Old Hampshire Mapped
Transcription and SpellingNotes
The place names on all maps studied have been read as
accurately as possible. The place names on the maps
sometimes use abbreviation and contraction signs that are
no longer familiar today. Contractions inside or at the end
of a word are often shown by a superscript line over
the remaining letters, this is transcribed by a tilde (~).
An equals (=) or colon (:) on the map is, usually, either
an unwanted hyphenation which has been closed up in
the transcription, or indicates abbreviation which is
transcribed by a stop (.).|
We think the names to be the most important clue to the
identity of settlements. We have been able to match most
of place names on the old maps with a name from a modern map;
a settlement, or perhaps just a farm name, or a road name.
We have failed in some places. The pairing of a modern
place name to the old is not to be taken as a firm statement
that this is what the old place is now. It is just an
indication of where the old place might be looked for on
today's map; it's our best guess. An old place
Tertiodean on Norden's map, 1607, looks as if it
relates to today's Dean, for example. On some maps
it looks as if place names are attached to more than one
symbol, for instance at Warneford on Norden's map.|
Rivers are useful in confirming the identity of settlements; places are usually in the correct order even if not quite the correct position. However there are errors: Sopley, Avon and Winton on the River Avon are in the wrong order on Norden's map, for example; and Warmansbri is put on the River Hamble, whereas it should be on the River Meon.
Where settlements are close together on the ground the symbols might be spaced out a little to get them clearly drawn on the map.
Many of the old place names are spelt 'funny', differently
from today's way; that is not to say that one or the other
is more correct, now or then. It is possible to see a lot
of unimportant differences; coomb, comb, coombe, combe, and
so on. Does it really matter? We are ready to be convinced
that the minor variations truly mean something, but haven't
yet been persuaded. There are differences where the map
maker has had to write down a name given by a local, and
has spelt it as best he may from the countrified pronunciation;
we are not saying that that pronunciation is wrong either.
An old place Sinckles sounds as if it relates to
today's St Clair's Farm which is in the right position,
to give one instance. There are other instances where it
looks as if the map engraver has misread the crabbed
handwriting of the surveyor, perhaps misunderstanding an
abbreviation, CAston becoming Caston
instead of Crux Easton, or Easton becoming
Laston. Perhaps the misreading is the map maker
copying wrongly from his own scrappy field notes. Just how
did Upper Clatford get named Platford, and how
did Hartton get written for East Anton! by
All in all, do not take spelling variations too seriously; but do enjoy them.
Edmund Gibson' preface to the 1695 edition of Camden's
The Maps are all new engrav'd, either according to Surveys never before publish'd, or according to such as have been made and printed since Saxton and Speed. Where actual Surveys could be had, they were purchas'd at any rate; and for the rest, one of the best Copies extant was sent to some of the most knowing Gentlemen in each County, with a request to supply the defects, rectifie the positions, and correct the false spellings. ... this whole business was commited to Mr Robert Morden ... to revise them, to see the slips of the Engraver mended, and the corrections, return'd out of the several Counties, duly inserted. Upon the whole, we need not scruple to affirm, that they are by much the fairest and most correct of any that have yet appear'd. And as for an error here and there; whoever considers, how difficult it is to hit the exact Bearings, and how the difference of miles in the several parts of the Kingdom perplex the whole; may possibly have occasion to wonder, that there should be so few. Especially, if he add to these inconveniencs, the various Spelling of Places, wherein it will be impossible to please all, till men are agreed which is the right.
Coates, Richard: 1989: Place Names of Hampshire: Batsford
(London):: ISBN 0 7134 5625 6|
Hector, L C: 1966: Handwriting of English Documents: Edward Arnold (London)
Simpson, Grant G: 1973: Scottish Handwriting: Bratton Publishing (Edinburgh, Lothian):: has a concise and simple description of abbreviation and punctuation in medieval manuscripts
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