Q&A – founders and Bailleul
Q: Is there any connection between Balliol and Baileul in Belgium?
A: Not exactly; there are a number of Bailleuls on either side of the French-Belgian border. It’s a generic toponym meaning ‘enclosed/fenced place’ (cf Irish & Scottish prefixes Bal/Balla, similar to English –ay/ey, -garth, -ton, -worth etc) and the various ancient Bailleul place names probably predate personal/family connections. The college founders’ direct connection is with Bailleul-en-Vimeu, on the French side, 150km from Bailleul-Estaimpuis in Belgium. I’d recommend Amanda Beam’s book The Balliol Dynasty as good modern scholarship about the family.