Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 5.djvu/259

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V. MARCH 31, 1900.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


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fords, islands, and watercourses, it is a subject of physical geology ; in regard to the original settlers who first used the place- names, it becomes an ethnological question, and it certainly involves the consideration of other subjects of early archaeological research.

In 9 th S. iv. 130 I said that the boundary of the abbey land from Eoccenford ran northwards. Thereupon, in 9 th S. iv. 382, MR. STEVENSON cited against me the boundaries mentioned in Eadwy's charter of A.D. 955. These boundaries coincide partly with Cead- walla's, but those of Ceadwalla included the land described as Kennington by Eadwy in a separate charter. For part of the boundaries under discussion, however, there are the Ceadwalla set quoted in Eadred's charter and the Eadwy set. ME. STEVENSON said, " no lapse of time could reverse the direction taken in the perambulation," in which, of course, I agree with him. He also said, " if the later set proceed southwards, as they clearly do, so also must the earlier." On this statement that Eadwy's bounds proceed southwards I challenged him to produce his evidence. This touches a vital part of my argument. MR. STEVENSON in his last reply is silent on this subject. He refers at some length to the modern Anglo-Saxon school at Oxford, which I for one regard with great respect, acknowledging my obligations to writers who have been or are connected with it. He refers also to the sad condition of those unfortunate individuals who have not passed through its training or that of a similar kind. There is, however, one con- dition more unfortunate than want of train- ing, and that is want of knowledge. Any Anglo - Saxon scholar who will read the boundaries in the charter of Eadwy, A.D. 955, to the abbey of Abingdon will see what it was that caused MR. STEVENSON to make such a serious mistake as to declare that Eadwy's boundaries proceed southwards. When challenged to produce his evidence he remained silent. It was the wiser course to adopt.

I will now give the evidence from this charter so confidently quoted against me, and will show from it and the contemporary charter relating to Kennington that these boundaries actually proceed northwards.

Kennington is a place of a known position. You may see that its situation on a map of Berkshire is north of Abingdon, south of Oxford, and west of the Thames at Sandford. Owing to the bend in the river south of Oxford, Kennington has the Thames to the north of it and also to the east of it. In Eadwy's charter the whole of this land south


of the bend in the river at Oxford, as far as an east and west line from Sandford to the south part of Bagley Wood and Bay worth, was included under this name Kennington, which consequently had a land boundary on its south and west sides, and a river boundary on its north and east sides.

In Eadwy's charter relating to this land at Kennington, A.D. 955, the perambulation starts from " Tamese stsethe," and leaves the river at starting. It reaches the river again at Sandford, and returns up the Thames. The first five boundary names are :

Tamese stsethe,

Wulfrices broc,

rige weorth,

ealdan die,

rige wurthe heal.

In this and in all other instances I quote the names with their inflections, if any, as they occur in the charters. As the river is rejoined at Sandford, and the boundary line comes back up the Thames past the Cherwell, which is mentioned, the position on the river from which the boundaries started must be on the Thames at a point south-west of Oxford. There is no escape from this conclusion, for Kennington and Sandford are known places, which have had known and definite positions for nearly a thousand years.

In Eadwy's more general charter to the abbey of Abingdon, also dated A.D. 955, the boundaries first mention Suthanford, and proceed to Eccenes gserstun die suthewearde, i.e., a ditch on the southern side of a gcerstun, or mead. They start from this gcerstun ditch, proceed to Eoccen, along Eoccenes, to Abbodes die and other bounds, to Mearcforda and Wuduford, all of which names I have quoted are also in the Ceadwalla bounds. The last names mentioned at the completion of the perambulation comprise the following :

Rige wyrthe westweardne,

Ealdan die.


Wulfrices broc.


Tamese,

Occenes gserstun die sutheweardne.

This is the reverse order to those first men- tioned in the boundaries of Kennington. As the Kennington bounds, from geographical considerations, must go southwards, it follows that those of Eadwy's general charter must come back northwards. As the Kennington bounds must start southwards, the others starting from the gcerstun die obviously go in the opposite direction, and return from the south. These are the boundaries which MR. STEVENSON so confidently quoted against me, declaring that they ran southwards, and