A few steps towards the adoption of surnames were taken even before the Conquest. Titles of office were usually placed after the personal name, as AElfred King, Lilla Thegn, Wulfnoth Cild, AElfward Bishop, AEthelberht Ealdorman, and Harold Earl. Double names occasionally occur, the second being a nickname or true surname, as Osgod Clapa, Benedict Biscop, Thurkytel Myranheafod, Godwine Bace, and AElfric Cerm. Trade names are also found, as Ecceard smith, or Godwig boor. Everywhere, but especially in the Danish North, patronymics were in common use; for example, Harold Godwine’s son, or Thored Gunnor’s son. In all these cases we get surnames in the germ; but their general and official adoption dates from after the Norman Conquest.
Local nomenclature also demands a short explanation. Most of the Roman towns continued to be called by their Roman names: Londinium, Lunden, London; Eburacum, Eoforwic, Eurewic, York; Lindum Colonia, Lincolne, Lincoln. Often ceaster, from castrum, was added: Gwent, Venta Belgarum, Wintan-ceaster, Winteceaster, Winchester; Isca, Exan-ceaster, Execestre, Exeter; Corinium, Cyren-ceaster, Cirencester. Almost every place which is known to have had a name at the English Conquest retained that name afterwards, in a more or less clipped or altered form. Examples are Kent, Wight, Devon, Dorset; Manchester, Lancaster, Doncaster, Leicester, Gloucester, Worcester, Colchester, Silchester, Uttoxeter, Wroxeter, and Chester; Thames, Severn, Ouse, Don, Aire, Derwent, Swale, and Tyne. Even where the Roman name is now lost, as at Pevensey, the old form was retained in Early English days; for the “Chronicle” calls it Andredes-ceaster, that is to say, Anderida. So the old name of Bath is Akemannes-ceaster, derived from the Latin Aqua, Cissan-ceaster, Chichester, forms an almost solitary exception. Canterbury, or Cant-wara-byrig, was correctly known as Dwrovernum or Doroberna in Latin documents of the Anglo-Saxon period.
On the other hand, the true English towns which grew up around the strictly English settlements, bore names of three sorts. The first were the clan villages, the hams or tuns, such as Baenesingatun, Bensington; Snotingaham, Nottingham; Glaestingabyrig, Glastonbury; and Waeringwica, Warwick. These have already been sufficiently illustrated; and they were situated, for the most part, in the richest agricultural