Presented to the
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
CHARLES W. BARDSLEY, M.A, , fa '
Vicar of Ulverston,
AUTHOR OF " ENGLISH SURNAMES," ETC.
1 This Booke containes the names of mortall men ;
But thear's a Booke with characters of golde,
Not writ with incke, with pensill, or with pen,
Wheare Code's elect for ever are inrolde,
The Booke of Life ; wheare labor thou to bee,
Beefore this Booke hath once re-gistred thee."
From a Church Register.
HAND AND HEART" PUBLISHING OFFICES,
i, PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS, E.G.
\The right of translation is reserved.}
,\ . LSORAR7
HAZELL, WATSON, AND VINEV, PRINTERS
LONDON AND AYLESBURY.
HEN the enterprising and energetic
editor of The Fireside wrote suggesting
that he should print my articles on the
London Directory, published at various
intervals during the last two years in
that magazine, I was somewhat taken
aback. I will candidly confess that
half of them, or thereabouts, were written with some degree of
care : I will as honestly admit that the rest were indited amid
the press of heavy ministerial labours, and had to take their
chance, as regards manner, method, and matter. Nevertheless,
I may add that, however wanting in order and sequence
several chapters appeared on paper, I was not afraid for the
accuracy of their contents. My only credit for this, supposing
my lack of fear to be well founded, is that which attaches to
diligent research. The only true means of discovering the
origin of our surnames is to find the earliest form of entry.
Light upon that, and half the difficulty vanishes. This is a
means which is as open to any of my readers as myself more
so in the case of those who dwell in the metropolis.
I take this opportunity of apologising to many readers of The
Fireside, who have written to me asking for information in
respect of their own, or some other name they were interested
in. A few I have been able to answer ; the rest have had to lie
by, for I have not had the time or health to attend to them. I
only wish there was the possibility of this preface meeting the
eye of my American cousins. I have a large batch of letters
of inquiry, from the other side of the Atlantic, to scarcely one
of which have I been able to make reply. I feel truly sorry,
for I would not seem to be wanting in courtesy to one of them.
These more distant inquiries have resulted rather from the
publication of " English Surnames " (issued by Messrs. Chatto
and Windus, Piccadilly), than the articles in The Fireside.
And I would take this opportunity of recommending such of
my readers as have become interested in the science of
nomenclature, through a perusal of these elementary papers,
to study that work. I can do this the more readily as I
have no pecuniary interest in the sale thereof !
Not the least of the pleasures attending the writing of these
papers has been the opportunity it gave me of making personal
acquaintance with the Editor. I trust God will bless him in his
most useful enterprise.
ST. MARY'S VICARAGE, ULVERSTON.
INDIVIDUALIZATION AND LOCALIZATION .... 9
THE DIVISIONS OF LONDON SURNAMES . . . .24
IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION .... 41
ROBIN HOOD AND THE LONDON DIRECTORY . . -55
EARLY PET NAMES 68
THE BIBLE AND NOMENCLATURE 82
OFFICERSHIP . . . . . . . . . 98
THE EMPLOYMENTS OF OUR FOREFATHERS . .. . .114
NICKNAMES . . . . . . ; '< . ' ' . 132
NICKNAMES (continuecT) .. ... . - . . .148
INDIVIDUALIZATION AND LOCALIZATION.
LL proverbs are not necessarily true,
but that which asserts that "every
man has his hobby" few will gain-
say. Nothing in a house so well
betrays this hobby as the owner's
bookcase. It may be large, or it
may be small, but there the secret lies. One man's
hobby is angling, and his shelf begins with quaint
Isaac Walton, and ends with the Field newspaper
of last week. Another has a liking for natural
science, and his library is a vade mecum of its
mysteries. A third oftentimes a lady loves ferns,
and her study is a little compendium of that curious
literature that has all but wholly sprung up within
the present generation. Even the young lady's
shelf of poems, or novels, or histories, betrays, if
not the bent of her mind, the bias of her education.
My hobby is Nomenclature, and my library be-
trays my weakness in what class of books, do you
think? directories! You would think I was a postal
io ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
official. I have London Directories, Provincial Town
Directories, and County Directories. I have even a
Paris and a New York Directory. But herein lies a
strange truth. I find as much pleasure in perusing
these directories as any schoolgirl over her first and
most sensational novel. The grand finale of murders,
suicides from third-storey windows, and runaway
weddings, all so thrillingly blended, cannot be half so
absorbing to her not that I recommend her to read
such things as the last chapter of the London Post
Office Directory, from Y to Z, is to me. It is the
conclusion of one of the grandest and most highly
wrought romances ever put together by the ingenuity
of man. Oftentimes in the evening I take it down
from my shelf, and I never feel tempted to skip the
pages. Nay, when I have at last got to Z, I can
begin at A again with but freshened interest ; for
the Directory will bear reading twice.
The London Directory, to every one who has the
key that unlocks its treasures, is at once an epitome
of all antiquarian knowledge. In it I can trace
the lives of my countrymen backwards for many a
century. In it is furnished a full and detailed account
of the habits and the customs of my ancestry the
dress they wore, the food they ate, six hundred years
ago ; though that it is not so far back as the Welsh-
man's pedigree, which hung from his sitting-room
ceiling to the floor, and half-way up had a note to
the effect that "about this time Adam was born."
No, I can but pretend to go up some eighteen or
twenty steps of the ladder of my family nomen-
clature. Nevertheless, by one glance at your name
INDIVIDUALIZATION AND LOCALIZATION, n
I can tell you unless its spelling be hopelessly
corrupted whether the progenitor of your race was
Scotch, Irish, English, Norman, French, German, or
even Oriental. I can tell you what was his peculiar
weakness, or his particular vocation in life. I can
declare the complexion of his hair ; whether he was
long or short, straight or crooked, weak or strong.
I can whisper to you what his neighbours thought of
him ; whether they deemed him generous or miserly,
churlish or courteous. Yes, sometimes I must tell
you unpleasant truths about your great, great, great
(ad infinitum) grandfather. For the Directory is
remarkably truthful; it won't spare anybody, high
or low, rich or poor. I have heard people telling of
the greatness of their ancestral name, and the said
name on their visiting card was laughing at them all
the time " behind its back." I have seen men dwelling
in back slums contented with their sphere, and yet
ignorant of the fact that they bore a sobriquet which
six centuries ago would have brought them respect
from the king on his throne down to the humblest
cottager in the land. Oh, the ups and downs of life,
as related in this big romance, put to paper by prosaic
clerks, who never smiled at the fun, nor dropped a
tear at the distress, simply because they lacked the
manual that should explain its merriment and in-
terpret its pathos ! Hieroglyphics, believe me, are
not confined to Egyptian obelisks or Oriental slabs.
But some reader, perchance, will say, " What do
you mean ? Is there anything more in a surname
than the individuality it gives to the present bearer ?
In itself is it not purely accidental ? " Of course it is
12 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
accidental. A fossil shell is accidental ; but place it
iri the hand of a geologist, and he will talk for five
days upon it, barring the time he will want for eating
and sleeping. And a surname is a fossil not millions,
of years old, may be, like the shell ; only six hundred
still a fossil, and therefore stereotyping the state and
condition of human life at the period when it came
into being. A surname not only gives individuality
to the present bearer, but is a distinct statement
of some condition or capacity enjoyed or endured
by the first possessor. An instance will prove this.
Take the name of " Cruikshank." There must have
been some particular ancestor so designated because
he had a " crooked leg." That is a fact to start with.
Do you want to know where he lived, and when ?
Well, there is no great difficulty in the matter. The
very spelling " cruik," and not " crook," proves that
he was a north countryman. Is that all ? No. The
word " shank " shows that he received this nickname
before "leg" had come into ordinary use. Leg is
always used for shank now, yet it is first found in
England about the year 1250. It is comparatively
modern. Hence there is no surname that I know
of with " leg " as an ingredient.* In later days he
would have been called " Bow-leg." Once more,
nickname-surnames are scarcely ever found to be
hereditary before the year 1200. Here then I glean
four facts about " Cruikshank " :
(i) The first Mr. Cruikshank was bow-legged.
* Legge or Leg is Leigh, a meadow, and therefore local.
J ohn de Leg is found in the Hundred Rolls.
INDIVIDUALIZATION AND LOCALIZATION. 13
(2) He came from the borders of Scotland, or still
(3) He lived previous to the year 1400.
(4) And not earlier than the year 1200.
I have taken this instance hap-hazard. I might
have selected an exacter illustration, but this will
answer my purpose. It is possible my reader will
now say, "But there must be a good substructure
of primary knowledge laid before I can take up the
London Directory, and pretend to be immensely
interested in it, and tell my friends what capital
reading it is." Of course, every true pleasure must
be bought, and study will purchase infinitely higher
delights than money can ever do. It is partly that
you may learn how to acquire that necessary elemen-
tary knowledge that I am about to write these short
chapters upon the Londor Directory.
Before I begin, let me say a few words about
personality and locality. We should always begin
at the beginning. The preacher never starts at
fourthly ; soup by some mysterious law ever precedes
fish. Remember, the necessity For individuality has
given us our Names. The need of an address has
originated our Directories.
(i) Individnalization. The word .surname means
an added name i.e., a sobriquet added to the personal
or baptismal name. Why ? Because one was not
sufficient to give individuality to the bearer. Adam
and Eve, and Seth, and Abel, and Joseph, and Moses,
all were enough while population was small ; but
manifestly such simplicity could not last. In the
wilderness there were, say, 2,500,000 Israelites. How
14 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
could one suffice there, especially if " Caleb " or
" Joshua" had become so popular that there were, say,
50 or 100 of each in the closely-packed community ?
It was not enough : therefore we find a surname
adopted, that is, an added name. " Joshua, the son of
Nun" " Caleb, the son of Jephunneh " are amongst
the world's first surnames. In Directory language this
is simply "Joshua Nunson," or "Caleb Jephunneh."
Simon Barjonas is nothing more than Simon Johnson.
Remember, however, these were not hereditary. They
died with their owner, and the child, if there was one,
got a surname of his own. Surnames did not become
hereditary in Europe even till the beginning of the
twelfth century, and among the lower classes not till
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
Imagine London with, say, 3,000,000 souls, each
possessing but one name. Picture to yourself to-
morrow's post bringing 1000 letters to " Mr. John,"
or " John, Esquire." We can't conceive it. No, a
surname became an imperative necessity when popu-
lation increased, when men herded together, and com-
munities began to be formed. It is curious to note
that some of these surnames have become so common
that they have failed of their object, and ceased to give
individuality. There are 270,000 " Smiths " in England
and Wales, and as many "Joneses." They would
together form a town as large as Manchester, or
separately as big as Leeds. William Smith scarcely
individualizes the bearer now ; so he either gets three
names or four names at the font, or his identity is
eked out by a remarkable single name, perchance
" Plantagenet," or"Kerenhappuck," or "Napoleon," or
INDIVIDUALIZA TION AND LOCALIZA TION. 15
" Sidney." The worst of it is that " Sidney" was so
greedily fixed upon after it became famous that
there are now hundreds of " Sidney Smiths," and thus
it has ceased to give proper individuality. It is the
same with "John Jones." The Registrar-General says
that if "John Jones" were called out at a market
in Wales, either everybody would come, or nobody :
either everybody, thinking that you meant each, or
nobody, because you had not added some description
which should distinguish the particular John Jones
you wanted. I remember at college two John
Joneses went in for examination for the " little go."
Both belonged to the same college ; one passed, the
other did not. The one who got first to the schools
bore away his certificate in triumph. The one who
came last always declared that his confrere had
robbed him of his " testamur," and I have no doubt
will die assured of the same ! I believe a day will
come when, either by compulsory enactment or by
voluntary arrangement, there will be a redistribution
of surnames in Wales ; the sooner the better.
(2) Localization. So much for the personality ;
now for locality. It is one thing to know the name
of the man you want ; it is another thing to know
where you can find him. In a word, where does
he live ? " Go into the street which is called
Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one
called Saul, of Tarsus," says the Divine Book. This
would not be enough in the nineteenth century.
There are streets a mile long now. There are restau-
rants above the shops, and offices above the restau-
rants, and the old woman who cleans the building
16 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
above them all. How is Mrs. Betsy Pipps to be found
of her friends ? Yet a letter from her daughter in the
country about the cows and the turnips has as much
right to find its way to that top room in the murky
city as a posted document about Turkey and Russia
to Lord Derby in that big place a little further on.
One of the greatest transformations the streets of
London ever saw was when the signboards were
taken down. These were at first adopted purely to
localize the inhabitant of the house pendent from
whose wall the signboard swung. Until the reign of
Queen Anne, the streets could scarcely be seen further
than a few yards because of these innumerable ob-
structions. They darkened the streets, obscured the
view, and threatened the very lives of the horsemen
who rode along. The personal discomfort to way-
farers was great, for not only did the rain drip
unpleasantly from them, but the wooden spouts,
which frequently shot forward from the roof in order
that the signboard might swing from them, poured
their little cataracts upon the devoted heads of the
passers-by. This infliction was patiently endured for
several centuries ; but the British ratepayer at last
made his voice heard, as in the end he always does.
This time, too, he had right on his side, as he
invariably thinks he has, and an alteration took
place. The ruling powers ordered the obnoxious
signs to be placed flat against the walls. The idea
of removing them entirely was reserved for a more
brilliant intellect a few years later on. I have not
yet seen the printed regulation for the metropolis,
but no doubt the Manchester document was but a
INDIVIDUALIZATION AND LOCALIZATION. 17
copy of it. The declaration issued for that town runs
as follows : " With the approbation and concurrence
of the magistrates, we, the borough reeve and con-
stables, request the shopkeepers and innholders of
this town, who have not already taken down their
signs, to do the same as soon as possible, and place
them against the walls of their houses, as they have
been long and justly complained of as nuisances.
They obstruct the free passage of the air, annoy the
passengers in wet weather, darken the streets, etc.,
all which inconvenience will be prevented by a
compliance with our request, and be manifestly
productive both of elegance and utility."
Of the utility there could be no doubt. In wet
weather, as already hinted, everybody who had a coat
collar had to turn it up to prevent each swinging
sign from dripping the rain-water down the back
of the neck. Umbrellas were still rare, costly, and
curious luxuries. In a word, the swinging sign was
voted an intolerable nuisance, was found guilty, and
condemned not to the gallows, of course, for the
charge against it was that it had been hanging there
to the public detriment all its days but to oblivion.
I daresay London had made away with many of its
cumbersome signboards many years before the provin-
cial towns. It is curious to note that in a hundred
different nooks and corners of old London there still
linger some of the tradesmen's signs, either flattened
against the wall, or carved upon the now crumbling
There are endless allusions to the signs of old
London in the comic or semi-comic rhymes of the
i8 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
period. Thomas Heywood, early in the seventeenth
century, says :
" The gintry to the King's Head,
The nobles to the Crown,
The knights unto the Golden Fleece,
And to the Plough the clowne.
The Churchman to the Mitre,
The shepherd to the Star,
The gardener hies him to the Rose,
To the Driim the man of war."
There is a capital collection of these names in a
ballad of the Restoration, which is far too long to
quote in full, but of which the following is a speci-
" Through the Royal Exchange as I walked,
Where gallants in sattin doe shine,
At midst of the day they parted away,
To seaverall places to dine.
The ladyes will dine at the Feathers,
The Globe no captaine will scorne,
The huntsman will goe to the Greyhound below,
And some will hie to the Home.
The farriers will to the Horse,
The blacksmith unto the Locke,
The butchers unto the Bull will goe,
And the carmen to Bridewell Clocke.
The pewterers to the Quarte Pot,
The coopers will dine at the Hoope,
The coblers to the Last will goe,
And the bargemen to the Sloope.
The goldsmith will to the Three Cups,
For money they hold it as drosse ;
Your Puritan to the Pewter-canne,
And your Papists to the Crosse.
INDIVIDUALIZATION AND LOCALIZATION. 19
Thus every man in his humour,
That comes from the northe or the southe ;
But he that has no money in his purse
May dine at the signe of the Mouth"
Again, Pasquin, in his " Night-cap," says :
" First there is Maister Peter at the Bell,
A linen draper, and a wealthy man ;
Then Maister Thomas that doth stockings sell,
And George the grocer at the Frying Pan.
And Maister Miles the mercer at the Harrow,
And Maister Mike the silkman at the Plow,
And Maister Nicke the salter at the Sparrow,
And Maister Dicke the vintner at the Cow."
Another jingling rhyme began :
" I'm amused at the signs
As I pass through the town,
To see the odd mixture,
A " Magpie and Crown,"
The "Whale and the Crow,"
The " Razor and Hen,"
The " Leg and Seven Stars,"
The " Scissors and Pen,"
The " Axe and the Bottle,"
The " Tun and the Lute,"
The " Eagle and Child,"
The " Shovel and Boot."
These double signs were very common, and are
easily explained. Now-a-days a man who has taken
the goodwill of a well-established shop paints over the
door " Snooks, late Jopson, Chemist." The appren-
tice in old days added his own badge to that of his
late master, and the signboard displayed perhaps the
20 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
" Mermaid and Gridiron/' or the " Leg and Crow,"
the old sign being linked to the new.
The reader may think I have dwelt somewhat long
upon this matter ; but I am writing about localization,
and these signboards in their day were the only
means of identifying the London tradesman. Names
and numbers were practically useless. How small a
proportion of the London population could read even
two hundred years ago ! Mr. Baxter might have
" Baxter " in the largest gilt characters over his front ;
he might further add that he made and sold that
newly-discovered luxury tobacco on the counter
within, but how many of the passers-by would be
any the wiser ! But if he had a large swinging board
at the end of a pole, facing the wayfarers, with a
huge Turk's head with a pipe in its mouth, there was
none but could tell his occupation. Sometimes the
real article was exhibited. The hosier would dangle
a pair of stockings from his pole. Thus it was that
every shopkeeper was known by his sign. The
housewife would send little Tom to the " Cock," or
the "Three Cranes," or the "Ark," or the "Hand-in-
hand " for her little domestic wants, where now she
would bid him run to " Tomkins'," or " Sawyer's," or
" Robinson's." In course of time the sign did not
always harmonize with the articles sold within, but
it was quite enough for the neighbours dwelling
around. What an array of creaking posts and
grotesque frames must there not have been along the
leading thoroughfares, such as Cheapside, and old
London Bridge ! and leaving out the question of dis-
comfort, and the perils of a broken head if you drove
INDIVIDUALIZATION AND LOCALIZATION. 21
on a coach, what a picturesque scene it must have
I dare not say what a large proportion of names
in the London Directory that look like nicknames
must be set down as the result of this old-fashioned
custom. The fourteenth century saw London streets
looking as if hung with bannerets, so crowded were
they with signs. That was a period when half of the
lower middle class were still without an hereditary
surname. The consequence is, we find such entries
as "Hugh atte Cokke," or "Thomas atte Ram," or
"Thomas del Hat," or " Margery de Styrop." The
reader must see at a glance that we have here the
origination of half our " Cocks " and " Coxes,"
"Rams," "Roebucks," " Tubbs," "Bells," "Crows."
There are three " Hatts " to forty-one " Heads," three
" Pates " and two " Crowns " in the London Directory,
not to mention three "Harrows," two "Plows," four
" Boots," and ten " Pattens." All these, and a hundred
other names that appear difficult of origination, are
easily explained when we recall this faded custom of
a few centuries ago.
The plan of having numbered doors came into
use but very recently. The signboards were disused
in many parts of London before numerals were
instituted. The addresses on letters appeared very
strange as a consequence.
John Byrom, the great epigrammatist, writing to
his wife from Cambridge in 1727, addresses his letter
to " Mistress Eliz. Byrom, near the old Church, in
Manchester." That was the ordinary method, to
choose some big well-known building, and state your
22 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
friends' position to it by the compass. The first
Directory ever published, of any pretensions, was
Kent's, in 1736. " The Directory," it is called, " sold
by Henry Kent, in Finch Lane, near the Royal
Exchange." It contains about 1200 names, all the
tradesmen and merchants of London. There are
such entries as " Samuel Wilson, hardwareman, in
Cannon Street, the corner of Crooked Lane," or
"John Bradshaw, opposite the Monument, at a
Manifestly this could not go on. In the edition for
1770 occurs the following : "The Directory . . . with
the numbers as they are affixed to their houses,
agreeable to the late Acts of Parliament." The
Legislature had had to take the matter into hand.
London was getting far too big for indistinct addresses
such as these. The first street in the metropolis to
possess numbered doors was New Burlington Street.
This was accomplished in June 1764. Other im-
portant throughfares followed suit, and before ten
years had gone by, we find the Directory par-
ticularizing as follows: "John Trelawney, haber-
dasher, No. 22, Nightingale Lane," or " Hamnett
Townley, hop merchant, No. 69, Great Tower Street."
Occasionally a " Vincent Trehearn, hatmaker, behind
St. Thomas's," comes, but rarely ; and by-and-by
such entries disappear altogether. Manchester began
the same practice in 1772, at the request of the
borough reeve and constable, and was the second
town in the kingdom to adopt the practice.
It was reserved for the year 1877 to put a climax,
I think, to ingenuity of this kind. In Manchester,
INDIVIDUALIZATION AND LOCALIZATION. 23
probably in London also, there are lamp-post
Directories. You cannot always have a Directory at
your elbow. Even this difficulty is remedied by the
lamp-post Directory. The names of all shopkeepers
in that particular street wherein the lamp-post
stands are printed alphabetically on a circular tablet,
which revolves round the post. You turn it round till
you frnd the name you want.
What ingenious creatures we are ! Well might
our great poet say, " What a piece of work is man !
how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties !" Well
might one greater than William Shakespear declare,
" Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels " !
The ingenuity of man has created the surprises
THE DIVISIONS OF LONDON SURNAMES.
E have explained the origin of
surnames as an institution. We
have shown that as the population
of the earth increased, and man-
kind began to form themselves
L into closely-packed communities,
a demand arose for a more distinct individuality.
As a consequence, men took an additional sobriquet ;
or rather, it was fixed on them by their neighbours,
for in nine cases out of ten the bearer had no voice
in the matter.
The peculiar feature of our earlier surnames is
that they were not hereditary father, mother, daugh-
ters, sons, and even the grandchildren, might all be
living at the same time, in the same hamlet, even
under the same roof, and yet possess each a distinct
sobriquet, which was the mark of their identity. Let
us first draw out an imaginary pedigree, and then
quote from a real one.
THE DIVISIONS OF LONDON SURNAMES. 25
RICHARD OF COLTON.
Richard the Little William atte Pound Henry Whitehead
! I |
Bartholomew the Page John Williamson Adam Hawkins
Richard the Baker James Bentham Alice Adams.
This would have to be the kind of family tree
drawn out among our country yeomen and town
merchants, from say 1200 to 1450, after which date
we may begin to look for hereditary surnames. The
great-grandfather, Richard, is known by the village in
which his house is situate. Of three sons the eldest,
Richard, is distinguished from Richard his father by
his small stature. He becomes therefore Richard
Little in the common parlance of his neighbours.
The second son, William, has taken charge of the
village pound for strayed cattle. He is known as
William atte Pound (i.e. at the Pound). The third
son, Henry, has very light hair, almost white, although
he is still but a youth. This being somewhat remark-
able, causes him to be distinguished from all other
Henrys in the same community by the sobriquet of
Henry Whitehead. Of the third generation, William
atte Pound has two sons, one of whom, Bartholomew,
becomes a servitor of more menial rank in the great
baron's castle hard by. Of course he becomes Bar-
tholomew Page. The other John stays at home to
help his father. Naturally he is better recognised by
his filial relationship than his brother, and becomes
John William's son, and by-and-by John Williamson.
But Henry Whitehead has a son also, and as Hawkin
or Halkin was then the pet form of Henry, Adam,
the son, becomes Adam Hawkins. The fourth
26 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
generation will now be beyond the need of explana-
Take now a real pedigree from Camden :
WILLIAM BELWARD OF MALPAS.
David le Clerke Richard de Belward.
William de Philip David Thomas de William Richard
Malpas Gough Golborne Cotgrave de Overton Little
There is nothing that needs explanation in this
pedigree except Philip's surname of Gough. The
family residence was at Malpas, as seen above. This
was on the Welsh frontier. Gough is the Welsh for
" red," so that Philip had evidently got his surname
or nickname amongst the Cambrian population from
his ruddy complexion.
We are now well on the way to survey the groups
or classes into which the surnames in the London
Directory can be divided. Nothing can simplify the
study of nomenclature so readily as a consideration
of the classes into which surnames may be placed.
If the reader will turn to the imaginary pedigree of
the Colton family, he will see that the ten surnames
therein contained may be set under five heads.
Richard of Colton, William atte Pound, and James
Bentham, are known by & place-name ; John William-
son, Adam Hawkins and Alice Adams by \hefatkers
Christian name ; Richard the Baker by his daily
occupation ; Bartholomew the Page by his official
capacity ; and Richard the Little and Henry White-
head by a sobriquet having reference to their personal
appearance. Here, then, are five distinct classes.
THE DIVISIONS OF LONDON SURNAMES. 27
There is not a surname in the London Directory, nor
in England, nor in Europe, nor in the whole known
or unknown world, that cannot be placed, and placed
correctly, under one of the five heads that I have
thus foreshadowed : (i) Local names. (2) Baptismal
names. (3) Names of occupation. (4) Official names.
(5) Nicknames. The first of these to become here-
ditary were the Norman local names. Many of the
Conqueror's followers took or received as a surname
the title of the place they left in Normandy. He
who left the chapelry of St. Clair across "the silver
streak " settled in England as " William, or Robert
de St. Clair." In course of time this became " Sin-
clair " and "Sinkler;" just as "St. Denis" became
"Sidney;" "St. Pierre," "Spier" and "Spiers;" or
"St. Leger," " Selinger." " Sinkler " is as vile a
corruption of " Sinclair " as " Boil " from " Boyle."
Some folk say, " What's in a name ? " One thing is
clear : there is a good deal in the spelling of it.
These local names, however, were the first hereditary
names in England. But the Normans introduced
representatives of all five classes. Take a single in-
stance of each.
I. Local .... Sidney . . . Burton.
II. Baptismal . . . Fitz-Hamon . . Jenkinson.
III. Occupative. . . Taylor . . . Baker.
IV. Official . . . Chamberlain . . Steward.
V. Nicknames . . Fortescue . . . Sheepshanks.
" Fortescue " means " brave " or " strong shield."
Hence the family motto has a punning allusion :
" Forte Scutum, salus ducum, i.e., " A strong shield
is the safety of leaders." If we take a glimpse at any
28 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
William Somaster (Sum-
Hobbe the Kynge.
village roll four hundred years ago, representatives of
all these classes will invariably be found, although the
baptismal and. local will largely predominate. Look at
the " Custom Roll and Rental of the Manor of Ashton-
under-Lyne, 1422 " (Chetham Society Publications).
I. Local . . Robert of Chad wick Thomlyn of the Leghes.
II. Baptismal . Tomlyn Diconson Robyn Robynson.
III. Occupative Roger the Baxter Richard the Smith.
IV. Official . . Jak the Spenser .
V. Nicknames Elyn the Rose .
Every secluded village in England at this moment,
every churchyard with its simple epitaphs, every
vestry register with its recorded births and marriages
and deaths, contains representatives of these several
divisions. When we come to such a big place^as the
metropolis, a little world of itself, we expect to find
these classes largely exhibited. I have taken the
trouble to analyse the first five letters of the alphabet
in the London Directory. Curious are the results.
We may premise that there are about 120,000 names
in the Commercial list. My analysis concerns about
30,000 of these that is, exactly one-fourth.
3 2 59
THE DIVISIONS OF LONDON SURNAMES. 29
Without some further explanation, these figures
will seem utterly incongruous. I make no apology
for the somewhat large number of doubtful instances.
Those who have studied this subject will consider it
Notice under " A," the baptismal names are double
all other classes added together ; while under " B,"
the local names, excluding doubtful instances (a large
proportion of which must be local), are also double
the rest. This is easily explained. Five hundred
years ago some Christian names were enormously
popular. Andrew was one. Under the forms of
Andrews and Anderson, etc., we have a total of
290 names. Allen was another. There are 250
" Aliens " * in London, without adding other forms
of the name. There is no local name under " A "
to compare with these. Under " B " this position is
reversed. Of local names there are about 142 Barnes,
56 Bartons, 37 Becks, 85 Berrys, 55 Boltons, 44
Booths, 58 Bradleys, 1 20 Brooks, besides a large
list of lesser but fairly proportionate names. Baptis-
mal names under " B " are not so fortunate. ' Tis
true there are 70 Barnards, 66 Balls (Baldwin),
83 Bartletts (Bartholomew), 52 Bates (Bartholomew),
199 Bennetts (Benedict and Benjamin), and 40
Batemans (an old English baptismal name), but
with these the list is well-nigh exhausted. Under
" C " the occupative class is larger than the baptismal.
* I say there are 250 Aliens in London. But the Directory
only gives the name of the head of the family. Hence in
the aggregate there may be 2,000 Aliens dwelling in the
3 o ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
This would be unaccountable did we riot remember
that there are no less than 283 Cooks and Cookes,
265 Coopers, 221 Carters, 64 Chandlers, 51 Carpen-
ters, and 35 Cartwrights in the Directory. Under
" C," too, the official class is very strongly represented.
There are about 520 Clerks, Clarks, and Clarkes,
not to mention 120 Cohens and Cohns (i.e., priest),
which, though of Jewish origin, are not set down in
the foreign list, inasmuch as the vast majority of them
have sprung from Cohens settled in England for
centuries ; indeed, a large number of them pass for
pure English blood. Nicknames are best exhibited
under "B," for there are no less than 650 forms of
Brown in the London Directory alone, not to mention
1 60 Bells and 120 Bishops one hundred and twenty
Bishops in London ! This beats all the episcopal
conferences of modern times hollow. By-and-by I
shall explain why "Bishop," and such names as
"Pope," "Cardinal," "Prince," and King," must be
set in the nickname class. I now may note the
fact, and pass on. With respect also to the 160
Bells, we must not forget that they have three
distinct origins. The following registered forms
are found five hundred years ago : " Peter le Bel "
(i.e., the handsome), "Richard fil. Bell'' (i.e., the
son of Bell, i.e. Isabella), and "John atte Bell" (i.e.,
at the Bell, the sign-name at some country hostel).
Our friends the Bells may choose which they
like. I should select the first, I think, but tastes
may differ. Again, notice under "E" that the
baptismal names far outnumber the aggregate
of all other classes, the occupative being without
THE DIVISIONS OF LONDON SURNAMES. 31
a representative at all ! The popularity of Edward
and Elias (always called Ellis) has done this.
There are about 330 Edwards in London ; and
adding together the different forms of Ellis, such as
Elliot (the pet name of Ellis), Eliot, Elliotson, Ellice,
Ellicot (the pet form of Ellice), Ellison, Elkins,
Elkinson, Elcock, Ell, Else, Elson, and a dozen other
dresses in which the name is arrayed, all of which I
shall explain hereafter, we have no less than 370
representatives of Elias. That the Crusades brought
" John " and " Elias " into favour in England is easily
proved, and I shall have a word to say about the
matter in another chapter. There are a hundred
interesting remarks to make about such names as
these, if one allowed oneself to be tempted out of the
beaten track, but I control myself. Notice lastly,
that under " D " one-tenth of the names are foreign
that is, of recent importation from the Continent.
The explanation of such a large proportion is that
very many foreign local surnames preserve the " de,"
or "del," or "de la," as a prefix. " De Jersey," "De
Grelle," " Delattre," " Delcroix," " Delavanti; " so they
In concluding this chapter, the question may be
asked and a very important one it is how many
differently spelled names, counting a single spel-
ling as one, are there in each class ? The answer
to this will show the vast predominance of local
names in our Directories. If we exclude foreign
(nearly all local) and doubtful (of which three-fifths
must be looked upon as local), then the local class
under A, B, C, D, and E, is double all the rest. We
32 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
may prejudge that this ratio applies to the whole
Thus the total number of distinct surnames in the
London, Directory under the first five letters is 5535.
Omitting foreign and doubtful, the local class are
double the rest. Therefore the rhyme quoted by
Camden is true, that
" In ' ford,' in 'ham,' in ' ley,' and ' ton,'
The most of English surnames run. "
All names with this termination are local, and
comprise a large proportion of our national nomen-
One word about the doubtful class, and I have
done. A hundred years ago even, as our registers
show, there was no established orthography for
surnames in the highest ranks of society. How much
less so, then, among the illiterate orders ! I find a
clergyman's name, Bann, spelled Bann, Ban, Banne,
and Band between 1712 and 1736. He was Rector
of St Ann's, Manchester, during that period. The
THE DIVISIONS OF LONDON SURNAMES 33
spelling of Shakespear's name at this moment is the
subject of almost bitter conflict. Being clearly of the
nickname class, my view is that it must.be written
" Shakespear." Illiterate clerks have done much to
obscure the meaning and origin of names. I know
a register where the clerk has written "Pickering" as
"Pikrin," and on the next page informs the reader
that several names have been " rong placeed."
"Pamela" he inscribes as "Permelea." Butcher is
.found in the London Directory in the following
forms : " Boucher," " Bowcher," " Bowker," " Bosher,"
"Bowsher," "Bowser," "Boutcher," and "Botcher."
The Norman " Chesney " (equivalent to English
"Oakes") is found as "Cheney," "Chancy,"
"Cheyney," "Chesney;" and " Chesnil" as"Chis-
nall," "Chisnell," and "Channell." Thus, too,
" Solomon " becomes " Slowman " and " Sloman." Sir,
William Dugdale found the Cheshire " Mainwarings"
in no less than 131 forms; but this will not seem so
strange when we consider that they include " Main-
wayringe," " Meinilwarin," and " Mensilwaren " !
I could furnish endless instances of names that
have undergone corruptions of this kind through
defective spelling, and the lack of a standard ortho-
graphy. Few people would recognise Oursley as
Ursula, but that is a common form in the seventeenth
century, when that was one of our commonest girl
names. In Hokington Church, under date 1611,
occurs the following entry :
" George, sonne of Fenson Benet, and Jane, baptised."
A previous Rector had been one Vincent Goodwin,
34 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTOR Y.
and being popular, many of his parishioners had had
children christened after him. The form entered is
invariably Fenson, and I dare say after a generation
or two none of the less educated would know what
the original name had been. In the Calendar of
Pleadings we find that one Quintin Snaneton, of
Gringley Manor, made three several suits within ten
years all in the reign of Good Queen Bess. He is
thus entered on each occasion :
1. (i5thEliz.) Quyntine Sneydon of Gringley Manor.
2. (20th Eliz.) Quintin Snaneton of Grinley Manor.
3. (25th Eliz.) Quyntin Sneyton of Grynley Manor.
Thus there are three distinct variations of Christian
name, surname, and place of residence, nine in all,
when only nine were possible ! This, too, in a formal
legal document. Take another instance given to me
by J. Paul Rylands, F.S.A. In Edward the Third's
reign lived one Henry le Machun by name. His
son was Adam le Machoun. Passing downwards,
his descendants are found as Macound, Macount,
Macont, till in 1584 they are Macon, a year later
Maconde. In 1592 they are Makant, and Makont,
in 1609 Macante, in 1610 Makin, in 1620 Macond,
in 1624 Meacon, in 1626 Meakin, in 1644 Macant,
in 1650 Meakyn. We are in a perfect wilderness by
the time the last entry is reached, and thus some
of our present Makins, instead of deriving their sur-
name from Makin, the once pet name of Matthew,
may be descended from Mason, which, belonging
to a totally different class, owes its existence to the
occupation of its first bearer. Thus, as we turn over
THE DIVISIONS OF LONDON SURNA MES. 35
the pages of the London Directory, we are being ever
struck by the many guises under which one single
name may appear. It is palpable to the most unini-
tiated that Langwith, Langworth, and Langworthy
are all the same, and that all may have had the same
common ancestor. The merest tyro in nomen-
clatural knowledge must recognise at a glance
that Gibbins, Gibbings, and Gibbons are one and
the same name, and that Smithers, Smithies, and
Smithyes may have boasted a common progenitor.
There is no Raleigh in the London Directory. Has,
then, Sir Walter no representative ? Yes, for there
are three Rawleys, who have learnt to spell their
name as it was pronounced three centuries ago. But
how do we know Sir Walter's name was pronounced
like Rawley ? The following skit was written at
the poet's expense by a contemporary critic, who
attacked his supposed atheistic notions. We may pre-
mise that Walter was always pronounced Water then.
" Water thy plants with grace divine,
And hope to live for aye :
Then to thy Saviour Christ incline,
In Him make stedfast stay.
Raw is the reason that doth lie
Within an atheist's head,
Which saith the soul of man doth die,
When that the body's dead.
Now may you see the sudden fall
Of him that thought to climb full high ;
A man well known unto you all,
Whose state, you see, doth stand Rawly."
The last word is supposed to mean " rarely," and
and thus a double pun is attempted, both proving the
36 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
name to have been pronounced in a fashion not
But while these names can be traced to their true
source and meaning, it is not so with others. Take
the following from the London Directory : " Six,"
"Seven," "Nine," "Spon," "Spitty," "Kiss," " Slape,"
"Im," "Ey," "Tattoo," "Tubby," "Yewd," Zox,"
"Toop," "Kitcat," "Sass," "Knags," "Neeb," " Siggs/'
"Saks," "Toy," "Stidd," "Stap," and " Shum," what
do they mean ? Whence came they ? Ask the
bearers, and they will say, no doubt, that they came
over with William the Conqueror. They are not the
only people who have tried to come William the
Conqueror over us.
In this last list we have mentioned " Kiss." This
reminds me that there is one instance in the same
tome much more demonstrative than that namely,
" Popkiss " ! But there is no difficulty in decipher-
ing this, as it is a manifest corruption of Popkins,
and that of Hopkins. The Directory teems with
examples of the termination kins being turned into
kiss and again into ks. Thus we have not merely
Perkins, but Perkiss and Perks not only Hodgkins,
but Hotchkiss not alone Wilkins, but Wilks ; and
so on with many others.
While some surnames are hopelessly corrupted,
and therefore incapable of interpretation, others are a
stumbling-block because they seem so easily explain-
able. Such are names like " Coward," " Craven,"
and " Charley." The " Coward," or Cowherd, was a
tender of kine ; " Craven " is local ; and " Charley "
is the same. " Deadman " and " Dedman " are, like
THE DIVISIONS OF LONDON SURNAMES. 37
" Debnam," but corruptions of " Debenham," and
therefore local also. "Tiddyman" looks as if its first
bearer had been tidy in his habits ; but it was once
a Christian name, and therefore is a patronymic.
"Massinger" has been not uncommonly explained
as Mass-singer. Of course it is the early form of
"Messenger." "Diamond" is a form oP'Dumont,"
and " Doggrell " of " Duckerell" that is, little duck,
a manifest nickname. " Eatwell " and " Early " are
also both of local origin. "Portwine" is first found
as " Poitevin," the old name for an inhabitant of
Poictiers ; and " Coleman," though apparently con-
nected with the black diamond, is an early baptismal
name. There is a peculiar tendency to skip the
natural solution, and go to the Continent, especially
Normandy, for the origin. Thus "Twopenny," a
palpable relic of the twopenny piece, and twopenny
ale, is represented as hailing from Tupigny in
Flanders. " Death" is said to be from D'Aeth in the
same ; " Bridges " from Bruges ; and " Morley " from
Morlaix, where lived St. Bernard regardless of the
fact that there are a dozen hamlets styled " Morley"
in England ; indeed, wherever there is a moorland
reach there is a village or farm styled " Morley."
A lady wrote to me the other day to inform me
that I had made a mistake in ascribing the name
" Mason " to the craftsman of that name, for she was
sure she was sprung from Mnason in the Acts of
the Apostles, and that the family had worked its
way through Phrygia, and Italy, and Germany, into
England. If she can prove her pedigree, she may
boast a genealogy which the proudest monarch in
38 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
Europe might envy. The fact is, it is as true of a
hundred reputed foreign names as of the rhyme
of the three Devonshire families, which asserts
" l Croker,' ' Crewys,' and * Coplestone,'
When the Conqueror came were at home.'*
What a pleasant book to look upon would our
Directory be if we had all had the selection of
our own surnames ! There would have been no
" Pennyfathers." This was an old English nickname
for a miser. An old couplet says,
" The liberall doth spend his pelfe,
The pennyfather wastes himself."
That such a disposition need not be hereditary
is proved in the case of one of the most generous,
earnest Christian ministers who ever worked for
Christ in London. Mr. Pennefather is dead ; but
who would think of connecting him with the charac-
teristic his name implies ? Again, there would have
been no "Piggs," no "Rakestraws" (an old nickname
for a dust-heap searcher), no "Milksops," no "Buggs,"
no "Rascals." But the fact is, the man who had
most interest in the matter had least to do with it.
All he could do was to accept his sobriquet, if not
with thanks, with such grace as he could muster.
If his children could shuffle it off, so much the
better. Our Directory proves that this was not
always possible. 'Tis true, we have got rid of " Alan
Swet-in-bedde's" nominal descendants, not to mention
such cognomens as " Cheese-and-bread," " Scutel-
mouth" (what a great eater he must have been!)
THE DIVISIONS OF LONDON SURNAMES. 39
" Red-herring," " Drink-dregs," " Cat's-nose," " Pigg's-
flesh," "Spickfat" (i.e. bacon-fat), "Burgulion" (a
braggart), and "Rattlebag." But many of these
names made a hard fight for it, and contrived to
hold out till the seventeenth, or even eighteenth,
century. " Piggs-flesh," I say, is gone ; but " Hog's-
flesh" has been a name familiar to Brighton and its
neighbourhood for six hundred years, and still lives.
Charles Lamb's little comedy, called " Mr. H. " (i.e.,
Hog's-flesh), had for its hero's sobriquet no fanciful
title. No doubt Mr. Lamb had seen the name in
a Sussex Directory. The story is a relation of
Mr. H.'s troubles in polite society through the attempt
to hide his name under the mere initial. When it
is discovered, everybody deserts him. As he quits
his hotel, his landlord says :
" Hope your honour does not intend to quit the
' Blue Boar? Sorry anything has happened."
Mr. H. (to himself) : " He has heard it all."
Land.: "Your honour has had some mortification,
to be sure, as a man may say. You have brought
your pigs to a fine market."
Mr. H. : " Pigs ! "
Land. : " What then ? Take old Pry's advice, and
never mind it. Don't scorch your crackling for 'em,
Mr. H. : " Scorch my crackling ! A queer phrase ;
but I suppose he don't mean to affront me."
Land. : " What is done can't be undone ; you can't
make a silken purse out of a sow's ear."
Mr. H. : " As you say, landlord, thinking of a thing
does but augment it."
40 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
Land. : " Does but hogment it, indeed, sir."
Mr. H. : " Hogment it ! I said augment it."
Land.-: "Ah, sir, 'tis not everybody has such gift
of fine phrases as your honour, that can lard his
Land. : "Suppose they do smoke you "
Mr. H. : " Smoke me ! "
Land. : " Anon, anon."
Mr. H. : " Oh, I wish I were anonymous ! "
It is curious to notice that many objectionable
names still exist, simply because the words them-
selves have become obsolete, and the meaning for-
gotten. We will leave them in their obscurity.
IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION.
SAID in my last chapter that nearly
half of the names in the London
Directory are of local origin, and I
proved my statement by an appeal
to certain figures. We have not all
the brand of Cain on our brow, but
certainly man has ever been " a fugitive and a
vagabond in the earth." History, sacred and profane,
teems with the records of the flights of nations
from one land to another. From the days of the
Israelites' escape from Egypt to the flight of the
Huguenots from France, there have been emigrations
which have been the direct results of persecution.
From the year that saw Babel erected and the lan-
guage confounded, the races of mankind have struck
out a path for themselves in one direction or another
of the earth's vast continent. The curious feature
is this, It is to the dictionary we must go to discover
whence each several horde set forth. The language
42 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
of every nation clearly tells where lies the cradle of
But emigration and immigration lie not alone with
nationalities. The world has not always been a
vagabond en masse. From the day that Jacob started
for the East to find his uncle, from the morn that
saw Ruth clinging to Naomi, while she said, " Whither
thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will
lodge," there has ever been going on a wondrous
silent efflux or influx of individual wanderers. Just
as the mother-bird at the proper time, with seeming
stern but true maternal instinct, pushes out her fledg-
ling brood to seek a home and sustenance for them-
selves, so it has ever been with man. To go forth
and replenish the earth has been a Divine fiat which
none could forego. And what the dictionary is to
the nation, the directory is to the individual. In
the name of each we know the land, the city, the
hamlet, whence each set forward to battle with the
world. At any rate, this is strictly true of all local
In the course of the last six hundred years there
has not been a single village or town in England that
has not found its representative in London. "All
roads lead to the capital/' says an old proverb. How
true this is, the London Directory shows ; for at this
moment it would be hard to mention a place, big or
small, from John o' Groats to Land's End, the Dan
and Beersheba of England, whose name is not found
therein as the title of some individual whose ancestor,
long generations ago, left his native home to settle in
what was, even then, the big city. I was struck the
IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION. 43
other day by seeing two shops adjacent, the shop-
keepers' names on the doors being " Dearnally " and
" Dennerley." Dearnally and Dennerley ! What a
curious circumstance ! My mind went back six cen-
turies, and I wove a little story. Six hundred years
ago, two brothers, or schoolfellows, or playmates, leave
the little secluded hamlet of Dearnley.* One is
John, the other William. John goes to Bristol.
" Whence come you ? " say his Bristol associates.
" From Dearnley," he replies. Henceforward he is
John o' Dearnley, by-and-by to become simple John
Dearnley. " Whence come you ? " says a Norwich
artisan to William, who has turned his steps east-
wards. " From Dearnley : I wonder shall I see it
again," responds William, sadly, who is already
home-sick, for homes were homes then as well as
now. Henceforth he is William o' Dearnley, or Will
Dearnley. Each marries, has children, dies. His
descendants, bearing his name, are scattered hither
and thither over the broad land, like leaves before
the cold keen blast of an October wind. Corruptions
of the name of course ensue. The descendants of
John are "Dearnally"; of William "Dennerley."
Centuries after this, in the year of grace 1877, one
of John's generation, who has found his way to a big
city, sees a new house, takes it, is a grocer, and in-
scribes his name Dearnally above. In the meantime
another stranger is eyeing a contiguous shop in the
same block of buildings. " Fine opening for a butcher
* Dearn means secluded. Chaucer speaks of "derne love,"
i.e. hidden, secret love.
44 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
here," says he to himself: " I will take these premises."
He does so. Up goes his name. What is it ?
Dennerley ! Thus, after long years, nay, centuries,
two descendants of the two playfellows, probably
brothers, are to be seen dwelling together, each
ignorant that when he wishes his neighbour good
morning, he is rejoining links in a chain snapped, oh,
so long ago ! The invisible destinies of God have
recovered the lost associations of twenty generations !
Said I not, the London Directory is a romance ?
I have selected this story for a purpose. It ex-
plains the origin of every local surname in existence.
A man, in a new community to which he had joined
himself, might go by the name of his occupation, as
" Tinker," or father's Christian name, as " Peterson,"
or by a nickname from his social habits, as " Good-
fellow " ; but in five cases out of ten he bore the
title of the spot whence he issued forth. Take a few
instances of the mode and manner in which these
local surnames were formed. All my illustrations
shall be from the London Directory. For perspi-
cuity's sake I will separate them into classes.
(a) Local names terminating in " er" and "man"
" Churchman " would seem to bespeak the original
possessor an Episcopalian. But there was no dissent
in the twelfth or thirteenth century. It could give
no individuality as such. It was a local name,
implying that John or Peter Churchman dwelt by
the church. Hence also " Churcher." In the north,
" Church" was pronounced " Kirk." Therefore, in the
north these two names are found as " Kirkman "
and "Kirker," exactly as we find "Thacker" in
IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION. 45
Yorkshire to be " Thatcher " in Surrey. Of this same
class are Grosser and Grossman, reminding us that
there was a time in pre-Reformation days when every
village had its cross, which was as much a landmark
as it was an object of reverence. Bridger and Bridg-
man lived beside the wooden or stone structure that
spanned the stream.
(b) Some local names still preserve the affix or suffix
corresponding to the French "del," "de," "du," and
"de la," as Atwood, Atwater, and Atwell, once
William at the wood, or at tJie water, or at the well.
By is found in Bywater, and Bythesea. Sometimes
the letter "n" got in for euphony's sake, as in "Nash,"
which is sprung from "atten-ash." "Thomas atte-
n-ash " thus became Thomas Nash. Hence Nolt for
atte-n-holt (i.e. wood), or Nalder for " Alder." Towns-
end is from Town's-end. Thus Peter at the Town's-
end becomes Peter Townsend, or Townshend. "Tash"
is from "at the Ash" ; and Thynne, a name belonging
to one of our ennobled families, is said to be from
one "John at the Inne."
(c) Most of these generic names have, dropped all
suffixes and affixes. Here a hundred surnames pre-
sent themselves to our eye. Who does not know a
Hill or Dale, a Field or Croft ? Who has not a
friend called Craig or Cliff, or Dean or Hope ? Who
has not met with a Grange or Moor, or Wood or
Shaw ? Our " Streets " are as thick as our " Lanes,"
and in the busiest thoroughfares of London you may
descry Barnes and Marshes and Parks and Forests
and Warrens without end. The village spring has
given us our " Wells," the village road our " Crosses,"
46 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
and the village common has given us our " Greens."
The following was addressed to a Miss Green on her
fortieth birthday :
" That evergreen thy graces show ;
Some men say * Yes/ and some say * No.'
Alas ! that one and all agree
That ever-Green thy name shall be ! "
Greener is common, being formed after the fashion
of Knowler and Knowlman, and Streeter and Street-
man, (vide under "a"). A Mr. Greener being a
devoted admirer of a Miss Green, wrote as follows :
" One dearest wish I fondly cherish,
My ever-Green so fair, yet lonely :
To make thee mine, and thus thou'lt flourish
Greener, and Greener only."
To which she responded,
" I'm Green indeed ; but Greener thou,
To think by love declarative,
To make me change charms positive
For those at best comparative."
Flood and Fell belong to this same class, except
when Flood is Welsh, and then, like Floyd, it is the
same as Lloyd. A Mr. Isaac Fell is said to have
had painted over his shop, in very legible characters,
"I. Fell, from Ludgate Hill"; beneath which, one
day, a Shakspearian wag wrote, " O what a fall
was there, my countrymen ! " We have mentioned
" Dean " above. In composition it generally appears
as " den," and implies a sheltered and sunken glade
closely surrounded with trees. Hence it was a covert
for cattle and wild beasts, and many of the names
IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION. 47
we now see bear out the fact. Not merely do we
talk of a "den of lions," but we descry dens of
"hogs," "rams," " oxen/' "kine," and even "wolves,"
in such surnames as Ogden, Ramsden, Oxenden,
Cowden, and Wolvenden. Other compounds of
"den" are not so easily discernible. What Heberden
may mean I do not know. There is still in the
Directory one Heberden, a physician. Probably it
was his father, or grandfather, one of three great
London doctors in George the Third's reign, of whom
the sixain got abroad :
" You should send, if aught should ail ye,
For Willis, Heberden, or Baillie :
All exceeding skilful men,
Baillie, Willis, Heberden :
Uncertain which most sure to kill is,
Baillie, Heberden, or Willis."
But Moore or " More," or " Moor," represented until
late in London by George Moore, whose like we do
not expect to see soon again, has been a butt for
the shafts of wit for generations. We could fill the re-
maining pages of this chapter with "torts and retorts"
upon this sobriquet. Lorenzo, in the Merchant of
Venice, says, "It is much that the Moor should be
more than reason ; but if she be less than an honest
woman, she is indeed more than I took her for ; "
to which Launcelot replies irately, " How every fool
can play upon the word ! " But some of these epi-
grams are not fools' work, nevertheless. When Sir
Thomas More was Chancellor, his untiring devotion
to his office brought a conclusion to all the Chancery
cases in litigation. The following got abroad :
48 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
" When More some years had Chancellor been,
No more suits did remain ;
The same shall never more be seen,
Till More be there again."
When Dr. Manners-Sutton succeeded Archbishop
Mpore, this rhyme appeared : .
" What say you ? the Archbishop's dead ?
A loss indeed 1 Oh, on his head
May Heaven its blessings pour ;
But if with such a heart and mind,
In Manners we his equal find,
Why should we wish for Moore ? "
I might mention other similar attempts at rhymical
puns on this name ; but let this epitaph from St.
Bennet's Churchyard, Paul's Wharf, London, suffice:
" Here lies one More, and no more than he ;
One More, and no more ! how can that be ?
Why, one More, and no more may well lie here alone,
But here lies one More, and that's more than one ! "
To this generic class belongs every name that
suggests the familiar objects of the country. Even
the trees supply their quota. Who is not aware of
Mr. Harper Twelvetrees' existence, and cannot see
that his ancestor having made his abode beside some
remarkable group of birch or oak or chestnut trees,
has been styled by his neighbours "Peter atte Twelve-
trees " ? Hence the French " Quatrefages," and more
English "Crabtree," " Plumtree," or " Plumptree,"
"Rountree" (once written " Rowantree "), "Apple-
tree," and " Peartree." All these names still exist,
and I find entries to prove they lived at least six
hundred years ago. To many of my readers it may
IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION. 49
seem somewhat strange that a single shrub should be
pressed into the service of nomenclature in this man-
ner. But let him imagine himself without a surname,
living in the country, in a lane, with no landmark
adjacent but a stile, or an oak, or an ash. How could
he escape being called by his neighbours John Styles,
or Oakes, or Ash ? If there were no trees, nor even
a stile, how could he avoid being designated as John
in the Lane, and finally John Lane ? Snooks might
be set by " Twelvetrees," for it is but a corruption of
" Sennoks " and that of " Sevenoaks," a well-known
place in Kent.
(d) The next division of local names is specific viz.
the names of towns or villages, such as Preston,
Buxton, Oldham, Lancaster, Chester, York, and in-
deed all that class so multitudinous of which the old
distich already quoted says,
" In ford, in ham, in ley, in ton,
The most of English surnames run."
Sometimes the " ley " gets corrupted. There can
be little doubt, for instance, that Hathaway is but a
mispronunciation of Hatherley, and that Ann Hatha-
way's progenitor hailed from Gloucestershire. Was
ever a more beautiful as well as clever punning rhyme
made than that imputed to Shakespear ? One verse
must suffice :
" Would ye be taught, ye feathered throng,
With Love's sweet notes to grace your song,
To pierce the heart with thrilling lay ?
Listen to mine Ann Hathaway !
She hath a way to sing so clear,
Phcebus might wondering stop to hear :
50 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
To melt the sad, make blithe the gay,
And Nature charm, Ann hath a way :
She hath a way,
To breathe delight, Ann hath a way."
Five Hathaways and three Hathways still com-
memorate her in the Directory. The termination
" field " is corrupted into the form of " full " in several
cases ; thus Charles Hatfull's name reads somewhat
queerly. Of course he belongs to the Hatfields who
figure just above him.
See the tendency to migrate into, and not from
London. The name London is rare, as the Directory
shows. A man leaving Buxton for the capital, would
be Walter-o'-Buxton ; quitting the capital for the
Peak of Derbyshire, he would be Walter-o'-London.
But the tendency being for a young aspirant after
fame and wealth to go thither, and not thence, made
the surname London of rare occurrence. Perhaps
there has been more than one Whittington who has
fancied the bells have bid him stay and try his luck
again in that big centre of life and industry, whose
title is the most familiar place-name in the world.
Curious that the mightiest city of the mightiest
empire should be so scantily represented in its own
Directory. The cause, as I have shown, is simple of
explanation. We may here set "New," "Newman,"
and " Strange." A new comer would easily get the
sobriquet of " Matthew the New-man," or " William
the Strange," or " Henry the New," in the fresh com-
munity to which he had joined himself. The sobriquet
has stuck to his children, and still remains.
IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION. 51
(e) Names of foreign towns, the result of earlier or
later immigration, come next : such as "Cullen" from
Cologne, a name very familiar to English Roman
Catholics ; " Lyons " from the city devoted to the
silk trade ; " Bullen " or " Boleyn " from Boulogne ;
or " Janeway " or " Jannaway " from Genoa.
Many of these foreign town-names came into
England through the fact that the towns they repre-
sented were celebrated for some particular production.
The "Challens" of our Directory all hail from
Chalons, once so famous for its blankets that they
were called " chalons " for several centuries. The
name still lingers in the woollen trade of Yorkshire as
"shaloon cloth." Chaucer speaks both of "chalons"
and "cloth of raines." This was made at Rennes in
Brittany, and has furnished the London Directory
with its various Rains, Rain, Raine, and Raines. A
writer in the " Book of Days " says the following was
written upon a lady bearing the name of Rain :
" Whilst shiv'ring beaux at weather rail,
Of frost, and snow, and wind, and hail,
And heat, and cold, complain,
My steadier mind is always bent
On one sole object of content,
I ever wish for Rain !
" Hymen, thy votary's praise attend,
His anxious hope and suit befriend,
Let him not ask in vain :
His thirsty soul, his parched estate,
His glowing breast commiserate
In pity give him Rain ! "
(/) Names of counties naturally follow the last
class : as Derbyshire, or Kent, or Lancashire, or
52 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
Cumberland, or Kentish, or Devonish, or Cornish, or
Cornwall. A new comer would easily get a sobriquet
of this sort after stepping across the border line of
two contiguous shires.
(g) Names of countries and nationalities may fitly
be set last : as Ireland, Scott, Welsh, Walsh, Wallace,
English. These, of course, are marks of migration.
If an Englishman went into Scotland he would be
Peter the English, or Inglis ; or vice versa, he would be
Peter the Scot. Foreign districts are represented by
such names as " Britton " from Brittany, " Burgon,"
or " Burgoyne," from Burgundy, " Gaskin " from
Gascony, and so on with French, Holland, Fleming,
and Aleman or Alman, the old name for Germany.
The French form for this latter is " D'Almaine," or
" Lallimand." Both have found their way to London ;
thus showing a double immigration, first from Ger-
many to France, and then from France to England.
Our Sarasins and Sarsons (when not metronymics
for Sara-son, i.e. Sarah's son) are interesting relics of
crusading times, when the Templar loved to bring
back with him a young Saracen boy to act as his
page. The name is enrolled as " Sarracen " in many
ancient registers. Turk also exists. A " William le
Turk " lived in London just four hundred years ago,
and four " Turks " may be seen in the Directory to-
day. The Rev. Richard Thorpe, incumbent of Christ
Church, Camberwell, married Thomas Turk to Jane
Russ on October 26th, 1877, during the negotia-
tions for peace at Constantinople. How one wishes
that such a hopeful union might be brought about
between the nations represented by the names of this
IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION. 53
pair ! It is fair to add, that in this case " Russ " is
merely a corruption of "Rous," or of "Rouse," red-
haired or ruddy-complexioned a favourite nickname
with our forefathers. Our "Rowses" and "Russells"
are of similar origin.
One name in the London Directory deserves a
paragraph to itself, and also to be classified alone, if
one single sobriquet can be said to comprise a class.
This remarkable surname is " World." What a cos-
mopolitan the ancestor of the bearer of this title
must have been ! Mr. Bowditch, an American writer
on surnames, has recorded an instance in the Western
continent, for he says, " Columbus discovered a world,
and so have I. Mr. World lives at Orilla." The sobri-
quet of course is a corruption, but of what I cannot say.
We might go on like Tennyson's brook, " for ever,"
in this chat over local names, but enough. We
have only left ourselves space to remind the reader
what vagrants we all are. Like Dickens' little street
boy (in "Bleak House," I think it is), there seems
ever to be a shadowy policeman at our elbow bidding
us to " move on." The Bible has foretold that this is
to be our condition ; and our names, at least those of
local origin, have impressed on our very foreheads the
truth of such a Divine prophecy. 'Tis well it should
be so. Earth is not to be our dwelling-place for ever.
And though at times we may feel that we should like
repose, it is in mercy that God applies the goad, for
thus are we reminded that
" Our rest is in Heaven, our rest is not here."
The day will assuredly dawn for the Christian when
S4 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
he shall be enabled to take off his travel-worn shoes,
when he shall enter into the home to which he has
been making his way through so many weary stages,
and from which there shall be no going forth, even for
ever and for ever. May every reader of this chapter
be amongst that multitude of " vagabonds in the
earth," to use a Scripture phrase, who shall then
"enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts
ROBIN HOOD AND THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
HE largest class of surnames in the
London Directory, we showed in our
second chapter, after local names,
were those of patronymic origin :
baptismal surnames we called them.
If Richard has a son called Richard,
it is easy to suppose that this child
would go by the name of Richard Richard's son, or
Richard Dick's son. A third generation having
appeared in the form of a grandson, called Richard,
after father or grandfather, it will be readily supposed
that, he being also Richard Richard's son, or Dick's
son, the surname Richardson would now be sufficiently
familiarised to become the hereditary cognomen of
the descendants of this stock. Thus Richardson and
Dickson have sprung into being. Thus every name
of this class has originated. Names like Johnson,
Jackson, Timpson, Wilson, Harrison, or Stephenson,
simply prove that the bearers of these several titles
56 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
are descended from some particular John, Tim, Will,
Harry, or Stephen, who when he died bequeathed
his baptismal name as a piece of property to his
immediate descendants not deliberately, as he would
his money and estates, but in the casual and acci-
dental* fashion recorded above.
We can understand that at first it would seem
strange for a girl to go by a patronymic of this kind.
Imagine at this early stage of surname formation some
village maid bearing the name of Mary Williamj^w
(i.e., Mary, the son of William) ! To us, accustomed
to these names, there seems nothing absurd in such
a title as Matilda ]ohnson, or Margaret David^wz. It
never occurs to us to take the name to pieces, and
see the incongruity of its several elements. That
this was a difficulty to our forefathers is evident from
the fact that there are many entries like " Joan Wills-
daughter," or " Nan Tomsdaughter," in the registers
of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Thus
"Isabella Peersdoghter " lived near Durham four
hundred years ago i.e., Isabella, the daughter of
Peers, ije. Peter. In the same way, "Avice Mattwife"
i.e., Avice, the wife of Matt (Matthew) or " Cecilia
Wilkin-wife," is found at the same period. The
reason why surnames ending in daughter are not
found now, is that if the girl with such a surname
died unmarried, it died with her; if she married, she
changed her name. "Son" as a termination having
no difficulties of this kind to contend with, has left
us a multitude of names. Had it been otherwise,
we should have had surnames like Steven-daughter,
Dick-daughter, and Hopkin-daughter, contending for
ROBIN HOOD. 57
a place in our directories with "Stevenson," " Dickson,"
and " Hopkinson."
It would seem as if the female sex, therefore, had
been hardly treated in this matter of baptismal
nomenclature. Indeed, some of my readers might
be tempted to ask me whether the gentler half of the
community are represented at all in our directories.
I am happy to respond in the affirmative. John and
Margery might have a son, Robert by name. Now,
John is a timid, retiring kind of man ; his wife being
a bustling, active, assertive woman. John sits in the
chimney-corner, Margery does all the marketing, all
the talking, possibly all the working also. In a
word, she rules the roost. Naturally, the neighbours
get into a way of calling the child " Robert Margeri-
son," rather than "Robert y0//;/son." Margerison,
Margetson, and Margetts are all in the London
Directory. Take another instance : Hodge and Nell
get married ; Hodge dies, and a posthumous child
is born. Only the mother is living. As a matter
of course, the little one is styled Antony or Sarah
AWson, according to its sex. A large number of
metronymic surnames must be attributed to an
accident of this kind. All our " Ibbs," " Ibbisons,"
"Ibbsons," "Ibbots," and "Ibbotsons" are sprung
from Isabella, a much more common and familiar
name four or five hundred years ago than it is
now. Our "Emmetts," " Emmotts," " Emmotsons,"
"Emms," and " Empsons " are descendants of some
" Emma," or " Emmot," as she was then styled.
Many people have refused to believe that there are
any metronymic surnames, for fear that it would
58 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
seem to imply illegitimate birth. It is always silly
to deny facts, and I have shown there is no reason
to dread the charge in the great majority of these
Every nation has its own peculiar way of forming
the baptismal surname. We have no less than five
representing British as distinct from English nomen-
clature : Anglo-Norman, Anglo-Saxon, Scotch, Irish,
and Welsh. Each had his fashion of framing the
patronymic, and all, I need not say, abound in the
metropolis. The Norman made fitz (French, fils)
a prefix, and thus Gilbert, son of Hamon, became
Gilbert Fitz-hamon. The Saxon made son a desi-
nence, and thus Ralph, son of Nichol, became Ralph
Nicholson. The Welshman put ap (i.e. son) in the
forefront, like the Norman, and thus Owen ap-Richard
became Owen Pritchard, or Griffin ap-Harry Griffin
Parry, or Hugh ap-Rice Hugh Price. The inhabitant
of " Caledonia stern and wild " also set Mac at the
beginning rather than the end, so that Andrew, son
of Aulay, became Andrew Macaulay. Lastly, our
friends of the Emerald Isle prefixed Mac or O to the
baptismal name, as their form of descent, and thus
Patrick, son of Neale, became Patrick MacNeale,
or Patrick O'Neale. As the old rhyme has it :
" By Mac and 0,
You all may know
True Irishmen, they say ;
But if they lack
Both O and Mac,
No Irishmen are they."
Thus within the boundary lines of our own Britannic
realm we have "son; 9 "fitz" " ap" "Mac? and " O"
ROBIN HOOD 59
employed in the formation of one single class of
surnames. Sometimes the Welsh " ap" became
" ab? and thus ap-Evan has become " Bevan," ap-
Owen, Bowen, ap-Ethell, Bethell, and ap-Huggins,
Buggins. In the same way, ap-Lloyd is found in
the London Directory as Bloyd.
There are about five thousand people in London
bearing names of which "Robert" is the root and
foundation. I wonder if it has ever struck my reader
that the nominal existence of four-fifths of this large
population is the result of the life, adventures, and
celebrity of that great outlaw Robin Hood. To gather
up the links of evidence would fill a volume. I will
occupy the remainder of this chapter by a brief
resume of the argument. If I prove my assertion,
this will be demonstrating the reality of my title, and
show conclusively that the London Directory may be
well styled a " romance."
That Robin Hood was the fictitious name of
Robert, Earl of Huntingdon, has been proved an idle
fable ; but although there are serious doubts as to
the existence of William Tell, there need be none as
to the individuality of Robin Hood. That a noted
forester an outlaw of this name roved in the
neighbourhood of Sherwood during the first four
decades of the thirteenth century, is beyond dispute.
" In Locksley town, in merry Nottinghamshire,
In merry sweet Locksley town,
There bold Robin Hood was born and was bred,
Bold Robin of famous renown."
He and his companions lived by spoil. His popu-
larity was twofold in origin. He was credited with
60 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
a spirit of liberty chafing against an oppressive and
tyrannic rule. He was equally credited, truly or
the reverse, with unbounded kindness to the poor.
Camden styles him u prcedonem mitissimum" the
gentlest of thieves. Sir Walter Scott says of the
spoil he heaped up, that he " shook the superflux to
the poor," and, in respect of government, "showed
the heavens more just." Dying about the year
1247, it was n t verv l n g before he became an
" institution " : every country ballad, every chap-
book had its story of Robin Hood, his princely
spirit, his skill in archery, his wondrous adventures,
and his hair-breadth escapes. The impression
that he was of noble birth only added to his
This of course could not but have its effect upon
the nomenclature of the time. It is well known
that when Thomas a Beckett was murdered, almost
every child born immediately afterwards was, if a
boy, christened Thomas. To this tragedy myriads
of Thompsons and Tomlinsons owe their surnames.
The dictionary and the directory are under equal
obligations to Robin Hood. There need be little
doubt that Cough's suggestion that his real name was
"Robin o' the Wood" (i.e. Sherwood) is true. The
corruption " Hood " is perfectly natural.
(i.) Look at some of our place-names. In 1730
there was a " Robin Hood's Well," about three miles
north of Doncaster ; and Leland, the great itinerary,
visited "Robyn Hudd's Bay," under which antique
dress we recognise the familiar village and coast
"Robin Hood's Bay," betwixt Whitby and Scar-
ROBIN HOOD. 61
borough. Everybody has seen a Robin Hood's oak,
or a Robin Hood's bower. At this moment there
are hundreds of country inns in the north, called
" Robin Hood," with a picture of the bold archer in
dress proper, or intended to be so, to the period in
which he is supposed to have lived. His bow and
arrow are of course always depicted, and occasionally
a deer in the distance.
(2.) Look at the old English proverbs ; and we may
premise that if a man has created a proverb he has
made himself immortal. " Good even, Robin Hood,"
quoted by Skelton, poet-laureate to Henry VIIL,
implied "civility extorted by fear." Fuller quotes,
" Many men talk of Robin Hood that neere shott in
his bow." " To over-shoot Robin Hood," is another
proverbial saying. This is quoted by Sir Philip
Sidney. " Tales of Robin Hood are good for fools,"
is quoted by Camden. The most familiar, however,
was "to sell Robin Hood's pennyworths." Fuller
refers to this as of things half sold, half given ; the
great robber parting lightly with what he came by
lightly. "Robin's choice," this or nothing, would
seem almost to have suggested " Hobson's choice,"
for Hobson is a patronymic of Robert, Hob being
the old familiar pet name for the same.
(3.) To Robin Hood, again, we doubtless owe the
familiarity of several names applied to the spirit
world. Our forefathers were very superstitious, espe-
cially the country peasantry. A belief in " brownies,"
" dobbies," " pixies," and elves kindly or mischievous,
still largely prevails in places removed from the busy
towns. Superstitions of this kind die where men
62 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
are herded together. It is only in dusky woodlands
ghostly sights appear, or in the silences of the rural
churchyard or forest avenue that voices are heard
whose utterance is not from human throat ! Cer-
tainly Robin Hood must stand sponsor for much of
the dread that nurses infused into naughty children's
breasts. The pet names or nurses' names of Robert
were "Robin," "Hob," and "Dob." The ignis fatuus,
to this day an object of apprehension, was associated
early with the bold freebooter :
" Some call him Robin Goodfellow^
Hob-goblin, or mad Crisp.
And some againe doe terme him oft,
By name of Will the Wispe."
So says an old ballad. Robin Goodfellow and Hob-
goblin, it will be seen, represent the same name.
Another title for the same was " Hob-lanthorn " (i.e.
Robin's lanthorn). Dr. Halliwell gives the term
" Hob-thrush," adding that it is always used in
association with Robin Goodfellow. In the "Two
Lancashire Lovers" (1640) it is said, "If he be no
hob-thrush, nor no Robin Goodfellow, I could finde
with all my heart to sip up a sillybub with him."
Here, then, are four names, "Robin Goodfellow,"
"Hob-goblin," "Hob-lanthorn," "Hob-thrush;" all
used to give personation to that curious light which
occasionally may be seen in marshy and woody
districts. How natural that these should be asso-
ciated with that mysterious denizen of the forest,
whose name was in everybody's mouth, and who
came and went, who showed himself here, there, and
everywhere, and yet could never be caught !
ROBIN HOOD. 63
" From elves, hobs, and fairies,
Defend us, good Heaven,"
say Beaumont and Fletcher in one of their plays.
And every reader of Shakespear will remember how
in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" the Fairy ad-
dresses Puck as
" That shrewd and knavish sprite
Called Robin Goodfellow : "
while by-and-by she adds :
" Those that Hob-goblin call you, and sweet Puck,
You do their worst, and they shall have good luck."
In the extreme north of England the pet name for
Robert was Dob, or " Dobbin." Curiously enough, to
this day the term for Hob-goblin is there "Dobby."*
I ask the reader, if this can be an accident ? Could
it have been possible that five distinct names should
be given to the ignis fatuus, or to such woodland
elves as were supposed to reveal themselves under
his frolicsome light, all having Robert as their chief
component, had not the thousand and one stories
about Robin Hood and his merry men and their
nightly escapades been spread over the land by the
ballad-mongers of the time that immediately followed
his death ?
(4.) Once more : look at our general nomenclature
* Since this appeared in The Fireside, I became vicar of a
church on the borders of Cumberland. I find that there is an
old hall with a celebrated " dobby " in it, within a few stones cast
of my vicarage ! It (i.e. the ghost) is always called the " dobby "
64 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
of men, birds, beasts, and shrubs. So common had
" Hob " become in the northern and midland districts
(for every man you might meet 'twixt York and
Leicester was sure to be " Hob "), that it became a
cant term for a country yokel. Thomas Fuller in his
" Lives " speaks of " country-hobs " where we should
speak of "country-men." Thus, too, Coriolanus is
made to say
" Why in this wool-less toge should I stand here,
To beg of Hob and Dick ? "
The /#/-ass is just as often called "dobbin" in
the north, and an ewe-lamb a 7^-lamb. The tame
ruddock has become the " robin redbreast" ; a chicken,
a roblet (robelot, i.e., little robin) ; bindweed goes by
the title of " Robin-run in the hedge " ; the common
club moss is " Robin Hood's hatband " ; while every
child is familiar with "ragged robin," and "herb-
Surely this is enough to testify to the popularity
of Robert! The fact is, that Robin Hood gave a
start to his name similar in its effects to that of a
snowball. He has grasped all he has touched. He
has left his memory upon everything. He has
stamped his march upon things animate and in-
animate. So long as we have a language and a
dictionary, a nomenclature, and a directory, we shall
daily be reading and looking upon words and names
which, however meaningless on the surface, are
teeming with recollections of the bold outlaw, whose
thrilling adventures, whose kindly bounties, whose
supposed devotion to liberty, made him the idol of
ROBIN HOOD. 65
his own time, and an object of interest to his country-
men so long as England shall endure.
And now we may ask, what has Robin Hood done
for English nomenclature, so far as surnames are con-
cerned ? Well, in the first place, he made " Robert "
the favourite name at the font for a century at least.
We even find Robin Hood itself appearing as a
surname. A tradesman' bearing the sobriquet of
Thomas Robyn-Hod, lived at Winchelsea in 1388.
At the very time that Robert was thus popular,
baptismal surnames were being established. As a
consequence, Robert was no sooner a Christian name
than it became a candidate for the place of a surname.
Remembering the different pet names in familiar use,
it will not be so astonishing that I should be able to
collect no fewer than forty-six separately-spelled
surnames, all descended from this one single appella-
tion ! while London alone could gather into Hyde
Park as many as five thousand souls whose individu-
ality is recognised by their associates through the
medium of this famous title.
(a) Robert has given us Robert, Roberts, Robart,
Robarts, Robertson, Roberson, and Roberton.
(b) Robin has bequeathed Robin, Robins, Robbins,
Roblin, Robinson, and Robison.
(c) Rob has left us Robb, Robbs, Robbie, Robson
Robkins, Ropkins, and Ropes.
(d) Dob has handed down to us Dobb, Dobbs, Dobbie,
Dobson, Dobbins, Bobbing, Dobinson, and Dobison.
(e) Hob has transmitted Hobb, Hobbs, Hobbes,
Hobbiss, Hobson, Hobbins, Hoblyn, Hopkins, Hop-
kinson, Hopps, and Hopson.
66 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
(/) Besides these there were once such familiar
French diminutives as Robinet, Dobinet, Robelot,
and Robertot. These did not come directly from
France or Normandy. They were forms adopted by
the country people from the habit, common then as
now, of copying the fashions of the more noble
families. Elizabeth Robinett will be found in the
London Directory. Hers is the only instance that
I can find still existing. The rest were all surnames
in the fourteenth century.*
(g) The Welsh, seizing upon the name, turned
ap-Robert and ap-Robyn into Probert and Probyn,
Can I add anything to prove the popularity of
Robin Hood ? It is possible that we could not have
spoken of Hobbism, or of a Hobbist, for the founder
of that system of philosophy might have borne some
other name. It is possible that there might have
been no " Hobson's choice," for that worthy livery-
man at Cambridge might, under some other sobriquet,
have compelled the young collegian to take the next
horse on the list, or none. Certainly our old friend
Punch would have been unable to poke fun at
Cockneydom under at least one name of the famous
company of "Brown, Jones, Smith, and Robinson"
It is possible, too, that "before you could say Jack
Robinson" would never have become an English
commonplace. How the phrase originated I cannot
* After the appearance of this chapter as an article in The Fire-
side, I received several letters from the counties of Cambridge,
Stafford, and Devon, testifying to the existence of the surname
" Robinet " in several secluded villages.
say, but it is a very old one, if the couplet quoted
from an old play by Dr. Halliwell be genuine:
" A warke it ys as easie to be doone,
As tys to saye 'Jacke Robyson.'"
EARLY PET NAMES.
HE present and following chapter I
purpose devoting to the further con-
sideration of the subject of baptismal
names. There are distinct epochs
in the history of names, as in the
history of everything else. One great
crisis in our national nomenclature was the Norman
Conquest. With the exception of Alfred, Arthur,
Edwin, Edward, Ethel, and say a dozen other agno-
mens which were preserved through various accidents,
all English names of the pre-Norman period disap-
peared before the end of the twelfth century. They
were literally submerged beneath the advancing tide
of Norman titles and usages. All the great popular
sobriquets so familiar to us to-day, such as William,
Henry, Ralph, Richard, Gerald, Robert, and even
Scripture and Saint's-day names like John, Ellis
(Elias), Stephen, and Matthew, belong to the later
EARLY PET NAMES. 69
But an equally grave crisis in English nomenclature
was the publication of an English Bible, and the
Reformation of Religion that followed. From that
day all our common and familiar Bible names came
into use. Till then the only Scripture names in
vogue were those set down in the Calendar of the
Saints, or such names as were employed in the
"Mysteries," or "Plays" taken from Scripture stories,
performed at festivals for the amusement and instruc-
tion of the peasantry and tradespeople. From the
day of the Reformation the out-of-the-way sobriquets
of the Bible came into favour. As these increased,
what we may call the pagan names decreased. The
popularity of Harry, Dick, Robert, and Walter began
to fade. Some, like Hamond, Avice, Drew, Payn,
and Warin, altogether disappeared, while Guy,
Baldwin, and Edward held but a most precarious
Here then are two epochs the Norman, and the
Puritan. Let us confine ourselves in this chapter to
" Pagan " and " Christian " were both favourite
baptismal names in the Norman epoch. The former
was registered as "Payn" or "Paine." Chaucer says,
"The constable and Dame Hermigold, his wife,
Were payens, and that country everywhere."
All our "Pagans," " Payns," " Paines," and "Pin-
sons " are from this old-fashioned sobriquet. A
century ago, the Hon. Thomas Erskine having been
seized with a serious illness, and kindly tended at
Lady Payne's house in London, wrote,
70 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
t " Tis true I am ill ; but I need not complain,
For he never knew pleasure who never knew Payne."
Christian has never been popular in England, but
Christopher has ; and besides the long "Christophers"
and " Christopherson," has left us Kitts and Kitson.
Another name, a Scripture name too, is now all
but wholly disused that of Samson. I daresay many
of my readers have thought that our many Sampsons
are all but entirely descended from Sam-son, i.e., the
son of Samuel. I have no hesitation in claiming a
full half for the son of Manoah, the Danite. The
old registers teem with entries like " Samson de
Battisford " or " Sampson Dernebrough." Shallow
says (2 Hen. IF.), " And the very same day did I
fight with one Sampson Stockfish, a fruiterer behind
" I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy, nor Colbrand,
To mow 'em down before me,"
says the porter's assistant in Henry VIII. The fact
is, the story of Samson was a favourite one with our
forefathers, and often performed at the miracle-plays.
There are nearly fifty Sampsons and Samsons in the
London Directory, some of them being of purely
Jewish descent. " Elegant Extracts," a favourite
storehouse of good, bad, and indifferent (very) poetry
for the youth of our country in the last century, has
the following, anent this name :
"Jack, eating rotten cheese, did say,
' Like Samson, I my thousands slay.'
* I vow,' quoth Roger, ' so you do,
And with the self-same weapon too.' "
EARL Y PET NAMES. 7 r
Speaking of Roger, we may note that he is fast
going out of fashion. There was a day when " Hodge"
was as familiar as Hob, Dicon, or Harry. A single
glance at our Directory will prove this, for to him we
owe all our Hodges, Hodgsons, Hodgkins, Hodg-
kinsons, Hodsons, Hotchkiss's, etc. Just as Hob,
from Robert, became Dob in North England, so
Hodge, from Roger, became Dodge. From Dodge
we get our Dodgshons, and Dodgesons. Just as,
also, Hodgson became Hodson, so Dodgson has
become Dodson. The Welsh turned Ap-Roger into
Prodger. All this proves a popularity for Roger
utterly beyond its present modest pretensions.
A great deal of nonsense has been written upon
one of the noblest family names in England Howard.
It is constantly said, and as constantly reiterated,
that the sobriquet is one of occupation, being nothing
more nor less than Hog-ward, or hog-herd, corre-
sponding to Swinnart from swine-herd, Coward from
cow-herd, Shepherd from sheep-herd, Calvert from
calve-herd, and Stoddart and Stottard from stot-herd
(i.e., stot, bullock). All these latter are without
doubt what they seem to be, for old registers give
them in their more manifest dress. But Howard is
only another form of Harvard, or Hereward, or
Heoruvard. Thus we find such an early entry as
John Fitz-howard (that is, John, the son of Howard),
clearly a baptismal surname. When Byron wished
to hurl an invective at the head of his relative, the
Earl of Carlisle, he quoted Pope,
" What can ennoble knaves, or fools, or cowards ?
Alas ! not all the blood of all the Howards."
72 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
The italics are Byron's, and every one knows the
family name of the Lords of Carlisle. As a quota-
tion, it v/as apt ; as applicable to the Earl, it was
the opposite ; but Byron in a rage meant Byron
ungovernable either by courtesy or truth. However,
my point is, that the ancestral house of the Howards
are not descended from a hog-herd, though it would
be no disgrace if they were, for a shepherd once
became a king and a poet, but from one of those
grand personal names which existed in England
before the Norman Conquest was dreamt of. " Here-
ward, the Saxon " has been made familiar within the
last few years by Charles Kingsley. This is but the
same name in an earlier dress. It might have been
considered a happy thought, if the author had
dedicated his book to one of the Howards, and
stereotyped their identity.
In my work on " English Surnames " I have given
a somewhat exhaustive list of the various appellations
formed from English baptismal names. So I will
merely hint at a few and pass on. Walter, as Wat,
gave us Watkins, Watts, Watson, and Watkinson.
The old familiar form for Walter was Water,
which explains Shakespear's play upon the name in
"My name is Walter Whitmore.
How now ! why start'st thou ? What, doth death
Suffolk. Thy name affrights me, in whose sound is death.
A cunning man did calculate my birth,
And told me that by water I should die."
Our Waters and Watersons are thus explained^
EARL Y PET NAMES. 73
Antony has bequeathed us Tonkin, Tonson, and
Tounson ; Philip, Phipps, Phillips, and Philpotts (i.e.
Philipot, that is, little Philip, a pet name). A curious
form of Philpot may be seen in the Directory in the
shape of Fillpot. This reminds us that many a play
has been made on the name. It was not so very
long ago that Punch facetiously remarked upon the
fact that the newly elected Bishop of Worcester was
Philpott, the then Bishop of Exeter being the cele-
" ' A good appointment ? No, it's not/
Said old beer-drinking Peter Watts ;
1 At Worcester one but hears " Philpott,"
At generous Exeter " Philpotts." ' "
A large number of patronymics are to be seen
in the surnames that come under the division " N "
in the Directory. In the old song "Joan to the
Maypole " it is said,
" Nan, Noll, Kate, Moll,
Brave lasses, have lads to attend 'em :
Hodge, Nick, Tom, Dick,
Brave country dancers, who can amend 'em ?"
" Nan " stands for Anna or Hannah, Noll for
Olive or Oliver, in this case Olive, a girl's name.
In fact, every name that began with a vowel was
turned into a pet form beginning with "N." Edward
became Ned, and Emma Nem. Thus in St. Peter's,
Cornhill, the register says,
" Sept. 20, 1577. Fryday, buryed, Nem Carve, daughter of
Humphrey became Nump, and Abel, Nab. In
74 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
Ben Jonson's "Alchemist," the tobacco man Abel
" Yes, sir ; I have another thing I would impart,"
to which Face replies,
" Out with it, Nab."
Again, Isabella became Nib. The result of this is,
that such surnames as Nibbs, Nabbs, and Nemms
or Neams, are common. Even Nance, which figures
twice in the Postal Directory, is just as likely to be
the old " Nans," from Anna, as from the town of
Nantes. The owner can take his choice, however,
and probably will prefer the local origin.
Talking of girls' names, we may notice how many
surnames owe their origin to Matilda, Emma, Isabella,
and Petronilla. There are pages of Tillotsons,
Tillots, Tilletts, Tilts, and Tills, all from the old pet
form Till. Emma, too, is commemorated in little
companies of Emms, Emps, Emsons, Empsons, Em-
motts, Emmetts, and Emmotsons ; while Isabella is
not far behind with the retinue of Ibbs, Nibbs, Ibbotts,
Ibbetts, and Ibbotsons. Petronilla, the feminine form
of Peter, was always known as Parnel, and is thus
found in St. Peter's, Cornhill :
"1586, Aprill 17. Sonday, christening of Parnell, daughter
of William Averell, merchaunt tailor."
Hence our many Parnells and Parnalls. Mary has
left us Mollison and Marriott (i.e. little Mary), but
was never popular in England during the days of
surname formation. Maria was practically unknown
till the seventeenth century. As Charles Lamb says,
EARL Y PET NAMES. 75
" Maria asks a statelier pace,
' Ave, Maria, full of grace !'
Romish rites before me rise,
Image worship, sacrifice,
And well-meant but mistaken pieties."
It is a proof that even in days long anterior to
the Reformation the English peasantry had an in-
rooted objection to a foreign religious yoke, in the
shape of Popery, that such names as Peter and Mary
should be so scantily represented. 'Tis true that
Peter has left his mark upon the Directory. There
are shoals of Peters, Petersons, Perkins, Pearces,
Piers, Pierces, and Pearsons, but their origin belongs
to an earlier day. Certain it is, that at least a century
before the reign of Mary, the name was growing into
disrepute with the English people, and no doubt the
obnoxious tax of Peters-pence was at the root of it.
Guy was turned in Norman nurseries into Guiot
(i.e., little Guy) ; this in English was transformed
into Wyatt. How popular this name was four hun-
dred years ago, is proved by the fact that there are
nearly sixty Wyatts set down in the London Direc-
tory alone. William, Walter, Warin, and Wyatt all
testify to the change of French G into English W.
In the French Directories they will still be found
as Guillaume, Gualter, Guarin, and Guiot. And as
Guillaume became William, so Guillemot (little Wil-
liam) became Williamot, and then Wilmot. The
French, however, unlike the English, were very fond
of adding two diminutives to the name. Thus, Guillot
(little Will) became Guillotin (little wee Will). This
reminds us of Dr. Guillotin, who invented that terrible
76 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
instrument which played such a horrible part in the
French Revolution. In the same way, Hugh (always
spelt " Hew " in mediaeval records) became English
Hewet (little Hugh), and French Hugot. But our
neighbours, inserting another diminutive, turned it
into Hugenot (little wee Hugh). This at once ex-
plains a matter of much contention. There has been
much strife as to the origin of the word Huguenot.
Had our friends only been aware of the fondness
of the French some centuries ago for double diminu-
tives, they would have seen at once that the sect
sprang from some individual bearing that name,
the origin of which is perfectly simple. It may be
of interest to add, that we in England have never
used double diminutives. In France it was the rule
rather than the exception, as their Directories fully
prove. Introduced by the Normans, we have both
"in" and "ot" or " et," as in "Colin" and " Hew*/,"
from Nicholas and Hugh ; but we never conjoin them
to one name. A Frenchman four hundred years ago
would have turned them into "Col-in-et," " Col-ot-in,"
" Hugu-in-ot," or " Hug-ot-in." 'Tis true, we in
England called children " Rob-in-et," as I have
shown in a previous chapter ; but it was a mere
passing fancy. I was wrong, however, in stating
that the surname "Robinet" is practically obsolete,
for Mr. Hutton, the Rector of Stilton, writes to
inform me that in a village adjacent there are several
families of this name.
Thomas owed its great popularity to Thomas a
Becket, who for a time at least was a pgpular idol.
Few baptismal names have laid their impress on
EARL Y PET NAMES. 77
the London Directory as this has done. Rows of
Thomas's appear, many hailing from the Welsh
border. These are flanked by columns of Thomp-
sons with a " p," and Thomsons without a " p."
Dancing attendance on these more important mem-
bers of the Thomas family, are scattered up and
down a few Thomassets, and Thomsetts, memorials
of the old pet name "Thomaset" (i.e. little Thomas).
But Thomas seemed to imagine that the " h " in his
side ought to be got rid of, so he appears in shoals
as Tompkins, with a "p" again, and again as Tomkins
without a "p." Poor relations do not like to make
their connection too prominent, for fear of giving
offence, so in the background, but close enough to
be ready to make good their claim, appear several
Toms, Thorns, Tomes, and Tombs. This last looks
very funereal indeed, and would seem to be a local
name taken from one who has had his dwelling amid
the tombs, but " b " was often put at the end in that
way. Thus Timbs is from Tims, that is, Timothy.
A string of Tomlins and Tomlinsons completes the
list. Many will remember the rhyme about Thomas
the footman, whom his lady married :
" Dear lady, think it no reproach,
It showed a generous mind,
To take poor Thomas in the coach,
Who rode before behind.
" Dear lady, think it no reproach,
It show'd you loved the more,
To take poor Thomas in the coach,
Who rode behind before"
There are a fair number of Guns, Gunns, and
78 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
Gunsons, in our Directory. There is a slang phrase
about being the "son of a gun." This was a common
occurrence in old days when such entries as " Richard
films Gunne " were frequently made, The fact is,
" Gun " was a baptismal name, and the surnames
mentioned above are but sprung from it. It is not
many years since Mr. Gunson preached the assize
sermon at Cambridge before Mr. Baron Alderson
and Mr. Justice Patteson. The following rhyme
got abroad :
" A Baron, a Justice, a Preacher, sons three :
The Preacher, the son of a Gun is he J
The Baron, he is the son of a tree ;
Whose son is the Justice I can't well see,
But read him Patetson, and all will agree
That the son of his father the Justice must be."
Alderson is but a form of Aldrichson, Aldrich being
once a common baptismal name ; while Patterson,
Paterson, Pattison, and Patteson, are all commemo-
rative of Patrick, who, strange to say, was scarcely
remembered at the font at all in Ireland at a time
when he was very popular in England.
Every country has a sobriquet which stands as a
kind of baptismal name for the nation, as distinct
from the individual. England is represented by
John, or John Bull ; Scotland by Alexander, as
Sawney or Sandy ; Ireland by Patrick, as Pat ; and
Wales by David, in the dress of Taffy. Let us trace
their origin very briefly, and see their effect upon our
nomenclature. In 1385 the Guild of St. George, at
Norwich, contained 376 names; of these 128 were
John ! This extraordinary proportion was the direct
EARL Y PET NAMES. 79
result of the Crusades. From the Jordan, in which
Christ had been baptized, every crusader brought
home in his bottle water for baptismal purposes.
He could not christen his child by the name of Jesus,
the Baptized this would be blasphemy; but he could
give it the name of the baptizer, John. Remember,
too, that John the Baptist was "Elias." Hence
Baptist, John, Ellis, and Jordan, became the favourite
baptismal names for several generations. Our
Jordans, Jordansons, Jordsons, Judds, Judsons, and
Judkins are all memorials of this, for Judd did not
become the pet name of George till the seventeenth
century. In early days it was the nickname of Jordan.
The other day I saw a register of a child christened
"River," his surname being Jordan. Thus both
names have the same origin. This kind of thing is
common. I know registers where may be seen three
" River Jordans." " Windsor Castle " occurs in a
Derbyshire church record. But John took the lead.
One of the most curious freaks in the history of
nomenclature is that which made Jack the nickname
for "John." The French for James was Jaques
(Jacobus). This being the then favourite name in
France, got popularized in England, with this differ-
ence, that the common folk took it and made it the
pet name of their own favourite name "John." Thus
our Jacks, Jacksons, Jacklins, are all reminiscences
of John rather than James. It is so still. No one
ever dreams of styling a boy called James, Jack.
To this day, John and Jack are synonymous. The
Flemings brought in " Hans " (i.e. Johannes}. These
have originated our Hankins, Hankinsons, Hancocks,
8o ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
Handcocks, Hanks, and Hands. Further distinction
was obtained by nicknaming some boys as "Little-
John," " Proper-John " (i.e., handsome : in country
parts, they still say of a young man, " He's a proper
young fellow "). The French introduced Gros-Jean
(Big-John) and Bon-Jean (Good-John), and the latter
got corrupted into Bunyan. To John we owe our
Johnsons, Jones, Jennings, Jenkinsons, Jenkins, and
Jenks. No doubt, when Mr. Jenkins wrote " Ginx's
Baby," he was aware that both author and hero
bore the same name, for "Ginx" is simply "Jinks"
or " Jenks " caricatured.
Miss Yonge thinks that Margaret Atheling intro-
duced Alexander into Scotland from the Hungarian
Court. Her third son was Alexander, and under him
and the other two Alexanders Scotia was prosperous.
Hence its great popularity. Sawney and Sandy are
the pet forms, and the surnames Alister, McAlister in
the Highlands, and Sanders or Saunders in the Low-
lands, will for ever prevent the name being forgotten.
Patrick, the patron saint of Irishmen, whose festival
is kept wherever Irishmen may be, has, strange to
say, left scarcely a single surname. There is " Kil-
patrick," and " Gos-patrick " i.e., servant of Patrick
(Gos = gossoon, i.e. gargon), but no real patronymic.
How is this ? One single reason will suffice. At the
time of surname formation " Patrick " was scarcely
ever used at the font. " Teague " was the popular
name till the end of the seventeenth century. Under
150 years ago, Englishmen spoke of an Irishman,
not as " Pat," but as " Teague." I could prove this
equally from registers and ballads.
EARLY PET NAMES. 81
" Taffy/' of course, was and is the Welsh national
name, and owes his origin to St. David, who lived in
the sixth century, and through his sanctity caused his
bishop's see to be changed from Menevia into St.
David's. Davy, Davis, and Davies are therefore
common enough in the Principality. From our
childhood we have heard that
" Taffy was a Welshman,
Taffy was a thief ; "
but we trust, for the credit of our friends across the
Severn, that this refers to a particular Taffy, and not
to the national Taffy. Black sheep are to be found
in every flock. That Taffy can be a hero, Happy
Dodd and his compatriots can prove; and never
was the Albert Medal more richly deserved or more
bravely won, than on the morning that witnessed the
rescue of the imprisoned miners in the Welsh coal-pit.
All honour to Taffy !
THE BIBLE AND NOMENCLATURE.
SAID in my last chapter that I
should devote the present one to
a relation of the causes that led
to a complete revolution in our
English baptismal nomenclature in
the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries. During this comparatively brief period,
most of the popular mediaeval names lapsed, not
merely from favour, but into total oblivion. Tis
true, this does not properly appertain to the
subject of surnames, because, having now become an
established system, it was impossible for the Refor-
mation to affect them to any appreciable extent.
That is, the Reformation could revolutionize our
baptismal names, but not our surnames, Had the
Reformation occurred three or even two centuries
earlier, the London Directory of 1877 would have
presented a totally different appearance to that which
THE BIBLE AND NOMENCLATURE. 83
it does. Instead of half a thousand Harrisons and
Harrises, we should have had, may be, a hundred
" Calebsons," and "Abnersons," and " Joshuasons,"
and "Jaelsons." Why? Because surnames were
undergoing their hereditary formation then.
Nevertheless, our subject is quite apropos to the
Directory, for Christian names abound there as well
as surnames. If the pages of that great tome do not
show that our surnames were visibly affected by an
open Bible, a Reformation of Religion, and a Puritan
Commonwealth, it is not so with the baptismal names.
Every page bears strong evidence of a wondrous and
Let us first clear the ground. In what relation
did the Bible stand to English nomenclature in pre-
Reformation days ? The Scripture names in use
during that period were fourfold in origin.
(a) Names so prominent in Scripture that none
could be ignorant of them, such as Adam and Eve.
All our Atkins, Atkinsons, Adams, Adamsons,
Adkins, Adkinsons, and Addisons come from Adam ;
all our Eves, Evisons, Evetts, Evitts, Evotts, and
Evesons, from Eve. An old will, dated 1391, speaks
of the same individual as Eve and Evot (i.e. little
Eve). Adam and Eve, four hundred years ago,
were two of our commonest personal names.
(b) Names of Bible heroes, whose story was wont to
be dramatized on religious festivals, and thus made
familiar to the peasantry. The offering of Isaac,
and Daniel in the den of lions, were two favourite
plays. Thus, Isaac as Higg or Hick, and Daniel as
Dan, were popular everywhere. Thus we got as sur-
84 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
names, Higgins (i.e. little Isaac), Higginson, Hicks,
Hickson, Higgott and Higgs, from the one, and
Daniels, Danson, Dankins, Dannett (i.e. little Daniel),
and Dann from the other. Higgonet, a double
diminutive (treated of in our last chapter), became
Hignett ; and even non-smokers must have seen the
virtues of Hignett's " mixture " glowingly described
in the daily advertisements ! Imagine Higgins or
Hignett as derived from Isaac ! Nevertheless, such
is the undoubted fact.
(c) Ecclesiastic rtames, or names taken from the
calendar of the saints, such as Bartholomew, Nicholas,
or Peter. The reader would be indeed amazed if I
were to furnish him with a list of all the surnames
founded upon these three once familiar names. Bate,
Bartle, and Bartelot were the pet forms of Bartho-
lomew, whence our Bates, Battys, Batsons, Bartles,
and Bartletts. St. Nicholas gave us Nicholls and
Nicholson, Nix, Nicks, Nixon, and Nickson. Cole
(whence our Coles) was the most favoured pet form,
however, of Nicholas ; and this, with the popular
Norman-French diminutives "in" and "et n appended,
made Colin and Colet. Hence our many Collins,
Collinsons, Colsons, Colletts and Colets, not to
mention the double diminutive Colinet. As for
Peter, I have already reminded the reader of the
pages of names that the London-Directory contains,
all originated by that agnomen upon which Rome has
founded her most pretentious and arrogant claims.
When we reflect that previous to the incoming of
the Normans there were no Scripture names in use
in England, saving in the case of a few ecclesiastics,
THE BIBLE AND NOMENCLATURE. 85
who had adopted them at ordination, we can in some
little degree realize the great revolution our national
nomenclature had undergone in respect of the three
classes I have here summarised.
(d) Festival names, such as Christmas or Pascal.
The other day I was passing through a street in
Kensington, and saw " Pentecost " over a door. It
is a curious surname, and yet not uncommon. The
reader perhaps wonders how such a term got into
our Directory. Its origin is perfectly simple. Like
John, or Thomas, it was but a baptismal name, and
having become so used, it inevitably came to the
honours of a surname. How ? says a reader. This
way, John, the son of Pentecost, five hundred years
ago, becomes John Pentecost, and the thing is done.
Pentecost is no exceptional instance. The London
Directory contains many a Christmas, or Midwinter,
or Paschal, or Pask, or Nowell, or Noel. All these
mediaeval terms for religious seasons were used as
baptismal names, (being given to children born on
these festivals,) and then became surnames. The
Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel got his surname in
such a manner. Noel was quite a familiar term in
England and France for Christmas Day ; and a child
born on that eventful morn would naturally receive
as his font-name that which gave title to the day,
especially when we consider that Noel is nothing
more than " Natalis," the " natal day." As time
passed on, and the meaning of Noel became obscure,
the Christmas waits pronounced it " Now well ! Now
well : " as they sang their midnight carol. It was
a pretty and significant mistake. Surely, as Noel
86 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
comes round, many a believer can catch the strain
of angelic " glad tidings " of a Saviour born, and
say, " Now well, indeed, for me and all mankind."
"Newell" is the commonest form of the surname.
In France, all children born on Easter Day were
christened " Pascal." This, becoming a surname,
was handed down to Blaise Pascal, one of the most
brilliant and most pious men that that great country
has ever produced. In the north of England Easter
was always known as " Pace," or " Pask." These
of course are common surnames. "To go a pace-
egging " is still a familiar phrase in Lancashire and
Yorkshire ; and the prettily ornamented eggs are
still sold in the shops as Easter comes round. By
a happy conceit, they are often called " Peace-eggs " ;
and certainly " Pace " has proved "Peace" to myriads
of souls. The Registrar-General, in one of his
reports, came across a Christmas Day i.e., the
child's surname being "Day," the parents had it
christened "Christmas." "Pentecost," for a child
born on Whit-Sunday, was once extremely popular.*
But these quaint customs have come to an end.
To baptize an infant by the name of "Pentecost"
or "Paschal" would now be considered a piece of
eccentricity, not to say irreverence. The Reformed
Church of England has sufficiently emphasized these
festivals in her Services, without laying too great
stress upon them. The superstitions and follies that
gave over-prominence to such seasons in mediaeval
days ceased with an open English Bible and a purer
* A servant of King Henry III. was called by the simple and
only name of " Pentecostes " (Inquis., 13 Edit., No. 13).
THE BIBLE AND NOMENCLATURE. 87
and simpler Christianity. The danger now is a rush
to the other end of the tether. I believe there are
thousands of living Nonconformists who regret that
they have allowed such services as would have
commemorated the events of Easter Day, Good
Friday, and Ascension Day to fall into desuetude.
The neglect of Ascension Day, even among Church-
men, is, I think, much to be deplored.
But if the Reformation threw one class of names
into the cold shadow of neglect and oblivion, it took
care to fill up the gap with an assortment of its own
selection. We may set down the interval between
1580 and 1720 as the most curious era in the history
of personal names, whether of this or any other
country. The more I have studied our English
baptismal registers of the seventeenth century, and
I may say, without boasting, few have studied them
more frequently than I, the more profoundly am I
convinced that no other revolution of a religious or
social character in the annals of nations can present
claims to eccentricity equal to that which, beginning
with the Reformation, found its climax in the Puritan
Commonwealth. Alas! I can only touch upon the
subject here, but I could easily fill a book with
instances gleaned by myself in a not very long life.
Friends interested in the same pursuit, I must add,
have also helped me ; not to mention Notes and
Queries, that storehouse of treasures to antiquaries
of every bent.
The first signs of serious change betrayed them-
selves at the beginning of Elizabeth's reign. The
English Bible rested in English hands. But it
88 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
was a new book. Names familiar enough in 1877,
but probably heard of for the first time in 1577, were
drawn forth from their concealment, and made to
subserve the new impulse of the nation. It was then
that the minister at the font had to begin registering
such names as " Abacucke Harman," " Sydrach
Sympson," " Phenenna Salmon/' " Gamaliel Capell,"
"Archelaus Gifford," " Melchizedek Payne," " Dyna
Bocher," or " Zebulon Clerke." It was as if the
Bible were a new country full of verdant tracks, and
as they passed through each plucked the flower that
pleased him most. By the time King James came
to the throne, " Phineas," "Philemon," "Uriah,"
"Aquila," " Priscilla," and "Hilkiah" had become
the rage. Before he died, Harry had fallen into
neglect, Ralph and Guy were utterly despised, and
names like Hamlet, or Harnnet (Shakespear's son
was Hamnet), or Avice, or Douce, or Warin, or
Drew, or Fulke, had gone down like sodden logs in
a stagnant pool. Whether they will ever come into
use again is very doubtful. Only national caprice
can do it ; but that, we know, can do anything.
That Avice, so pretty and simple as it is, should
have disappeared, I cannot but think a national
By the time of Charles the First, the national taste
had gone a degree further. It becomes positively
amusing to study the registers of this period. It
had evidently become a point of respectability
among certain classes of the community to select
for their children the rarest names of Scripture.
John, Nicholas, Bartholomew, Thomas, and Peter,
THE BIBLE AND NOMENCLATURE. 89
though Scriptural, were tabooed ; a stain rested on
them, as having been in the Calendar during centuries
of popish superstition. In fact, the Apostles were
turned out for having kept bad company. Many
seemed to have rested their claim to thorough know-
ledge of the Bible upon the rarity of the name they
had discovered in its pages. Thus I find " Ebed-
meleck Gastrell," whose Christian name only occurs
once in the Scriptures (Jer. xxxviii. 8). " Epaphro-
ditus Houghton," " Othniell Haggat," " Apphia Scott,"
" Tryphena Gode," " Bezaliel Peachie," are cases in
point. If a child were styled by a new, quaint, un-
heard-of title, as a. matter of course it was assumed
to be from the Bible. From the appearance of such
a name as " Michellaliell," I fancy tricks of this kind
A further stage of eccentricity was reached when
it became fashionable to emphasize the doctrine of
original sin by affixing to the new-born child a
Scripture name of ill-repute. The reader can have no
conception how far this was carried. In the street
Dinahs and Absaloms walked hand-in-hand to school ;
Ananiases and Sapphiras grovelled in the dirty courts
and alleys ; and Cains took Abels to pluck flowers
in the rural lanes and meadows, without thoughts
of fratricide. Archbishop Leighton, son of a much
persecuted Presbyterian minister, had a sister Sap-
phira. The acme of eccentricity was reached in the
case of Milcom Groat, whose Christian (!) name was
" The abomination of the children of Ammon." It
may be seen in the State Papers (Domestic). I am
furnishing all these names hap-hazard from my note-
90 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
books. In the dame's school the twelve patriarchs
could all have answered to their names through their
little red-cheeked representatives who lined the wall,
unless, maybe, Simeon or Reuben stood on a separate
seat with the dunce's cap on ! But the strangest
freak of all is still to be recorded. We have all
heard of Praise-God Barebones. Hume, in his His-
tory of England, asserts that his brother bore the
long name of " If-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-
hadst-been-condemned Barebones." What the his-
torian adds to this I will not repeat, for fear of
seeming irreverent. Many have supposed this to
have been a case of mere exceptional eccentricity.
Nothing of the kind. It was not an uncommon custom
for a man or woman after conversion to reject with
horror the pagan name of " Harry " or " Dick," which
their god-parents had imposed upon them, and be
known henceforth as " Replenish/' or " Increase," or
"Abstinence," or "Live-well." Of course, if they
married after this, they spared their children the
necessity of any such alteration by furnishing them
with personal appellations of this character at the
The earliest specimens of this peculiar spirit will
be found in the reign of Elizabeth that is, within a
score of years or so of the Reformation and the gift
of an open English Bible ; so we must not suppose
it was wholly an institution of what we may term
the Cromwellian period. It reached its climax then,
nothing more. In the Elizabethan " Proceedings in
Chancery " may be seen such names as Virtue Hunt,
Temperance Dowlande, Temperance was one of our
THE BIBLE AND NOMENCLATURE. 91
most popular names for a hundred and fifty years,
Charitie Bowes, and Lamentation Chapman. Lamen-
tation would easily be affixed to a child whose mother
had died in childbirth. Ichabod has often been
given for a like reason. On the contrary, " Comfort "
would be readily seized upon under circumstances of
Christian or parental joy. The other day I was in
Tewkesbury Abbey, now undergoing restoration, and,
as is my wont, I began ferreting for peculiar names.
In a churchyard I instinctively walk like a dog
with my nose to the ground. Almost immediately,
I came across two " Comforts," " Comfort, wife of
Abram Farren, died Aug. 24th, 1720," and "Comfort
Pearce, died Nov. i/th, 1715 ; " the latter was grand-
daughter of the former. Miss Holt, whose " Mistress
Margery" and other sound and thoroughly well-
written stories will have been read by most of my
readers, told me not long ago that she had seen in
the register of St. James's, Piccadilly, the following
entries : " Repentance Tompson," " Loving Bell,"
" Obedience Clark," and " Unity Thornton " ; " Naza-
reth Rudde," also, was contained in the same record.
This reminds me of " Jerrico Segrave " in a Derby-
shire record. In that county it was very possible
for Bible place-names to be thus incorporated into
personal nomenclature. Among the ruder peasantry
it was a common custom, a custom dating from the
Reformation, to have their child baptized by the
first name the eye lighted on after the parent had
let the family Bible fall open upon the table. A
clergyman not long ago, asking in the Baptismal
Service " What name ? " received the whispered re-
92 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
joinder, "Ramoth Gilead." Naturally enough, he
inquired, sotto voce, "A boy or a girl?" A curious
instance of this general class is to be found in the
case of Frevven, Archbishop of York, who died in
1664. He was son of a Puritan minister in Sussex ;
his Christian name was "Accepted," and his younger
brother was " Thankfull." It is from this epoch that
we must date the origin of some of our prettiest,
if not now most popular, names for girls : " Grace,"
" Faith," "Hope," "Charity," "Truth," and "Prudence."
All these have survived the era in which they, and
a hundred longer and less simple terms, were intro-
duced ; and if they are now getting out of favour,
it is only one more proof that the fashions in detail,
as well as the fashions generally, of this world,
undergo silent, it may be, but inevitable change.
We must not suppose, however, that there was no
spirit of antagonism to this remarkable practice, so
new in origin, and yet so deeply established. I have
carefully avoided any reference to the disagreements
that led to the execution of Charles the First, and
the Commonwealth. If this era was socially vicious,
it was also religiously hypocritical. Both sides had
good and bad men in their midst. A poem written
in 1660, styled a "Psalm of Mercy," is an evident
" skit " by some Royalist upon the new taste in
nomenclature. It is too long for quotation, and
though not actually ribald, is better left in its ob-
scurity. It pokes fun at the following names :
Rachel, Abigaile, Faith, Charity, Pru (Prudence),
Ruth, Temperance, Grace, Bathsheba, Clemence,
Jude, Pris (Priscilla), Aquila, Mercy, Thank, Dorcas,
THE BIBLE AND NOMENCLATURE. 93
Chloe, Phoebe. It is curious to note, that while none
of these names could be found in an English register
prior to 1560, in 1660, when this satirical ballad was
indited, there was not one which was not more or
less popular, not one of which I myself have not
found several instances in contemporary records.
We have only to add, that after the recital of all
these names, the poet concludes with a couplet which
we cannot insert here, but which indicates very clearly
that the writer was not very much drawn to this new
phase of feeling. However, if we are to thank the
Roundheads for the introduction of many really
pretty names, names, too, awakening sweet Biblical
and religious associations in our hearts, we must
not forget that it was owing to the antagonistic spirit
of the Cavaliers that we are still in possession of not
a few old names, which, though pagan in origin, are
rendered dear by their antiquity and their relations
to English life and character generations ere the
Reformation was dreamt of. Above all, we must
never forget, that whether the name be in the Bible
or out of it, whether it be given at the font or even
in the registrar's office, it is the man that sanctifies
the name, not the name the man. It was not their
names that made Venn, and Simeon, and Wilberforce
venerated ; but Venn, and Simeon, and Wilberforce,
by their earnest devotion and stable piety, made
themselves so revered by Christian Englishmen that
their names are still uttered with that hushed and
bated breath that is the deepest demonstration of
regard that human heart can express. Let us not
then regret, that if by one band of men the treasury
94 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
house of the Scriptures was ransacked for a new
vocabulary of nomenclature, to another band we owe
the preservation from the death they were threatened
with, of Ralph, Walter, Dick, Harry, Cecilia, Lucy,
Beatrice, Julia, Robert, Humphry, and Edward.
Again do you say, " But they are pagan ! " Prythee,
friend, will you say that because Latimer bore the
pagan name of Hugh, he died " without hope," as
a dog dieth ; or that she who permitted his body to
be burned, because she bore the name of Mary, could
assert with her nominal prototype that " All genera-
tions shall call me blessed"? Her name is written
in blood ; and " Bloody Mary " she will be styled
from English lips, till the Reformation be branded
as a mistake, and its heroes as fools.
I have laid stress, nay, I have dwelt lingeringly,
on these now quaint and old-mannered names for a
particular reason. How many of my readers there
must be who, without realizing the causes, are con-
scious of the fact that the Christian names of our
cousins across the Atlantic, and those of ourselves,
are marked by a certain divergence. When the
Pilgrim Fathers set forth from Plymouth and Bristol,
they bore with them their Puritan cognomens ; and
there, in Virginia and all the east border of the great
States, they are established nearly as firmly to-day
as they were in England two hundred years ago.
Take up an American story, and in the names of its
heroines you can tell, not only their nationality, but the
writer's also. "Faith," and " Hope," and " Patience,"
and "Grace" are still their favourite titles. Nor is
this a mere accident. If we turn to Mr. Hottens' list
THE BIBLE AND NOMENCLATURE. 95
of emigrants between 1600 and 1700, we find such
names to have been of everyday occurrence. In the
same family we find such trios as " Love Brewster,"
" Fear Brewster," and " Patience Brewster " quitting
our shores. We find a brother and sister registered
as " Hopestill Foster" and " Patience Foster;" while
such entries as " Perseverance Green," " Desire Min-
ter," "Revolt Vincent," "Joye Spark," "Remember
Allerton," and " Remembrance Tibbott " greet one at
every turn. In such titles as these " Hope-still,"
"Remember," "Remembrance," "Desire," "Patience,"
and " Perseverance " our minds are inevitably thrown
back to those days of religious persecution, while we
seem to be bidding these travellers God-speed on
their distant and uncertain journey from the pierhead
as the good ship lifts her anchor ; and we can detect
in the heart of the emigrant that mingled tide of hope
and fear, trust and regret, confidence in the future
united with a fond and lingering looking back, which
still abides unbanished, in spite of occasional tall
talk, from the American's heart. He is proud of
his land, but he does not forget the old country. No
man so proud of making a name for himself as he ;
and yet no man so proud of tracing his pedigree back
to a name that has been already made for him gene-
rations ago on England's soil ! In the twofold title of
"Hopestill" and "Remembrance" still lives all that
speaks of reverence in America's past and expectation
for America's future.
If it were necessary, we could easily show how
the same thing has happened to the vocabularies of
the two countries that has befallen the two nomen-
96 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
clatures. We smile when a Yankee says, " I guess,"
" I calculate," and " I reckon ; " but when we read in
the Epistle of St. Paul the sentence "/ reckon that
the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to
be compared with the glory which shall be revealed
in us," do we always reflect, as we might do, that our
translators and revisers of 1611 were simply putting
into the mouth of the apostle a phrase which was
then colloquial English, but now survives, in all its
familiarity, only in the United States, whither the
Puritan Fathers had carried it ? This comparison we
might easily extend, but it is not our subject
As for American baptismal nomenclature in
general, it is all but entirely Biblical. The only book
the refugee took with him was his English Bible.
His piety was fed from its pages, his life was likened
to its histories, his surroundings had the same cast
of primeval simplicity ; he discovered a resemblance
between his own new life and that of the patriarchs,
and it pleased him to stereotype the resemblance by
the adoption of their names. From out that Book
alone he named his offspring, and thus to this day,
such is the power of tradition, " Brother Jonathan"
and " Uncle Sam " are but representatives of a class
of names which well-nigh engrosses every other. A
single instance will suffice to show how this great
mass of Biblical nomenclature arose. Charles
Chauncy died in New England, 1671. He emigrated
from Hertfordshire, where the family had been settled
for centuries. His children were Isaac, Ichabod,
Sarah, Barnabas, Elnathan, Nathaniel, and Israel.
All these grew up and settled in New England.
THE BIBLE AND NOMENCLATURE. 97
It has been well said, that were it not for our
English Bible the two languages of the United States
and England would slowly but surely separate them-
selves into two distinct dialects, possibly tongues.
Certainly it is to that book which Wycliffe, whom
we commemorated in 1877, wrote into English, we
owe the fact that in no respect is there a closer bond
and deeper sympathy betwixt England and America
than in that which concerns the nomenclature of the
two countries. In what respect they differ I have
shown. While we have dropped some names that
marked eccentricity, and restored some of the older
and more pagan cognomens from the oblivion that
seemed so certainly to await them, they have clung
tenaciously to that more quaint and large class ot
names of Scriptural origin, which their forefathers
of Puritan stock bore with them across the ocean in
days when America was as yet a portion of the
May the twofold offspring of one stock hold fast
still, as in days of yore, to that One Name in the
Bible which is above every name ! Then shall the
two great branches of the Anglo-Norman race
continue to multiply and be strong, and all the
continents of the world shall be blessed through
SET out with the intention of
writing six chapters on the " London
', Directory ; " and, lo ! I have reached
1 the mystic seven. The worst of it
is, that at the present rate of pro-
gress I shall have to transgress the
editorial licence by at least four more before I can
possibly bring my remarks to a close, consistent
with the demands of my subject. Nevertheless, the
Editor has only to say the word, and I will wipe,
not my tearful eye, but my goose quill, and bid my
courteous reader adieu !
The other day I met a friend, and he greeted me
with the remark, " Awfully dry." Thinking he referred
to the weather it was the end of June and feeling
decidedly warm, I assented cordially, when I dis-
covered that the statement was intended to be a
less polite than concise criticism upon one or two of
my later instalments to The Fireside, on the subject
that heads these pages. My friend made several other
remarks founded on the first, and went so far as to
offer me some advice a very dangerous thing, as
everybody knows. It was to this effect : " Stick to
your text." What is my text ? I asked, thinking to
take him off his guard. "The London Directory,"
he replied promptly.
Well, I must admit that in the last two papers I
slightly wandered from my text. My excuse is this :
baptismal names are in the London Directory as well
as surnames ; and the baptismal names of to-day are
as different from the baptismal names of five hundred
years ago as were the baptismal names of five
hundred years ago from those in vogue five hundred
years before that. This curious fact I wished to
bring out and develop. At the same time I wanted
to show that it was the English Bible that had caused
the change. Whether I succeeded in so doing, I
must leave to the reader to decide. At any rate, I
can now turn, with such cheerfulness as my stern
critic has left me, to the next class of English Sur-
names represented in the London Directory that
originated by Office, whether ecclesiastical or civil. I
have got the Directory itself at my left elbow, not
merely as a monitor to warn me, but also as a
reference to support me. Looking to this mighty
tome, then, for inspiration as well as illustration, I at
The Directory teems with relics of the feudal
system. There is not a single office belonging to
that formal and ceremonious age which is not com-
memorated within its pages. Whether it were service
ioo ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
within the baronial hall or tenure without, all was
held by a retinue who thought no office too mean or
servile for acceptance. The feudatory, in fact, could
seemingly do nothing ; everything was done for him.
He could eat and drink, 'tis true, and he did both to
the great admiration of all beholders ; but he had an
officer to carve his meat for him ; another to change
his plate ; a third to crack jokes for him, to aid his
digestion; a fourth to extend a bowl to wash his
fingers ; a fifth to hand him a napkin to wipe them ;
a sixth to hold his wine-cup for him ; and a seventh
to taste each fresh dish set before him, so that in
case poison had been put in the food, his taster
might drop down dead instead of himself. Why
the baron hadn't an officer to wipe his nose for him,
I can't say ; it has always been a mystery to me.
One thing, however, is certain. As he sat and ate
and drank, he had a little crowd of officers who
thought it only too high a distinction to perform
duties so menial, that a scullion in the present day,
if 'asked to undertake some of them, would probably
reply, " Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this
thing?" At any rate, he would give you a month's
notice, to a certainty.
That all these officerships existed, the Directory
still shows; for I have no hesitation in saying that
the finest and most trustworthy records of the feudal
age are to be found, not in the British Museum in
Great Russell Street, nor the Bodleian Library at
Oxford, but in that great red-backed tome which lies
on the shelf in every London warehouse. Imagine
our going to these dry and prosaic emporiums of
merchandise for an account of a long past state of
life, which, with all its barbarism, is well-nigh the
most poetical era of English history. I mentioned
seven officers who tended the baron at his meals.
Taking the Directory, I find twelve Carvers, two
Sewers, eleven Napiers and Nappers, six Ewers, one
hundred and twenty-five Pages, not to mention our
various " Cuppages " (i.e. Cup-page), Smallpages, and
Littlepages, six " Says," and twenty-four " Sayers."
'Tis true there are no "Fools" in the Directory,
though there may be plenty out of it ; but once it
was a very common name indeed, and denoted the
officer, if I may use the term, whose duty it was to
convulse the table with laughter by making the most
ludicrous jokes he could invent, backing them up
with all sorts of grimaces and contortions. He was
a professed punster, too, and had free licence to make
them at the expense even of his lord. Indeed, the
fool could make a joke with impunity, which would
have cost any other man his head. Of course he
wore a fool's-cap as the insignia of his office. The
Napier, or Napper, set the napkins, once called
" napes." A curious and silly story has got abroad,
that the Scotch Napiers got their surname from one
Donald, whose prowess was so great in a certain
battle, that the king said he had "na peer," that
is, no equal. His friends, so the tale goes, from
henceforth styled him Donald Na-pier. The Scotch
Napiers are, as Mr. Lower shows, of the house of
Lennox, and owed their cognomen to the office I
have described, held by their ancestors in the royal
household. The Ewer carried the ewer of water in
102 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
front of the Napier ; and as they had no forks in
those days, and used their left hand in a manner
which would be now considered the reverse of polite,
no wonder that between every course the napier and
ewer would be busy indeed. Even the carver had
no fork, and had to use his fingers very freely with
the joints. In the " Boke of Kervynge," an old
manual of etiquette for young squires, there is a strict
order to this effect : " Sett never on fyshe, flesche,
beest, nor fowle, more than two fyngers and a
thumbe"! The young squire had early to learn this
accomplishment ; and therefore Chaucer, describing
his Squire, made a point of saying in his favour,
" Courteous he was, lowly and servisable,
And carf before his fader at the table."
The Sewer brought in the viands; we still use the
root in such compounds as en-sue and pur-sue. A
sewe was any cooked dish or course of meat. Hence
Chaucer, describing the rich feasts of Cambuscan,
says, time would fail him to tell
" Of their strange sewes."
The Queen's household still boasts, I believe, its six
Gentlemen Sewers. The " Page," of course, was a
familiar spectacle, for he was here, there, and every-
where, at the beck and call of his lord. No wonder,
therefore, he has so many representatives in our
Directory. It is said that an elderly bachelor, bear-
ing this name, became deeply attached to a young
lady. Being bashful by nature, and unacquainted
with the arts of courtship, he hung about the damsel
for a long time, seeking vainly for courage and
opportunity to declare the state of his mind. The
golden chance came at last. At a party one night
the fair lady dropped her glove. He rushed to pick
it up, and presenting it to her, said,
" If from that glove you take the letter ' G,'
Then glove is love, and that I give to thee."
She at once responded,
" If you from Page should take the letter ' P,'
Then Page is age, and that won't do for me."
I believe he was taken ill and went home.
Knight, like Squire and Bachelor, all relics of
feudal days, is largely represented in London. A
would-be reader of the poets, it is said, went into a
shop and asked to see a copy of " Young Knight's
Thoughts." He was somewhat astonished to find
that " Young " was not an adjective, but a surname.
This reminds one of Southey's story of the lady who,
seeing a book advertised bearing the title " An Essay
on Burns," ordered a copy, thinking it treated of
scalds, and might contain some remedies. Say,
Sayer, Guster, and Taster the last alone being now
obsolete all refer to the office mentioned above ;
the duty of the first bearers of these several names
being to hazard their own lives for the preservation
of their masters'. In a word, they stood behind their
lord's chair, and as every dish of meat or cup of wine
was brought in, they assayed it (i.e., they took the
first bite or sup) ; so that if either had been "drugged "
by some conspirator in the kitchen, the baron might
escape. It is right to add, to prevent misconception,
104 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
that in some cases our Sayers owe their origin, like
"Tester," to another ofncership that of examining
money, to see whether it was full weight and of
genuine metal. There are four or five " Testers " in
the Loncjori Directory.
We may close this list with the. mention of such
surnames as Spencer or " Spenser " ; Marshall, Cham-
berlain or Chamberlin, Warder, and Butler. All these
represented important offtcerships.
We may here take the opportunity of referring to
the condition of the lower classes. In the country
there was no middle class, such as we know by the
term, excepting those who are represented in the
Directory under the sobriquet of Yeoman, Yeomans,
and Yeomanson. The peasantry were oftentimes
little more than goods and chattels of their masters.
We must not exaggerate, however, for although there
are sixty-four " Bonds " in the London Directory, who
represent such old entries as "William le Bonde," the
progenitors of this name were in no such abject
servitude as is now understood by the word. That
they were hard worked there can be no doubt :
" Of alle men in londe
Most toileth the bonde,"
and how much freedom was valued may be guessed
from the number of Franks, Franklins, Frees, Free-
bodys, Freemans, Freeds, and Freeborns, in the big
tome we are discussing. We find even Free-wife and
Free-woman in the older registers, but they are now
obsolete in the Directory, I mean, not in actual life,
for very often the wife not merely " rules her house,"
but her husband too, and a good thing for him if he
only knew it ! There are fifty-three " Frys " to be
added to this list, the old form of "free." How
curious that the lady who so distinguished herself
in toiling for the abolition of slavery should have
borne the name of Elizabeth Fry ! Who strove more
earnestly to make the bond free than she ? Truly
Tom Hood meant jest for earnest when he wrote his
ode to Dr. Kitchener :
" What baron, or squire, or knight of the shire
Lives half so well as a holy Fry-er ?
In doing well thou must be reckoned
The first and Mrs. Fry the second."
Again he says in jest and rhyme, with a sly hit in
the last line at her Quaker garments :
" I like you, Mrs. Fry ! I like your name !
It speaks the very warmth you feel in pressing
In daily act round Charity's great flame
I like the crisp Browne way you have of dressing."
If Hood had known the meaning of Mrs. Fry's name,
he could have made a better play than this upon it.
The forms in the old rolls are Walter le Frie, or
Roger le Frye.
The country police were represented by various
terms, and as I turn the page of my book of modern
reference I am reminded of them all. The Hayward
guarded the fences; the Forester or Forster or
Foster, the Woodward, the Parker, the Warrener or
Warner, the Woodreeve, now found as Woodruff or
Woodroff, all protected the covers wherein the beasts
of the chase found harbourage. The Finder, or
106 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
Pounder, was engaged in locking up strayed cattle.
Every village had its pound, and no doubt in a day
when hedges and dikes and fences were less familiar
sights than now, his office would be an important one.
It may be asked, Have we any relic in our Direc-
tories of any office in the large towns answering to
our modern policeman, or " peeler," as our street
gamins so disrespectfully style him ? We answer in
the affirmative. Our somewhat common surname of
Catchpoll, Catchpole, Catchpool, and Catchpoole are
his representatives. They were so called because,
as they walked their beat, they carried a somewhat
formidable weapon, very like a pitchfork, the two
prongs of which slipped round the neck, and formed
a steel collar. The officer then had the criminal
entirely at his mercy, and could either drag him, or
shove him by the pole attached, which was from six
to seven feet in length. He was called a Catchpoll,
because he caught his victim by the head or poll.
We still talk of a poll-tax, or "going to the poll,"
showing how familiar the word was in those days.
The Malvern Dreamer, in his poem entitled "The
Vision of Piers Plowman," says of the two thieves
crucified with our Saviour, that,
"A cachepol cam forth,
And cracked both their legges."
Another form, Catcherell, lingered on for a time in
our nomenclature, but it is now gone, unless Cattrall
be but a corruption. An old sermon of the fourteenth
century speaks of the "devil and his angels" as
the "devil and his cachereles"! Our "Waites" and
"Waits" represent the night watchmen. As they
both sounded the watches and gave the alarm with
a trumpet or horn, it came to pass that any band
of night serenaders acquired the name. We are all
familiar with the Christmas " waits " ! I see there
are two " Wakemans " in the Directory. The wake-
man was the North English form of " watchman, 5 '
just as kirk is North English for church, or dike for
ditch, or thack for thatch. Thus, Wycliffe translates
Mark xii. 37, " Forsooth, that that I say to you, I
say to all, Wake ye," where our modern translators
have " Watch." Strangely enough, in Psalm cxxvii. I
they have employed both forms. "The watchman
waketh but in vain," should have been either " The
wakeman waketh but in vain," or "The watchman
watcheth but in vain." As it stands it is incongruous,
for it gives the modern reader the idea that the
watchman had been asleep, implying that he had
been negligent, which, of course, is not in the original.
When we remember, as I have shown, that " wake "
and "watch" were but the same word with two
pronunciations, one North English and the other
South English, the difficulty is explained.* A north
* A curious instance in point will be found in the marginal
reading of Malachi ii. 12, where "master, and scholar," in the
text, is marginally translated, " him that waketh, and him that
answereth." Now, we know the corresponding duties of master
and scholar. The master asks his question, and then watches
for the reply. " Him that watcheth, and him that replieth,"
would be understood by all readers. " Him that waketh, and
him that answereth," will probably seem unmeaning to nineteen
out of twenty average students.
io8 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
countryman, if he wants to say that his neighbour is
a shrewd fellow, says, " Eh, but he's a wak' un." I
don't know whether a Lancashireman or a Yorkshire-
man is the most " wak' ; " but an old saying gives the
preference to the County Palatine. If a Lancashire-
man wish to be ahead of a Yorkshireman, it says, he
must be up at two o'clock in the morning ; but if a
Yorkshireman wish to be ahead of a Lancashireman,
he mustn't go to bed at all. We may surmise that a
Lancashireman originated the saying. Both " Wake"
and "Sleep" are in the London Directory. Brook,
in his " History of the Puritans," relates a story
concerning these two names. It seems, by a curious
coincidence, that Isaac Wake was University Orator
at Oxford, in 1607, Dr. Sleep being a well-known
Cambridge preacher at the same time. James the
First, who not merely liked his joke, but was fond
of listening to sermons, both characteristic of a
Scotchman, used to say, " he always felt inclined to
Wake when he heard Sleep, and to Sleep when he
heard Wake " i.e., he could not decide on the relative
merits of the two. Wake and Sleep will both be
nicknames the ancestor of the one doubtless being
a sharp shrewd fellow ; the progenitor of the other,
I daresay, being thought somewhat dull and stupid
by his neighbours.
Speaking about " Sleep " and "Wake " reminds us
of a name which has been a puzzle to many that of
" Gotobed." The last time I was in the metropolis, I
saw it over a door in Great Portland Street. The
name has acquired additional interest since Mr.
Trollope introduced it in one of his most able stories,
" The American Senator." One of our humorous poets
had already played upon it in the lines,
" Mr. Barker's as mute as a fish in the sea,
Mr. Miles never moves on a journey,
Mr. Gotobed sits up till half after three,
Mr. Makepeace was bred an attorney."
It is just possible it is a nickname, for it occurs in
registers as Gotobedde since the days of Elizabeth.
Besides, there is a like nickname in the Hundred
Rolls in the case of " Serl Gotokirk," a sobriquet given
to the owner on account of his regular and frequent
attendance at worship. Nevertheless, I believe it to
be a baptismal surname. I doubt not it is a mere
corruption of Godbert, once a favourite child's name.
When I add that I find it five hundred years ago
entered as " Godeberd," a little later as " Gotebedde,"
and more recently " Gotobedd," I think the question
may be looked upon as settled.
But I am falling into a snare. Methinks I hear my
stern critic saying, "What has Gotobed to do with
official surnames ? stick, Sir, to your text." Well,
the connection does certainly seem somewhat vague ;
but Wakeman was official, and it led me to Wake, and
from Wake it was not very odd that I should pitch
upon Sleep, and after all you can never sleep comfort-
ably unless you go to bed. Still, to soothe my friend,
I will hark back, and conclude this chapter by a
reference to a few ecclesiastic surnames.
Tis true that Henry the Eighth and others de-
molished our abbeys, monkeries as Latimer styles
them priories, and other Romish institutions that
had become objectionable to English morals. But one
i io ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
thing they could not do uproot them from our regis-
ters. In the London Directory, if nomenclature goes
for anything, they never flourished so vigorously as in
the reign of Protestant Victoria ! Apart from West-
minster Abbey, there are at least five Abbeys in other
quarters of the Metropolis, while no less than seventy-
three Abbots reside in the same neighbourhood. Nor
is this all. There are still left in London over fifty
"Priors," "Pryers," and "Pryors," over twenty "Fryers,"
over thirty ''Monks," and nearly forty "Nunns." Talk
of the Papal aggression ! Why, Mr. Newdegate should
call the attention of the House of Commons, and
through them that of the whole country, to the fact
immediately. It is awful to contemplate what is
thus going on under our very noses. It was only the
other day that a Nunn appeared in a small house out
of the Strand not more than a day old, if the register
of births be correct. Talk of boy-bishops, this is
simply intolerable !
It is almost as bad when we turn to names that are
less Romishly suggestive. How can it be consistent
with his more orthodox duties, for an Archdeacon to
be a furniture-broker, a Dean to be a rag and bottle
merchant, or a Bishop to be a tobacco and snuff
manufacturer ! If my stern critic doubts my word, I
can only refer him to the London Directory. There,
sir, I'm sticking to my text this time, surely ! I know
a " Priest," too, who keeps a chandler's shop Maryle-
bone way, and a " Deacon " who employs his leisure
hours in the delightful occupation of chimney-
sweeping ; he resides in the vicinity of Edgeware
Road. Not that I blame them ; for what better can
you expect from either Priests or Deacons, so long
as Bishops, Deans, and Archdeacons are guilty of
such vagaries as I have stated ?
There was a time, now a long while ago, when
two personages contended for the honours of the
Papal chair. There are no less than thirty-six Popes
in London at this present moment; one is a green-
grocer, by the way. I have not heard of their quar-
relling ; and so far, at least, this must be considered
satisfactory. A good deal of blood was shed over the
rival claims of the first two. When James the First
came on a visit to Sir Thomas Pope, near Oxford,
the Knight's little daughter was introduced to his
Majesty with these lines,
" See ! this little mistress here
Did never sit in Peter's chair,
Neither a triple crown did wear,
And yet she is a Pope !
" No benefice she ever sold,
Nor did dispense with sin for gold ;
She hardly is a fortnight old,
And yet she is a Pope !
" A female Pope, you'll say, ' a second Joan ? '
No, sure, she is Pope Innocent, or none."
An epigram, or a bit of wit, always pleased James
the First, who was no mean punster himself; and no
doubt this little entertainment at the entrance of
the knight's mansion helped materially to make his
Majesty enjoy the hospitalities lavished upon him
One name I have never yet seen in the London
Directory, which occurs in the old parliamentary
ii2 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
writs that of " Hugh Holy-water-clerk." He dwelt
at Lincoln, and was doubtless connected with the
cathedral body. But the old " Paternoster " still exists
hale and hearty, as anybody may see who will take
the trouble to inspect the big book of reference which
gives title to my pages. How many thousands there
are who daily pass Paternoster Row, and never reflect
that it derived its name from the fact that several
tradesmen who strung beads dwelt there. They were
called "Paternosters," and found ample occupation
and profit, no doubt, in selling their religious ware to
the people as they entered the old cathedral to patter
aves. That they bore this name Mr. Riley has shown
in his "Memorials of London," wherein not merely
is "William le Paternoster" mentioned as dwelling
there, but a Robert Ornel is described as following
the trade of " paternoster." What a history there is
conveyed in such a registered name as " Sarah Pater-
noster, fishmonger, 336, Hackney Road"! For cen-
turies, as the name has passed on from one generation
to another, there has been handed down with it
a memorial of a time which can never return,
at least, I believe it can never return, a time when
our more superstitious forefathers and foremothers
thought they could win the favour of Heaven and the
grace of God by a glib and unmeaning reiteration of
a prayer carefully and solemnly framed by Christ Him-
self to express and comprehend all the needs of the
human heart. It is neither the length of our prayers
nor the number of our invocations that will save us.
It is the peculiarity of the Gospel narrative, that those
who received benefit at Christ's hands were they who
uttered very short prayers ; but then they knew what
were asking for, and from whom they were making
request. Why, if grace depended on the quantity of
prayer, then we could reduce the holiness of believers
to a mere arithmetical ratio, and by the amount of
their petitions demonstrate to so many fractions how
much more saintly one Christian was than another.
But I had better stop, or my reader will think I am
preaching a sermon. Wouldn't my stern critic come
down heavily on me then ? And I should not know
what to say in self-defence !
THE EMPLOYMENTS OF OUR FOREFATHERS.
OTHING would be easier than to
occupy a half-dozen chapters with a
relation of the mode in which our
forefathers led their lives. It is one
peculiarity of nomenclature, that it
reaches into every nook and crevice
of English customs. What our ancestors specially
favoured in the way of meat and drink, is set down
with the utmost particularity in the London Directory
of to-day, while, on the other hand, it is by the
absence of certain names therein that we can form
a safe judgment of what delicacies they lacked. No
one would expect to see the potato commemorated
in the Directory, for the simple reason that it was
introduced into England after surnames had become
established on a solid basis. There are no " Tater-
mans " or " Taterers." But such names as Appletree,
Appleyard, Plumtree, Pearman, and Peascod, exist.
Why ? Because apples, pears, plums, and peas,
EMPLOYMENTS OF OUR FOREFATHERS. 115
have been familiar to Englishmen for a dozen cen-
turies. " Photographer " is not in the Directory for
the same reason, but " Limner " is, the old " illu-
minator.'.' " Cabman " is also conspicuous by its
absence, but "Carman" and "Wagner" (i.e. Wagoner)
exist. Had tea, or umbrellas, or broughams, or
balloons, or carpets, or potatoes, or croquet balls, or
telegraph wires, or tinned meats, or steam engines,
or churchwarden pipes, or Indian pickles, been
introduced about five hundred years ago, every one
of these would have left its mark on our personal
nomenclature. Each would have found itself com-
memorated in our directories as well as our dic-
tionaries. It is true the railway engine might seem
to have been referred to in such fourteenth-century
registrations as Richard le Engineur or William le
Genour, but these men only wielded the great
battering-rams, or catapults, or engines for hurling
stones. Very destructive they were, of course, and
so important a profession that no wonder there are
thirteen "Jenners" in the London Directory alone-
Sir William Jenner can satisfy himself with the
reflection that if his progenitor was distinguished
for the number of England's adversaries he placed
hors de combat, he and his father have been equally
remarkable for the number of lives they have saved.
Let us spend a few moments in a consideration of
this great matter of eating and drinking. And we
will begin with drinking first. It is curious how
easily misled we might be by the corruptions that
have taken place in our nomenclature. The following
surnames are in the London Directory (1870) : Brandy,
n6 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
Sherry, Gin, Port, Beer, Porter, Stout, Claret, Port-
wine, Tee, and Coffee. Not one of these is what it
seems to be. Not one of these has anything to do
with the beverage each severally represents. " Port-
wine " is a mere modernisation of " Potewyne," which
in the fourteenth century denoted the Poict tevine
settler in England. " Claret " was the pet name
of "Clare." "Stout" is of the nickname class,
" Porter " occupative, and " Port " is found originally
as " Charles le Port," or " Oliver le Port," showing
that it was a sobriquet having reference to the
portly bearing of the progenitor. Tennyson speaks
" A modern gentleman
Of stateliest port."
It is the same with "Aleman." This has no con-
nection with the public-house, but like " Almaine "
and " D'Almaine " represents the old German trader.
The word was once in most familiar use. Coverdale's
exposition of the twenty-fifth Psalm has on the
title page, " Translated out of hye Almayne (High
Dutch) in to Englyshe, by Myles Coverdale, 1537."
No one will require me to prove that James Tee
and Peter Coffee do not represent our modern and
favoured national breakfast beverages. At least the
first, if he did, must have sprung from some "heathen
Chinee," who has immigrated to our shores. Such
an elucidation, however, would neither satisfy myself,
my reader, nor James Tee himself, I imagine.
But we have quite sufficient relics of the drinking
propensities of the English people in bygone days
without seeking for them in their corrupted forms.
EMPLOYMENTS OF OUR FOREFATHERS. 117
" Inman " and " Taverner " both represent the old
keeper of houses of entertainment. Tavern is going
out of fashion : Public-house is a modern term. Por-
son, the great Greek scholar, was unhappily given to
drink; but drunk or sober he had ever a Greek or
Latin quotation at the tip of his tongue. Reeling in
the streets of Cambridge, he one day tumbled down
a flight of steps into a cellar-tavern. As they picked
him up, he was heard to mutter,
" Facilis est descensus t-averni."
Our Church of England temperance lecturers could
not take a better text than this clever pun ; for,
unlike most puns, it contains a most admonitory
truth. An old tavern-sign in Cheshire, in the last
century, bore the following inscription :
" Good bear sold here, our own bruin."
This in the days of bear-baiting, for which Cheshire
was famous, would be very misleading to those of
the country bumpkins who could read. Brewer and
Brewster need no explanation. Malter and Malster
both exist, but I do not see them in the London
Directory. There is Malthouse, however, and that
is sometimes found as "Malthus" ; just as loft-house,
and kirk-house, and bake-house or back-house have
become Loftus, Kirkus, and Bacchus. Viner and
Vinter also stand in no fear of being misunderstood ;
but Tunman, Tonman, Tunner, and Tonner, who
casked and bottled the wine that came from the
Continent, would be less likely to be recognised. In
the " Confessio Amantis " it is said of Jupiter that he
ri8 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
" Hath in his cellar, as men say,
Two townes full of love-drink,"
a'here we must not suppose that the Thunderer had
so capacious a cellar that it would contain all the
liquor that two whole towns might possess, but that
he had two tuns or barrels of love potions. In fact,
"tun" was the universal term in use then, though
barrel or cask has superseded it in common parlance.
We still talk of " tunnels " or " tun-dishes," the vessels
used for transferring wine from barrel to bottle.
" Beer-brewer " was once a familiar surname, but it
has become obsolete. We all remember the old
" Hops, Reformation, baize, and beer,
Came into England all in one year."
To make the bitter taste, wormwood had been the
chief ingredient in earlier days.
While on this subject, it is worth while inquiring
whether or no we possess in our directories any
record of the drinking propensities of our forefathers.
That they were ever great " skinkers " everybody
knows who has studied the past with any degree of
care. What the Water-poet said somewhat coarsely
of one may well be said of the many :
" Untill hee falls asleepe,
He skinks and drinkes ;
And then like to a bore,
He winkes and stinkes."
Even the " Friar," according to Chaucer,
"strong was as a champioun,
And knew wel the tavernes in every toun,
EMPLOYMENTS OF OUR FOREFATHERS. 119
And every hosteler and gay tapstere,
Better than a lazar or a beggere."
In spite of these acknowledged facts, however, I am
happy to say there is not a single " Drunkard " in the
London Directory. Nevertheless, in our older regis-
ters the tale is not so assuring. There has been a
tendency during the last two hundred years to shuffle
off certain objectionable names, which our earlier
forefathers did not seem to be ashamed of. Who of
my readers would like to have been officially regis-
tered as "Maurice Druncard," or "Jakes Drynk-ale,"
or worse still, " Geoffrey Dringke-dregges " ? Who of
my readers would like to sign himself in a marriage
record as "Robert le Sot," or as "Thomas Sour-ale"?
Even "John Swete-ale" would scarcely have relished
the sobriquet if he had lived in this more punctilious
age of ours. Where could the young lady be found
who would forego the charms of spinsterhood to be
wedded to an "Arnold Scutel-mouth" (what a
capacious mouth it must have been !) " Alice Gude-
ale-house " may have been a thoroughly honest and
respectable landlady, but I don't think she would
have said " no," if some smart and worthy younker
had offered her the refusal of his name.
Every one of these entries I have myself copied
from authentic registers. Curious, and yet not
curious, is it that not one of them has survived.
So far as the Directory shows, we are the soberest
and most temperate nation on the face of the earth.
Thus do we throw a mantle over our great national
vice. Even when we cannot get rid of the fact, we
manage to smooth it over with a sesquipedalian gloss.
120 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
A woman in the middle and higher ranks never gets
drunk now-a-days. She is a suffering martyr to
dipsomania ! How thankful we should be for a Bible
that says " Be not drunk."
Who was the first English teetotaler ? If we
could find him, I suspect our temperance friends
would erect a monument to him. There are seven
" Drinkwaters " in the Metropolitan register ; and I
am glad to say that Camden's statement is wrong
it was only a guess that Drinkwater is a corruption
of " Derwentwater." In the first place it is an im-
possible corruption ; for the corruptive changes that
pass over words and names are not accidental, but
follow fixed rules, so to say. In the second place, I
have been able to discover the name in its present
guise up to the very time when hereditary surnames
were established. "John Drinkwater" occurs in the
Hundred Rolls, and "Richard Drynkwatere" in the
Parliamentary Writs.* No wonder their posterity
has survived, no wonder their name endures, for they
can boast that in their sobriquet lies the record of
the first English temperance movement. In a word,
Mr. Drinkwater number one must have been the
forerunner of total abstinence. None of his neigh-
bours could have pointed to him as a man who
habitually, or occasionally upon days of festival, "got
tight " ; his name, whereby they had nicknamed him,
was in itself a safeguard. His very title pledged
him to the principles it professed. No, he never
"got tight," or if he did, like a good sailing craft,
* In this last record there is also a " Thomas le Sober.' 3
EMPLOYMENTS uF OUR FOREFATHERS. 121
he was watertight. Some day I hope there will be
a monument erected to " Drinkwater Number One."
It might be in the shape of a drinking fountain.
What a heap of people there are buried in state in
Westminster Abbey who ought to give place to
" Drinkwater Number One " ! But, alas ! we don't
all get our deserts.
But enough of this. We have reminiscences in
our directories of meat as well as drink. Chaucer,
speaking of the " Franklein," says,
" Withoute bake mete never was his house,
Of fish, and flesh, and that so plenteous,
It snowed in his hous of mete and drink,
Of alle deinties that men coud thinke.
* * * * *
Wo was his cook, but if his sauce were
Poignant and sharpe, and redy all his gear."
This short and piquant description is important
because of the language used. We still use the word
flesh in the alliterative phrase, "fish, flesh, and fowl ;"
but we should never ask for a " pound of flesh " in a
butcher's shop now, any more than we should talk
of the importation of " American flesh." We should
say " meat." The distinction, however, is preserved
in this account, and we are reminded that before
the Norman " Butcher " or " Boucher," and French
" Labouchere " came in, the seller of flesh-meat was
called a " Fleshmonger " or " Flesher." So late as
1528, William Fleshmonger, D.C.L., was Dean of
Chichester. I fear the name is now obsolete. Our
" Fleshers " still exist, but most of them have become
absorbed in " Fletcher," which represented the trade
122 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
of feathering arrows : we still employ the word
" fledge." The Bowyers and Fletchers and Arrow-
smiths always marched abreast in the old trades'
processions of London, or York, or Norwich. Hark-
ing back to Fletcher, however, I may add, that in
Scotland a butcher is still a flesher.
So far for the butcher. But the old rhyme speaks
" The butcher, the baker,
We next turn, therefore, to the bread and biscuit
department. We have all heard how that foolish and
" Miss Baxter,
Refused a man before he axed her,"
but few of us, possibly, are aware that "Baker" and
" Baxter " and " Bagster," all represent the same
occupation, and that Baxter is only the old "bakester,"
the feminine of Baker, just as Webster is the feminine
of Webber, or Brewster of Brewer, or Blaxter (i.e.
" Bleachster ") of Bleacher, or Tapster of Tapper.*
* I must not let this statement pass without saying that the
termination "ster" is not admitted to be feminine by all philo-
logists ; in fact, it is the subject of much contention. It will be
quite sufficient for my purpose simply to draw attention to the
existence of this twofold desinence in " er " and " ster," because
it occurs more frequently in the directory than the dictionary.
I have had the opportunity of proving this in " English Sur-
names " (2nd edition, p. 380 and elsewhere), so I will only add
that very often where the dictionary has dropped one form the
directory has preserved it, and vice versa. For instance, there
are five Treachers and two Trickers in the London Directory.
EMPLOYMENTS OF OUR FOREFATHERS. 123
Langland, in his poem entitled " The Vision of Piers
Plowman," speaks of
" Baksteres and brewesteres,
And bochiers manye."
It will not be irreverent to note the coincidence, that
no firm in England have more closely associated
their name with the printing of the Bible, "The
Bread of Life," than the Bagsters. It reminds us
of that which was no accidental coincidence at all
namely, that Christ Himself, "that true Bread which
came down from Heaven/' appeared first at Beth-
We do not now speak of a tricker but a " trickster." Of course
the meaning of a " treacher " or " tricker" has become forgotten
or confused, otherwise our friends bearing that name would long
ago have shuffled it off. Webster still has the word, but he adds
that it is an obsoletism. We only talk of a beggar now, but
" Joan Beggister" occurs in an old roll. It is curious to note
how the weaving and dyeing of cloth have left the double forms.
We only speak of a dyer now, but " Dyer " and "Dyster" figure
in the London Directory. On the other hand, the dictionary
has both "whiter" and " whitster," and "thrower" and
"throwster," the directory only "Whiter" and "Thrower."
Again, the directory alone contains " Hlaxter " (bleachster), the
dictionary alone bleacher. A litter of cloth (i.e. dyer), or a
kemper of wool seems never to have existed, for only " Lister "
is a surname once written " Litster " and " Kempster." I
have already mentioned Webber and Webster. We should
think it odd to hear people talk of a " bellringster? or a "bread-
mongster" or a " washster" but so they did some generations
ago. " Spinner " has never been a surname, nor " spinster,"
but the latter had no chance on account of the secondary sense
that so quickly attached to it. I cannot end this note without
once more drawing the attention of philologists to the advan-
tages of using the directory as a complement to the dictionary.
124 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
lehem, which literally means "house of bread," i.e.
" bread-shop/' or " bake-house." " Bacchus," as already
noted, is a corruption of " bake-house," while our
Bullingers, Ballingers, Bollengers, and Furners, and
" Pesters," represent the Norman-French bakers.
Our " Cokes " and " Cooks " represent the old public
pie-shop, as well as the private cuisine, and this
explains the large number of the fraternity immor-
talised in our directories. An old poem speaks of
" Drovers, cokes, and poulters,
Yermongers, pybakers, and waferers."
There has ever been a great race in this matter
between our " Bakers " and " Cooks " or " Cookes."
Nearly thirty years ago Mr. Lowe, in his Tables
of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, gave the following
analysis for one year in England and Wales :
Births. Deaths. Marriages.
Baker . . 1033 839 513
Cook . . 910 742 483
In the London Directory for 1871, there appeared
277 Bakers, 56 Baxters, and 2 Bagsters, as against
194 Cooks, 89 Cookes, I Coke, 2 Cookmans, and 9
Cooksons. This preserves the same proportion,
In the couplet quoted above occurs the trade name
of " Waferer." This may possibly sound an obso-
letism to the reader. But if as a distinct occupation
the making of bread wafers is gone, or has fallen into
the hands of Messrs. Peek, Frean & Co., and other
of our biscuit manufacturers, it has left many memo-
rials behind. Our "Wafers" have fossilised its story
EMPLOYMENTS OF OUR FOREFATHERS. 125
in the Directory, and even in our Authorized Version
of the Bible (Lev. ii. 4). I have known one or two
sturdy Protestants who have objected to the trans-
lation : " And if thou bring an oblation of a meat
offering baken in the oven, it shall be unleavened
cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened
wafers anointed with oil." There can be no doubt
this is one more relic of Papal days in England. I
have seen an old will of the thirteenth century, in
which the then Archbishop of York made a small
bequest to two " waferers," who for many years had
honestly plied their trade of selling wafers at the
Minster gate. Not that the " waferer " confined
himself to these. The author of Piers Plowman, not
to mention Chaucer himself, puts him among certain
disreputable street hawkers, who sold small spiced
cakes ; but then we must remember that the " Malvern
Dreamer" wrote his poem against the lewdness of
the priesthood in fact, he was a trumpeter of the
Reformation to come and he would not object to
set down the humblest servitor of the papal establish-
ment, even a waferer, in as low a scale as he could.
It is this that to - my mind makes the history of
English surnames so interesting. If we visit Pompeii
we see in the streets and chambers that have been
cleared of debris the very accidents of life and thought
well-nigh 2000 years ago. We have but to clear
away the little corruptions of spelling or pronuncia-
tion which have befallen these old-fashioned names,
and spell-bound we are gazing into the life the
every-day religious and social life of our English
forefathers four hundred years ago. The antiquary
126 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
and the philologist alike may take up the London
Directory with reverence, for therein lies a fund of
information to his hand, which it might occupy
months of pain and trouble otherwise to accumulate.
Having dealt with " the butcher " and " the baker,"
there is yet the " candlestick-maker " to be considered.
Our " Chandlers " and " Candlers " explain themselves.
Our "Turners" turned out all manner of wooden
gear, and doubtless candlesticks were amongst them.
There are plenty of " Bowlers " in the Directory, men
who made bowls or dishes of wood. The twenty-
four "Spooners"* set down in the same record,
fashioned spoons. Forks being a modern invention,
there are no " Forkers " ; but " Cutler " abounds on
every side in the metropolis, not to mention the
" Cutlers' Alms-houses," and the " Cutlers' Hall."
" Ironmonger " also is well represented. Those who
manufactured crocks that is, any glazed vessel of
earthenware (whence our modern term "crockery")
were called " Crockers," or " Crokers." There are
over thirty Crockers in the Directory, and six Crokers.
A hundred " Potters " figure in the same list.
Some reader may inquire, " Have we any relics of
We can readily understand why " Spooner " should be so
common a name, when we reflect that not only were there no
forks in use, but our forefathers were particularly fond of sauces
and thick soups. The spoon was much more used than the
knife at dinner. Our " Pottingers " are relics of the old potager,
or pottinger, who made pottage that is, soup well thickened
with vegetables. Porridge is but a corruption of pottage. In
all this the spoon played an important part. I see four Pot-
tingers in the Directory.
EMPLOYMENTS OF OUR FOREFATHERS. 127
the medical practitioner in the Directory ? Was there
any one who was professionally employed to see
children through the measles, to extract an obnoxious
tooth, to lay a plaister, to open a vein, to mix a
potion, or to generally repair a debilitated system ? "
The London Directory replies unhesitatingly in the
affirmative ; and yet look out Doctor, or Surgeon, or
Physician, and all are conspicuous by their absence :
although, to do the last justice, he has bequeathed
us four Physicks. The reason of this is simple.
These are new terms. The old practitioner went
generally by the name of " Leech." There are forty-
seven Leaches, one Leachman, and eleven Leeches
in the Directory. Bleeding with leeches was evi-
dently no unfamiliar spectacle in old days, especially
when we recall that our forefathers were wont to be
very energetic with the knife and fork or spoon, I
should say, for they had no forks. " Chemist," too,
is a new sobriquet, therefore he is unrepresented ;
but there is one " Pothecary," and Potticary is
fairly common in other parts of England. As for
the Barber, the surgeon and dentist of former
times, no wonder there is a whole column of his
descendants. His custom was to hang a basin at
the end of his pole, with a string of teeth, the longer
the better, to show what a roaring trade he drove,
for he could not advertise his business in the news-
paper as people do in these remarkable days. In
the window were ranged cups or goblets with a few
leeches in. These
" Did well his threefold trade explain,
Who shaved, drew teeth, and breathed a vein."
128 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
In the latter decades of last century there was a
celebrated surgeon in Manchester of the name of
" Killer," which is a corruption of " Kilner," just as
Miller and Milner are identical. But if this was an
unfortunate name for a surgeon, what shall we say
of " Kilmister" and " Kilmaster," which may be found
in and about the county of Gloucester ! How blood-
thirsty they look ! and yet the truer form Kilminster,
in the London Directory, strips them, by the addition
of but. one letter, of their terrors, and shows them
to be of local origin. In one of the earliest metro-
politan directories appears a Mr. Toothaker ! It was
not an uncommon name, for in 1635 there embarked
in the Hopewell for New England, Roger Toothaker
and Margaret Toothaker ! I do not think the name
to be of German origin, as Mr. Lower supposes, but
but one of those local English surnames ending in
"acre," like Whittaker or Oldacre. The sobriquet,
however, reads oddly enough, and looks as if the
services of the barber were much required.
Turning to dress for a moment, we may notice
that there are nearly 300 Walkers in the London
Directory, almost 100 Tuckers, 80 Fullers, and 20
Tozers. All were concerned once with the combing,
fulling, dyeing, and thickening of woollen goods. In
Piers Plowman mention is made of " fulling under
foot." This refers to the practice of treading the
cloth, before machinery was introduced. He who
did this was a walker. Wycliffe, speaking of
Christ's transfiguration, describes Christ's dress as
shining, so as " no fullers or walkers of cloth " could
whiten them. The " tozer " or " toser," or " touser,"
EMPLOYMENTS OF OUR FOREFATHERS. 129
toused or teased the fabric, so as to raise a nap on
it. We talk of teasing now in the sense of worrying
people with attentions. This is the secondary mean-
ing that has grown upon the other. "Tozer"and
" Toser " are the favourite spellings of this occupation
in the Directory. We are still fond of calling a
pugnacious dog " Towser." Tucker was a Flemish
introduced term for a "dyer." Many of the words
connected with the manufacture of cloth came in
with the Flemish artisans.
I will only mention one article of dress, and con-
clude. There is no " Cobler," or " Cobbler," in the
Directory, but there used to be. As a mere patch-
work business it has got into disrepute ; so it has been
got rid of by its owners. Christopher Shoomaker
was burnt at Newbury during the days of persecution,
and Foxe tells his story in his customary quaint
fashion ; but it has ever been a rare name in England,
though common enough in Germany as Schumacher,
or Schumann. The last form will be familiar to all
musicians. Camden, in a list of occupations, inserts
" Chaucer," appending by way of definition, " id est,
Hosier." The chaucer or hosier of those days fitted
to the leg from the knee downwards the strong leather
legging. This was called a chaussure. Chaucer is
obsolete in England, though not in France. Hosier
and Hozier still exist. Every Londoner knows of
the " Cordwainers' Hall," though perhaps he has
never seen it. It is not more than forty years ago
that you might not uncommonly see " cordwainer "
over a shop door instead of the strictly modern
" shoemaker" ; while in our directories " Cordwainer, '
130 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
or " Cordiner," or " Codner," is a customary name.
Sir Thopas is described thus :
" His hair, his beard was like safroun,
That to his girdle raught (reached) adown,
His shoon of cordewane."
We have only to turn cordwain into cordovan, to
see that this was a specially excellent leather,
imported in early times from Cordova, in Spain, to
make " kid-boots." In fact, the cordwainer was the
West-end boot-maker. But this is not all. In the
Directory for 1871 there appear twelve Suters, three
Sowters, six Soutters, seven Souters, one Soutar, and
three Soustars. I need not tell any Scotchman what
this means, because every shoemaker or cobbler on
the other side of the Tweed, except in very fashion-
able quarters, is still a " souter." Souster is but one
more instance of the feminine (?) termination.
I might prolong this chapter to any extent, but I
must refrain. I might have called attention to our
many " Glovers " and " Ganters," who sold gloves, or
our Gantletts and Gauntletts, who were in the same
business, but were known best by the gauntlet that
hung as a sign over the door. I might have pointed
to our Girdlers and Bracegirdles, who were busy
enough when the modern suspender was unknown; or
to our many Pointers, who manufactured the points
or tags by which hose and doublet were protected
from divorcement. I might have asked the reader to
survey with me the rows of Cheesemans, Cheesmans,
Cheesewrights, Cheeswrights, and Firmingers, remi-
niscences of the good old farmers' produce, which was
the first, second and third course of every peasant's
EMPLOYMENTS OF OUR FOREFATHERS. 131
dinner. I might have shown that our Challeners and
Challoners manufactured or sold blankets, made at
first in Chalons ; or that our Helliers, or Hilliers, or
Hillyers, were thatchers or tylers ; that our Shoo-
smiths forged shoes for horses ; that our Wrights
worked chiefly in wood, our Smiths in iron. I might
have run through a list of rural occupations, such as
Coward for cow-herd, Calvert for calve-herd, Shep-
herd for sheep-herd, or " Herd " or " Heard " or " Hurd "
itself for the tender of cattle in general. From all
temptations of this kind I must stay myself. I will
only say that if my reader should be interested
enough to wish to carry on such investigation, he can
do so in my book of "English Surnames," which I
think I can truly say is quite exhaustive of those
now forgotten and obsolete titles of mediaeval occu-
pation. I have mentioned Wright : let me quote a
rhyming pun on his good old title :
"At a tavern one night,
Messrs. More, Strange, and Wright,
Met to drink, and their good thoughts exchange ;
Says More, ' Of us three,
The whole will agree,
There's only one Knave, and that's Strange.'
" 'Yes, 5 says Strange, rather sore,
' I'm sure there's one More,
A most terrible knave, and a fright,
Who cheated his mother,
His sister, and brother.'
1 Oh, yes/ replied More, 'that is Wright.'"
On the whole, Mr. More got the best of the argument.
E have now reached the last class
of surnames that which we have
called Nicknames. We have dealt
with local names, baptismal names,
official names, and occupative names.
With Nicknames we conclude our
list. John At-wood, John Thomson, John Chamber-
lain, and John Baker, would respectively represent
the classes already discussed. John Fox might as
fitly act as the representative of our nicknames.
If Nickname be but prosthetically put for an
ekename that is, an added name, a name appended
to the Christian name to eke out or complete a man's
identity then all surnames are nicknames and all
nicknames are surnames. It is better, therefore, that
I should state at the outset what I mean by a chapter
I intend to take in only such sobriquets as were
affixed upon individuals by their neighbours to ex-
press some physical or mental peculiarity, compli-
mentary or the reverse, whether given in jest or
This is a very nondescript class, and is therefore
much better illustrated than explained. If a man
developed some grotesque or pitiful characteristic,
either in his bodily shape or his mental attributes, it
was just as easy to nickname him by the English
term that most plainly described it, or to style him
by some name of the lower creation that was sup-
posed to represent that particular characteristic.
Thus if Thomas were of crafty disposition, it would
be as easy to nickname him Thomas Sly as Thomas
Fox. Thus both Sly and Fox are nicknames. There
is scarcely a moral attribute that is not found in our
directories. In the same receptacle almost every
name of every living creature in earth, sea, and air,
is to be seen. Indeed, with respect to this latter
class, we find in later days a reversal of the statement
met with in Genesis ii. 19. There it is said, "And
out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast
of the field, and every fowl of the air ; and brought
them unto Adam to see what he would call them :
and whatsoever Adam called every living creature,
that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names
to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every
beast of the field." I say this statement was reversed
four or five hundred years ago by our English fore-
fathers. They gave the cattle, the fish, and the birds,
men's names, and gave to men the names of the
cattle, the fish, and the birds. There is not a single
domestic animal which was not familiarly known to
134 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
our ancestors by a nickname taken from our baptismal
nomenclature, while, on the other hand, there is not
a single domestic animal whose proper name was not
affixed as a nickname upon some member of the
rational community. ^
I will give an illustration or two of what I mean.
They shall be taken from the London Directory.
" The ruddock warbles soft."
Many of my readers will not know what a ruddock is.
It was the old proper name for the robin-redbreast.
Chaucer has the name in " The Assembly of Fowls."
But our forefathers nicknamed this homely bird
robin. Every family then had a "Robin" in the
household. Out of fondness for the bird that did not
desert them when the winter snow enveloped the
trees with a white mantle, but came hopping to the
doorstep for a crumb, they styled it by the familiar
term of robin. This nickname became so popular
that it all but pushed out the more orthodox term
of ruddock. But there are three Ruddicks and five
Ruddocks in the London Directory ! What does this
show ? Why, that as the man's name of Robin was
given to the bird, so the bird's name of ruddock was
given to the man. We find a Ralph Ruddoc regis-
tered so early as the Hundred Rolls. No doubt he
got the nickname from some peculiar redness of the
chin or throat, or because of some peculiarity in his
habits or demeanour, which struck his neighbours
with a fancied similarity to the bird. A sparrow was
always called " Phip," from Philip. On the other
hand, I find no less than twenty Sparrows in the
London Directory. Thus a pye became a Mag-pie,
from Margaret, and we, still chant in nursery song,
Having given them Margaret, they have presented us
with many of our Daws, all our Pyes, and the one
Pie of the London Directory. How odd that while,
as I have shown, there are so many hundred Cooks
in the metropolis, they can only turn out one Pie !
There is a large assortment of Cockerells, Cockrells,
and Cockrills in the Directory. Young cocks still go
by this name in Cumberland. Driving in my dog-
cart to visit a sick woman on the hill-side the other
day, I went by a barn-door on which I saw a placard
advertising the sale of fine healthy " cockerels." But
I may not linger. We may see in this same metro-
politan record Swans, Finches, Herons, Cootes,
Ducks, Drakes, Woodcocks, Partridges, Goslings, and
Gosses, by the dozen. Gosling is often but a cor-
ruption of Joscelyn, and so is not of the nickname
class. Goss is but the old spelling of "goose." In
our older records we find it registered as Peter le
Goos, Amicia le Gos, or John le Gos. All our
Pinnicks and Pinnocks are from the old pinnock or
pinnick, the hedge-sparrow :
" Thus in the pinnick's nest the cuckoo lays,
Then, easy as a Frenchman, takes her flight."
There are eleven Wrens hopping about our London
streets, and I daresay they often stand not on one
leg, of course to stare at St. Paul's Cathedral, and
136 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
to think with pride on Christopher Wren, and his
epitaph, " Si monumentum quseris, circumspice."
There are fifteen Nightingales, too, but whether or
no they can all sing sweetly I cannot say. One of
the happiest anagrams ever written was that upon
" Florence Nightingale," which by a transposition of
letters makes, "Flit on, cheering angel." It is as
good as " Horatio Nelson," which can be turned into
" Honor est a Nilo."
Many of these nicknames we see for ourselves could
not have been intended to be very complimentary.
A single quotation will prove this. We know that
every great personage up to the middle of the six-
teenth century had his or her professional fool, or
joker. The "privy expenses" of Elizabeth of Yorke
for March, 1 502, have this entry : " Item : delivered
to John Goose, my Lord of Yorke's fole (fool), in
rewarde for bringing a carppe (carp) to the Quene,
12^." Here is a palpable nickname for the office,
the term itself being taken from that bird which was
popularly supposed to reign supreme over simpleton-
dom. "You goose" is still commonly applied to
a child that has done something silly. That our
"Gosses" should retain a forgotten and obsolete
spelling is very natural. There are three Patches in
the Directory. I crave their pardon for reminding
them that their progenitor held the honourable office
of " fool " to some English king or baron. We are
all familiar with
" The king of shreds and patches."
It was through this peculiarity in his dress the official
fool got the sobriquet of ** Patch." Henry the Eighth's
fool bore this name : " Item : paied to the same Pyne
for 2 payr of hosen for Patche xj.," says an old
book of " Privy Purse Expenses " belonging to that
Speaking of birds, we may mention the name of
Spark, or Sparke. Few of my readers probably are
aware that this is but a corruption of Sparrovvhawk.
Sparhawk was the intermediate form, and was once
very common. It was a Mr. Sparrowhawk to whom
the great Thomas Fuller jocularly put the question,
"What is the difference between an owl and a
sparrow hawk?" His companion at once retorted
with the reply, "An owl is fuller in the head, fuller
in the face, and Fuller all over!" This was but
repaying the historian in his own coin, for no one
has made so many puns and plays on names and
words as Fuller. He carried it to an extent which
in our day would be considered profane. Many will
recall his prayer in rhyme
" My soul is stained with a dusty colour,
Let Thy Son be the sope, I'll be the Fuller."
Again, in a spirit of devout meekness, he writes,
" As for other stains and spots upon my soul, I hope
that He (be it spoken without the least verbal
reflection) who is the Fuller's sope, will scour them
forth with His merit, that I may appear clean by
God's mercy." It was but natural, that when this
great religious punster died, a suggestion should have
been made that his epitaph should run thus : " Here
138 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
lies Fuller's earth." * This was not done, and just as
well it was not ; for if puns are ever objectionable, it
is when they appear in epitaphs. Nevertheless, one
of the finest instances of paranomasia on record is
to be found on the tablet to Foote's memory in
Westminster Abbey :
" Here lies one Foote, whose death may thousands save ;
For now Death hath one Foote within the grave."
A similar interchange of nominal courtesies is
observable in the names of cattle and wild beasts.
Pigg, Hogg, Stott, Colt, Bullock, Duncalf, Wolf,
Lamb, Kidd, Bacon, Grice, and Wildbore all speak
for themselves ; while in our North English Oliphants
and Olivants we recognize the old spelling of
"elephant." No doubt the original bearer of the
nickname was of unusually large proportions even
for the border country of England and Scotland.
Speaking of Lamb, we are reminded that a brother-
in-law of John Wesley bore the name of Whitelamb,
and therefore could scarcely be called, under any
circumstances, a black sheep ! There are six Bears
and eighty Bulls in the Directory. The Gentleman's
Magazine for 1 807 records the death of " Savage
Bear, Esquire," who was a resident in Kent. In
the same article mention is made of a Mr. Mould,
cheesemonger, in Newgate Street. But we have
Bearmans, Bullards (that is, Bullwards), Bulmans, and
* The same kind of wit was exercised on Camden and his
book called " Remains," and Walker, of Dictionary reputation.
It was suggested that the epitaph of the one should be " Camden's
Remains," and of the other " Walker's Particles."
Bullpitts in our Directory, too. It was not till 1835
bear-baiting and bull-baiting were forbidden by Act
of Parliament. It had reigned at the head of English
pastimes for six centuries. Hence it was a common
inn-sign. The oldest hostel in London was supposed
to be the "Bear," on the Southwark side of old
London Bridge. Hence an old poem says,
" We came to the Bear, which we soon understood
Was the first house in Southwark built after the flood."
Every rich man had his bearward, and the royal
houses had their " master of the king's bears." Both
Mary and Elizabeth enjoyed a good baiting, whether
of bulls or bears. The Puritans of course were against
it, and so far were in advance of the times, but it
is a peculiar feature of their opposition that they
scarcely ever refer to the cruelty of the sport. Ortho-
dox and somewhat dull Pepys describes in 1666 how
he saw some good sports of the bulls tossing the dogs
one into the very boxes. A leading Puritan minister
not twenty years later is always found, by his own
published diary, to have sent his children to the
cock-pit on Shrove-Tuesday to witness the " throwing-
at-the-cock," and he piously prays they may be
preserved from harm while away (" Newcome's
Diary," Cheetham Society's Publications). Thus it is
we find so many " Cockers " and " Cockmans " in the
Directory. As for our " Cocks " or " Coxes," every
young gallant who showed determined pluck, or
strutted in his gait, or gave himself airs, was nick-
named from the cockpit or barn-door dictionary.
No wonder our Directory teems with them, for it
140 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
would be looked upon in bygone days as a pretty
compliment. This is the origin of "cock" in such
mediaeval pet names as Wilcock, Jeffcock, Batcock
and Badcock (Bartholomew), Simcock, Hancock and
Handcock (Hans, Le. Johannes), Bawcock (Baldwin),
Pidcock and Peacock (Peter), Philcock, now Philcox,
and Adcock or Atcock (Adam). To give my readers
a list of the views propounded as to the meaning of
this desinence would take too much space. Suffice
it to say that nothing has seemed too absurd for those
who love "guesses at truth," without ever guessing
right, to advance. Every rustic lusty lad was " Cock,"
especially if he had a perky cocky way of his own.
And in these names of Philcock or Jeffcock, we
simply see the old-fashioned way of hailing Philip
or Jeffery as, "Well, Jeff-cock, lad, how art thou?"
" Pretty well, Phil-cock, thank'ee." In the old play,
Gammer Gurton's Needle, Gammer's servant lad is
called simply " Cock," without the baptismal name
being appended at all. It is so in the mediaeval
poem entitled " Cocke Lorell's Bote."
But we have got among the birds again. We must
hark back to our four-footed friends. There are
no "Donkeys" in the London Directory probably
the only place in the world where they are not to be
found. But this may be accounted for, perhaps,
because there are no Thistles there either. Never-
theless, had there been an English Directory in the
year when Domesday Book was compiled, it would
have been otherwise; for, thistles or no thistles,
" Roger the Ass " is among the list of tenants under
the crown. Here we have been liberal : for we have
presented our good thistle-loving friend with no less
than three of our baptismal names. In the north of
England, where Cuthbert was the favourite appella-
tion for three centuries at least, he is called a Cuddy,
that being the pet form of the saintly sobriquet*
In more southern regions he is known as Ned or
Neddy, from Edward. And north and south alike,
y#<r/-ass is familiar to all. It is curious to notice
how a name that has become opprobrious can be
dropped. " Rascal " was one of our commonest
surnames while the term only meant a lean, ragged
deer; but when it was passed on to a herd of worth-
less folk the surname disappeared. One of the latest
was Robert Rascal, who, according to Foxe, was
persecuted for his religion in 1517.
I must not omit the mention of one or two of our
household favourites. There are five Catts in our
London Directory, entered in old days as Adam
le Kat, or Milo le Chat. In the reign of Richard
the Third, there was a rhyme to this effect :
" The Rat, the Cat, and Lovel the Dog,
Rule all England under the Hog."
The Hog was the king, Rat was Ratcliffe, and Cat,
Catesby. It is not often we hear of cat, dog, and rat,
uniting together to worry others, and not one another !
* Another pet form of Cuthbert was " Crud," or " Crowd," and
hence about Kendal and the Furness district of North Lan-
cashire a familiar surname is Crewdson, and Croudson. It is
a proof of the peculiar tenacity with which some names cling to
the place of their origin, that there is no instance of this surname
in the London Directory.
I 4 2 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
If I recal my history correctly, however, they did
fall out in the end.
There must have been something sleek and smooth,
if not stealthy, about the progenitor of our friends
the Catts, I fear. But if our mouse-loving friends
gave us their appellation, we were bountiful in return.
For three hundred years the most familiar term for
a cat was " Gib," from Gilbert. Hamlet says :
" For who that's but a queen, fair, sober, wise,
Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib,
Such dear concernings hide ? "
And in Peele's " Edward the First," the Novice says
to the Friar :
" Now, master, as I am true wag,
I will be neither late nor lag,
But go and come with gossip's cheer
Ere Gib, our cat, can lick her ear."
That Gib was short for Gilbert, our Gibbs, Gibsons,
Gibbins, and Gibbons can prove. But " Gib " for a
cat is obsolete, I fear ; and now we speak of a Tom-
cat. A female cat was called a Tib-cat, or Tibert,
from Tibb, or Tibot, pet forms of Theobalda, which
at one period as Tibota was our commonest girl's
name. In " Gammer Gurton's Needle," one of our
very earliest dramatic plays, Dicon (Richard) says :
" To brawle with you about her cocke,
For well I heard Tyb say,
The cocke was roasted in your house,
To breakfast yesterday."
Tyb was Gammer Gurton's " mayde." In the same
play the cat is " Gib." The maid says of Gammer
while stitching with her needle,
" Gyb, our cat, in the milke-pan,
She spied over head and ears."
The Kitcat Club took its name from one Christopher
Cat, who kept an eating-house in London, where the
club members met. The pet name of Christopher
was Kit (whence our Kitts, and Kitsons, and the
island of St. Kitts, i.e. St. Christopher) : a conjunc-
tion of the Christian and surname formed the term.
I may here add that Bishop Ken represents the
Norman word for the dog, an old form being Eborard
le Ken, or Thomas le Chene. We still employ the
term Kennel, which is from the same root
This interchange of civilities has not been so
largely cultivated between mankind and the finny
tribe at least, not in England. Boys talk, 'tis true, of
a Jack-sharp, and fishermen of a Jack-pike or a John
Dory ; but there we end our distribution of nominal
courtesies. But the denizens of our streams and
becks and estuaries, whether in fresh water or salt,
have turned the tables on us with a vengeance. No
doubt, as the penalty of possessing certain peculiari-
ties in gait, or habit, or complexion, many of our
forefathers got nicknamed Grayling, Tench, Pike,
Herring, Pilchard, or Sturgeon. Whale would be a
nickname for a man of huge bulk. Thomas Spratt
was Bishop of Rochester in 1688. We are all fami-
liar with Chubb, on account of his patent locks. A
Mr. Codde married a Miss Salt, and their first child
144 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTOR K
bore the name of Salt Codde.* This is not more
remarkable than " Preserved Fish," which figured for
some years in the New York Directory, and may be
there now for what I know to the contrary. A Mrs.
Salmon is said to have presented her husband with
three children at one birth, and to commemorate such
an auspicious event, he had them christened by the
names of Pickled, Potted, and Fresh. I do not
vouch for the truth of this story ! f I may observe
here that it is somewhat remarkable that quaint
Isaac Walton, the great master, rather than "disciple
of the rod," wrote the life of the "judicious Hooker."
Most anglers are disposed to think that Walton
himself was the most "judicious hook-er " that
England has ever seen. At least, his success with
the fish-basket was so great, and his meditations
while occupied with his favourite pastime were so
wise, that cynical Samuel Johnson could not say of
his fishing rod, that there was a worm at one end
and a fool at the other.
Talking about fish, what an odd thing it seems that
* The mother of Thomas Moore, the poet, bore the name of
Anastasia Codd. I never see this conjunction of Christian
name and surname without thinking of a very little man with a
very big hat on.
f A much prettier selection of names, after a triple birth, is
recorded by Mr. Lower in his " English Surnames," where the
three Christian graces of " Faith," " Hope," and " Charity,"
were chosen. This is a bond-fide instance : and I may observe
here that I have among my manuscript copies of curious regis-
trations, met with by myself, at least a dozen instances where
either Faith, or Hope, or Charity have been imposed upon
infants at baptism.
there should be 181 Fishers and Fischers in the London
Directory, only eight Rivers to fish in, and only sixteen
Fish to catch ! Nor is this all : they have only three
Rodds amongst them, thirty Lines or Lynes, thirty
Hooks and Hookes, six Worms, nine Grubbs, and not
a single " Fly." Nor do I see what they can want
with three Basketts ; surely one would be enough
for but sixteen Fish. Speaking, too, of Fish and
Worms, we must not forget the old epitaph on Mr.
" Worm's bait for fish,
But here's a sudden change,
Fish's bait for worms,
Is not that passing strange ? "
The reptile and insect world is not without traces
of representation in the London Directory. There
is no Alligator or Crocodile there, 'tis true; but
there might have been, had the following story
occurred a few generations earlier than it did. Not
very long ago, in a northern town, there was a town
councillor who delighted in the use of sesquipedalian
English. He would never employ a short word if
he could lay hands on a long one. He was rather
of a positive turn, too. One day a fellow officer
made a certain statement before the Council. Up
jumps our friend, and cries out, "That allegation is
false, and and the allegator knows it." He has
been styled " Alligator " ever since. Fly, Wasp, Bee,
Gnat, and Bugg once existed, but only Bee and Bugg
remain. Black-adder was formerly common, and still
lingers in the Metropolitan Directory as Blackadar.
Bugg, however, can claim a local origin, for there
146 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
can be little or no doubt that it is but one of the
endless forms of Borough, found as Brough, Bury,
Burgh, Burge, and Burke. Nevertheless Thomas
Hood did not seem to like it :
" A name if the party had a voice
What mortal would be a Bugg by choice,
As a Hogg, a Grubb, or a Chubb rejoice,
Or any such nauseous blazon ?
Not to mention many a vulgar name,
That would make a doorplate blush for shame,
If doorplates were not so brazen"
"John Frog" occurs in the Hundred Rolls, but he
jumped out of our Directories several centuries ago:
and, possibly because his company did not please
him, has never jumped in again. Tadpole, 'tis true,
exists : but as Tadpoles in our Directories never
manifest any further stage of development, the Frogs
have never received any increase from them !
But these are not the only names we owe to the.
animal creation. Our forefathers loved descriptive
compounds. After all, there is nothing very terrible
in being nicknamed a "wolf," or a "stott," or a
"peacock," or a " buzzard," or a " salmon," or a "fly."
Our national nickname is " John Bull," and who ever
got into a state of virtuous indignation about that ?
Yet " bull " is not, taken all round, a very compli-
mentary sobriquet He's a stubborn, bellicose, lumber-
some kind of creature ; and it's wonderful what a
little matter, such as a red rag, will set him into a
fury ! How frequently we term a man a pig-headed
fellow. That was a favourite kind of nickname in
old days, and our registers are not without traces
of this. We have still Colfox, that is, sly fox.
Herring is common ; but once we had Freshherring,
Goodherring, Badherring, and Rottenherring in our
Directories. Pigg, Grice, and Hogg are still to the
fore ; but Cleanhog, Cleangrice, and Pigsflesh are all
gone. Hogsflesh, as stated before, still exists in the
South of England ; and a rhyme says that
" Worthing is a pretty place,
And if I'm not mistaken,
If you can't get any butchers' meat,
There's Hogsflesh and Bacon."
Other compound nicknames of the same class are
Poorfish, Catsnose, Cocksbrain, Buckskin, Goosebeak,
Bullhead, and Calvesmaw; but they have all been
shuffled out of our Directories, to give place to
sobriquets more pleasant of origin, and more eupho-
nious in sound.
In my next chapter I shall proceed with this
subject, and, if I can retain my readers' attention,
we shall discuss Nicknames taken from moral and
mental and physical characteristics not affixed
through the agency of typical animal names, but by
the ordinary and more direct phraseology.
UR last chapter was devoted to the
consideration of nicknames of a par-
ticular class viz., animal names. We
said that, to all intents and purposes,
Sly and Fox were the same one
representing a term for cunning, the
other a type. But while re-asserting this statement,
we are met by a difficulty. Many generations have
elapsed since such a nickname as Sly was fixed upon
its original bearer. Did the word " sly " then mean
what it now means ? Was the name " Sly" given as
a disparaging sobriquet, or a compliment ? Most
probably the latter. Sly, or Sleigh, implied honest
dexterity long before the juggler with his sleight-of-
hand tricks ruined its verbal reputation. Even two
hundred years ago only, when a well-known poet
spoke of a good man as one whom
" Graver age had made wise and sly,"
he was not misunderstood.
It is so with many other nicknames ; and this
explains the fact of their existence. Had Sly or
Sleigh or Slee been confined to its present meaning
three hundred years ago, we should not have found
it in our directories in 1878. Our Seeleys and
Selymans, our Sillys and Sillymans would probably
have become nominally defunct, if silly had conveyed
its modern meaning to the ears of our forefathers.
" Silly," in former days, implied guilelessness ; we
still use it in this sense in the phrase " silly lamb."
An old proverb says :
"Whylst grasse doth growe,
Oft starves the seely steede."
The best instance, however, I know of this use of the
word is in Foxe's Martyrology, where, describing the
martyrdom of a young child not seven years old, he
says : " The captain, perceiving the child invincible,
and himself vanquished, committed the silly soul, the
blessed babe, the child uncherished, to the stinking
prison." Here, of course, silly is the equivalent of
innocent, or inoffensive. Our Sillymans and Sillys
and Seeleys may fairly claim that theirs was a com-
plimentary nickname. I mention these as instances
only of a large class.
When we come to bona-fide cases, we shall discover,
not with any surprise, that almost all our nicknames
are complimentary ! Our forefathers must have been
a most highly respectable set of fellows, judging by
this famous Directory. They never got drunk, for
who can find a man who but rarely transgressed the
limit of sobriety in our directories ? There is not a
i5o ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
trace of meanness or cowardice about them. 'Tis
true Coward is a common name, but then, as already
shown, it is not a nickname at all, but an occupation,
being none other than our old friend the cow-herd.
On the other hand, see what a large number of
Doughtys there are, and Bolds, and Gallants, and
Prews, all backed up by Hardy, who worthily sits in
the Cabinet. We meet with courtesy in our Curtis's
and Curteis's ; with nobility in our Goodharts and
Trumans ; with humility in our Humbles and Meeks ;
with kindliness in our Gentles and Sweets; with
firmness in our Steadys and Graves ; and with live-
liness in our Sharps, Quicks, and Wittys. Nor are
more abstract charms wanting. It can be truly said
that there are plenty of Graces, for at least twelve
appear. Faith and Hope are there, only Charity
is wanting. Honour, Virtue, and Wisdom, however,
make up in some degree for the absence of that gentle
quality. Some people are " Good," but to be " Good-
enough " and " Thorowgood " or " Thoroughgood,"
let alone "Toogood," seems only possible in our
nomenclature. Many people, too, are " Perfect " in it,
and "Sin" is not there, though " Want " is. Some
cynic may say that Truth is conspicuous by its
absence, but how can that be in the presence of five
" Veritys " ? Not merely are we in the atmosphere
of constant Spring, and Blossoms, and Budds, but
twenty-five Summers appear in the same year, and
Rosinbloom blows the twelve months round ! The
" Tabernacle," the " Temple," and endless Churches
for Churchfolk, Kirks for Scotch people, and Chapells
for Nonconformists, are to be descried on every hand.
Service is carried on from year to year, to suit all
tastes ; there are seven Creeds ; Heaven and Paradise,
with their attendant Bliss, complete the picture.
Oh, what a wonderful community we seem to be in
this directory of ours ! Human nature would appear
to have overridden and crushed all its weaker in-
firmities, and issued forth into something like what
its poets have loved to depicture it. The London
Directory is the great parish register of Utopia.
That some sad infirmities did once really exist
our olden records show, if our directories of to-day
do not. Who could conceive, after this last picture,
that Bustler and Meddler once loved to make
their objectionable presence felt ; that Foolhardy
and Giddyhead won for themselves a vain notoriety ;
that Cruel and Fierce delighted to display their
unbridled passions ; that Wilful and Sullen fed their
hidden and unconsumed fires ; and that Milksop
and Sparewater had the impudence to show their
faces in polite society ? Yet such was the case ! If
there had been a directory of London published
by authority under the reign of Henry the Seventh,
all these names, and a hundred others of a similar
kind, would have found habitation in its pages.
We may here notice that two modern instances of
nicknames occupied public attention a few months
ago. They are of advantage as showing how
easily and even naturally sobriquets of this class fix
themselves upon the bearers, and how readily they
are accepted by the same. They are the more
worthy of attention because they are borne by men
of high estate. It was less than a year ago that the
152 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
English papers announced the death of a well-known
native Indian merchant who had been knighted by
Her Majesty. What was his surname ? Nothing
more nor less than Readymoney ! The worthy mer-
chant commonly signed himself as such. He was
notorious for his princely generosity, and one of his
peculiarities was to pay down at once whatever sums
he devoted to the different charities he patronised.
So well-known was he for this practice, that he
acquired the nickname of Readymoney. The other
instance is that of the King of Bonny. He was
brought up in England, and is one of the first African
potentates who has embraced and been trained in
the religion of Jesus Christ. A large amount of
pepper has come to England every year from his
dominions, so the traders got into the way of styling
him King Pepper. The natives being more accus-
tomed to liquid letters, turned it into Pepple. What
is the consequence ? The king has taken it for his
surname ; and when he appeared two years ago at
St. Paul's Cathedral, in the service held by the Pan-
Anglican Synod, the newspapers did not fail to note
the fact, and without any thought of depreciation
of his high position as an African potentate, gravely
announced that in the vast congregation that swelled
the limits of the metropolitan cathedral, was to be
seen, joining reverently in the service, His Majesty
King Pepple ! What can more vividly demonstrate
to us in the nineteenth century the ease with which
these nicknames some sober, some ludicrous, some
complimentary, some the reverse would be affixed
to certain of our forefathers four or five hundred years
ago, and cling to them and to their posterity to all
Every old list of names had its large proportion of
nicknames. Take the members of the York Corpus
Christi Guild of the fifteenth century. We find such
associates as Henry Langbane (Longbone), John
Ambuler (from his gait), Thomas Chaste, William
Fellowship (from his social habits), Agnes Blak-
mantyll (Black-mantle, from some favoured garment
she wore), Margaret Amorous, Thomas Brownlace,
William Fairbarne (pretty child), Agnes Fatty,
William Goodbarne (good child), William Goodlad,
John Godherd (if not Goddard, then Good-herd),
Richard Gayswain, Richard Preitouse, John Young,
Robert Pepirkorne, John Makblyth (Make-blithe, a
very pretty name), Isabella Maw, William Wyldest,
Peter Trussebutt, John Handelesse, John Corderoy,
John Bentbow, Robert Sparrow, and William Nut-
brown. These are all trades members of the same
guild in the then small city of York. Their origins
are as simple as they are various. In Makeblithe,
Fellowship, and Gayswain, we see a joyous disposi-
tion; in Peppercorn and Truss-butt, the owners'
business; in Amorous, Chaste, or Goodbairn, moral
characteristics ; in Blackmantle and Brownlace, peculi-
arities of habit ; in Longbone, Handless, and Nut-
brown, bodily idiosyncracies. And so on with the rest.
What a mine of surnames is here opened out to view !
How largely representative is the London Directory,
we have already seen in the case of animal names, to
which class belongs Robert Sparrow in the above list.
In continuing the subject, it is at once manifest
154 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
that we can but generalize. We have had to do so
with all the other classes ; especially are we compelled
in the division we have styled " Nicknames."
Look at bodily peculiarities. There is not a shape
man can assume, but is described in the Directory.
There is not an accident that can befall him but it is
there recorded, just as if it were the entry book of
cases for a London hospital. There is not a pecu-
liarity in his style of dress, or management of his
limbs, or complexion of his skin, or colour of his
hair, that is not set down with as great a care as if
he were a suspected character in a detective's note-
book. Nevertheless, let us be careful not to fall
into a trap. A hundred local names look very like
nicknames. Tallboy occurs twice in our Directory.
These gentlemen represent the Norman Talboys
frequently found in Domesday Book. Longness,
Thickness, and Redness, may not mean Longnose,
Thicknose, and Rednose, although nose was " ness "
in the days when these surnames arose. Thickness
is known to be local. Any sharp promontory on the
coast is a Naze or Ness (i.e. a Nose). Hence such a
name as Dengeness in Kent. A Miss Charlotte Ness
inquired the meaning of the logical terms abstract
and concrete. The answer was given in verse :
" Say what is abstract, what concrete ?
Their difference define."
" They both in one fair person meet,
And that, dear maid, is thine."
" How so ? The riddle pray undo."
" I thus your wish express :
For when I lovely Charlotte view,
I then view loveli-Ness."
Still we may safely assume of the great majority that
they are what they seem to be. We will at once
proceed to inspect some of them.
Let us begin with the head, keeping our eye mean-
time on the pages of the Directory for evidence.
We have Heads (often local) and Tates many ;
indeed, they are truly tete-a-tete in the Directory,
for of the latter no less than eleven are in immediate
proximity. We have Silverlock, Whitelock, or Whit-
lock, Blacklock, and the remains of an old fashion
common to mediaeval beaux in Lovelock. Redhead,
and Whitehead, and Hoar or Hoare, and White
and Brown, and Rouse, and Sangwine, and Black,
and Blund or Blunt, are an innumerable force.
Beard and Blackbeard are to the fore still, though
Brownbeard is gone, and probably Bluebeard never
was there. The Directory can show its Cheek, like
any other fellow of forward disposition, and Joule
is not far off. And although it has no Mouth, it
possesses at least one Gumm, one Tooth, and
two Tongues. " Tooth," by the way, has been
refusing some ecclesiastic dentistry lately ; but it
will need a good deal of tugging to get him out of
the Directory. There is no Gumboil, I am glad to
say, at present, but he may make his appearance
any day, as he is known in other parts of England.
There are eleven Notts to be seen, and two Notmans,
whose progenitors were remarkable for their shorn
heads. A man was said to have a not-head who
presented this appearance, and in the old rolls was
set down as Peter le Not, or William le Not. So
although Must y and Cant, and Shall, and Will, look
156 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
as if the Directory (they are all in it) had a strong
will of its own, we must not argue the matter so far
as Nott is concerned.
Looking at man's extremities the feet, we again
find that it is hard to decide whether the termination
" foot " is of local or nickname origin. The Directory
has all manner of feet : a Brown foot, a Whitefoot, a
Crowfoot, a Barefoot, a Proudfoot, a Lightfoot, and
a Harefoot. Lightfoot has just footed it all the
way to the episcopal palace of Durham. We may
ail, in congratulating the learned Professor, pray
that by God's aid he may be a light unto the feet of
his clergy, and guide them in true and safe paths.
Remembering too, his predecessor, the firm, yet
" kindly Baring," we might concoct an epigram of our
own, and say, with many apologies to the coachman
for the liberty we take,
Come, Lightfoot, mount, the ribbons take,
When roads are downward on the brake
Set not thy foot too lightly,
And though the reign of Baring's o'er,
Hold bearing-rein as tightly.
Or we might put another play on the name :
Lightfoot has gone to Durham's see :
If name and mind in him agree,
Of foes he'll have not any ;
For then a lantern he will be
To light \hzfeet of many.
Bishop Baring was so staunch a churchman as to put
his foot on Ritualism. Hence a young curate in his
diocese said, with more wit than warrant, that the
difference betwixt him and his bishop was that he
was under Baring, while the other was over-bearing.
Speaking of Lightfoot, however, I have heard my
father tell of a minister appointed many years ago
somewhere in the neighbourhood of Ashton-under-
Lyne, whose name was Light. Coming unexpectedly
into a room where a prayer-meeting was being held
that a good pastor might be sent to them, he heard
them singing the two lines well known to most of
" Sometimes a Light surprises
The Christian while he sings."
It is said he was inclined to look upon it as an
augury that he had done rightly in accepting the
post. Foot we have already said is very common,
but there is only one Toe, and, as is but proper, only
one Nail. An old epigram says :
" Twixt Footman Sam and Doctor Toe
A controversy fell,
Which should prevail against his foe
And bear away the belle ;
The lady chose the footman's heart :
Say, who can wonder ? No man :
The whole prevailed above the part
'Twas Footman versus Toe, man.
Rawbones is not a pleasant name, and would be
by no means suggestive of agreeable associations
to its possessor. Some will recall Praise God Bare-
bones, as he has been wrongly styled, for his name
was Barebone, and it was never otherwise called
till about a hundred years ago. There is all the
158 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
difference in the world between Barebone and
Barebones, and a good deal of point is lost, there-
fore, in the elder Disraeli's remark, "There are
some names which are very injurious to the cause
in which they are engaged ; for instance, the
long parliament in Cromwell's time, called by
derision the Rump, was headed by one Barebones,
a leather-seller." The reason of the change is
simple enough. That assembly went by the style
of Barebone's parliament, and thus people forgot
that the "s" did not belong to the name. The
name is found in James' reign as Barbon, and
stripped of the two "e's" ceases to be ludicrous in
any sense whatever.
One of the earliest ways of forming a surname of
the nickname class was to compound with the bap-
tismal name an adjective of size, age, relationship, or
condition. We are all familiar with such a name as
Little-john, which may well stand as a typical illus-
tration, for I see in my London Directory nine
instances occur. The father of the original bearer
was doubtless John, and the son being baptized by
the same agnomen, the neighbours would readily get
into the way of styling him Little John. The grand-
son would accept this as his surname, and thus the
sobriquet would become a permanency. These com-
pounds of John are not uncommon, for that was the
commonest baptismal name in those days, save
William. Thus we have Mickle-john, i.e. big John ;
Brown-john ; Hob-john, i.e. clownish John ; and
Young-john, an instance of which I saw in Kidder-
minster not long ago. By means of French impor-
tation, or through our Norman forefathers, we have
also Pru-jean, Gros-jean, and Petit-jean. Proper-John,
though not in the London Directory, is very common
in some parts of the country, and implied that the
original bearer was a well-formed, shapely youth.
This old use of the term is preserved in our Autho-
rized Version, where St. Paul is made to speak of
Moses as " a proper child." Our Properjohns need
not be ashamed of their designation. Speaking of
Youngjohn, I may state that in one of our Yorkshire
local directories may be seen John Berry, and im-
mediately below Young John Berry. Doubtless the
son was baptized " Young John," to distinguish him
from his father ; and thus an old custom was but
restored in a more formal manner at the font. As
Young John Berry has now grown to man's estate,
as is proved by the fact that he occupies a place of
his own in the aforementioned directory, we may,
perhaps, some day see in a future issue of that
same public register, " Still Younger John Berry!'
as the title of the representative of the third
generation ! The most interesting name in its
associations, however, is that of Bon-jean or Bon-
john, i.e. Good John, corrupted into Bunyan. So
early as the year 1310 there dwelt in London a
householder of the name of Jon Bonjon. My
readers will deem it, I doubt not, a happy coin-
cidence that when we speak of the author of
the immortal "Pilgrim's Progress" as "Good John
Bunyan," we are simply saying twice over " Good
John": once in English, and once in French.
Probably the ancestor of the dreamer of Bedford was
i6o ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
a Norman tradesman, who had come over to London
to better himself.
Speaking of these Norman-French names ending
in Jean, such as Gros-Jean, Petit-Jean, or Bon-Jean,
we are reminded that this mode of forming surnames
was much more common in France than in England.
A single glance at the Paris Directory will amply
demonstrate this. We find Grand-jean (Big-John),
Grand-perret and Grand-pierre (Big- Peter), Grand-
collet (Big-Nicholas), and Grand-Guillot (Big-
William). Of an opposite character we light upon
Petit-collin (Little Nicholas), Petit-guillaume (Little-
William), Petit-perrin and Petit-pierre (Little-Peter),
and Petit-jeannin, corresponding to our English
Little-john already alluded to. These instances,
which might be amplified to any extent, will suffice
to prove that nicknames of this class are far more
prevalent with our French neighbours than ourselves.
But while such qualificatory terms as "good,"
"long," "young," and "proper," were freely applied
to baptismal names, they were not limited to such.
Long-skinner used to exist as a surname, also Young-
smith and Good-groom. One of our most aristocratic
names is Beau-clerk ; and its opposite, Mau- clerk, once
familiar enough to our ears, still exists in the
corrupted form of Manclerk. Talking, however, of
ears, the name that sounds most curious upon the
modern tympanum is that of Good-Knave. This is
no corruption, and meant exactly what it seems to
mean that the original bearer was a good honest
knave ! But then, as many of my readers are aware,
there was a time when a knave was nothing more
than a servant or page. Shakespear speaks of one
who is but
" Fortune's knave,
A minister of her will."
Young-husband, of which there are four representa-
tives in our London Directory, is a very familiar
instance of this class, although husband had no doubt
a much wider significance in the day that the
surname arose. Goodfellow is also well known ; and,
above all, one of our American cousins has made
Longfellow famous to all time. If you come to
analyse the name of the author of " Evangeline,"
it has not a very attractive origin. The earliest
instances I can find are in our Yorkshire records,
and there it is set down Long-fellay. Even now
in Lancashire and Yorkshire a fellow is always a
" felley." I wonder if Henry Longfellow ever heard
of Thomas Longfellow, landlord of the Golden Lion
Inn at Brecon, who must have made a somewhat long
face when he saw the following lines inscribed upon a
panel of his coffee-room :
" Tom Longfellow's name is most justly his due :
Long his neck, long his bill, which is very long, too ;
Long the time ere your horse to the stable is led ;
Long before he's rubbed down, and much longer till fed ;
Long indeed may you sit in a comfortless room
Till from kitchen long dirty your dinner shall come ;
Long the oft-told tale that your host will relate ;
Long his face while complaining how long people eat ;
Long may Longfellow long ere he see me again :
Long 'twill be ere I long for Tom Longfellow's Inn."
The well-known publishers, Messrs. Longman, repre-
162 ROMANCE OF THE LONDON DIRECTORY.
sent, of course, but another form of the same name.
Indeed, as will be seen at a glance, this class could
be extended indefinitely ; so indefinitely that, were I
to set all the instances down one by one, I should
have to write a big book instead of a small one.
This is exactly what the Editor does not desire ; for
which reason not to hint that the reader might be
weary I withhold my hand : and indeed it is time.
Hazell, Watson, and Viney, Printers, London and Aylesbury.
Major-General Ponsonby, K.C.B., writes: "The Queen is much
pleased with the volume of ' ENGLAND'S ROYAL HOME." " Windsor,
May 21 st.
Now ready, Second TJiousand, in rich cloth gilt, 17 Illustrations, 55.
ENGLAND'S ROYAL HOME.
By the Rev. CHARLES BULLOCK, B.D.,
Editor of " Hand and Heart" " The Fireside," and " Home Words."
"The sayings and doings of the present Royal Family are watched with intense
interest in thousands of English-speaking homes both here, in the Colonies, and in the
United States, and therefore we may safely predict a considerable share of popularity
for ' England's Royal Home,' by the well-known Editor of that excellent home News-
paper, ' HAND AND HEART.' The volume is sure to be attractive." The Graphic.
"There is plenty of interesting matter, a mass of incidents and anecdotes, in
this volume, dealing with the personal history of the Royal Family. The illustra-
tions give an additional interest to the text." The Globe.
" A volume which will prove very acceptable." John Bull.
Also now ready, Third Thousand, reprinted from the above, in rich cloth, gilt
edges, price 2s.
MEMORIALS OF THE PRINCESS ALICE.
Admiral Horton having transmitted a copy of "Doubly Royal" to
the Grand Duke of Hesse, His Royal Highness, in expressing his
thanks, says: "I have read it with great interest, and I am much
pleased with its contents and the spirit in which it is written."
NEW BOOKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR.
Now ready, Third Thousand, -with Portrait drawn by T. C. Scott. Price is.
WITHIN THE PALACE GATES.
IN MEMORY OF FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL.
CHAP. I. THE ROYAL MESSAGE. I CHAP. III. THE SWEET SINGER AND
II. THE PALACE GATES. THE READY WRITER.
CHAP. IV. ROYAL BOOKS. CHAP. V. MISSIONARY MEMORIAL.
Now Ready, in bevelled cloth, gilt, with Frontispiece, 3^. 6d.
THE BEST WISH:
WITH OTHER SUNDAY READINGS FOR THE HOME.
"Worthy of the Author of 'THE WAY HOME..'" Record.
Also Now Ready, Special Cheap Edition (thirtieth thousand), price is. bound in
handsomely coloured picture boards. Also in bevelled cloth, gilt, zs.
THE WAY HOME.
AN EARTHLY STORY WITH A HEAVENLY MEANING.
With five Illustrations designed by S. C. PENNEFATHER, engraved by J. D. COOPER
EARLY NOTICES OF THE FIRST EDITION.
"The best work I ever read on the inimitable parable of the Prodigal Son." The
late Canon Marsh, D.D.
" A warm, affectionate, faithful, powerful, and clear enforcement of Evangelical
ruth. I wish it a wide circulation." Canon Miller, D.D.
LONDON: "HAND AND HEART" PUBLISHING OFFICES,
1> PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS, B.C.
A SERIES OF NEW BOOKS FOR POPULAR READING,
The following may be ordered through any Bookseller, or will be forwarded post free
from the Publishing Office on receipt of P.O.O. or cheque to order of CHARLES
Suitable for Wedding Presentation.
I. Now ready, Second Thousand, elegantly bound in white cloth, bevelled, worked
in red and gold, gilt edges, -with Frontispiece, 3$. 6d.
THE BRIDE ELECT.
By Mrs. JOHNSON, Author of " Hints to Untrained Teachers," etc. Dedicated
to the PRINCESS LOUISE.
CONTENTS. Tuning the Bells. Owe no Man Anything. How to
Order the Dinner. Cleanliness, Warmth, and Light. How to Dress
Comfortably. Wear and Tear. Like Mistress, like Maid. Service
done. Do you Mean what you Say? That State of Life. Money
"'The Bride Elect,' by Mrs. Johnson, a daughter of the late Dr. M'Caul, is a truly
bridal volume." The Record.
"From the Hand and Heart office, bound right bridally, we have 'The Bride
Elect.' It is a book to give a strong sense of responsibility and to stir up the energies,
and we should like to see it much read and much heeded." Guardian.
II. Now ready, in elegant cloth boards, with Frontispiece, zs. 6d.
Compiled by the Rev. CHARLFS BULLOCK, B.D., Editor of "Hand and Heart,"
" Home Words," etc.
" Something well said on almost every topic." Public Opinion.
"An attractive volume." Pictorial World.
" Does not contain a single dead thing." Sword and Trowel.
" Short and interesting articles." Record.
III. Now ready, elegantly bound in cloth, gilt, and printed on specially prepared
paper, zs. 6d. A cheaper edition, in fancy paper boards, is. 6d.
PITHY PROVERBS POINTED.
By the Rev. SAMUEL B. JAMES, M.A., Vicar of Northmarston.
With Fourteen original illustrations by S. C. PENNEFATHER.
"A seasonable gift book." Daily Telegraph.
" Short, amusing, and instructive papers from the well-known pen of the Rev.
S. B. James." Record.
IV. Now ready, in elegant cloth boards, with Frontispiece Portrait, zs. 6d.
HOME MAKERS: WITH MOTHERLY WORDS
By the late Mrs. CLARA L. BALFOUR. With Biographical Sketch by the
Rev. CHARLES BULLOCK, B.D.
" We commend it to households of every class." Daily Telegraph.
V. Now ready, in handsome cloth, gilt, 2s. 6d.
TRUE AND STRONG; or, Mark Heywood's Work.
By EMMA MARSHALL, Author of " Mrs. Haycock's Chronicles."
" Pleasantly written." Daily News.
LONDON: "HAND AND HEART" PUBLISHING OFFICES,
I, PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS, E,C.
"HAND AND HEART' LIBRARY.
VI. Now ready, in handsome doth, gilt, with Frontispiece. 2s. 6d.
"MRS. HAYCOCK'S CHRONICLES.
A Story of Life Service.
BY EMMA MARSHALL, AUTHOR OF "JOANNA'S INHERITANCE."
" 111 that He blesses is our good,
And unblessed good is ill ;
And all is right that seems most wrong
If it be His sweet will."
VII. In gilt cloth, toned paper, with Portrait and Eight Illustrations.
"THE STORY OF THE TENTMAKER."
BY THE LATE VERY REVEREND DEAN CHAMPNEYS.
With Biographical Sketch, by the REV. CHARLES BULLOCK, B.D.
V. The Keeper of the Prison.
I. Portrait of Dean Champneys.
II. " Behold, He prayeth." '
III. The Escape of St. Paul.
IV. St. Paul at Philippi.
VI. The Farewell at Miletus.
VII. The Shipwreck.
VIII. St. Paul at Rome.
"We heartily commend this attractive volume." Record.
VIII. In cloth, gilt, toned, with Frontispiece. $s. 6d.
"THE MINISTRY OF WOMAN."
By A. V. L.
With an introduction by MRS. BAYLY, Author of " Ragged Homes," etc.
" If ever book spoke for itself, it is this." Record.
IX. In cloth, gilt, toned paper, is. 6d.
"THE HOMES OF SCRIPTURE."
By the late Rev. J. B. OWEN, M.A.
" We have read Mr. Owen's ' Homes of Scripture ' at least a dozen times ; and we
could read them a dozen times more." The Fireside.
Now ready, price id.
Notes on Nursing : for Arti-
zans and Cottagers. In three chapters.
By Mrs. W. E. GLADSTONE.
" Mrs. Gladstone is great in the
' politics of Home ' the most important
politics of all which treat of questions
that concern the social and domestic
happiness of the people." Hatid and
By the EDITOR OF " HOME WORDS."
Fifteenth thousand \ price 2d.
The Forgotten Truth: or
The Gospel of the Holy Ghost.
Third Thousand, price 2d.
Decision for G-od: Words of
Counsel for Young Men.
Fifth Thousand, price id.
Preachers and Hearers.
LONDON: "HAND AND HEART" PUBLISHING OFFICES,
I, PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS, EiC.
BOOKS AT MAGAZINE PRICES.
Thirteenth Thousand, in Fourteen Chapters, Elegantly Bound in Coloured Boards,
with Five Illustrations, price is. In bevelled cloth, gilt, for Presentation, price 25.
THE TVA.Y HOME;
THE GOSPEL IN THE PARABLE:
f0rjr toitjr & |p
REV. CHARLES BULLOCK, B.D.,
FORMERLY RECTOR OF ST. NICHOLAS', WORCESTER, EDITOR OF " THE FIRESIDE,
"HOME WORDS," AND "HAND AND HEART."
With Illustrations Designed by S. C. Pennefather :
Engraved by J. D. COOPER.
BOOKS AT MAGAZINE PRICES.
The contrast between the cost of Books and Magazines is very startling. For
example, one Serial Tale in "THE FIRESIDE," published separately as a volume,
sells for $s. ; and if the other contents were also published separately, the selling
price of the volumes would reach to about 255-. Yet "THE FIRESIDE" Annual
itself is sold complete for js. 6d. In the same way, the Serial Tales in " HOME
WORDS," published separately, would make a 2$. 6d. volume, and the other contents
in volumes would sell for about ios. Yet the Annual itself may be had for is. 6d.
The explanation is chiefly found in the large circulation of Magazines as compared
with Books, which entirely changes the cost of production. Books seldom exceed an
edition of 1000 copies, the sale extending over many months ; whilst a successful
Magazine secures the immediate sale of one or two hundred thousand copies.
As the first of a proposed Series of similar works, adapted for wide circulation, it
has been decided to print what may be termed
dirittott of " |p Waj fame."
The volume, which has already passed through Six Editions, was originally issued
at the price of 3$. 6d. It is now, in an illustrated, larger, and more attractive
form, sold for One Shilling: furnishing an example of the possible cheapness
of books, if they can be printed in numbers corresponding with the circulation of our
Since this experiment, if successful, cannot fail largely to promote the diffusion of
Christian literature, it is hoped that the Clergy and others will aid in introducing the
volume to general notice, calling the attention of Booksellers to it, etc. The
publisher will be glad to forward a Specimen Copy for this purpose, free by post, to
any address on receipt of twelve stamps.
As a book suitable for Confirmation candidates, it can be supplied to the Clergy
on special terms for fifty or one hundred copies.
Address THE MANAGER,
"Hand and Heart" Office,
I, Paternoster Buildings, E.G.
The Editor of " Hand and Heart" "Home Words," etc., has been
honoured with a message from the QUEEN. CANON CONNOR, one of
Her Majesty's Chaplains, writes :
" Her Majesty permits me to say she has read and ap-
proved of ' Hand and Heart ' with much pleasure."
THE ILLUSTRATED FAMILY NEWSPAPER.
"HAND AND HEART."
Edited by the Rev. CHARLES BULLOCK, B.D., Author of " The Way Home*
THE NEW VOLUME.
In Rich Cloth Gilt Binding, ^s. 6d.
"The art is as good as the literature," The Art Journal.
" A splendid volume, well deserving a permanent existence." Record.
The following brief summary of Contents will give an idea of the Character
and Objects of this Paper :
THE NEWS DEPARTMENT COMPRISES :
I. THE WEEK : A Chronicle of Current Events and Opinions.
II. IN PARLIAMENT : A Digest of the Debates during the
III. LEADERS on the most prominent Topics of the Day.
IV. JOTTINGS ON MEN AND THINGS. By a LONDON
2. Witchcraft in the Nineteenth Cen-
3. The Great Plague, etc., etc.
VIII. ENGLAND AT WORK.
i. Gold Workers.
2.' Our Seed Growers.
3. The Post Office, etc., etc.
IX. OUT AND ABOUT.
2. Modern Rome.
3. A Peep at Holland.
4. Walks about Paris, etc., etc.
XI. THE POSTMAN.
XII. BUSY BEE.
XIII. SANITARY PAPERS.
V. MEN OF MARK: Lives with
1. Archbishop of Canterbury.
2. Dr. Duff.
3. Canon Ryle.
4. The Lord Chancellor.
5. Earl Russell.
6. George Cruikshank.
7. W. E. Forster, M.P.
8. Sir W. Lawson, M.P.
9. J. B. Gough. With many others.
VI. FIRESIDE TALES.
1. Baskets and Brooms.
2. The Earls of the Village. By AGNES
3. Three Scenes in a Life. By the
late Mrs. BALFOUR.
VII. HISTORIC PICTURES.
i. The Monks of Old.
XIV. EVENINGS AT HOME.
XV. THE REST DAY.
XVI. THE BOOKS OF THE
MONTH, etc., etc.
Illustrations by HARRISON WEIR and other First Class Artists.
A Tale, entitled "SEVENTY YEARS AGO," by Mrs. MARSHALL, is now
LONDON: "HAND AND HEART" PUBLISHING OFFICES,
I, PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS, E.G.
For CHRISTMAS, 1879 The HEW AHHUALS
Edited by the Rev. CHARLES BULLOCK, B.D., Author of " The Way Home" etc.
Elegantly bound in cloth, gilt, with ornamental design, 288 pp., price 2s. ;
or, in coloured boards, is. 6d.
"HOME WORDS" ANNUAL.
CONTAINS TWO SERIAL TALES:
I. TEMPLE BENEDICT. By Mrs. PROSSER.
II. THE LOST JEWEL. By Mrs. MARSHALL.
OTHER SERIAL WORKS.
III. Way Side Chimes. By FRANCES vil. Talks with the People. B
IV. "Sunbeam" Sketches. By
Mrs. BRASSEY. With Illustrations.
V. The Church of our Fathers.
By the Rev. G. EVERARD, M.A.
VI. Things that are Like.
Rev. DR. MAGUIRE.
the EARL of SHAFTESBURY, K.G.
VIII. The Temperance Witness
BOX. By the EDITOR.
IX. Illustrated Poems. By the
Rev. R. WILTON, M.A., and other
X. The Young Folks'
In rich crimson cloth, gilt edges, full-page illustrations, 'js. 6
"THE FIRESIDE" ANNUAL.
CONTAINS TWO SERIAL TALES:
I. THE MAIDENS' LODG-E. By EMILY S. HOLT.
II. DUTIES AND DUTIES. By AGNES GIBERNE.
III. Sunday Readings. By the
Rev. GORDON CALTHROP, the late
BISHOP of CORK, the EDITOR,
IV. Of Foibles. By a Nameless
V. Lord Lawrence, and other
Biographies. By the EDITOR.
VI. Papers Practical. By the Rev.
JOHN F. SERJEANT.
VII. Sidelights from Heraldry.
By the Rev. S. B. JAMES.
VIII. Prize Competition in English
Literature. By the BISHOP of
SODOR and MAN.
IX. Tales for Our Sons and
Daughters. By various Authors.
X. Art Studies from Landseer.
By H. G. REID. With Illustra-
XI. London Illustrated with Pen
and Pencil. By a LONDON
XII. The Month, etc.
WITH OTHER SERIAL PAPERS.
Elegantly bound in cloth gilt, full-page illustrations, price 2s.
"THE DAY OF DAYS" ANNUAL.
CONTAINS TWO SERIAL TALES :
I. COALS OF FIRE. By EMMA MARSHALL.
II. TRIED GOLD : a Story of Love and Duty. By F. H. Knapp.
III. Echoes from the Word. By
FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL.
IV. Irish Mission Work. By the
Rev. CANON HAYMAN and others.
V. Jottings on the Word. By the
Rev. W. H. CUTTING.
VI. Christian Biography. By
VII. The Sunday Bible Hour.
1. Notes Critical and Expository.
2. Life Illustrations of Bible
3. Bible Exercises and Questions.
VIII. The Poetry of Home. By the
Rev. R. WILTON, add others.
IX. The Olive Branch, Papers
for the Young, etc.
LONDON: "HAND AND HEART" PUBLISHING OFFICES,
I, PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS, E.C.
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UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY
Bardsley, Charles Wareing
The romance of the London