Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

bably the D. east, ö to distinguish it from Cultram. Cf. Lanark in Scotland. Llan and llanerch originally signified a glade of the forrest.

Leven, C. C. llefn, smooth. Cf. Lochleven. The Eng. level. LINE, LUNE, C. C. llyn, water.

Man, Iberian men, maen, a hill (of which the perfect form is - mendia), transferred, in most instances, to the stone erection on the summit. Old Man could only arise when the word was supposed to be Eng. Cf. Mendip hills.

MORECAMBE, H. C. mor, great, cam, bend, the great bay. Mor is one of a few adjectives prefixed in compounds. Cam is the Eng. cove, dim camog, Eng. cammock, etc.

NAN, C. C. nant, a glen, in Nan Bield (building), and Nent Head. PENRITH, C. C. pen, a hill, rhudd, red, the town on the red bill. PENRUDDOCK (H. C. ending og), little Penrith.

PETTERILL, C. C. pedrogyl, the quadrangle, the Roman fort at Plumpton, now the name of a river.

POOLEY, C. C. pwl, water, a name for the lower part of Ullswater, the A. ey converting it into the name of a township.

SILURES (H.C. siollaridhe, the youths, the clans), the confederates. SKIDDAW, C. C. sgyddau, the Scots' mountain.

TORPENHOW, H. C. tor, hill, C. C. pen, hill, with a D. ending of the same meaning. Pr. torpenna, accenting on the second; this renders impossible any such derivation as Torpen's how. Cf. Penhow, Monmouth.

TUNNOCELLUM, C. C. tun uchel, the high fort, placed at Bowness in Cumberland.

ULLSWATER (H. C. uille, the elbow), the name given to the upper part of the lake, as Pool to the lower, and found in Ullock, Ulldale, etc. Water is quite a late addition, and it is not more singular to have Ull survive as the name of a lake, than Penrith as the name of a town.

VERODA (H. C. uidhe, a road, ruadh, red), the great Roman road that passed north through the forest, probably paved with red stones. Farther north it was called Wadling (H. C. uidhe leana), the road of the marsh (or river side), preserved in Tarn Wadling.

[blocks in formation]

shows clearly the origin of Watling Street, the Roman road London to Chester, which was transferred in English times to Milky Way. Grimm wonders who were the Watlings, the rietors of two such famous streets! The reader will see that were a Celtic family. Cf. Weedon, the road fort, Weeford, oad ford, Watford, the same, all on the line of Watling Street. INSTER (wincaster, Cf. Winchester), the name of the fort at k. Venta, the perfect form of the first part of this compound, 7 Venta Silurum, appears to be eq. our market-town (Lat. 0, sell), and perhaps was more common than is supposed. Cf. pole, Cambridgeshire (venta pul) the market-town on the er.

Windermere I am disposed to refer to the same origin. REAY, H. C. reidh, an opening or clear space in a wood, a e, also found in Dockray (Penrith and Kendal), etc. ent word, as well as the modern one, is practically two syles, and the aspirated d takes the sound of y. Cf. Raleigh, part of which translates the other.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

THE Gothic tribes, who formed the mixed colonists of Britain, found their way hither as auxiliaries already under the Romans. There can be no doubt that immediately on the decline of Imperial power in the north, this island would form one of the most inviting places of resort for those sea-side people whose trade was plunder. It is the opinion of Worsaae,* that, during the Roman dominion, a brisk trade was carried on between Denmark and the east coast of Britain; but the commerce of those remote times can hardly be said to be materially connected with the series of invasions that commenced early in the fifth century, and continued unceasingly down to the close of the eleventh.

The early history of these invasions is quite lost, the supposed chronicles constructed in later times being utterly fabulous in their details. The circumstances of the time, and the endless contests between opposing interests, prevented the preservation of traditions by either race; moreover, the Goths were not a people of tradition, nor of history, until they learned the art from others. In short, the Welsh, who were the authors of much of this early “Saxon history,” were the worst informed of the events, and the least scrupulous of traditionists. Hengist and Horsa, the supposed leaders on whom the whole of the first invasion is laid, are myths, the words being in English horse and mare, names that could not possibly be borne by any two brothers that ever lived. The capti

* Danes and Norwegians in the British Isles.

GOTHIC INVASION OF BRITAIN.

41

vation of Vortigern by Rowena, who said to him “Wæs hæl,” is an invention of the same stamp as a thousand others—contrived to account for the name of the wassail bowl.*

Stories of awful massacres were sure to arise out of the state of things that existed in Britain for some centuries; yet from these disjointed tales, and the presumed disappearance of Celtic from the map of England, was established the belief that the old Britons were all exterminated. Every kind of modern research is against the assumption. The Anglo-Saxon language is no longer the Angle or Saxon of the continent. It has been remarked in the imperfect investigation of the graves,f that the Saxon habits, as seen through the sepulchral remains, are strongly Romanised. How could this happen, except through the Celts?

It has also been asserted that the Britons emigrated en masse. Let us inquire is there any traditionary evidence that a number of Britons did leave the country? In the county of Tipperary, in Ireland, there is a hill known as Cnocshanbrittas, the hill of the old Britons, on which stand two Cromleacs and a giant's grave. This name, doubtless, rests on a tradition that a party of fugitives had reached Ireland. Brecknock, in Wales, I believe to be of British foundation-Bret cnock, the Britons' hill. Cornwall, and Bretagne furnish no such evidence. And it must be observed, that all those districts had then as dense a population as they could support, and that emigrant Britons might as well have remained to be massacred, as flee for refuge (according to the old story) to the mountains. But, as we have seen, at the bottom of all such exaggerations there is generally a grain or two of truth.

Between the Germans and Scandinavians of Europe, a marked distinction always existed. The first permanent Gothic invaders of Britain were Jutes, and, therefore, Scandinavian. On the contrary, the Saxons were Germanic; but there is every reason to suppose that the Angles were a mixed tribe, containing both Danes

* Fr. vaisselle, plates and dishes. It. vasellamento, gold or silver plate. The wassail bowl was the piece of plate of the house.

† Archæological Index, by J. Y. Akerman.

F

and Germans. The last-mentioned emigrated in such numbers, that, says the Saxon Chronicle, their country lay waste for many years between the Jutes and the Saxons. The marshy and unhealthy state of the district is the only probable cause of this total desertion. Of the two great invading tribes, the Saxons were perhaps the more cruel, as the Britons who left the country appear to have spoken of none but the Saxon. Thus, in Irish and Welsh, it became the name of an Englishman, and eventually a synonyme for a stranger.

The remoteness of Cumbria, and the difficult nature of the ground, saved these counties from the storm that broke over the south of Britain. Moreover, the length of time that elapsed between the first landing of the Angles on the east coast, and their invasion of Cumbria—about a century and a half-is strong proof that there was no conquest of Britain, in the modern acceptation of the word. The first Angle invasion of this district is, probably, that which is mentioned in history as a conquest under Ecgfrid, A. D. 685. We can trace them satisfactorily, by the termination ton, from the eastern coasts, until they spread and diverge through the most fertile parts of Cumbria.

The Roman roads were everywhere taken advantage of by the invaders, but especially by the Angles. They entered Cumbria by the road that accompanied the Wall, their first settlement being Walton. From this place they crossed the river to Brampton, and having gained the road then called Wadling, they advanced through the forest in the direction of Penrith ; amongst other places establishing themselves at Plumpton, Hutton, and, finally, at Newton. In this part of Cumberland we have them fully identified; the people who lived about them knew well who they were, and therefore named the forest Inglewood, the wood of the Angles.

The Maiden Way likewise brought its share, precipitating one part thereof on Aldston, Dufton, Marton, Bolton, and Orton, and directing the other by the Ambleside road, “ High Street,” to Clifton, Helton, and Bampton. In the north, besides those people who entered the forest, two other streams left the wall, one going

« ForrigeFortsæt »