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

Beorhtræd is a masculine OE name formed from the elements beorht ‘bright, distinguished’ and ræd ‘counsel, wisdom’. Separately, each of those elements remained very productive in forming names in the eleventh century, but in combination Beorhtræd was passing out of use at the highest social levels. It was well recorded down to c. 950 (PASE: Beorhtred 1–7), but thereafter the only Beorhtræds of high social status outside the towns were the abbot of Glastonbury 1009–14 (Beorhtred 9) and a charter witness of the 1040s in south-east Mercia (Beorhtred 10). On the other hand, the name was in widespread use in towns, with probably four moneyers called Beorhtræd active in the period from the 980s to 1066 (Beorhtræd 12, Beorhtræd 4–6, Beorhtræd 2–3, and Beorhtræd 7). The limited Domesday evidence confirms that pattern of name use.

Note: The Brictredus who had the commendation of a free man at Bedingfield in Suffolk (Suff. 77:3) was surely identical with the Brictere mentioned twice a few lines earlier in the same entry dealing with lands disputed between Bishop Odo and Robert Malet’s mother at Occold as well as Bedingfield (Suff. 77:1–3). His name was Beorhthere, not Beorhtræd (Beorhthere 7). DB spellings in –ere stand for the final name-element –here, while spellings in –ered or –eret stand for the final element –ræd, but in this instance a scribe hurrying towards the end of his task (and within ten lines of finishing LDB) confused the two.

Forms of the name

Spellings in Domesday Book: Brictred(us)

Forms in modern scholarship:

  von Feilitzen head forms: OE Beorhtræd

  Phillimore edition: Brictred

  Alecto edition: Beorhtræd

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

List of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

People of this name

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