I like the suggestion of Dashiell Hugo..such a strong handsome name!
My favorites are Hugo and Dashiell. I have a friend named Burleigh who goes by Biff--but he's always deplored his name......I'd add Montague to your list, could be nn'd Monty. Fielding is too difficult to say, and Bixby sounds like a pet name.....
Hugo - I think of Hugo Weaving, a big fave of mine, but I can't picture it on a little boy for some reason
Fielding - Yes, this would grow on me.
Burl - No... I think Burly, Curl, Barrel...
Bixby - Cute, if you're ok with Bix as a nn
Dashiell - Love the nn Dash, but it is gaining in popularity.
Bixby and Fielding seem to match your criteria best, with Bixby winning my vote. It's unexpected, with nn Bix being completely wearable amongst little Maxes and Paxes and all the rest.
If Hugo is the one you love, please use it. It's a great name. While I'm sure it'll see an upswing for a bit due to the movie and it's fashionable "o" ending, he really should be named something that you love. Just my two cents :)
I wanted to pop back and add this tidbit...
from Dr. Seuss "Oh, the places you'll go!"
"Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!"
You're right about Hugo; although in the US it's ranked 439 (which is 613 births), it's a mega hit in the rest of the world- top 10 in much of Europe; top 100 in most of the rest. It's actually not in the top 100 yet in the UK, but it's rising pretty fast. Having said that though...it's a great name that was ignored for a long time in the English-speaking world, so if you love it, go for it!
Dashiell is less common but more trendy than Hugo, if that makes sense. Which way would you pronounce it?
Fielding is most decidely tied to Henry and James; are you fans?
Bixby would be brilliant if this is a family surname. I think of both the jazz connection with Bix and the writer Jerome Bixby. Digby is a similar name that might go over a little better (Diggory and Rigby also come to mind).
Burl is definitely unexpected, but not at all British. I kind of like it; it sounds like an early 20th-century American name. Bert/Bertie is a much more British option, if that's what you like.
Others that might appeal to you, based on your description: Rufus, Wilfrid, Digby, Albie (or unrelated but similar Alban), Alfred, Barnaby, Rupert, Ivo, Jago.
Well, my son is Field, so I think that's the best one! I much prefer it over Fielding, too, which is odd-sounding to me, with the -ing ending. My other son is Springer, which I think also matches your criteria a bit.
I still think Hugo is great, despite the movie's appeal, and might I suggest Spade? Its connection to Dashiell is that the protagonist of Dashiell Hammett's 1930 novel "The Maltese Falcon" is Sam Spade, a fictional private detective (Spade also appeared in a few other short stories by Hammett).
Hugo I would have to say.