|Plan of Roman London|
London's very name seems to be referable to certain British deities, her tutelary patrons. Doctor Henry Bradley has explained London as a possessive formed from such appellation as Londinos, derived from the old Keltic adjective meaning "fierce", and Mr Gordon Home, the recent historian of Roman London, gives it as his opinion that "the only conclusion at which it is possible to arrive is that the twin hills beside the Thames formed at some remote period the possession, and doubtless the stronghold, of a person or family bearing the name Londinos".
Lewis SPENCE, The Mysteries of Britain.
The Mandubert who sought Cæsar's help is by some thought to be the son of the semi-fabulous King Lud (King Brown), the mythical founder of London, and, according to Milton, who, as we have said, follows the old historians, a descendant of Brute of Troy. The successor of the warlike Cassivellaunus had his capital at St. Alban's; his son Cunobelin (Shakespeare's Cymbeline)—a name which seems to glow with perpetual sunshine as we write it—had a palace at Colchester; and the son of Cunobelin was the famed Caradoc, or Caractacus, that hero of the Silures, who struggled bravely for nine long years against the generals of Rome.
Celtic etymologists differ, as etymologists usually do, about the derivation of the name of London. Lon, or Long, meant, they say, either a lake, a wood, a populous place, a plain, or a ship-town. This last conjecture is, however, now the most generally received, as it at once gives the modern pronunciation, to which Llyn-don would never have assimilated. The first British town was indeed a simple Celtic hill fortress, formed first on Tower Hill, and afterwards continued to Cornhill and Ludgate. It was moated on the south by the river, which it controlled; by fens on the north; and on the east by the marshy low ground of Wapping. It was a high, dry, and fortified point of communication between the river and the inland country of Essex and Hertfordshire, a safe sixty miles from the sea, and central as a depôt and meeting-place for the tribes of Kent and Middlesex.
Walter THORNBURY, Old and New London.