PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England


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

Tholf 5 Tholf king’s thegn Between Ribble and Mersey, fl. 1066

Author: CPL
Editorial Status: 4 of 5

  Discussion of the name  


Tholf 5 was a small landowner Between Ribble and Mersey, with a single holding of 1 carucate assigned the value of 32d. customary in West Derby hundred.

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
Cheshire R1,37 Barton Teos Tholf 'of Barton' Edward, king Roger the Poitevin - 1.00 0.13 0.00 A Map
Total               1.00 0.13 0.00  


Among the king’s thegns of 1066 in the hundredal manor of West Derby, the holder of Barton, on the mosses behind the coast, was given as Teos. Teos is unintelligible as a name in any of the cultural traditions of late Anglo-Saxon England, and has been labelled ‘obscure’ on the authority of von Feilitzen (1937: 383; Lewis 1991b: 28). A scribal mistake is, in principle, always a possible solution to such difficult names. In this case, a final f misread as a long s (as written in DB) would make the name Teof in an earlier recension. Although that precise spelling occurs nowhere else in DB, Teolf is one of the spellings of the west country thegn Tholf 2 (Som. 26:8), while nearer to home, another northern Tholf (Tholf 6) is spelled with a final –of as Tof (Yorks. 1E:16).

No other mistranscription accounts as well as this for DB’s Teos, which is therefore most likely to stand for Tholf. There is nothing to link this small landowner with others elsewhere in the north.


Lewis 1991: CPL, ‘An introduction to the Lancashire Domesday’, The Lancashire Domesday, [ed. Ann Williams and G. H. Martin] (London: Alecto Historical Editions, 1991), 1–41

von Feilitzen 1937: Olof von Feilitzen, The Pre-Conquest Personal Names of Domesday Book, Nomina Germanica 3 (Uppsala: Almqvist and Wiksells, 1937)

Return to PASE Domesday homepage
Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England

© 2016 King's College London