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BEACES-HLÆW. This is named among the land-limits of Chalk
(Cod. Dipl., 436). Among those for Bedwin (Cod. Dipl., 1266) we have Beocces-heal-we cannot at all, as far as I know, identify this name, but it seems at all events to have been once known in Wilts. The more modern name Beecu may
be its counterpart. CEORLES-HLÆW. This name is not of infrequent occurrence. We
meet with it in in the charter for Downton (Cod. Dipl., 698), and no doubt can from it explain the meaning of CHARLTON in the charters spelt ceórla-tún), which is included in the parish. It may be open to question whether the reference be to a personal name, or to a class. The term ceorl designated
a class of free peasants in ancient times. 57. Then we have allusions not unfrequently to tumuli which had been injured. There were “ spoilers of tombs,” in ancient as in modern times. Thus we often read in an ancient charter “ to dam brocenan beorge,” i.e., "to the broken barrow” (Cod. Dipl., 763), and in one case we have the fact stated yet more explicitly in the words : “to be westan 8am beorge de ádolfen wæs," i.e., "to the west of that barrow that was dug (or delved) into.” (Cod. Dipl., 1033.) These are interesting extracts as explaining to us the name of BROKENBOROUGH, near Malmesbury. It appears in the charters as Brocene-berg, and was no doubt so termed from some“ broken," or rifled, sepulchral “barrow," on or near the spot.
58. There is one other form in which personal enter into the composition of local names, on which a few words must be said. They are those which may be called patronymics, and which denote clans or families who derive their designation from that of some chieftain or head of the tribe or settlement.
These local denominations are to a great extent irregular compositions, of which the former portion is a patronymic ending generally in -ing, and declined in the genitive plural -inga, when fol. lowed by some other name descriptive of the special locality, such as mearc,-hám-wc-tún-díc, and the like. In a few cases the patronymic stands alone in the nominative plural, the termination of which is -ingas. Thus CANNINGS, the name of two parishes in Wilts, is clearly the modern form of an implied Ceanningar. In a charter from the Codex. Winton. (Cod. Dipl., 1193), we have, in the landlimits of Heyling, in Hants, the expression Canninga-mær, which can only mean the boundary of the tribe, or clan, of the “Cannings.” At no great distance from Cannings is a name, Cane Hill, which perchance may be a memorial of the chief from whom they took their name.
In the name KEN, well-known and remembered in the West of England, we seem to have the name in something like its primitive form.
Under this head may be placed also a number of names which have the form of genuine patronymics, but denote, not so much the clan descended from any particular chief, as that residing within a certain district. Thus Afeningas, now AVENING, means, as has already been shown, the “dwellers on the Avon;" in like manner Teofuntingagemere (Cod. Dipl., 284) means the boundary of the “men of Teffont,” and Lamburninga-mærc (Cod. Dipl., 792), in like manner means the "mark" or district of those who belonged to Lambourne. So COLLINGBOURN, spelt in the charters Colinga-burn (Cod. Dipl., 336) may mean the “bourn
of those who lived on the banks of the river Cole, though that name, at all events in that particular part of Wilts, is not now known. I admit, however, that it is as likely that the Colingas derived their name from some old leader or chieftain. We certainly meet in the charters with such expressions as Colan-treów (= Cole's tree) (Cod. Dipl., 712), and Colan-ham (Cod. Dipl., 227) (= Cole's homestead), which show that a personal name existed which may well explain the former portion of the name Collingbourn. Moreover, in the Wilts Domesday we have Cola holding a small estate, as one of the King's Thanes (W. Domesd., 136).
59. It is right however to add that in dealing with this class of names much caution is necessary, for it is by no means enough that a word should end in -ing to make it a patronymic. On the contrary, as Kemble remarks, “it is a power of that termination to denote the genitive or possessive, which is also the generative case, and in some
* Saxons in England, i., 60. Note,
local names we do find it so used : thus “ Ædelwulfing lond” (Cod. Dipl., 179) is exactly equivalent to “ Æðelwulfes lond,” the land of a duke Ædelwulf, not of a family called Ædelwulfings.” So again “ dæt Folcwining lond,” and “ Hæt Wynhearding lond” (Cod. Dipl., 195), imply the land of Folcwine and of Wyneheard, not of marks or families called Folcwinings and Wyneheardings. Woolbedington, Woollavington, Barlavington, are respectively Wulfbæding-tún, Wulfiáfing-tún, Beórláfing-tún, that is, the tún or dwelling of Wulfláf, Wulfbæd, and Beórláf. Between such words and genuine patronymics the line must be carefully drawn, a task which requires both skill and experience. The best security is where we find the patronymic in the genitive plural—(with the termination, that is, inga, as in examples just given)—but one can very generally judge whether the name is such as to have arisen in the way described above, from a genitive singular. Changes for the sake of euphony must also be guarded against, as sources of error: thus Abingdon (in Berks) might impel us strongly to assume a family of Abingas;' the Saxon name Æbban-dún convinces that it was named from an Æbba (m.), or Ælbe (f.). So Dunnington is not Duninga-tún but Dunnan-tún that is Dunna's (=Dunn's?) tún, or dwelling.”
IV.-Names which have reference to the Religious Worship of those who from time to time settled in this part of the country.
Under this head will be included those which illustrate alike the heathendom and the early Christianity of our Teutonic forefathers.
60. (a) of the former perhaps the best known is the name which now appears as WANSDYKE, the largest of the ancient Wiltshire Dykes, and which is found in the charters invariably as WODNES-Díc, that is, Woden's-dyke. Again, in the land-limits of Alton Priors we have the name Wodnes-beorg, which is the original form of what we know as Woodborough, meaning Woden's Hill (Cod. Dipl., 1035). Then we have Wodnes-den in the land-limits of Overton (Cod. Dipl., 1120). “So common in every part of England,” says Kemble, "are names of places compounded with this name, that we must admit the worship of Woden to have been current throughout the island: it seems impossible to doubt that in every quarter there were localities' (usually rising
1 Saxons in England, i., 343.
ground) either dedicated to him, or "supposed to be under his protection; and that thus Woden was here, as in Germany, the supreme god whom the Saxons, Franks, and Alamans concurred in worshipping."
Another of the deities worshipped by our Anglo-Saxon forefathers in the days of their heathendom was Tiw, from whom we derive the name for the third day of the week, Tíwes-dæg (=Tuesday). He would seem to have corresponded with Mars, and was worshipped as a god of battle. We have the name of this deity in such compounds as Teówes-born (= Tiwes-thorn), in the charter relating to Purton (Cod. Dipl., 174)—Tæues-den, in that referring to Chelworth (Cod. Dipl., 329)—and possibly also in Tæsan-moed, in that concerning Alton Priors (Cod. Dipl., 1035), a name now known as Teow's-mead, the designation of a farm close by Wansdyke. It is not impossible that in the name Tis-BURY, a parish in the south-west of the county, we have a like memorial of Saxon heathendom. In a charter of Onût (A.D. 1023), amongst the boundaries of an estate at Hanitúne (Hannington), in Hants. we have“ Tis-leáh,” which, if the place could be identified, would no doubt be Tis-ley.
One other illustration under this head shall be given-others will be found in the lists appended to this general account. An ancient encampment on the downs, not far from Heytesbury, is called SCRATCHBURY CAMP. I venture to suggest that the former portion of the name is from the same source as the Danish and Swedish skratti (= a dæmon). Notice has already been drawn to the idea so common in ancient times of works like these being carried out by the help of evil spirits (See above $ 17). There is a Scratby in Norfolk, and in Norway we find Skradascar as the name of a haunted rock on the coast.
61. Of names which illustrate the early Christianity of our forefathers, the following may be named: BISHOPSTROW. A village near Warminster, originally Biscopes-treow
(= Bishop's tree), a memorial of the good St. Aldhelm, first Bishop of Sherborne (A.D. 705–709), to whom the church is dedicated, and who, as he founded the monasteries both at Bradford and Frome, no doubt visited this place, within a few miles of which indeed he died. William of Malmesbury tells us a story, by way of accounting for the name, at which we may perhaps smile, but which no doubt has a substratum of truth in it. Aldhelm, once, when preaching,” he says, "fixed his ashen staff in the earth : it grew miraculously, putting forth boughs and leaves, and numerous ash trees afterwards sprang from it, hence the place was called Biscopes-trewe.” Is it not possible that the word treow (= tree) is used here in its secondary sense as equivalent to “cross," as in Acts, x., 39, “ Whom they slew and hanged on a tree?” So Oswestry, as has been mentioned (§ 2), means Oswald's tree (or cross), its equivalent in Welsh being Croes-Oswallt. And Dr. Guest interprets Aeiles-treu (a name also given as Ægles-ford, and Ægelesthrip), as equivalent to Church-cross. Archæol. Inst. Journ., (Salisb.) p. 47. If so, the old chronicler gives us a glimmering of the truth, veiled though it may be with fable. Here no doubt the good Bishop preached the truth to the semichristianized, if not at that time heathen, people of Wessex. Probably, like Augustine and other early missionaries, he carried with him a cross, the symbol of our faith, and planted it in the ground beside him, as he proclaimed the doctrine of the cross.
Anyhow the name is a memorial of one of the holiest and most devoted of missionary bishops, and so of our
early Christianity in Wessex. CHRISTIAN MALFORD, near Chippenham; originally Cristes-mæl
ford. The Anglo-Saxon word mæl signifies a mark, or sign, or image, so that the whole word means the ford by Christ's sign ( = the cross), or Christ's image (=a crucifix, or rood). The word Criste-mæl often occurs in Saxon charters by itself,and also in composition, as descriptive of points of boundary. Thus in a grant of Grimanleáge to Worcester, we have, “ úp ondlang dæs hearpodes tó dæm Criste-mæle" (up along the high-way to the Christ-mal i.e., the cross). Cod. Dipl., 266.
1 Gest. Pontif. (Rolls Series), p. 384.