Recorded as Bull, Bulle, Bool, Boole, Bulleman and Bullman, this surname can be described as the archetypal English surname, and the one which in the past was most associated by foreigners with England. It is relatively rare, not appearing in the five hundred most popular list. As a surname It has several possible origins all of whom originate from the pre 7th century word "bula" meaning a bull. First it may have described either a person with great physical strength or it may have been occupational for a keeper of breeding bulls. Another possible explanation is residential from living at a house with a sign ofa bull, as in the recording of Simon atte Bole in the city of London in 1377. Early examples of recordings include Hulle le Bule, in the Pipe Rolls of Staffordshire in 1201 and Walter Bulleman, given as being the rector of Intwood in Norfolk, in 1292. Later examples in surviving church registers include that of Elizabeth Bull who was christened at St Andrews Enfield, Middlesex, on November 11th 1557, whilst Ralph Bulman was buried at St Michaels Cornhill, city of London, in 1569. One of the earliest settlers in the New World was Edward Bull. Aged twenty two he left from the port of London, aboard the ship "Faulcon", bound for the Barbados, in April 1635. A coat of arms granted to John Bull of London depicts a silver chevron charged with three red roses between three silver bulls heads on a red shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wulfwin Bule. This was dated 1170, in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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