This is an ancient surname of medieval English derivation, although its origination is pre 7th Century Anglo-Saxon. "Dowle" is a surname form of "doule", a headless wooden peg or bolt used in the construction of timber buildings. In effect the name is job descriptive for a maker of such "dowels". The surname is also found as "Dowler" as in Roger le Dowler of Worcester, recorded in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls. "Dowle" can also be a personal nickname for a small round person, a similar nickname being "Stubbs", which means the same thing, and is an equally popular surname. Clearly the nickname was regarded as a form of endearment; had it been derogatory, it could hardly have survived. The early surname recordings include: William le Doul in the 1280 Rolls of Worcester; and Michael Doul in the 1334 - 1335 Subsidy Rolls of Kent; whilst one Hugo de Doole of Surrey was recorded in circa 1290. This latter entry suggests a place called "Doul". If so it is not otherwise recorded. The "modern" spellings include Dowell, Doule, Dowall and Dowle, Benjamin Dowle being christened at Manchester Cathedral on May 20th 1750, in the reign of George 11 (1727 - 1760). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thurstan le Doul, which was dated 1247, in the "Fines Court Register of Surrey", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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