Bonnytown

Bonnytown SSL S NO545125 1 363 80m

Bonyngtoune 1452 x 1480 RMS ii no. 1444 [St Andrews Church land]
Bonytoun 1587 Assumption, 13 [listed in the rental of the teind sheaves of the St Andrews Priory, within the parish of St Andrews (the Trinity); leased for 4 bolls bere, £3 6 s. 8 d. money]
Bonytoun 1593 RMS v no. 2273 [part of barony of Boarhills and Polduff (Byrhillis et Polduf)]
M. Davidi Rutherfurde de Bonietoun 1611 RMS vii no. 427 [to Mr David Rutherford]
Bonitoun 1612 RMS vii no. 733 [to Janet Balfour, widow of M. David Rutherford ‘called of Bonnytown’ (vocati de Bonitoun) the lands of Bonnytown ‘in the lordship of Boarhills’ (in dominio de Byrehillis)]
Bonnyton 1642 Gordon MS Fife
Bonietoun 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Bonnytown 1753 Roy sheet 19, 5
Bonietown 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Bonnyton 1827 Ainslie
Bonytown 1828 SGF [also Bonnytown Mill at c.NO551121]
Bonnytown 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn

Sc* bondin(g)toun

‘Farm or vill held by peasant-farmers directly from the feudal superior’. There are over two dozen places so called in Scotland (Harris 2002, 98), many of which are on record by the fourteenth century (see for example RMS i Index Locorum). There are six such names in Fife (see PNF 5, Elements Glossary, and Taylor 1995a, 165). The first element derives from Sc bond ‘peasant-farmer, husbandman, smallholder’ (for which see Bonfield SSL, above). In PNF 1 I swithered between an analysis of this common place-name as Sc bond + Sc toun (p. 207) and Sc *bon(d)ytoun (p. 515). I have settled on Sc *bondin(g)toun in the light of the many early forms of this name spelled thus throughout the Scottish lowlands, including Bondingtona from an original document of 1315 (RRS v no. 391, referring to Bonnytoun by Linlithgow WLO).

The English orthography of the second element is already in evidence on Roy (1753), as well as on Ainslie/Fife (1775). For a more complex example of the introduction of English orthography into a local Sc name, see Brigton CMN.

A Roman Camp was discovered on this farm in 1965 at NO546127, in the field called Foggy Belly (NMRS NO51SW 14). SGF (1828) also shows Bonytown Mill nearby at c.NO546119. This seems to be the same place as Carlford Mill (1775 Ainslie/Fife).[270]

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3