1. Kettle was the name given to the Viking who made or sold kettles (cauldrons). This can never be proved because it would date back possibly to the Iron Age and certainly to before written records began.
2. A Viking warlord wore a helmet on his head, which looked to his followers like a cauldron, so he was called Kettle. I have seen this stated as fact, though I have seen no conclusive proof. Supporting evidence is that there were several Viking warlords called Kettle.
These two definitions could be linked, because in Viking times, a smith, especially a weaponsmith, was a powerful person with a very high status occupation - ideal origins for a warlord.
3. I have details of John Ketylman, a 14thC fisherman who fished using a kiddle. It is quite possible that he got his name from his trade.
24 July 2000