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Thomas Bowles III and Family of Dublin

(he might have inherited a share of the St James Brewery but it ended up with Arthur Guinness and the rest is beer history)

Back to The Bowles of Dublin

See also Thomas Bowles, Deputy Treasurer-at-War Under Cromwell and Thomas Bowles Jr and Family of Dublin for the previous two generations of this line and The Thomas Bowles of Dublin Family Tree

The Third Generation of Thomas Bowles in Dublin

Thomas Bowles Sr. arrived from England just after Cromwell's occupation of Ireland in 1649.  He served as Cromwell's Deputy Treasurer-at-War for Ireland until King Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660.  By then he had raised a family who had married well and settled down in Dublin.  His daughter Hester's son would inherit the Plunket estate while his son, Thomas Bowles Jr., married the daughter of Dublin Alderman Christopher Bennett and would inherit more land in Dublin through his wife.  For reference purposes I have called Thomas Jr's eldest son Thomas Bowles III.

Thomas Bowles III

The Will of Christopher Bennet, a merchant of Dublin, written in 1666 and proven in 1680 (at the time of his death he was an alderman) includes a bequest to his daughter Dorcas, then the wife of Thomas Bowles (Jr) of Dublin.  A caveat to his Will was added in 1678, about when Thomas III was born, which included a provision for his grandson Thomas Bowles. (Betham’s Will Abstracts. G.O. 224/83)  Although it's not stated in the transcript Thomas Jr must have also been appointed the administrator of Bennett's Will as mentioned below.

Thomas III's mother Dorcas Bennett Bowles died in 1685 so when his father also died (probably in 1692) Thomas and his siblings, all minors, would have been left in wardship to some responsible person, likely a family member.  Two possibilities would have been their Great Uncle Sir Walter Plunkett or their Uncle Alderman William Stowell.

When Thomas III came of age (21) in 1699, as heir to his father, he would have come into control of his share of the land passed down by his father and he also became one of the administrators of Christopher Bennett's estate.

In 1702 he married Jane Rainsford, daughter of Sir Mark Rainsford, a Dublin Alderman and Mayor of Dublin (1700/01) and Jane Mee, daughter of Alderman Giles Mee.  Sir Mark had inherited an area in the St James Gate region of Dublin from Alderman Mee.  While the area was rather run down he saw the potential in the water rights to a natural spring there and established the Rainsford Brewery which was operated by his son and grandson until it was finally sold to Alfred Guinness in 1759.

See the full story of the Guinness Brewery on Wikipedia

As a further confirmation that Bennet's grandson Thomas III was the same person as Mark Rainsford's son-in-law Thomas Bowles, the 1684 Will of Lydia Warren of Dublin, widow, daughter of Alderman Christopher Bennett,  names in her Will her brother (in-law) Thomas Bowles, her sister Dora Bowles alias Bennett, and her dearest kinsman, Mark Ransford.  ref.    A footnote says that Rainsford was nephew to Alderman Christopher Bennett. 

Shortly after their marriage Thomas was admitted as an attorney of the city court, probably helped by his father-in-law’s influence as a Dublin Alderman.

Unfortunately Thomas III would not benefit further from his connection to the Rainsfords as he and his wife would both die in 1704 leaving one daughter, Isabella, born in 1703. 

 With Thomas III's death,  John Bowles, his sister Dorcas Bowles and, by right of marriage, her husband Thomas Fleeson became the only surviving administrators of Alderman Bennett's estate.

The Admon and care of Isabella was granted to Dorcas Fleeson and John Bowles on July 15, 1704 and then in Nov. 1709 her tutelage (guardianship) was granted to her Uncle the Hon. Charles Forest and his wife Barbara (Jane Rainsford's sister).  When Isabella died the administration of her property was granted to her Uncle Mark Rainsford Jr.  Deed memorial 27066 in 1723 states that her Uncle John Bowles was the last surviving Admon of her estate.


Documented Confirmations of their Line of Descent From Thomas Jr and Dorcas Bennett

See Deed Memorials Relevant to the Thomas Bowles Family of Dublin  for more information on the following deed memorials.

Deed memorials 26/291/15502 and 26/293/15506, both from 1720, state that John Bowles and his sister Dorcas Bowles, plus her husband Thomas Fleeson, through his right by marriage to her, were the surviving admons (administrators) of Christopher Bennett's Will. 

As another confirmation of this, deed memorial 38/235/24087 from 1723 states that Dorcas Fleeson alias Bowles became jointly interested in the Goods and Chattels of  Christopher Bennett with John Bowles her brother who were his (Bennett's) grandchildren and further recited that Thomas Bowles a brother of said Dorcas Fleeson and John Bowles died some time in the year 1704.

 Deed memorials 14/229/6121 (Dec. 1714) and 14/419/6496 (July 1715) state that John and Dorcas Bowles and husband Thomas Fleeson were the administrators of their brother Thomas Bowles (III) estate. 


 The Bowles Landholdings in Dublin as Documented in Deed Memorials Filed at the Land Office

Dublin in 1610

Key to the map

55  St James Street
56  St James Gate
57  St Catherine's Church
60  New Street
61  St Francis Street
63  St Patrick's Church
64 St Bride's Church
65 St Bride's Street
X   the churchyard of St James' Church
Y   the Poddle
Deed Memorial 6121 (signed Dec. 8, 1714 and registered March 23, 1714/15): documents that John Bowles and his sister Dorcas were the sole surviving administrators of their father Thomas Jr's estate which includes a house lying on St. Bride's Street (65 on the map) against St. Bride's Church (64) on a lot 18 feet wide and extending westwards 133 feet towards New Street (60).   

Deed Memorial 5754 (Dec. 14, 1714) documents that John Bowles is assigning his half share in all the rights and rental incomes coming from the property in Dublin described as an orchard and two gardens with several houses on the east side of St. Bride's Street (65 on the map) and extending west as far as New Street (60) to Thomas Acton and Robert Drury which rights John held under a previous lease from March 5, 1700 for a series of payments totaling several hundred pounds. It doesn't mention who owns the other half share but in memorial 8837 below we learn that the other half share had been held by his brother Thomas III.

Deed Memorial 6496 (July 2, 1715) his Bowles and Fleeson executors are leasing a 26 1/2 foot wide and 176 foot deep plot on New Street (60), which Thomas III had leased from his father-in-law, Sir Mark Rainsford, to a cooper, Abraham Mayo.

Deed Memorial 8837 (Mar. 17, 1716) documents that as the sole surviving administrators of their father Thomas Jr's estate as mentioned in memorial 6121, John Bowles, his sister Dorcas (with her husband, Thomas Fleeson) are also managing property with exactly the same description as in memorial 5754 in which John had a half interest in his own right. The obvious explanation for this is that John and Thomas III each had a half interest in that property from their father but then Thomas III died leaving his half to his daughter Isabella who was in the care of his siblings John and Dorcas. 

Deed Memorial 8495 (Jan. 17, 1716): as above, they are managing a house and back houses on a lot on the west side of St. Bride's Street (65) 12 1/2 feet wide and extending back 115 feet. 

Deed Memorial 14171 (Nov. 2, 1719): as above, they are managing the house known as The Sign of The Ram (probably an inn or public house) lying in the Poddle (the area where New Street (60) and St. Frances Street (62) meet, marked Y on the map; an area developed over the old course of the Poddle River).  This memorial also mentions that the land surrounding this house is owned by John, Dorcas and her husband.

Deed Memorial 15506 (May 3, 1720): in this case, John, Dorcas and her husband are the administrators of the estate of Dublin alderman, Christopher Bennett, including a parcel of land containing several tenements bounded on the west by St. Frances Street (62) and lying on the Poddle (see note above). Christopher Bennett was their grandfather (their mother's father).

Deed Memorial 27066 (Nov. 4, 1723): This memorial documents that not only were John and Dorcas the administrators of their brother's estate, John was also the guardian of Thomas' only child, Isabella who has also now died.  Isabella was not mentioned in the previous deeds as she was a minor and no rights to the property they dealt with.  She is mentioned now to document that Thomas has no further or future heirs that could make a claim to his estate.  This deed involves a house on the north side of St. James Street (55) with a lot 18 feet wide and extending 17 feet back to the churchyard of St. James Church (X on the map) which we will learn later had come to Thomas from his father-in-law, Mark Rainsford.

Deed Memorial 29317 (July 5, 1725): In this memorial we learn that Dorcas has now also died leaving John the sole administrator to Thomas' estate. It also documents that Thomas' wife was Jane Rainsford, daughter of Mark Rainsford and that the land in question had been granted to Thomas by Rainsford upon his marriage to Jane Rainsford on Feb. 8, 1702.  The land is two plots adjoining the churchyard of St. James church, one to the east of the gate to the churchyard and one to the west of the gate and containing 9 houses.

Deed Memorial 43758, (June 1, 1730): This memorial refers to the same parcel of land as #'s 5754 and 8837 above. We also learn that John's wife's name is Mary and that they have a daughter Jane. Also, an Anne Fleeson, probably Dorcas Fleeson's daughter, and an Anne Grogan, possibly a married daughter of John's, shared John's interest in the property.

The City of Dublin Archives supply us with one more clue about Thomas Sr.  The city records show that Thomas' daughter, Dorcas Bowles, spinster, was admitted as a 'free woman of Dublin by fine and special grace' in 1695.  This was an unusual occurrence as it means that someone paid a fee for her to be awarded that status and that there were special circumstances.  The Dublin City Archives comment on this type of event is that it "is presumed to have been a kind of dowry given by a guardian to improve a girl's marriage prospects".  If her father was still alive and we know was a substantial landholder, this would not have been necessary.  However, it would be a logical step if her father had recently died.

There are no further references to John Bowles in Dublin after 1730 but he may be the John Bowles of Lechlade, Gloucester who had interests in Ireland in 1734. (See memorial # 53899 at Wexford deed Memorials)  If so that would provide a link between this line and the Bowles of Wexford.


This site was last updated 10/05/19