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 Whiston

Historical Forms

  • Mordinges 1164–81 Lewes25d
  • Morthinges 1202–8 Ass
  • Morthyng, Morthing, Morþing 13 Lewes295 1200–10 YChvi 1240–50 Bodl104 1246 Ass13d 1297 LS l.13 BM 1342 FF 1345 YDxiii,73 1588 WillY
  • Morthinge, Morthynge 1342 YDxiii,44 1607 FF
  • Morhing a.1218 YChviii
  • Mordhingg 1230 P
  • Morhtheng 1253 YDxiii,72
  • Mortheng' 1323 MinAcct
  • Morthehing 1323 BM
  • Morni(n)g 1285 KI
  • Morning(e) 1550 WillY 1621 FF
  • Morthinge in the Morninge, Morthinge als. Morninge 1583,1604 FF
  • Tourneberg 1345 YDxiii


The two isolated forms with -eng can carry no weight against the persistent and earlier forms in -ing ; any connexion with ON  eng 'meadow' (coupled by Goodall to OE  morð 'murder') is therefore highly improbable, for eng always retains that form in the twelfth and often in the thirteenth centuries (cf. Phonol. § 13). The evidence points to an original Morthing , and, in view of the fact that the name is also that of a district (v. Morthen 101supra ), Moorman and Ekwall are certainly correct in deriving it from OE , ON  mōr 'moorland' and OE , ON  þing 'an assembly', hence 'moorland district with a common assembly'. The hill at Morthen itself was probably the meeting-place. Some confirmation of the tradition is provided by the name of Tourneberg (1345 YD xiii), which means 'hill where the tourn or sheriff's court for the wapentake was held' (v. beorg ) and which was described as being in 'Whitstan and Morthyng field'.The spelling Morhing is AN (cf. IPN 110), and the later spellings Morning are analogical from the common word morning .