Tolous or De Toulouse, a princely name.

"The Counts of Toulouse descended from Fulcoald, Count of Rodez 837, whose son Fridolind became Count of Toulouse 849 (L'Art de Verif. les Dates), and was ancestor of that Sovereign house, whose services in the Crusades, and whose ruin in the Albigensian wars, occupy so important a place in history. A branch of this illustrious house settled in England at the Conquest, and Hugh de Toulouse obtained grants from Richard FitzGilbert in Surrey. His grandson, Peter de Thalews (Tolouse), held more than two fees there in 1165 of the Honor of De Clare (Liber Nig.)."—The Norman People. The ingenious author of the above work has discovered that the existing family of Toler can be armorially identified with the Counts of Toulouse. "For a long time," he says, "I could not discover the origin of this family. I formed several theories, which I was eventually obliged to relinquish. At length no clue remained except the arms: a cross flory surmounted by another cross between four leaves erect. They were at first presumed to be of no great antiquity, as they do not present the simplicity characteristic of the ancient Armorial. It appeared, however, on further enquiry, that the leaves had not originally been included in the arms; for families of 'Tollers' and 'Towlers' were ascertained to have borne the same arms without any leaves, so that it was clear the leaves were merely the emblems of a particular branch. The inquiry was continued with the aid of this armorial, and the family traced in different parts of England in former ages, under a name continually varying in form—sometimes Towlers, then Tolers, then Towlowse, Towlous, Tolouse, until at length it clearly appeared that the latter, which was coeval with the Conquest, was the original form. This pointed to Toulouse in France as the place from which they had originally come; and, desirous to ascertain whether any trace could be found of a family named from a city so large as Toulouse (of which there seemed very little hope), I directed my attention to works containing information as to its early history. I turned to Anselme's great work on the peers and nobles of France, in hopes of finding, under his account of the Sovereign Counts of Toulouse, some reference to works which might enable me to pursue the inquiry. The volume was accordingly opened which contains the history of the Counts of Toulouse, when, to my extreme astonishment, I recognized the arms of the English Tolers or Towlers at the head of the history of that great house. Their arms were the hereditary emblems of that almost kingly race in all its branches—the well-known 'Cross of Toulouse' being a cross fleury voided (i.e. in skeleton), which English heralds had described as a cross fleury surmounted by another cross. Of course all these various families of Toler, Toller, and others, bearing the Cross of Toulouse, were identified as one in origin, and as, no doubt, descendants of the princely house whose name and arms they have borne from the eleventh century." This is the more curious, as the Tolers themselves have preserved no tradition of their splendid descent. The present Earl of Norbury only traces his pedigree from a successful soldier of Cromwell's, who migrated from Norfolk to Ireland during the time of the Commonwealth, and obtained a grant of land in Tipperary.

-- Cleveland

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