PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England

Domesday

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

Beorhtgifu


Author: CPL
Editorial Status: unknown

Discussion of the name

Beorhtgifu is a feminine OE name formed from the elements beorht (‘bright, distinguished’) and gifu (‘gift’). Both elements were very widely used, though Beorhtgifu is not itself an especially common name, even allowing for the under-representation of women’s names in the sources. The two examples currently in PASE are the recipient from King Edgar of land at the unidentified Ealderescumbe in a charter of 968 preserved at Shaftesbury (Dors.) (S 762; Charters of Shaftesbury, no. 27) (Beorhtgifu 1), and the widow of a Londoner who gave property to Westminster abbey shortly before 1067 (Beorhtgifu 2). The abbess of the rich nunnery of Wilton (Wilts.) in office in 1040, who died c. 1065, was called Beorhtgifu (Foot 2000: II, 230–1), as was a nun of Romsey (LVH). The name does not appear in the original core of the Durham Liber Vitae, compiled c. 840, though there are eight examples there from the twelfth century (LVD: II, 91), evidently reflecting the spread of a name previously absent from Northumbria.

Bibliography

Charters of Shaftesbury: Charters of Shaftesbury Abbey, ed. S. E. Kelly, Anglo-Saxon Charters 5 (Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 1996)

Foot 2000: Sarah Foot, Veiled Women, 2 vols (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000)

S: P. H. Sawyer, Anglo-Saxon Charters: An Annotated List and Bibliography, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks 8 (London, 1968), revised by S. Kelly, R. Rushforth et al., The Electronic Sawyer: Online Catalogue of Anglo-Saxon Charters, published online through Kemble: The Anglo-Saxon Charters Website, currently at http://www.esawyer.org.uk/about/index.html

DLV: The Durham Liber Vitae. London, British Library, MS Cotton Domitian A.VII: Edition and Digital Facsimile with Introduction, Codicological, Prosopographical and Linguistic Commentary, and Indexes, ed. D. W. Rollason and L. Rollason, 3 vols. (London: British Library, 2007)

NMHLV: Liber Vitae: Register and Martyrology of New Minster and Hyde Abbey, Winchester, ed. Walter de Gray Birch, Hampshire Record Society 5 (1892)

Forms of the name

Spellings in Domesday Book: Bricteua; Bristeua, Bristiue, Briteua, Britheue

Spellings in Exon: Bristiua

Forms in modern scholarship:

  von Feilitzen head forms: Beorhtgifu

  Phillimore edition: Beorhtgifu (Lincs.), Bricteva (elsewhere)

  Alecto edition: Beorhtgifu

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
Devon 52,8 West Heanton Bricteua Beorhtgifu 'of West Heanton' - Colwine the reeve - 0.25 0.25 0.25 A Map
Essex 1,19 Stanway Bricteua Beorhtgifu 'of Stanway' Harold, earl William, king Eustace, count 0.15 0.13 0.13 B Map
Essex 24,9 Wickford Bricteua Beorhtgifu 'of Wickford' - Swein of Essex Thorkil the reeve 0.63 1.00 0.84 B Map
Huntingdonshire 26,1 Great Gidding Britheue Beorhtgifu 'of Gidding' - William Engaine - 4.50 2.00 4.00 A Map
Lincolnshire 28,12 Hackthorn Briteua Beorhtgifu 'of Hackthorn' - Jocelin fitzLambert - 1.06 1.34 1.79 A Map
Lincolnshire 68,18 Corby Glen Bricteua Beorhtgifu 'of Corby Glen' - Beorhtgifu 'of Corby Glen' - 1.00 1.00 1.00 A Map
Somerset 35,4 Stringston Bristiue Beorhtgifu 'of Stringston' - Alfred d'Épaignes, the Breton Ranulph 'of Stringston' 0.13 0.25 0.25 A Map
Total               7.72 5.97 8.26  

Tenant-in-Chief 1086 demesne estates (no subtenants)

Shire Phil. ref. Vill TIC DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value TIC ID conf. Show on map
Lincolnshire 68,18 Corby Glen Bricteua Beorhtgifu 'of Corby Glen' - Beorhtgifu 'of Corby Glen' - 1.00 1.00 1.00 A Map
Total               1.00 1.00 1.00  

Subtenant in 1086

Shire Phil. ref. Vill Subtenant DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value Subtenant ID conf. Show on map
Oxfordshire 6,1b Dorchester Bristeua Wulfwig, bishop of Dorchester - Remigius, bishop of Lincoln Beorhtgifu 'of Dorchester' 20.50 10.00 20.00 A Map
Oxfordshire 6,17 Marsh Baldon Bristeua Wulfwig, bishop of Dorchester - Remigius, bishop of Lincoln Beorhtgifu 'of Dorchester' 2.50 1.33 2.33 A Map
Total               23.00 11.33 22.33  

People of this name

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