A One-Name Study
for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname
Notes for Peter BARNHAM
Peter was born in Thetford, where he became Mayor in 1606. Thetford is traditionally thought of as the royal residence of Boudica, Queen of the Iceni. Archaeological evidence suggests that Thetford was an important tribal center during the late Iron Age and early Roman period. A ceremonial 'grove' was uncovered there during excavations. Thetford, an important crossing of the Little Ouse River, draws its name from the Anglo-Saxon Theodford or peoples ford. The nearby River Thet was later named after the town. In the Anglo-Saxon period, Thetford was the home of the monarchs of East Anglia and was the seat of a bishopric. The Domesday Book lists William of Bello Fargo as the Bishop of Thetford in 1085. Motte Castle Hill, to the south-east of the town centre, is the highest Norman motte in England though no trace remains of the castle which once surmounted it. Thetford also contains the ruins of a 12th century Cluniac priory. The Priory, open to the public, was closed during the Reformation. Thetford was the birthplace of the radical Thomas Paine and a statue of Paine stands on King Street, holding a quill and his book Rights of Man, upside down. Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, and other early Tudor Dynasty officials were once buried in Thetford before their removal to Framlingham.
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