Before we start on the interesting bits, a brief note on the Catchlove name and its variants. In the census returns and in the 19th century parish records the name is spelled CATCHLOVE. The parish records for Compton include the spelling KETCHLOVE in the last quarter of the 18th century, relating to the baptism of the children of a Francis and Elizabeth KETCHLOVE but the entry for their last child in 1787 uses the modern spelling of CATCHLOVE. Earlier possible variants in the Compton registers are: Alice CACHALOWE 1656 and Mary KACKELOVE 1657. Several Sussex parish registers also have CACHELLERS and KECHELLERS and variant spellings of the same, although it is less likely that these are Catchloves.
The Guild of One-Name Studies advises that variants on spellings must be proven before we can assume it is meant to be the same name, and this is good, sound advice. As Compton is such a tiny rural parish and the Catchloves seem to have lived there for a very long time, we may tentatively speculate that the 17th century Alice and Mary may also have been Catchloves as spelling, especially of personal names, generally did not begin to become regular until at least the late 18th century. But we must also bear in mind that until a link has been proved, this remains speculation only! For family history research, though, I have found it useful to record the full details of every occurrence of a name or possible variant, even where a relationship cannot be proved, to save having to return to the source (or search it out again!) if a link later becomes likely. The earliest record I have found so far with the spelling CATCHLOVE is William CATCHLOVE of Hounston (Hunston), whose will was registered in 1561. But earlier records exist which show variant spellings.
The earliest records of Catchloves (with that spelling) that I have come across are the will of a William CATCHLOVE of Houston (Huston) in 1561 and, in my search through parish records, an Edward CATCHLOVE buried in Stoughton (Sussex) in 1571 and a Thomas CATCHLOVE baptised in Havant (Hampshire) in 1655. There are other variant spellings which occur earlier (such as CACHELLER, KECHELLAR) but it is not entirely certain whether these are Catchloves.
However, Eddie HANN has found an even earlier record in the Survey of Medieval Winchester of a CACCHELOVE family who appear to have owned property in Winchester in the 13th century. This spelling, without the T, perhaps illustrates a link between CACHELU (1189), CACHELUVE (1208), as recorded by the Dictionary of English Surnames, and the modern spelling. This record is also important because it shows the Catchloves to be in Hampshire even before they were in Sussex, scuppering my original theory that they moved into Hampshire from Sussex.
The extremely early date combined with the property rights also suggests that the very early Catchloves were wealthy and/or important, which would fit well with them being of Norman descent. In accordance with inheritance rights in the feudal period, the wealth would pass down a single, narrow line of descent through the eldest son, and younger sons would be forced to seek a career in the Church or military and, in later periods, farming or trade. As inheritance in lesser families tended to be split between all sons, these branching lines of descent would then become increasingly less wealthy until they became ordinary folk like us.
8 EDWARD II
1315 Jun. 11. Canterbury - Mandate to command the abbot and convent of Faversham to receive Philip de Brebant, for his good service to the king's father and the king, in place of William de la Garderobe, who is commanded to God, and find him the things reasonably needful for his maintenance for life and let him have letters patent sealed with their common seal and tell the king by letter by him what they have done. French. 91 (3330).
1315 Aug. 13. Dunstable - Mandate to repeat a former command (3330) to the abbot and convent of Faveresham for Philip de Brabaunt; as they have done nothing. French. 92 (3426)
1315 Oct. 9. King's Lynn - The king sent Philip de Brabaunt, his falconer, to the abbot and convent of Faveresham to have such maintenance as William de la Garderobe had (3330, 3426); and they have written back that no such William had maintenance in their house, and Philip has given the king to understand that the surname of him who had the maintenance was Cachelove. Mandate to command the abbot and convent to receive Philip in their house and find him such maintenance as he who had the surname of Cachelove had there by the sending of the king's father, and make letters patent for him and write back by Philip what they have done. French. 92 (3489).
1315 Dec. 7. Clipstone - Mandate as in 3489 for Philip le Brabaunt for maintenance formerly given to John Cachelove. French. 93 (3572).
This could be the John Cachelove whose son John held land in Winchester in 1323.
I also found mention of a William Cacelove junior mentioned in an order by the Bishop of Durham given at Bishop Auckland in December 1341
1 don't understand Latin, but it says:-
"Acolyti - .................. Willelmus Cachelove junior de Hextildesham (Hexham Abbey), per dimissorias capituli Eboracensis, sede vacante" Think it means by/during the dismissal of the chapter of York, seat vacant
Given that we already know that there was a later bishop called John, it looks as if the Catchlove's could have been Norman clerics and quite high in Anglo-Norman society.
The Archbishop of York (WIlliam de Melton) died on 5 Apr 1340 and the King wanted to install his secretary William Kindersley but the canons of York elected William de la Zouche (the Dean) on 2 May 1340. Edward II tried to put the election aside but de la Zouche was eventually consecrated on 7 Jul 1342. There was therefore an inter-regnum between May 1340 and Jul 1342, so William Cachelove may have been moved in some capacity to help 'hold the fort' until it was all sorted out.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF THE NAME CATCHLOVE AND ITS KNOWN VARIANTS, AS WELL AS OTHER EARLY RECORDS,
SEE THE “WHO DO YOU THINK THEY ARE?” PAGE.
Eddie HANN writes:
I found the following on Google from Calendar of Chancery Warrants preserved in the Public Records Office. Prepared under the superintendence of the deputy keeper of the records v.1. Published 1927 by the GRO.
Don, one of our Catchlove cousins in Australia came up with this explanation: he was told by his father that the Catchlove name derives from Chasse loupe (not Cache loupe) and has been mispronounced and misspelled by various officials over the centuries until it took on its current form. This is a little like Chinese Whispers and is perfectly plausible, as many names went through such a transformative process.
Alternatively, Eddie here in the UK has this to say:
“in Norman French there was a word 'cache' which meant catch and their word for a wolf was ‘lou’ (masc), ‘love’ (fem) and that in France today there are families called Cachelou and Cacheleu(x). The (de) Cacheleu's arms are a blue background with three gold wolf's feet (two above one) http://www.marikavel.org/blasons/armoiries-c-fr-fam.htm which seems to fit.”
Similarly, Jenni has found a text on Venice that states that the Old Venetian word ‘lovo’ means wolf. Like Italian, Old Venetian and Old French all derive from the same group of languages, so it is not surprising to find a similar word in Venetian.
Thank you all, Eddie, Don and Jenni.
This confused me because the modern French word cache means hide rather than hunt; the Old French for hunter is actually chasseur, from where we get the word chase, used to describe the hunt itself or for a royal chase - that is, a hunting preserve such as Cranborne Chase in Dorset (note ii, below).
Even without the examples of Bernard Cachelu and William Cacheluve, we would have to agree that the origin of Catchlove as an occupational surname in England must have been very early, as wolves became extinct in England some time in the fourteenth century, with the last orders to destroy wolves being issued in 1289 and Ralph Higden of Chester commenting in 1340 that there are “few wolves” left in England (note iii, below). In A History of British Surnames, Richard McKinley lists several other surnames that derive from wolf hunting, including Cutliffe, Pricklove or Pricklowe (from prick wolf) and Trusslove or Trusslow (truss wolf). So the Catchloves were not alone in eradicating wolves from the woodlands of England.
I was recently sent a link to a commercial website that claims the name is Anglo-Saxon (therefore predating the Norman Conquest) and derives from the catchpole, a weapon carried by a cacherel, who is described as a “medieval policeman”. Their evidence for the meaning of the name is not published on the website; one has to purchase it. That is not to say it is necessarily invalid, but without seeing the evidence how are we to judge? I have to say, though, that I have not come across this interpretation being linked to the name Catchlove before, although a similar explanation is often given as the origin of the name Catchpole, widely said to derive from cachepol (chase fowl) referring to the collection of taxes in kind by the bailiff, an occupation which later extended to catching felons (note iv, below). We have to bear in mind, however, that HouseofNames is a commercial site that exists to profit from the sale of coats of arms and related ephemera. With such a different interpretation we would expect the coat of arms which they illustrate to be entirely different from the French de Cacheleu arms (which show distinct wolf’s paws), and it is. However, I am not sure how a stag’s head with a bird on top is meant to relate to the capture of felons!
Which just goes to show that the Society of Genealogists gives good advice.
My vote still goes with the wolf hunter, which seems to have plenty of reliable sources.
Has anyone else heard a different story?
Where did the Catchlove name come from and what does it mean?
The Relevance of Surnames in Genealogy. Society of Genealogists Information Leaflet No. 7
Ian Mortimer, 2009. The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England. London: Vintage.