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The Bowles of Canada and their Roots in Ireland and Great Britain

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The Great Gaddesden Bowles in London 

Back to The Bowles of Great Gaddesden, Hertfordshire
See also The Bowles of Great Gaddesden's Family Tree
(this page is still under construction)
Two brothers Leonard and Marvin Bowles of Great Gaddesden settled in London in the early 1700's.
That Leonard II was a London merchant can be verifed by his Will which is in the National Archives (NA) ref.  At that time a merchant was quite different from what we think of as a merchant today.  He would have been involved in the merchant trade between England and some part(s) of the English colonies which at that time were spread around the world.  We can confirm that Leonard II was involved with trade between England, the Caribbean and America around 1754 by a Supreme Court file at the NA.  ref  Bowles had filed the charge against Mackey (the master (Captain) of Leonard II's ship, the Susannah, possibly due to damage to the ship's cargo which the Susannah was carrying from Philadelphia to the Honduras.  He also imported linens from Holland from at least 1742 to 1749.  (ref: clipping following this paragraph)  In 1755 he lost a ship in the whale fishery seas off Greenland. (ref. second clipping below)  We also find Leonard II's marriage in St Paul's Cathedral in 1738.  ref  (Note: Leonard II lived on Bread Street which was one street over from Friday Street and within the St Matthew Friday Street parish)
The unusual given name Marvin, mentioned above in Great Gaddesden in 1717, also appears as a Distiller in London as a contempory and in the same parish as Leonard II.  His Will proves him to be Leonard II's brother.
We find Marvin Bowles II with multiple properties on Gerrard Street and Newport Market in St Anne Soho parish in the Westminster Rate Books for 1740 to 1744, on both of those and on Market Street in 1745 and on Gerrard Street North, Little Newport Street and on South Street in St George Hanover Square in 1746 and so on until the rate books for 1759 after which the entries come under his brother Leonard Bowles.  St Anne Soho was an associated parish to St Anne Westminster and the names are sometimes used interchangeably.
In 1754 we find Marvin Bowles of St Anne Westminster's on his marriage which was held at St Benet parish, Paul's Wharf, London.   St Benet's parish church is about 2 miles east of St Anne Westm although closer to Leonard II's parish, St Matthew Friday Street. 
He was probably the same Marvin Bowles, Esq. who was buried in Gaddesden on Feb. 6, 1760 , the distiller of St Anne Westminster, Middlesex whose Will received probate that year.  ref
The Bank of England Will extracts are even more helpful as they note that 'Marvin Bowles, late of Gerard Street, St Anns, distiller, died possessed of 3000 pounds of 3% annuity stock (in the Bank of England) and by his last Will and Testament without date, he constituted and appointed his brother Leonard Bowles and (his brother-in-law) John Goulds, his Executors in which having made no mention of this 3000 pound stock it is at their disposal. Probate dated at Dr Commons 11th February 1760; registered 19th March 1760.'
Also at St Benet church was the marriage of a Dorothy Bowles of Gaddesden in 1743 (ref. Dorothy Bowles of Gadsden, Hertfordshire spin. m. John Goulds of Redbourne, Herts, bach. Feb. 15, 1742/43 St Benet, Paul’s Wharf, London).  Their sister?  John Goulds was Marvin Bowles' other executor.
St Benet is a Welsh Anglican church today but then it was a small Anglican parish church serving its local parishioners.  Two Bowles from Great Gaddesden choosing to marry there may indicate that this line had an earlier connection to St Benet which we have yet to discover.
A Marvin Bowles of Rose Street was buried at St Anne Soho on May 5, 1770 but I don't know his connection to the family.  As this page alone has 76 burials over a 19 day period it suggests to me that this was a Black Death year in this area.  During these periods there were so many burials, often in mass graves, that they seldom recorded the deceased's age, residence or nearest relative's name as they normally would.  Each page was just a long list of names.
The story then continues with discussion in online forums that a Leonard Bowles Jr was born in 1742 to the London merchant, Leonard Bowles Sr, and his wife Martha.  Leonard Jr was educated in Philadelphia, became a ship's captain and settled in the Bahamas in the 1760's where he raised a family.  In 1779 he moved his family to Philadelphia.  Two of his sons, Tobias and Nicholas, were in Charleston, South Carolina in 1790.  Nicholas returned to the Bahamas but Tobias remained in Charleston where he married.
(still working on this)
See Tobias Bowles of Charleston, South Carolina

This site was last updated 01/18/19