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The earliest known member of this family is Druda Burrows, born in about III 28601 (1260 by the Shire-reckoning)1
Probably derived from literal 'burrows' (that is, Hobbit-holes)2
Other names
Apparently a variation on the family name 'Burrows'


About this entry:

  • Updated 9 July 2022
  • This entry is complete

Burrowes Family

One of the auctioneers of Bag End

"...on June the Twenty-second Messrs Grubb, Grubb, and Burrowes would sell by auction the effects of the late Bilbo Baggins Esquire, of Bag-End, Underhill, Hobbiton."
The Hobbit 19
The Last Stage

A surname of the Hobbits of the Shire that (in this spelling at least) is only recorded once: in the name of the company of auctioneers who were about to sell Bag End when Bilbo unexpectedly returned from his travels.

Although this version of the name is unique, it may well be related to 'Burrows', which does appear several times in The Lord of the Rings (Milo Burrows and his family were distant relatives of Bilbo). Though the connection is uncertain, there are grounds for making it: in the very earliest drafts of the first chapter of The Lord of the Rings,3 the name later standardised as 'Burrows' is spelt as 'Burrowes', suggesting that the families were indeed one and the same.

For a genealogical chart and list showing members of this family, see the entry for the (probably equivalent) Burrows family.



This dating assumes that 'Burrowes' is an alternative spelling of the more common 'Burrows'. This does seem to be the case (in the drafts of The Lord of the Rings, the name is first spelt 'Burrowes', and then corrected to 'Burrows'). Nonetheless, it should be noted that our only explicit and canonical mention of a Hobbit named 'Burrowes' was at Bilbo's return to Bag End in III 2942.


The connection of 'burrows' with Hobbit-holes is obvious, and seems most likely to be the intended origin of the name, at least in the context of the Shire. The real family names 'Burrowes' or 'Burrows', however, has a different meaning, 'from the borough' (where a 'borough' was originally a walled town or fortification). There was in fact a 'borough' in the Shire (Tuckborough in the Tookland) so the family name 'Burrowes' might theoretically mean 'from (Tuck)borough', or perhaps from some other similarly named place elsewhere in the Shire.


Reproduced in The Return of the Shadow, volume VI of The History of Middle-earth.


About this entry:

  • Updated 9 July 2022
  • This entry is complete

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