« السابقةمتابعة »
of a Saxon Original; but having a proper Signification in that Language, and of which I shall speake more particularly by and by.
But th6 it be certain therefore from the very Name itself, that we must look for the first Original of our Family among the Saxons; yet will not this be of any great Help to us, in our Search after the Antiquity of it: nor carry us farthur back than to the Norman Conquest, about which Time the Names of Familys first began to be fixed, and descend from Father to Son; which before they were nOt wont to do. Here therefore we must recurr to such Accounts as we can derive from our ancient Historys, and see what Light they will afford us in the pursuit of our present Enquiry.
Were there any Credit to be given to those Copies which remain to us of Battle Abby Roll, in which the Conquerour is said to have Registred the Names of the most eminent of those who came over out of Normandy with him, and fought in that famous Battle which gave Denomination to the Abby founded by King William 1st. in memory of it ;3 We should in these find a very publick and authentick Record, not only of the Antiquity, but of the Honour of our Family, in those Days. But as in the best of these Copys, our Name does not appear; So the many Grounds I have to suspect altogether the Credit of Them (at least as they have been transmitted down to us) make me unwilling to lay any Stress upon so weak, and uncertain an Authority.
3 Holingshead Chr: P. 5b. Stow Pag: 207. Fuller Church Hist: lib: ii Pag: 161.
There is indeed, an old piece of Poetry to the same purpose, preserved in the Chronicle ascribed to Mohn Brompton, which pretends to give us a List of the great Men, who came over out of Normandy upon this Expedition, and to whom the Conquerour gave Lands for that Service, And in this also our Family has the Honour to be mentioned. But I must confess that this Piece is to me of as little Credit as the Rolls of Battle Abby: And had we the good Fortune to be found in that third Piece of the like kind, preserved by "Mr. Fuller, of the Coats of Arms of those forty Worthies whom the Conquerour quarter'd upon the Monks of Eli, to secure that Island to his Interests, I should still think, that these three Monuments together would scarce amount to one good Proof, of our Ancestors being concerned in that Expedition.
4 Script: X Coll: 963. 5 Church Hist: lib: ii pag: 168.
And as the Credit is not great which I suppose ought to be given to these sort of Registers. So much less may we rely upon the arbitrary Conjectures of our yet more modern Writers: An eminent Instance of which I cannot but take Notice of in our Church Historian, who diverting himself in some Remarks, which he thought fit to make upon the Rolls of Battle Abby before mentioned, tells us that he was credibly informed, that some of the English being weary of Harolds Usurpation, went over into ffrance to fetch in the Conquerour, and by that Means are found in the Catalogues of those who came over with Him. And this, He says, was the Case of our Family, of which he there speaks in a very friendly and honourable Manner.
If this Gentleman had the Authority of any
good Historian for this Remark, as far as our
Name is concern'd in it, I heartily wish he
would have been so kind, as by some Mark or
other, to have referr'd us to Him, But if he took
it up upon the Conjecture of some of his
Acquaintance, who being unwilling to lose the Authority of those Rolls, thought this the best Way to account for so many Saxon Names occurring in Them. I do not see how either our Historian could say He was credibly informed of this Matter, or what Reason there is for any One, without some better Proof, to give his Assent to it.
But to pass therefore from these imaginary Pretences to Antiquity, to such proofs as we may justly give some Credit to: And to search out not only the first Rise of our Sur name, but the Occasion that was given for the fixing of it, on that Person from whome it decended to us.
Among other Persons of Note in the time of King Edward the Confessor Leofricus le Brim, was none of the least considerable, GHe was Cosin to Ralphe, Earl of Hereford, who marryed Goda King Edwards Sister; and is represented to us as a person of a noble Family, eminent in military Services, and 'Lord of Brun in the County of Lincoln, which from him descended to his posterity, and was for many Ages part of the Inheritance of our Family. His Wife was Edive, descended of Oslac who was Contemporary with King Edgar ; and a person of great Note and Dignity in those Days.
6 Ingulf: Hist: Cropland Pag: 67.
7 Dugdal: Baronag: To: 1: p. 21. says that he was Son to Goda by Walter de Mant: But he cites no Authority for what he says, and Ingulf: is expressly against him.
From this noble Pair sprang He, who was the first Author and Original of the Name of Wake: How he was first called, I am not informed: 8But the Character which his Fortune, and Authority fix'd upon him, and under which he is constantly mentioned by our Historians, is Herward, or Hereward, a Saxon Name, and which signifies a Keeper, or Commander of an Army.
Of this Hereward we have a short but very honourable Character given us, by one of our 9best Historians, who was his Contemporary, and well acquainted both with his Person, and his Actions. He tells us that he was tall of Stature. a very comely Youth, but too much addicted to Warlike Exploits, and of a Spirit beyond measure fierce and vigorous: Insomuch that he could not endure that any one should pretend to any kind of Exercises to excel him.
8 Ingulf: Edit: Oxon p. 71. 9 Ingulf: ibid: Pag: 67.