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 OE masculine name Beorhthun was formed from the elements beorht, ‘bright, distinguished’ and hun, probably meaning ‘bear cub’. Derivation from the Continental Germanic equivalent, Berthund, though formally possible in onomastic terms, is extremely unlikely (von Feilitzen 1937: 194). It was evidently quite common earlier in Anglo-Saxon times, and is recorded in PASE as the name of seven individuals, all certainly or probably of high status, who lived from the late seventh century to the end of the ninth (PASE: Beorhthun 1–7). Thereafter it must have disappeared from use among the higher social ranks. Its unfamiliarity in the mid eleventh century may lie behind the addition of an unnecessary final –t in the DB spelling.


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: Bertunt

Forms in modern scholarship:

von Feilitzen head forms: Beorhthun

Phillimore edition: Bertunt

Alecto edition: Beorhthun

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
Shropshire 4,23,15 Preston Brockhurst Bertunt Beorhthun 'of Preston Brockhurst' - Roger, earl Gerard de Tournai-sur-Dives 0.25 0.00 0.00 A Map
Total               0.25 0.00 0.00  

People of this name

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