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the name used, once certainly, and apparently on both occasions,1 is Ounsbergh.
During the next century Newton-in-Cleveland comes into fashion, and I find no reference to Rosebury till it is mentioned in the list of beacons at the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, or beginning of that of King James I, as Oseburye Toppinge; the n of an unaccented syllable having dropped out.
From Osebury to Rosebury is not a far cry, especially when we remember that it usually followed the word "under "; Newton-under-Osebury and Newton-under-Rosebury are practically indistinguishable.
Whether the first instance of the form Roseberry occurs in the 5th edition of Camden's Britannia (it does not occur in the four earlier editions), or in the very interesting account of Guisborough preserved in the British Museum as Cott. Julius, F. vi, at fol. 431, depends upon the date which we assign to the latter. Graves, in his History of Cleveland, fixed it as 1550, or thereabouts; and Canon Atkinson gave the preference to 1640. There are difficulties to be faced, because certain of the indicia of age appear absolutely contradictory. The kinsman of Sir Thos. Chaloner interested in the Island of Lambaye, and mentioned in the MS., can surely be none other than John Chaloner, Secretary of State for Ireland, who died in 1584, and, if so, the Sir Thomas Chaloner, to whom the account was addressed must have been the original purchaser, who died in 1566. On the other hand, the mention in the account of Doctors Lea and Muffet, both of whom died in 1604, would seem to point to a date either shortly before or shortly after their death when their reputations were established, but had not yet been forgotten.
I assume the date as 1610, but it is not very material whether the date is accurate to a few years.
There seems to me, therefore, sufficient evidence to show that the hill was originally known as the hill of Odin, whether because the clouds which so continually rested upon it seemed. to make it a fitting abode for the greatest of the gods, or because it reminded the early settlers of some hill in their old country, where possibly sacrifices were offered to the god.
There are many old customs connected with Roseberry, but in none can I trace any resemblance to the Cult of Othinn (see that work by Mr. H. M. Chadwick).
1 The word in one place is difficult to decipher.
2 Possibly his son.
Thus from the old name, Othenesbergh, we get a Norman Osenbergh, Osebury, and eventually Roseberry, while the two local forms, one in Cleveland, Ounesbergh,1 and the other more widely extended in Yorkshire, Aumbergh or Ormsburgh, have alike died out.
Just as Roseberry stands out to the west of the Guisborough plateau, so is the east side flanked by a smaller hill of like shape, Freebrough, and though the usual derivation of this name leads one to the consideration of frithborh, and other institutions that have no connection with our subject, it does not seem absolutely impossible that the hill may have really derived its name from Frigg, the wife of Odin.
It would be interesting to know whether there are any, and, if so, what place-names in Scandinavian countries that are derived from these two deities.
Othensberg, now Onsberg, in the Danish Island of Samsöe, and Odensberg in Schonen, are given by Canon Atkinson on the authority of Grimm. There is also Osenbergh, in Spalten, where the Viking ship was recently found; but whether the name has any connection with Odin must be left to Norse scholars to decide. All that I have attempted to show is that the various names by which Roseberry has been known are all directly derived from one form. From Othenesbergh we got in the Cleveland district Ounsberry; in the Vale of Mowbray, Ahmberg; and amongst the most cultivated classes, Oseberry. Whilst the two former have in course of time become obsolete, the latter has stolen an unnecessary R, and has now developed into Roseberry.
This is the suggestion that I venture to submit; even if it does not find universal acceptance, I trust that the references that follow will assist towards the true solution of the problem. In any case, the Protean shapes that the name has at times assumed should afford a salutary warning to those who from an analysis of a twentieth century name alone believe that they can conjecture its original meaning and the history of its various modifications.
1 Cf. Dan. Onsday for Wednesday. 2 Atkinson's Cleveland, i, 78, 79.
3 See Gustafson, Norges Oldtid.
1 In the earlier Calendar this is printed Quenesbergh; the modern Index does not attempt it. In the writ the ", both here and elsewhere, is so clearly distinguished from then that no ambiguity can exist.
Apparently, in the sixteenth century, Newton-in-Cleveland was the more usual name of the village.
No doubt copied from some old MS.; see Burton, Mon., p. 8<