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“Whether this portion of the world were rent
Or thus created," itself constitutes a question not unworthy the inquisition of any archæological society, or individual possessed of the requisite talent, learning, and leisure.
“One observation more, of importance to the student of geography which the term Sunderland' suggests, and we shall bid it adieu. Here the termination · land,' as in other cognate terms, such as Sutherland, Holland, Northumberland, very obviously demonstrates that it originally was applicable to a district of country,' and not restricted to a town; to the shattered maritime territory, in fact, as above described, whose leading physical feature gave birth to the name. Now, this limitation of the name from a 'district' to a “town' presents us with a very singular exception to a general rule, which will be found to obtain to a great extent in the topographic vocabulary of Eng-land, and indeed of the United Kingdom, so far as Scot-land and Ire-land have been assimilated to Saxon formulæ and usages. The rule to which we allude is this : that the towns in general take precedence of dis. tricts, and impose their names upon them by extensioni ; and seldom vice versa, as is the case with the term under discussion. An inspection of the names of the counties and shires of England, and of their respective capitals or chief towns, will serve to illustrate and abundantly evince the truth of this remark. As allocated by Alfred, England at first contained thirty-two shires or shares,' which number has been since augmented to "forty, and, including the twelve of the principality, makes a total of fiftytwo counties. Of these fifty-two, no less a number than
thirty-four derive their names from their respective county-towns. Seventeen derive their names from other circumstances, and are not cognominal with their countytowns. One solitary city, and one only, Canterbury, can trace its name to its county, Kent. If a similar analysis be applied to Scotland and Ireland, the proportional results are still more striking, and illustrative of our position. Scotland has shires or divisions thirtythree, though she returns to Parliament but thirty county members. Of these twenty-five take their names from the county-town, and eight from other circumstances. Ireland has thirty-two counties, of which no less than twenty-six have names derived from the county-town, and only six have names attributable to other causes.''* But, without pinning our faith to all the theories advanced by this humourous writer, whose etymological notice of Sun. derland is, however, worthy of attention, we may observe that Heylin describes Sunderland as "a demi-island in the north-east part of the Bishoprick of Durham, over against the mouth of the river of Were ; which being pulled asunder from the land by the force of the sea, hath the name of Sunderland"; † and another writer on the same subject adds, “ at high water it is a peninsula, almost quite surrounded by the sea, which, seeming to pull it asunder from the main land, may be thought to give it that name."! Besides these, various other conjectures have been made respecting the derivation of the name of Sunderland ; some contending that it is the
* “Hogg's Weekly Instructor.”
ancient Anglo-Saxon “Sundorlande" signifying a particular place with privileges of its own, a theory which, as we have before observed, cannot be entertained. The simplest and most obvious, however, seems to be that its name marked the original situation and appearance of the place, on a point of land, almost insulated by the Wear and by the sea. When we take into consideration that the tongue of land forming the parish of Sunderland, formerly extended much farther to the eastward than it does now, until the sea at Hendon formed a sort of creek or bay, sufficiently capacious and sheltered from the fearful “nor-easters” (that occasionally sweep along our coast and prove so destructive to our shipping) so late as 1346, when it afforded Thomas Menvill a safe and convenient spot for the building of ships, the place would then be almost surrounded by water, whence its name.
Since the preceding pages were printed off, and just as this sheet was going to press, we were favoured by J. W. Collingwood, Esq.,* with the following observations on the derivation of the name :—“At the early period,” says our respected townsman, “when the monastery at Monkwearmouth was a place of much importance, there
* Much praise is due to Mr. J. W. Collingwood here for his publicspirited exertions in establishing and supplying during the last thirty years, a line of vessels to trade between this port and Charente, and occasionally Cadiz and Oporto, thus enabling importers of Brandies and Wines to have their goods imported direct, instead of being landed in London, and brought down by traders, which they were previously obliged to do at considerable inconvenience and expence,
does not appear any record of Sunderland.* South Wearmouth is mentioned, so that it appears to me the name Sunderland' was given to it by the monks of Monk-Wearmouth, subsequent to the seventh century. Its situation is directly opposite to the monastery, and is 6 asunder', or divided from it only by the river.”
After the death of the Venerable Beda, in the year 735, a dense cloud of darkness overshadows the history of Sunderland. Towards the close of the eighth century the Danes landed on the coast of Northumbria, and carried fire and sword through the length and breadth of the land. Our early historians give us a terrible picture of the horrid cruelties committed by these merci. less tyrants upon the unoffending Anglo-Saxons, and for a long series of years we read of nothing but murder, rapine, and plunder.
Notwithstanding the devastation spread over these parts by the Danes (under Hinguar, Hubba, Ragnar Lodbrog and other celebrated sea-kings), the Scots and the Normans, Sunderland seems to have risen into some degree of consequence as a place of maritime commerce and resort towards the close of the twelfth century, when, sometime previous to the year 1183, Hugh Pudsey, Bishop of Durham (1153-94), by charter, erected it into a borough under the name of Wearmouth,
* With all due respect to Mr. Collingwood's opinion we beg to observe that Sunderland is mentioned at the early period alluded to, (See pp. 30-36 of this work.)—ED.
THE ANCIENT BOROUGH OF SUNDERLAND. AREA OF THE
PARISH. PAROCHIAL PERAMBULATIONS. THE OCTAGON COTTAGE. COPYHOLD GRANT OF RIVER WASTES. ANCIENT CHANNEL OF THE RIVER DIVERTED. COPYHOLD GRANTS AND LEASES OF WASTE GROUNDS ON THE SEA SHORE. THE SPA WELL. BATTERIES. THE RUSSIAN GUNS. LOWTHER'S HALL. LOWTHER'S DENE. EARLS OF SUNDERLAND.
SHE ancient or Bishop of Durham's
now (1857) the Ecclesiastical Commissioners' Borough of Sunderland, embraces the freehold, and a portion only of the leasehold property in the parish of Sunderland, and is entirely exclusive of the copyhold and leasehold
property held under the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in the same parish, which is one without any dependent townships, and lies within the Sunderland division* of Easington Ward, in the County Palatine of
* Copy Order.-Durham (To Wit). At the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace of our Lady the Queen, holden at Durham, in and for the County of Durham, on Monday, the eighteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord 1841, - Before John William Williamson, John Douse Garthwaite, Thomas Robinson Grey, Esquires, and others their fellows, Justices of our said