, and a Thelwall (Tilwald) in Cheshire. 

Harptree Gourney, now called the Prince's Manor, be- 
cause it became, in the time of Edward III., part of the 
Duchy of Cornwall confiscated to the Crown by Sir Thomas 
de Gournay, who, with others, had the custody of Edward 
II. in Berkeley Castle, and was accused of being accessory 
to the murder. The family name Gourney occurs in other 
Somerset place-names, as noted.^ 

Idstock Inverne. — Idstock is in Chilton Trinity. This is a 
double disguise. The Domesday spelling is Ichetok. There 
is also Ichestoke in Cannington hundred, spelt Hichestok in 
Kirby's Quest, which is, I suppose, the same place. In the 
16th century we read of a Percella possessionum Henrici Duels 
Suffolc, i.e., Henry Duke of Suffolk, in Idestock Inverne. 
Ichet was evidently pronounced hard, and we must divide the 
syllables of the early spelling, Ichet-ocha. The name Icca 
occurs in local names, Iccamora and Yccan-tun. The pro- 
nunciation, however, more clearly points to icht and accha, 
in which icht is eaht (Saxon), acht (German), and our eight 
before it received its softened pronunciation. As illustra- 
tion, there is Ight-ham in the county of Kent, and Ight-field 



^S.R.S., vol. v., p. 70. ^Account of these interesting manors may be found 
in Rutter. 



288 

in Shropshire, pointing to some division of the soil when 
worked on the common field system. The " e " is the 
Norman intrusion of a vowel to ease the pronunciation. Icht 
ocha thus appears to be " eight oaks," like nine elms, when 
the elms have disappeared. In the hamlet of Widcombe, 
near West Harptree, is a spot, the " Nine elms," and the 
trees are fast disappearing to stumps and remains. In such 
names as Idstone in Berks and Idson, Itson, in Stogursy we 
have spellings which show that these are such abbreviations 
as would scarcely be guessed. The former is in full Edwyn's- 
ton, and the latter in full Edelm's-ton with the spellings Edes- 
tone, Edighston, Edistone, Edmes-ton, Edmys-ton, Eduston, 
Edyston, and that Edelm itself is Ealdhelm, Aldhelm. In 
Inverne, if the name is ancient, we may have an example 
of the French form of the Celtic gwern, an elder tree, or 
gwern, a swamp ; i.e., Verne. Also in gwerne or Wearne, as in 
Wearn-wych. The spelling of Ichestoke, in Cannington 
hundred, would lead us to think of the personal name, 
Ycca or Hicca, found in very varied forms : Hig, Higgs, 
Hicks, Hue, Ugo, Hug, Hogo (Hugo), and the root means 
thought study. There is a local name Higgeshole, in Broom- 
lield, and other local names with this root. 



289 

CHAPTER XXX. 

Curiosities of Nomenclature. 

Banwell ought scarcely to be regarded as subsumable under 
such a heading. It is, however, a curiosity, in its way, as 
capable of so many feasible, and at the same time attractive, 
explanations. Thus Rutter in his book on North Somerset 
explains it as a celtic word, " bann " deep and " gwelgi," 
the sea, meaning the deep sea, which, no doubt, once did 
go over what is now Banwell. This is extremely unlikely, 
and may even be regarded as far-fetched. And this because 
names were not thus given as descriptive of what happened 
a few milleniums ago, previously to the era when this rich 
valley made its appearance above the stormy waves dashing 
against the high cliffs that even now frown over the valley. 
These very cliffs offer an explanation that strikes a mytho- 
logical vein and excites our fancy. That is, Banwell may be 
supposed to derive its name from this forest hill, the weald, 
though this word may be pronounced rare in local names 
in this county in the sense of woodland. The names widu 
(wood), holt, and weald must be very ancient. Grimm, in 
his mythology, treats of the holy woods of the Germanic 
tribes, which no profane person dared to enter, where it was 
impious to fell a tree or kill an animal. Bannan means to pro- 
claim, and we have bann and ban, meaning outlawry or decree. 
Such a wood was termed Bann-wald. The transition to Ban- 
well would be extremely facile; and the name thus originat- 
ing transferred to the "ville" that sprang up in the vale 
below. A proclaimed forest crowned the hill. A cave with 
an immense quantity of bones was discovered, many of which 
(we read) repose in the museum at Taunton. From this it 
has been asserted that it is the Bone vill or Bone-well. It 
hardly seems likely that this fact, however early discovered 
(and then re-discovered?), gave its name to the picturesque 



290 

spot. Saxons were not so fanciful, even if they were super- 
stitious, as certainly they were. Perhaps a doubt may even 
cross our minds when an authority assures us that here is 
or was a medicinal spring, good for the cure of "banes," or 
diseases. Pity it should not be rediscovered and utilised. 
The former prohibited wood might soon be covered with 
numerous hydropathic establishments. And a terrible doubt 
steals into our minds when we find it questionable whether 
the word bane was, so early as this place-name arose, used 
with the meaning of disease. The A.S. bane appears to mean 
a murderer and death, rather than ailment that is curable. 
Its meaning could thus only be the " death well " as early 
as 1068. And this assumes that the latter component, 
well, is what it seems, a spring, and not a corrupt form of 
vill or ville. Sometimes this " well " — not derivable from 
" quelle," a spring, which is a form first brought into vogue 
in German by Martin Luther — is a form of the old German 
" wila," a hamlet, modern German " weiler," with the same 
meaning. It is further worth notice that there is mentioned 
in D.B. as in or near Banwell a spot with the place-name 
Pantes-Heda. Pantes is Celtic for a valley, and thus with 
the Saxon addition it would mean head of the valley, and 
Pantes-wila would similarly mean the hamlet in the vale, 
which is also a Cymric and a Saxon compound. The spell- 
ing " well " is so persistent that this is probably the true 
ending and meaning. Barnevill, as a local place-name, is 
doubtless the Saxon name Barnwulf and Barnulf, but 
we can find no clue to this being the real origin of Ban- 
well. Barnewell was a name of one of the abbots of 
Muchelney. This would never have occurred to us but 
for this existence of the name Pantes-heda, just as 
Panis-ford is perhaps Pantes-ford, as earlier explained, 
" the valley ford," which it emphatically is. Our ex- 
planation of Banwell is Saxon prose. It is per- 
chance a pity that those Saxons would fix their names on 
their proud possessions. Now Beonna, Benna, Benno, and 
Bean were amongst the commonest of Saxon names, and 
thus it is very probable that Bean-wila, or Bean-well, if you 
like to assume that a former Saxon owner gave his name to 



291 

the spring rather than the area. In D.B. the spelling is 
Banuella. In the time of Richard II., Banewell, and then 
later Benwell. In T.E. (1297) it is not valued, and so does 
not appear. Because it was episcopal property? The spell- 
ings from the Banuella of D.B. to Banwell of to-day have 
varied but little. Already noted with the same name is 
Binegar, which in Bishop Bowet's Register, 15th century, is 
Benehangre. There is also Bincombe in Crewkerne, Benn's 
Combe. 

Backwell is absolutely mysterious in the Domesday form 
as Bacoila. In 1297 it is Bacuella, and it has varied but little 
since. In a thirteenth century Norman charter of Bath 
Priory it is Bacuuil, that is Backwil, and as the Norman 
spellings often have " o " for " u," these spellings Bacoila and 
Bacwil are the same. They shut out the idea of a well and 
leave us to deal with Bac-wil, or Bac-ul. There are variants in 
wills, such as Bakewell and Backwall. Back-well might be 
said to mean the ridge-well, from the word " back " mean- 
ing a ridge, as, in the geological phrase, hogs-back. The church 
stands on something like one. As the Normans hated the 
aspirant after a vowel this may be Baga-hill. It might be 
from Bacco, a personal name, and wila, a hamlet, as before 
suggested for Banwell. The Domesday spelling irresistably 
suggests to us a word that is a unit in itself, and the name 
Bacola is such a name found in the 8th century. It is the 
name of a Mercian abbot, and of others who were not abbots. 
We meet the name Bacoise as the name of a tithing in con- 
nection with Backwell. Bacoise is clearly the Norman name 
Baieuse, Baicois, and Baieuse. The manor is divided into 
two tythings called Sores and Bayouse, from the de Baiocis 
and the de Baiose and the de Sore or Sores, two families of 
distinction, to whom these marshes were granted more than 
700 years ago by William Rufus on the death of the Bishop of 
Coutance.^ This is written Baioc, to which the ending is 
" ensis." We find John de Baioc. If the place-name originated 
with this sub-tenure Bacoil is Baioc-hill. But the name seems 
to be older, and the derivation from the name Bacul is the 



'Riitter : Delineations of Somerset, p. 18. 



292 

most likely. Backwell is Baco, Baga-vill, or the full name, 
Bacola, or Bacula (that is Bacul). Such explanations as Back 
and well, that is " a well in the rear " of the hill, are evident 
shifts. "Back o' hill" as an explanation of the Domesday 
spelling Bacoila is undeniably futile. 

Great Elm and Little Elm. Elm in D.B. is Telma and 
Telwe. It is said that the Normans put a " t" before such 
names, and that this accounts for such Domesday book forms 
as Tetesberga and Tegesborough for the modern Edge- 
borough. And, again, that this is a relic of the prefix aet or 
at. Thus aet Elm becomes " Telm." So it is said the Nor- 
mans put a " t " before such a name as Umbeli for Ubley, 
which is spelt Tumbeli in Domesday Book. Collinson iden- 
tifies Tumbeli with Tunley, and, etymologically judged, with- 
out regard to the struggles to systematise the Domesday 
estates into five hide or other units, Collinson seems to be 
right. Tumbeli is a nasal spelling of Tunley. Telm appears 
to us to be a shortened form not of "At Elm," but of the 
personal Adhelm, Athelm, Atelm, as variously spelt. Of 
parallel instances of such shortened names, in Herefordshire 
Almley is traceable to the full name Agelnods lea, a solution 
that no mere etymological skill could conjecture. There is 
Elmworthy, in Dunster. The D.B. name Almar or Aelmar, 
latinized to Almarus, occurs as a Saxon owner in the hun- 
dred in which this place is situate. And Aelmar is shortened 
from Aelfmaer. It was the name of bishops, priests, arch- 
deacons, abbots, landowners, and " all sorts and conditions of 
men." Elmworthy and Elworthy are shortened forms of per- 
sonal names, the former of Aelfmaer, Aelmer, and then only 
the stump left. Elm, the latter probably of Ethelweard. It 
is in D.B. in fact, Elurda, and in the T.E. Elleworthy. Simi- 
larly, "Telm" is, we conjecture, a relic of the Aldhelm who 
was the founder of the monastery at Frome. In 1799 Strachey 
says that some part of the old building " converted into tene- 
ments for poor families may be discovered in that part of the 
town called Lower Keyford." It was never inhabited by the 
monks after the Danish depredations. That Great Elm and 
Little Elm are relics of this great name is far more probable 
than the explanation from big trees and little trees or the 



it' 



;';: 



CI , 




293 

prefix " at." We have already noted the extraordinary 
fact that in the ordinary theories of etymological de- 
rivation two great names, Aldhelm and Athelstane — 
names closely associated with Somerset — have left no 
traces in place-names. It seems to us that they have 
in these much abbreviated and disguised forms. The 
place-name Hilton might easily be said to mean hill-town, or, 
dropping the aspirate, II or Isle ton, the town on the River 
He. But, now, it is spelt in Domesday " Atilton." There is 
no reason for the prefix " at." The place belonged to the 
abbey of Athelingey, and is " Adelin-ton," became "Atil- 
ton," and then cut down in the popular speech to Ilton and 
the aspirant put in front, and so you get your utter disguise. 
The names are mere fragments, like the ruins of the monas- 
tery at Keyford and the abbey of Athelingey. At any rate, 
this accounts for the Domesday spelling. 

A further curiosity in the way of an abbreviated and thor- 
oughly disguised name is that of Alston Maris, in Huntspil. 
Mary, is, we suppose, the Virgin. The Domesday spelling of 
Alston is Alesis-ton, and this is a form of Alsis-ton or Elsis-ton, 
and this in turn is an abbreviation of Egelsige, which is a form 
of Ethelsige and spelt Aelsi, Ailsi, Alsi. The Norman spell- 
ing inserts the " e," Alesis. The name is (with a query as to 
the identity) spelt in a bull of pope Alexander III. Athelston.^ 
This would easily become Alston, but the D.B. spelling is in 
favour of the former. Aleston is a form favoured. Aethel 
is a later form of Aegel, and the hermit of Athelney, 
Egelwine, is usually called Athelwin, as the various 
chartularies show. Though the derivation from Atheling- 
ey, " the island of the nobles," is almost too sacro- 
sanct to touch, yet Athelwin-ey, Athelin-ey, is easy, 
and plausible, if not (as I am Inclined to think) probable. And 
you may be excused for pausing in front of such names as 
Elborough Hill, in Hutton, and Elbridge, in North Cadbury. 
"Closes called Great and Little Elbridge" (1793). We do 
not know the age of these names. It is certainly curious that 
we read (1st March, 20th Edward IV.) : " Grant of manors 



^Calendar of the MSS. of the Dean and Chapter of Wells, p. S34. 



294 

and lands to Sir Thomas Burgh and the reversion to John, 
Bishop of Ely," tempting us to think that Elborough is Ely- 
Burgh, from the double ownership. If the name is older, 
then Elborough is probably for Ethelburh, a lady's name, 
and, in fact, the name of Ina's Queen (722), and El- 
bridge is only another form of the same name. Ethelburh 
becomes Ethelbrig, and then Elbridge by abbreviation and 
misapprehension. Alston Sutton, in Weare, is D.B., Alnodes- 
tuna, that is, Aegelnothes tun or stan (stone), a later form of 
Aethelnoth. 

Edgborough is a further instance where a letter is supposed 
to be capriciously prefixed by the Norman spellers, for in 
D.B. it is diversely spelt Tetesberga and Tegisborough. Once 
more there is the customary manuscript confusion of "t" and 
"c," which explains this inconsistent variety of spelling. If 
the identification with Edgborough is correct, as seems likely, 
this form shows that Tecesborough is the original word. It 
is odd that the names of the virgins to whom Aldhelm dedi- 
cated his treatise, De Laudibus Virginitatis, were Tecla and 
Hidburga. The latter is certainly Edgborough. The syllable 
burga is the end of a personal name, not a " burg " or 
" borough," and Tecesborough may be Teclaburh. Two 
names of places adjunct may be confused. Edgborough is in 
North Petherton. 

Chiselborough is Ceosolburgon in D.B., and Ciselburgh in 
1250. Cycelberge in a Wells " Mandate," 1341. There are 
the names Chiselhurst, Chiswick, Chislett, and Chel- 
stone, in West Buckland, which are usually derived 
from Ceosil, a sandbank, as a physical characteristic. 
Old German is " kisil," and modern " kiesel." Kieselstein 
means flint. This is probably the root of the personal name, 
Gisl. Gislburh is the name of a woman. Geisel is a hostage 
in modern high German, but the original root is an old teu- 
tonic word, and perhaps an old Saxon warrior name. Chisel- 
hurst and Chis-wick are the hurst or wood and wick or hamel 
of Gisel. Chislett, as a personal name, is the old name Gisla, 
with the consonantal grip additions become Gislat. Chiswick 
need not, however, be an abbreviation, but simply Giso, a 
name of a Saxon bishop known in Somerset annals as the last 



295 

of the Saxon bishops, Giso's-wick or Giswig, as a personal 
name. 

Chelvey is another instance of the same kind of philological 
phenomenon. The " ch " is a softening of an original form. 
This is seen in the D.B. spelling, Calvica or Calviche. Now, 
this is clearly the Saxon name Ceolwig. A Ceolwig was in 
970 or thereabouts a provost of Bath. This name is 
also spelt Ceolwi (i.e., Celvi or Chelvey) and Cilwi (or 
Kilvi). How a place-name gets further softened is seen in 
the record (Edward I. and II.) : " Robert de Aethona, 
dominiis de Chauy, and Henricus, Rector Ecclesice de 
Chaiivy," in which the consonant " 1 " disappears, after the 
frankish fashion. It is at least interesting to note that in 
the Black Forest there is a district called Calw, Calve, Calbe, 
situate on an acclivity overlooking the River Nagold. In 
the county of Cornwall the place-name Callington has the 
Domesday spelling Calwe-ton, that is, Ceolwi-ton, and in a 
note of boundaries in the forest of Mendip we have found 
Calewe. Kilton, on the Somerset coast, is in D.B. Chilve-ton 
(Ceol-wig-ton), and in Bath Chartulary Kalve-ton. Kilve is 
spelt Cliva, which might be taken as a form of Cliff, but is in 
reality Cilve, and of the same origin. 

Kelston, on the slopes of the Avon, has the D.B. spelling 
Kelweston, and a puzzle may easily arise to interpret " kel " 
and " weston " as the West-town, when in reality it is Celwi, 
namely, Celwig's ton. The spellings Keiston and Kenstone 
appear to be mistakes as not answering to the prevailing type. 
Clive is in 1315, Nomina Villarum, Culve and Culve-ton. A 
close search may possibly find other instances of this widely- 
spread name Ceolwig, which is doubtless the modern per- 
sonal name Kelway, Calway, Callaway. There are Kilwys 
in Cardigan and Killow in Yorkshire, no more derivable 
from the gadhelic word kil, cil, a retreat, than Kilmersdon 
in Somerset, cited by Isaac Taylor, is so derivable. Culver- 
Hayes, in Castle Combe, " the castle field of the Gurneys," 
might be colva, the hazel tree, or, as usually taken from culfre, 
a dove, on account of the presence of a pigeon-house. This 
seems likely, and is the usual explanation. 

Closworth is in D.B. spelt Cloueswurda, i.e., that is Cloues- 



296 

wrda or Clouesworth, which is Clowes-worth or Cloves- 
worth. This is Ceolf's worth, or the name Ceolfweard. The 
name Ceolf occurs frequently. Colfig is Ceolfwig. Cloves- 
worth becomes Colf's-worth and Clos-worth easily. The 
explanation of the name Cloford (D.B., Claford), with 
later spellings exhibiting no great variety or change 
(except Clatforda) may be compared.^ There are also 
Colefords, one near Radstock and one near Stogumber, 
and there is the Gloucestershire Coleford in the royal 
forest of Dean, which are simply variants of Ceol- 
frith, and have no more to do with coal and a ford than 
Claford has to do with clay and ford ; albeit there is a certain 
similitude, inasmuch as coal is found, but scarcely gave the 
place the name in the Saxon epoch centuries before the coal- 
pit became the fly-wheel of modern civilisation. Cloford, also 
spelt Clover, is probably, like Clifiord, in Cannington and in 
Beckington, also a form of this personal name, Ceolfrith. The 
name underwent local developments. Of this fact of local 
development there is abundant evidence. 

Clewer, in Wedmore. It is Cluvere in the seventh century; 
Clive-weare in D.B. ; Clyware in a forest perambulation of 
the time of Edward I.; Cluor in a will of the late sixteenth 
century. This is explained as the Cliff-weare. It is at the 
steep sudden ending of the hill, which makes the name a suit- 
able one. Lower down the Axe are Weare and Lower 
Weare, and it has been pointed out that Badgeworth is in 
D.B. spelling Bagewerre.^ We may note that when we have 
a cliff name the designation does not cover merely the idea 
of a rocky prominence — the cliff — but that, according to its 
etymological meaning (A.S., Cleofdan, to split, to hollow 
out), it also imports a cleft, a slope, or hollow. Thus, Hol- 
jord glen is a Cleeve in the hills watered by a stream running 
between banks of turf, and hence the place-name. Another 
name is Partus de Radcliffe, on the river Axe, two and a 
half miles from Axbridge. The red-cliffe is said to be ac- 
counted for by the outcrop of red marl. As a curious example 
of abbreviation, note that this place-name is pared down to 



'See p. 69. "S.R.S., vol. vii., p. 61. 



297 

Reckly and Rackly ; and these names are in themselves quite 
uninterpretable. 

Hurcott is near Ilton. The spelling is Herdicott in the 
time of Henry III. There are also other spellings. Hurcott 
we may bring into comparison with the local names Her- 
combe and Hurt-ham, near Chard. Hurcott is a transforma- 
tion. In such forms as Hurd-cot, Herd-combe, and Hurdham 
the "d" sound disappears, and, as so often happens at the close 
of a syllable, is only left in the earlier spellings. Hurcott is not 
the cot of Hur or Hurd or Heord (all names), but a corruption 
of Haergod or Hargod, the old German name Heri- 
gard. We have the modern personal name, Hargood. 
Hurt-ham is Haerhama, and Herdcombe Haerthcyn (Heard- 
cym (probably). The Somerset farmer's name of Hurford is 
Haerdfrid.^ The less known local names thus throw light on 
the origin of names, both place and personal. Hartcliffe, 
Harclyve D.B., may neither be " hir " long nor " har " rough, 
nor " hare," the four-footed creature, prefixed to describe the 
cliff, but the Saxon name Haercylfa; but the most natural 
explanation is the etymological division into Harclyve. The 
spellings are Hareclive in 1148 and 1280. Hardene, in Kings- 
done, is Hardwin. 

Nunney is a delightful curiosity, as all who have studied the 
name will allow. Starting with D.B. it is Nonin, with the 
variation Nouin. This is probably a mis-reading of a letter 
and a confusion between "n" and " u." But which is 
original? William Moione held Nouin, displacing the usual 
miserable Saxon, Colo, whom we should name Cole, and pro- 
bably put a sibilant to complete and call him Coles. This 
name existed when the Norman gentleman came from 
Mohun, Mowne, which Leland calls "Mooun,"^ and Gerard 
says that the first William (in Domesday) is written Moion, a 
little place near St. Lo, in Brittany, with stout knights in 
his train, a multitude, and is stated to have possessed no less 
than sixty-five manors in Somerset. This is surely worth 
bestriding a horse and weilding and flourishing a sword for. 
We then wonder that so considerable a proprietor has to all 



'Sec Chapter on Fords. ^The personal name "Moon" is frequent enough in 
Somerset. 



298 

appearances left so little mark in the place-names. We have 
looked for this Mohun under quaint disguises without suc- 
cess, unless this is one Nouin for Moion. Dunster was his 
castle. William de Moion built this castle. He was in 
the train of William the Conqueror. Probably the 
number of his manors is exaggerated. Cutcombe Mohun 
has already been mentioned. In T.E. the spelling is 
Nony, and it is Nunye and Nunney later. Nonin is 
a form of nonnen, A.S., nunne. But we are not hereby 
compelled to think of nuns and a nunnery. Nonnus 
in low Latin means father, and included and meant monks. 
The history of the place shows at least a very probable con- 
nection with Glastonbury Abbey. Glastonbury had " a claim 
of the highest antiquity in Nunney." Collinson positively 
says that it was called Nunney Glaston, as to a manorial por- 
tion of it, in contradiction to Nunney de la Mare (a later 
name). King Eldred, brother of King Edmund, granted to 
the monks of Glastonbury part of two hides in this vill. 
Some evidence of this lies in the fact that after the dissolu- 
tion lands in Nunney and Trudoxhill (another remarkable 
name) were granted to Queen Elizabeth among a number of 
estates belonging to Glastonbury Abbey. The monastic con- 
nection with Glastonbury was lost in the changes of owner- 
ship this manor underwent. There was a presbyter, or priest, 
named Spirtes, which assumed the form of Spiritus, spirit. 
A Spirtes was a canon of Shrewsbury, and another was a 
priest at Abingdon. Probably Spirtes is a disguise of the old 
Saxon Domesday name Sprott, modern name Spratt, old 
German sprutho, and Gothic sprauto (a " nimble person " in 
names. Monks latinized this name of an ecclesiastic diversely 
into Spiritus (spirit) and Speratus (hoped), no doubt as a good 
joke. There is a curious story of his many possessions in 
various (half-a-dozen) counties, and how Nigel, William the 
Conqueror's doctor, somehow laid hold of this varied pro- 
perty. Now this Spirtes held Nunney until the death of 
Edward the Confessor, and after him the doctor Nigel; and 
then at the Conquest the doctor was succeeded by the Nor- 
man abbot of the abbey of St. Mary de Montebourg. But 
in the Taxatio Ecclesiastica (1297) neither Glastonbury nor 



299 

Montebourg had any property here. The prior of Longleat 
had. Certainly the place is entitled to the name Nunney from 
its monastic connection, and there is a fair probability that 
this is the origin of the name. There is an old German per- 
sonal name Nunna and Nunn, which may account for it, as 
some may be disposed to think. Nunne, too, was the name of 
a woman, of a queen and abbess. In Kent is Nonin-ton; 
Nunni-kirk in Westmoreland; Nonin-ton in Yorkshire; and 
Nunheaton in Leicestershire. Nynehead might possibly be 
similarly derived. We have Nynehead Monks or Monkton 
and Nynehead Flory, already noted in double names, and 
there is a " Nonington " in the parish of Wiveliscombe, whicft 
Collinson calls Novington. This is spelt Nonen-ton, and is 
probably ultimately derived from the personal name "Nunna." 

Petherton is on the River Parrett. There are many places 
that owe the origin of their names to the river name. Ancient 
names of mountains and rivers are, as we have seen, 
generally Celtic. We may gather these names, that seem to 
be reminiscent of Parrett, into connection. North Petherton 
is three miles south-west of Bridgwater, and South Petherton 
is on the Parrett, which passes here under a stone bridge of 
three arches, about which a curious story is told. Not our 
business now. It is usually said that the names of these towns 
are due to their situation on the Parrett, that is, the Pedred, 
as it was called. The river name was, it is further asserted, 
the name borrowed from Pedrida, King of the West Saxons, 
mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. And so we sup- 
pose, in that case, are the names. North Perrot, two miles 
north-east of Crewkerne, near the source of the river; also 
Petherham, in Cannington, which is bounded on the north 
and east by the River Parrett. And there is Puriton, on the 
Parrett, three miles and a half from Bridgwater, near to the 
confluence of the estuary with the Bristol Channel. 

Now if we look at the spellings, Petherton is Peretona (i.e., 
Peret-tona), and Peret-ton in the T.E. (1297) ; Perrot is D.B. 
Peredt, and T.E. Peret; and Petherham is Perrede-ham, a 
mere variety of Peret-ham. Now it is quite certain that the 
Celtic original, if this be known, would by the Saxons suffer 
modification in the direction of more grip and more con- 



300 

sonants, and it is equally certain, from so many examples, 
that if Pedrida or Pethritha were the original — either from 
the Saxon king, or as Mr. Ferguson, in his River Names of 
Europe, connects the form of Pedreda with pi, to drink, 
and does not call in the King of Wessex — then the Norman 
masters would in all these documents tend to drop the un- 
couth incumbrances. When did the modification set in? 
Anyhow, Pedreda has not left its presence so likely felt any- 
where as in Petherton and Petherham. On the authority of 
a writer in the Transactions of the Somerset Archceological 
Society^ the British name of the river was Perydon, 
and this name occurs in a poem of the 7th century 
by a Welsh bard. A translation of the poem is found 
in an appendix to Thiery's Norman Conquest. Pery- 
don is plural in form. It is not easy to say why this is so, 
save that the name may have been applied to the Tone, the 
Ivel, and the Parrett, "the united waters." The name has 
also the meaning assigned to it as its origin, " a stream pos- 
sessing some wonderful virtue — a Divine river." We do not 
know the evidence on which this assertion is based. From 
the ancient bard the couplet is quoted : — 

"These is a dream of Peryddon, 
That a long stronghold would rise on its border.' 

If the form Pedrydon were sought for in Celtic (Welsh), then 
it is said to mean " that which spreads in four directions." 
On the continent of Europe we note that the late Felix 
Dahn gives a fairly equal number to river names of really 
Germanic and those of really Celtic derivation, and among 
them the Virdo. This may be a related name. Peryd and 
(V)Pir(i)d and Beryd or Bride and Brit are the same origin- 
ally. Peret and Parret, preserved through so long and through 
such varied history, are, we are persuaded, nearer the original 
than the confusing Saxon corruptions or forms of it. Brit- 
ford, in Wilts, may even be the " ford on the Brit," Brith, 
Brit, Pirt, Peart. In Celtic Cornish, Brit is a characteristic 
word to describe the glistening scales of the lissom trout 
and the movements of the dapper water wagtail. The name 

'Vol. V. 



301 

simply imports " the rippling stream." Mr. Edmonds, with- 
out tracking the spellings, says, on the authority of the 
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, " a river named from Pederida, King 
of the West Saxons." 

The following appeared in the Guardian^: — "It is gener- 
ally supposed that the River Parret in Somerset takes 
its name from the family name of Perret." The 
writer found Fluvius Pareda in a very old Latin map, 
and so he derives it from pareda, a barge, and says the natives 
call it "the barge river." Dr. Hugh Norris^ commenting 
on this, believes the word to be of Celtic origin and derives 
from pared, a border, and says it was a border river form- 
ing a boundary or division between the British and the 
Saxon. He says that the Saxons adopting a word, placed 
a " d " before a syllable commencing with " r," and thus 
pared of the Celt became padred of the Saxon. As the 
Norman spelling is for centuries Paret, I think this claim 
of Celtic origin is correct, and the Normans would find this 
spelling and pronunciation easier than Pedryd, which 
curiously enough has been preserved in the place-name 
Petherton, but not in the river-name Parrett. How Pared 
comes to mean a barge I do not know. Pared means a 
boundary wall and is not a river name, and would be, I 
think, quite unique if so written. 

In Debrett we have North and South Perrot thus accounted 
for : " The Perrot family were of ancient British descent. 
Edward, Lord of Perrot, married Alfwynia, granddaughter 
of Alfred the Great, and had issue William, styled 'de 
Perot,' from his castle in Armorica. His grandson returned 
to England with the great William, and founded North and 
South Perrot, in Somerset." The latter companion village 
of South Perrot is in Dorset, and not Somerset. Perrot is 
called Peredt in D.B., and Peret in T.E. The name Perrott is 
a Somerset name. In Blagdon field-names occurs the personal 
name Perrott. Whatever may be the truth of the above story 
of a family in Armorica, the place-name is clearly from the 



^The Guardian, Nov. 27, 1872. ^South Petherton in the Olden Time, by Hugh 
Norris, 1913. 



302 

river-name, and it is possible that this ancient family of 
British descent, bearing the British name of Pert, Peret, took 
the name out with them, or, as the Armoricans were Celts, 
found another there. 

Besides these we have a group of names beginning with 
Peri, as Periton and Puriton, in Bridgwater, and a hamlet- 
name in Minehead. We have Crandon-cum-Puriton ; Perry 
Mill, Perri Street, near Chard; Per-ridge and Pur-ridge, 
Perry-more, in Drayton ; and the double names. Perry 
Fitchett, in Wembdon, near Bridgwater {Pury, sub Wemb- 
don) and Perry Furneaux are all simply spelt Peri in D.B. 
Stoke Pirou is also called Stoke Perry. Per-ridge is probably 
a corruption of a personal name, Bauderich, which becomes 
Burh-rich, Pur-rich, and Perridge. The present form of that 
name is Burridge as a frequent Somerset name. Perry and 
Perry Fitchet and the like names show a similar interchange 
of the labials. The name Perry no doubt, in some instances, 
originates in the fruit-tree as a boundary. For in the Register 
of the Abbot of Athelney a boundary mark is thus given 
in arhorefn fructuosum id est Perie. This is at Ham, near 
Bridgwater; but there is equally no doubt that a personal 
name Bera, meaning a bear, may account for such per- 
sonal names as Burman, Berry, Barratt, and possibly Perratt, 
and Perrott, and also for the name Perry. Perry Fitchett 
is probably, then, a double personal name in which Bera is a 
bear and Fitchett means a stoat, accidentally brought together, 
in a name, on account of an earlier and a later ownership. A 
stoat was, perhaps, a viking cognizance or a by-name. 
Fitchett was a name assumed by Hugh Mallett when his 
father was in disgrace for plotting against Henry I. The 
Fitchetts held in Spaxton, Merridge, and Stringston. Pury 
Furneaux : The family of Furneaux, or Furnellis, according 
to Gerard, were Lords of Kilve in the time of Edward III. 
Most of the notices of them date from the 13th or 14th cen- 
turies. The Fitchetts, too, of Stringston, are called a " noble 
family," and a daughter of a Fitchett (Sir Hugh) married 
Sir Mathew Furneaux. Pury is given, with the arms, by 
Gerard as a personal name, which no doubt it was, namely. 
Perry, Pury, Perrott, may be all from Bera. Perrott is the old 



303 

German Perratt (" rat," counsel and Ber). Now, if it be sup- 
posed that Berat or Perratt was the name of a tribe settled along 
the banks of the river, this, some might suggest, would account 
for the river-name. Where absolute certainty cannot be gained 
it is only fair to weigh all possibilities. The Celtic origin 
of the river-name is the likeliest, as we think. 

Wilkinthroop is a hamlet name in Horsington. This name 
is extremely interesting, because it gives us the Somerset 
form of the Scandinavian word for village, " thorpe," in place 
of the more usual " ton." The way in which the dialectical 
changes work is interesting to the student. The trans- 
position, for instance, of the Anglo-Saxon drop or throp and 
threp for dorp and dorf, which latter is German for a village, 
and a frequent ending in German place-names. It is also 
found as druf in such German place-names as Wils-druf and 
Ohr-druf. The word thorp has as its original signification 
an assembly, a connected number, and hence a village com- 
munity and then a village. In Norman-French it is torb 
or tourbe. In Welsh it is trev and tref. Now, tourb and 
druf (the same as drub) clearly explain Thrubwell, in Nemp- 
nett Thrubwell. It is locally called Drub-well. This is 
absurdly explained to mean the throb-well, or intermittent 
spring, or a kind of pool of Bethesda without any visiting 
angel. Domesday Book gives many torps in Yorkshire; 
Grisetorp, Hilgertorp, and we may note Wiflestorp, and re- 
member Wiveliscombe, in Somerset. Aschil-torp has also 
its parallel name in Somerset. Another instance of this dis- 
guised thorpe is in Baga or Bakaterpe ; that is, Baga's thorpe. 
This became Bagaterp, Bawdrip, and then, by the inter- 
change of letters, Brodrip, and then Brodribb, and then, of 
course, we are invited to accept the customary sort of ex- 
planation. Sir Something Brodrib re-named the manor, 
forgetful that the name of the place existed in the enigmatical 
form before the Conquest. This also might explain Eastrip 
(D.B., Eastropa), only Rippa was the Domesday tenant 
under Turstin-Fitz-Rolf. Ripp is clearly a personal name. 
Southarp, Southharp, in North Petherton, appears to be 
another instance of thorpe, as certainly is the hamlet name, 
Thrupe, in Cutcombe. 



304 

CHAPTER XXXI. 

Curiosities of Nomenclature (continued). 

Nempnett Thrubwell. — The meaning of the second name 
of these two, commonly conjoined, has been dealt with. 
Thrub-well is not an intermittent spring, but is a form of 
thorpe. Thorpes are mostly found in Lincolnshire, Essex, 
and Norfolk, but thorpes occur elsewhere in the forms 
thrub, tourbe, dorf and trev in the several languages repre- 
sented. Besides others mentioned, Thrupe and Thrupe 
Marsh Farm are local names and cognate forms. Nempnett, 
is, we must confess, one of the most elusive names in the 
county of Somerset. The spellings are indeed remarkable. 
Some later spellings are Nemett, Nemnet, Nempnett, 
Nymet. It is an easy matter to follow the method of de- 
composing this name and assigning a meaning to each com- 
ponent. Nemp is thus said to be a form of Nym, and so, 
probably, a contraction of Nehemiah.^ So Nempnett means 
Nym's hut. And then, have we not Nymett Rowland and 
Nyms-field in Gloucestershire, Nymton in Devon, and 
Nymet? The place-names thus explained may or may not 
be rightly interpreted. Only research can prove. Nemet is 
Celtic for a grove, and this might satisfy as an explanation 
were we not confronted by the fact that all the prevailing 
forms of spelling preserve the labial sounds. We turn to 
the popular pronunciation, and find that the people fre- 
quently say Niblett. And we discover also that the hill is 
called Knap Hill. Knap we know better in its form 
of knob. As the name of a height or hill it is not 
infrequent. Knapp Hill is, then, a tautology. We feel 
inclined to connect the popular pronunciation with this 
Knap or Cnap. Then, as we find that there is elsewhere a 
local name Hnibban-leah extant, it is not unnatural to think 



'Edmunds : Tiaces of History in Place-Names. 



305 

of one of the oldest names on record, that of Hnaf, written 
in the Traveller's Song about the fifth century. Cniva 
is the name of a Gothic king in the third century. The 
termination is then hard to interpret, unless it is a cor- 
ruption of lade, as in Cogload, Coglett, near Durstone, Long- 
load, in Martock, Ship-lett, in Bleadon, meaning a course 
or road. Or it might be the name Cnibla, and not 
Cnibba. Niblett would perchance be Cnibla-head. We 
are led to revise such speculations when we discover 
the earliest spelling (1242) and find that Sir John 
Bretasche (compare the name Breach Hill over against 
Nempnett church), in his court of Trubbewell, decided that 
the chaplain of Empnete is to swear fealty to the rector of 
Compton (Martin) and that all the lords and ladies of 
Compton are to visit the church of Empnete on the principal 
feast days.^ Then we may at once connect this spelling with 
a puzzling field name, miles distant away in Batheneston 
(Batheston). We read, " Five acres in the field called 
Empnete."2 The date is 1258. For Nempnett we have 
no Domesday spelling. It is worthy of notice, too, that 
Emborough is spelt Emne-berg and Empne-berg,^ then it 
becomes Emme-berg and Emborough. It is natural to con- 
nect these names. It is clear that there is a personal name 
at the base of all. And this name may be found in the man's 
name Impin, Ympa, as in Ympanleage, in Worcestershire. 
Now, the old form of Impan or Ympan is Emp. From this 
form Kemble inferred a tribal name, Impingas and 
Empingas. These tribal names are mostly inferential. The 
personal name is enough for us. This name accounts for 
several place-names in Somerset. The curious personal 
name Empey is found still. The root is problematically 
traced to imp, as in " to imp," to feather. If these early 
spellings be taken as the basis, then by a process of cor- 
ruption in pronunciation, which may easily be understood, 
and may be proved by trial, Empnete, or Empanead, will 



^Calendar of Manuscripts of the Dean and Chapter of Wells, p. 485. '^Somerset 
Fines, 47 Henry III., p. 199. ^Lay Subsidies of Edward III. 



306 

get spoken as N-emp-ete. It thus comes out as Empan's-et, 
or Empa's headland, and the popular pronunciation must 
thus be considered a further corruption. The Batheaston 
field name shews that the personal name was not confined 
to Nempnett. 

Hallatrow, in High Littleton, is far from being easy of 
decipherment. The D.B. spelling is Helgetreu. If this were 
Helig-trev it would be the sallow or willow village as a 
double Celtic word; or it might be pure Saxon, helig-treu, 
or holy tree. Stone coffins have been discovered, indicating 
the site of an ancient burial place. The Domesday spelling 
will, of course, easily give the modern pronunciation of 
Helye-treu, or Hallatrow. There is a dell called Hallow 
or Hollow Lane, which may be a coincident name or merely 
descriptive. In the examination of the history of the name 
we are even led to believe that High Littleton may be a 
thorough-going corrupt form, and that Hallatrow and High 
Littleton have one origin. In the document in which the 
church of this parish is made an appanage of the Priory of 
Keynsham (11th century) the spelling is curiously Hegl- 
hington or Heglo-litelton. Hugh Luttelton is only of value 
as indicating a process of change. Helgetreu is Halghetre 
in 1259.1 Halwell is spelt Halgawille in 1185.2 It is 
clear that Halga is a personal name, which may account 
for Hallatrow, High Litel-ton (or Halga Litelton), and 
Hollow Lane. In the spelling Heglhing-ton we discover 
this name Helga or Halga, and High Littleton may be a 
complete disguise of the original form. There is the feminine 
name Haligtryth or Haligtrud — of which the last consonant has 
been softened to tru — and Haligtryt has become Hallatrow, 
while High Littleton is the ton of Halga. This is spelt Hegling- 
ton in the 14th century. High Littleton does not occur in 
D.B., while Hallatrow does as the more important manor 
place. Halging-ton for Halgan-ton as a genitive form be- 
come by transposition of the consonants, Heglhinton. It 
is also locally spelt Heghelitle-ton. These spellings certainly 



^Calendar of Manuscripts of the Dean and Chapter of Wells, p. 144. ^Buckland 
Chartidary, vol. xxv., S.R.S., p. 1S9. 



307 

connect by the personal name the local names Hallatrow and 
High Littleton together.^ The personal name Hahlo is, I 
believe, very rare, but it appears to be just this name Halga 
or Halgo, i.e., Hala or Halo. 

As illustrative of the manner in which ownership entered 
into the names of places, we may instance four unusual 
entries in the Somerset Domesday. It is said that this was 
done for convenience of entry. The systematisers who seek 
to identify, and succeed in identifying, the Domesday entries 
with modern names and situations regard these particular 
properties as unidentifiable; that is, they have not come 
down to us with modern names and modern boundaries. 
These are Terra Alwini, Terra Colgrini, Terra Olta, and 
Terra Tedrici. The first three are in Cannington hundred, 
and the last in Carhampton hundred. Olta has possibly 
(Eyton, but not Collinson) as its modern name, Asholt, 
on the Quantocks. The others are obsolete. In these we 
have actual and irrefragable instances of personal names 
affixed to properties and places which have not undergone 
the wear and tear of much usage. Terra Alwini is clear 
when Allensay (Allumsaye, Allunshay, Alvenshay, and 
AUowenshay, for Alwines-hay) has taken on a series of dis- 
guises. And Alwine itself is shortened from Aegelwine, the 
name of the hermit of Athelney to whom (as one of the 
saints) the monastery was dedicated. 

Among the names which are of difficult interpretation, 
and on which much ingenuity has been exercised, is that of 
Horner. There is a village Horner. Horner is the name of 
a stream. The village Horner, in the vale Horner, is " a 
delightful combination of wood, mountain, and rill, every- 
where full of charm." " The Horner water bubbles its way 
through the valley to the sea." Horner has been comically 
derived from an Anglo-Saxon word, meaning a snorer, on 
account (it is supposed) of the noise the stream makes in its 
rapid descent from the moorlands. Anothei derivation is 
Celtic, that is, from Chwern-dur, meaning the whirling 
waters. With this derivation may be compared the river- 



'Hallatrow is now a hamlet of High Littleton. 



U i 



308 

name Cern, as in Kernbridge, over the Wye, but as there are 
rugged stones hereabouts in plenty, as we remember from 
our botanising days, perhaps this is Cairn-bridge. Then there 
are Cerne-abbas and Ceren-ceaster, now Cirencester, and the 
Quern-ford, in the bounds of the forest of Blackmore, found 
mentioned in Hutching's Dorset. Then, again, the Celtic 
Aune, said to mean water, has also been suggested with con- 
siderably more plausibility. This would easily in popular 
speech become Horner. Now, the place-name Horner, in 
Luckham, is in D.B. spelt Hernola in the Exeter, and the 
trifling variant, Ernole, in the Exchequer or Great Domes- 
day both. Once more we may note that the final vowel is a 
mere euphonic ending. The word is Hernol. It is not difficult 
to imagine this in popular pronunciation becoming Hernor by 
confusion of the final consonant. We are not helped by any 
mention in the Taxatio Ecclesiastica, or Kirby's Quest, with 
its names of vills or manors. It is thought^ that Eyton's iden- 
tification is wrong, and that Ernole, or Hernola, is the place 
variously called Ouele Cnolle, Owleknolle, and Old Knoll, 
held from the earliest times by the Mohuns as tenants in 
chief. And Mr. Whale, we observe,^ identifies this with 
Knowle, in Timberscombe. Hernol, however, and Ernole, 
cannot easily be resolved into Ouele Cnolle. Moreover, the 
spelling of Knowle in that document is Canola and ChenoUa. 
It then becomes a difficult question what is the meaning of 
"her" or " er." The truth seems to be that Hernol or 
Ernol is not a compound word, but is an abbreviation of the 
name Erenolt, which, again, is spelt Eerenald. This is the 
same as Earnwald and Herenwald and Hernoldus. Ouel 
Cnolle, on the other hand, appears to be the same as Hauel, 
a form extant of the name Avil, in Dunster, curiously spelt 
Avena in Domesday. The identification of disputed modern 
names of ancient manors is not our present business. And 
all we can say is that the mysterious name Horner, if Eyton's 
identification is correct, has sprung from the personal name 
Earnwald (Arnold), and possibly thus :— Earnwald or, with 



^The History of Part of West Somerset. A. E. H. Chadwick-Healey, Sotheran 
and Co., 1901. "Whale : Domesday of Somerset. 



309 

the aspirate, Hearnwald, is shortened to Ernald, a form ex- 
tant, and Ernald or Hernald drops the final consonant, as in 
many cases, and appears as Hernal or Hernol, the Domesday 
form, and then Hernol is further corrupted in popular speech 
to Hernor and Horner. Hernal (Earnwald) is a Saxon 
owner, giving his name to the district he possesses, its vill, 
and its stream. Ernald is, anyhow, the explanation of the 
manorial name Hernol, if the further inferences cannot be 
pronounced certain when a basis of identification is uncer- 
tain. In 1153, in a Bath charter, occur the names Ernald de 
Baalon, Rodbert de Hornai. The personal name Horner, 
as a not uncommon surname, is derived from a trade of great 
importance, the use of horn for drinking vessels, window- 
panes, trumpets, horn-books, lanterns, John le Hornare. 
Horner for Hernol may thus be an easier assimilation when 
the meaning of the original name was lost sight of. 
Despite this popular etymology from a trade, Horner as a 
personal name is probably from Arnheri, become Harnor, 
in which arn or em is an eagle and hari a warrior. In the 
same parish of Luccombe is Harewood, which is a personal 
name ; that is, Heordweard become Heorwood. And this is 
the origin also of Norwood, in Horsington, and we need not 
to call into requisition either har, an army, or hore, white, or 
har, hare, or the four-footed hare, to account for the name. 

Perhaps connected with the first component of the name 
Earnweald is the place-name Earnshill, near the river Isle. 
It is in Chori Rivell, and said to be now merely represented 
by a farm. It is variously spelt in the Exeter Domesday 
Ernesel, and in the Exchequer Domesday it is Erneshele, and 
there is the spelling Erneshelt. In Kirby's Quest it is Herne- 
shulle, in the hundred of Bolestone, and in the Nomina Vil- 
larum Earnhulle. In the hundred of Wellow is Harnsrugg, 
or ridge, probably the same name. The later spellings in the 
17th and 18th centuries are Irnsill, Yearnsell, and Earnsille, 
of an ancient parish in the ecclesiastical district of Hambridge. 
The examples of spelling show us how easily a termination 
may become hill, hull, holt, and assume various disguises — 
a hill or a holt, according to fancy. Earn is writ large and 
taken from a root mieaning the eagle, or earn, or hern, a horn, 



310 

or heron, the bird. In harmony with what has been said be- 
fore, and the examples given, this ending hill may indeed be 
simply a corruption of the river name Isle, and this indeed is 
the more plausible, as vfell as the more direct explanation. 
In a charter of Muchelney Priory,^ which may have a genuine 
charter at the back of it, dating in the middle of the eighth 
century, we find a boundary mark inter duo flumina Earn, 
and Yle. Here Earn is a river name, and the two river 
names coalesce into one word, Earnil, and then it gets variously 
written. In Brittany there are two river names, the Elle and 
the Isoie, precisely like our He and Isla. Kemper, which 
reminds of the Scandinavian kumpr, and meaning a confluent 
coalesces with Elle into one word, and is the origin of the 
place-name Quimperle. Earnhill is precisely analogous. 
Earn is still the personal name given to the river name unless 
Earn is a corruption of ean, water. 

On another remarkable name like Horner we may 
pause with curiosity. If there is the Horner Water, there is 
also the Quarme Water, which has its source in some wet 
ground in Dunkery. Then we have this wonderful name 
also in Quarum Kitnor and Beggar Quarm, both in Winsford. 
Beside these we find Quarum Monceaux; a Quarum in 
Frome, and North and South Quarum in Exton. In the 
names given in those of vills in 1315 is the curious compound 
Quarumbogg. At the same date Quarum Monceaux is 
reversed in order, and written Monceaux Quarum. The 
Domesday spelling of this strange word is Co-arma and 
Carma. Co-arma seems to be an attempt to represent the 
" kw " or " gw " sound, which is either a Prankish or a Celtic 
form of spelling, as in Guillaume and Gwillym for William. 
But possibly not, and as Cantok has become Quantock, or 
Carma has become Kwarma, or Quarma and Quarum, Carma 
is, then, a much disguised personal name for Garman, and 
this represents the Saxon name Garmund, of which Jarman 
is a present-day form. Quarumbogg seems to suggest a 
doublet, in which, in that case, Quarum is still a much mis- 
shapen form of gwern, a morass, which the Domesday spell- 



^Chartulary of Muchelney Priory, S.R.S., p. 47. 



31t 

ing scarcely bears out. In the name Quariim Kitnor, the 
Kitnor is an additional name derived from the Culbone 
family known as de Kitenor. Of course, Kitnor is another 
name for Culbone. Mr. Savage, who is a joint authority for 
Somerset with the immortal Collinson, derives Kitenor from 
cyta, a cavern, and ore, the sea-shore, and so ignores the 
evidence of the spellings. Kitenor is derivable from the per- 
sonal name Cydd, which we also have in the place-name 
Kittisjord (Cydda's ford). Cydda is the modern name Keates. 
Nore means narrowness, contraction, and is thus geographic- 
ally applied to a narrow entrance or a defile, and is exactly 
descriptive. Nore is the old High German " narwa." The 
Domesday spelling is Chetenore, and other later spellings are 
Cattenore, Chete-nor, Kyd-nore, Kette-nore, and Kitnor. 
The name Culbone is later. This is the name that has sur- 
vived, it is said, from a saint's name to whom the church is 
dedicated. There was a hermit of the name of Ceolburn, 
Colbeorn, Colberne (modern name Golbourne, place-name 
Kilburn), in the reign of William the Second, and this gives 
rise to the traditional name St. Culbone. Some part of the 
church may be Saxon. The name Beggar Quarm occurs in 
the Perambulation of the forest of Exmoor in the time of 
Edward I., Villa de Beggar-Quarm and Villa de Quarmunces. 
Obviously, Quarmunces is a funny compresison into one word 
of the full name Quaurm Mounceaux, or Monceaux. The 
latter name is said to be that of a Hampshire family of 
Compton Monceaux, who probably held Mountsey Castle as 
a part of their estate. Dru (Drogo) de Monceaux, in the 
beginning of the twelfth century, married Edith, daughter of 
Earl Warren, and the mysterious Gundreda, long believed to 
have been William the Conqueror's daughter, who probably 
(we read) belonged to this Hampshire house. There are 
several communes of this name in Normandy, but those who 
are experts in these matters opine that the one near Bayeuse 
is the one meant. The name was more frequent in Yorkshire 
and Lincoln. Hurst-Monceaux Castle, in Sussex, is well 
known. Montcellis is the Domesday form, and William de 
Munceaux was one of the principal tenants in Somerset of 
Geoffrey de Mowbray, Bishop of Coustance, frequently called 



312 

Bishop of St. Lo. Mansel may be a relic of this name, a mere 
hamlet name, in North Petherton, and there is a Hope 
Mansell, near Ross, Herefordshire. It is a pleasant amphi- 
theatre. The popular name in Somerset is Mountsey. 
Mounts-ey is quite descriptive. This is how the people called 
this stone rampart of a hill-fortress and this defence of the 
approach to Exmoor — namely, Mouncey-Castle. Mouncey 
is certainly a highland hill, and we suppose that there is more 
than the evidence of the name for connecting the spot with 
the great family mentioned. The meaning of Monceaux and 
Mounc-ey would be the same. Mansel, as a personal name, 
occurs in the Bath Lincoln's Inn Chartulary^ in the 12th cen- 
tury. The personal name spelt Mancell, Mauncell, Maun- 
sell, and Mansell is found in the Buckland Chartulary. Mr. 
Bardsley^ derives the name from Maniciple, which was a 
name of office, a caterer for a public institution ; and once 
in a Bath Charter it is " le Mansell." 

Beggar-Quarm brings to our minds such local names as 
Beggar's Bush and the like already mentioned, and traced to 
the personal name " Bega," " Baega," and " Begha." Bega 
was the name of a Cumbrian saint of uncertain history, of an 
Irish princess, and Begha (St. Bees) was an Irish virgin. 
Beaga is in history a Saxon name. The form was common. 
How these names can get twisted appears in such a form as 
Lousy Bush. Bush is a copse or wood, and Lousy is, perhaps, 
a lazy shortening of the name Malousel or Maloysel, Maloysa, 
a name found repeatedly in the Muchelney Chartulary, where 
Richard MaloyseP of Ilminster paid tax there. Also found 
in the register of abbot of Athelney. 

Danesbury, Dawes Castle, Dawesbury, Dinasborough (near 
Nether Stowey). The hill is locally known as Dousborough. 
It is the king of the hills in its neighbourhood, being nearly 
1,100 feet above the sea-level. It is connected doubtfully with 
the Danes, and then Dinasborough is considered to mean the 
hill fort. In ancient documents it is Dawesborough, and the 
explanation is advanced that it is a form of Dawns-berg or 



'S.R.S., vol. vii., pt. 11, Nos. 21, 23, 24, and 46. ^Our English Surnames. 
'Tax Roll, 1327. 



313 

Beacon-hill, which were called dauntrees.^ There is an un- 
doubted camp here, which Collinson thinks is Roman, and 
others, perhaps with more probability, Celtic. The author of 
The Quantocks and their Associations, in an article, thinks that 
Dansborough is a corruption of Howes-borough (we suppose 
from the Domesday owner-name, William d'Ou), which, 
however, he interprets as the hill fort. In a sixteenth century 
will it appears to be Dawberia. Now Dauberia, Dousborough, 
and Dawsebury are corrupt forms of the Saxon personal 
name, Daegburt, that is, Daegbeorht. This in Prankish form 
is Dagobert, and in low Saxon Day-bury or Daw-bury, and 
the other forms are mis-readings and corruptions. This is 
corroborated by the local name near Enmore, of Dawburgs- 
combe, i.e., Daegbeorth's combe. The spellings Danesbury 
and the like appear to be pure corruptions through mis- 
readings or mis-spellings. There are earthworks on the sum- 
mit which Mr. Page considers are Celtic in origin, and the 
Danes certainly had nothing to do with it. 

Endestone, in Henstridge, on the River Stour, may be fur- 
ther noticed. It would seem to be most simply explained as 
the End-stone, that is, a boundary mark, or End-town on the 
bank of the river. There are large numbers of places to which 
end forms a part, meaning limit. The spellings lead us to a 
truer, more satisfactory, and more attractive explanation than 
the possible earlier suggestion. As early as 1052 its spelling is 
Eynes-ton, and the further spellings are Yan-stone and Yen- 
stone, Yenson and Enson. Yenston is an Elizabethan form, 
and Endiston appears in the 17th century. The persistence 
of the half-vowel representative of the letter " g " may indicate 
that the original word is not Henx, but Gean, Gen, Genny. 
At the date mentioned there was an alien priory here, accord- 
ing to Dugdale's Monasticon. It was a cell belonging to St. 
Sevier in Normandy. It is not mentioned in Strachey's 
Account oj Religious Houses in Somerset. Many of 
these spots where priories and abbeys were founded had been 
widely known, and acquired a sacrosanct character as the 
abode of a saint or hermit. St. Cenuu was thus possibly a 



^Exploration of Exmoor, p. 296. J. H. Page : Seeley & Co., 1893. 



314 

Somerset lady-hermit. The forms of this name of Cenue, a 
daughter of Brychan, Prince of Brychiniog, are Genue, 
Genny, as in Llan-genny. There is also a St. Gennys in 
Cornwall on the coast, the ultimate confines of the Bristol 
Channel. A farm name in or near Oare is called Yean- 
worthy. This, too, is the name Gean or Genny. Enmoor is 
not end-moor, but, as already pointed out, the Saxon Ani 
(D.B., Animere), and there is a local name Inwood probably 
of this origin. If any excuse is needed for examining hamlet 
names, it is found in the fact that often they turn out the 
most interesting from a historical or ethnological point of 
view. 

Another British hermit saint might possibly be found in St. 
Wonna under the disguised place-name of Vanhampton, a 
hamlet-name in Norton Fitzwarren. The vicar is the lord of 
the manor of Wooney, and so Vanhampton might in full be 
Woona-ham-ton. Woona was a Welsh saint. The form is, 
however, more easily accounted for by the Saxon name 
Wanhelm or Vanhelm. Wan occurs in many names with the 
customary terminations Wanwulf, Wangeard, Wanfrith. The 
manor of Wooney, however, still is reminiscent of the Welsh 
saint St. Wonno, as in Wonna-stow, in Monmouthshire, and 
Llan-wonno over the water in Glamorganshire. And Here- 
fordshire has its St. Wonards. Wan, on the other hand, takes 
us back possibly to the heathen god, for Wan-helm is ex- 
plained as Wodenhelm as a personal name. Thus heathen 
mythology and Celtic Christianity jostle one another in the 
same geographical area of a Somerset hamlet. We are more 
inclined to the ethnographical explanation of Wan or Wen as 
a racial name, as, in fact, a Wend or Wendish name. There 
is a Danish place-name Wan-by or Wand-by. And Wanstrow 
may be Wanda's treow or tree. It is a border town at an 
ancient forestal entrance. 

Oare in the Exchequer D.B. is spelt Are, and in the Exeter 
Ar. There is a confusion arising from the fact that Aller 
(D.B., Alra), in the Somerset hundred, has got itself spelt 
Aure. It is Ar in Kirby's Quest, Oar in Lay Subsidies 
(Edward III.), and in the Exchequer Lay Subsidies we find 
Ore and Yauer. These are the varieties. In a forestal 



315 

perambulation we read aquam quae vacatur Ore (the regis- 
ters say Ere or Oare), " the water or stream named Ore." 
It is thus a river name. The usual interpretation is that it is 
from the Latin ora, a boundary, i.e., Oare, the shore. As a 
Saxon loan word from the Latin it means a boundary. Ore, 
Oare, Owr, and Ower, a border land. Oare in the Car- 
hampton hundred (with which we are dealing) is situated in 
a delightful valley between heather-clad hills, and three and 
a half miles oway is Malmesmead — another existing and in- 
teresting name — where the Oare water joins the Badgworthy 
water. We are now in the Lorna Doone country on the 
borders of Devon. According to the story it was in Oare 
church where Lorna Doone was married and Carver Doone 
shot the bride. Malmes-mead is worthy of note as reminding 
us of Malmsbury with clearly the same derivation, that is in 
full, Meald-helms mead. The word Mealdhelm is said to be 
a compression of two personal names, Maeld-ulf and Aid- 
helm, as the founders of Malms-bury. So unexpectedly and 
in such out of the way corners do we meet with relics of long 
forgotten names of ancient owners. The Oare water seems 
to be a doublet, and Oare, Ar, are forms of Yair, Yare, as in 
the river names Yare and Yarrow. Yare is, as is well-known, 
widely spread as a river name. This explains the occurring 
form just noted as Yauere. The root is Ar, iar. There is the 
Yare in Norfolk (Yarmouth) and in the Isle of Wight. There 
is a Yauer or Yauer-land in Hampshire. Clearly from the 
record given in the middle ages it was known as a river name. 

If Vanhampton, as above mentioned, is a disguised form of 
the personal name Wanhelm, Bridgehampton, a tything of 
Yeovilton, is similarly shaped out of the personal name 
Burghelm. It is Burghelm-ton, a common name in the 10th 
century. Curious corrupt varieties of spelling in the 16th and 
17th centuries are Bridgeinton and Bridgehinton. 

Bridgwater is not to be explained as the " Bridge over the 
water," but either as the burh of Walter (that is, Walter de 
Douai), or as the bridge of Walter. In D.B. it is Brugia, 
spelt just the same as the Continental city of Bruges, and as a 
matter of fact, the two places were often confused in docu- 
ments, and there is abundant good evidence for the preference 



316 

of " brug," that is bridge, over burh. Spellings are Brigg- 
walter in 1201 ; in the Taxatio Ecclesiastica, 1297, it is 
Bruggewate and Bruggewaut, and plain Brug. In 1315 it is 
Burgus de Bruggewate. In 1256 it is Brugewalt : " lands of 
Sir Edward (that is, Edward I.), eldest son of the king, at 
Bruge-walt." These we have noted, and other references are 
numerous. For the conjecture of St. Bridget^ there is not 
sufficient evidence. We may note in passing that Brushford 
is D.B. Brigfort. This is explicable when it is recognised 
that we have here changed and assimilated forms of Burgfrid 
and Burgfrith, and that burg means protection, and frid peace 
in the personal names. 

It will be observed that Walther, that is, Walter, degen- 
erates into the form Wate. As Walter is toned down from 
its original form Waldhere, so Walter is again softened in 
hasty speech to Wate. An example of this is found in the 
local name in Frome, Whatcombe, the spelling of which, as 
late as the 15th century (1419-1470) is Walt-combe. This is in 
a legal conveyance found in British Museum charters. 
Whatley is near Frome, and its origin may be the same 
(D.B., Wate-leia), that is Walter's lea. A trace of this may 
be found perchance in the Domesday, a sub-tenant of this 
demesne of four hides under the abbot of Glastonbury, 
whose name was Walter Hosatus. There is another Whatley 
in Winsham (D.B., Watelega). This may be the same as 
Wate-leia, but the variation in spelling makes us wonder 
whether Wateleg is not the personal name Withleg, whose 
modern forms are Whitelegg — the literal meaning of which is 
ludicrous as accounting for a surname — and Whitlaw. The 
etymological explanations are scarcely satisfying, which de- 
duces both names from watel or wattle, or hurdle, and eia, 
an island — the wattled-island, or place where withies grow, 
or from wet lea, on account of the moist situation. Wheat- 
hill, in the hundred of Whitley (live miles from Castle Gary), 
is spelt in D.B. Watehella. In a charter purporting to have 
the date 965, in a grant by king Edgar to Sigar of Glas- 
tonbury it is Wet-hulle. Early in the 14th century and in the 



'Pring : Traces of Celtic Church, in Somerset. 



317 

Court Rolls of Edward II. it is Wet-hulle and Wethulle, and 
in the 17th century it is Wheat-hall and Wheat-hill indiffer- 
ently. This might be Walter's hollow. Hell as a place-name 
on earth is interesting. There are several about, and some 
hell-bottoms. The ancient hundred of Whitley is dispread 
through several modern hundreds, and there are many spots 
so-called, as Whitley Batch, in or near Chelwood. These 
are relics of names Wigtleg and Hwitlac (modern name 
Wedlock !). Lac, lag, leg means law as a root-word. 

Rodwater in Old Cleeve and Roadwater in North 
Petherton, are forms of a personal name as Hrodbert 
(Rodbard), Hrodgard, Hrodni, as in the name Rodney Stoke 
(the appelation is modern, as already seen). Rod as a root 
means glory, and Rodwater is Hrodwaldhere as its ultimate 
explanation. Rodway, in Rodway Fitzpaine, is not the road- 
way but Hrodwig (Rodwi). Rodden, near Frome (D.B., 
Reddena), Radene (1255), Raddon, Raden and Roydon in 
16th century is, judging by the Domesday form, the name 
Raddwin. Road is one side of Frome and Rodden on the 
other. There is a local place-name Road in North Pether- 
ton. Radehewis {Rodhuish) and Rodgrave, in Wincanton, 
are similarly derived, and it would be quite possible that with 
this prevalence of the name in the county Radstock is Hruad- 
stoke from a personal name, only the prefix rad in this place- 
name is not ancient. Grave means a demesne (Graf, a district). 
The names Rowden and Rowdon, in Stogumber, occur. Road 
is sometimes derived from Celtic rhywth, a clearing. 

Watergore is in South Petherton. There are several Gores 
in the county. Comparison may put us on the right scent. 
When you see a name like this you look out for a tri- 
angular piece of land, as is supposed erroneously in the dis- 
trict name Gordano, or a triangular piece of water at low- 
tide as in Battlegore, between Williton and Watchet. Gore, 
too, is sometimes associated with a deed of blood, a murder, 
an execution, or a battle. Battle is, however, A.S. and 
German Buttel, a village, as in the German place-name 
Lorbottle. These Gores are sometimes personal names or 
remnants of personal names. We are not, of course, denying 
that many names originate in the character of the localities. 



318 

but affirming that behind the place-name there is most fre- 
quently a personal name as the source. Gore, for instance, 
is from gar, a spear, as a personal name. Battle-gore would 
thus be the Gore village. In the name at the head of this 
section, Watergore, we may have a corruption of the name 
Waddigar, Waddicar. Waddi is said to mean activity. And 
it is likely that Battlegore is a corruption of an Anglo-Saxon 
name, Beadhildcar, Badilcar; and then, a battle (we read on 
the Ordnance Survey) was fought here. The names Bataile, 
in Ilchester (Badhild, Bathild, Batil) and Batelberg occur in 
the Feet of Finest 

Waterlip, in East Cranmore, sounds much like the water- 
leap or waterfall. Is it? Leixleip, a village at the falls of 
the Lippy, is Lachs (a salmon), leap. On the other hand, 
Dudleipen, in Germany, is Dudoc's inheritance (we have 
seen this name Dudoc in Daddocks), because lip is the word 
laib, which according to that great authority, Foerstenmann, 
means inheritance. Here Walter, sometimes Wate, appears 
as Water. It is then Walter's inheritance, but which Walter 
does not readily appear. 

Iwood, in Congresbury, is of possibly doubtful interpreta- 
tion. In the Court Rolls of 1364 we find Inwood Bluet. 
The Norman name has been dropped, though preserved in 
HInton Blewitt. This Bluet goes back to the conquest, as 
he held a sub-tenure for six and a half hides along with 
Hugh Matravers (survives in the name Travis locally), but 
Congresbury belonged in Saxon times to Haraldus Comes, 
and then to the Conqueror. In Ywode Blwet the addition 
must have been of a later possession. It is Ywode in the 
13th century, for which bailiffs' accounts exist. The most 
obvious interpretation is that here we have Saxon, meaning 
a yew, and ude, that is, wood, and so it is the yew-wood. 
Certainly, yews for bows were much in requisition and were 
grown elsewhere than in the churchyard — 

"Old yew that graspeth at the stones 
Which name the underlying dead." 

In Kent there is a name like it, Iwade. There is a creek 



»Pages 96, 98. S. R. S. , vol. vi. 



319 

on one side and a stream on the other, and so it is explained 
as compounded of ig, an island, and wade, a ford. Many 
Saxon personal names are found in " i " and " y " as the 
initial letter, and this, we think, is Iward, an extant name. 
That initial vowel stands for an abbreviation, perhaps Hig, 
as in Higbald. The aspirate is dropped, the " g " becomes 
a half-vowel, Ibald. Thus Iward is from Higweard. In 
Norman the aspirate would fall away and the " g " become 
" y." Anyhow, it is a personal Saxon name, possibly dating 
from the time when Harold Comes was overlord. Wimer- 
ham is in the same parish, and the name is Wygmaer 
originally, or Wigmaer. 

Ball is a well-known name for a hill or prominence, and 
this form occurs in such names as the Blue Bowl, the Green 
Bowl, and there is an interesting instance in the Taxatio 
Ecclesiastica (1297), of Cumok-bally, beside Cumok Decani, 
evidently from its ecclesiastical connection. Now the modern 
form of this place appears as Combwich. It is in the II- 
chester deanery. In D.B. it is spelt Comich. Bally, in 
Gadhelic (as in Irish names), means a village; Bal, in Celtic, 
is a mine. Cumock standing alone might lead us to the 
Welsh Cwmog, full of combes or vales. The place is, if the 
identification is correct, of interest in the discussion, al- 
ready noted as to the site of that battle of Ethandune, as 
this is said to be Cynwit, the place of the skirmish mentioned 
in the story. If so, the final consonant is a confusion with 
the similarly-made letter in MSS., " c," and it should be 
Cynwic. Possibly it is, and (in any case) Combwich is the 
personal name Cynwig. Blue Bowl is a doublet. For Bowl 
is ball, a hill, and blue is a corruption of belg, bellu (com- 
pare the German balge with the same significance with the 
primary idea of "swelling out"), and we have some idea 
that Belluton, a local name in Pensford, spelt in Domesday 
Book Belgetona, has the same origin, and is only fancifully 
connected with the historic tribal name Belgae. Certainly 
it answers to the description viewed from the railway as you 
approached Pensford, passing over the viaduct. Green, 
grein, in Green-ball, is, as in some other places where the 
village green, or the colour of the grass is thought of, means 
flinty soil. 



320 

Urgishay, in West Camel, is another remarkable name, 
and is clearly related to another odd name, Urchinwood. 

Urchinwood, in Congresbury, is not a "hay." Nor, for that 
matter, is it a wood. Urgis, Urchin, and Urch, in Urchfont 
(near Devizes) are the same personal name, namely, 
Eorcon, pronounced Erchon, soft and not hard. Urgis-hay 
is this name simply, Erchon's-hay. Urchinwood is a dis- 
guised form of a double name known and extant as Eorcon- 
weald. The shaping of this into Eorconuld, Eorconud, and 
Eorconwood presents no difficulty. Urchin no doubt means 
a hedgehog, which, however, is not a Saxon word, but a 
French-Latin word. The Latin is ericius (the initial vowel 
is long), the old French, irecon (with soft " c "), and in 
the Norman dialect, herichon and herisson. The name 
would thus be late and mean the hedgehog wood, and then, 
naturally, we desire to know why? So very many hedge- 
hogs? Eorcon as Saxon means a gem or pearl, and weald, 
and wald, power rule, and thus the personal name is doubly 
significant. This introduces us to the interesting name in 
the Somerset Domesday Book of Erchenger, the Priest of 
Cannington (1086), almoner of the King. Aluric presbyter 
was displaced by or succeeded by Erchenger presbyter. He 
was exempted as the holder of the glebe, the property of 
Cannington Church, of two virgates, from charges. We 
wonder if the present priest holds this glebe? It is, however, 
not the glebe and its history but the name that has interested 
us in this Erchen-" ger " ; and, in fact, the original turns out 
to be Eorcongaer (gar means a spear). It is also written 
Herchengar. Now write it Eorcongaer, and then is there 
a possibility that Congresbury is short for Eorcongaer- 
beorht? No doubt we find the simple personal name 
Cunigar, which seems to be a quite simple solution. And is 
the saint to which a Somerset church is dedicated St. 
Erchenger (Eorcongaer)? These are questions that do not 
affect the origin of Urgishay and Urchinwood as above given. 
The different spellings of Congresbury are earlier given : 
D.B., Congresberia, while the name of the hundred adds a 
" t," Congresberiet. Nor is that " t " perhaps foolish or 
an accretion, but is decidedly a survival. It is a survival of 



321 

the name Eorcongaerbeorht become Congaerberiet. Con- 
gresberia is thus shortened, and became Congresbury, around 
which a legend easily grows. This possibility is certainly 
worth considering. The alternative is to suppose Congres- 
beriet an entire mistake in the name of the hundred. 

At Woodspring, which lies in a hollow within sound of 
the moaning Severn there are still the remains of the priory. 
Woodspring would naturally seem to mean " the spring in 
the wood." But other things spring besides founts of living 
water. Spring is the season of bursting buds. And a spring, 
or sprinca, is a young wood or plantation. As the original 
spelling is Worspring, and as Worle is Worla, a personal 
name, hard by, Worspring is probably Worla-spring. 

Tyntesfield is a local name in Wraxall, and in the church 
are (or were) memorials of the Tynte family, in particular 
of John Tynte, who died in 1616. The founder of the family 
is said to have distinguished himself at the siege of Ascalon, 
under that doughty monarch Richard of the Lion Heart. 
His white surcoat was Tynctus cruore Saraceno. This is a very 
pretty story to connect with the origin of a personal name. 
Probably that tinctus was a poetic pun on the supposed mean- 
ing of Tynt, as derived from the Latin tinctus. A tincture 
is familiar to us, word and thing. In reality the name prob- 
ably contains a piece of social and racial history. The Briton 
made a clearing, and lived on it. The Saxon took possession, 
and gathered together a great estate of fruitful clearings, 
which ultimately came into the possession of that most 
voracious of episcopal landowners, the bishop of Coutance 
(called Episcopus Constatiensis in the Norman Survey), as 
overlord. No doubt he was a great statesman, and made 
himself indispensable, and was well rewarded. Tinto is a 
fire hill, or lire clearing. That whole plot was covered with 
forest trees, and a fire clearing was made in the thick brush- 
wood, as is now done in the backwoods of new-world forests 
by fresh settlers. Tin-tin-hull is spelt Tinte-hella in the oft- 
quoted survey of the Conqueror. It is Tintelle and 
Tynthulle in the 11th century,^ and the spellings do not 



^Montacute Chartulary, S.R.S., vol. viii. 

V 



322 

greatly vary, TintenhuUe, Tinteshull, and the like. And 
this is Tinto-hill, where the hill is a Saxon re-duplication of 
the word " to." There are parallel names, such as Clontinty 
and others. That the word, in this sense, is a west country 
vocable is shown by the Cornish and Armoric words — teen, 
tend, or tine — to light, as "teen the candle"; and Milton 
borrows the word when he says, " Tine the fierce lightning." 
Teening time is candle-lighting time, and to tend is to set a 
light to. Pulman thinks that tintin, or tending, has possible 
reference to an ancient beacon, and even thinks tin-tin may 
be tun-tun {i.e., town-town), which latter suggestion is 
trifling. 

In Maes Knowle, in Norton Malreward, Maes is British, 
and is employed as the prefix-noun to many parishes in 
Wales, and means an open field, applied alike to hill and 
vale meadows. 



323 

CHAPTER XXXII. 
Curiosities of Nomenclature (continued). 

Hornblotton is exciting as the blast of a horn. It is 
decidedly peculiar. Is it not said to be the place where the 
huntsmen blew their horns, or at any rate the spot where 
proclamations were made after a rousing blast on a ram's- 

horn .'' " Blow the trumpet, proclaim ." To those 

who are not content with the threefold division into Horn- 
blow-town as an explanation, then hor is taken to mean the 
colour, as in the plant-name hore-thorn, or the white-thorn, 
which word is, as well known, softened to hawthorn ; and 
thus, etymologically divided and interpreted, it means the 
grey-blue-thorn, for it is said that bio is bleo, blue. If 
the grey-blue lias were a prominent geological feature of 
the district, then this would be a quite natural and taking 
explanation, on which doubtless some would insist. Now 
according to an explanation given by a correspondent in 
Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries^ the name originates in 
an old, and now completely decayed, industry. It was the 
place of the smelting of ore of iron. The ore was blown 
there. If, however, we note that in Somerset there is the 
name Horbley^ which is a local name in Batheaston, and that 
this name in the form Horbling occurs also in Lincolnshire, 
we see that the place-name originates in the Frankish 
personal-name Herlbald, which is shortened and transformed 
to Horbley and Horblaw. The Domesday spelling is 
Horblawetona, and it is Horblautone in A.D. 1343 in the 
names of villas. It is clearly simply Horbley's ton, or, in 
full, Heribald's ton, without much etymological mystery. 

Martock is another instance of like character. The name of 
this place is in gazeteers said to be derived from "mart" and 
" oak " from the fact of a market having customarily been 
held under an oak tree in the "centre of the town," "the 
site of which (our soothsayer tells us) is now occupied by 
an elegant fluted column in imitation of the pillar of Trojan 



324 

at Rome." That is interesting, but we note that Dr. "Wade, 
in his pretty little book on Somerset, tells us nothing quite 
so notable of the place. But of course this etymological 
and historical explanation is by no means the only one. 
Mr. Pulman\ in his book, is responsible for two other 
suggestions. These are Mearc-ac the Mark-oak or Maer-ac 
the great or famous oak, in which it will be seen that the 
" t " is either regarded as an intrusive letter or " t " and 
" c " are confounded as often in documents where the 
letters are similarly formed. But the Domesday spelling 
has the "t," and this form has continued, rendering that 
explanation improbable. The spellings scarcely vary, Mar- 
tock and Mertock. With regard to mart and oak, to us the 
question arises when did mart become a shortened form of 
markt, a market .'' and the reply seems to be that this was 
somewhat late, and therefore cannot account for the 
Domesday form Maertoch. In Mear-ac, it is said, meare is 
shortened from gemaer, which means a boundary, and ac 
means oak. It is known that maer means famous in personal 
names as in Wado-maer, and then, used as a prefix, Maer-ac, 
must mean " the famous oak." On the other hand, mearc 
is, of course, a mark or limit, and there was here an oak 
which marked a boundary. It is certain that marks are 
boundaries, as in Mark-bury (if this is original) become 
Markbury (Mercesbury), and we have Mark-Causeway 
become Mark's Causeway, that is, the chausee or raised 
road through the marsh (sometimes also called " brig," or 
bridges), which is the place-name Mark to this day. And, 
as noted, the moorland round Wedmore was once called 
Mark-moor, while we find that in one case Marksbury (not 
that on the Bath road) has become Maesbury. Maesbury is 
thus a disguise and a puzzle until you read in a Glastonbury 
charter of a boundary thus defined, " straight through the 
middle of Marksbury," which, in this case, is identified with 
Maesbury. This original form continued to the middle of 
the 1 5th century. Mearc denotes collectively the meadows, 
pastures, and woods in a tract of land belonging to an 
ownership. Marksbury near Bath is in 1279 Merkesbire, 



'Pulman : Local Nomenclature. 



325 

and in the 13th^ century Marcusbury and Merksbur. This 
looks like the personal name Mark, whether because the 
property of the Abbot of Glastonbury it was the appanage 
of a chapelry there (or elsewhere) dedicated to St. Mark. 

Now Martock does not show any derivations in spelling 
indicative of having lost a letter or, on the other hand, of 
having assumed a grip letter. In D.B. it is Maertoch ; 
T.E. (1297), Mertock, and right on through thirteen 
centuries. It is one of those names that has preserved its 
identity of spelling most consistently. Maer and Tochi 
make up the compound name Maertoch, and the early 9th 
century forms Murdac and Murdoc are then extant personal 
names, giving rise to the curious present-day name of 
Murdock and Murdoch. 

Meare (D.B., Mera) was an oasis in the midst of about 
eight thousand acres of swamp, which in his reckoning of 
the number of hides the Domesday surveyor ignored as 
valueless. This Meare was originally in full called Ferra- 
mere, and it was in the jurisdiction of the abbot of 
Glastonbury. And though the word meare means often a 
boundary, shortened from gemeare, as above mentioned, 
and mere is often nearly the equivalent of moor, which so 
far as can be seen in the interpretation of Merland, in 
Withycombe, Merlinch or Moorlinch, and perhaps also of 
Merridge, in Spaxton, though the last is doubtful, In Ferra- 
mere it is possible that this is the personal name Faermaer, 
as Farun in Farringdon is Faerwine-don, and there Is in 
Somerset a hamlet-name Farthings which is Faerthegn the 
travelled thegn. Faermaer was the name thus of an original 
or early owner of the dry bit of land around the marsh, 
who perhaps watched the marsh-grass, " in serial shimmers 
and shades," and had his eye on the wild duck sailing round 
the rim of his island property. Merriott too is clearly not 
the mere-yat or moor-gate, as usually interpreted. It is 
D.B. Meriyet, and thus is not " the et " or head of the 
mere, either, but the well-known personal name Mergeat or 
Maergaet, in which both components are Interpretable — 
maer famous and gaet a Goth. In 1017 there was an abbot 

^Bath Chartulary, p. 6. Lincoln's Inn MSS., S.R.S., vol. vii. 



326 

of Glastonbury called Merewit, Merewit qui et BrighMui. 
He was bishop of Wells and a native of Lorraine. In 
France the same name has become Merigot and Margot. 
In English this has degenerated into Maggot, which is not a 
sweet name, and Merrywit is pleasanter. Merridge, in 
Spaxton, is after all probably a compound Saxon name, 
Maerrick or Maerrich, maer and reich, as Goodric (also 
Goodrich and Goodridge, compare Dodderidge from Dodric) 
is Godreich. Reich is kingdom or rule. The mention of 
the Lorraine name of bishop Merewit reminds us of another 
Lorraine or Lothrlngen name of Dudoc, which was the 
name of the fourteenth bishop of Wells, In the year 1031, 
that is before the Domesday or Conquest date. There Is a 
local uame near Wedmore of Daddocks. Mr. Harvey, a 
former Rector, In his Wedmore Chronicle, " made a shot " at 
this, deriving It from " dead oaks " as a possibility. Clearly 
It Is Dudoc's. Bishop Dudoc was a Saxon of Lorraine, and 
was present at a Synod In Rhelms. This is more Interesting 
as a local association than dead oaks can be. 

Once more this form geat occurs In the mysterious name 
Havyatt Green, In Burrington, which Is spelt In D.B. Attl- 
geat. This Is subject to the facile interpretation that it 
means " at ye gate ". Havyatt as a form Is not easily 
identifiable with the Domesday spelling Attigetta save as 
regards the last syllable geat. And, indeed, it Is probable 
that Att Is a misreading or misspelling, and is possibly 
meant for " Alf " The name would then be Aelfgeat, and 
the " Av "-or " Hav "-yatt gains Its explanation, and 
reconciles both forms. We have already seen that Atte- 
mere in a will Is not " at ye mere," but a corruption in the 
place-name of Hathemaer as a personal name. 

Priddy. This name appears to have the merit of unique- 
ness in British gazeteers. We do not find anything like it 
elsewhere In England. It Is an Interesting Somerset name. 
Unfortunately, we have no Domesday spelling. Nor have 
we a Taxatio valuation in 1297, and so are deprived of this 
evidence. In this valuation the land Is incorporated in 
Wells, as was also the case In the time of the last of the 
Saxon bishops, Giso, bishop of Wells. However, in the 
British Museum charters in the 12th century It Is men- 



327 

tioned, " Grant of Pridi to Farley Priory." There is 
another grant in Pridia to Bruerne Abbey. Another of 
Pridie to St. Swithin's Priory. The spellings do not seriously 
depart from this type or form. They are Predy, Priddie, 
Pridi, and Prydde. There are some continental names 
which appear to give a clue to certain mysterious British 
names. And this is perhaps an example. They are from very 
primitive roots. For example, in Swiss mountain-names 
investigated by Tauber we find analogous, or similar, or the 
same names in such forms as Preda, " Predtan-tal " (" tal," 
a valley ; often our " dol " ; German, " thai "), " Prada," 
and Pradel. There is often a confusion of Paradise, the 
Persian word found in Holy Writ for garden, and Paradis, 
which is a form of this word Prada. There is certainly 
a Paradise, the name of a hamlet in Burnham, but we do not 
know whether this name is quite ancient or only a modern 
fancy designation. If ancient the name is connected 
with this root and not with the scripture paradise. The 
primitive root is par, found in very numerous words, as 
e.g., in the Latin pratum, a meadow. This root also appears 
in the Cymric word prydd, pryddion meaning production. 
Pridd in Welsh means earth. There is a hamlet-name 
Prymmore in North Petherton which seems likely to be 
Pryd-more, the two consonants assimilating. So then 
Priddie here and in the similar continental names mentioned 
simply means meadow land or heath land. We have seen 
(" pour rire " we suppose) Prie-dieu suggested. We must 
stiU mention that the name Priddy and Preddy is extant as 
a Somerset personal name, and the names Preed and Prud 
are early names in the 10th century. Why may it not, 
after all, have this origin .'' 

Stavordale is in Bruton. The name is not found in D.B. 
or T.E. The earliest spelling we have so far found is in 
Bishop Drokenford's Register,^ and there appears to be no 
variant, unless of dell for dale ; and there are the 16th 
century spellings Stafferdale and Staverdell. Dale or dell 
for combe is a great rarity in Somerset, and is scarcely a 
correct interpretation here. The local name Stoford is found 



'S.R.S., vol. i. 



328 

in Barwick (Staford and Berewick are conjoined), Stogursey, 
and Broadway. The Staford in Barwick is said to be from 
" the ford there, now bettered by a bridge "^ over the Ivell. 
Then what does Sto mean ? It may be the Staff ford or 
Stow a village. Also in the Bath CharMlary (Lincoln s Inn 
MSS.f' among some strange boundary names besides Wul- 
lega {i.e., WoUey) and Lincumb we read : " J. de Weston 
claimed to hold at Stareford half an acre." It is also in the 
Cambridge Corpus Christi College of MS. of a Bath Priory 
charter spelt Stareford. And the name is also spelt Stoffard 
and Stoppard. Usually these names are derived from stave, 
a staff, of which stavor is a Scandinavian form. Staves or 
upright stones were fixed in the marshes and fords as guides 
to show the depth and how and where the stream was 
passable. There are such staves now near Moreton Marsh, 
standing in the parish of Compton Martin. The place- 
name Stafford is said to be so derived. And, besides, you 
have Staveley, in Derbyshire, and Staverton, in Devon. 
These names Starford, Stoford, Stavord, are likely enough 
forms of the personal name Steafhard and Stafhard. At 
any rate this list explains Stafordale. The ending is 
possibly a diminutive like the ending " et " may be in some 
names, though sometimes interpreted to mean " head." 
The ending " al " is like " al " in Wraxall, either " hull " 
or hill, a hollow, or hill, over which circumstances throw 
light. Stavordale is noted for its former Priory of Austin 
Canons, of which we believe some remains are found. 

Dunkerton is in a deep hollow on the ancient fosse road. 
By CoUinson and others the explanation of the name is 
found in the existence of a cairn or carnedd, which, it is 
affirmed, existed on Duncorne Hill. " North-east of the 
church," says Cooke's Topography (date 1800), "there is a 
remarkable eminence, whereon once stood a carnedd, or hill 
of stones, called Duncorne, erected by our British ancestors 
to commemorate some victory or extraordinary event." 
Hence it is Dun-cairn-ton. The Domesday spelling is 
Duncre-ton. As early as 1297 it is Dunker-ton. The 
above historical fact seems to give the most natural explana- 

'Gerard : Particular Description of Somerset, S.R.S., vol. xv. 'S.R.S., vol. vii. 



329 

tion of the name. If we divide the word differently, as 
Dun-kerton, we certainly find that kerton has its analogies 
in other place-names in which kerton is derived from kirk, 
cere. So Dunkirk is " the church on the dune " or down. 
Dunkerque, in Normandy, is situated amid the sandy 
dunes of the coast. Names of places with this element are 
found before the beginning of the eighth century in Europe. 
The majority of these kirk names are found in predomi- 
nantly Danish settlements. They often are so called 
because they indicate that the property is vested in some 
ecclesiastical corporation, as Kirby (that is, Kirk-by) Le 
Token, in Essex, was a part of the property of St. Paul's, 
London. However, we do not discover these indications 
of former church ownership in the case of Dunkerton. As 
a sidelight on the place-name, we think of a similar name 
in Dunkerry Beacon, in Cutcombe. This is spelt Duncre, 
and is Duncairn shortened apparently. We may add that a 
cairn does not necessarily mean an artificial accumulation of 
stones, but may mean a natural rock. On Dunkerry there 
may have been the remains of circles of stones or a carnedd. 
The original form is in both cases probably Dun-ceryg, 
meaning a stony height. On the top of Dunkerry there 
are now many loose stones, perhaps the remains of large 
fire-hearths, but the stones were already there with which to 
construct them. 

Dinder is another case of a dun or down, as after prolonged 
deliberation we are convinced. This is an instance in which 
the earliest spelling appears to be misleading if taken quite 
alone, and as the key to subsequent forms, as has been done. 
The earliest spelling, Denren, is that of 1064 in a record of 
fifty manors belonging to the home estate of Giso, the last 
of the Saxon bishops. Then we have the spellings Dynr 
(1123), Dynre (1174), and Dynra (1223-1268), and then it 
occurs in a form remarkably like Dundry, and appears as 
Dindra in 1494. The earliest spellings are clearly abbrevia- 
tions, with the elimination of a consonant. The Domesday 
register and other lists give clear indications of this. 
We have quoted instances before. Den-ren is taken by 
itself, and interpreted as Den-ren as a two-syllabled word. 
Ren is a watercourse, as in Rhin, Rhine, Rhone, Riana, and 



330 

the rhines of Somerset.' In Alpine stream-names we find 
Ron and the like. In fact, there is a precise correspondence 
in meaning in the name Rien-tal, in Uri, Switzerland,^ 
Rien-tal means " the valley of the stream." Binder stands 
picturesquely at the gate of the hills, where the stream 
which has come down through the combe to the well of 
St. Aldhelm at Doulton bends into the valley. The river 
Sheppey obligingly runs through the charming rectory 
garden and ripples through the grounds of the squire with 
strict impartiality of treatment. The trout may jump for 
both alike. The rugged, bald dun, with its light lias stone 
(as it seems) overlooks the stream. Dene-ren would 
accordingly mean the same as the Swiss Rien-tal. In this 
case the " d " is a late intrusive letter. We doubt this 
from an examination of the forms amid which Den-ren 
seems isolated. Further, this singular name has not merely 
its analogue, but its very precise parallel in Dinedor, situated 
four miles from Hereford, on the Ross road, near which flows 
the "many winding Wye." This rugged Herefordshire 
Dinedor hill overlooking the river is an abrupt eminence, on 
which are the traces of a Roman encampment, which we 
have purposely visited. We have not yet been able to trace 
the spellings of the Herefordshire Dinedor. It would 
certainly be strange if the " d " is also in this case a mere 
intrusive letter. It seems more likely that the " d " has 
been dropped in the spelling, though preserved in the 
traditional pronunciation, and finding its parallel in Here- 
fordshire. And, further, this Herefordshire correspondent- 
name indicates an ultimately Celtic origin. In that case it 
is, as we believe, Dinas or dun and dwr, water. There are 
names — Dan-dris, in Congresbury, and Dundry — ^which are 
similar, and in the Bath Chartulary Stanton Drew is spelt 
Standondru in 1292, a departure, however, from the earlier 
Domesday spelling, " Stantona." 

These latter names are, however, more likely connected 
with the primitive root, daur, an oak. Tauber quotes 
Jaccard (on Continental names), in which he says : " Les 



'Canon Church, in Somerset Archceological Society's Proceedings. ^Tauber : 
Ortsnamen und Sprachwissenschaft, Zurich, 1908. 



331 

noms celtiques d'arbres n'ont completement disparu devant 
les noms latins." Examples are the Celtic name of the 
alder, which has been preserved in the word Verne 
(Gwerne). It is possible to compare the Somerset place- 
name, W'eame-wyche, and possibly Inverne. Other instances 
are the Celtic sapin for the Latin abies (fir), darb, the pine, 
and tan {chene) for evergreen oak. He traces this root in 
Derby (pronounced " Darby " by a remarkable persistence). 
In Switzerland is Derbally, Dorben ; in England, Dart- 
mouth. Dun is "down," and daur, an oak, accounts for 
Dun-dry, perhaps for Dandris, and might possibly be the ex- 
planation of Dinedor and Dinder, i.e.. Dun daur, the " hill 
of oaks." The Dun at the Somersetshire Dinder does not, 
however, appear a promising place for oak-growth. 

Stretchholt, alias Stretchill, in Pawlet is in D.B. spelt 
Estragella. In Kirbys Quest it is Stretchett and Strecholt 
(Edward III.). In the " Fragment of the Register of Walter 
Giffard, Bishop of Bath and Wells, 1265-1267," we read : 
" Presentation of Dom Nicholas de StriguU, on the morrow 
of St. Mathew the Apostle," Sept. 2nd, 1264. In Estragella 
the initial vowel is the usual Norman helping introduction to 
the awkward following three consonants, as Stanton is spelt 
Estan-tona. We have to deal then with the name Stragel. 
The syllable holt is, in this case, a mere delusive corrup- 
tion. These holts need almost as much care as the 
assimilation of personal names ending in frid and firth when 
changed to ford. Thus it is quite possible that Lower Holt 
and Higher Holt in Witham are not from holt, a wood or 
copse, but the personal name Hold, though the presence 
of woods giving the description name are not to be rejected 
without examination. We have noted this personal name 
in Holford (Holdfrid). Holdgeard, Holdwine, Holdwulf, 
Holefest {i.e., Holdfest) are names. The origin of the 
word hurst, of similar meaning (a copse) is pronounced 
obscure. Horst, in German, Mid-high German, and Old- 
high German, hirst and hurst means a hill, or a copse ; in 
modern German simply a shrubbery. We do not find a 
personal name, excepting Horsa, already noted. There 
is a Hurst in Martock and a Dinghurst in Winscombe. 
This Dinghurst is of interest, though a mere local name. 



332 

The Ding seems to be an abbreviation of ,Dinga, 
Dingat, again a Welsh saint's name, hidden away in 
a corner. It is found in Monmouthshire, Dingastow in 
Carmarthenshire, Llan-dingat, St. Dingat's Church. Ding- 
hurst is thus St. Dinga's Wood. As Hurst was originally 
named Achelai in D.B., or oak-lea, this was an oak wood. 
We find accordingly such names as Hazel-hurst, Lynd- 
hurst, Dew-hurst, spelt Duerhurst, i.e.^ Deer-hurst. The 
personal name Hirst is taken from the place " de la Hirst." 
And, of course, so may Holt be " de la Holt " ; and 
equally, of course, the name may be the ancient Saxon per- 
sonal name Hold, as already mentioned, and it may be hard 
to determine in a given case which it is. We do not find 
many "shaws" in the county. That we need to discriminate 
is shown by the principal name, with which we are now 
dealing, Stretcholt. It is Stragel or Strygel only in its 
original form. There was a name Strygel extant which was 
that of a priest in the diocese of Hereford early in the 9th 
century. The old German and Gothic names Strago and 
Staracho occurred ; with early and later forms, Stragin and 
Stragget. All these names are derived by competent 
authorities from a root, strg, strac, strag, with the meaning 
violent, powerful, or the root idea of straight, strict, 
strenuous. Thus are probably derived the modern names, 
Stracey, Strachey, which look so mysterious and unique. 
The modern German strecken is to straighten and make 
tense. Accordingly, we get nearer the original shape of 
this name when we read of a " Sir John Streache " (also 
spelt Streeche, Streche, Streech).^ There is also the name 
Strechleigh. Sir John Stretche, knight, was lord of Seven- 
hampton (Seavington) and held property elsewhere in the 
county in the reign of Richard the Second.^ We are, of 
course, merely concerned with names and their origins, 
regardless of other interests. Stretch-hill and Strech-holt are 
but the forms of the word, as personal name, Stragil. The 
ending is a diminutive. 



'Gerard's Particular Description of Somerset, pp. 139, 166. ^See Calendar of 
MSS. of Wells Cathedral, Index ; Bruton Chartulary, No. 91, S.A.S., 
vol. viii. 



333 

Stringston is still a parochial name, just as Stragel or 
Stretcholt was manorial. Another spelling is Strenxton. The 
origin of this name is akin to the last. String is an ancient 
personal name, String, Strang, and found in the modern 
forms, Strong, Stringle, Stringer, and the like. Thus it 
means String's ton. Streng and strong mean tense, tight. 

Lujton is a few miles from Yeovil. Lufton is identified 
with the Locu-tona of Domesday Book. This is spelt Luke- 
ton in 1227, Loke-ton in 1417, and Luke-ton (1340), and 
Luc-ton in the fifteenth century. In Camden's map we find 
Lufton, but not Lucton. Gerard says that the place-name 
is taken from the British Luffon,^ which, he says, signifies 
elms. Leland was struck with the growth of elms in the 
district. But this ignores the early spellings. A further 
variety is Lutton in 1386, and Collinson calls it Luston — 
clearly a mistake. The name of Luf and Lufie occurs in 
the Bruton Chartulary,^ and the name of a bishop Luffe in the 
Wells Calendar, and Lufton appears to be later than 
Lucton. In the will of Robert Gybbes, clerk, formerly 
Prior of Montacute, the " parson of Lufton " is a witness 
(1560). It is not easy to see how Loc-ton could 
become Luf-ton as a name of one and the same place. 
Usually, we have found that when there is an incompre- 
hensible variation of this kind, and the identification is 
correct, there is a word at the back of both forms which, 
variously abbreviated, contains both. Such a personal name 
is Lovick, or Lofick; also Luvick and Lufick. This curious 
name is found in the peculiar name Lovecocks-hayes, in 
Marston Biggott, in the county. Lovick-ton may be short- 
ened either to Lov or Luf-ton, or to Lock-ton. Lovick 
itself is, as before explained, a form of Leoving, Leofinc, 
Lufinck, Lufinc, Leoving, Leofwing (that is Leofwine) and 
Leofwig was the name of a bishop at the commencement 
of the thirteenth century. Mr. Pring, in his book on 
Celtic saints in Somerset, mentions the name of St. Luifa, 
which is the same Saxon name. 

Oath is a wonderful place-name. Oath is a hamlet name. 



'Page 9S, ibid. 'Pages 287, 289. 



334 

and it is near Olre (D.B. Aire). There are court rolls fo 
Othe in the days of Queen Elizabeth. In Smith's Will 
occurs the form Woothe, which is Somerset pronunciatio 
for Oath. Oth is a very common Saxon name, found bot^ 
singly and in compounds. What is Othery but the personj 
name Oth-here? And so also we have Oth-grim, Oth 
helm, and others. Most students of history know the nam 
Otho. 

Cibewurda is interesting as an obsolete name, because i 
reminds us of another Welsh saint-name, St. Cybi, or Si 
Gybi, as in Llangibby. It is the name of a manor in Exford 
Wurda here appears to be a form of Worth, a homestead 
and so in a modern form it would, perhaps, emerge a 
Gibsworth or Gibbswood. The modern personal name i 
Gibb, or Gibbs, and Cibewurda is likely enough the Saxoi 
name Gebeorht or Gebheard, and not a compound of Gib 
and worth. 

Dulverton is in D.B. Dulver-tona (1086). In T.E. (1297 
it is Dulv'ton. Dilverton is a mere variety. In 1314 it i 
in Drokenford's Register Dulverne (William de). The mos 
remarkable variation is that of Duber-tona, which is foum 
in a charter of Taunton Priory (1335). If this las 
spelling were to be taken as correct, the explanation wouli 
be from dwfr, water. The usual explanation resolves th 
word into three parts : Dul, ver, ton. Dul is said to meai 
a bend. We do not know in what language. While, oi 
the other hand, dol is known as a form of tal, thai, a vale 
and, again, dol is known as meaning a table-land or a hill 
as Jacard derives the west Swiss names dole, dola, and doli: 
from a Celtic root with this meaning. In the former sens 
dol is the same as dell. Dol is also taken from theil or teil 
a part, the Yorkshire dialectical word thoil, which we re 
member as a puzzling word, to a boy, from the lips of 
grandmother, and the common words, deal and dole. An 
so the Dolemoors on Mendip are explained as a sort of alloi 
ments. As is also the case with Dolberry, in the countj 
There is a place-name Dole in Brittany. Sampson, schola 
of St. Illtyd, consecrated by Dubritius, was abbot of Dol 
among the Bretons. Deal, in Kent, is so derived. Vei 



335 

too, is taken to be a form of wear, or ford. Dulverton is 
actually on the bend of the bright little River Barle (spelt 
at large Barghel). And by the same authority, Dolfordton, 
in Dorsetshire, is said to be similarly situated on a river 
bend and has no ford. The explanation is thus : Dol-ford- 
ton, the town on the bend of a stream. Ivry, in Normandy, 
is a form of a gadhelic word for water or stream. 
Berra, Verra, is the name of a lake in France, and 
some connect the place-name Bere, in Dorset, with 
this root. Verdun, in France, is the " river-down," and 
verton, in Dulverton, may be a corruption of the same word. 
It will be noted how little the meaning varies. If Dwfra 
were the derivation it is the " river by the down." Gerard^ 
says it is " a little market towne which I think may be named 
Dunoverton, for here is a bridge over the Dun or Duns." 
That is, it is the Dun-wear, and " Dun " has become " Dul." 
We believe that the form Dulverton is a Saxon hardening of 
the Celtic word dwfr, water. This accounts for the variety 
Duberton, and the explanations from dol, dul are misleading. 
This also would explain Dolford-ton, in Dorset. Ton is a 
corrupt form of don, down, i.e., Dwfrdon has become 
Dulverton. 

Another name explained similarly is that of Twerton. We 
have no D.B. spelling. But it is Twiverton (1292) in the Bath 
Chartulary in Kirby's Quest, and in ministers' accounts 
(Henry V.) and in the hundred courts to the reign of Henry 
VIII., and right on to the 17th century. The question is as 
to the meaning of Twiver. There is Tiverton,^ in Devon, 
said to be derived from Twy-ford-ton from its situation be- 
tween the Ex and the Loman, and Tiverton as Twi-verton 
is the town on the double wear, which anciently existed. 
Tiverton and Twerton are varieties of the same name. The 
spelling Twi-verton is not compatible with the guess, 
" thweor," crooked. 



'Particular Description of Somerset, S.R.S., vol. xv. ^Edmonds' Names of 
Places derives it ifrom Tiber, Tifer, a sacrifice or gift-offering-, and 
instances names Tibberton, and the like. This is guess work, ignores 
the ancient spelling, and the fact that the name Twy-ford goes back to 
872, and here are two streams, the Exe and the Loman. The division 
of the streams is under "Little Silver Bridge." 



336 

Twynhoe is in Wellow, and here we might suppose that 
the prefix is certainly a form of " twain." Curiously enough, 
twyn is Celtic for hillock, and hoe is Dansk, with the same 
meaning. If descriptive, this is evidently a doublet. Here 
we have an instance of the corruption of a personal 
name. In 1329 it is Twynyhoe, and in the 17th century 
reverts to nearer its original form, Twinio, the personal 
name Tuinui. There is a name assuming a patronymic 
form. Twining. The old English name of Christchurch, in 
Hampshire, was Tweonea, the Normans shaped this into 
Thuinam. It was also called Twinham-burn. The priory 
name finally ousted both. This name Twine appears to 
us to be an abbreviation of the well-known name historically 
connected with Somerset, the Saxon conqueror of Somerset, 
Kentwine. Twywill is the name of a manor known by this 
name in the days of Queen Elizabeth. It has been inter- 
preted as twll, Celtic for a hollow, or tuell, a covert. It is 
clearly the corruption of Touilda, i.e., Toulhilda. This is 
the origin of the curious extant name occasionally met with 
of Towell (pronounced Tou-wil). This might be supposed 
to be derived from the indispensable toilet requisite after a 
bath. Touhilda is a Saxon female name, and Twywill pre- 
serves a memory of it. 

Bitwynhorde. — This name is found in a Glastonbury 
charter : ad quendain trencheam quae vacatur Bitwynhorde. 
Horde is, of course, a kind of fence. The Dansk word horde 
means a hurdle. We have it in hoarding and hurdle. It 
must necessarily be between something, and scarcely needs 
the descriptive addition. In reality we incline to the opinion 
that it is Beadwine horde, and the name has got changed to 
something more obvious. If this were so it would be interest- 
ing, as Bedwine is given as the name of one of the knights of 
King Arthur's round table. The name is also found in 
Beadding-broc, i.e., Beadwine brook, in forestal perambula- 
tions. Another boundary name in the same document is 
Scearp-horde. This is the personal Saxon name Sceorf and 
Sceaf. Wynerd, in Winscombe, is the personal name Wine- 
heard. 

Wellow and Vellow. — Wellow is near Bath. Vellow is a 



337 

hamlet name in Stogumber as a manorial name. It is odd 
to note that Wellow, Welton, and, unless there is confusion, 
even Wells, have all the same spelling. Under the date 
725 we find "Grant by King Cyneulph, King of the 
Saxons or Gewissi, to St. Andrew's monastery. Wells, of 
land on Welewe River." The spellings of Wellow are 
Welewe, Weluue, and Welwe. Of Welton, near Midsomer 
Norton, Welwe-ton, Welue-ton, Welwer-ton. The hundred 
name is Welwe in Domesday. In 1329 and in 1362, earlier 
and later, we have Welwe, Welewe, and Walton. Welton 
is thus an abbreviation of Welwe-ton. 

Wells is in D.B. Wella, doubtless from its springs. Of 
roots suggested (as already noted in Banwell) there is the 
Celtic gwelgi, a flood. This is unlikely. Weallan means 
to bubble up as Saxon, but this obviously does not account 
for the persistent strange forms of Welwe. The ludicrous 
explanation from the mid-English Weilaway, " wa la wa " 
or " wei la wei," that is " woe, woe," has even been 
suggested. This is the ne plus ultra of folly. Welwe is, we 
believe, a shortened and softened form of an owner-name, 
Wealhwine. Wealdwine is a more frequent spelling. All 
the hard consonants are dropped as usual, which seems to 
us to explain the puzzle. There is a Wellsford in Langford 
Budville, which is the personal name Wealh. The modern 
personal name Wells is very likely indeed from this root 
with the added sibilant. 

Vallis is a monkish name. Between Roadwater and Wash- 
ford a valley opens out into bright green meadows inter- 
sprinkled with ancient orchards. In monkish records this 
is Vallis Florida, in the midst of which are the crumbling 
remains of the ancient abbey of Cleeve, founded nearly a 
millenium ago by William de Romara, Earl of Lincoln. 
Vallis, near Frome, has possibly the same meaning. The 
explanation from La Valaize, a bank, appears needless. 
In the Montacute Chartularyi there occurs the name Sir 
Nicholas de Valers, which appears to be the same as the 
name Vilers^ and Viliers. There is a possibility that this 



'S.R.S., vol. viii., p. 141. ''Eyton's Domesday Studies. 

W 



338 

name Valers has been corrupted to Vallis. We have not 
discovered any connection of this name with the locality. 

Failand, in Wraxall, is a district name. We are not helped 
by any very early spellings. In 133^ it is Foyland, and later 
Feiland, Phayland, and Fayland. Filand is in the eastern 
counties a name for unenclosed arable land, that is, land 
which, before enclosure acts were passed, was tilled in 
common co-partnership. This appears to be a shortening of 
feld or veldt lands. In Somerset this would emerge as " veal- 
land." A piece of arable glebe is called, in the parish of 
Stowey, Law veal (Low-field). The softer form Fay is not 
thus accounted for. Then, again, faw, fow, vow is from 
British fiau, the den of a wild beast. This requires a stretch 
of imagination. Feoh is the same as fee, a lordship or pay- 
ment, a fee or fief. Feoh is A.S. for cattle, in which payments 
in kind were made. There is a legal phrase " in fee 
simple." What peculiarity of tenure of Failand would give 
colour to this explanation we do not know. Faer is a sheep, 
as in Faroer, the Faroe Islands, and in west Switzerland 
this becomes fea, and there is the place-name Faye. This 
is practically the same as feoh in meaning. In Somerset we 
do not trill our " r's." This is probably the explanation. 
If we could find any early spelling to bear out this we should 
say that, as there are four places Fy-field traceable to an 
owner's name, Fyva (and Fivehead in Somerset and Fife- 
head in Dorset may be so derived) that Failand is from a 
personal name also. It is anyhow probable that Failand is 
an abbreviated name. The personal name Freeland is a 
corrupt form of a compound Saxon name, Fridulind, and 
there would be nothing wonderful if we found a name Filu- 
lind. Lind means gentle. 

Dompoll is near Ilminster. It is said to be Dune-pwil, 
that is, Dunna's pool. Domp is the name of a farm near 
Ilminster. In a charter connected with the name of king 
Ina there is the curious name king Domp. Now Domp was 
king of Devon. This place-name and the farm-name may 
be reminiscences. It is usually said to be a form of Dunepol, 
either the down-pool or the pool of Dunna. There are the 
names Donyat, Dunna's gate or way; Dungraf, Dunna's 



339 

holding. Dunere or Doniford, also spelt Donever, in St. 
Decumans is derived by Gerard^ from the passage of St. 
Donatus or Donett over to Wales. This is the origin of the 
name of St. Donetts, on the Welsh coast nearly opposite. St. 
Donat was an 8th century bishop. 

Bleadon, on the river Axe, has been taken to mean the 
bleat, that is, bleak-down, or from bleo, blow, the windy 
down, and, as blew also means purple, the purple down. 
The heather on the hills is purple. Bleo means blow in the 
sense of smelting of ore in former iron or metal furnaces. 
In a charter of 973, purporting to be a grant of property 
to Winchester, the name is mentioned, and in a charter of 
Glastonbury abbey the name Bledan-hit, or Bleadanhead, 
occurs. This suggests to us the true explanation from the 
name Bledda, with which Chester Blade may be compared.^ 

Edington and Edingworth might at first blush be thought 
to be allied names, and derived from the same names. They 
are not. The former of these names lands us in the midst 
of a notable controversy. Where was Ethandune, where 
the decisive contest was fought out to decide the supremacy 
of Mercia or Wessex? Hun, the Ealderman, was the leader, 
and the same name is found at Hun's pool {Huntspill, near 
Burnham, on the Brue. A writer in Blackwood's for 1911, 
for the purposes of his argument, to favour the claim of 
Somerset over Wiltshire (Ethandune, now Wilton), sets 
aside the Domesday spelling of Edington, where it is found 
spelt as Edwine-ton. He calls this a Domesday solecism. 
Now Edwine-ton would assume the form of Edington as 
Kentwine-ton may give rise to Canning-ton. These 
patronymic forms are often delusive, as we have seen in 
many instances. They are mere assimilations. The Anglo- 
Saxon chronicler gives the site of the battle as Ethandune 
or Edandune. Edan is a name which occurs in William of 
Malmesbury's chronicle as Rex Scotorum. But what is 
Edan but a shortening of the better-known form of Eadwin 
or Edwin? In early Glastonbury documents the spelling is 
said to be Edindon. Henry of Huntingdon gives Edenes- 



^Particular Description of County of Somerset, p. 29, S.R.S., vol. xv. ^See Index. 



340 

done. There is therefore no ground for special pleading 
as to the form of the place-name. It is clearly Edwin-ton. 
This writer's identification of Cynwit with Combwich, where 
the great skirmish took place, is another matter. If the 
" t " is a confusion for " c " once more, then Cynwic may 
be the same as Combwich. But this name receives separate 
notice. Edingworth is the name of a hamlet a few miles 
from Axbridge, in the parish of East Brent. The Domesday 
spelling is remarkable enough. It is Jodena Wirda. The 
final vowel of Jodena is merely euphonic, and the " j " is 
the half-vowel " g," and so the form to be dealt with is 
Goden. Wirda may be for worth, i.e., Godworth, but more 
probably we have here the extant landowner's name of 
Godenweard, also spelt Godeuert. In the time of Edward 
III. (illustrative of the half-vowel sound), in the court rolls 
it is Yadensworth. In the Domesday we get the apparently 
irreconciliable form of Lodena. Now this is an instance of 
which we ought to recite several, where the prefix " La," 
the article, has coalesced and become Lodena for La 
Godena, since the " g " is a half-vowel. Other examples in 
Somerset are Liiminster for La Minster, Lopen for La Pen, 
and Elborough, spelt Illebergia, becomes Liberia, and grows 
unrecognisable. There are other noteworthy instances. 

Two names, Egford, in Whatley (D.B., Hecfordintona), 
and Edgecott, in Seavington St. Mary, are respectively the 
personal names Echfrid or Hechfrid, a shortened form of the 
name Aegelfrid, and spelt Heggeford in a charter. Edgecott 
is not the cot on the ridge or edge or corner (eck, a cor- 
ner), but a disguised form of Hechgod, or Hechagoz, as Hur- 
cot is from Heregod. La Folde, in Drayton, is shortened 
from La Filogaud. The name Filogaud becomes Fillgate in 
current speech. It is the "Filo" in Filolind, alluded to above 
as a possible derivation of the mysterious " Fayland." 



341 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 

Silver Street. 

We have purposely left the consideration of a name that 
is of more than county interest. Silver as part of a place- 
name is one of those words on which the speculation has 
been almost endless. To appreciate the curiosity of the 
name we cannot do better than give some of these specimens. 

In the first place we must note how widely-dispread the 
name is, and so wide as to suggest that at least some of these 
names are mere fancy names, and not of really ancient 
origin; and that others are assimilations from various words 
whose meanings have been forgotten, and not therefore all 
from one word; and that even the genuine name. Silver, 
may be from several sources ; from, for instance, such a Scan- 
dinavian name as Solvar, a Viking name as cited by 
authorities, or the personal name Selua (Selva), also given 
as such in lists. At least, in one instance Silver's-ton is ex- 
plained as a mere shortening and popular corruption of St. 
Silvanus. It is in Northamptonshire. Consequently, only 
the history so far as ascertainable can help in the solution 
in each individual case. 

How widely spread the name is is well known to all who 
have given any attention to place-names. Silver Street is a 
name found in many places in the county of Somerset. And 
beside this there is the form Monksilver, doubly interesting 
in its simple state as Domesday Selura or Selvra, that is, 
Selvr, and Selva, and the addition Monk is, of course, in its 
monastic connection, of later origin. The explanation of this 
prefix-name Monk, or Munksylver, and Munkeselver, as it 
is spelt in the 16th century and earlier, is found in the fact 
that as early as 1248 it was connected with Goldclive 
Priory. We read of an action between Thomas, the parson 
of the church of Stokegumer, querent, and Henry, the prior 
of Goldclive, deforciant, about oats due to Thomas. It might 
be thought odd that in the Engadin and in Switzerland there 



342 

is a place-name spelt exactly the same, Selt^a and Selvaggia, 
which a continental student of these names explains as con- 
nected with Silver — with whatever origin — as many do in 
England. 1 So there is Selvretta, which is actually a treeless 
Alpine heath, and the Silbern Alps, originally Silbrin and 
Silbrinon. As mere isolated (and not providing an exhaustive 
list) instances we find Silver-dale in Lancashire, Silver Stone 
or Silverston (just mentioned) in Northamptonshire, Silverton 
in Devon, Selvington in Salop (compare Selvinch in Somer- 
set), and many more. Silverton in Devon is explained after 
the method that used to be deemed quite satisfactory, such 
explanations too easily serving to slake an innocent curiosity. 
This Silverton in Devon is in D.B. Sulfreton, and is by Pol- 
whele resolved into three components, Sel-fare-ton, " the 
great wood town." Sel is taken to mean a wood, and fare is 
vaur, signifying great in many Welsh place-names. But 
clearly, whatever the underlying meaning, Sulfre is one word. 
An alternative explanation is afforded by this author. Silver- 
ton means very simply the " rich town." This is comforting 
in the mere reflection. This is of a piece with his explanation 
of Kilmingon as Kil-maen-ton, " the town of the stony- 
bridge place," where surely it is the personal name Ceol- 
mund; as Galmington is Galmund-ton and Bondington is 
Bondan-ton (the name Bonda). A local name in the county 
is Selvinch, also spelt Silving and Sylvinch and Silvayne.^ 
Gerard places Silvayne or Silveyne in the parish of White- 
lackington, which gave its name to the family so called. Sil- 
vinch is thus a corrupt form. Silvayne finds its explanation in 
the name Selewan, the name of a bondsman or slave in the 
Bruton Chartulary, and the name Selewine, Sela, is an extant 
name, and as a root word of " sallow " perhaps means swarthy 
or dark. But Selvington above points to a personal name. 
Clearly there is the name Selva involved. And this, indeed, 
looks like a corruption of Selwick (as Selwig). The old name 
Selewine still survives as Selwyn, with the same original 
syllable sel. 



'Tauber : Swiss Place-names. ^Gerard : Particular Delineation of Somerset, 
pp. 135, 140, S.R.S., vol. XV. 



343 

This name Silver bireet occurs everywhere. In the parish 
of Westbury there are two,i in Littledean, the next parish, 
another; in the next to that (Michaei-dean), another; in the 
parish on the opposite side of the river (Arlingham), another. 
Other places in Gloucestershire with Silver Streets are Ciren- 
cester, Coaley, Dursley, Stroud, Tetbury, and Thornbury, 
and there is a Silver Hill in Bromsberrow. Farther afield 
there is a Silver Street in Bruges, in Belgium ; and we should 
not be surprised if there was one in the Somerset Brugia, now 
known as Bridgwater. There is another, Silverstone Farm, in 
Micheldean. This, Mr. Wilkinson most ingeniously explains, 
from local circumstances, as doubtless is appropriate in some 
cases. There was an old stone which served as a boundary 
mark for the Forest of Dean which is mentioned in a forestal 
perambulation in 1281-2 as Album lapidem. This reminds us 
of the White stone of Somerset place-names, similarly derived 
from an existent monolith. Hard by this is a cutting 
in the rock. The exposed rock has a curious shining 
white glint, due to the presence of mica, or some- 
thing of this nature. This may account for Silver-stone, 
which is not then Silver's-ton or Silva-ton, the wood town, 
or the above-mentioned personal name Selva, the modern 
names being Self, Selway, Selvey, Salway, Sale. Silver's-ton 
might, however, easily be Selva's-ton, from the ancient Saxon 
name. Of the Somerset " Silvers " we do not suppose that 
we have a complete list, but it would be extremely interesting 
to achieve one, and examine them and compare. There are, 
however, Silver Streets in Chew Magna with a brook and a 
bridge; in Barton St. Davids, near to an old Roman road, 
adjoining which ancient road it is said these Silver Streets are 
usually found ; and one in Midsomer Norton and one in Hol- 
combe. We know there is one in Bristol. With regard to 
the one in Holcombe, we observe that the Rev. J. D. C. 
Wickham, in his recently published interesting book. 
Records by Spade and Terrier, affords the most obviously 
simple interpretation, which is indeed that usually given of 
Monksilver. He is satisfied with the explanation that Silver 



'Rev. Leonard Wilkinson, of Westbury-on-Severn. 



344 

is the Saxon corruption of the Latin Silva, a wood, and Silver 
Street should be Silva Strata, or the " road to the wood," 
and in Selwood Forest the word sel is for him an abbrevia- 
tion of Selva. These roads, he says, led to some sacred grove. 
We might suggest that the Suleviae were the pet goddesses of 
the Roman soldiers and the natural protectors of peasants. 
In the West the legionary soldiers were much attached to the 
Matres or Suleviae. Hence he might say the " Suleviae 
Strata." He quotes the late Mr. Ellworthy, who explains 
Little Silver in Wellington as ad silvam, and " one of the 
ancient roads of our town leads to Silver Street and to St. 
Philip's Well." And both in Taunton and Wellington, Silver 
Street lead south, where there was most woodland. 

The method of argument is thus applied by Mr. Llewellyn, 
of Sandford Vicarage, Devon, leading to a quite different 
and apparently equally valid conclusion. Sometimes the 
evidently substantive Silver is a hamlet, at others it is a farm 
or a cottage, or two cottages, but always a dwelling. In the 
parish of Northam (Devon) stands a farm-house called Sil- 
jord. It stands close by a ford or a place where a road passes 
through a stream. All the Silvers, or Sulvers, he knows 
are close by ancient fording-places, or on the road to them. 
Perhaps a nameless modern bridge has eradicated the 
memory of the ford, except Silverbridge, near Yealampton 
(where the ford has given the name to the bridge). Mr. 
Llewellyn believes that the original form of the word is 
Sulhford, a place-name which occurs six or eight times in 
the boundaries of ancient charters in Kemble's Codex Diplo- 
maticus. It also occurs in a copy of a Crediton grant of 
land (739). The name is non-existent now. But in 
either direction there occurs a group of Silvers : Little Silver, 
Silver Street, and Silverton. This spot is a land of Silvers, 
" all on or near or leading to brooks and fords." We note 
that, in Chew Magna, Silver Street passes over the River 
Chew, where there is now a bridge, and the same thing is 
true of other Silver Streets in Somerset, as well (of yore, 
we are told) of the Silver Street in Bristol.^ It seems a safe 



'Note also under the name Twerton (in Devon) the menton of " Little Silver 
Bridge." If "Silver" is Suhl-ford, the addition of "bridge" is a 
natural addition when the origin of the name has been forgotten. 



345 

conclusion that the word is connected with a ford. This 
ingenious gentleman accordingly derives Silver from sulh, 
meaning a plough. Zulow is a Danish word meaning a 
plough, and twenty years ago, it is interesting to note, at 
Long Ashton, zulow was a word used for a plough. " It is 
a plough, and nothing else," he confidently says; and so 
Sulhford, alias Silford, corrupted to Silver and Silvur, is a 
plough-ford; or, as he interprets, in a way not satisfying, 
" a narrow ford." We suggest that sulh in this case is more 
likely connected with sulh, dirty puddle, wallow slough, and 
the Saxon sul, meaning mud, and thus the ancient Saxon name 
would be descriptive of a shallow ford. Sul and swale mean 
fit-places, watery ground. Suls is a brook in a Swiss place- 
name. 

If these Silvers were invariably connected with fords, this 
inductive reasoning would be conclusive and unimpeachable. 
But this does not appear to be so. Of the two Westbury 
Silver Streets, one leads to a look-out or elevated spot, and 
so the name may be Celtic syllu, to gaze; sylu, a sight. It 
appears, however, that Celtic scholars will not allow that 
" man," meaning a place, may be commuted into vau or 
fau or fa, and thus provide us with the form syllfa, a look- 
out place, an espying or watching place. One Silver Street 
in Westbury leads directly to a high cliff overhanging the 
river (and not a ford) called Garden Cliff, where watch and 
ward may have been kept. From this point there is a very 
extensive view on all sides, at which the ancient watchmen 
of Westbury, mentioned in 1653, may have kept their 
watch. The other Silver Street debouches on a wide open 
prospect. Silverstone Farm, above mentioned, is near the 
edge of a sharp declivity, from which there is a notable 
view for a long way of a wooded valley. In Morgan's book 
on Welsh Place-names, Llanfihangel Diu Sylwy (Anglesea) 
is derived from diu, hill; syllu, to gaze. Aisyllfa is Welsh 
for an observatory. Other place-names with this element 
thus interpreted and answering the description are Diusol 
(St. Michael's Mount), Solihull (Warwickshire), Selsdon 
(Surrey), 550 feet high at the cross-roads. Solva in Pem- 
brokeshire is a lofty spot overlooking a creek seawards. 



346 

Going further afield and on to the continent we find that in 
Tyrolese place-names quoted by Tauber as connected with 
Silver in a specialised sense are Salfeur, Salfhof, Selfenhof. 
Selfen is very much like the Domesday spelling of Silver in 
Muneksilver, as above given. Very much resembling this 
there is a charter connected with Woodspring Priory : 
" Maud Ofire's daughter Alice and Robert de Ofire gave 
to the Priory four acres in Sulesworth, and one acre in Sulf- 
broadacre, three acres in La Heye and half an acre in Estre- 
dolmore, and half an acre in Westredolomore." The Sil- 
bretta Alps, near Klosten, the Silbren Alps in Klovtar, Silber- 
tal (or valley), near Arlberg, Silberhast and Silberstock in 
Switzerland, are none of them suggestive of woods or fords. 
There are numerous names in Sul parallel to those quoted 
for our own land. Sulzgraben, Sulzfluh, and the like, are 
frequent. 

There is a Silverley in Cambridgeshire, and that in Domes- 
day Book is spelt Severlai.'- Skeat is content with deriving 
this from the Anglo-Saxon seolfor, meaning silver, as the 
later spellings suggest that Severlai is the usual Norman 
softening of the word seolfre. He says " the epithet is a 
strange one," but not infrequent. He suggests no explana- 
tion. Tauber does. Silver (silber in German) is in old high 
German, silabar; Gothic, silubi. The meaning is bright, 
clear, and the root of all the words quoted, sul and sal in 
various names above given is that of " meadow land." It 
is the brightness of the meadow land, the Alps, or the stone 
that has fixed these epithets. Silva itself is a word that does 
not, according to this authority, mean wood, but originally 
meadow. One thing seems clear, and that is this explanation 
appears to suit all the cases, both where there is a ford and 
where the name is affixed to a treeless heath or to meadow 
land on snow-clapt mountains. It must not be forgotten 
that in each separate case investigation is needed into original 
spellings where accessible. We are Indebted to Mr. Wil- 
kinson for the following most interesting and instructive in- 
stance. Silverdale near Carnforth (Lancashire) was Siues- 



'Skeat : Camhridge Antiquarian Society, No. xxxiv. 



347 

deleye (the vowel "u" pronounced as "v") in 1241. 
Now, this is obviously the personal name Siward, which is 
in full Sigward. This name, we have seen, occurs in Comp- 
ton Dando. Sigweard was the name of an Earl of North- 
umberland as Sivar. Sigweard becomes Siward. The Nor- 
mans dropped the " d " after certain consonants, " 1 " and 
"d," and you get Siwar. This is supposed to represent 
Silver. It must mean something, of course, and what does 
Siwar mean? This appears to explain the curious name 
Zeveres formerly found in Compton Dando. And, no 
doubt, personal names like Solvar, Selve, have also given 
rise to assimilations. 

With such a multiplicity of details, and with so many 
sources of information to explore, the author can scarcely 
suppose that he has avoided errors, slips, mistakes, nor does 
he suppose that the final word has been said. With the 
utmost care he recognises that he has missed out some points 
unwittingly, of which he could give instances. Many books 
contain mere wild guesses, especially the guide books and 
county histories of the 18th century. The popular explana- 
tions are often amusing. "Why is this called Silver-dale?" 
and the answer is, " Once upon a time they made a new road 
here, and it cost a pot of money." In South Petherton the 
explanation of the name Silver Lane is that silver hidden 
during the Commonwealth was discovered here. And so — 
perhaps it was. Now, we do at least look somewhat to the 
history, to the spellings, and not only so, we try to follow 
etymological laws, and to remember that it is not simply 
the spelling but the pronunciation that matters. 



348 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 
Miscellaneous Names. 

As there may still be local names which are reminiscent of 
obsolete manorial names, and are doubtless difficult and 
puzzling, it may be worth while to notice some of these as 
found in the Domesday lists. There is an obsolete manorial 
name Aili, in time of Richard II., also written Ailgi, showing 
conclusively that we are here dealing with an abbreviated 
name. In the time of Richard II. it is Aylly in the hundred 
of Carhampton, and in that of Cante-tone (Cannington) as 
Aley in Over Stowey, with still a third in Stogumber. It 
is a modified form of Ealdgyth, the Saxon personal lady's 
name. This is shortened to Aldgid, then Ailgi and Aylly. 
This was the name of one of the virgins to whom Aldhelm 
dedicated his treatise de Virginibus. It appears to have 
Danish connections mostly, and was formed by a Norman 
dropping of all the hard double consonants. 

Another curious name already mentioned is that of Avill, 
in Dunster. " The Avill flowing down the valley of the same 
name." We note that the spelling of the manorial name is 
Avena, Avene, and William de Avene occurs in 1332.^ 
In the Bath Charter, as part of the possessions, it is Avell- 
hamme. Avene is a spelling of the river Afon in documents, 
and ill is possibly Isle or He, the river name. Avill is thus 
shortened from Afon He, " the river Isle," and Avellhamme 
of the Bath Charter, the low-lying meadow land near the 
river. The D.B. spelling was Avena. Avill is the name of 
a stream called the Laun at Dunster. This is noteworthy. 
The personal female name as a district name, and giving its 
name to the stream perhaps, which combines all these 
elements, is that of Avelina, i.e., Evelyn. The name Aveling 
is extant according to Forstenmann. Avo is an ancestor 
obviously connected with Avus. Avelina may be shortened 



^Lincoln's Inn Chartulary of Bath Priory, S.R.S., vol. xii., p. 103. 



349 

to Avena or Avill, and the end is the Laun. Anyhow, this 
is a plausible explanation of Avill and Avena as names of the 
same spot. 

Evestia belonged to St. Peter's of Bath Abbey. Is there 
any local name resembling it? It is found in the Bath Char- 
tulary spelt Evesty and Evescia.^ but also illuminatively as 
Geofanstiga. In Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus, Evestia and 
Ascewic (Aescwig), Ashwick, are joined in a charter pro- 
nounced spurious. It is an obsolete name of an estate, which 
in 1086 belonged to the Abbot of Bath, and is noted in the sur- 
vey, between Corston and Ashwick. The Bath Priory charter 
seems to place this spot on the river, near Camelar-ton, that is, 
Camerton. Geofanstiga becomes Evestia by the " g " being 
a half-vowel sound both at the beginning and end of a word. 
Geofan is clearly the form of the modern personal name 
Jevons. Stiga seems to mean a steep footpath. Geofan, 
however, is evidently Gebwine and Gefwine. This shows 
at least how old some names are in the county, for Gebwine 
is the well-known name Gibbons, and Gibbons and Jevons 
have developed out of the same Saxon name, Geb, Gif, 
give. But who would immediately recognise Evestia as 
Gibbons? Until we find the key and trace the steps it seems 
incredible. 

Another name, Gibb or Gibbs, with the inevitable mean- 
less plural form, is Chibbet, which is possibly in Exford. This 
is from the Domesday name Cibeweard, also Gibheard, 
which is the modern name Gibberd. 

Eppsa is perhaps Episbury in Wick St. Lawrence, and it 
is the personal name Eps. Ebbs Hill is a local name, A.S., 
Ebba, as also in Ebden, and Eppsa; and Darshill, a hamlet 
in Shepton Mallet, is Deorweald become Deoral, and accret- 
ing the sibilant as a possessive form, Deorsal, and then 
becomes Darsell. Maneurda, an obsolete name in Milverton, 
is Manweard, with the two elements man for magen, 
strength, and weard. Imela in St. Decumans looks mysterious 
enough, but it is a softened and abbreviated form of Imhild. 

Lanshore, in West Quantoxhead, and Lancherley are both 



^Bath Chartulary, S.R.S., vol. vii. 



35C 

interesting local names, recalling the time when the greatest 
part of the cultivation of the land was by common fields. 
Landshore in Devon is the headland of a field. It is Laen- 
scire-lia or landshores, meaning separations. The Laen 
means the part let out for tillage. Another reminiscence 
is to be found in the place-names more than once 
noted ending in linch. The following is the explanation 
of the linches given in Seebohm's Village Community. 
Under the ancient open system of agriculture, when the 
common field lay on the hillside, it was usual to divide it 
into strips, rarely up and down the slope. Each strip was 
separated from its neighbour by the usual balk of agricul- 
ture land. The observant eye in the country may see relics 
even now of this system. Every tenant ploughed his strip 
so as to throw the sod down hill, the plough returning one 
way idle. If the whole had been ploughed as one field the 
soil would gradually have travelled from the top to the 
bottom, but as every tenant was stopped at the balk or land- 
shore, it followed that in course of time the field became 
divided into a series of terraces rising one above another. 
These terraces are the lynches or linches found in the place- 
names as e.g., Sticklinch, in West Pennard, and Linch, in 
Selworthy. Stick is probably as stiga in Geofanstiga, steep. 
Freshford, near Frome, is a doubtful name to which a 
clue is afforded by the spelling found in Kirby's Quest of 
Furs-ford. It is the personal name, in that case, of Fursa, 
found in Fursman, a curious name extant in Bristol. There 
are two manors, Firford and Fescheford, in D.B., as given 
by Eyton. But this latter is identified by Mr. Whale with 
Vexford, in Stogumber, and the additional manor Firford as 
the Freshford near Bath. This seems easy enough, but the 
later spelling gives a clearer explanation. Furs-ford, or the 
Fersford of Kirby's Quest,^ or Furs-fird has become Fres-ford. 
and then, of course, this can only (it is supposed) be Fresh- 
ford, as an intelligible name. The 16th century spelling 
Frecke-ford is curious. Frecke is an Anglo-Saxon personal 
name, as in Frecken-ham, in Suffolk, but here it is a corn- 



's. R.S., vol. iii. 



351 

plete departure from the aboriginal spellings, and seems 
either to be a mistake or there is some confusion. 

Berkeley, near Frome, is D.B. Berchelei, which is the 
Domesday name of the estate. The owner of Tadwick in 
Swainswick was Radulf or Ralph, brother of Roger de Ber- 
cleia, Francus Tegnus as he is called. But the name Berkeley 
is clearly Saxon, the A.S. Berce, a birch, and so meaning 
the berch-lea or meadow. 

Hucking Acre is an odd name in Butleigh of more than 
local interest inasmuch as Leo in Anglo-Saxon Names of 
Places does not derive from Hacke, a hill or hoch-shaped 
piece of land, but from Hoc or Hocca, proper names of 
men. Kemble, too, states that such names are derived from 
Hnaef, the Hocking. 

Chesterblade is a hamlet two and a half miles from Ever- 
creech. In the Lay Subsidies of Edward L, 1272, it 
is Chester Blade. This may be a form of Chestrebald. Bald, 
Beald, is an extant personal name, the camp of Beald, by 
an interchange of consonants. There is also Chesterlake in 
the Register of the Abbey of Athelney, " Asklake to the old 
lake, to Chester Lake, to Gorlake." There is a Chaster- 
mead in Soc Denis, that is, the Castra, or camp mead. 
Chester is " generally formed with a Celtic prefix," and, of 
course, is indicative of a Roman colony. But here we have 
an afl5x. If there are no pretensions to camps in each case, 
Castra, then Chester, is an assimilation perhaps from Ches- 
ward, that is Chad's dwr, or water. Blade might be Bled or 
Blaed, a personal name. It is compounded in Blaed-beorht, 
Blaedhild, and the like. Blaedanhlew is the original spelling of 
Bledlow. But Chesterlake is said to owe the first component 
to its proximity to the camp on Small Down. There is a 
camp defended on the east side by two ditches. The remains 
of implements and pottery found are preserved in the Taun- 
ton Museum. Bled-low, as a local name, points to the owner- 
ship name, as in Blead-don and other names. 

Prankets, in Old Cleeve, alias Prankerd.— This name is 
said to be a curious corruption of Pancras, the saint of that 
name, and so another instance of interchange of consonants. 
In Devon there is a Pancrasweek, that is, St. Pancras wick or 



352 

village. The name Pixton, in Dulverton, is like some other 
metamorphoses, a curiosity of change. The Domesday 
spelling is Potesdona. The explanation seems to be that 
this originates in the personal name Peoht, also pronounced 
Peoct. Pixton as a 15th century survival of this pronun- 
ciation is decidedly worthy of note. This certainly explains 
how Potesdun could possibly be called Pix-ton from Peocts- 
dun. Potts is found in Potsgrave, Pothington, and the like 
place-names. There is a Putsham in the parish of Kilve, 
said to be a Celtic camp. 

Dolting and Dulcote. — Dolting in D.B. is Doltin. The 
place is ancient and interesting on account of its connection 
with St. Aldhelm, to whom the church is dedicated. Doltin 
is in form very closely allied to other ancient names as an 
Alpine slope called Dolden, and the name in Dolden-horn. 
Now, these are derived from an old high German form, 
Doldo, meaning a dome, dul, or dhel, and descriptive of 
configuration, and to this Dulcote Hill corresponds. Ton 
is not ting, a council, but din, or den, as Dolden. This, 
too, explains Dultingcote, which is earlier spelt Doulte-cot, 
that is, Doulden-cote. Tarnock, a tything near Kingsway in 
Badgeworth, is another instance of a name with a primitive 
root at its base. The Dpmesday spelling is Ternoc, later 
Tornok, Tournock, Tornok, Turnok. The form Tarren 
Gower occurs in Pembrokeshire in which, in Welsh, Tarren 
means a tump or batch. But this is only another instance of 
names such as Tornova, in Bohemia, Turnan, in Austria, 
Terne, in Italy, all traceable to a primitive root, tar and 
tarn, meaning wood. The ock is possibly og, " full of " 
or woody. We have met with the personal name Turnock, 
but its derivation, unless from a place, we do not know. 
Tolland could be most easily grasped as meaning the " land 
subject to toll," but it is Talam in D.B., and in the Exeter 
D.B. Talanda and Talam. In 1263 and 1300 the name 
appears as Thela, Tela, and Tyla, as a form of a personal 
name. It is, we think, the name Towle shortened from 
Touhild, already mentioned, that is, Towle-land or Towle- 
ham. 

"Where does this road lead to?" said the motorist to 



353 

the stooping labourer, and got the startling reply : " That's 
the way to 'ell, sir." So it was— to Healh. " Have you seen 
my descent into hell?" said the artist. "No, but I should 
like to." This you may do in several places, as at Helford, 
which was once a shallow estuary from Eyl or Heyl with 
this meaning. Some of these " hells " are from the personal 
name El, Ayl, Hel, or Ella. Heli or halan means salt. Or 
it is a hull or hollow. Healh is a frequent name of lands, 
and is usually the personal name Ealh and Healh, as in South 
Petherton and Curry Rivell, and Hele, in White Stanton. 

In these days of strikes a paterfamilias would like to go 
where coal is cheap. He had better visit Colejree land, in 
Kingston Seymour. This, like Coleford, in Stogumber, is, 
however, only Ceolfrith or Ceolfrid, a whilom possessor, as 
Coley, near Litton, is Ceola. Cold Harbours are everywhere. 
The name is like Silver Street, a never-ending subject of 
speculation. Our numerous Cold Harbours are mostly in 
sheltered situations, and so Leo thinks the name was given 
ironically. The Latin derivations, Collis arbour and the like, 
are simply stupid. There is a Cold Harbour in Somerset 
on the road to Thorncombe. A Saddle Street joins the 
fosseway at St. Reigne's Hill. Harbour is undoubtedly from 
Herberge, a shelter, and the epithet is probably just what 
it says. There are Kalte-Herbergs in Germany. 

The meaning of the termination "hanger" as a hanging word 
is well known. One of the best-known place-names which 
contain the word is Binegar. Its original spelling as Beanan- 
hanger is formed, as already noted, of the personal name 
Benna, others also are found so compounded. In the charter 
of Barlynch Priory are Swyn-hangre, that is, Swegen's or 
Sweyen's hanger, Fuges-hangre, Rades-hangre, Chobes-hanger. 
Rades-hangre is probably Hrod's hanger. Fug is a name in 
the eighth century. There are others too numerous to 
enumerate and some so local as to escape attention. Chobs- 
hanger is the name Coppa or Cop. Clay-hanger or Cley- 
hanger (1232) is probably descriptive of the sloping clay. 
Wyche-hanger is the personal name Wich, Wiching. 



354 

Much also might be written of great interest on the ancient 
roads and ways, the streets and weias and geats, as, for in- 
stance, the very ancient name of Lufelsgeat, which opens 
up the history of the name Lovell, as our observation has 
inclined us to think, and shows that the story of its being 
derived from Lupelius, on account of the savage temper of the 
dog and wolflike lord of Castle Gary, is doubtful. Lupus and 
Lupelius were doubtless nicknames latinised from their like- 
ness to the good old Saxon name Leofel. Leof means Sir, 
and Leofel, Liufel, are abbreviations of Leofhild. This name 
is in French Luval, with the same origin. So much for the 
story repeated with pious persistency. The Lord of Castle 
Gary, the baron of 1138, was Ralph Lovel, and the 
father of this Ralph has his name spelt Luval. The ancient 
forms are preserved in a charter of Glastonbury Abbey, 
where we meet with Lovelegeth, that is, Lovelgeat, in which 
geat is a form of gaud or gath, or, maybe, geat, a roadway, 
which is the more probable. If we meet with a local name, 
as we do, Lovehill, and seek an amatory explanation, it is, 
we fear, only this personal name. In the Pedes Finium is 
Lovelles-stoc-land.^ 

The names of roads, ways and byeways scattered through 
charters, and used as boundary marks, are very numerous. It 
is impossible to examine a complete list of them in a chapter. 
Some of the principal names have been noted. The "streets " 
were rightly taken to mean the ancient Roman roads. There 
is Street near Merriott, Stony Stretton in Evercreech, Stratton 
on the Fosse (Stratton St. Vigor in 1308),^ Street in Winsham, 
spelt Estrat or Strete, and then Estrat. The initial phonetic 
vowel has induced the spelling East-Street. Over Stratton 
(D.B. Stratona) in South Petherton, called Stratton Minorem 
in 1315, Street (stret, strete) by Glastonbury. Street was in 680 
called Lantlocal. There are Broadways equally indicative of 
highways, Broadway on the Foss, Brodeway with Apse, 
curiously called Les Apses, and then emerging as Rapps. At 
Merriott a part of the road leading to Lopen and South 
Petherton is called the Broadway. Westowe in Lydeard St. 



^Somerset Fines, S.R.S., vol. xx. ^Somerset Fines, S.R.S., vol. viii. 



355 

Lawrence is, according to Mr. Whale, Wei or Way-stowe, the 
Stowe on the way. Ringoldt's Weia is mentioned in Domes- 
day as the name of a hundred. Ringholdt is, probably, Hring- 
wald as a personal name. It is modern name Reynolds, with 
the " s " superadded. It is, in feet, from the possible light 
thrown upon better known names, that these multitudin- 
ous local names in charters may be worth collecting and 
examining. The name Lancher-weye occurs near Muchel- 
ney, that is the land-scir way, or landshire way, with the 
usual meaning of scir as separation. The following " dies," 
dikes or raised ways, occur in Somerset among many others — 
Beorhtulfes-gemaere die, Plegidic,^ near Locking (or Locan- 
ton) and the Avon river, Seora dyke, near Pitminster, Weala- 
can dyke, near Taunton, by Ofla's dyke or the old dyke. 
Beohrtwulf is a man's name. Plegidic is the name Plegwine. 
Scorra occurs in Scorranstan, and this is a man's name with 
its modern representative, Scurrah. A table of the Anglo- 
Saxon roads and dykes would give many other interesting 
personal and local names. Near Plegidic is Baelles Meg. Bra- 
danweg, Deopanweg, Dicweg, Stanweg, Hreo-dic (or rough 
dike) occur in a Bath charter with many others to which 
personal names are prefixed. 

Stert means a tail, steort, and is found as the name of a 
promontory, and occurs as the commencement or end of a 
road. Stert was a free-manor in Babcary curiously spelt 
" Starle," probably by a copyist's error. Stert Point is a 
promontory not far from boatstall Point.^ Gelade means a 
way or road, hence in 1296 we find La Lode and juxta Mertok. 
It is La Lode in 1233, and is variously spelt Lede and Lodey- 
nche in 16th century. This is now called Long Load. The 
names " Long " Load and North Lode are found in the days 
of Elizabeth. Lode is a shortening of the personal name 
Lodar, Loder, Lodere, Lodhere, or the name Leod, 
Luid, Lode and Lyde simply, or as Lodeynche perhaps indi- 
cates Leodine as shortened from Leodwine. In Witham 
Priory boundaries " Frogmere to Clude-weye " (Henry 



'Birch's Cartularium Saxonicum, ii., No. 814. 'Gerard : Particular Descrip- 
tien of Somerset, p. 36. 



356 

1st) the name Clude throws light on Clude-ton or Glutton and 
Temple Cloud. 

Of places with the commencing word " Up," Updown in 
Midsomer Norton seems contradictory. Upcot in Ninehead, 
and perhaps Uphill, spelt Uphull, Uphulle, Opopulle, Upton, 
explain themselves. Upmudford, " which name it very well 
Brookes, being exceedingly dirty and miry.''^ In the time of 
Richard I. or Henry II. " Mudford had but one lord; shortly 
after it acknowledged three, which accordingly were known 
by ye names of Mudford Terry (A.D. 1316), Westmudford, 
and Up-Mudford."2 Uppington is in Withypool, and Up- 
weare in Weare. 

Ditton Street, between Ilminster and West Dawlish, is Dike- 
ton Street, meaning the street by the dike, or raised way. 
The Roman road from Glastonbury to West Pennard passes 
between two hamlets. East Street and Woodland street. On 
the Glastonbury side of these hamlets there is a raised way 
called Pouter's Ball, which latter word is thought to be a cor- 
ruption of Vallum. Plaice Street runs towards North Camp, 
near Taunton. Perhaps this is connected with the name 
" Plecy," as in Newton Plecy. Broom-street is near Culbone, 
spelt Brum-stert. This is Brun street or steort. 

Slow occurs very frequently as a local name. John Atte 
Slew, of Slow Comb, in West Cammell — and the name Slo- 
worth occurs here — and la Slo, Sloo, SIou and Slow Comb in 
North Curry. There is a " slough farm " in Bishop Sutton, 
and a Slowly in Luxborough. Leo^ derives Slastede from 
the sloe, the fruit of the black-thorn. It may, however, be 
slough, a muddy pool or mire ; as the mid-English of 
this is " slough " ; and of the form " slo," this is the more 
likely derivation. Slowe, near Stoke St. Gregory, is surely 
Slawe. 

Newton Plecy was a manor in North Petherton, and took 
its additional name from Hugh de Placetis, time of Henry 
III. The spellings in the 13th century.^ Richard de Placetis 
or Plecy died in 1292. Previously to this it bore the 



'Gerard : Particular Description of Somerset, pp. 178 and 179. ^Ihid. 'See 
Anglo-Saxon Names of Places, p. 19 (note). ''Calendar of Manuscripts of 
the Dean and Chapter of Wells. 



357 

name Newton "Forrester." Richard I. made William de 
Wrotham forester of Exmoor, and also gave him the 
Barony of Ambreville.^ in the hundred of North Petherton. 
This name is the same as Aubervile and Adburvile. At the 
time of Domesday Robert de Aubervile held a small estate at 
Wearne, on the north of Langport. But according to Eyton, 
D'Auberville was a man of many small estates, somewhat un- 
settled, as in Langjord Budville. Aubervile is near Caen. 

The place-names Yard, in West Hatch, and near Combe 
Florey, in Taunton; Yard-ley in Wookey, and Yard-wall in 
Mark, are probably all derived from the name of a man 
" Geard." There are four Yardleys. The name is spelt Yerd 
and Yurd. It is, of course, quite as likely that the derivation 
is from "geard," an enclosure or court, or even a fold. 
Yardley would then be the same as Orchard Leigh in meaning. 
A name In Charleton called Bugges-ache (A.D. 1232), " two 
virgates and a half," is explained by the name of an Abbess 
Buggu, mentioned by Dugdale. This Abbess Bugu or Bucga 
gave four hides at Ore to Glastonbury. Stibbear is a local 
name right on the boundary of the parish of Ilminster. In 
a Saxon charter it is Stibbe, and as there is a local name 
Stybbansnaed, i.e., that is, Stibba's allotment or apportion- 
ment, this is a Saxon personal name become Stibbear. A 
curious local name is Stickleball Hill. This is a threefold 
agglomeration : Stickle means steep, ball means a knoll or 
top, and then hill is added; and there is a Stikelpath-mere. 
But all the hill-names require a separate examination, and 
to obtain a list is not easy. In Winsford field names are 
Great Broomball and N. and S. Horseball.^ 

The names La Seo and Jordan occur in Ilminster. Seo is 
also spelt Sea, and Jordan, Jurdan. La Seo is merely a 
dilapidated farm near Dimpole on the south side of Ilminster. 
Sea and See and Sae are likely forms of Sige. Seaborough 
is the name Seabar, for Seabiorn or Sigbiorn, rather than 
sea, a lake; and Jordan is the same as the French Jourdain 
and probably originally a name of religious character. At 
least this is the only origin given, but it may be a disguise. 



'Gerard : ibid., p. 133. ^Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries, vol. ii. 



358 

though not very likely. Smynge is in Milverton, and Smin- 
hay is a local name, both indicative of a name Smeyn. Near 
Frome is a hill called Mortuary Hill. This has been sup- 
posed to be a mortuary, that is a burial place. Impossible if 
the name is ancient. Like Murder Combe in Whatley, it re- 
presents the very old name Muatheri, the origin of the per- 
sonal names Modar, Mutrie, and Murtrie. 

Rapps, a hamlet between Ilton and Broadway, is remark- 
able. It is written La Apse and Les Apses in the reign of 
Edward I. The owner was Ralph, and these three words, 
Ralph La Apse, appear to have coalesced into one word. The 
name Rapps is extant, apparently originating in the place- 
name. Whether Apses is not itself a corruption of Earps 
is a question. In Winsford field-names is Long and Little 
Rap. A rap of ground is a Somerset expression, and hrep 
is a measurement, hrep or rope. Sussex is the only county 
divided into " rapes." Districts of Iceland are called hreppar. 
The name Rapp or Rapps may thus be a Scandinavian re- 
miniscence, whether it is Ralphs (Rapps) or from the measure. 

La Folde is usually explained as meaning a deer enclosure, 
but perhaps it is shortened from the name Filogud. 

Pennard (East and West) was called Pengeard Minister, 
or was so frequently written according to Collinson, and 
also Pennar. " The Church itself holds Pennar Minster." 
This is the name Penheard, Penhearding, or Penearding 
of the 10th century and earlier, as "Six manentes or home- 
steads " were given at Pennard Minster to abbot Hemgisel 
of Glastonbury (681). 

Atherstone in the parish of White Lackington is Addres- 
ton, Alardstone (1225), Athalardstone (26 Henry III.), 
and Atherestone (47 Henry III.). This is the name Ethel- 
weard, a 10th century name. 

Wike Perham, now Wick, in the parish of Curry Rivel. 
The Perham family were owners of Wyke in 1234. At Wyke, 
John held four carucates of land. A " Bull " for the foundation 
of a Chapel was granted in 1254 in the pontificate of Alexander 
IV. on the plea of bad roads.^ Perham is conjecturally and 



'Bishop Salopia's Register. 



359 

with some probability thought to be an abbreviation of the 
place-name Pedredeham, also Petherham, like Petherton. 

Toomer, an ancient manor in the parish of Henstridge, 
was held by Nicholas de Dummere, who, in the time of 
Edward III., gave lands in Saltmere to the Abbot of 
Athelney. To him succeeded John de Dommer Lord of 
Chilthorne Domer, who was living 20 Edward I. Toomer 
is Domhere, a personal name. 



360 



ADDENDA. 



(Accidentally omitted from the text.) 

Trent is a river name. Bosworth, in his Anglo-Saxon 
Dictionary, says the river-name Drouent is from the 
winding course of the stream. More likely is the deri- 
vation from y dwer went as a Celtic origin. In Derbyshire 
is the Derwent. In Kent the name Dartford, the ford of the 
Dwr-gwent or Darent. There is also a Derwent in York- 
shire. Trent is an abbreviation of this longer word. 
Gwent means a fair and open region. There is the name 
Trient in S. Tyrol, supposed to be abbreviated from the 
Latin Tridentum, and Taranto (Tarentum) in Lower Italy. 
Trient is connected by Isaac Taylor with the Cymric tre, a 
village. There is an Alpine village name Torrent, near 
Lenk, the " forest-stream." The river origin is the most 
likely. 

Vohster is a hamlet of Mells. In the Somerset Fines, 1233, 
we read of " the water of Melnecumbe above " Fobbestor," 
and the " enclosure which Ralph Fobbestor formerly held." 
Vobster is thus a form of Fobbe's-Tor, and Fobbe is the 
name Fobba. This can scarcely be a form of Forrester, as 
stated. Fob is an old low German word, meaning a 
pocket, whatever may be the significance of the personal 
name Fobb. Tor is the hill. Fobban-Wyl is a local name. 

Wraxall is spelt in Domesday Book, Werocasala. This is 
a Norman spelling with the helping vowels inserted, and 
the form to be dealt with is Wrocs-al. Wero-cas-al has 
been interpreted, as Celtic, to mean "the hall of bitter 
strife." Examination of persistent spellings clears this 
doubt, and we see that it is Wroc's hall or hill, in which 



361 

Wrac is a personal name. The name occurs elsewhere in 
the form of Wroc. There is Wroxhall in the parish of 
Marston Montague in Bedfordshire. 

Misterton is spelt Minster-ton, and doubtless this is the 
true spelling. This is in the reign of Edward I. There 
is a Misterton in Nottinghamshire, which Edmunds explains 
as from maeste, mast, that is the " swine-feeding town." 
It may have been the residence of a minister-thegn. 



ERRATA. 



Page 81, line 3 from bottom, for " Estarerewicca " read " Estalrwick.' 

Page 85, line 4 from bottom, for "bolt" read "holt." 

Page 96, line 14 from bottom, for "Pafuhild" read "Pfanhild." 



362 



INDEX OF PLACE-NAMES. 



Abbas Combe. 47, 186, 187 
Abbot's Buckland, 21, 188 
Abbotabury, 21 
Abbot'Bi Oamel, 188 
Abbot's Leigh. El. 73, 188 
Abbot's Sutton, 21 
Abdick, 22 
Ache,, 93 
Ao (root), 94 
Aohelal, 94, 332 
Aclo 94 
Adber, 84, 235 
AjdTington, 121 
Ads-oombe. 47 
Adsboroufb, 233 
Agwes Wells, 17 
Ali-la-Chap«Ue, 8, 12 
Alibum Konajsterium, 30 
Aloombe, 60 
Aldwiick, 50, 83 
Aley, 348 
Alfoiton. 179 
Alhom, 105 
Alhampt/oni, U. 105 
Aller, 42, 64, 160 

Butler, 160 

Alterford. 160 

Allermoor. 64, 160 

Aaierton, 106, 1*0 

Ailmewortihj^, 288 

Alston Marie, 295 

Altcar, 107 

Altham, 107 

Alum, lit 106 

Amerdown, 26 

AndeTB&eld. 93 

Angersleigh, 73, 76 

AnafOTcd, 11 

Ar (root), 315 

Ardland, 28 

Aeh, 1*0 

Ashbrittle, 1188, 189 

Aahbullen, 248 

Ashoott, 42, 110. 160, 183, 188 

Ashoombo, 42. 161, 188, 190 

Ashington, 110, tS9 

Ashherbert, 189 

Aehill, 91, 159 

Asholt. 49, 180 

A&hmiayTiie. 190 

Ashlake, 61 

Ash Priore, 21 

Asihton Alexander, 190 

Dando, 190, 218 

Philips. 191 

Ash-wiay, 190 
Atheiney, 13, 293, 307 
Ath6T!rt.on, 368 
Avill. 3M 
Avena,, 346 
A-ron, 2, 7 
Aibodee, 8 
Axe, i2 
Axzninster, 8 



Babbinfftoe, 110 
Bahbingiey, IM 
Baboary, 110 
Baibenheim, 111 
Balbiew. 178 
Baokwell, 227, 290 
Badidiley, 167 

Badgewoirth, 6'3, 142, 241. 296 
Bflig'boiroug'h. 19, 147, 242 
Baigihayy«s, 24l 
Baginigham, 241 
Baltonsborouglh, 140 
Bagley, 241 
BaOll. 319 

BamiibcHrougih, IdiO 
BamiweOa. 52, 78, 289 
Bair (noot), 17 
Bapeiegis, 76 
BarJinch, 71 
Barle (riTer). 12 
BanringliOn, 112, 166 
Bamrom G'UXiieiy. 195 

• Minichiii, 193 

N. and S., 193 

Bartlemooir, 66 
Batooimibe, 58, 72. 88, 161 
BattlebOTOUgih, 158 
Bath. 16 

Batihaimipton, 105 
Batheaston, 305 
Bathland, 78 
Bathiwiok, 80 
Battle aoire, 173, 317 
Bafyford, 70, 71 
Baw-djrip 503 
Beaoh, 42 

BeaiminstHT, 148, 269 
Beannianciodnb, 52 
Beauchamp Stoke, 2S5 
Beokington, 78. 80, 116 
Beckeiry Island, 292 
Bedbopoiugh, 55 
Bedfioird, 65 
Bediminster, 21 
Beer, 112 

Beggiair Quarm, 310, 312 
Besearn Huialh, 247 
Belleriioa, 158 
BeUiutom, 319 
BBllyswiok, 97 
"BemBtone, 179, 268 
Berkeley, 65, 97, 551 
Berrow, 80 
Bemwiok, 71, 84 
BioMey, 42 
Biokenlhi?!!, 42, 73 
Bididisiham, 55. 57 
Biitfidenhiaim, 55 
Bidjda&oote, 55 
Bidstone, 157 
BiilbiPOO, 158 
Billesiwick 
BinegaiT, 31. 52, 353 
BinEley, 264 



Binsham, 264 
Biniewestoini, 264 
Binham, 78 
Binmairsh, 48 
Bird«omibe, 48 
Bishop's Axbridg«, 1S4 

Hull, 194, 195 

Lydeard, 22, 194 

eutton, 5, 194, 256 

Bishopsworth, 196 
Bi6hoi>»wood, 194 
Bitwynehoirde, 62, 336 
Blaokdown, 33, 64, 166. 16J 
Blackford, 166 
Blackmore, 166 
BlakesaU, 166 
Blagdon, 118, 166 
Blea/dou, 339 
Bkuicmiinister, 3( 
Blue Bowl, 319 
BlTimdwell, 17 
BonhiU, 78 
Bondlttgton, 127 
Bonnyledeh, 78 
Bossington., 115, 221 
Bosham, 115 
Boston, 115 

BOSTTOTth, 115 

Bower Ashbon, 195, 228 

East, 1195, 228 

West, 195, 228 

— ronton, 31, 32, 136, 228 
BJeaton 

— Mead, 195, 228 
Bourton, 195 
Bowerwaie. 195, 228 
Bradou <Joviz, 284 

North, 284 

Bradfleld, 234 
Bradenaot, 284 
Bratton S'eymifvur, 197 

Lyndes, 198 

Breach Hill, 146. 147 
Breuit Marsh, 64 
Brew (river), 5 
Brewham, N. and S.. Il09 
Bridgwater, 12, 17, 74. 171. 315 
Bridgehampton, 315 
Brighton,, 114 

Brinsea. 75 

Brislirngton, 31. 65, 112 
Bristol, 114, lis 
Briae Norton, 114 
BriwiBtou., N. aiai S., 5 
Broadway, 284. 354 
Broc (root), 40 
Brockley Ctombe. 39, 40 
Brortiemeston, 245 
Broford. 70 
Bromfleld, 167, 194 
Bromley. 198 
Bpompitan. Balpta, 199 

BegiB. 60. 198. 199 

Broomba,!!, Gretbt, 351 



Brown. 138 
Brusia, 31S 
Brushford, 316 
Br/tooua, 5 
BuokXamd Din^ham, 22 

Minchin, iU, W5, 200 

St. Mary, 22, 201 

Prioris, 201 

Buggee Ache, i57 
Butleigh Wootiott, 201 
Buistoiie, 22, 179. 266 
Burg (root), 85 
Bum (Bourn), 12 
Buimham, 12 

BuTrington, 10, 25, 31, HI, lil2 
Burtle, 65 
Batoombe, 53 

Oad (root), 36 
Oadser (root), 36 
Oadbury, 36, 37 
Oeren-oeastor, JOB 
0am (root), 3, 4, 23 
Camalar, 4 
Camel, 4 

Abbot's, 64, Zn, 204 

Queen. 64, 203, 204 

Eumara, 64. 203, 204 

Gamely, 203 
Canjnangton. 116 
Cannstadt, 116 
(Jantoo, 100. 101 
Oarbampton, 37, 76, 106 
Carleon. 16, 19 
Oary, 13 

Fitpaine, 316 

Caetl* Gary. 36, £06 

iNeroohe, 15J 

Uatash, 38 
Cathliregion, 36 
Catoot, 38 
ObafToombe, 157 
Obelka, 191 
Chantry, 22 
Ohapel Lsieb, 76 

AMertonp, 204 

Cteove, 205 

Oambwioh, 205 

Hiayea, 205 

Ohard. 51. 63, 73. 80, 144 
Chiardleigh Qreca, 73 
Ohiarlcombe, 157. 156 
Cbarterhoase Hinton. 21 
— - Hydon, 188 
Ghairlton, 207 

Adiam, 207, 208 

Makrall, 207, 208 

— MusgraT-e, 209 

Borethome. Mfl. 210 

Oha-roombo, 60 
Obedeaford, 71, 221. 315 
Obeddon I^tzpayne. 206 
Cbedzoy. 207 
Chelstoioe, 294 
Chelvey, 295 
Obelwood. 172 
Oherlton KanvU. 211 
Chester Lake, 64, 351 

Blade, 351 

Cbi&w (river) 4 
Ohew Magna, 4. 5, 23. 24, 78 
Chew Stoke. 4, 6. 23, 275 
Ohewton Glen. 4 
Chewton iDendip. 4, 244 
(Jhibbet, 349 
(3hiloonipton, 212 
Cmilton, 212, 213 

Oantelo, eii 

Trepit, 214 

Trinity, 211 



363 

Childhey, 213, 214 
Childerley. 213 
Chilford, 213 
Chilthorne Domer, 211 

Vag*, ail, 213 

OhillinEton, 116 
Chilworth, 41 
Ohlpperley, 78 
Ohipley. 78 
Chipetaple, 40 
GhiseJboroTiffh, 294 
ChiBfwiok, 294 
Ohobbea Baugenr, 353 
Oholwell, 171 
Churcbeye Stathe. 283 
Churchill, 143 
Cibewurda, 334 
Oindoo Monaohomm, 283 
Cinderford, 28 
Cinmael (root) 4 
Clapton. 64. 176 
Clapham, 176 
Clatworthy. 48 
Clayhangeir. 353 
Claverton. 42 
Clav.elshay. 264 
Claverley. 43 
Clayford. 43 
Cleyedon, 247 
Clewer. 296 
Clifton. 247 
Cloford. 296 
Cl'OSwoTth, 41, 295 
Clofutaheim, 18 
Cludwoie, 355 
Glutton, li, 171 
Cod«oombe, 171, 298 
Ooffinawell, 277 
Cokeo-, 161 

Oold Hairijour, 20, 353 
Ooleifkxnd, 558 
CoLfres Ijand, 353 
CoUina Haiys, 242 
Oombewich. 78. 319 
Com.be Allain. 222 

Pl-jrey, 214 

Tjadie3, 17 

Sydienham. 222 

St. Niobolas. 

Oomjpton Bisboip, 194 

Bando, 172, 217 

DurTillo, 219 

• Dandiom, -217 

Miurtin, 65, 219 

Magna,, 221 

Monceauz, 311 

Pauncefoot, 226 

ViTonia, 219 

Oondorer, 87 
Oonpresbnry. 19, 20, 320 
Coniull. 20 
Gorton Denham, 34 
Oorlac, 61 
Cossington, 117 
Cothelstone, 17 
Cranmoor. 11, 121 
Crandon, 302 
Creech S. Michael, 218. 

222 
Grewkeme, 53. 223 
Ori'cket MaMiorhi"- 73Z 

St Tbomjas. 222 

Criokham. 108 
Crookorcombe, 30. 63 
Grooombe, 53. 84. 112 
Orookern Pill. 53 
Orook amid Pill, 53 
Onookhoime, 53 
Croaoombe. 56 
CruB (Ouca) 38. 39. 53 



Cuokfleld. U7 
Cucklington. 117, 176 
Cuokney, 117 
Ouckworth. 282 
Cumokbally, 319 
Ooimok Deoani, 319 
Oushuish. 242 
Ourland, 56 
Gurry Mallett, 56, 223 

Moor, 64 

Pool, 66 

RiTal. 25. 56, 56, 156 

223. 237 

North, 25 

Cuaop. 23 
Custoke, 23 
Cutcombe Mohnn. 298 

Daddio«e. 326 
Dandiris. 330 
Banesbury, 312 
Bamube, 7 

Beoumans 3., 15S, 183 
Bee, 11 
Ben dene, 73 
Beopanweg, 355 
Berbam, 46 
Bi-cweg. 3S5 
BilUngton, 118 
Biletone. llJ 
Bilworth. 118 
Binder. 329, 330 
BingiastOTt'. 332 
Binghunet. 332 
IMnnington. 116 
Bie-oova. 178 
Bitton St., 356 
Bitobeat. 74. 106 
Bolbury. 334 
Bolemooins, 334 
Bolting 13. 208. 352 
BompoU, 333 
Bonyatt, 72, 218 
Bonniford. 70 
Bovorooiart. 19 
BoTBrhay, 18, 87 
Bowlish Wiake, 278 
Bruoombo, 67 
Bulcote, 362 
Bulverton, 334 
Bun, 6, 109 
Bundry, 5, 266 
Bunkerton, 328 
Bunkerry Beacon, 329 
Bunnimgham, 108 
Bunwera, 174, 274 
Burhill (Berlie), 231 
BuTkdirh. 231 

Ea (iroot), 8. 12 

Earn (river). 310 

Earuaill, 309 

Eaton, 10 

Ealh (Healh), 50, 86 

Elan (iroot), 9, 10, 23 

Eaat Lay. 88 

Baaton-in-G'Ordano. 265 

East Luoaam.be, 192 

Eaat Ludfoird. 240 

Eaetrip, 303 

Eaatwwk, 82 

EderaJse. 75 

Edgibonoueb, 294 

Bdeeoott, 340 

Edington, 75, 78. 101, 339, 340 

Edvin BaJiplh, 65 

Bfard, 171 

Egford, 340 

EgePlay, '/a 

Ek«iwick, 82 

Elbarouieh, 293 



364 



EOilmick, SO, 83 
Elm, 265, 292 
Elwarth, 58, 183 
Elmwortihy, 292 
Biniboroiugih» 43, 62, 179 
Empioete, 305 
Enidestcme, 313 
Eraglieh Coimibe, 46 

Batch, 46 

Eppea, 349 
Eflk <Ux, etc.), 21, 71 
Esiwick. 79, 82 
EdkdaJie, 64 
Estimdon. 32 
EveiTcirieecli, 38 
Evertonn 38 
Eivestia, 349 
ExnucKxr, 64, 111, 112 

FaJXanid, 338 

Farliedgli Himeerfcird. 227 

Montfoaxl, 228 

FajmubOTOugh, 228 
Parrington Bliuet, 230 

Guirney, 193, 229 

reJton Ocmunon, 29, 127 
Jjfraw <riTer), 41 
Fidwiok, 119 
Fil (Ml), root, 29 
Edltan, 28, 29, 31 
FiJlwood, 28, 29 
Fiv«liead, 89 
Fittington, 119 
Fivaah, 26 
PleuTy, 2L5 
Foddineton, 114, 120 
Foacote, 184 

Freeihfoird, 72, 80, 184, 350 
Flax Borairtoii, 196, 228 
Fleotley, 28, 196 
Fleckii«y, 196 
Froginiieiriek 365 
Prome, 10, 41 

Gaer, 76 
Giaieimill, 63 
Gainsborotigh, 25 
Galmiineton, 107 
Gialby, 107 
GaAocanbe, 39, 58 
GelU, 107 
Gemiajer (root), 66 
GSlletone, 183 
Glaed (plat, clat), 43 
Glastonbrary, IM, 15, 115 
Cioa.tliiU, 39, 168 
Goathurat, 39, 63, 161, 168, 

169 
Goblin Oombe, 40 
Qodimlnster, 164, 168, 169 
Godney, 65, 168. 170 
Godiwln>68 Bower, 170 
Goceslode, 61 
GoIdenBeott, 168 
Giooeefoird, 192 
Goosemoor, 66, 192 
Gordano, 173 
Gore, 61, 175 
Goiaf, 317 

Great Elm (see Elm') 
Greylake, 61 
Giimeditcli, 27 
Grobbeewyk, 84 
Gpobeecombe, 84 
Gximney Stree*, 193 

Slade, 193. 230 

Gwyjad yr ei, 2 
Gnami (Toot), 100 



Hiaea (root), 85 
Hadspeii. 164 
BiaJliaitn>w. 306 
Ham, 85, 105, 216 
Hambridge, 108, 276 
Baimitiglx)'!!, 120 
Hampton, 106 
Hanger, 76, 353 
Hardene, 297 
Bartcliffe, 297 
Hardington, 230. 231 
Hardingham. 123 
Hlardenbiiiisih, 121 
Harpford, 279 
Harpitree, 39, 97, 286, 287 
Harmsnuigg, 309 
Haselbury Pluoknett, 233 
Haselby. 234 
Htajseliing, 234 
Haegland«>n>, 234 
HIaich Beauchamp, 235 

Menoatoriim, 236 

Hath-way, 217 

Havreni, 2 

Hawkfield. 256 

HJawkwedl. 256 

Hawthorme. 89 

Hay, 19 

Hlaynje, 86, 88 

Hajnstreet. 87 

Healh. 50, 353 

H«athfi©ld DupboroTigh, 231 

IJalbot, 231 

Heathmoonr. 65 
Heigroye, 88 
Heiligenstadt, 41 
Heimingeby. 121 
Kemmington Hill. 237 
Hemmem (root), 85 
Hemminebury. 121 
Hemmingford. 121 
Henford, 71 

Matrayers, 257. SB 

Hengbridge. 123 

Heirdy Moot, 64 

Hertham. 63 

Herleia (or Worleigh), 122 

Hessile, 234 

Hester's Oomer, 57 

Hetbooimbe, 57 

High Littleton. 306 

Hilborooigh, 237 

Hilcombe. 251 

Hill Farranoe. 161, 230, 236 

Hiltom, 293 

Hinton, 31, 38 

Blewdtt, 257. 238 

S. George, 237 

Hoggeshole, 93 
Holoombe, 49. 50 
HoMord. 49 

Tirebbles. 238 

Glen. 295 

Holt. 85 
Holton, 49. 50 
HoneychuTob, 150 
Honeyoote. 149 
Honeywyk, 84 
Honeyreecre Frome, 160 
Honibeire. 148 
Horbtey. 325 
Horethoime. 183 
HoTnblotton,, 323 
Horringlord. 122 
Hoirtringer. 122 
Horndion, 122 
Homeir. 307 
Bopring. 122 
Horsey. 125 
Pignes. 123. 257 



Horeeai. 123 
Horsingto-n. 123 
HorsBford. 123 
Homseleaae. 125 
Horsham, 123 
Honstone, 123 
Hoirwood, 309 
HoundBborooDgh. 150 
Houndsmoor, 64 
Hoiumdstreet. 150 
Hrefn (root), 66 
Huokingaore, 351 
Hiuish Ohamipflower, 240 

Episoopi, 239 

HimlavingVwi, 150 
HTinspiiUe. 65. W8. 149 
Bunstilla, 148, 150 
Huntley Moor, 65, 66 
Hmroott, 74. 297 
HuirBt, 97, 150 
Button. 278 
Hiixham. 108 
Hwaet (Iroot), 3B 
HwittuoB M;ead, 33 
Hwpp (root). 25 
Hydom Grange, 186 

IdBtock Invemie, 93, 287 
Iglfio, 75 
Ilrohesteir, 8 
Ilminster, 8, 10 
II© Breiwers. 8, 250 

Wych, 58 

Inglefield. eto.. 47 
Irnsill, S09 

Isar Isle, etc., 7, 8, 12 
Isohalis, 8 
Isenthal, 8 
Isleoombe (Hilloombe), 

58. 251 
lT«l. 9 
Iwood, 318 

Keinton Mandeville, 231 
Kelston, £.95 
Keyfordi 67 
Kenn, 146 
Kewstotke. 33 
Keynsham. 24. 112 
Kilmlington, 124, 324 
Kllmersdoitt, 125, 29J 
Kllton, 295 
Kilne, 295 
King's Ourry, 225 
Kingston iSeyimour, 197 
Knapp Hill, 147 
Kno-wT«, 27a, 285, 308 
KnoUiewOirtto Steregham, 285 
Kyrewood. S23 

Lad (lode), 61 
Lake, 60 
Lanionerley. 349 
Lancherweye, 365 
Langford, 11!1 

Budvllle, 279 

Langport. 13 
Lansnore, 349 
Laverton. 108 
Llanibadarn. 17 
Llandilo, 18 
Llan-dlngiat. 333 
Llanfihaneel, 345 
LIan{g«fnny, 314 
Lansdown, 42 
Lea (root), 73 
Leodhmioor, 62 
Leigh. 73 
Lexworthy, 106 
Lie (root), 62 



365 



Licihiiaket 62 
Lidmeirsli, 66 
IiiLburne, 52 
LUstook, 51, '126 
Lilli's HaU. 52 
liiminea (riT«r), 
Limply Stoke, 



10 



lane (LeJie), IS, 76, 200 
Idttileney, i08 
Uttleton, 306 
Litton, 51, 62 
Loohsbrook, 1126 
Locking, 106, 355 
Loh (root) 85 
Lone Aahton, 188 

Load, 355 

Loliston, 52 
Lottiaham, 106 
LoTington, 111, 124 
Loxbere, 125 
Loxton, 125 
Loxley, 89, 126 
Luccombe, 18 
Luckinston, 1125 
Lude Miu«hgTos' 
Lud Huiah, 240 
LuUworth, 62, 127 
Lullineton, 126, 127 
Luiagate, 29, 52, 127 
Luxboroagli, 126 
Luzton, 96 
Lyde, 194 
Lydbrook, 158 
Lydeard S. Lawrence, 22 

Episoopi, 194 

Lydford, 247 
Lympsfleld, 109 
Lynspsaham, 109 
Lynoocmb, 198 
Lyons Ashton, 191 
Lytea Cary, 205 

Miaegan (moot), 93 
Maergeat, 59 
Maesbury, 324 
Ma«a Knoll, 257, 322 
Malmesmiead, 315 
Jlaimsbury, 3115 
Uanoombe, 53 
Manea, 97 
Manewid«i„ 349 
Mamnhead, 97 
Mans el, 512 
Mainiworthy, 97 
Mark, 80 
MarkmooT, 181 
Markabnry, 324 
Manah MiijB, 255 
Miarstom Magna, 59, 243 

Bigot, 243 

Martock, 42, 248, 324, 325 
Mawan (root), 74 
Mead, 74 
Mea-re, 91, 325 
llJeloombe Paulet, 255 
M«lbonime. 210, 252 

Port. 26. 251 

Mena, 97 
Mendip, 97. 98 
Merland, 325 
Merridg*. 325, 326 
Merriott, 325 
Middeltoc, 4. 8, 247, 253 
Midid/leoot, 253 
MidgehiM. 77, 269 
Midsomer Norton, 176, 243, 

244 246 
Mislestokc, 269 
Milverton. 64, 253 
MinehesMl, 98, 99 



Milton, 246, 247, 248 

OlevedOTi, 247 

Fanconbridge, 248 

Skilgate, 248 

Minster, 21 
Mieterton, 361 
MJoiel (root). 95 
Monkton Combe, 253 

West, 253 

Weald, 171 

Monks Ham, 253 
MonksilTer, 221, 341 
Montacute, 261 
Moariinioh, 38, 3^ 
Moi>eton, 220 
Mortuary Hill, 358 
Mountaey, 312 
Muohelney, 13, 164. 210 
Mudford, 32, 70, 268, 356 

Soc, 262 

Mudgeley, 76 

J^taalsoei, 51 
Nailsaa. 13. 17, 51 

Mocxr, 64 

Naileoombe, 51 
NailswortJi, 51 
Nempnett Tlirubwell, 304, 

305, 306 
Neroohe, 129. 153 
Nether Stiowey,, 90 
Nettileoombe, M5, 281, 282 
Nettleham, 232 
Nettleton, 5i82 
Nettlieatead, 282 
New Hitcbings, 285 
Newton Pllecy, 356 

Somerville, 250 

3. Loe, 249 

Nine £lms, 26 
Nightoott, 185 
Nonington, 299 
Nartbovier, 74 
Noirth Penrott, 165 
Norton Hawkiield, 255 
— — Fitzwarren, 171 

Malrewiard, 255 

Norton-sub-HJamdon, 264 
Niuiniey, 297, 298 
Nynehead, 22, 215 

Oak, 93 

Oafchill. 94 

Oakey Hole (vide Wookey) 

Oaktrow, 91. 92 

Oakley, 93, 94 

Oa.Te, 514, 315 

Oath. 333 

Odoombe, 58 

Ohxdntt, 303 

Old OleeTe, 74, 76, 78, 317, 351 

Odd Knoll, 308 

Oigos Oroot). 92 

Orchard Portman, 254 

Leigh, 254, 357 

Wyndhiam, 254 

Ottery, 140 
Otterford, 140 
Otterhampton, 80. 265 
Ottersay, 140 
Ottershaw, 274 
Over (root) 74 
Over Leaze, 74 

Stowey, ir, 47, 154. 348 

■ Stratton, 91, 554 

Paddock's Mead, 74 
Padenberia, 17 
Panborough, 17. 164 
Panfleld. 17 



Fantesheiad, 220. 290 
Panteshay, 220 
Ba.rdle (Bardie), 17 
Parleston Lane, 17 

Common, 17 

Parrett, 78, 95, 299, 300, 301 
Panilet Glaiunta, 97 
Paulton. 96 
Pawlett, 96, 162, 197 
Peasedown, 66 
Beasemarsia, 161 
Peasemore, 66 
Peasenhall, 66 
Peakirk, 66 
Bedwell, 90, 163 
Pennard, 268, 280 
Fendomer, 280 
Penryn. 66 
Pemiselwood. 280 
Pensford, 220, 290 
Periton, 273 
Perlesbon, 154 
Perridge, 302 

Pierrott, N. and S.. 299. 501 
Perry Fitohett, 275, 502 

Funneaux, 273 

Mill, 302 

Peter's Well, 17 
Petooe, 246 
Petton, 246 
Pettaugh, 246 
Petworth. 164, 246 
Petherham, 299 
Ptetherton, 299 
Pibked Ham, 108 
Pighaynes, 185 
Pightley. 128 
Pippledeu Down, 165 
Pllton. 29 
PinJabe. 61 
Pitcombe, 163 
Pitcot, 165 
Pitmiuster, 21. 162 
Pitney, 163, 164 

Lortie, 245, 246 

Pitt, 163 (note) 
Pixtom, 352 
Pixies Pool, 66 
Flanesiiield, 154 
Plegidic, 355 
Podymore Milton, 243 
Pointington, 127 
Poke-landi, 128 
Polden, 15, 96, 162 
PoleshiU, 97 
Poppleton, 177 
Poppleford, 177 
Portbtiry. 57, 118 
Porlock. 16, 18. 87 
Portland, 115 
Portishead, 115 
Prankets, 351 
Preebridge, 254, 255 
Prestley, 254 
Prestmoor. 234 
Preston. 253. 254. 254 

Bermondsey, 234 

Bower, 234 

Pliuoknett. 234 

TorrellB. 234 

Monaohorum. 235 

Prlddy, 97, 326, 327 
Pri«ton, 255 
Publow, 51, 165, 177 
Puckington, 128 
Pucklechniroh, 129 
Puddecombe, 247 
Puj-iton, 502 
Piirv Fumeaux, 302 
Puxton, 129 



Fykes Aeh, 128 
Pyukeney, 18 
Pwll (root). 95,149 

Qua« (cae) root, 23 
Quantocls, 99 

Farm, 17 

Head, 99 

Ouapurmbogg, 310 
Quarum, 310 

Kitnor, 310 

Honoeaux, 310 

Quaver Lake. 5 
Queen Oamel, 4 
- — Charlton, 31 

Eaddington, 129 
Badesham, 129 
Eadlow, 130 
Badway, 130 
Badstook, 129, 130 
Bameoombd, 48 
EamBrey, 48 
Bawm«ra, 66 
Bedolyffe, 129 
Beding, 129 
Bedla^e, 61 
Eedlinoh, 129 
Beghill, 83. 129. 152, 153 
Beeilbury, 152 
Beiworthy, 153 
Ehine (rhin), 7, 66, 131 
Eiio (Toot), 71 
Eloford, VI 
Biential, 33D 

Eimpton, 132 
Eingoldetwe-la, 74, 91, 355 

Binwell, 133 

BiBOtnne. 60 

Bead, 130, 272 

Eodd«n, 130, 317 

Bodsrrave, 317 

Eodhuish. 131, 317 

Bodmead, 66 

Bodmey Stoke. 68, 270 

Bodwater, 317 

Bodway Fitzpaine, 317 

Honoombe, 131 

Bowbarton, 193 

Bowberrow, 193 

Eowdon, 317 

Bownham. 105, 131 

Budlake, 131 

Buishtoai, 60 

Bunnlngton, 131 

Eus-pidse (HOte), 28 

Bye, Boa, Bay. etc., 11 

Siaddle St., J53 
Ssihada (root), 41 
Salford, 64, 259 
Saltmere. 63 
Sampford Arundel, 269 

Brett, 260 

Oroae. 259, 261 

Sanle (Seille) 41 
ficearp (root), 63 
Soearphorde. 62 
Scobiriabra, 161 
Soroedhay. 88 
Seayington. 26, 106 

Denis, 263 

Sedgemoor, 59 
Salsdon. 345 
BaligenBtadt 41 
Selvretta, 342 
Selylnfftoo, 342 
Selworthy, 41 
Selwd'Od. 41 
Frome, 41, 64 



366 

Seo, 357 
Seven Oak», 26 

Sieteps, 26 

WeUa, 26 

Sbapwiok, 83 

Plene, 83 

Sharpliam, 63 
Sharpehaw, 63 
Sheerstone, loS 
Sheppey (river), 10 
Sheepham, 262 
Sbepton Beauchamp, 83, 235, 
261, 262 

Buokland, 262 

Mallet, 29, 41, 261 

Montagnie, 261 

Sbipham, 40 
Shockerwick, 83 
Shoaoombe, 50 
Shrowle, 155 
Shurston, 50 
Sidenham, 182 
Kittisford, 183 

Sidoot, 182 

Sige, V5 

Silbeirn Alps, 342 

Silverdale, etc., 342 
Silver St., 20, 173. 175. 341, 347 

SilvertoD, 342 
Silvierley, 347 

Simona Barrow, 283 

Skarabore, 88 

Slaed (slatt), 43 

Slow, 356 

Snowdon (root). 161 

^elJle&'Ooim'b&, 53 

Soobum, 262 

Boo BenniB, 83. 262 

Malerbie, 262 

Soii-hiU'll, 346 

Solsbury, 26 

Somerset, 2 

Somierlida, 2 

SoiUitharp, 303 

Sparkford, 88, 161, 162 

Sparkshays, 87. 162 

Spraooombe. 88 

Somerton. 2, 205, 245 

Sparerove, 161 

Spaxton. 80 

Standerwick, 82 

Stanmoor, 64 

Stanton Brew, 57, 80, 257, 
264, 267 

Prior, 21, 264 

Wick, 79 

Stantoneswick, 267 

Staple (root), 40 

S&apIiBton, 207 

Staple (5Tove, 207 

Stavordale, 91. 327 

Stawell, 89, 265 

Stibbear, 357 

Stert, 355 

Stewley, 89, 90 

Stlddeball OECIU, 357 

Rtoo. 85 

Stockland Gaunts, 271 

Stooklinch Ottersay, 274 

Magdalem, 274 

Stocliand Gaunte. 97 
Stoford, 71 
Stogumber, 270 , 
StogurBey, 245. 270, 271 
Stone, 268 
Stoke, 5, 23, 269 

Abbots, 273 

Bychen, 275 

Giffard, 68. 291 

Trister, 2M 



Stoke UaJeiTbie, UK) 

Militis, 275 

Pero, 273 

Eodney, 271 

S. Gregory, 22, 264, 269 

-Bub-Hambdon, 276 

8. Mary. 251 

Stone Easton. 86 
Stoniland, 269 
Stoney Littleton, 269 

Stratton, 269 

Stoke, 269 

Stour (river), 6 

Stowe Farm, 89 _ __ _, __ 

Stowey, 3, 7, 17. 40. 89, 90, 91 

Bottom, 44 

Over, 17 

Stratton, 91. 244 
Stretohholt, 331, 332 
Street, 74. 91, 354 
Stringston, 84, 332 
Suokley, 262 
Sulesworth, 346 
Sunder (Synder) root, 48 
Sundeirland, 48 
Sunderedge, 48 
Swan's Mead, 43 
Sweyniswiok, 8, 80 
Sweynhianger, 353 
Syndercombe, 48 

Tad (root). 80 
TadhiU, 80 
Tadley, 80 
Tadlow, 80 
Tat, 7 

Tam (Tamer), 7 
Tamook, 362 
Tatworth, GO 
Tatwiok, 80 
Taninton, 7, 21 
Taw (Tavey, etc.), 7 
Telm, 77 
Terna Colftrini, 171 

Tedriei, 171 

Templariorum, 184 

Tone, etc., 6, 7, 8, 9, U 
Tedbury, 60 
Tediuton, El 
Tedstone, 80, 81 

Tei?rn+«>nj Drewa, 267 
Tellisford, 72 
Temple Brewer, 187 

Combe, 124, 186. 187 

-^ Cloud. It 18. 184, 187 

Down, 187 

Hydon, 184. 187 

Newton. 187 

Templaton, 188 

Thamea, 7 

Thorne, 21, 27 

■ Coffin, 276 

Corabe, 64 

I\alcon, £76, 277 

S. Margaret, 277 

Prior, 276 

' Parors, 277 

Thorpe, 304 

Thirippe, 209 

ThrubweU 303, 304, 305 

Thrupe, 303 

Thurloxtoin, 180 

Thurlbere, 180 

Tlokonham, 37 

Timtinhull, 178 

Tiw, 6 

Tolland, 352 

Toom»r, 359 

Tra«r (drag), 57 
TreborouBh, 49, 56, 57 



367 



Trendies 56 
Trent, 900 
TriEoombe, 56 
TriBtoke, 57 
Trnli, 180 

Trnllox (Trn<Wioi) Hill, 
Tiuabeli, 77 
Tun, 85 
Tunl«y. m, 292 
Tunmere, 6S 
TuDStone, 63 
Tiin8ginw«re, 62, 63 
Twerton, 335 
Twineton, 135 
Twinnoe, 3.16 
Twinhead, 135 
Ttrinstead, 135 
Twyvnins, 135 
'IVimnoutn, 7 
Tynt6Sfiel<lj, 321, 322 

Ubley, 77. 78, 139, 140 
Ufford'B Hill, 71 
Ueley. 93 
Underover, 74 
Upbay, 88 
OpllUl, 9 

Upper Clock Farm, 78 
XJiTMiinwood, 320 
Ui^iBbay. 320 
Uxlord, 71 

Vaes (see Chilthorne) 
ValUa, 357 
Vanbampton, 314 
Vellow, 336 
Verdun. 336 
Verra* 335 
Vexfoid, 72. 360 
Vob«tor. 360 

Wac (root), 72 
Wace l¥oot), 33 
Wadlbuiry, 18R 
■Wadford. 182 
AVanachaa, 132 
WaQoot. 1.83, 265 
WaUington. IBB 
Warod {root), 36 
Wandedyke, 4'z 
WajiBtfrow, 27 
Waipley, 170 
Wao^leigb, 78 
Warmoor, 64 
Wajmngton, 132 
Wadiford, 71. 72 
Waterlieaeton, 72 



Waterlip, 318 

Watiohett, 72 

WaAcbfield, 72 

Wealiheoombe, 55 

W«are, 295 
184 Weami BlTiolmett, 233, 296 

Wyoh 

Wedmore, 17, 69, 62, 76. 181 

Weoirbhi (root), 41 

Wellimgrton, 25, 132 

Wellow. 43. 68, 82. 336 

Welto, 34, 337 

WieiUdsfatid. 367 

Weillisley, 74 

Wembdon, 182 

Wendlesoombe, 60 

Weet BradJiew. 106 

Oammell, 64 

Chariton, 205 

— Ham, 105 

Westenea«ta, 86 

Weatioombe, 72 

Weston, 13, 72 

Weebooi-sxipeir-llaie, 23 

W«Bbliay. 88 

WeeternMke, 62 

Wliatco'mbe, 316 

AVhatlBy. 316 

WheathiM. 316, 517 

Wliiitaicore, 33 

Whitchruirdh, 21, 28, 31 

Oanoni<x«rum, 30 

Whitfield, 35 
Whitelafce, 61 
Wlhitel/aokington, 31 
WMtley, 35 
Whittington. 132, 133 
Whitetrtaunton, 30, 33 
Wihitstonje, 35, 201, 268 
White ox Mead. 33 
Wiok, 79 
Widcombe, 58 
WifleJiurst. 154 
Wii9«ehaJil, 154 
WLfloilake, 154 
Wikie Perhaan. 358 
Wiila (root). 90 
Wilcot, 155. 183 
WiUiaynie. 183 
Willett. 156. 183 
Wills Neck, 155 
Wilmaersham, 151 
Wilmington. 133, 151 
Wilton, 156 
Winoanton, 5, 193 
WineheBter, 116 
Wirmipeg, 166 



Winford, 5, 29, 67, 286 
Winscoonbe. 5. 133 
WinfifoTd. 5 
Winterstote, 71. 165 
Winteirboumne. 166 
Wippanhoh. 170 
Witoombe, 35 
Witheyoomba, 53 
Withid Flori, 216 
Witham Friary, 21 

cum Ulftone, 34 

Witherington. 133 
Witlag's Ford, 32 
Witches Well, 17 
Wiveliscombe, 74, 154 
Wlvelimgham, 154 
Wode Advent, 245 
Wodnes Lane, 27 
Wonarda S., 314 
Woninastow, 314 
Woodborough. 60, 80 
Woodford Terry, 262 
Woodwiok, 80 

Woodspring, 64. 202. 260, 321 
Woolard. 151 
Woolavington, 134 
Woolforda Hull. 151 
WoolfrLngton, 134 
Woolmeredon. 151 
Woolminetone, 133 
Woolyerton, 134, 161, 168 
Wookey, 91 
Woking. 93 
Wooton Oourtney. 201, 202, 

277 
Worio, 64 78 
Worleiigli, 122 
Wormtneber, 78 
Wraxall, 328, 360 
Wring (rhin), 11 
Wrin^ton. 11, 112, 331 
WringmarBh, 151 
Wyi-t. 85 

Yarlington. 111. 134 
Yatton, 10, 80. 84 
Yatesburh, 10 
YiaAtenden, 10 
Yeadon. 9 
Yeldon, 9 

Yeo (river), 9, 10, 26 
Yeovil, 9 
Yeovilton. 9 
Ylake, 62 
Ywere. 62 

Zermatt, 74 



368 



INDEX OF PERSONAL NAMES. 



Adam, 208 

Adelhard, 83 

Adhelm, 265 

Adelatau, 57, 233 

AduU of Taunton, 52 

Aodgifu, 70 

AeUnelm, 232 

AeUmaer, 292 

Aeliweard, 64 

Aelsi, 293 

Aielstan, 57 

Aeso, 42, 169, 189 

Aesowald, 171 

Aeeowid I'AsdTiitih), 79, 82. 

159, 160, 171 
Aethelnod (Elnod), 82, 201 
AUaee, 179 
AUra-d, 68 
Aldor, 64, 160, 204 
Aldbelm, 292 
Alnumid, 282 
Almar, 292 
Aliirio. 320 
Alwine, 307 
Alfred (Kins) 51, 59 
Altwyuia, 301 
Amal, 180 
Andeire, 161, 230 
Ansoytel, 166, 169 
Ansgar, 76, 260 
Ansbedm, 76 
Asoeline, 256 
Asgot, 160 
Ashman, 189 
Asliwood, 160 
ABser, 61 
Atterbury, 233 
Atheletan, 35. 57, 61, 90. 

252. 265, 293 
Athelwin, 293 
Avicia (Avisliayes), 37 

Baal, 95 

Bandoohar, 201 

Babb (Babe, Bebb, etx>.), lilO, 

HI 
Babenberg, 110 
Babilo, 178 
Baoo, 292 
Badbild, 157, 168 
Baoola, 291 
Bacoise, 291 
Bad (Bada. etc.), 157 
Badbeim, 157 
Badulf, 157 
Badoc (Madoo), 77 
Baldaeg, 48 
Baldhun, 100 
Baldr, 95 
Barnwulf, 290 
Bariinig, 112 
Barratt, 302 
BaroewelL 290 
Baudeiich, 302 
Batt, 58 



Bea« (Baggo), 42. 241, 242, 

Beald, 351 

Beana (Boonina, etc.), 79, 

290 
Bede, 56 

fledhild, 157, 158 
Bediwine, 336 
Beer, 112 
Beorn, 112 
Beomsigo, 75 
Bei-nhard, 75 
Bigod, 163, 243 
Bill, 158 
Billing, 158 
Billingeley, 85 
Billthegn, 158 
BiUstan, 158 
Billsnot, 158 
Binna (Binning) 264 
Black, 166 
Blakeman, 167 
Blacker, 166 
Blaed, 351 
Blecca, 167 
Bond, 128 
Bord, 284 
Bosa, 115 
Botolph, 115 
Bower, 229 
BreteBohe. 147 
Brewer, 250 
Brioe, 113 
Brigihtrio, 114 
Brightheim, 114, 115 
Bristric, 11 
Brito, 260 
Brittel, 189 
Brook, 40 
Brod;rip, 305 
Brown. 167, 198 
Browning, 198 
Broughton, 197 
Brimhelm, 198 
Brunhild, 198 
Brycban. 24, 314 
Buck. 128 
Budan, 68 
Bugge. 121 
Bula, 22 

Bull (Bullo), 179. 268 
Bnllmaer, 179 
Bure, 229 
Burg'heard, 228 
Bnrghelm, 228 
Burghild, 228 
Burr (Borr) 111, 112 

Cadoo, 23 

Oaffo (Chiepin, Coffin), 26, 

277 
Caeg 

Oaerwinie, 101 
Caewulf. 68 
Caine, 220 



Calda, 38 

Calway (Kelway), 29a 

Cameileao, 203 

Camiulos, 26 

(banning, 116 

CSantdlnpe, 2114 

Cantmael, 204 

Carantacus, 101 

Oarew, 63, 64 

Carw (root), S3 

Carthegn (Garthegn) 52 

Oaaswiell, 192 

Ceada (Chad, Oedd), 58, 207 

221 
Ceadmada 
Oeadwald, 207 
Oeawlin, 104 
Oewydd S., 23 
Cedrio, 51, W4, 157 
Centwine, 106, 339 
Ceob, 78 
Oeol (Cole, Keel), 172, 214, 

297 
Ceolbeorn, 311 
CeoU, 296 
Ceolfrith, 69, 296 
Ceoltwig, 296 

Ceolmiund (Oolman), 124, 125 
CeoLsig, 259 
Ceolwieard, 172 
Ceolwig, 195 
Ceolwyn iKelwyn), 11? 

(Colline) 172 

Chetol, 156 

Ohetolfwald (Kettlewell), 156 

Chislett. 269, 294 

Choke. 191 

Oini, 283 

Olifford, 69, 296 

Cniva, 306 

Oockingas, 64 

Colgrin. 171 

Couroi, 271 

Courtney, 202 

Coke, 117 

Cridiaeaud, 156 

Crocker (Krokr) 53 

Cuckwin, 117 

Culbone S., 311 

Culmingas, 128 

Ounigar, 320 

Cutihweard. 282 

Cydda. 311 

Oyneulph, 337 

Cymbald (Kejnball) 283 

Cyna, 24, 25 

(Jynegyth, etc., 25 

Cynhclm (Kenelm), 20 

Cfymegair (Conig»*>, 20 

Cyneh»ard (Kennard), 65. 

283 
Cyntoch <Kintoch), 102 
Cynnlf, 283 
Cyrig (Onrig), 22, 25, 26 



I)a«ebeor<th (Dawburg), 313 
Daudo (Uaaidalo, D'AJiio), 

218 
David S., 14, 16. 17 
l>el Estre, 2/0 
Ilenhiam, 222 
Bennis, 263 
Deinine, 118 

Dennds dDionyciius). 263 
Devi, 16 

Diga (Dyoga) 178 
Dilwyn, 118 
DiUioar. 118 
Dillon, etc., 118 
Dompt K^ine, 15 
Durdher© (Driu<y, Dury), 184 
Drew (Dru), 57, 267 
Drogo-de-Mouteoute, 74, 266 

311 
DubritiuB, 16, 18, 19, 30, 87 
Dunn, 118, 120 
Durnnigeii, 54 
DurvUle, 219 
Dyf rig, 18, 19, 87 

Eadbeorht, etx;., 70 

Badgar, 75 

Elahlmniid, 183 

Eahlstan, 64, 90, 265 

Ealdlrith, 49, 50, 69, 70, 171 

Ealdhiere, 60, 161 

EaUihelm, etc., 50 

Ealweard (Blworthy), 58 

Baanfiridi, 71 

Easton, 33, 34 

Ecgwig, 83 

Eddemje, 70 

Edrio, 71 

Edem (Hedern), 149 

Egelsige (EM), 293 

ElenthemiB, 22 

Ellereliaw, 42 

Elworthy, 292 

Emp, etc., 305 

•Bolesc, 39 

Eotortard* (Everafl^), 39 

Boformaer, etc., 39 

Eaf«irtliegn, 227 

Estan, 90, 265. 266 

Etheiburh, 294 

Eaerwulf , 227 
Paeirwin©, 228 
Fage (Vag«), 179 
IWraaik, 94 
Fara, 227 
Farthing, 325 
Faux (Vaux), 277 
Feolu, 29 

Fedan (Feather), 119 
FUertiue, 28 
Fitchett, 273, 274, 302 
FUwald, 29 
Fitzurse, 199 
Fitzmartin, 219 
Flaeo (Fleck), 196 
Fobbe 
Freckei, 350 
Purnjeaiux, 302 
Fniea, etc., 184 

Galmund, 107 
Gamalhieiie, 4 
GaiUBvald, 192 
Gebwine, 349 
Gif heal JGifel, etc.), 9. 
Gibby (Cybi), 334 
Gibba, 349 



369 

Gifheard, etc., 68, 872 
Girling, 136 
Giso, 190, 194 
Goda, 65, 169, 170 
Godma^r, etc., 169 
Godwin, 81, 199 
Godimn. 175, 181 
Gogo, 61, 64 

Goueld (Gould, «to.), 162 
Goviz, 284. 285 
Grimhild, 27, 113 
Gotihwif, 170 
Gurney, 193, 330 
Guthrun, 156 
Gytha, 199, 203 

Haiesta (Hastings), 67 

Hago (Kagan), 87 

Halgo. HaWo, 307 

Hamo, etc., 120 

Hamrbling, IBO 

Bann, Haunay, 238 

Harvey, 232 

Harding, Ul, 122, 144, 225 

HasseU, 234 

Hautvilie, 2S, 266 

Hiamsia, 47, 239 

HayWard (Ayward), 86 

Hmhm'umd, 25 

Healh, 50 

Henget, etc., 26, 124 

Hensmau, etc., 127 

Heor, 122 

Herbert, 189 

Herduin, 230 

HerfeJt, 232 

Hewish (Hiuiah, etc.), 239 

Hildemo (Childeric), 212 

Hai, etc., 236 

Hoeing, 26 

Bold, etc,, 331, 332 

HoiPd'giar (Oirdgar), 254 

Hmaban (Eaban), 48 

Hrod (Eod), 130 

Hugo, etc. 

Hulfrit, 49, 70 

Humbeorht (Hummer), 120 

Hungerford, 227 

HumM, 166 

Hwaetlac, 32 

Hwit, 33 

Hwitgyth, 53 

Imbild, 180, 349 

Ina, 71 

Ingwald. etc.. 46, 47 

JoTidan. 357 

Ken, 145 

Keneyard,, 62, 65 
Keutwtne, 339 
Keiw S., 2E, 23 
Keyme 8., 24 
Eillamiairish, 125 
Kinemaer, 243 
Knaiet, 26 

Leof, 25 

Leofwine <L,ewln), 124, 125, 

15L 191, 233 
liibhoimo, 120 
]jidiha(Pd, 194 
Linidwin, 198 
Iiodeear, 195, 261 
Lcdhere, 355 
lioiki, 126 
Iiord, Lording, 246 



Lotte, 106, 107 
SjovelX, 354 
Imid, etc., QAO 
Lulla, 126, 127 
I/ump (Iiymps), 109 
Lyde, etc., 52. 184, 355 
Lyons, 28 

Madock (Mattiok), 17, 21, 77 

Maeg (Maggs), 77 

Misuen, 60 

Mam, etc., 58, 98, 99 

Mamweard, 349 

MaJirewaird, 257, 258 

Mallett 225 

Malhenbie, 226 

Mandeville. 250 

Matoell. 209 

iMatravere, 71 

Mayne, 190 

Mildie, 247 

Millard, 253 

Mealdhelm, 315 

MJohun (Moon), 190, 297, 298 

Montague, 261 

Mongret, 16 

Murteie,, 358 

Muegrave, 209 

Naal, 51 
Negei, etc., 51 
Netted, 282 
Nigiht iTSToedt), 183 

Obba, 78, 139 
Ocing^ (HJoocingas), 93 
Odda. 58, 138, 139 
Odwine, etc.. 138 
Qrescuiltz. 261 
Osibeorm, 75 
Oeoytel, 94 
Oegar, 63, 76 
Osgood:, 176 

BajdajBn (Patermue), 17 
Patrick S., 15 
Baiulet. 97 
Paunioefoiot. 220 
Peohit, 164 
Pigbum, (Piigou). 183 
Pippa. 168 
PoiWe, 177 
Point, 129 
Port, 115 
Pow. 96, 162 
Pudida, etc., 247 

Eainhold, 175 
Biaileigh, 281 
Eiaad, 129 
Beigne S., 30 
Ehodaii, 157, 272 
Biki. etc.. 71 
Bingoldt, 74, 555 
EdvaJl, 225 
Bivere, 286 
Bod, 317 
Bomaira, 337 

Saimavililie (Som«rTille), 250 

Soard (Soartih), 88 

Schyrewald, IBS 

Seabioim, &li 

Sletlf (Selvey, >eto.), 343 

Sexmon, 250 

Sevior, 84 

fiewaird, 84 

Seymour, 1|97 

Bigebeoiribt, 65 



370 



Sida. 182 

Oompoundfl of, 182 

Siret (Sisred), 155 

Smeyn, 82 

Snoirri, 6 

Soioh^, 262 

Sooawig, 83 

SoMrra (SoiTiar, Silver), 173, 

34i 347 
Somer' (Sakna), 243, 244 
SpaiTkes, 88 
Spiitee, 298 
Spralir, 161 
Sprot, etc., 161 
gitallere, 82 
Steafbanl, 323 
S. I/O, 248 249 
Stimg (Strachey), 292 
Sul.26 

Byndarih, eto., 49 
S-weyn. 81, 113 

Tatmeil (Tallie), 72 
Tamewym, 8 
TecJia, 294 
Teilo, 18 
Telford, etc., 287 
Theodwulf, etc., 171 



Thor, 96 

ThOTold, etc.. 180 

Thoirn, 54 

Thoirwiinie, 277 

Thrista CSrist), 5.70 

TimnoT. 26 

Tofig, 176 

Torreill. 180, 184 

Toiuihl'ld (Towel, etc,), 336 

Trevet (Tteuefit, etc.). 214 

Tunn, 63 

Tunnweald, etc., 63 

Tynte, 321 

Twigg (Twioga), 135 

Twyn, 135, 336 

Ubba <Hubba), 78, 139 
TToca (TJcco),, 71, 95 
Ulfer (TJlyert), 161 
TJlfweard (Unlfweard), 34, 

161, 167 
Ulmaer CWoolmer), 151 

Vage, 22 

Wado, 69, 181, 278 
Wadmaer, 60, 70, IBl 
Waermund, 78, 79 



WaJUs, 74. 89, 279 

Waring. 132 

Weala, 155 

Wealhwini©, 337 

Weland. 25 

Wenstan, eitc., 60 

Wendieh, 27, 166. 314 

Wickhiam (Wieoym), 55 

Wifel, 102, 164 

Wigfirth, 55 

Wigod, 79 

WihtgaiT, 33 

Wilmnnd. etc., 166 

WUlB, etc., 134, 183, 184 

Winagar, 60 

Winchild 

Winfred, 57 

Winheard, 336 

Witta, 133 

Witherwim© (Withenme). 133 

Woden, 26, 51, 314 

Wodwlg, 80 

Wonna S., 314 

Worla, 64, 78, 321 

Wulfric, 134 

Wymaer, 65 

Wynhelm, 133 

Wytgyth (Withey), 53 



371 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 



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Somerville, Arthur J., Esq., Binder House, Wells. 

Stanton, J. Gilmore, Esq., Nelson Lodge, Queen's Eoad, Clifton 

Strachey, H., Esq., Stowey. 

StTarfjhiiei, Bight Exxn. Bao'on, Sutton Court. 

Stoate, Wm., Esq., Gorden Haven, 2, South Side, Weston-super-Mare 

Stoc'dart, F. Wallis, Esq., Grafton Lodge, Sneyd Park. 

Sully, Thos. N., Esq., "Avalon," Queen's Boad, Weston-super-Mare 

Swann, Edward J., Esq., Leigh Woods, Bristol. 

Talbot, Eev. Canon, B.D., Bristol. 

Tate-Stoaite, Bev. W. M., M.A., Pebworth. 

Taunton Puiblio Lihrajry. 

Taylor, L. Goodenough, Esq., M.A., 19, Sion Hill, Clifton, 

Thatchers, College Oreen, Bristol. 



373 

Thatolier, Allen, Esq., Midsomer Norton. 

Thatcher, Edward J., Esq., J.P., Manor House, Chew Magna. 

Thatcher, J., E8iq„ Chew Magma. 

Tbompsan, Eev. H. J. Ker, M.A.. Pensitorid Vicarage, Bristol. 

Thompeon, Mias Archer, Weston Park, Bath. 

TiUairid, Admiral P. P., Caetle Gary. 

Tite, Oharlee, Bsg., rSlbomeledgh, Soru'th Bead. Taunton. 

Toike, IjMlie A., Esq., Stsrattcn-on-thie-PosBe, near Bath. 

Trow, E. B., Esq., M.A., D.C.L., Eelsted, Essex. 

Turner, Bev. T. H., M.A., Ohelwood. 

Tyrwhitt, Bev. O. B., M.A., Nfflmpnebt. 

Vaughan, Eev. Preb. H., M.A., E.D., Wraxall (12 copies). 

Wainwright, Chas. E., Esq., Summerleaze, Shepton MaUett. 

Warry, Capt. B. A., Shapwick House, near Bridgwater. 

Watson, E. J., Esq., P.E.Hiat.S., F.E.S.L., etc., 12, John Street, Bristol. 

Way, Lewis J. Upton, Esq., F.S.A., 15, Caledonia Place, Clifton. 

Wells, Chas., Esq., 134, Cornwall Eoad, Montpelier. 

Were, Francis, Esq., Walnut Tree House, Druid Stoke Avenue, Stoke Bishop 

WhittuiCik. E. A., Esq., Claveirton Manor, Bath. 

Wllkinison, Eev. Leoaiard, M.A., Westlrary-on- Severn. 

Wills, H. H., Esq., J.P„ Barley Wood, Wrington. 

Wills, George A., Esq., Burwalls, Leigh Woods. 

Wills, W. Melville, Esq., Bracken HiU, Leigh Woois. 

Willla MisB M. M., Bishop Pox's School, Taunton. 

Wood, Joseph Foster, Esq., 35, Park Street, Bristol. 

Worsley, Philip J., Esq., Eodney Lodge, Clifton. 



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Encampments. 
Roman Station,},. 
Canals. 
Railways. 



The sm.all figures denote the distance of each 
place fro'mJi.ondon on the old Coach roads. 



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