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

Wærhelm is a masculine OE name formed from the elements wær (‘faith, fidelity’) and helm (‘protection, helmet’). The only example currently in PASE is a Kentish thegn of the period around 1000 who witnessed transactions involving both Canterbury and Rochester (Wærelm  1). He may well have been identical with the Wærhelm named only as the father of Leofwine son of Wærhelm, who stood surety in a marriage agreement involving a family with land on Romney Marsh some time between 1016 and 1020 (S 1461; Wærhelm 3). It can hardly be a coincidence that the only Wærhelm who appears in DB was a landowner in east Kent: the evidence suggests that (at least among the landed classes) the name was in only localized use in the late Anglo-Saxon period.


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

Forms of the name

Spellings in Domesday Book: Werelm

Forms in modern scholarship:

  von Feilitzen head forms: Wærhelm

  Phillimore edition:

  Alecto edition:

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
Kent 5,164 Buckwell Werelm Wærhelm 'of Buckwell' Edward, king Odo, bishop of Bayeux Wadard 1.00 1.00 2.00 A Map
Total               1.00 1.00 2.00  

People of this name

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