1) Used in the compounds ‘kirk-earth’ and ‘church-earth’, that is the churchyard. Traditionally testators wished to be buried in the church-yard and it was no doubt the dialect pronunciation ‘yearth’ for ‘earth’ that was responsible for the scribes writing ‘earth’.
1506 To be buried in the kirk erth of Saint Gregore, York
1512 to be buried in the parishe chirche erde of Saynte Michiell the Archangell, Fewston
1524 my bonnes to be beriede in the kirke erthe of Sancte Andrew’s in Baynton
1537 To bee buried in the parishe churche erthe of Halyfax
1547 To be buried in the churche earthe of oure Ladie in Elande
1560 to be buried within the churcheearthe of Knaresburght. These forms emerged at the expense eventually of the dialect term ‘kirk-garth’, dealt with under that headword.