Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fuller's Slade

Some time ago I wrote about the 18th century field names on the Wolverton Manor. Fuller's Slade was one of them and its name survives in the eponymous housing development.
Francis Hyde, in his book on the History of Wolverton, hazarded a guess that it may have originated as "Fowler's Slade".
Who knows?, but I have just come across a reference in the Wolverton Manorial documents that may shine a little light on the name's origin.
from half acre in Fuleweelslade next land of Thomas the clerk and from William Fule
The document dates from between 1235 and 1270 - mid-13th century. It may suggest that  William Full or one of his ancestors gave their name to the slade. The slade is a green area of land often surrounded by woods. It is usually rendered in dictionaries  as "greensward" but even that word has no currency these days.

If we separate the word Fuleweelslade to Fule, Weel and Slade we can probably understand the composite.
Fule, after the Full family
Weel, meaning well or good
Slade - as described above
Thus, Full's  good slade.

In time Full's well slade would have modified through usage to Fuller's Slade, having only a tenuous connection with its origin and having lost any semblance of meaning.

This is merely my speculation, but at the moment the theory looks attractive.


Anonymous said...

If he was called Full, it would have been because he was a fuller, surely? Of woollen cloth? A process to tighten up the loose weave. All the other names relate to wool?

Bryan Dunleavy said...

Yes he may have been. The 13th century is early for surnames so as a person of some importance he could have been named after his trade. So I accept your interpretation. There was a fulling mill on the Ouse north of Manor Farm in the 15th century called Terle Mill. It may have had a predecessor and William the Fuller or William Full could have been the operator at one time and made enough money to acquire some land.
One thing I would say for certain is that no fulling took place at Fuller's Slade as Marion Hill has asserted. The process requires a lot of water as well as the fuller's earth which probably was carted from Woburn Sands.