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

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The Cartuary of Ramsey Monastery

Back to The Bowles Connections to Ramsey Abbey

Some ancestors of the Bowles lines had connections with Ramsey Abbey as early as the 12th century.  Gifts of land (charters) made to the Ramsey Monastery by several people with an early form of the Bowles name (see Origin of the Bowles Name) are documented in The Cartularium Monasterii de Rameseia (The Cartuary of Ramsey Monastery) in 3 Volumes.  Many of the people mentioned are known members of The Bowles of Bedfordshire line.  Several others are seen to be connected to those known members but it's not yet clear how they fit into the family tree.

Vol. 1  https://books.google.ca/books?id=G8dCAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
Vol. 2  https://books.google.ca/books?id=TMdCAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
Vol. 3  https://archive.org/stream/cartulariummonas03rams#page/314/mode/2up

It provides us with quite a few references for some possible Bowles ancestors in this area.  I believe there are adequate references to say that the Buillis (Buelles) of Bedfordshire's connections to Ramsey Abbey are well documented and they are almost certainly the ancestors of some of The Bowles of Bedfordshire and possibly other Bowles lines.  Other in this area may have living Bowles descendants but this is so far back and documentation for this period, other than for a select few of the more privileged of their society, is just too sparse to provide any proof of it.


(the index for all 3 volumes is  included at the end of Volume 3; the volume for each reference is given by the Roman Numeral in the index entry)


Volume 1

p. 53 Rents of Coterels by the year. Barnwell.  Andrew Bolle is renting a cottage lot in Barnwell from the monastery at an annual rent of 2s 6d and 2 chickens.  He would be near the bottom of the economic structure in England with no landholding just a small cottage with enough land to have a small garden and a few chickens and possibly a couple other livestock.

p. 100  List of Charters to Ramsey Monastery; By Charter # 402 Osbert Bolle has given the abbey a 4d income annually from 3 acres and 1 rod of land he holds at Upwell (part of Wells, Norfolk).  The date of this charter is not given but it appears to be earlier than a Papal bull from Pope Innocent II (1130-1143).


p. 316  Richard Bole held a messuage and croft (a small farm with house, outbuilding(s) and an enclosed plot of land) at Warboys (a village just south of Ramsey Monastery) from Ramsey under the same terms as the aforesaid Robert. (1251)


Robert Soute held a messauge and croft for which he pays 1 pence and two hens on the Feast of St Martin and at Christmas one hen and at Easter 5 eggs.


p. 471  Richard Bole held a croft and three acres at Shillington from the monastery for an annual fee of 4s paid as by the aforesaid Simon. (1255)


Simon Mercator paid annually for his croft, 12 pence, at ‘Fulstyngpounde’ half, at Easter 5 eggs, help to clean the mill pond; prune for 3 days, make hay for 3 days and to help put the hay into cocks.



Volume 2

p. 246-p. 248

Charter of William de Lymminge called le Quoynte and Alice his wife, daughter of the late Walter Stivecle,  of 36 acres of land and 4 acres of meadow in Gravenhurst, Bedfordshire  with 25 pence annual return to Ramsey Abbey.  The witnesses on the charter include Nicholas and Peter de Boelles. (between 1254 and 1267)



p. 248-249

Another charter to Ramsey Abbey of land in Gravenhurst with a witness Ada de Boeles. (the transcription of the cartuary has Adam in the index as generally only men could legally act as a witness; if so this would be Nicholas de Boeles son Adam)



p. 249

Rental of land in Gravenhurst by Ramsey Abbey to William le Waleis and Joan his wife. (between 1254 and 1267)  This included the land which had been given to the abbey by William le Quoynte and his wife Alice which they had held under Peter de Boelles.

Continued p. 250-251


p. 319  Rents of the new Assize at Wells.  (1206-07)  Includes some meadow next to Albricht (Albricti)

Bolle’s meadow which Osbert Puttok rented from the abbey for 6 pence.


Volume 3

These papers seem to be mostly from the early 1300’s

p. 297  Land at Wells held by Ramsey Abbey.  Their tenants include Ailbrith (Albricht) Bol who with Seman rents one parcel of land for six sticks (a stick was about 25 small eels).


p. 318  Land at Barnwell held by Ramsey Abbey.  Andrew Bolle renting a coterel (small cottage and land) from the abbey for 2s and 2 chickens.





This site was last updated 10/19/18