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Slain III 3019
Rowlie is probably pronounced 'row'ly'1


About this entry:

  • Updated 28 August 2022
  • This entry is complete

One of the Big Folk dwelling in Bree, who lost his life in the battle that took place there early in III 3019. Ruffians and outsiders from the south had begun to arrive in Bree even when Frodo and his companions passed through on their way to Rivendell. Two Bree-men, Harry Goatleaf and Bill Ferny, made alliance with them, and on a winter's night they let a crowd of the Southerners into Bree.

There was a fierce fight in which Rowlie took part, and at last the Bree-landers were able to force the strangers out into the snow. In that fight, five of the people of the Bree-land lost their lives: two Hobbits and three Men, and Rowlie Appledore was one of those three Men.



On the uncertain assumption that Rowlie is a contraction of a name like Rowland, then the first syllable row would be pronounced like the English verb 'row' (as in 'to row a boat') rather than rhyming with 'now'.


The name Rowlie appears to be an abbreviation or nickname, but the fuller version is never given. In modern use, Rowlie represents a shortened version of Rowland, perhaps suggesting a linguistic connection between the name and that of the heroic Roland, whose name came from Germanic elements meaning 'renown' and 'land' (or possibly 'bold').

There are alternative interpretations of the name based on Old Norse or Old English, and derived from English place-names. From these sources, Rowland can mean 'boundary grove' or 'wood of roe (deer)', and Rowley can mean 'rough clearing (in a wood)'. These more bucolic associations do seem to fit Rowlie of Bree (who notably belonged to the Appledore or 'apple-tree' family) rather more easily than connections to chivalric renown.

See also...

Appledore Family


About this entry:

  • Updated 28 August 2022
  • This entry is complete

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