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.


Major Settlement in the Parish of Brotherton

Historical Forms

  • Broðer-tun c.1030 YCh7
  • Broðortun c.1050 YCh9
  • Broertone, Broertonam 1164–6 RegAlbi,66
  • Broderton' 1193 P 1532 Testvi 1539 WillY 1546 YChant
  • Brotherton 1198 Fount 1200 ChR 13 Ch 1310 RegAlbi,74d 1225 FF 1226 RegAlbiii,31d 1231 Dunelm 1314 Langd 1822
  • Bertherton 1249 Ch
  • Brodirton 1450 YDvii
  • Browderton 1552 FF


The OE forms represent ON  bróðir , gen.sg. bróður , either with its common meaning of 'brother' or as a pers.n. If we could assume some such circumstance as gave rise to the Norw  p.n. Brødre -Aas (so called from its being handed over by the owner to a younger brother, NG v, 262), Brørby (ON  Br ðra -býr , so called from having once been held by two brothers, NG iv, 123), the common noun 'brother' would be appropriate; cf. NG i, 137 for names of this type.Otherwise it is simply a pers.n. 'Brother's farmstead', v. tūn . This pers.n., which occurs also in Brothertoft L, Brotherton Sf and Brotherwick Nb 32, could be from OE  brōðor , apparently in occasional use as a pers.n. (Feilitzen 208n), but it is better evidenced in East Scandinavian, ODan  Brothir , gen. Brothur , OSwed  Brodher (cf. DaGP s.n.); apart from Bróðir , the name of a Viking of unknown nationality mentioned in Njálssaga , it is not found in Norway before 1321. The Danish pers.n. is probably also the source of Broder in DB (freq ). Other p.ns. with an ON  pers.n. and tun are found in this wapentake and are discussed in Introd. On the forms with -d - cf. Phonol. § 41.