The naming of children is a common human act of fundamental significance. Its study, in a historical context, has been much neglected, and its importance seldom realized. This book seeks to redress this imbalance. A full, definitive examination of a topic as large as the study of personal names and naming in England between 1538 and 1700 would involve a lifetime's work: this book has necessarily been based on a series of samples and is a largely quantitative investigation. It begins with an introduction to the subject of naming that surveys the historical literature on this topic. It also discusses contemporary attitudes to names and the function of personal names in the period 1538 to 1700. It examines the relationship between names, naming patterns, parents, siblings, saints, and godparents in England during the period. It shows which names were most commonly used, how these names came to be given to children, and how naming patterns were influenced by social status.
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