This interesting surname derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "bula" or the Medieval English "bul(l)e", "bol(l)e", meaning bull, and was given as a nickname to one with great physical strength. Occasionally the name may be occupational for a keeper of a bull, while the form, Simon atte Bole (London 1377) suggests that in addition this may be derived from a house or inn sign. The surname is first recorded in the late 12th Century, (see below). One, Hulle le Bule, is noted in the Pipe Rolls of Staffordshire (1201) and William le Bole, appears in the Curia Regis Rolls of Surrey (1214).In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Bulle, Bool, Boole etc.. On November 11th 1557, Elizabeth Bull, was christened at St. Andrews, Enfield. One of the earliest settlers in the New World was Edward Bull, aged 22 yrs, who departed from London, aboard the "Faulcon", bound for the Barbados, in April 1635. A coat of arms granted to John Bull, London, depicts a silver chevron charged with three red roses between three silver bulls heads on a red shield. On the crest there is a wreath and a cloud proper, with a blue celestial sphere replenished with four gold circles inscribed with the signs Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Cancer on the cloud. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wulfwin Bule, which was dated 1170, in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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