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Boels References in 'The Norman People'

Full Title: The Norman People and their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States of America by Henry S. King and Co., London, 1874

The Boels reference quoted here was also quoted in ‘The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages, in three volumes’ by The Duchess of Cleveland; London 1889.

available online at:



Back to A Norman Origin of the Bowles Name or The Norman Origin of the Bolles of Swineshead?

Key to the references quoted:


p. 170

La Bouille near Rouen is an actual place.  She mistakenly equates the town of 'Boelles' with 'La Buille'.  The Norman Lord Roger de Busli's town of Bully (Busli) and the town of Bouelles are both near Neufchatel-en-Bray about 50 km to the NE of Rouen.  Roger was with William the Conqueror in 1066 and several 'de Bouelles' served in the King's Court so both Bully and Bouelles would actually be relevant as Norman origins of the Bowles but La Buille would not be.  In any case, while it's implied, there's no actual claim in the passage that a ' de Buelles' in England was from there.


Examining the references given in the text:


Fulcher Budellus or de Buelles did indeed witness a charter of Odo of Bayeux 1074 (QsUm. Soc. Ant. Norm. viii. 436) but he was from Chartres and there's no implication that he had any connection to England as the charter was signed in Normandy.


Bartholomew de Boel, Vidame of Chartres, was indeed a leader in Palestine but the year is incorrect, Phillip II's war with the Turks in which Bartholomew de Boel served was in 1196/97 not in 1096 and again he's from Chartres with no implication of a connection to England (ref: Les conqvestes et les trophées des Norman-François, aux royaumes de Naples & de Sicile, aux duchez de Calabre, d'Antioche, de Galilée, & autres principautez d'Italie & d'Orient; Gabriel Du Moulin, D. dv Petit Val Imprimeur ord. du Roy, 1658).


William de Boel or Boeles, and Gilbert, occur in Normandy, 1180 (MRS) (which refers to the Magn. Rotul. Scaccarii Normanniae by Thomas Stapleton).  William de Boeles does appear in both volumes most notably holding the castle of Foillet for King John but there's no sign of any Gilbert de Boeles in MRS.  It's an interesting reference though.  A William de Boeles also served King John in England, fortifying Tickhill Castle against the Scots about 1210. Tickhill Castle was Roger de Busli's capite.


William de Boules and his elder brother Hugo or Hugh are well documented in Henry III's close rolls and many other sources in the 1250's.  There is no sign of a Gilbert anywhere. Francisque Michel's book 'Rôles gascons' is the definitive book  on the Normans who served Henry III in his attempts to regain his father's holdings in Gascony.  William and Hugh de Boeles are referred to throughout the book.  In fact William and Hugh are explicitly stated to be connected to the de Busli line.  See The de Bueles References in Rôles gascons


Osbert de Boel was of Lincoln, 1138 (Mon. ii. 326).  There are many editions of The Monasticon Anglicanum (First Edition) online.  The 26 that I checked did not have a reference to Osbert on page 326.  But after finally locating an index to the Monasticon it turns out that Osbert is indeed mentioned .... on page 236.  An ancient error by a medieval typesetter but now solved and there was indeed an Osbert de Boel who signed as a witness on one of the founding charters of the Bourn Abbey in Lincolnshire founded by Balgwin son of Gislebert in 1138.





The Latin was a bit of an obstacle but the First Edition of the English translation of the book is helpful:


Baldwin son of Gislebert was Baldwin Fitzgilbert de Clare (ca. 1102-1154) of Bourne, Deeping, and Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire whose nephew Sir Richard Fitzgilbert, better known today as 'Strongbow', was the Norman Lord who occupied Ireland for the King of England under whose rule it would remain until 1922.

There are other references to Osbert de Boel in that period in other references.  The Cartuary of Ramsey Abbey lists a charter for 4 pence income from 3 acres of land in Upwell, Norfolk which an Osbertus Bolle had given to the abbey.  It is undated but all the dated charters in the book are from the early 13th century. 


There are also several other Boeles references in the MA including several in Bedfordshire in the 1200's which connect back to the de Busli line.  See The de Boeles in the Monasticon Anglicanum


Osbert de Boelles, 1165, held lands in Devon (Lib. Nig.) Lambert de B. in the eastern counties (lb.).  That could be one of many books called Liber Niger (The Black Book) but it is most likely the Liber Niger Scaccarii by Thomas Hearne but with no page reference.  You can read and text search that book thoroughly without finding any mention of Osbert or Lambert in it.  However, you do find a nice paragraph on the former Roger de Busli holdings in Lincolnshire.  

The part which may be most relevant to the Boels of England:

"Osbert de Boel was of Lincoln, 1138 (Mon. ii. 326). Osbert de Boelles, 1165, held lands in Devon (Lib. Nig.), Lambert de B. in the eastern counties (Ib.). The family afterwards appears in Bedford, Warwick, Southants, Stafford, Rutland, Salop. In the latter, William de Buels (descended from Helias de Buel, living t. John) sold estates 1290 to Robert Burnel, Bishop of Bath (Eyton, Salop, iii. 203). His son William and his family settled in Hereford, and hence sprang Ludovic Buel or Boyle of Hereford (Harl. MS. 1545), ancestor of the Earls of Cork, Burlington, Orrery, Shannon, and other great houses."


p. 181 (this is the Bussey family, not the Busli family, although they are often confused for each other; I'm including this here just for clarification of that confusion)




Bussey or De Buci, from Buci, Normandy. Robert de Buci was a great baron in England 1086. His d. and heir m. Richard Basset, justiciary of England t. Henry I.  Collateral branches existed, of whom William de Bucy witnessed a charter of Roger de Mowbray, t Henry I. (Mon. ii. 190), and his descendants held from Mowbray 13th cent. The name occurs in Lincoln and

Normandy 1165, Northants I3th cent., Leicester 13th to 15th cent. In 1300, Sir Hugh de Busseye, of Lincoln, bore arg. three bars sable.


The family afterwards appears in Bedford, Warwick, Southants, Stafford, Rutland, Salop. In the latter,' William de Buels (descended from Helias de Buel, living t, John (living in the time of King John)) sold estates 1290 to Robert Burnel, Bishop of Bath (Eyton, Salop, iii. 203).


That is likely correct, as the Helias de Buel mentioned is on John de Boelles' holding in Bedfordshire. 


This site was last updated 12/22/19