English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.


Early-attested site in the Parish of Sunk Island

Historical Forms

  • Frisemareis, Frisemareys, Frisemarays 1130,1190–2 P 1194 P 1212 Cur 1246 Ass 1332 FF
  • Frisemarasco 1187–1207 YCh1402
  • Frismareis, Frismareys, Frismarays 1187–1207 YCh50 1196,1198 P t.John AddCh 1324 Meaux
  • Frismareis in Holdernesse 1324 Hom
  • Frismarisco 1187–1207 YCh 1301 YI
  • Frismerays 1304 YI
  • Frimareis 1190 P
  • Fresmar(r)ays 1230 P 1249 Meaux
  • Fyrsmersk 1378 Test
  • Frismersk(e), Frysmersk(e) 1275 Meaux 1406 Melsa
  • Frysmarsk(e) 1349 Meaux 1544 FF
  • Frysmersh 1349 Ipm


There can be little doubt that the first element of this name is the name of the Frisian people, which certainly enters into other place-names such as Fryston (WRY), Friston (Sf), Friezland (WRY), etc. There is some slight evidence for the presence of Frisians in England in Old English times. They were known here as good seamen (Gnomic Verses , lines 95 ff.) and they were employed by Ælfred to man his warships against the Danes. Frisians (probably North Frisians) were also on the Danish side and Ubba, the Danish leader, is described as dux Fresonum (Annales Lindisf. MGH xix, 502, SD (Surt) 144).Some of these may well have settled in England during the Viking period. In Frismarsh, however, seeing that the second element would appear to be OFr  mareis 'marsh,' with ME  mersh , mersk substituted later, and the name must be of post- Conquest origin. The allusion must be to Frisians who came into England after the Conquest, probably as merchants plying in the Humber. On such post-Conquest settlements of the Low Dutch  cf. E.C. Llewellyn, The Influence of Low Dutch on English Vocabulary (Philological Society 1936), passim .

Frismarsh is a lost Humber town.It was in territorio de Tharlesthorpia (Melsa) and in the years 1286 to 1310 it suddered inundations of the Humber (ib. ii, 196).

Places in the same Parish

Early-attested site

Major Settlement