PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England


[Image: Excerpt from the Domesday Book]
[Image: Durham Liber Vitae, folio 38r (extract)]


Author: CPL
Editorial Status: unknown

Discussion of the name

The masculine Old English name Blaca is recorded only once before DB, as a person commemorated at Durham in the earliest part of the Liber Vitae (LVD: II, 169; von Feilitzen 1937: 203). The spelling Blache serves to distinguish this, the weak form of the name, from the strong form Blæc (Blac, Blach) and from the equivalent Scandinavian name, ON Blakkr (Blacre, Blac) (Blacher). Although the simplest of scribal errors would have confused the names, in practice there is no possibility of mixing up the TRE landowners called Blaca and Blæc.

The adjective which forms the name was almost certainly OE blæc (‘black, dark’), referring principally to hair colour, rather than OE blāc (‘bright, shining; pale’) (von Feilitzen 1937: 203).


von Feilitzen 1937: Olof von Feilitzen, The Pre-Conquest Personal Names of Domesday Book, Nomina Germanica 3 (Uppsala: Almqvist and Wiksells, 1937)

Forms of the name

Spellings in Domesday Book: Blache

Forms in modern scholarship:

  von Feilitzen head forms: Blaca

  Phillimore edition: Black

  Alecto edition: Blaca

Distribution map of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

List of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

Holder 1066

Shire Phil. ref. Vill Holder 1066 DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value Holder 1066 ID conf. Show on map
Hertfordshire 10,17 Aldenham Blache Blaca, man of St Alban Ecgfrith, abbot of St Albans Paul, abbot of St Albans Geoffrey de Bec 1.00 1.00 0.60 A Map
Total               1.00 1.00 0.60  

People of this name

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