Recorded as Boughey, Boughie, Bowhay (English), and the Scottish Bothie, this is a topographical surname. It describes a person who lived at a fenced or hedged farm or enclosure, one surrounded by a bog. These 'bog - hegs' were defensive units often circular, designed to keep out cattle thieves, brigands and other marauders, and at the same time to keep the livestock, both human and animal, in some safety. The hedge was usually a thorn hedge often set on a bank, and combined with the bog, would make it very difficult for casual attackers to enter the enclosure. In the late Medieval Period, the many boglands of the lowlands of England and Scotland, were drained usually by Dutch engineers, and the "boughey's" lost their purpose, and were abandoned. In anycase after the War of the Roses in the 15th century, the countryside became more settled, and the need for defensive houses largely disappeared. The first known recording od this surname is in Somerset, when Thomas Bogheye appears in the registers of the county known as 'Kirby's Quest' in 1273, whilst in Scotland Thomas Bothie was admitted as a burgess of the city of Aberdeen in 1508.
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