PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England

Domesday

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

Brun


Author: CPL
Editorial Status: unknown

Discussion of the name

The Old English masculine name Brun is identical with the adjective meaning ‘brown’ (OE brūn). It appears to have become established as an independent forename only in the later tenth century, its earliest recorded bearers living c. 970. Over the next three generations the name proliferated at certain specific and relatively modest social levels. Persons recorded before 1066 included a priest (Brun 1), someone who may have been the senior reeve of a regionally important thegn (Brun 2), a servant and beneficiary of Bishop Ælfric II of Elmham (Ælfric 104) (d. 1038) (Brun 3), and at least five moneyers active in different mints between the 970s and the 1030s (Brun 5–12).

The strong form (Brun) and weak form (Bruna) of the name are both on record (for instance on the coins) (Redin 1919: 11–12, 45), but in practice in DB they are impossible to distinguish. In theory, spellings in Brune and Bruno ought to stand for Bruna, but the Danelaw thegn Brun 14 was spelled Brune once and Brun the other six times. The occasional spelling Brunus could represent the Latinization of either the strong or the weak form. Successive Latinization and deLatinization of the weak form as DB moved through several stages of copying would potentially have turned Brune to Brunus to Brun or vice versa.

Von Feilitzen (1937: 209) suggested that some of the DB entries might have stood for a Scandinavian name (ON Brúnn, ODan Brun), but evidence for the use of that name in England is vanishingly thin (Fellows Jensen 1968: 66).

The 1086 subtenant in Warwickshire whom DB calls Bruno has usually been regarded as having the name Bruno, but that name seems not to have been used in Normandy (Adigard des Gautries 1954; Fauroux 1961; Bates 1998) and in the French-speaking lands was associated rather with Burgundy, Champagne, and the Rhineland (Morlet 1968: 61). He is much more likely to have been an Englishman called Brun (Brun 27).

All the relevant material for the spellings Brun, Brune, Bruno, and Brunus is gathered here for convenience under the form Brun; some of the individuals concerned will undoubtedly have been called Bruna rather than Brun but it is impossible to distinguish systematically between the two forms of the name.

TRE landowners called Brun ran up the social scale from a free peasant of Bury St Edmunds abbey with 5 acres to several men with 5 or 6 hides or carucates; they included two reeves and two priests, tending to confirming the impression given by the non-Domesday evidence about the social groups in which this name was used in the eleventh century.

Bibliography

Adigard des Gautries 1954: Jean Adigard des Gautries, Les noms de personnes scandinaves en Normandie de 911 à 1066, Nomina Germanica 11 (Lund: Carl Bloms, 1954)

Bates 1998: Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum: The Acta of William I (1066–1087), ed. David Bates (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998)

Fauroux 1961: Marie Fauroux, Recueil des actes des ducs de Normandie (911–1066), Mémoires de la Société des Antiquaires de Normandie, 36 (Caen, 1961)

Fellows Jensen 1968: Gillian Fellows Jensen, Scandinavian Personal Names in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire (Copenhagen: I Kommission hos Akademisk Forlag, 1968)

Morlet 1968: Marie-Thérèse Morlet, Les Noms de personne sur le territoire de l’ancienne Gaule du VIe au XIIe siècle, I: Les noms issus du germanique continental et les creations gallo-germaniques (Paris: Editions de Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1968)

Redin 1919: Mats Redin, Studies on Uncompounded Personal Names in Old English, Inaugural Dissertation (Uppsala University, 1919)

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: Brun(us), Brune, Bruno, Bruns

Forms in modern scholarship:

von Feilitzen head forms: Brūn, Brune, Bruns

Phillimore edition: Brown, Brunn

Alecto edition: Brun, Brune, Bruno

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
Cheshire 1,30 Chelford Brun Brun 'of Siddington' - Hugh, earl - 0.50 0.00 0.00 A Map
Cheshire 9,28 Over Alderley Brun Brun 'of Siddington' - Hugh, earl William fitzNigel 1.00 1.00 0.00 A Map
Cheshire 13,5 Bramhall Brun Brun 'of Siddington' - Hugh, earl Hamon de Mascy 0.50 0.80 0.13 A Map
Cheshire 14,5 Norbury Brun Brun 'of Siddington' - Hugh, earl Bigot de Loges 1.00 0.50 0.15 A Map
Cheshire 14,7 Siddington Brun Brun 'of Siddington' - Hugh, earl Bigot de Loges 1.50 1.00 0.25 A Map
Derbyshire 1,30 Ludworth Brun Brun 'of Siddington' - William, king - 0.50 0.17 0.00 A Map
Derbyshire 6,24 Marston on Dove Brun Brun 'of Rodsley' - Henry de Ferrers unnamed monks of Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives 1.00 2.50 2.50 B Map
Derbyshire 6,62 Rodsley Brune Brun 'of Rodsley' - Henry de Ferrers John 'of Rodsley' 1.50 4.00 1.00 B Map
Derbyshire 13,2 Shipley Brun Brun 'of Rodsley' - Gilbert of Ghent Mauger 'of Ilkeston' 1.00 1.00 0.75 B Map
Derbyshire B7 Derby Brun Brun 'of Rodsley' - William, king Norman of Lincoln 0.00 0.00 0.00 B Map
Dorset 26,1 Buckhorn Weston Bruno Brun 'of Buckhorn Weston' - Robert, count of Mortain Hamon 'of Buckhorn Weston' 3.50 2.00 3.50 A Map
Essex 24,66 Tolleshunt Brunus Brun 'of Lawling' - Swein of Essex Odo 'the man of Swein of Essex' 1.83 1.00 1.25 A Map
Essex 34,24 Lawling Brun Brun 'of Lawling' - Ranulph Peverel - 2.79 4.00 3.75 A Map
Herefordshire 14,4 Newton Bruns Brun 'of Newton' - William d'Écouis Bernard Beard 0.50 0.50 0.60 E Map
Nottinghamshire 10,28 Strelley Brun Brun 'of Rodsley' - William Peverel Ambrose 0.38 0.15 0.05 B Map
Nottinghamshire 10,31 Brinsley Brun Brun 'of Rodsley' - William Peverel Æthelric 'of Brinsley' 0.50 0.33 0.20 B Map
Nottinghamshire 30,55 Sutton Passeys Brun Brun 'of Rodsley' - 1 king's thegn 'of Sutton Passeys' - 0.75 0.00 0.00 B Map
Oxfordshire 14,4 Cadwell Brun Brun the priest, 'of Cadwell' - Brun the priest, 'of Cadwell' - 0.75 1.00 1.50 A Map
Somerset 45,3 Babcary Bruno Brun 'of Buckhorn Weston' - Humphrey the chamberlain - 2.50 2.00 2.50 A Map
Suffolk 1,119 Bramford Brun Brun, reeve of Ipswich Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury William, king - 0.25 0.25 0.25 B Map
Suffolk 7,63 Baylham Brun Brun, reeve of Ipswich Eadgyth, queen Roger Bigod Warenger 'of Hedingham' 0.14 0.00 0.00 A Map
Suffolk 7,64 Stonham Brun Brun, reeve of Ipswich - Roger Bigod Warenger 'of Hedingham' 0.50 1.00 2.00 A Map
Suffolk 16,43 Brantham Brun Brun 'of Brantham' - Odo, bishop of Bayeux - 0.10 0.10 0.14 C Map
Suffolk 67,10 Grundisburgh Brunus Brun 'of Grundisburgh' Eadric of Laxfield Hervey de Bourges - 0.17 0.25 0.20 C Map
Yorkshire C16 York Brun Brun the priest, 'of York' - William, king Osbern d'Arques 0.00 0.00 0.00 A Map
Yorkshire 1N76 East Newton Brune Brun 'of East Newton' - William, king - 2.00 0.50 0.50 A Map
Yorkshire 1E4 Cleaving Brune Brun 'of Cleaving' - William, king - 0.58 0.27 0.27 A Map
Yorkshire CW8 Clifton Brune Brun 'of Clifton' - William, king - 0.50 0.00 0.00 A Map
Total               26.24 24.32 21.49  

Lord 1066

Shire Phil. ref. Vill Lord 1066 DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value Lord 1066 ID conf. Show on map
Suffolk 7,64 Stonham Brun 5 free men Brun Roger Bigod Warenger 'of Hedingham' 0.13 0.15 0.15 A Map
Suffolk 7,65 Baylham Brun Wulfbeald 'of Baylham' Brun Roger Bigod Warenger 'of Hedingham' 0.03 0.03 0.03 A Map
Suffolk 7,66 Langhedena Brun Ælfric 'of Langhedena' Brun Roger Bigod Ælfric 'of Langhedena' 0.08 0.10 0.10 A Map
Total               0.24 0.28 0.28  

Lord 2 1066

Shire Phil. ref. Vill Lord 2 1066 DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value Lord 2 1066 ID conf. Show on map
Suffolk 8,8 Hasketon Brun 1 free man Eadric of Laxfield Roger the Poitevin Roger fitzArnold 0.05 0.05 0.05 C Map
Total               0.05 0.05 0.05  

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
Oxfordshire 14,4 Cadwell Brun Brun the priest, 'of Cadwell' - Brun the priest, 'of Cadwell' - 0.75 1.00 1.50 - Map
Total               0.75 1.00 1.50  

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
Warwickshire 31,9 Brownsover Bruno Leofwine 'of Monks Kirby' - Geoffrey de La Guerche Brun 'of Brownsover' 2.00 1.00 1.00 - Map
Total               2.00 1.00 1.00  

Sub-subtenant in 1086

Shire Phil. ref. Vill Sub-subtenant DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value Sub-subtenant ID conf. Show on map
Suffolk 7,63 Baylham Brun Brun, reeve of Ipswich Eadgyth, queen Roger Bigod Warenger 'of Hedingham' 0.14 0.00 0.00 - Map
Total               0.14 0.00 0.00  

People of this name

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