Medieval History Term of the Week: Borough

Borough (or burgh)
[bur-oh, buhr-oh]
Etymology: Middle English burgh, from Old English burg fortified town; akin to Old High German burg fortified place, and probably to Old English beorg hill

1) A town with the right of self government granted by royal charter. (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) Originally a defended farm or residence but usually used in the meaning current from the ninth to the eleventh centuries, namely an urban settlement, normally fortified. (Wood, Michael. Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England, 213)

3) At first used of any fortified place, not necessarily a town; by the eleventh century the word had strong urban connotations. (Reynolds, Susan. An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns, 197)

*term definitions retrieved from Netserf’s Medieval Glossary (http://www.netserf.org/Glossary)

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