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

Home  My Story  My Bowles Family  Bowles in Canada  Bowles in Ireland  Bowles in Great Britain  Bowles in the US

Origin of the Name  People's Lives  Related Links  New Additions

Miscellaneous Bowles of Kent
Back to The Bowles of Kent
There are significant references for the Bowles family name appearing in early forms of the name in Ickham in the early 1200's, in Canterbury soon after, in Chartham from the 1300's to the 1500's, in Chatham from the late 1500's and at Deal, Chislehurst, Ramsgate and Dover since the 1600's.  This page is for locations in Kent with only an occasional reference.

South East Kent (around Ashford)

John Bishop's Will of 1465 left to his wife his lands and tenements at Lenham recently purchased from William Bolle

The first teacher at Cranbrook School, established in 1518, is believed to have been a Robert Bolle who is mentioned as a teacher at Cranbrook in a Will dated 1520.  ref.  There is also a legal case from 1589 involving Thomas Landes of Cranbrook, plaintiff, and Richard Boll, defendant but the catalogue entry does not mention if Richard is also of Cranbrook or anywhere else.  ref.  The original document would have to be checked.  Finally, from 1721 there is a legal case regarding a pew between Thomas Weston of Cranbrook and the parishioners of Cranbrook including a Richard Bowles ref. 

A legal case from 1639 is between Margery Bowles, plaintiff, and Thomas, Robert and Geoffrey Bowles (brothers) with testimony from Simon Bowles of Woodchurch (note: also could be the Woodchurch beside Manston on the East Coast).  ref.  The catalogue entry does not indicate how Simon and Margery are related so since there are no other occurrences of a Simon in the Bowles family in that period, this is possibly the same Symon Boles with wife Dorothy of Southwark, Kent in the 1618 legal case between them and Richard Archbold involving some land in Ireland which Dorothy had inherited from her first husband.  Southwark is now the south side of the Thames River in London around London Bridge and Tower Bridge.

There is a 1337 grant from John Bolle of Willesborough, a suburb of Ashford, to Jane and Agnes, the daughters of William Cosin  ref.  and another grant to him in 1379. ref. 

The Calendar of Wills and Administrations lists Wills for the following Bolles of Appledore: Joane (1503) and John (1502) and for John Bolle of Warehorne (1536).


East Coast

In the Kent Hundred Rolls of 1274-75, the juries report of the Hearings of the Hundred of Folkestone includes the following: "Then they say that Sir Henry Malemains, while he was sheriff of Kent, demised the bailiwick of Shepway to Thomas de Suthen , a bailiff, for £18 and more who oppressed the people immeasurably.  The same man took 1 mark from William the cloth-comber falsely accusing him of damaging the barn of Henry Boles of Hythe and the said Henry, the sheriff took 1 mark from him for the same reason."  Hythe is far south of Canterbury on the coast. 

The history of Manston Court (west of Ramsgate, Kent) ref. includes the following story: "a 200 foot well remains at the rear of Manston Court, where in 1289 Gausden Bolle, a good friend of King Edward I was found to be at the bottom.  He was brought out alive by John Bolle, but sadly died 3 days later.  King Edward ordered an inquisition, and local people were tortured to find the circumstances of Bolle’s death.  The King suspected foul play by locals, however they insisted that he had ‘fallen down the well in his madness’ probably through drink."


North Coast

The Assize of 4 Richard II (1380) includes a case against John Bolle and Alice his wife for lands in Sesaltre(Seasalter). They didn't necessarily live there though.

Thomas Bolle acquired some land at Blean from Felicia Ingram in 1367.  ref.

Robert Bole, the former bailiff of the Manor of Brindley (probably Brendle Manor, co. Kent), was involved in a Chancery Court case in 1433 versus Robert Sare of Boughton-under-Blean.  ref.  Robert and his wife Joan were "of" Boughton-under-Blean in an agreement dated at between 1432 and 1443.  ref.   Another Chancery Court case of between 1480 and 1483 involves two parties disagreement over the land formerly of Robert Bole.  The land is described as "land in Hokepettisfeld in the parish of Boughton under the Bleane".  ref. 

William Bolle, miller of Herne, signed a 7 year renewal of his current lease on William Bolle's mill at Herne in  1430  ref. 

In Herne Will Abstracts:

  • Will of Thomas Bysmer dated July 1, 1465 refers to his feoffee (trustee) Richard Bolle and land in Chislet parish.  ref. 

  • Will of William at Berye of Hothe in the parish of Reculver dated Jan. 1, 1483/84;  his Feoffee (i.e. trustee) listed as Richard Bolle;   ref. 

  • Will of Christeon Walter of Herne dated Oct. 15, 1488; his executor Robert Boll ref. 

  • Will of Thomas Gylward of Reculver and Herne parishes dated March 26, 1509; refers to his land in parish of Reculver being sold by his feoffees (i.e. trustees) William Bolle, James Ewell and John Boikyn sr. and jr. ref. 

  • Will of Thomas Bolle of Reculver, Kent dated Oct. 6, 1510; sons William and Richard; William to have my tenement in Broke (Brook today); Richard to have the croft next to the above; witnesses: Thomas Butt and John Copyn. ref. 

  • Will of Nicholas Bownde of Reculver dated July 10, 1518 and probated Jan. 31, 1519/20; refers to his land being sold by his feoffees (i.e. trustees) Richard Boll and Robert Andrew.  ref. 

There is a Chancery Pleading from between 1515 and 1518 involving Richard Bolle and his wife Johanne and Thomas Coorte and his wife Margaret over land in Reculver and Chislett which Johanne and Margaret had inherited from their grandfather, the late John May.  ref. 

The Calendar of Wills and Administrations lists Wills for the following Bolles of Seasalter: John (1472), Richard (1475), Thomas (1479), Richard (Borstal in 1479), William (1481) and Alice (1493); for Thomas Bolle of Reculver (1510); for Richard Bolle of Chislet (1528) and for the Bolles of Whitstable: John (1472), Richard (as Bowell in 1534), John (1544) and Katherine (1557).

An Alice Bolle invested in land at Whitstable with a group of partners in 1479. ref.

Here is an interesting report of a Bowles wedding at Margate in 1940:

Sirens as Wedding Bells - A Margate Bride
Isle of Thanet Gazette 6th September 1940
With air raid sirens screeching over the district, Miss Violet Lilian HAYWARD, daughter of Mr and Mrs T HAYWARD of 3 Hertford Road, Margate, were married at the Parish Church of St John on Saturday, August 24th, to Mr George Harold BOWLES, son of Mr and Mrs J BOWLES, of Bexhill.
Although raiders were overhead, the ceremony was continued and it was not until the wedding breakfast was being held that the 'All Clear' was given.
The Vicar (The Rev D V Beckingham) officiated, and the bride was given away by her father. She was attired in a heavy satin gown and carried a bouquet of red roses.
The brides attendants were Miss Marjorie LADD (friend) and Miss Joan WILLIAMS, (cousin), who wore mauve satin dresses and carried posies of chrysanthemums. They received butterfly brooches from the bridegroom.
Mr Arthur HAYWARD (brother of the bride) was best man
Margate Local & Family History

East Kent

The Canterbury Cathedral Archives collection for Fordwich Borough includes a roll of two membranes upon which several court records were enrolled from 1314 to 1331 including one from 1316/17 with a reference to Cristina wife of Adam Bolle.  ref. 

In 1520/21 a Henry Bolle, labourer, of Fordwich sold land in Dreysdane which his wife Dorothy had inherited from her father, Robert Peny.  ref. 

William Bolle owned land in Wickham around 1455 to 1460 which was occupied by feoffees of his.  ref. 


Chatham Area

In 1454, Peter Dyngele, the Vicar of the Middleton Church in Milton, leased some property in the town of Milton to John Standon, Thomas Cartere and Nicholas Hyne, citizens and tanners of London and William Bole of Milton.  ref.  William Bole was also a tanner according to the list from 1450 of the townspeople of Middleton who were pardoned by the King for rebelling against him (click on the image to the right). 
In 1466 John Norton, Peter Dingley and John Bole of Middleton, tanner, leased out four properties ('messuages') and a garden in Middleton to the same three people. This would probably be a renewal of several earlier leases, John Bole having inherited rights to the property from William Bole, likely his father.  This also indicates a connection between the Bolle tanning business in Kent and the associated tanners in London.
From A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient deeds, Volume 1
by H. C. Maxwell Lyte 1894
Milton Wills (next Sittingbourne) by Arthur Hussey lists several Wills which mention Bole names:
  • June 15, 1466 Will of John Herward; witnesses include Richard Bolle; ref. 
  • Aug. 20, 1473 Will of Thomas Hogan of Middelton, "If I die from this sickness..."; probate 12 days later; left 5/- to each of his feoffees (trustees) John Bole and William Coting; ref.
  • April 14, 1474 Will of John Cokke of Middelton; left his wife 4 acres in Seweris field lately obtained from Hamon Bole and Matilda Stonard; ref.
  • Nov. 15, 1474 Will of Ralph Hayman; names his wife and John Bole as his executors; ref.
  • March 17, 1500/01 Will of Henry Boll; probate May 27, 1501; wife Cecifie is executor, daughters Joan and Margaret (under 16), sons Thomas (under 22), Richard and John (all no children), his sister's son John Orgat;  ref. 
  • Mar. 7, 1528 probate of Will of Robert Cotyng; buried Milton Church beside the font; witnesses include Thomas Boll ref. 
  • Sept. 1, 1534 Will of Rafe Hayman; refers to part of Harts barn with garden and land in Sawiers field remaining to John Bull and his lawful issue for ever.  ref. 
  • Nov. 15, 1545 Will of John Boll; assigns administration of his goods to his wife Agnes; refers to a bond outstanding to Thomas Bull of Milton;  ref.  
  • Mar. 28, 1546 Will of Agnes Bull, widow; to be buried in the churchyard next my husband; probate June 10, 1546; all goods to sons Richard and Thomas Bull; ref. 
  • May 13, 1546 Will of Richard Bull, probate June 10, 1546; buried beside my wife; son John, daughter Jane (both under 12); Will overseer, my Uncle Bull of Hothfield and brother-in-law Thomas Diricke; father-in-law Lawrence Pattenden; brother Thomas Bull; sister Elizabeth Diricke; Aunt Marion Turner and her son John (his apprentice);  ref. 

The Calendar of Wills and Administrations lists Wills for the following Bolles of Milton: Henry (1501), Alice (as Bowell in 1487) and Thomas (at Iwade near Milton in 1528); for Thomas Bowell of Teynham (1517) and for William Bowell of Sittingbourne (1517).

Northwest Kent

John Bolle mentioned in Farnborough Court Roll of 1408 as the Borghealdir (head) representing his tithing's fines for brewing ale not to the standards of their industry.  The Saxon title is one of the strongest arguments for this Bolle line having an Anglo-Saxon rather than Norman origin.   ref.

Richard Bolle of Chartham and his son Henry bought 130 acres of land and 10 acres of wood at Asshe near Mepeham (Ash by Meopham; just west of Chatham) in 1453.  Henry died a while later and Richard put the land into trust for his widow.  A Chancery Pleading dated between 1475 and 1485 refers to an Alice Sybbyng, wife of the late Henry Bolle, son of Richard Bolle refers to land in 'Asshe' late of 'the said Richard Bolle' being put into trust (feoffee to uses) for Henry's widow.  It also refers to Richard having bought a corrody (basically board and room) in Malling Abbey.  This may have been Richard providing for his daughter-in-law after his son Henry's death.  ref.  See The Bolle of Chartham Family Tree for this family.

This site was last updated 10/19/18