The recently published Cartulary of St. Gregory,
Canterbury,1 gives earlier
references for many places, a number going back to 1086-7. For Goldstone
in Ash we have six references earlier than Wallenberg’s first (1202).
It occurs as Goldstanestune in 1086-7, which makes connection
with Goldstan, son of Bruning, a juror at Sandwich in 1127, at least
doubtful. Even if he were only 20 in 1086, he must have been 60 or more
at this time and it is unlikely that a Saxon founded and gave his name
to this farm between 1066 and 1086. The place was probably named before
the Conquest from some other Goldstan.
As often, the search for place-name material throws light
on the history of the place itself. Bekesbourne appears in Domesday Book
as Burnes, a name which continued in use throughout the twelfth
century (to 1198). The church of St. Peter of Burnes was granted
in alms to Edmund the priest by Rodbertus filius Godwini between 1136
and 1150, a grant confirmed by archbishop Theobald in 1143-50. The
grantor is also called Robert de Burnes and Robert de Hastinges, and was
the son of Godwine frenus ; thus, in spite of his French Christian name,
he was of English descent. Some time before 1182, Eustace de Burnis
(presumably his son) granted the church to the priory of St. Gregory.
Between 1182 and 1190, Hugh de Bee had illegally given the advowson of Burnis
either to the church of Hoiy Trinity, Hastings, or to the
Knights Hospitallers. The convent of Holy Trinity, Hastings,
resigned its rights
the church of Liuingesburn’ to St. Gregory. William del Bec,
son of Hugh, after a dispute with Eustace de Burnis regarding the
advowson of the church of Burnis, relinquished his claim. This
connection with Hastings explains the alternative surname of Robert de
Burnes. In the late twelfth century, his son Eustace and William de Bec
held jointly the serjeanty of providing a ship for the king’s service
at Hastings and Bekesbourne became a non-corporate member of the Cinque
Bekesbourne, like Littlebourne, Patrixbourne and
Bishopsbourne, was originally named from the stream (OE burna) on
which it stands, now the Nail Bourne. When it became necessary to
distinguish between these four places, Bekesbourne was first called Liuingesburn’,
a name found from c. 1180, in common use in the thirteenth
century, and occasionally as late as 1541. The tenant of Bekesbourne in
1066 was one Levine (OE Lęofwine), from whom Wallenberg
derives Liuingesburn. If this were correct, the form would be Leofwinesburne,
or possibly Livinesburne. Liuingesburn presumes an OE L˙fingesburna
or, possibly, Leofwinesburna, from OE Lyfing or Leofing.
As Robert, who held the church c. 1136, and his father
Godwine were English by
1 Cartulary of the Priory of St.
Gregory, Canterbury, ed. A. M. Woodcock (Camden Third Series
2 ibid., 15-18, 27, 34-39, 164, 218, 221,
222, and p. xiv.