Page:A History of Cawthorne.djvu/25

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History of Cawthorne.



CHAPTER I.

DERIVATION: EARLY HISTORY.

It is Hunter's remark, at the beginning of his notice of Cawthorne, that "various attempts have been made, but with little success, to explain the Origin of this name." It is given as "Caltorne" in the most ancient record in which the name is found, the Domesday Book.

Taking the last syllable of the word as it is spelt in later times, an understanding the word thorne to generally mean "marshy land," Hunter can see no connection, he says, between such a meaning and the side of a dry eminence fronting the north," which is "the situation of the vill of Cawthorne."

He mentions that "some one has said that thorne is an ancient word answering to the Latin castellum," but he evidently looks upon this explanation unsupported by any evidence with great suspicion. He adds, "The same writer who makes thorne have "the meaning of castellum regards the Cal of its ancient form as a contraction of the Anglo-Saxon cald."

It has been suggested to me by one of the greatest Anglo-Saxon authorities of the present day, that we may "conceivably" find the derivation of Cawthorne, through its earlier form of Caltorne, in Calt, representing the Anglo-Saxon cald (—cold), and —orne, a later spelling of ern (—house, or building).

The name of Caldern, Caltorne, Cawthorne, the vowel a having the same pronunciation in each word, would then be analagous to "Coldharbour," a later way of expressing the same idea of "a house wherein no man dwelt."