A Collection of 613 English Borough Names for Use in Locative Bynames

By Lord Frederic Badger, Black Stag Herald, An Tir


Table of Contents- Introduction - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - W - Y - Bibliography


Introduction

This document is a collection of English place names, specifically of Boroughs. The content comes from the index of the book "English Medieval Boroughs: A Handlist" by Beresford and Finberg. The vast majority of which have been painstakingly documented to between 597 - 1509 by these scholarly gentlemen. There are a few exception, and I took the liberty of removing any item from the listen that occurred after the 1650 "gray area".

The intended use of this document is for is a starting place for the creation of "locative" English by- names. This simply means a surname (last name) that is derived from a location or place, in this case a Borough. The Encarta World English Dictionary defines a borough as "a town given special privileges by Royal Charter in England".

In early English naming practices it was quite common to be known by where you were from. For example: John of Mousehole, Joan de Painswick, Robert Andover, etc. You were known as Robert, the guy who lives in Trowbridge, or Robert de Trowbridge. In later period English naming practices the names had become hereditary, and no longer (usually) denoted where you were from, but rather what your fathers name was. The preposition could have been any number of things (according to Reaney and Wilson) such as de, at(atte), by, in, etc. with "de" being by far the most common. In some period names the preposition was completely dropped, ex: "Robert Trowbridge", starting rarely in the 1000's but increasingly so until the 1400's whereupon it was usually absent. (Again, according to Reaney and Wilson) As this is not an article on forming English locative surnames, but rather a resource for doing such, I will leave it to the reader to find the correct preposition. Some good sources, including the aforementioned Reaney and Wilson, are listed in the bibliography at the end.

Some notes on this article: I scanned the index of the " English Medieval Boroughs" book in and applied OCR software to this. Then I went thru each item and checked for scanning errors, of which I fixed quite a number. Then I went through the entire text, and added the earliest date mentioned for each name, and correct a few more spelling errors in the process. I will not swear that this document is error free, but I have done my utmost to assure the accurateness of the information.  

DISCLAIMER! These are the modern spellings of these names.  The source did not list the period spellings of these place names, so some care must be taken when using these.  I would suggest looking into other books, or asking a herald for the documented form of the name closest to the period desired.  Taking an examples from A:   "Abbot's Bromley", is listed in "Dictionary of Placenames in the British Isles" by Adrian Room as "...The name was recorded as Bromleage in a document of 1002, and as Bromleaigh Abbatis in 1304..." Here is another example:  "Abingdon", listed in Ekwall has {AE}bbandun c. 730, {AE}bbanduna c.811... in its entry.   (note: {AE} is the transliteration of the character that looks like an A and E conjoined)   Both books on place names in the bibliography are wonderful sources, and they are the next step if you see a name you like on this list.

Yours in Service
Lord Frederic Badger
Black Stag Herald, An Tir


List of Place Names followed by Date

A

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Borough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Abbot's Bromley, 1222
Abingdon, 1086
Acton Burnell, 1236
Albrighton, 1303
Alcester, 1207
Alconbury Weston, 1319
Aldermaston, 1299
Almondbury, 1357
Alnmouth, 1147
Alnwick, 1157
Alphington, 1304
Alresford, 1210
Alrewas, 1228
Alton, 1239
Alton, 1295
Altrincham, 1290
Amersham, 1086
Amesbury, 1314
Andover, 1175
Appleby, 1179
Arundel, 1086
Ashboume, 1200
Ashburton, 1238
Ashwell, 1086
Atherstone, 1289
Aveton Gifford, 1384
Axbridge, 900
Axminster, 1209
Aylesbury, 1086

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B

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Badgworth, 1243
Bakewell, 1286
Baldock, 1138
Bamburgh, 1169
Bampton, 1180
Banbury, 1163
Barnard Castle, 1175
Barnstaple, 1018
Barton-on-Humber, 1086
Baschurch, 1227
Basingstoke, 1228
Bath, 675
Battle, 1180
Bawtry, 1223
Beccles, 1086
Bedford, 915
Bedwyn, 1086
Berden, 1267
Bere Alston, 1018
Berkeley, 1190
Berkhamsted, 1086
Berwick, 1119
Betley, 1299
Beverley, 1115
Bewdley, 1367
Bideford, 1204
Biggleswade, 1132
Bingley, 1273
Birmingham, 1250
Bishop Auckland, 1242
Bishop's Castle, 1285
Bishop's Stortford, 1306
Blandford, 1244
Blechingley, 1226
Bodmin, 1086
Bolton, 1253
Bootham, 1275
Boroughbridge, 1313
Boscastle, 1306
Bossinney, 1227
Boston, 1279
Bovey Tracey, 1326
Bow (in Nymet Tracy), 1259
Brackley, 1235
Bradford, 1311
Bradford-on-Avon, 1086
Brading, 1547
Bradninch, 1141
Bramber, 1248
Brampton, 1319
Brasted, 1227
Bray, 1225
Bretford, 1279
Brewood, 1280
Bridgnorth, 1100
Bridgetown Pomeroy, 1267
Bridgwater, 1200
Bridlington, 1086
Bridport, 1244
Brill, 1227
Brinklow, 1306
Bristol, 1086
Broadway, 1388
Bromyard, 1250
Brough-on-Humber, 1239
Bruton, 1086
Buckingham, 914
Bungay, 1228
Burford, 1265
Burford, 1087
Burpham, 900
Burton-on-Trent, 1187
Bury St Edmunds, 1022

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C

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Caistor, 1197
Calne, 1086
Cambridge, 917
Camelford, 1257
Canterbury, 597
Carlisle, 685
Castle Rising, 1233
Castleton, 1196
Castleton (in Sherbome), 1320
Catesby, 1493
Caus, 1273
Chard, 1234
Charmouth, 1320
Chawleigh, 1340
Chelmsford, 1200
Cheltenham, 1307
Chester, 1066
Chesterfield, 1204
Chichester, 1066
Chillington, 1309
Chinnor, 1338
Chippenham, 1154
Chipping Campden, 1307
Chipping Norton, 1296
Chipping Sodbury, 1232
Chisbury, 900
Chorley, 1250
Chudleigh, 1308
Chumleigh, 1274
Church Eaton, 1275
Cirencester, 1133
Clare, 1086
Cleobury Mortimer, 1362
Clifford, 1086
Clifton-upon-Teme, 1270
Clitheroe, 1258
Clun, 1272
Cockermouth, 1260
Colchester, 917
Coleshill, 1290
Colton, 1275
Colyford, 1225
Combe Martin, 1249
Congleton, 1272
Cookham, 1225
Corbridge, 1201
Corfe, 1268
Coventry, 1149
Crafthole (in Sheviock), 1314
Crediton, 1231
Cricklade, 900
Cuddenbeck, 1562
Cullompton, 1508

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D

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Dalton, 1239
Darlington, 1183
Dartmouth, 1227
Denbury, 1286
Derby, 917
Devizes, 1135
Dodbrooke (in Kingsbridge), 1294
Doncaster, 1194
Dorchester, 864
Dover, 1086
Down End, 1159
Downton, 1210
Drax, 1250
Droitwich, 1086
Dudley, 1221
Dunheved-by-Launceston, 1086
Dunstable, 1114
Dunster, 1197
Dunwich, 803
Durham, 1130
Durham (alias Crossgate), 1229
Dursley, 1164
Dymock, 1216

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E

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Eashing, 900
East Grinstead, 1235
East Looe, 1154
East Teignmouth, 1223
Eccleshall, 1199
Egremont, 1202
Ellesmere, 1216
Elvet, 1188
Evesham, 1055
Ewias Harold, 1300
Exeter, 1018
Exning, 1228
Eye, 1086
Eynsham, 1215

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F

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Fairford, 1221
Fareham, 1211
Faringdon, 1205
Farnham, 1208
Faversham, 1042
Felton, 1323
Fenny Stratford, 1204
Finedon, 1247
Flookburgh, 1509
Fordwich, 1086
Fowey, 1190
Frampton, 1308
Frodsham, 1209

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G

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Gainsborough, 1200
Gateshead, 1153
Gatton, 1450
Glastonbury, 1319
Gloucester, 1007
Godmanchester, 1212
Grampound (in Creed and Probus), 1296
Grantham, 1066
Great Bardfield, 1253
Great Marlow, 1107
Great Torrington, 1135
Great Yarmouth, 1066
Greystoke, 1366
Grimsby, 1194
Guildford, 1130

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H

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Halesowen, 1216
Halton, 1351
Harbottle, 1245
Harewood, 1266
Harlow, 1213
Hartford, 1319
Hartlepool, 1162
Harton (in Hartland), 1294
Harwich, 1222
Haslemere, 1230
Hastings, 900
Hatfield Regis, 1198
Hatherleigh, 1220
Haydon Bridge, 1365
Hedon, 1167
Helmsley, 1186
Helston, 1086
Henley-in-Arden, 1265
Henley-on-Thames, 1179
Hereford, 1066
Hertford, 912
Hexham, 1547
Heytesbury, 1168
Higham Ferrers, 1251
Highworth, 1262
Hinckley, 1284
Hindon, 1219
Hitchin, 1268
Holme, 1279
Holsworthy, 1309
Holy Island, 1396
Honiton, 1193
Hornby, 1285
Horsham, 1235
Howden, 1311
Hungerford, 1170
Huntingdon, 917
Huntington, 1267
Hythe, 1086

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I

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Ilchester, 1086
Ilfracombe, 1249
Ipswich, 1066

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K

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Kendal, 1222
Kenilworth, 1125
Kennford, 1300
Kenton, 1238
Keswick, 1373
Kidderminster, 1254
Kilkhampton, 1301
Kineton, 1306
King's Lynn, 1204
King's Ripton, 1319
King's Stanley, 1295
Kingsbridge, 1220
Kingston, 1241
Kingston upon Hull, 1299
Kington, 1267
Kinver, 1300
Kirby Moorside, 1154
Kirkham, 1296
Knaresborough, 1168
Knutsford, 1292
Knutsford Booths, 1292

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L

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Lacock, 1239
Lambourne, 1225
Lancaster, 1193
Langport, 900
Launceston, 1086
Lechlade, 1235
Ledbury, 1250
Leeds, 1207
Leek, 1214
Leicester, 679
Leighton Buzzard, 1086
Leominster, 1221
Lewes, 900
Lichfield, 669
Lincoln, 627
Linton, 1246
Liskeard, 1086
Little Totnes, 1326
Liverpool, 1207
London, 673
Longtown (or Ewias Lacy), 1234
Lostwithiel, 1194
Louth, 1086
Ludgershall, 1194
Ludlow, 1300
Luton, 1086
Lydd, 1154
Lydford, 1018
Lydham, 1270
Lyme Regis, 1284
Lymington, 1184
Lympstone, 1288
Lyng, 900

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M

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Macclesfield, 1261
Madeley, 1426
Maidstone, 1474
Malborough, 1508
Maldon, 1086
Malmesbury, 900
Malpas, 1280
Manchester, 1301
Manningtree, 1238
Marazion (alias St Micheals), 1085
Market Brough, 1196
Market Drayton, 1292
Marlborough, 1204
Marshfield, 1397
Melcombe, 1268
Mere, 1304
Merryfield, 1275
Middlewich, 1288
Midhurst, 1248
Milborne Port, 1086
Milverton, 1280
Minchinhampton, 1300
Mitford, 1326
Mitchell, 1239
Modbury, 1238
Montacute, 1102
Moreton-in-Marsh, 1273
Morpeth, 1188
Mountsorrel, 1148
Mousehole, 1267

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N

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text.  Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Nantwich, 1319
Nether Stowey, 1225
Newark, 1086
Newbiggin on Sea, 1307
Newborough (Agardsley), 1263
New Borough ( in Tutbury), 1100
Newbrough, 1320
New Buckenham, 1170
Newburn, 1201
Newbury, 1189
Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1100
Newcastle-under-Lyme, 1179
Newenden, 1227
Newent, 1298
New Malton, 1154
Newnham, 1298
Newport (in Bishop's Tawton), 1291
Newport, 1227
Newport, 1177
Newport, 1159
Newport (in North Curry), 1349
Newport Pagnell, 1086
New Sleaford, 1258
Newton (in Purbeck), 1286
Newton Abbot, 1269
Newton Arlosh (alias Kirkby Johannis), 1305
Newton Bushel, 1246
Newton Ferrers, 1305
Newton in Warkworth, 1249
Newton Poppleford, 1226
Newtown (Burghdere), 1218
Newtown (alias Fra(u)ncheville), 1254
Norham, 1160
North Ford, 1326
North Molton, 1249
Northallerton, 1298
Northampton, 1011
Northleach, 1235
Northwich, 1288
Norwich, 1004
Noss Mayo, 1286
Nottingham, 918
Nuneaton, 1227

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O

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Oakham, 1297
Offord Cluny, 1319
Okehampton, 1086
Old Sarum, 1003
Old Windsor, 1086
Olney, 1200
Orford, 1256
Ormskirk, 1286
Oswestry, 1190
Otley, 1304
Oundle, 1125
Over, 1288
Overton, 1217
Oxford, 900

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P

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text.  Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Padstow (alias Aldestowe), 1306
Paignton, 1295
Painswick, 1324
Pembridge, 1240
Penkneth (now Penknight), 1268
Penkridge, 1290
Penrith, 1286
Penryn, 1236
Penwortham, 1086
Penzance, 1327
Pershore, 1086
Peterborough, 1125
Petersfield, 1183
Pevensey, 1066
Pickering, 1100
Pilton, 1205
Pleshey, 1336
Ploughfield (in Preston on Wye), 1273
Plymouth, 1439
Plympton, 1195
Pocklington, 1086
Pontefract, 1086
Poole, 1248
Portchester, 911
Portsmouth, 1106
Prestbury, 1285
Preston, 1179

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Q

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Quatford, 912
Queenborough, 1368

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R

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text.  Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Rackenford, 1234
Rackley (in Compton Bishop), 1179
Rackenford, 1234
Ravenserodd, 1294
Reading, 1086
Redcliff, 1247
Reigate, 1164
Retford, 1259
Richard's Castle, 1304
Richmond, 1093
Ripon, 1316
Roby, 1372
Rochester, 604
Rockingham, 1307
Romney, 1086
Romsey, 1236
Ross-on-Wye, 1250
Rothbury, 1201
Rothwell, 1173
Ruyton, 1308
Rye, 1086

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S

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text.  Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Sadberge, 1253
St Albans, 1086
St Briavels, 1352
St Germans, 1066
St Giles, 1180
St Mawes, 1306
St Olave's Borough (York), 1088
Salford, 1230
Salisbury, 1219
Saltash (alias Ash), 1201
Sampford Peverell, 1300
Sandwich, 1086
Scarborough, 1155
Seaford, 1235
Seasalter, 1086
Shaftesbury, 1066
Sheepwash, 1230
Sheffield, 1297
Sherborne Newland, 1227
Sherston, 1404
Shifnal, 1441
Shoreham, 1208
Shrewsbury, 901
Sidmouth, 1300
Silverton, 1321
Skelton, 1240
Skinburness, 1301
Skipsea, 1160
Skipton, 1266
Solihull, 1280
Somerton, 1313
South Molton, 1150
South Zeal, 1299
Southam, 1399
Southampton, 911
Southwark, 900
Southwold, 1490
Stafford, 913
Stamford, 918
Standon, 1262
Stansted Abbots, 1086
Stapleton, 1304
Steyning, 1066
Stoborough, 1579
Stockbridge, 1236
Stockport, 1260
Stockton, 1283
Stoford, 1273
Stogursey, 1225
Stokesley, 1347
Stone, 1364
Stottesdon, 1619
Stow-on-the-wold, 1107
Stratford on Avon, 1196
Sudbury, 1086
Sunderland, 1242
Sutton Prior, 1253
Swavesey, 1279

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T

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text.  Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Tamerton Foliot, 1298
Tamworth, 913
Tarporley, 1281
Taunton, 934
Tavistock, 1105
Templemead, 1306
Tenbury, 1455
Tenterden, 1449
Tetbury, 1287
Tewkesbury, 1086
Thame, 1230
Thatcham, 1121
Thaxted, 1348
Thetford, 952
Thirsk, 1145
Thornbury, 1243
Tickhill, 1086
Tilshead, 1086
Tintagel, 1227
Tisbury, 900
Tiverton, 1224
Toddington, 1482
Tonbridge, 1241
Topsham, 1452
Torksey, 873
Totnes, 1018
Towcester, 917
Tregoney, 1201
Trematon, 1298
Trowbridge, 1295
Truro, 1173
Tutbury, 1086
Twineham (Christchurch), 1315

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U

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Ulverston, 1200
Uttoxeter, 1252
Uxbridge, 1170

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W

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text.  Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Wainfleet, 1458
Wakefield, 1180
Wallingford, 945
Walsall, 1198
Waltham, 1235
Ware, 1204
Wareham, 1066
Warenmouth, 1247
Wargrave, 1189
Warkworth, 1249
Warminster, 1086
Warrington, 1292
Warton, 1246
Warwick, 914
Watchet, 900
Watford, 1290
Wavermouth, 1300
Weare (Nether), 1243
Wearmouth, 1180
Week St Mary, 1306
Wellington, 1330
Wells, 909
Wendover, 1227
Wenlock, 1203
Weobley, 1255
West Alvington, 1272
West Derby, 1346
West Looe (alias Portbighan), 1243
West Teignmouth, 1292
Westbury, 1361
Westcheap (Pontefract), 1255
Weymouth, 1248
Whitby, 1128
Whitchurch, 1247
Whitchurch Canonicorum, 1265
Whitford (in Shute), 1288
Wickham, 1544
Wickwar, 1545
Wigan, 1246
Wigmore, 1086
Willingthorpe (alias Westgate), 1126
Wilton, 897
Wimborne Minster, 1086
Winchcombe, 1007
Winchelsea, 1283
Winchester, 662
Windsor, 1131
Winkleigh, 1237
Wirksworth, 1200
Wiscombe (in Southleigh), 1248
Witham, 912
Witheridge, 1248
Witney, 1208
Wiveliscombe, 1301
Wolverhampton, 1263
Woodbury, 1286
Woodstock, 1230
Wootton Bassett, 1236
Worcester, 680
Wotton-under-Edge, 1199
Writtle, 1382
Wycombe, 1226

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Y

(note: spellings are modern, the date is the first recorded instance of the Burough being mentioned in a period text. Check Ekwall and Room for period spellings.)

Yarm, 1273
Yarmouth, 1170
Yeovil, 1305
York, 625



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Bibliography
Books:

English Medieval Boroughs: a Hand List, Beresford and Finberg, Rowman and Littlefield Press, 1973

A Dictionary of English Surnames, Reaney and Wilson, Oxford Press, 1995

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, Ewall, Eilert, Oxford Press

Dictionary of Placenames in the British Isles, Adrian Room

Websites:
Laurel Website containing articles on Medieval Naming:
http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/education.html

The Academy of Saint Gabriel
http://www.s-gabriel.org/docs/

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This article was written by Lord Frederic Badger, Black Stag Herald of the Kingdom of An Tir.  Comments and questions can be mailed to me at badger@xcentric.net.