Dates: Before 1750, in England and its dominions, the legal year began on March 25, so we write dates for Jan-Feb-Mar with double years, e.g. 10 February 1670/1 = original calendar 1670, modern 1671.
ArchMd = the published Archives of Maryland volumes, which can also be accessed online by specific volume and page number.
James Bowling was born in southern Lancashire (English Ancestry) about 1636 and immigrated to Maryland as a young man. He became a major landowner and civil officer before his death in 1693. He married twice but had no children, leaving most of his extensive property to his brother Thomas Bowling and Thomas’ sons John and Roger.
James’ date of birth can be ascertained from his age at several depositions he gave in the Provincial Court. In October 1658, he was “aged 22 yeares or thereabouts” and in October 1662 he was “aged 25 yeares” (ArchMd 41:175, 179, 595). It was an era when specific ages were perhaps less carefully reckoned, but in a legal context concerning a young man (with not too many years to forget), these should be fairly reliable, especially since these depositions are consistent. So, with moderate confidence James Bowling’s birth can be dated between early-1635 and late-1637.
He must have come to Maryland by 1655, because he later testified about the quantity of Mrs. Eltonhead’s tobacco that year (ArchMd 41:595).
In October 1658, the court heard suit and countersuit by Bowling versus his former friend John Anderton about various events of 1657-58. We learn that Bowling had a bond with Anderton for £40 with the condition that Anderton should buy £20 worth of goods in England according to Bowling’s order when he went to England in June 1657 in company with the Governor. Then “God being pleased to visitt your Petitioner [Bowling] with a grievous siknes this last Spring even unto Death, your Petitioner made a Will, and made the said Mr. Anderton Overseer thereof, to dispose of that Debt in case your Petitioner dyed, unto a neare relation of your Petitioner in Virginia.” But Bowling recovered his health and again demanded his money or bond back from Anderton, which “the said Mr. Anderton did most perfidiously refuse.” To compensate Bowling, the court ordered the defendant to “deliver to the plaintiff John Standish with his proper hyre” and £20.
Anderton’s counterclaim stated that he had allowed James Bowling to live with him the last year as overseer of his servants. Around June, Anderton had gone home to England and entrusted the finishing of the tobacco crop to Bowling, with “Bowling by agreement to have a share of the said crop”. But while Anderton was away, around November, Bowling “went downe for Virginia” leaving the crop hanging and the corn in a heap unhusked, with damaging consequences. Bowling alleged that he had had taken care of most of the crops and “having occasion to goe downe to Virginia, he left the care of the Corne and striking the tobacco to Andrew Laremore.” The Court ruled against Anderton since it was proved “that the defendant went downe to Virginia with leave and license from the plaintiff’s mother-in-law (as she herself acknowledgeth in Court).” But Anderton must not have fulfilled all the terms because in July 1660 Bowling demands a writ against Anderton in an action of the case (ArchMd 41: 156-7, 166-7, 388, 448).
While he was at the Provincial Court those days in October 1658, James Bowling was also deposed in the case of Anderton v Hooper and the case of Hottkeys v Fendall, for which John Anderton was also deposed (ArchMd 41:179). Also, on 9 Oct 1658, Nicholas Lurkey assigned to James Bowling all his right to 50 acres of land awarded him for completing his time of service to Mr. John Anderton (Patents Liber Q:203). Perhaps this was part of Bowling’s settlement with Anderton. Lurkey was likely someone Anderton knew from England: Lurkey’s son Thomas had 50 acres of a property called “Lancashire” (P.C. Will 27:309), and in the English records there is later a Nicholas Lurkey of Eccleston (about 3 miles from Charnock Richard), shoemaker and registered “Papist” (Engl. Cath. Non-jurors: 118, 123).
From these court cases, we learn about James Bowling’s status (a reliable witness) and network of Catholic friends and relations from Lancashire (the Bowlings, Andertons, and Eltonheads: see Friends and Relations of James Bowling). His land warrant a few months later (see Land below) states “James Bowling hath transported himself into this Province, here to inhabit”, so his family in Lancashire must have had enough money to pay for his passage to Maryland but probably not much more.
Basically, he was about 22 years old (surrounded by many other adventurers not much older) in a difficult new world, not wealthy, not literate (always signing his name with the mark IB), serving as an overseer for a friend (with whom he falls out), but with enough resources for some business activity and a trip over to Virginia, a network of friends and the ability to win a court case. The population of European settlers in Southern Maryland was only a few thousand, so people from similar regions or of the same religion knew each other. In general, it was a favorable era for those with connections to the Calverts: in November 1657, Oliver Cromwell had restored the Maryland colony back to the Calverts, and in April 1658 Lord Baltimore reestablished proprietary authority.
During the year 1659, James Bowling moved significantly forward in business and family. In January 1659 (recorded as 1658 old style), he received 150 acres for ‘Bowlingly” on the Eastern Shore (see Land below) in consideration for his own transport and that of two other men whose rights he had acquired. From a later land warrant, we learn that he also transported his wife Anne to Maryland sometime in 1659. It is unclear where they married: it is possible that he returned to England in spring 1659, married there (although there is no record there) and returned with his wife. His effort to have Anderton make purchases in England for him in 1657 had failed and perhaps he went himself to do this, making two perilous crossings. But it seems just as probable that the engagement had been arranged through his family in England and they married after Anne (whose maiden name is unknown) arrived in Maryland. Anne was still alive in 1663 when she co-signed a document with her mark, but otherwise we hear nothing more about her.
It was in this same period about 1660 that James’s sister or cousin Elizabeth Bowling arrived in Maryland, and by 1663 she married Thomas Speake, for “Elizabeth Speake” is subpoenaed as a witness in the Charles County Court in November 1663. Since Thomas Speake had just finished service and is unlikely to have been able to afford to transport a wife to the colony, we have to assume that James Bowling had transported her at some time, although there is no mention of her transport or land rights in any document.
How did Elizabeth Bowling come to marry Thomas Speake, or rather why did James Bowling approve of this man and this marriage if he had a say? With an immigrant ratio of 3:1 men to women in Maryland in the 1650s, a young unindentured woman would be a very eligible candidate for marriage. Did ties from Lancashire or religion play a role? It seems Speake was living on or near Bowling’s property (but without property of his own at that stage) and perhaps familiarity led further. In any case, the result was that Thomas Speake’s early records in Maryland were in conjunction with James Bowling (starting in December 1662 when Bowling witnessed a bill that Arthur Turner owed Thomas Speake) and it seems reasonable that Speake married Elizabeth Bowling about that time (with son John by 1665) and thus came under the patronage of the more established James Bowling. On 26 August 1670, Thomas Speake (signing with a mark) demanded land for his time of service) and assigned his land rights to James Bowling (Patents, book 16:281). Elizabeth and her sons John and Bowling Speake were James Bowling’s closest relatives in Maryland and they maintained strong ties. James was named as Thomas Speake’s executor in 1681.
James Bowling would eventually live over 35 years in Maryland to become a major landowner and civil officer. His home farm was “Calvert’s Hope” on the eastern edge of Charles County next to St. Mary’s County, about a mile or two north of Newport, perhaps in the area where the modern “Bowling Drive” is. He is often mentioned together with his neighbor and friend Maj. William Boarman (c. 1630-1709), who was also a close friend of Lord Baltimore. Bowling’s church community would have been the Franciscan mission established in Newport about 1674 by Fr. Richard Hobart (to whom he leaves a bequest in his will), but there was also a chapel nearby on Boarman’s dwelling plantation “Boarman’s Rest” (history of Newport Catholics).
His first public service starts on 6 March 1678/9, when the Province appointed James Bowling and nine other men (including William Boarman, Joseph Pile, Richard Gardiner) to serve as “Justices within our said County of St. Maries to heare and Determine all Causes or Actions of Debt” (ArchMd 15:224, 326). These justices (and others) were summoned to appear before the Provincial Court on 8 November 1681 to testify against Capt. John Coode. In October 1682, John Dent said that he had consulted “Mr. James Bowleing a Justice of the peace” (ArchMd 17:121). Dr. Lois Green Carr’s Biographical Files for St. Mary’s County list James Bowling as: Local Offices: appraiser, 1675, 1676, 1677; justice of peace, 1677-1689. Provincial Offices: grand juror, Provincial Court, 1662, 1666, 1670; juror, Provincial Court, 1674, 1675, 1683. Military Offices: lieutenant, 1676; captain, 1682.
Calvert’s Hope was located “by the Portobacco Indian Path” and both Boarman and Bowling were mentioned regarding Indian affairs. A series of events with the Piscataway are well recorded in the provincial records. In 1680, under pressure from the Susquehannock and other northern Indian groups, the Piscataway had taken refuge at Lord Baltimore’s Zekiah (Zachaiah) Manor and built Zekiah Fort. The next year, on 17 August 1681, Major William Boarman (who knew the Piscataway language) appeared before the Council with troubling information he received from the Mattawoman chief about a possible call to war by the Piscataway to other Indian groups (ArchMd 15:418). The Council sent Col. Henry Coursey and Col. William Stevens to Zekiah, who left St. Mary’s on 24 August with an interpreter and the two Iroquois accompanying them, to confirm the articles of peace with the Iroquois. The following night, they came to James Bowling’s house near the Zekiah Swamp, where two armed Piscataway also arrived and demanded to speak with the two Iroquois, which they did. Captain Brandt was sent to locate the northern Indians. After Brandt reported back on 27 August that he had found and met with the northern Indians, Coursey and Stevens immediately left Bowling’s for Zekiah House, apparently the summer house Lord Baltimore had constructed on his manor of Zekiah in the early 1670s close to the Zekiah Fort (ArchMd 17:9-14, adapted from “A place now known unto them”, St. Mary’s College 2012:31-3).
In May 1682, Thomas Mudd and James Bowling, Gentlemen of St. Mary’s Co., went security for Joshua Doyne in the sum of 200, 000 pounds of tobacco when Joshua Doyne succeeded William Boarman as Sheriff. Then, in a court case about John Pryor buying deerskins of Indians, Dennis Huscula (who lived between Pryor’s store and the “Indian Towne Zachaiah”) deposed that he heard Captain James Bowling say that he “heard Mr. Mudd say he had seen illicit skins at Westwood store” (ArchMd 17:92-94). A few years later, in February 1687/8, Captain Bowling and Mr. Thomas Mudd offered to take upon themselves the trouble of administering the estate of Dennis Huscula which was about to be “embezzled and go to ruin.” (P.C. 14:43). Their offer was accepted and letters of Administration were granted to them on 27 April, 1688.
Starting in 1683, he is usually listed as “Capt. James Bowling” (and of course his name is spelled variously as Bowling, Bouling, Boulin, Bowline, Bowleing). He is mostly listed as “of St. Mary’s Co” but sometimes “of Charles Co.” He owned land and did business in both counties, and his estate accounts were filed in both.
As a competent landowner, Bowling was occasionally called upon as appraiser for estates of prominent persons, e.g. Thomas Gerrard’s plantation Westwood 1665 (see below), John Smith of St. Mary’s 1677 (along with Mr. Wm. Boarman, another of Smith’s adjacent landowners), Mr. Thomas Matthewes 1678 (along with Mr. Robert Green—Matthews had been trustee for the Jesuit province), James Bodkin 1683 (along with William Boarman), Richard Gardiner, Gent. 1689. He is also mentioned as recipient of payments in the accounts of estates, e.g. Arthur Turner 1668 (Chas Co.), John Notley (St. Mary’s) 1675, Daniel Russell (St. Mary’s Co.) 1675, Jesse Wharton 1681, Col. Benjamin Rozer 1682, Samuel Raspin 1684, Dr. Bartholomew Piggot 1684, John Baker 1687, Michael Tawney 1692, Richard Gardiner, Gent. 1696, Mr. Thomas Mudd 1698. The will of Thomas Gerrard (the younger) of St. Mary’s was proved before him in 1686 (P.C. 13:434). Further court cases and depositions involving James Bowling can be found in Legal Matters below.
marr. 1659 (1) Anne____
marr. 1680-90 (2) Mary Brooke.
James did not have any known children by either wife. Anne is known only from her immigration in 1659 and her name on a land transfer in 1663. The fact that James Bo
James was a generation older than his well-connected second wife Mary Brooke (b. c. 1664-70), the younger daughter of Maj. Thomas Brooke (1632-1676) and Elinor Hatton (1642-1725). Her grandfather Robert Brooke had arrived in Maryland in 1650 with his wife, 10 children, and 28 servants, received a large manor in Calvert County, and established a prominent political family. Her mother’s uncle Thomas Hatton had been Secretary of the Province of Maryland 1648-1654, and after Thomas Brooke’s death, she married (2) Henry Darnall. Her family had been Protestant but converted to Roman Catholicism, and three of her brothers became Jesuit priests. Her relatives by birth or marriage included the Darnall, Dent, Digges, Sewall, Smith, Wade, Gardiner, and Hill families (Papenfuse 1979: 171). Her aunt Anne (Calvert) Brooke was the sister of William Calvert (see Bowlingly in Land below).
James and Mary could not have been married for more than a decade before his death in 1693. During that time (according to the Chancery Court records Liber PC p. 346, no date given), Richard Smith of Patuxent, Gent. purchased of James Bowling and Mary his wife, and Baker Brooke, Gent., a parcel of land called Brook’s Partition — presumably a part of her inheritance. Within a couple of years after James’ death, the young widow Mary (Brooke) Bowling then married (2) Benjamin Hall (1667-1721) who was brought up Quaker but died Catholic. Hall was a Justice of St. Mary’s Co in 1694 and Burgess in Charles Co 1698-1704. The elderly Mary, widow of James Bowling and Benjamin Hall, finally married (3) Henry Witham in May 1721.
James Bowling died a wealthy man, with over 1500 acres of land. He wrote his will 7th May 1692 (with a codicil later that day), followed by another codicil a couple of months later, but he lived another year since the will was only probated on 10 October 1693 (Prerog. Ct. Wills 2:272-277, St. Mary’s Co). Items in his last will:
—to his brother Thomas, he left substantial property: 100 acres of “Keet’s Rest”, 100 Acres of “Miller’s Choice”, 125 acres of “Chesam”, 152 acres of “Charley”, and 150 acres of “Bowling’s Plains” (see Land below).
—his wife Mary was named executrix and residuary legatee of the estate, real and personal, including his home plantation “Calvert’s Hope.” His “honored” step-father-in-law Col. Henry Darnall was appointed overseer.
—to “Mr. Richard Hubbard one thousand pds of tobacco” (this is the Franciscan priest Richard Hobart)
—to cousins “Jo: Speake & Bowling Speake all my wearing apparell to be equally divided between them”
Witnesses: Henry Darnall, Jas. Cullen, Wm. Boreman, Jr., Thos. Clarke.
Apparently he had forgotten about some land, because later in the day he adds a codicil:
—to brother Thomas land near Newport Town by the waterside, and to wife Mary two lots at Newport Town and land purchased from Maj. Wm. Boarman adjoining Calvert’s Hope. To his “loving nephew John Bowling and to his heirs”, he gives a certain plantation (unnamed) near Newport Town after the death of his brother Thomas, said John’s father. Witnesses were the same as in the will.
By second codicil dated 17 July 1692, he now cleans up a few loose details, changed the bequest to Mary to being a life estate if she had no children, mentions his nephew Roger Bowling (now ranked ahead of nephew John Bowling), and forgives some debts:
— if wife Mary should die without issue, all lands bequeathed to her should pass to “my loving cozin Roger Bowling, son of my loving brother Thomas” and, failing his heirs, then to “my loving cozin John Bowling, son of my loving brother Thomas”, and their heirs.
—To John Speake is given his clothes (except his coat with silver plate buttons which goes to brother Thomas), and Bowling Speake is given 1500 lbs in tobacco in lieu of clothes. Also, if John Speake conveyed a small parcel of land he owned in Calvert’s Hope to James before James’ death, he would have “an able manservant bought and delivered to” John as soon as the servant could be purchased.
—To “coz. Millesent Higden” one cow and calf.
—Debts forgiven to John Brooks, Edward Davis, William Newman, Abraham Leemaster, Richard Edelen.
Witnesses: Clement Hill, Elizabeth Gardner, Joseph Gardner.
An inventory of the estate of “Capt. James Bowling” of St. Mary’s County on 26 July 1694 (Lib 13A.176) listed £654.15.3 (assets 688.54, debts 33.79, with 14 enslaved persons, 1 servant), with John Addison and William Hutchinson appraisers. The account of the estate in Charles County on 23 Feb 1696 (Lib 14.105) filed by the executrix (widow Mary Hall, wife of Benjamin Hall) showed payments to a dozen people including Mr. Thomas Bowling, John Speake, John Smith (carpenter), Thomas Hussey, and Clement Hill. Legacies were paid to Bowling Speake and Millicent Higdon. Altogether these payments reduced the residual estate from £654.15.3 to £96.9.4 (also Liber 17:74).
In early Maryland, the land office records typically read that whereas “X” was due so many acres of land (headrights because he had brought himself and/or others into the Province, or finished service), an order (Warrant) was issued to the county surveyor to lay out so many acres of land and to create a document known as a Certificate of Survey. Then that would be submitted to be a Patent (like a deed). Those headrights were transferable. (see more). Maryland discontinued headrights in 1680, and thereafter settlers purchased land warrants and patents directly from the Land Office, though the rest of the process remained the same.
The first grant: Bowlingly on the Eastern Shore
James Bowling first appears in the land records in September 1658 (Land Office (Patents) Liber Q: 178 SR7345) when a memorandum is entered that “I Thomas Pearsey do assign, convey and make over unto Jame [sic] Bowling all my Right and Interest of the Right belonging to me for Land … for men that transport themselves upon their own cost and charges into this the Province of Maryland.” Pearsey’s original was dated 15th of March 1657 [i.e. new style 1658] and witnessed by Henry Coursey. This memorandum is followed in the land records by a warrant entry: “Warrant Renewed to James Bowling for two hundred Acres of Land (the said Warrant bearing date the 17th of June 1657 and returned 17th November following) with addition of fifty Acres more by Assignment from Thomas Pearsey. Returned 1 March next.”
Unfortunately, unstated is an explanation of the rights for which Bowling’s 1657 warrant of 200 acres was granted, presumably headrights for himself and 3 other persons, but possibly it was for fewer persons and connected to the exception which allowed 100 acres for land rights on the Eastern Shore (ArchMd 1:331-2). In any case, from these two entries, we understand that James Bowling already had a warrant issued in June 1657 for 200 acres (but and now added Pearsey’s right of 50 acres to it in 1658. So we would expect the next record to be for a land grant of 250 acres.
A property was laid out on 15 September 1658 and a few months later, on 7 January 1658 (i.e. 1659 new style), James Bowling did indeed receive a grant for the property he apparently never occupied: Bowlingly on the Eastern Shore. But it was a grant of for only 150 acres of “all that parcel of land called ‘Bowlingly’ lying on the East side of the Eastern Bay, next to Isle of Kent and on the east side of a creek in the said Bay called Coursey’s Creek.” This grant stated that it was in accord with Lord Baltimore’s 1651 updated “conditions of plantation”, granting each settler 50 acres for himself and for each other person he or she brought into the Province (and these headrights could be transferred or assigned to others). In this case the land was granted “in consideration that James Bowling hath transported himself into this Province, here to inhabit and hath further due to him 100 acres of land more by assignment of Arthur Lutford and Alexander Abraham.” The surveyor Robert Clark confirms that the grant is according to the certificate and survey [Land Office (Patents) Lib. Q:253-255].
The discrepancy between the warrant for 250 acres (200 + 50) and the grant for 150 acres was corrected on 6 May 1662, when it was stated that the certificate of 7 January 1658/59 “was returned (by a mistake) but for 150 acres, when it ought to be for 250 acres, as it hath been proved before Philip Calvert, Esquire, Chancellor of this Province” and so the patent of “James Boulen of Charles County” was renewed with an addition of 100 acres “arrear to the former patent” [Patents Liber 5:71 (transcr. of X:147)].
There is one open question. The records mention headrights for Bowling, Lutford and Abraham (apparently the initial group since it includes Bowling himself) — this was likely an initial warrant for 150 acres (which was one of the documents the clerk or surveyor had before him when he made his mistake), to which was added someone else for 50 acres by June 1657 to make 200, then there was added Thomas Pearsey in September 1658. Who is the missing person? Possibly Nicholas Lurkey, who assigned to James Bowling his right to 50 acres awarded him for completing his time of service to Mr. John Anderton, discussed above (Patents Liber Q:203). But Lurkey’s assignment to Bowling is recorded on 9 Oct 1658, a year after Bowling is stated to have a warrant for 200 acres.
A year after the corrected patent, “James Bowlin and Anne his wife” transfer Bowlingly with 250 acres of land in Talbot County (now Queen Anne County) to William Calvert and Elizabeth his wife. The circumstances of the matter are not quite clear, but the following was recorded on 21 December 1663: “To James Neale Esq. & Hugh Neale gent. Greeting. Whereas our writ of Covenant dependeth in Our Provincial Court between Willm Caluert Esq & James Bowlin & Anne his Wife of Two hundred & fifty acres of Land in Talbot County, ….” So the Bowlings acknowledge (through their representatives the Neales) that the land is the right of William Calvert as “the gift of the said James Bowlin and Anne his wife” and they give up all claims to the land, in return for which Calvert gives Bowling 3,200 pounds of tobacco (ArchMd 49:130; Provincial Court Proceedings, 1663-64, Liber BB:176-77). William Calvert, the only son of the former governor Leonard Calvert, had just arrived in Maryland around 1662, was newly married and living in St. Mary’s Co. and in the process of recovering his father’s land. He drowned in the Wicomico River in 1682.
Whatever the relationship or dispute of James Bowling (then in his mid-20s) and the 20-year-old William Calvert that triggered this gift/sale, one has the feeling that Bowling was already close to the Proprietor’s family and probably James Neale, a future neighbor on the Wicomico River. The fact that Bowling named his home plantation “Calvert’s Hope” a few years later adds to this feeling.
Land in Southern Maryland
All Bowling’s subsequent property was in the area in the western part of St. Mary’s County or eastern part of Charles County running up to the lowest part of today’s Prince George’s County. The border between St. Mary’s County and Charles County seems to have been ill defined until 1696, the year when Prince George’s County was created out of part of Charles County and Calvert County.
On 6 May 1662, the same date as the restatement of the Bowlingly grant above, Bowling also requests land for 5 rights: Ann Boulen, Jane Covell, transported in 1659; Richard Stone, transported in 1661; right assigned unto him by Thomas Tidbury, mariner”; Seayone Bretton, who assigned his right, having “served my time in Maryland in 1654” (book 5:71, transcr. of X:147). A warrant for 250 acres is given. Then on 9 February 1664/5, James Bowling desired his warrant for 400 acres (dated 4 June 1663) be renewed, and it was renewed until 9 August 1665 — but the reason for the additional 150 acres since the 1662 warrant is not stated. This warrant for 400 acres would seem to cover the certification of Bowling Field (300 acres) and Bowling’s Reserve (100 acres) and explain the name of the latter (it was his remaining 100 acres of warrant).
Bowling’s Field (20 Jan 1666/7) — 300 acres (Liber 10:47 SR7352)
Certification for James Bowling in 1666, in Calverton Manor (now in Prince George’s Co, then Charles County?) adjoining William Boarman’s tract of land called Hall’s Place and John Barron’s tract called Dogwood Fortune. On 4 Sept 1666 (Liber 10:47 SR7352): James Bowling assigns and makes over 300 acres (out of 350 acres due him) to William Boarman for Bowling’s Field “in St. Mary’s County” beginning at a bounded tree of Capt. William Boarman and adjacent to Hall’s Place. Since this property, Bowling’s Field, was held for only a short time before being assigned to William Boarman, who owned an adjacent property, one has the feeling that Boarman was acquiring land in that area and arranged for Bowling’s warrant to be surveyed and then acquired by him. Then on 10 May 1676 it was “resurveyed” by Boarman with 5 other tracts into a single tract called Boarman’s Manor, below [Hall’s Early Landowners 4.22, 28].
Boarman’s Manor Resurveyed (10 May 1676)— 3333 acres (Liber 19:271 (or 771?) SR7360)
For William Boarman in 1676 in Charles County on the east side of Zachiah Swamp beginning at a bound poplar, it being the northernmost bound tree of James Bowling’s tract of land called Calvert’s Hope Resurveyed. This was a resurvey to consolidate the following six adjoining tracts owned by Boarman: St. George’s Rest, Hall’s Place, Bowling Field, The Indian Field, Boarman’s Reserve, and Dayley’s Rest. [Hall’s Early Landowners: 4.24]
Bowling’s Reserve (22 Sept 1668)—100 acres (Liber 11:522, 12:164).
Certificate and Patent for James Bowling in Chaptico Hundred (St. Mary’s), starting at a bound red oak on Capt. Boarman’s property George’s Rest. Bowling’s Reserve, Charley, Chessam and Bowling’s Plains adjoin Boarman’s Manor and lie not far from the east side of Zekiah Creek. Not mentioned by name in James’ will, so either sold before 1692 or part of the estate received by his wife Mary. Later owned by Thomas Clarke and then Thomas Mudd. Possibly this is the tract referred to as “the plantacon formerly James Bowlings” near a property of Capt. James Neale, as mentioned in the deposition of Neale’s servant John Muschamp on 8 March 1669/70 (ArchMd 60:252) and the 28 Feb 1668/9 indictment of James Neale Sr of Wollaston Manor for taking and killing one hog of James Bowling’s (ArchMd 65:46-7).
Bowling’s Plain (1671) — 150 acres (Patents Liber 16:420 St. Mary’s; Chas Co. Certificate 51)
Certificate for James Bowling. James bequeathed it to his brother Thomas, whose son John then inherited it and sold it in 1703 to Oliver Burch.
Calvert’s Hope (19 Feb 1670/1) —898 acres (certif. Liber 12:577 St. Mary’s; Liber 13:96 SR 7355)
Certification for James Bowling. In Charles County in the woods “on the east side of a main fresh branch [Zachiah] of the Wicocomico [River] about three miles from the river”, by the Portobacco Indian Path near John Smith’s tract of land called Smith’s Chance. Also adjoins William Boarman’s tract of land called Boarman’s Reserve. Then: Calvert’s Hope Resurveyed (10 June 1671), patent for 898 acres (book 14:219 SR 7356). Then resurveyed again (with 300 new acres) on 1 April 1707 by Benjamin and Elizabeth Hall (James Bowling’s widow and her new husband) for 1198 acres in Charles County “on the east side of Piles Fresh beginning at a bound poplar of the dwelling place of Major William Boarman.” Benjamin Hall was a neighbor with several tracts adjacent to William Boarman’s lands. On 10 June 1671 (the same day that Calvert’s Hope is resurveyed), Benjamin Hall resurveyed Simpson’s Supply for 440 acres which adjoined “Bowling’s tract of land called Calvert’s Hope”. A part of Calvert’s Hope lies on the road between Dentsville and Newport. For more details, see Md. Hist. Mag. 30 (1935):218-222.
Chorley/Charley (1 Aug 1671) — 152 acres (certif. Liber 16:31 SR 7357; patent Liber 14:221 SR 7356)
Patent for James Bowling. In Charles County (stated then as St. Mary’s County) beginning at a bound oak standing on the north side of Zachiah Swamp next adjoining his own tract of land called Charles’ Addicon and William Boarman’s tract called Boarman’s Addition. Mentioned: 50 acres land rights assigned by Dennis Huscula due him for completing his time of service in the Province. Also 102 acres by assignment of William Calvert for the “lett fall” of a tract of land called Calvert’s Hope. In his 1692 wills, James bequeathed this property to his brother Thomas, whose son John then inherited it. In 1701, Boarman’s Addition is described as adjoining John Bowling’s tract called Charley (John Bowling was the son and heir of James’ brother Thomas). The name is written variously “Chorley” and “Charley” in colonial records. Here it is assumed to be “Chorley” (the Lancashire district the Bowlings came from), with “Charley” as a misspelling or a dialectal pronunciation of Chorley. But possibly it is a reference to Charles Calvert, or the county named after him. There is no known member of the early Bowling family in Maryland or England named Charles. N.B. There is a separate tract called “Charley” patented in 1658 by William Parrott in Calvert County by Lyons Creek [Q:52, SR 7345]
Chorley’s/Charley’s Addition (10 October 1704) — 72 acres (CDi/168 SR 7376)
For John Bowling. In Charles County in the woods on the north side of a small branch of Zachiah Swamp beginning at a bound tree of his own tract of land called Charley. Also adjoins a tract called Miller’s Choice. John Bowling (d. 1711) bequeathed the lifetime use of Charley/Chorley and Chessham and Charley Addition “which my now dwelling plantation stands on” to his wife Mary, with eventual inheritance by his son Thomas.
Chessam (1673/4) — 125 acres (certif. Patents Liber 17:671 SR 7358; patent Liber 15:251 SR4327)
Laid out for James Bowling in Chaptico (St. Mary’s County). Bowling’s Reserve, Charley, Chessam and Bowling’s Plains adjoin Boarman’s Manor and lie not far from the east side of Zekiah Creek. James bequeathed it to his brother Thomas, whose son John then inherited it. In John’s 1711 will, he leaves it to his wife for lifetime use and then to his son Thomas. The best known Chesham in England is in Buckinghamshire, but there was also one in Bury, Lancashire about 15 miles east of Charnock Richard and possibly the place had meaning to James Bowling or his wife.
Miller’s Choice and Keet’s Rest adjoin and 100 acres of each are bequeathed in 1692 by James to his brother Thomas and inherited by his son John. John’s daughter Mary would receive “all that tract of land called Keet’s Rest being one hundred acres lying in Charles County”. It is not clear how James Bowling acquired these properties. Miller’s Choice: 100 acres in St. Mary’s was laid out for John Miller in 1675 (certif. Liber 15:193; patent 19:90). Keet’s Rest: 100 acres in St. Mary’s, surveyed 17 Aug 1675 for Edward Evans and assigned to William Keeth on the Southernmost bound tree of Miller’s Choice (patent Liber 19:366). On the colonial Charles County, Newport Hundred Rent Rolls (368-46).
LEGAL MATTERS (Court cases, depositions, etc.)
Court matters in 1658 involving Bowling and Anderton (see discussion above):
- Bowlin v. Anderton (18 June 1658, 6 Oct 1658; Dec. 1660: ArchMd 41:98, 156-7, 388)
- Anderton v Bowlin (Aug-Oct 1658: ArchMd 41:130, 166-7)
- Overzee v Eltonhead (7 Oct. 1658: ArchMd 41:175) — James Bowling, Alexander Laremore and Mr. John Anderton are deposed.
- Anderton v Hooper (1658; ArchMd 41:179) — James Bowling deposed
- Hottkeys v Fendall (1658; ArchMd 41:179) — James Bowling and John Anderton are deposed.
Dealings with Arthur Turner:
In particular, some glimpses into daily life into Maryland life in the 1660s can be had from Bowling’s dealings with the troublesome gentleman Arthur Turner, who was apparently a neighbor. In 1663, Turner instituted a suit against James Bowling for having defamed him by saying he had slaughtered a calf which did not belong to him. Although Turner called 8 witnesses to testify, the county commissioners decided Turner had no cause of action and had to pay court costs (ArchMd 53:351, 367, 371, 374-6). Turner’s nature is famously seen in a bastardy case in which the mother of the child, his servant Lucy Stratton, preferred a whipping to marriage with him on the ground that “hee was a lustful man, a very lustful man” to which he retorted in kind with sordid details to show she was the more lustful (ArchMd 53:31).
On 17 December 1662, Bowling brought a suit against Turner for a debt of 952 lbs of tobacco, and Bowling’s brother-in-law Thomas Speake brought a suit against Turner for a debt of 193 lbs of tobacco, based on a bill dated 4 December signed by Turner and witnessed by Bowling. At the court in February 1662/3, Thomas Lomax acted as lawyer for both Bowling and Speake and the court ordered Turner to pay Bowling and Speake (ArchMd 53:317, 337, 346-7). Subsequently, in 1663, in the Charles County Court, James Bowling presents “Robert Rrit by name” (presumably Wright), “a servant boy taken by way of execution from Mr. Arthur Turner”; Mr James Walker and John Neville were appointed to appraise his service, and they judged his time of service to be worth fifteen hundred pounds of tobacco” (ArchMd 53:355).
Turner died in 1666/7 owing Bowling a “Debt of 1500 lb of Merchantable tobaccoe in caske” and 9.5 barrels of corn. His children had guardians appointed and son Edward Turner was bound apprentice to James Bowling until age 21 (ArchMd 60:106, 120-1). On 17 July 1668, James Bowling of St. Mary’s County went to the Provincial Court to record his cattle mark “Cropt both eares, underkeeled both eares, and slitt in both eares” and requested that three cows, three calves and one yearling heifer might be recorded for the use of Edward, orphan of Arthur Turner, with another mark. That same day, James Bowling’s brother-in-law Thomas Speak and his neighbors Capt. William Boarman and Dennis Huskula also recorded their cattle marks, so we can understand that they came to court together (ArchMd: 57:345). Turner must have lived very near Bowling, as we can see from the various cases, but also from the 28 Feb 1668/9 indictment of James Neale Sr of Wollaston Manor for taking and killing one hog of James Bowling’s and six pigs of Arthur Turner (the estate or the son?), but the jury found him not guilty (ArchMd 65:46-7).
Christopher Russell acknowledges a debt due merchant Mr. William Brenton to be paid “at my now dwelling Plantation one Wicokomeco Riuer” (12 February 1660/1; ArchMd 53:397) — James Bowling witnesses the bill
James Bowling presents one maidservant for recording in the Charles County Court: Mary Simmons, aged 14 (1661/2; ArchMd 53:301).
Eltonhead’s Estate (1662; ArchMd 41:595) — James Bowling deposed
James Bowlin records his hog and cattle mark: “Cropt on the Right Eare with an underkeele in the Crope and the left eare underkeeled”. (1662; ArchMd 53:246)
James Bowling is a member of a jury of inquest in Charles County (1 October 1662; ArchMd 53:250)
Bowling vs. Marks Pheypo (1663; ArchMd 49:111) — judgement of 1500 lbs tobacco against Pheypo.
James Bowling presents two servants for recording in the Charles County Court: Thomas Bee aged 20; Peter Blackbeard aged 17 (November 1664; ArchMd 53:527).
Thomas Gerrard’s plantation Westwood was appraised (Feb 1665; ArchMd 49:520) — including 318 lbs of pork appraised by James Bowling and William Boarman (the ArchMd transcript says “the mark of John IB Bowling”, but the mark is that of James Bowling and John Bowling of Calvert County could sign his name).
Gerard v Boarman (1666; ArchMd 57:35) — James Bowling in open court says he was at Westwood Manor when some of Capt. Boarman’s servants “desired him to pace the land”.
John Morris is ordered to pay James Bowling the sum of 400 lbs of tobacco (24 Sept 1666—Feb 1667/8; ArchMd 60:36, 123-4), but he didn’t, so Bowling returns to court a year later for another order.
Bowling v John Grace (Nov 1666; ArchMd 60:42) — Bowling starts a case via attorney Benj. Rosier but then Bowling did not appear in court, so the case was dismissed.
James Bowling was in the jury for inquests into various felonies (12 April 1670; ArchMd 57:615)
Patrick English of St. Mary’s Co. appoints “my very good friend James Bowling of the same County and Province my true and lawful Attorney”. (28 Jan 1670; ArchMd 57:498).
Richard Edelen presents a servant on behalf of James Bowleing named John Tibbitt, aged 17, in the Charles County Court (10 June 1673; ArchMd 60:498).
James Bowling signs a petition from Inhabitants above the head of Wicomico River for building tobacco warehouses by the river (November 1681—ArchMd 7:224). Other signatories included Thomas Mudd, Richard Lloyd, William Boarman Jr, John Dent, William Rosewell, Thomas Turner
James Bowling v. Gerard Slye, and Gerard Slye v. Bowlings Execs. (1682, 1698-9; Md Court of Appeals 1695-1729: 136-47), regarding a signed agreement of Slye to buy Bowling’s tobacco, and Bowling claims damages of £200 sterling. The jury in October 1682 awards Bowling damanges of 36,613 pounds of tobacco. But apparently this was never paid, so James Bowling’s executors tried to claim the debt; then in 1698-99, Slye contests this, summoning James Bowling’s executors (Benjamin and Mary Hall) to court and asks to void a court decision of 1681-2 on the technical grounds that Robert Carville was attorney for both parties in 1682. The Court of Appeals abates the matter.
Council of Maryland meeting — investigation re comments of Robt Carville against Lord Baltimore at a meeting of the Justices of St. Mary’s County (Capt. James Bowling, Mr. Joseph Pile, Mr. Thomas Mudd, Mr. Robert Carville) about laying out land for a town. Each of the justices was deposed (11 Jan 1683/4; ArchMd 17:181-4).
Wardle (7/5/1686) — 780 acres NSBi/256 SR 7370 for William Boarman. The tract, lying near the branches of Zachiah Swamp, was formerly patented by George Mannering, then deceased. “Boarman’s ownership resulted from an extensive legal battle involving James Bowling and Joseph Pile.” [Hall’s Early Landowners 4.24]