The Bowles of Canada and their Roots in Ireland and England 

The Bolles in the Hundred Roll of 1274

Back to The Bolles as Lords of Swineshead or The Bolle of Bolle Hall

Note: There are several references online that Alan Bole is listed in the Lincolnshire Hundred Rolls as the Lord of Swineshead.  Some of those references say specifically he in mentioned in the Hundred Rolls of 1272 which is often given as the earliest known date for the Bolles at Swineshead.  According to Dr. Matthew Tompkins of Leicester University  only three collections of rolls which are referred to as ‘Hundred Rolls' have survived from that period - one dated 1254-5, one 1274-5 and one 1279-80, but none dated 1272.  The Alan Bole reference couldn't be from 1279-80, as the surviving rolls of that date did not include Lincolnshire.  The only possible Hundred Roll that might contain this reference would be the one from 1274-75.  


The Hundred Roll of 1274 was not a record of the landowners in each administrative ‘hundred’ in England, as for example the Hundred Roll of 1279/80 of which the Lincolnshire section has unfortunately not survived.  It is the record of a series of inquisitions which Edward I ordered be held in each city and hundred in response to complaints that powerful church and laymen had illegally taken possession of lands and court rights without due license or charter.  Senior justices toured the country holding court in each region (a city or a hundred) with the aid of a jury appointed from the local landowners to hear testimony regarding the complaints which had been made about landholdings in that region.


Unfortunately, the transcriptions of the rolls are in the original Medieval Latin in which they were written and very little seems to have been translated into English or at least it’s not available online.  The best I can do is recognize the occurrence of the Bolle surname in the rolls and some of the place names involved in the particular inquisition they were involved in.  Any help translating these passages would be much appreciated.  To put this text in context the full Hundred Roll, Volume I document is at The Hundred Roll of 1274 with a second copy Here  The Lincolnshire pages start at page 241.


Note: Volume II is also online Here but the Lincolnshire sections are all in Volume I.

In those days Lincolnshire was divided into three districts or ‘parts’ called the Parts of Holand, the Parts of Kesteven and the Parts of Lindsey.  Each ‘part’ was divided into wapentakes, the equivalent of the ‘hundreds’ in most other counties.  Swineshead was in Kirton Wapentake in Parts of Holand. 

Excerpts from the Hundred Roll of 1274/75:

Kirton Wapentake

p. 304

John Bolle and a John de Bole were referenced in the inquisitions made in Kirketon (Kirton) Wapentake, parts of Holand.  The Kirton district included the site of Bolle Hall in Swineshead townland.  

The jury for the Kirketon inquisitions included a Ranulph son of Godfrey and a Thomas son of Alan.  These may be Bolles although without the surname being stated we can’t be certain.  We do know that a Godfrey Bolle was mentioned as holding land near Bolle Hall in a grant dated between 1272 and 1307 and that he was a juror for Kirketon wapentake from 1288 to 1300.  The Thomas son of Alan would be consistent with the Thomas Bolle son of Alan Bolle of Bolle Hall in the Bolle of Haugh Pedigree which has proven accurate for all generations after this Thomas.  A Thomas Bolle and an Alan Bolle are both mentioned later in this same document (see below) in an inquisition held in Elloe Wapentake, just south of this wapentake, which involved land near Wigtoft just southeast of Bolle Hall.  (see The Bolles of Bolle Hall)

p. 307

This is without confirmation but I’ve been told that in this reference ‘John Bolle is accused of having extorted 2s. in connection with the hanging of 2 thieves’.  As these assizes were meant to investigate complaints about officials abusing their positions, this reference may mean that John Bolle was in a position of some authority.  As it relates to a hanging he may have been an official for the Lord of the manor, who would have had the right to maintain a hanging gibbet, or possibly a sheriff or a bailiff of the county.
p. 308

This reference to John de Bole is one of the very rare instances when the ‘de’ appears with the Bolle surname but it’s hard to know whether it’s like that in the original document or was just added in the transcription.

Elloe Wapentake


Thomas and Alan Bolle were referenced in inquisitions taken in Elloe Wapentake in 1274.  This indicates that they had interests in this area but it doesn’t state that they lived there.  Informally, I’ve been told regarding the Alan Bolle references that ‘they are concerned only with various depredations committed by him in abuse of his office as a royal sub-bailiff.  One of them (on p. 273) was committed in the 1st year of the reign of Edward I, i.e. in 1272-3 .... another was committed 14 years before that’.  That would put him in an official position similar to John Bolle’s in Kirton wapentake as mentioned above.


The Elloe Wapentake was part of The Lord of Algar’s estate at the Domesday survey.  Elloe Wapentake included the townships of Spalding, Pinchbeck, Moulton, Whaplode, Fleet, Weston and Holbech.

p. 273/274

p. 276

p. 384

The following reference relating to the above is from Die englischen Kronzeugen, 1130-1330 - Page 276 (Jens Röhrkasten – 1990) but so far I have not been able to obtain a translation of this either.

Here is a sample of one of the Medieval Latin passages from the Hundred Roll along with its English translation:


See The Bowles of Canada

See  The Bowles of Ireland

See The Bowles of Great Britain

This page was last updated 02/15/21