Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gotobed East

click photo to enlarge
First names, often called Christian names, originated in a number of ways. Many are simply descriptive. For example, Charles comes from the Germanic for "man", Thomas is the Greek form of the Aramaic word meaning "twin", and Adam derives from the Hebrew for "man" which in turn comes from the word for "ruddy coloured" and links to "earth" (from which, according to the Bible Adam, the first man, came). Names such as Decimus, Septimus and Octavia usually describe the owners position in the family (tenth, seventh or eighth born). Other first names are linked to the circumstances of birth. Boys born over the period of Christmas are often called Noel, and girls are sometimes called Felicity or Prudence in the parents' hope that those qualities will attach to them throughout life. Then there are the invented names such as Pamela (from Samuel Richardson's 1740 novel of  that title) or Wendy, a name that makes its first appearance in J.M. Barrie's 1904 play, "Peter Pan". Some first names are created by pressing surnames into service for that purpose, for example Kingsley, Remington or Wilson. I suspect this may be the case with the very unusual first name featured on the memorial in today's photograph.

A Google search for Gotobed used as a first name turns up only a few references to this particular memorial and the person remembered in it. It looks like Gotobed East may have been unique in the possession of this first name. However, search for the same name as a surname and many sources can be found. Gotobed East's memorial can be found fixed to a wall at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire. This location would only have been open to a wealthy and well-connected individual, and his memorial shows him to have been that as a gentleman and an officer of the Bedford Level drainage body. On his death he "left to the churchwardens of Holy Trinity parish 5 cottages in Newnham, to be occupied by 5 aged widows of the said parish", so he was clearly a benevolent person too.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Main Photo
Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 32mm
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/13
ISO: 3200
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation:N/A