PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England

Domesday

[Image: Excerpt from the Domesday Book]
[Image: Durham Liber Vitae, folio 38r (extract)]

Tholf


Author: CPL
Editorial Status: unknown

Discussion of the name

The masculine name Tholf (normalized as ON þólfr) was a shortened form of ON þórulfr. The longer form is recorded mainly in Iceland, but þólfr (ODan Tholf) is characteristic of Denmark (von Feilitzen 1937: 389–90; Fellow Jensen 1968: 295, 317), and it must have been introduced to England from there. The point is underlined by the byname of the most prominent Tholf recorded in DB, the rich west country landowner Tholf the Dane (Tholf 2).

The identifications proposed here bring together the very varied DB spellings which have long been recognized as variants of Tholf with others which von Feilitzen assigned (often tentatively) to different head-forms: Teolf, Teos, Tous, and þurs. They also reassign to Tholf a handful of instances which he placed without equivocation under ON Tóli or OE Cuthwulf. Those last two are undoubtedly present in DB as the names of persons who were quite distinct from any of the Tholfs, but some of the instances listed by von Feilitzen (1937: 220, 386) seem rather to refer to Tholf the Dane.

The name Tholf clearly gave Norman officials and scribes a great deal of trouble: on the identifications made here, there are fifteen different spellings for a name which occurs only twenty-seven times. The particular pairing of consonants at the start and end of the name may well have been almost impossible for a native speaker of Norman French to pronounce, making a name which was unfamiliar anyway (because quite rare) highly susceptible to variation and miscopying.

There are no other persons called Tholf currently recorded in PASE.

Bibliography

Forms of the name

Spellings in Domesday Book: Coolf, Teolf, Teos, Thol, Tholi, Tof, Tol, Tolf, Toli, Torsus, Tou, Toul, Toulf, Tous, Tulf

Spellings in Exon: Teulfus, Tolus, Torssus

Forms in modern scholarship:

  von Feilitzen head forms: þólfr, with some spellings assigned to OE Cuðwulf (Coolf), Teolf (Teolf), Teos (Teos), Toli (Toli), Tous (Tous), and ON þurs (Torsus)

  Phillimore edition: Tholf (Derb., Staffs., Wilts.), Tholfr (Yorks.), Tulf (Suff.), with some spellings assigned to Cuthwulf (Coolf), Teos (Teos), Theodulf (Teolf), Thurs (Torsus), and Toli (Thol, Tholi, Tol, Toli, Tou, Toul)

  Alecto edition: Tholf, with some spellings assigned to Cuthwulf (Coolf), Teolf (Teolf), Teos (Teos), Thurs (Torsus), Toli (Tholi, Toli), and Tous (Tous)

Distribution map of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

List of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

Holder 1066

Shire Phil. ref. Vill Holder 1066 DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value Holder 1066 ID conf. Show on map
Suffolk 7,148 Rendham Tulf Tholf 'of Rendham' Eadric of Laxfield Roger Bigod Ralph de Tourleville 0.06 0.06 0.06 A Map
Staffordshire 13,4 Hanford Toulf Tholf 'of Tillington' - Richard the forester Nigel 'of Stafford' 0.25 0.10 0.10 C Map
Cheshire R1,37 Barton Teos Tholf 'of Barton' Edward, king Roger the Poitevin - 1.00 0.13 0.00 A Map
Dorset 34,6 Blandford St Mary Tou Tholf the Dane - William d'Eu William Belet 0.50 0.15 0.15 A Map
Hampshire NF4,1 Rowditch Coolf Tholf the Dane Edward, king William, king - 0.25 0.25 0.25 - Map
Devon 22,2 Whitestone Toli Tholf the Dane - William d'Eu Ranulph 'the man of William d'Eu' 0.25 0.30 0.50 B Map
Yorkshire 1E16 Reighton Tof Tholf 'of Reighton' - William, king - 2.50 0.40 0.40 A Map
Derbyshire 17,4 Totley Tolf Tholf 'of Coal Aston' - 1 king's thegn 'of Totley' - 0.50 0.50 0.05 A Map
Wiltshire 32,17 Upton Scudamore Toli Tholf the Dane - William d'Eu Ansfrid 'of Frome Vauchurch' 3.00 0.75 3.00 B Map
Wiltshire 29,3 Bincknoll Toli Tholf the Dane - Gilbert de Breteuil - 1.75 0.90 0.90 C Map
Derbyshire 17,5 Coal Aston Tolf Tholf 'of Coal Aston' - Leofwine 'of Coal Aston' - 0.69 1.00 1.00 A Map
Dorset 34,12 Tarrant Toul Tholf the Dane - William d'Eu William Belet 3.50 1.00 4.00 A Map
Wiltshire 32,16 Tollard Royal Toli Tholf the Dane - William d'Eu - 1.00 1.00 1.00 B Map
Staffordshire 11,1 Tillington Tol Tholf 'of Tillington' - Robert of Stafford - 3.00 1.50 1.50 C Map
Dorset 34,6 Blandford St Mary Tou Tholf the Dane - William d'Eu William Belet 3.50 2.00 2.00 A Map
Hampshire NF4,1 Rowditch Coolf Tholf the Dane Edward, king William d'Eu Bernard Pancevolt 1.25 2.00 1.50 B Map
Wiltshire 25,23 Upton Scudamore Tous Tholf the Dane - Ernulf de Hesdin Regenbald the chancellor 2.50 2.00 2.00 C Map
Dorset 34,14 Stock Gaylard Toul Tholf the Dane - William d'Eu Hugh Maltravers 1.00 2.50 2.50 A Map
Somerset 26,8 Tickenham Teolf Tholf the Dane - William d'Eu - 4.25 2.50 3.00 B Map
Dorset 34,15 Stourton Caundle Toul Tholf the Dane - William d'Eu Hugh Maltravers 3.50 3.00 3.00 A Map
Devon 22,1 Powderham Torsus Tholf the Dane - William d'Eu Ranulph 'the man of William d'Eu' 0.50 6.00 6.00 B Map
Somerset 19,57 Shepton Montague Toli Tholf the Dane - Robert, count of Mortain Drew 'of Montacute' 5.00 7.00 5.00 C Map
Dorset 34,5 Lytchett Matravers Tholi Tholf the Dane - William d'Eu Hugh Maltravers 12.00 9.00 10.00 B Map
Dorset 34,8 Swyre Tol Tholf the Dane - William d'Eu William Belet 9.00 9.00 9.00 A Map
Hampshire 32,2 Deane Thol Tholf the Dane Edward, king William d'Eu - 20.00 10.00 12.00 A Map
Hampshire IoW1,4 Wellow Coolf Tholf the Dane Edward, king William, king - 2.00 10.00 15.00 C Map
Dorset 34,2 Bradford Peverell Tol Tholf the Dane - William d'Eu William Belet 17.00 12.00 12.00 A Map
Hampshire 32,1 Somborne Tol Tholf the Dane Edward, king William d'Eu - 14.00 14.00 16.00 A Map
Total               113.75 99.04 111.91  

People of this name

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