Catchpoule History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Catchpoule is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name was taken on by someone who worked as a medieval policeman, called a cacherel. The name comes from the weapon carried by the cacherel, called a catchpole, used to hold people around the head so as to subdue them. The cacherel was often colloquially referred to the weapon he carried. [1]

Early Origins of the Catchpoule family

The surname Catchpoule was first found in Dorset or Caterpole, Suffolk. [2]

Proving the longstanding occupation, the first record of the family was found in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Aluricus Chacepol. [3] Later, Hugo le Cachepol was registered in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1221. Robert Chacecapel was found in the Pipe Rolls for Devon in 1201. [4]

Another source explains in more detail; in that the name was derived from "a village as well as a town officer; an undersergeant who obtained his name from catching his victim by the head by means of a long wooden forceps that nipped by the throat the delinquent who was wanted. The name was borne by Margaret Catchpole, the horse-thief who was sentenced to be hanged at Ipswich, but was transported, in 1841 [to Australia]. We have the name also as Catchpool. In 'Piers Plowman's Vision' we are told, of the two thieves crucified on Calvary, 'A Catchpole came forth And cracked both their legges.' " [5] The weapon the catchpoll carried may still be seen in the Tower of London.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Geoffrey le Cachepol, Oxfordshire; and Ralph le Cachepol, Oxfordshire. [6]

Early History of the Catchpoule family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Catchpoule research. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1587, 1627, 1647, 1561 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Catchpoule History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Catchpoule Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Catchpoule include Catchpole, Catchpolle, Cageypole, Cachpole, Cachpool and many more.

Early Notables of the Catchpoule family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Catchpoule Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Catchpoule family

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Richard Cattchpol who settled in Virginia in 1770.



  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Baring-Gould S., Family Names and their Story. London: Seeley, Service & Co. Limited, 1913. Print
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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