The meaning of the word "Hartlip" .... part 2
Before the correspondence with Jessup described in the first page of this article, the Vicar appears to have another idea of the meaning of Hartlip. In the Parish Magazine for May 1933 an article, almost certainly written by the Vicar, the Rev. Canon Mutter states,
The word "Hart" in Hartlip comes from the Saxon and means a herd. Probably in early times this district was more famous for cattle than cherries. What the earliest name of Hartlip was the writer has yet to discover, but adjacent as it was to the ancient Watling Street, from Dover through Canterbury and Rochester to London, no doubt there was a settlement here in the time of the Roman occupation.
After the Jessup correspondence, the Vicar appears to have received a letter from an Angela Trotter. He published it in the Parish Magazine for August 1934 but seems to distance himself from her conclusions as he add at the bottom of the letter "The Editor does npt take responsibility for the accuracy of Miss Trotter's conclusions". She stated,
Imagine my entranced delight to find the true meaning of Hartlip was really "Kiss and be friends." In the days preceding your famous benefactress, Mary Gibbon, words were not spelt with that meticulous care that County Council Education Committees now insist upon as being correct. Hence, Heart could be spelt as Harte, Heort or Hart - seat of affection, and Lyp, Lyppe, or Lip - the impulse to demonstrate it. ("Giving at piece of lip" was the Old English equivalent to the modern French, tete-n-tete.) Plainly you see the derivation of your delightful village name. Further. I learnt that even to-day the children in school show marked traces of a desire to indulge in phonetic or free spelling, a trait, no doubt, inherited from distant ancestors and which should be given free rein. Why should they not spell Pharaoh, Faro or Chrysanthemum Krisanthem? It was nice to find the modern word Carditis has been changed to Heart-right-is. The word possesses local affinity and leaves no doubt as to what it is meant to convey.