Beggars Bush: A Perambulation through the Disciplines of History, Geography, Archaeology, Literature, Philology, Natural History, Botany, Biography & Beggary

Old Romney, Kent Beggars Bush Lane 1905

This is a lane west of Old Romney running across Walland Marsh. It leads from Narrow Bush Lane, past Coldharbour Farm, to Bush Farm, connecting to Coldharbour Lane and Coldharbour Bridge.

The farmer at Coldharbour Farm describes it as marshy arable, poor in comparison with the other local farmland. For Coldharbour as a place name see Laverton.


6 inch O.S. Maps of Kent, revised 1905/08


Posted: October 9th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , | No Comments »

Sticky: Embleton, Northumberland Beggars Bush c.1880

This example is unusual because it contains a naming story that is almost contemporaneous, and very close to first hand. It illustrates how place names may be given through trivial incidents. Although this one did not survive into official records, such naming by landowners or those associated with them could easily transfer into and be perpetuated by paper records. It is also unusual as it occurs during a period when there were few uses of the phrase in literary works. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 25th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Uley, Gloucestershire Beggers Bush 1723

Indenture dated 9 Sept., 1723, between Thomas Bayly, of Uley, gent, (1), and Michael Bayly, of Uley, gent, (father of Thomas Bayly) (2) of land in Uley, including 8 acres of arable land in the West field, in Uley, whereof 4 acres lye together below Seechmead, gives other locations and ends “and the other acre thereof, residue of said 8 acres, lieth in the said field at a place called Beggers Bush, next Mr. Basset’s tyning hedge”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 23rd, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Storrington, West Sussex Beggarsbush 1641

The Inquisition Post Mortem for John Duppa of Petworth, dated 20 Aug 16 Charles (meant for 17 Charles), includes lands in Storrington amongst which are Northcomons alias Beggarsbush and also Catts Mead. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 23rd, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Benson, Oxfordshire Beggarsbush Hill 1606

EPNS Oxfordshire, p.118, gives Beggers Busshe and Beggars Bushe from a Survey of 1606/7 in PRO. It is a lane leading from Nuffield to Benson, forming part of the old road from Henley via Wallingford to Oxford, now redirected around the RAF airfield. It runs about 1 mile south of Ewelme, and about 1 mile north of Coldharbour Farm, near which is a Starveall. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 10th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Thomas Heywood The Rape of Lucrece 1608

Thomas Heywood is significant because he does not use Beggars Bush when he might have done, but he does associate beggars with bushes. This song appears to be the source or have a common source with, a later ballad Londons Ordinary which does refer to Beggars Bush.
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Posted: March 19th, 2011 | Filed under: Writers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Laverton & Lullington, Somerset Beggars Bush 1807

The Lullington/Laverton fields form one site, straddling the parish boundary, close to a crossroads. They are a few hundred yards from the Hemington site, and about 2 miles away from the Frome, Oldford/Berkley sites as the crow flies. Until the 1620’s there was a direct route through Orchardleigh parish, but that was blocked by the Champneys family, who emparked most of the parish, and the new road skirts the park and doubled that distance. Along the edge of the site the road is called Portway, a common name for a road between markets. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 19th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Warminster, Wiltshire Beggars Bush 1581

EPNS Wiltshire gives this name from papers of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. It also says these included Coldharbour, as Coleharborow, aka Gooseland 1609, which is recorded as La Goslonde as early as 1292,. The name does not appear on any later maps or records. The editors of EPNS describe it as a term of contempt.

The archivist at Corpus Christi College has been unable to trace any relevant papers. The phrase Beggars Bush was certainly known at Corpus Christi by 1609 as it is used in a letter dated 22nd October 1609 from Brian Twyne, a student there.
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Posted: March 13th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Rye, East Sussex Beggars Bush 1578

Holinshed’s Chronicles were first published in 1578, with a second edition in 1587. It remains a substantial sourcebook for the history and geography of Britain in the late sixteenth century. In Book 6, section 15, the contributor William Harrison lists the principle fairs and markets by date. He says, “On Bartholomew day, at London, at Beggers bush beside Rie, at Teukesburie, at Sudburie, at Rie, at Nantwich, at Pagets, at Bromleie, at Norwich, at Northalerton, at Douer.”

“Rie” must be Rye in East Sussex, but the reference is not without difficulties. It seems unlikely that there would have been a fair “beside” Rye and “at” Rye on the same day.
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Posted: March 13th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Andover Hampshire Beggars Bush 1621

John Taylor, the Water Poet, in the dedication to his The Praise, Antiquity and Commodity of Beggary, Beggars & begging, etc.  (1621) refers to “Beggars Bush, neere Andever, or to his Hawthorne brother within a mile of Huntingdon”. The second is clearly the Beggars Bush at Godmanchester, which is the most well known, probably through Saxton’s map.  The first “neere Andever” is a mystery.

It must refer to Andover, Hampshire. However, I can trace no Beggars Bush site in or near Andover, nor can Hampshire Record Office. It may have been a name for a minor location only used briefly. There is at Andover a Coldharbour a similar derogatory place name often found near Beggars Bushes. East of that and on the south side of London Road is a Folly Copse and an area now named Round Bush Copse.
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Posted: March 13th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »