« PředchozíPokračovat »
These observations will lead the reader to perceive from etymology that the word Barpton is at all events as old as the Anglo-Saxons, and probably of Ancient British origin. +
This inference would be conclusive, if we could trace the first syllable of the word Bampton to an equally early origin, but I am not acquainted with any Celtic or Ancient British word from which the syllable Bam can have been derived ; its etymology is pure Saxon, and it is written in that language BEAM, which like Baum in German signifies a 'tree,' though the term has after many centuries been narrowed in application, until it signifies no longer the living tree, but the log or trunk of it, after it has been felled and hewn, and placed as a main-timber or beam to support the roof or ceiling of a house.
+ Since writing as above, I have received a letter from the Rev. John Jones, Vicar of Nevern, and one of our first Welsh scholars. He refers me to Dr John Davies's Welsh-Latin dictionary printed in London, A. D. 1632, and to Dr. Owen Pughe's English-Welsh Dictionary. From the former of these works he extracts the following meanings :
“DIN, idem quod DINAS. DINAS, civitas, urbs. HEB. ......
...Medinah, urbs, Pagn. in Dun. Arab. Medinaton." From the latter:
DIN, a fortified hill or mount; a camp; a fort. It forms the names of a great number of places in those countries which were inhabited by the CYMRY or Ancient Britons. Hence the -DUNUM, -DINUM or the -DINIUM, of the Romans; -TUNE, -DON, -TON, and town of the English."
To these extracts may be added the following from Bosworth's Anglo-Saxon dictionary.
“DUX,E, f. [Plat. Ger. Düne, f. Dut. DUINEN, m. pl.. Dan. DYNERNE, f. pl. Frs. DUNE, f. Celt. Bret. tun.f.) a mountain, hill, DOWNS; mons,—[then follow references to passages in the Anglo-Saxon Bible]— of DUNE, ADUNE, DOWN, DOWN-WARD.
TUN, ES; m. [Plat. Tuun, m. a hedge, garden : Dut. TUIN, m, a garden, hedge: Ger. Zaun, m. a hedge ; old Ger. TuNE, ZUN : Not. STEINZUN, a wall; Icel. tux,. n. viridarium, pratum domesticum; Wel. DIN, DINAS. a city : Gael. Tuin, f. a dwelling-place: Ir. Gael. DUN, m. a fortress, tower, a fortified hill, a hill, hedge, heap : Ir. Taim, f.a. town — TYNAN to enclose.] 1. a place fenced round or enclosed : septum quodvis. 2. A field, yard, farm, local possession : prædium, fundus, ager, possessio. 3. A place of residence, house, dwelling, village, town, a territory lying within the bounds of a town. habitaculum, domus, vicus, villa, oppidum. 4. A class, course, turn; classis."
Then follow examples of the use of the word
It would appear, then, from this etymology, that the name BAMPTON is equivalent to tree-town,t we are at once led to conjecture that this appellation was given to it from the woody character of the surrounding country. There is, indeed, no doubt that the whole tract of country in which it is situated, like all swampy places frequently subject to inundation, was covered with a large forest, in memory of which the name of “ Bampton in the Bush,” distinguishing the town from others, its namesakes, has descended even to our own times. I
§ 2. DESCRIPTION OF BAMPTON IN ITS PRESENT STATE.
Leaving then the etymology of the name as sufficiently ascertained for our present purpose, I shall proceed to describe the parish in its present state, with reference to its position in the county of Oxford, the nature of its soil, and its bearings in regard to other towns and places of greater importance in its vicinity.
A very slight inspection of the map of England will shew that the river called successively the Isis and the Thames, for a length of about 100 miles, forms a boundary between the counties of Oxfordshire and Berkshire. This noble stream leaves Glocestershire near the small village of Kelmscott and flowing eastwards takes a bend, first towards the north and afterwards back to the south so as to enclose a large projecting part of Berkshire.
It then makes a large bend towards the east, and again ascending towards the
+ The explanation of Beamdune found in Bosworth's Anglo-: axon dictionary.
BEAM a tree, DUNE a hil). The name of many places in England, so called, from their elevated position, covered with wood, now corrupted into Bampton. Chr. 614."
I Some of the oldest inhabitants of Bampton have informed me that in the days of their fathers, i. e. about the year 1750, there was a large hawthorn tree growing in the middle of the market-place, near which stood an ancient cross formed out of very massive stones. Perhaps, this was the hawthorn with white berries mentioned in the “Catalogue of natural and artificial curiosities &c.” given in the Appendix.
north and enclosing in its course all the southern half of Oxfordshire, it quits the county at the market-town of Henley
At the south-western corner of Oxfordshire, and lying on the north side of the river, is the hundred of Bampton, which, besides the market-town and parish of Bampton with its various hamlets, contains the large and ancient towns of Witney and Burford, the township of Grafton, the parishes of Alvescott, Asthall, Asthall Leigh, Black Bourton otherwise called Boreton or Burton Abbat's, Bradwell, Broughton Poggs, Clanfield, Ducklington, Filkins, Harley, Hardwicke, Kelmscott, Kencott, Brize-Norton, Radcot, Standlake, Upton, Signct, Westwell, Yelford, and the chapelry of Holwell. The hundred of Bampton is cut off from the rest of the county by the river Windrush or Wainrus, which, leaving Gloucestershire near Burford, separates the hundred of Bampton from that of Wootton, and passing on to Witney bends towards the south, and, after forming a boundary line between Bampton and Chadlington hundred, falls into the Isis near New Bridge in the parish of Standlake. The parish of Bampton is the most southerly in the hundred to which it gives a name, and is bounded on the south by the river Isis which skirts it for a distance of about 8 miles between the parishes of Standlake on the east and Clanfield on the west. The boundary line, where it quits the river on the east, touches successively on the parish of Standlake, Hardwickfield, Yelford, Ducklington, Curbridge a hamlet in the parish of Witney, Brize-Norton, Blackbourton, and Clanfield, after which it again joins the river on the western side of the parish about a mile short of Radcot bridge.
This large parish is distant about 7 miles SE. by S. from Burford, 6 SW. by W. from Witney, and about
14 miles W. from Oxford in a strait line through the parishes of Standlake and North-moor, across Bablock-hythe ferry, and from thence through the grounds of the Earl of Abingdon and the village of Cumnor, to Oxford. The communication between Bampton and London has always been attended with many difficulties, resulting partly from the nature of the country, * and partly from its not being situated near any of the great high-roads which connect London with the provinces. Whilst on the south or Berkshire side of the river the country rises suddenly into a long chain of hills extending for many miles east and west, and leaving little or no interval between their foot and the water's edge, the country on the side of Oxfordshire expands into a large plain, reaching from Cumnor in the east to beyond Fairford in the west, a distance of from twenty to thirty miles. In this extent of country, bordering on the north bank of the river Isis, some parts of the parish of Bampton are the very lowest, lying, here and there, almost as low as the river's bed, so that an inundation is a matter of frequent occurrence, and in winter many thousand acres are covered with water. The length of Bampton parish is about 6 miles from its most eastern hamlet, Brighthampton, to its western boundary on the Clanfield road. In this direction the country is perfectly flat with hardly the slightest rise or undulation of surface ; but its width, which extends from Tadpole bridge in the south to Lew, the most northerly hamlet of Bampton parish, is about 4 miles, of which the last mile and half is a gradual rise towards a line of low hills running from Hardwicke and Standlake fields in the East, through Yelford and Lew, where it rises to its highest elevation at Lew Barrow, and falls away gradually on all sides between the parishes of BrizeNorton, Black-Boreton and Kencot.
* John Bedwell, the present bedel of Bampton, informs me that, in his father's time, there was no stoned road of any kind leading from Bampton to the neighbouring towns and villages, and that travellers were in the habit of striking across the common, by which the town was surrounded, and finding their way to Witney, Burford, Oxford or any other place, in the best way they could, as is done to this very day in the deserts of Arabia and Africa.
In the midst of the flat bounded on the north by the Lew hills and on the south by the river Isis, is situated the town of Bampton, at about equal distances from the northern and southern boundaries of the parish, but much nearer to its western than to its eastern extremity, being four miles distant from the latter and only one mile from the former.
The parish contains, besides the township of Bampton, the villages or hamlets of Weald, Haddon, Lew, Aston, Chimney, Brighthampton, Old Shifford, New Shifford, Cote, and Rushey. Of these hamlets, Lew is sufficiently extensive to become hereafter a parish by itself. Aston is a still more considerable village, and will, in conjunction with Cote, Brighthampton, Chimney, Old and New Shifford, form another separate parish, so that Bampton will retain, of all its former dependencies, nothing but the hamlets of Rushey, Haddon and Weald, the last of which already joins it so as to shew no apparent separation.
Of these villages, and hamlets, some are of the smallest description, being rather localities than places where several families reside. Thus Haddon contains only one farm-house and a few cottages of labourers. Chimney has two farm-houses only, and Rushey, situated on the river at almost the south-western corner of the parish, contains only one house, inhabited by a single family, who have the charge of a lock established there to facilitate the navigation of the river. I may observe that the etymology of the name Rush-eye or “the isle of rushes," is substantiated not only by the nature of the place, but by the