Medieval Names

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Medieval Names

Postby Mr Dreadful » Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:49 pm

Well, I think I'm pretty much sold on the WotR/Late Medieval period (though, being realistic, it's going to be well into next year's season before I can give it a go).

And I've been thinking about names. My RL name would be wholly inappropiate for portraying anyone from Englandshire so was wondering whether it would be necessary to come up with a 'character' name as it were. If it is, how do Late Medieval names tend differ from our own? Were saints'/Biblical names particularly common? How did surnames work?


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Postby gregory23b » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:27 pm

Some of these names are common, some less so, dependent on region and era.

John/jon
Peter
Piers/pers
Edward/Eduard
Edmund/Edmond
Harry/Henry
Roger/Rodger
Godfrey
Gilbert - Gyb (Dim), Gibon (dim)
Geoffrey
Clement
Thomas
George/Jorge/Jeorge
William/Wyllyam
Robert, Hob (Dim), Robin (Dim)
Richard, Dickon, Dyk, Dyke, Hig, Hygyn (Dims or variants)
walter
Phillip
Alexander
Nicholas
Josep
Jacob
Symond, Sim, Sym (Dim)
Osbert
Stephen
Adam - Atkyn (dim) Addy
Hugo (latin version)/Hugh
Tom (as)
Lawrence
Reginald
Guy
Rauf/Ralf
Simon

Anne
Alice
Katherine/Catherine
Elizabeth/Elisabeth
Margaret/Maggot
Emmota
Emma
Isabella
Isolda
Margery
Petronilla
Rosa/Rose
Mary
Maude/Mawde
Winifred
Jane
Joan
Johanna
Matilde
Beatrix
Hawisia
Lucy
Agnes/Annis

And our very own Karen has a good list of by names from 15thc York
http://www.geocities.com/karen_larsdatt ... etical.htm

a few:
Apilby
Appil Seller
Bank
del Bank
Carre
Carter
Cartmale
Kynge
Kyngeston


middle english dictionary

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Postby Mr Dreadful » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:30 pm

Nice, thanks.


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Postby lidimy » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:46 pm

Are names of the virtues suitable for pre Tudor or not? (:


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Postby Maerwynn » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:54 pm

This is a good resource: http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/

Guess where I got mine? (all of them...)

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Postby Karen Larsdatter » Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:12 pm

lidimy wrote:Are names of the virtues suitable for pre Tudor or not? (:

I'm not sure if they're pre-Tudor. They seem to get more popular with the Puritans (see Puritan Names) but some appear in not-necessarily-Puritan contexts (this listing for Prudence in 1600, for example).

Mr Dreadful wrote:was wondering whether it would be necessary to come up with a 'character' name as it were. If it is, how do Late Medieval names tend differ from our own? Were saints'/Biblical names particularly common? How did surnames work?


I'd agree with Maerwynn on the recommendation for The Medieval Names Archive. You'll probably find the most useful bits in the English Names 1450-1600, but you could also take a look at English Names 1300-1450 in case anything leaps out from there.

Saints' names tend to be far more common than Old Testament names, but definitely, take a look at the lists of English names for some ideas (including the given names in the Agincourt Honor Roll). Surnames by the WoTR/late medieval period are generally inherited, but they are originally derived from either a location (where a person lived, either the name of the village or some feature near where one lived), a nickname (describing some trait or attribute of the person), an occupation (the job which the person might have had), or a patronym (the name of one's father, or occasionally, one's mother).

I think it's best to find an occupational byname that relates to one's hobbies in re-enactment, or a nickname that really describes something about that person (or, as was also done in the Middle Ages, describing an attribute that's opposite of what the person was really like). You'll find some of the really silly medieval English surnames among the Misplaced Names in Reaney & Wilson.



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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:50 pm

Cracking post, not that i've noticed too many people actually bother with re naming themselves for re-enactment purposes. I shall now call myself Marco Polo Santo Pietro ans Antonio Patricius also known as marcus the pretencious.


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Postby gregory23b » Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:43 pm

Marcus Hibernensis vel Rotundus?

Jorgius Shouticus et Rotundus?

Reenactories Grumpypantici??

You latin scholars can kiss my wotsit.


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Postby Mr Dreadful » Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:06 pm

Marcus Woodhouse wrote:Cracking post, not that i've noticed too many people actually bother with re naming themselves for re-enactment purposes.



Unfortunately my name is a bit too Scottish to get away with re-enacting an Englishman!


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Postby Annis » Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:13 pm

gregory23b wrote:You latin scholars can kiss my wotsit.


Colius? or glutimus maximus? :lol:

(sorry if they're all spelt wrong :( )


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Postby Annis » Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:16 pm

Back to the subject.

Constance and Fortune features in my Tudor list of names.
(all names found in local (? to KW) wills)


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Postby gregory23b » Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:26 pm

Mr D

"Unfortunately my name is a bit too Scottish to get away with re-enacting an Englishman!"

Nothign wrong in being a Scot in medieval England, Scots and Irish took up apprenticeships in London guilds.

Hoots and awa'!


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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:01 pm

And had the p*ss taken out of their beards and unkept "wild" hair and old fashioned clothes.


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Postby Mr Dreadful » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:22 pm

gregory23b wrote:Nothign wrong in being a Scot in medieval England, Scots and Irish took up apprenticeships in London guilds.


Fair enough, being able to play a Scot actually makes things a lot easier for me...

Blue facepaint? Check.
Tartan blanket? Check.
Big belt? Check.
Pirate shirt? Check.
Para boots? Check.
Hessian leg wraps? Check.
Just need to get a seven foot claymore and I'm done!
:roll:


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Wait a minute, is there such a thing as 'too much' costume?

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Postby m300572 » Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:45 pm

Mr Dreadful wrote:
gregory23b wrote:Nothign wrong in being a Scot in medieval England, Scots and Irish took up apprenticeships in London guilds.


Fair enough, being able to play a Scot actually makes things a lot easier for me...

Blue facepaint? Check.
Tartan blanket? Check.
Big belt? Check.
Pirate shirt? Check.
Para boots? Check.
Hessian leg wraps? Check.
Just need to get a seven foot claymore and I'm done!
:roll:


And geared up for any period from the 11th to the 18th century - impressive! :lol: :twisted:


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Postby Mr Dreadful » Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:40 pm

Yup... and if I got a red tailcoat I could even do Napoleonic.


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Postby lidimy » Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:14 pm

Annis - any idea what year the wills are from?


I need a name, 'Lydia' isn't very Medieval I don't think :( I like 'Millicent' but it sounds too much like 'militant' and I don't think I'd like to be the person looking up if someone shouts that halfway across a field!

I like 'Patience', because of the girl in Children of the new Forest, but if it's not suitable, that's scrapped and I'm back to square one...

Maerwynn - bookmarked the site :D


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Postby Annis » Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:13 pm

lidimy wrote:Annis - any idea what year the wills are from?


I need a name, 'Lydia' isn't very Medieval I don't think :( I like 'Millicent' but it sounds too much like 'militant' and I don't think I'd like to be the person looking up if someone shouts that halfway across a field!

I like 'Patience', because of the girl in Children of the new Forest, but if it's not suitable, that's scrapped and I'm back to square one...

Maerwynn - bookmarked the site :D



Well, they are Tudor wills, thats all I know, I can't remember whether anyone said what part of Tudor they were. But I'm only one of three Annis' on the manor (that I know of)

I thought you were going to say Patience because of 'Children's Games' :P :P


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Postby lidimy » Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:23 pm

Well that too, but no one knows who she is :wink:


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Postby Annis » Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:34 pm

I do :P

I have a whole stack of wills and an index of wills too, but all are Tudor/Elizabethan :(


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Postby Annis » Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:41 pm

Having a bit of a browse on a website, I came across a Lydia Hovell who married in 1608 (Suffolk) - ok, not quite Medieval (definately Elizabethan born) but a start.


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Postby lidimy » Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:50 pm

Lovely surname there.


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Postby Vez » Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:15 am

As far as I know Verity is a Puritan name so I some times have to have another name, which confuses me, being a bit simple an all. :D


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Postby Karen Larsdatter » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:07 pm

lidimy wrote:I like 'Millicent' but it sounds too much like 'militant' and I don't think I'd like to be the person looking up if someone shouts that halfway across a field!

Here's some medieval variations on that name ...
http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/talan/re ... ?Millicent

You'll find more Tudor-era English names at http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/eng1450to1600.shtml though.



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Postby lidimy » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:34 pm

Thank you!! :D


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Postby gregory23b » Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:27 pm

Mr D

"Fair enough, being able to play a Scot actually makes things a lot easier for me...

Blue facepaint? Check.
Tartan blanket? Check.
Big belt? Check.
Pirate shirt? Check.
Para boots? Check.
Hessian leg wraps? Check.
Just need to get a seven foot claymore and I'm done! "


Big ginger beard?

Come on, get with the programme.

On a more serious note, I think more needs to be done with the notion of who was in England at the time and in what capacity.

We know welshmen were in England, not just in the Marches, Scots and Irish in London, Germans in York, Spaniards and all sorts in London. Methinks a more sensible approach to this might be useful, so any real historians here other than us amateur opinion makers?


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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:52 am

There is quite a lot of information about foreign merchants and scholars in "The Yorkist Age" I have put a review of it in the Music and books and stuff.
I have looked out stuff about Italians and there were riots aimed at them in 1448, 1553, 1467, 1469 and 1472 in places like Bristol, London, Coventry and Nottingham, mainly because the local guilds and traders felt that they were being favoured by the Court over and above them. In the case of Nottingham in 1472 it seems to be down to Lord Grey of Codnor getting p*ssed off over the price of an ablaster statue and then rabble rousing against the mayor and corperation though.
There were recognized italian communities in Southhampton and York as well, though the largest was, of course in London. In London there were sermons preached about the outlandish and disgraceful clothes worn by Italain men and warning good Englishmen not to let their daughters become seduced by what they saw Italain ladies wearing or to copy their styles themselves.
There were enough Italains travelling and trading in the Welsh Marches for them to be used as couriers by EdwardIV, Elizabeth the Queen Consort and Lord Rivers. They were universally hated by both the English and Welsh in those regions because they had the pulling power to force them into selling their wool at a lower rate and had links with the Flemish communites.
The Venicatians were trading partners with the Crown although they reacted with violence whenever English traders tried to make inroads into either the spice/silk or pilgrim market.
The Medici family had a bank in London, it was bamkrupted twice by Henry VI and once by Edward IV and then closed down and moved to Calais (which was effectively still a part of England. Edward repeatedly made use of loans from Italian merchants during both of his periods in power.
Lord Rivers, Lord Worcester, Lord Hastings and Lord Warwick all had Italians serving them at one point. The Earl of Warwick had an Italain artillery specalist on his payroll during the early 1460's and may have employed him in his sieges of Lancastrain strongholds in the North. Lord Hastings "borrowed" an Italian gunnery mater off Duke Charles for the Tewks campaign. Lord Worcester and Lord Rivers had "pet" scholars who kept them up to date with the latest in theology, the liberal arts and law (and in the case of John Tiptloft the latest methods in torture I suspect). Neither Oxford or Cambridge seem to have many Italains attending though, perhaps an indication of there having what was regarded as being a rather old fashioned syllabus.
Generally the nobility seem to have held Italians quite highly, they worked hard, made them lots of money, didn't get mixed up with affairs of state (unlike the Germans) and didn't make much fuss whenever the King did them wrong. Everyone else couldn't stand the sight of them.


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Postby Merlon » Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:11 am

You have the Steelyard in London
A place on the Thames extending north to Upper Thames Street lying between Dowgate west and All Hallows Lane east. In one form or another occupied by Germanic merchants from the time of Canute up until 1598 when Elizabeth I evicted them and used it for the Navy office



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Postby Mr Dreadful » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:03 pm

All blanket and facepaint related silliness aside, I am starting to think that it might be worth going for the portrayal of a Scot in England...

A bit of research into Scottish names of the period leads me to 'Dowglass Shawe' or some variant thereof, which is as close as I can get to 'Medievalising' my real name as my actual ancestral clan didn't really rise until the 16th Century (but did apparently originate from the Shaws).

I'm currently trawling Google for websites and bibliographies on Late Medieval Scotland, but if anyone here has any decent sources they'd like to share I'd be very grateful!


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Postby zauberdachs » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:33 pm

Mr Dreadful wrote:All blanket and facepaint related silliness aside, I am starting to think that it might be worth going for the portrayal of a Scot in England...

A bit of research into Scottish names of the period leads me to 'Dowglass Shawe' or some variant thereof, which is as close as I can get to 'Medievalising' my real name as my actual ancestral clan didn't really rise until the 16th Century (but did apparently originate from the Shaws).

I'm currently trawling Google for websites and bibliographies on Late Medieval Scotland, but if anyone here has any decent sources they'd like to share I'd be very grateful!


There's a stickied thread at the top of the 1100-1500 forum that might be of interest. Feel free to put anything relevant from your research into it :)


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