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

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The Bolles of Lincolnshire and the Civil War of 1321/22

Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, King Edward II's cousin and chief advisor, fell out of favor in 1314 when Lancaster pressed the king for more power for England's Barons.  In 1315/16 Lancaster built up his retinue of household knights and his men made repeated challenges to the King's authority particularly in the north and the King responded by beefing up his own domestic forces. 

One of the many challenges to the King's authority occurred in 1316 when a Richard Bole and others at Gretford, co. Lincoln took away Richard de Ayremynne’s (the King’s clerk and parson of Gretford) horses, hay and other goods and assaulted his men and servants (Greatford, Lincolnshire south of Spalding, near Market Deeping).  (Patent Rolls of Edward II, Vol. 2, p. 506 June 28, 1316)

One of Lancaster's chief allies was Robert de Holland of Lincolnshire, possibly a relation of John de Holland of Estevening (next to Swineshead), Lincolnshire who was the Bolles of Swineshead's landlord.


In another challenge in 1317, the Abbot of St Augustine's, Canterbury complained that 'John Bolle with many others surrounded his house at Salmanston, co. Kent (Salmestone Grange just on the edge of Margate) attacked it, placed fire against the door of the Manor, broke his ploughs and carts, cut up and felled his trees, .... and at his dwelling place of Clyvesende in Menstre (Minster) in Thanet they beseiged, unroofed and wrecked the house of a fellow monk, Henry de Newenton(Newton, Kent), imprisoned him and afterwards sold him for a sum of money and .... in his market they assaulted his men and servants whereby he lost the service of his men, the profit of his market and the season for seed.'

Their power struggle continued until the Treaty of Leake was signed in 1318.   

After the Treaty of Leak was signed King Edward signed a pardon to 600 of the Earl of Lancaster's followers for all felonies and trespasses committed before Aug. 7, 1318 the date of the signing.

The list includes a John Bole at the beginning of the list of Lancaster's men just 18 lines below Robert de Holand and another John Bole much further down the list.

However, that quickly fell apart and they fell into open combat in 1321.  The royalist forces won several succesive battles until Lancaster surrendered to the King and was executed. 

After Lancaster's death the King officially pardoned the Barons who had supported Lancaster but continued to suppress the rights which they had earlier been granted.  The rebels under the leadership of Sir William Trussell, Robert de Holland, Roger la Zouch and others continued to conduct raids on the King's supporters.  In March 1323 the king ordered William de Gosefeld to arrest Trussell, Holland and Zouch and in April 1323 their supporters attacked de Gosefeld's house at Whitstaple, co. Kent and carried away his goods.  The list of people he identified in the attack were from Canterbury, Ickham, Westgate, Chartham, Shalmsford and area and included an Aylmer Bolle, William Bolle, Robert Bolle and Agnes Bolle.

William Bolle and Aylmer (Elmerus) Bolle were also mentioned in Canterbury in 1294 when they gave testimony in a consanguinity inquisition in Christ Church Canterbury.  ref.


There is too little here to assume anything but a coincidence of names but it raises an interesting idea that there might have been some connection between the Bolles of Lincolnshire and Kent going back to the early 1300's. 

See also The Bolles of Swineshead, Lincolnshire and The Bolles of Westgate, Kent

This site was last updated 10/19/18