Weare of Bristol

WEARE STORY. FOL 2. EARLY WEERE-BURGHOS (Bristol). Bristol in the course of its long history has had many names. ABONE and SABRINAM, of the Roman Iters; BRIGSTOWE in the early English period as the Bridge Place or, later conceivably perhaps, the Place of Brictric. Central parts of the town were long known as OLD WARBURGHS and in the Will of Lady Bar it is referred to as WEERE-BURGHOS – “The defended place of the Wyer or Weere”. Exactly what, if anything at all, was the part played by St.WERBURGH goes unrecorded. Perhaps an early churchman, taking his name of the settlements here, was here martyred, or perhaps his was a blameless life in bold relief against a cruel age. Historians by and large considered, accept that Bristol grew up in the Anglo-Saxon declension, a period in which it is known that Bristol had its own mint. A silver coin, in confirmaton, exists today in a Stockholm Museum and since it is carrying the figure of Ethelred, the coin is possibly part-parcel of Dane gold. What is of particular moment is that it was minted by AELFWERD of BRIGSTOWE. And this name may be found acceptable as the prize instance of the very earliest record of the family name. Date. c.900AD. EODNOTHUS, a Saxon noble, Master of Horse at the court of Edward the Confessor, married LIVIDIA, a Danish Princess, and had issue, a son, HARDING. Harding acquired much local West Country land and beyond and was at the time of Domesday a very rich Bristol merchant. His grandson ROBERT FITZ-HARDING, friend of the young Henry IInd, took the name of ROBERT DE WERE, and in the Bristol area Harding and Were families have long continued, and such places as WRAXALL (WEROCOSALE) and the WEARE’s UPPER and LOWER, still continue to re-echo their historic and family linked associations. However, Robert received considerable Gloucestershire grants of land by Royal Gift including Berkeley, the ancient Alweston lands and BITTON. Within a few generations the family name of Berkeley arose from the Royal Gifts and today is considered one of the most ancient of family names in the country. It follows that the House of Weare is of a similar antiquity. Gordon Weare. New Zealand.

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