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Richard Bolle's Duel With John Legard

Back to The Bolles of HaughThe Family Tree of the Bolles of Haugh or Richard Bolle, the Hero of Alton (who this Richard Bolle was not)

At some point Richard Bolle of Haugh, the younger brother of Charles Bolle of Haugh who would have been expected to inherit, acquired several holdings near Louth possibly through his marriage to Jane Skypwith whose family was prominent in that area.  In 1584 he built a new residence, Thorpe Hall, just west of Louth which he gave to his second son Richard (II) who in turn sold the Hall to his nephew John Bolle in 1595.  Richard had also acquired land at Stayne and Theddlethorpe with a William Fitzwilliam from the estate of Sir William Pickering sometime between 1575, when Pickering died, and 1603 when a claim was made against his land.  (note: Richard's mother was a Fitzwilliam whose mother was a Pickering). 

After giving Thorpe Hall to his son he seems to have settled at Gayton-le-Wold and Richard (II) settled at Theddlethorpe after 1595.  When Charles died in 1590, predeceasing their father who died in 1592, Richard became the heir to Haugh.  We know that he had died by 1631 when Richard (II) was killed by a John Legard in a duel. 

Legard had come by chance across Richard (II) in Louth and accosted him with the claim that Richard Sr, now deceased, had owed his father 40 pounds.  Richard denied the claim which led to further words between them until Legard struck him and Richard dared him to fight.  They then met at a pit outside Louth and fought but then the fight escalated to drawn swords.  Richard was fatally injured in the side.  The coroner's inquest found that Legard had committed manslaughter.  I haven't found what happened to Legard although his father made an appeal to the King for mercy for his son.  That appeal gives us a most detailed account of the duel.

Richard was buried at Louth St James on April 15, 1631.

The Consistory Court Calendar shows the Will of Richard Bolls, Gent of Theddlethorpe receiving probate in 1631. (Act Book xii p. 59; Admin Bond and Inventory, 20)

The Records of the Corporation of Louth have a reference for payment of the legal costs in the case and for a laborer to fill the pit where the duel occurred.

Louth: old corporation records, being extracts from the accounts, minutes and memoranda of the warden and six assistants of the town of Louth and free school of King Edward VI in Louth, and other ancient documents relating to the town  By Richard William Goulding 1891, p. 46


This site was last updated 01/19/20