2) Thomas Bowling, the ancestor of all the Bowlings of Boarman’s Manor, came from the village of Charnock Richard in Lancashire. He was married in England to a woman named Ann with small children by the 1670s, so we can assume he was born a generation before then, perhaps in the range 1640-50. For more on the ancestry of Thomas and his siblings James and Elizabeth, see the English Ancestry of the Bowlings.
Of the immigrant siblings, Thomas Bowling spent the least time in Maryland, but we know about his family connections from several documents.
He was clearly well regarded by his brother Capt. James Bowling, whose 1692 will leaves Thomas five tracts of land: 100 acres of “Keet’s Rest”, 100 acres of Miller’s Choice, 125 acres of Chesam, 152 acres of Chorley/Charley, and 150 acres of Bowling’s Plains. In a codicil, James further gives Thomas some land near Newport Town. To his nephew, John Bowling and heirs, he gives a certain unnamed plantation near Newport Town. By a second codicil dated July 17th, 1692, the testator orders that should his wife Mary die without issue, all lands bequeathed to her should pass to Roger and then to John, sons of brother Thomas, and their heirs (Prerog Ct. Wills 2:271-277).
James’ will is the first time that Thomas Bowling appears in the Maryland records and, accordingly, we may suspect that Thomas had not yet been in Maryland. But after his substantial inheritance, he came to Maryland, where his name soon becomes quite visible in the records.
Thomas Bowling, as a civil officer of Charles County, was a signatory of the 1696 letter congratulating the King on his escape from harm (Arch. Md 20:543) and he is listed as a creditor or debtor in various estate inventories and accounts: those of Mr. William Rosewell (1695), James Bowling and Mr. Richard Gardiner (1696, in both of which he is listed as “Mr. Thomas Bowling”), Richard Charlett of Calvert County (1696), and Henry Brawner of Charles County (1699).
Of interest is the following sale on 22 February 1696: Ignatius Wheeler and Frances, his wife, made a deed of gift to Thomas Bowling, for the natural love and affection which they bore him, a parcel of land called Indian Field, lying along the Piscataway in Prince George’s County and laid out for 205 acres (DB A: 65). This gift has sometimes been taken to indicate that Thomas Bowling’s wife was a Wheeler, but (1) he had married in England, (2) the family friendship already existed since Thomas’ nephew John Speake had married Ignatius’ sister Winifred, and (3) why would the young Ignatius Wheeler with minor children need to give property to the older land-rich Thomas Bowling even if his wife were a relation? More likely this gift of property was in exchange for one of the Bowling parcels that Thomas had just inherited, or a way of documenting the land.
By profession Thomas was a shoemaker, as we learn from a dispute on 13 June 1699 between “Gerard Slye, Merchant vs. Thomas & John Bowling, ffather & sonne, shoe-makers” (Chas. Co. Land Rec. 1698-9, Lib. X1:157-8).
Thomas died in 1699 or 1700 (apparently in England), and the inventory of his estate was filed in the Charles County court for £139.15.6 on 5 Aug. 1700 by John Bowling, with Benjamin Hall and William Boarman (friends of Thomas’ late brother James) as appraisers (Lib. 20:134). There are three recorded accounts of his estate by his son John, one of which speaks of tobacco owed to several persons, amounting to 13796 pounds which had not been paid before “because the said deceased went out of the country three years before his death” (30 Sept 1703; PC Wills 3:33). So altogether Thomas Bowling may have been in Maryland for only a few years (1693-96?).
These Maryland documents accord with those of Leyland Parish in Lancashire which record the baptisms of John son of Thomas Bowling of Charnock (9 Nov. 1673) and Roger, son of Thomas Bowling of Euxton (20 Nov. 1677) and the burial of Ann Bowling of Euxton, widow, on 28 Sept. 1703. These English records completely fit our Thomas Bowling, his two sons, and his wife’s title as widow since he had died before her death in 1703. So sometime around 1675, Thomas moved from his childhood home in Charnock Richard 3 miles away to Euxton (pronounced “Ekston”, where these are the only Bowlings attested).
Thomas was still recorded in Euxton when this passenger list from Liverpool was composed in 1699 (New Engl. Hist. Gen. Reg. 64:261) :
- Servants bound to Thomas Bowling of Exton in Lancashire, husbandman, October 14: And Went in the Elizabeth for Virginniae or Maryland, Gilbert Leivsay, Master:
- James Hall of Exton in Lancashire, age 11, term of service 12 years
- Joshua Holden of Heath Charnock in Lancashire, age 16, term 8
- Thomas Colson of Chorley, age 18, term 8
- William Dickinson of Flucton in Yorkshire, age 14, term 8
- William Conly of Ouse Walton in Lancashire, age 9, term 13
The four Lancashire villages are all within a few miles of Thomas’ home and he was likely recruiting after his trip to Maryland. It was a harsh passage and a difficult new world that not all would survive through their long indenture. Ironically, Thomas, who apparently stayed in England, did not survive another year himself.
Children of Thomas Bowling (b. 1640-50, d. 1699-70) and Ann — (d. 1703)
2.1) John Bowling (1673 – 1711) marr. Mary Langworth
2.2) Roger Bowling (1677 – ?). Apparently never came to Maryland. Only certain is his baptism and the mention in the second codicil to his uncle James’ will (1692). The fact that John inherited his father’s entire estate in Maryland without mention of his brother may just be the practical arrangement that the brothers had (with Roger taking everything in England). In a later 1734 deposition in Maryland, it is stated that John Bowling (son of Thomas above) “came from Lancashire and left a brother there by the name of Roger Bowling” (Charles Co. Court R2:528). His subsequent history in England is not easy to identify because there were at least two contemporaries of the same name in Charnock Richard: Roger (b. 1666) son of Roger Bowling, Roger son of John son of Roger the Shoemaker (d. 1673), and Roger (b. 1670) son of John Bowling of Thomas. One of these was Roger Bowling “shoemaker” who was party to a deed in 1695. There is at least one will of a man named Roger Bowling of Charnock Richard who died in 1701.
John Bowling was baptized on 9 Nov. 1673 in Leyland parish in Lancashire. It is not clear when he came to Maryland, but probably with his father in the 1690’s to take hold of the land bequeathed by his uncle Capt. James Bowling. Because there were two John Bowlings in Maryland at this time (this John son of Thomas and John son of John of Calvert County), one must be careful with assigning actions to persons. But generally, it is assumed that events in Calvert Country belong to John son of John and those in Charles and St. Mary’s County belong to John son of Thomas.
John Bowling arrived in Maryland at a time when Catholic status suddenly became more critical. In 1692 the General Assembly repealed all previous laws relating to religious liberty and established the Church of England with penalties for Catholics which lasted until the American Revolution.
John Bowling moved in the same Catholic circle of Boarmans and Edelens as his father and uncle had. When Richard Edelen’s will was witnessed and proved in 1695 in St. Mary’s Co., the witnesses were John Bowling, James Hagan, and Bowling Speake. In 1709, John Bowling and Richard Edelen were the appraisers of the large inventory of Maj. William Boarman. In fact, John was even one of the witnesses of the 1698 will of the Franciscan priest Richard Hobart and was trusted to appraise his inventory with Richard Edelen (with William Boarman and John Higdon as approvers). In his own will, John later left a bequest for another Franciscan, James Haddock.
As a result of his father’s death in 1699-1700, John Bowling was a wealthy bachelor. In 1700 or 1701, with the Jesuit priest George Thorold presiding, John Bowling married Mary Langworth, daughter of William Langworth & Mary Hussey, and sister-in-law of James Hagan (Chas Co Land Rec R#2:528-9). William’s siblings had been killed in an Indian raid in 1666 and he left three daughters, but the Langworth name was later carried down as a middle name in the Bowling family. On the quit rent rolls for St. Clement’s Manor (c. 1700), John Bowling of Charles County was in possession of 300 acres of Engsbatch and 140 acres of Engsbatch Addition, both of which were surveyed for William Rosewell but which John had acquired by his marriage with William Langsworth’s daughter (Wm. Langworth was Wm. Rosewell’s nephew).
Progressively, John began to dispose of land. On 18 Aug 1703, “John Bowling, planter” sold the 150 acres of Bowling Plains which he had inherited from his father (originally from Capt. James Bowling) to Oliver Burch. His wife acknowledged and the witnesses were Benjamin Hall, Philip Briscoe. In July 1704, he and his wife Mary sold to John Winn for 7000 pounds of tobacco the property “Indian Field” which his father had bought a few years before from the Wheatleys. On 24 Oct 1706, John Bowling, Gent. deeded to Benjamin Hall, Gent., for £25, a parcel of land bounded by Westwood Manor and John Wathen’s land, laid out for 68 acre from a tract called St. Thomas granted to Thomas Simpson in 1671. On the other hand, on 10 October 1704 he also patented 72 acres of Charles’s Addition, 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 (CD #4/168). The name Charles’s Addition in the name suggests that his home property was the understood to be called “Charley” (rather than Chorley).
John Bowling fell ill in 1711 and wrote his will on 30 April that year, dying a month or so later (will probated 19 June in St. Mary’s Co. and Calvert Co.; Pr. Ct. 13.253 and 13.301), naming his wife Mary as executrix and leaving behind minor children Thomas, William, John and Mary. Each child was to receive land, as well as two cows and calves each, when they became adults.
- His wife Mary was bequeathed the lifetime use of Charley/Chorley and Chessham and Charley Addition “which my now dwelling plantation stands on”, as well as a negro man called John Maccusse and the remainder of the estate.
- Son Thomas would receive the above properties after the life of his mother. He also received “a negro man called James Mancusso”, and “a good feather bed, boulster, Rugg and blanketts”
- Sons William and John would receive “all my land or rights of lands” lying in St. Mary’s County. Each received a colt, William’s being that mare colt branded WB.
- Daughter Mary would receive “all that tract of land called Keet’s Rest being one hundred acres lying in Charles County”. She was also bequeathed a bay mare and a young bay horse, each branded ExB.
- Mr. James Martin was bequeathed “the one half of a certain tract of land called High Park lying in St. Mary’s County”. [This tract of 240 acres had been patented by William Langworth, who devised it to his daughter Agatha in his 1693 will. Presumably she died unmarried and the property was then divided between her sisters Mary Langworth Bowling and Elizabeth Langworth Hagan. The motive for this bequest is unclear. “High Park” is apparently on the Rent rolls for James Martin in 1707, perhaps having acquired the first half from the Hagans?]
- Mr. James Haddock [a Franciscan priest]: 200 pounds tobacco.
Looking back, it is ironic to read John’s instruction: “The one half of a tract of land called the Widow’s Mite containing 600 acres & lying in Prince George’s County, I desire it to be sould and the produce to goe towards paying of my debts”. This property had been patented by William Langworth in 1685 who then ordered it to be sold in his will, but it had not been sold, and so it was still the property of his two daughters Mary Langworth Bowling and Elizabeth Langworth Hagan and their husbands. It was finally sold in 1714 to Thomas Fletchall for 12,000 acres by Mary (and new husband Joseph Routhorn) and Elizabeth (and husband James Hagan). In fact, this troublesome property far up the Potomac would later become the most valuable parcel of all the land the Bowlings ever possessed: the West End and Kalorama neighborhoods of Washington, DC!
The children were all younger than 10 when their father died, and so their father’s will appointed guardians, so that “in case of my Mary Bowling’s decease before my children come to age, my son Thomas Bowling with his estate be put into the hands of Capt. Benjamin Hall and all my other children with their estates be put into the hands of Br. James Hagan”. Benjamin Hall was married to Capt. James Bowling’s widow; James Hagan was his brother-in-law (they had married Langworth sisters). The witnesses to the will were James Hagan, Thomas Hagan, and William Simmons. John’s cousin Bowling Speake and friend William Boarman appraised his inventory at £172.13.1.
With four small children and substantial property to manage, Mary Langworth Bowling soon remarried. Her new husband was Joseph Routhorn, born c. 1678. Both of them lived long lives and maintained close ties to Mary’s children.
The great landholdings which Capt. James Bowling had accumulated had been quickly passed on to his brother Thomas and then to Thomas’ son John and then to John’s small children. But a generation later, there was some contest or uncertainty about these inheritances, perhaps about Thomas’ other heirs in England but also about the birth order of John’s children. To clarify the land titles, on 13 August 1734 at the request of John’s son Thomas, several depositions were entered into the Charles County land records (R#2 37:528-9). Richard Edelen (aged 63) stated that John Bowling had told him that he “came from Lancashire and left a brother there by the name of Roger Bowling”. Rev. George Thorold, SJ stated that he had married John Bowling to Mary Langworth 33 or 34 years ago and their son Thomas was generally reputed to be the eldest son of the marriage. Mary Ruthorn (née Langworth) deposed that she was the wife of Joseph Ruthorn and the widow of John Bowling and confirmed John’s origin and brother. Ignatius Hagan (aged 48) stated that he was a near neighbor of John and Mary Bowling and that Thomas Bowling was their oldest son.
On 29 January 1749/50, the elderly Joseph Ruthorn and Mary, his wife, made provisions for their final care. They gave to Mary’s son William Bowling the tract Charlie and “the profits of 9 Negroes: Sarah, Nell, Joe, Dick, Ben, Poll, Suck, Priss, and Raphel, and also the use of an oval table and a safe, and 4 Negroes: Bartley, Pugg, Basil, and Patt, and the rest of his household stuff, his corn, wheat, meat, beans, cattle, hogs, horses, sheep, and dunghell fowls.” In return “William Bowling herebly obliges himself, in the penal sum of 30,000 lbs tobacco, to find & provide for said Joseph Ruthorn and Mary, his wife, during their natural lives, a warm room with a good fireplace and closet, furnished in a handsome manner, at the discretion and choice of said Joseph Ruthorn & Mary, his wife, out of the aforesaid household furniture. Bowling is to find them a Negro boy or girl to attend them under old age, sickness, or other bodily infirmities. Bowling is to provide them riding horses when they require the same, and to provide them drink, washing, and lodging suitable to their characters and condition, and to provide for the 9 Negroes during the life of Joseph Routhorn, and to pay Joseph Routhorn yearly 2000 lbs tobacco, and after the death of said Joseph, to pay Mary Routhorn yearly 1000 lbs tobacco. Joseph Routhorn will keep in his possession his chest and its contents. If any old or longstanding debts should come against said Joseph Routhorn, he may sell one of the 9 Negroes to discharge the same.” (14 February 1749, Charles Co. Land Rec. Liber Z#2.377). For some reason, however, this arrangement did not work out, and in 1753 William handed over the care of his mother to his brother Thomas Bowling: “We Joseph Routhorn and William Bowling of Charles County, Maryland, carpenters, … have sold to Thomas Bowling of Prince George Co., planter, all the right title interest and clam that we or either of us may have to five Negroes, Sarah, Nell, Ben, Poll and Priss now in the possession of William Bowling and made over to him by Joseph Routhorn for and during the natural life of Joseph Routhorn by deed bearing date 17 January 1749.” And they add one other Negro girl called Sall, daughter of Nell. In return Thomas Bowling obliges himself for 30,000 of tobacco to care for Joseph Routhorn and Mary Routhorn his wife during their natural lives in a similar way as William had. (22 March 1752/3, Prince George’s County, Maryland Land Records 1752-1757; Liber #NN:105).
Mary Bowling apparently died in 1754, because in 1755 and 1756 her son Thomas was able to sell the properties Charley and Chessam.
The Bowling surname in this Maryland family was only carried on by the progeny of sons Thomas and William.
Children of John Bowling and Mary Langworth (all born between 1701 and 1711):
2.1.1) Thomas (c.1703 – 1775) marr. Mary Green
The eldest son, he married well. He was to inherit most of his father’s land, but his mother lived long, and he faced a declining economy. His children were: Roger, John, Basil, James, Elizabeth, William Langworth. His grandson Thomas Bowling was one of the Catholic pioneers in Kentucky, where there are numerous descendants.
2.1.2) Mary (c. 1701/1710 — before 1733), probably marr. William Simpson
By her father’s will of 1711, she was to inherit Keet’s Rest, but there is no mention of Keeths/Keets Rest in Charles Co., Md. records after that until 1738 when William Simpson (then the owner) summoned a land commission to determine its boundaries. Among those deposed were: (1) Joseph Ruthorn, age about 60, who declared that near the place where he now stands, being near the head of Peter Montgomery’s Spring Branch, Abraham Lemastre told him that there, or thereabouts, stood the 1st bound tree of Keets Rest. (2) Francis Wheatley, age about 66, who declared that an old line tree was one of the bound trees of his own land called Millers Choice, and he has heard several times that Keets Rest bound on the aforesaid land (Charles County Court Records, Liber T#2:527). The first deed for the property is when William Simpson of Charles County, Gent., sold “the tract of land called Keeths Rest, formerly laid out in St Mary’s County but now in Charles County, containing and laid out for about 100 acres” to Baker Brooke and Mary, his wife, daughter to said William Simpson, on 18 February 1751, and that same day the Brookes then sold it to Robert Horner of Charles County for 9000 lbs tobacco.
So, it is likely that William Simpson came to own Keet’s Rest because his wife was Mary Bowling and their daughter Mary Simpson then married Baker Brooke. William Simpson would certainly know the Bowling family well: by May 1733, he (secondly) married Anne Green, da. of James Green and Charity Hagan, the sister of Thomas Bowling’s wife Mary Green — which also means that, if Mary Bowling was William’s first wife, she was deceased by 1733. Also, when Baker Brooke wrote his will in 1756, Joseph Routhorn was one of the witnesses. Apparently, the only child of Mary Bowling and William Simpson was Mary Simpson (born c. 1720-32), who married Baker Brooke. The will of Baker Brooke suggests his only child was Eleanor (Brooke) Thompson, but she was married by 1756 and was likely born c. 1730-38, so probably born to a wife previous to Mary (Simpson) Brooke.
2.1.3) William (c. 1707 – c.1787) marr. Mary —
Resided in Charles County. He left a detailed will, as did his four sons (John, Joseph, Thomas, Francis). His daughter Mary married Joseph Boarman. Most descendants in Maryland with the surname Bowling are from William’s grandson James Marsham Bowling.
2.1.4) John (c. 1704-1710 – d. 1735)
Before his death, John Bowling is known only from witnessing the will of Mary Boarman (February 1732/33) and a creditor paid by the estate of Thomas Baggot (1733). Possibly he is a creditor paid by the estate of James Green of St. Mary’s in 1722, but he would not be of age by then, so it could be an old debt of his father’s. Perhaps his illness or death led to the depositions in 1734 mentioned above. He left no will, but his inventory was appraised on 29 August 1735 by William Hagan and Marsham Queen at only £6.16.0, with his brothers Thomas Bowling and William Bowling as next of kin, and John Parnham as administrator. In the next accounting (17 February 1737), debts had been received raising the estate’s value to £15.13.3 (Annap. 21.49, 1735.6, 1708-1737.529, 16.46). It is not clear why Parnham (a Catholic neighbor) was administrator instead of a sibling. The sureties were David Stone and Walter Hanson, who do not appear to be relatives. Because of a confusion with John Bowen (d. 1725/26, Prerog. Ct. Wills 18.447) of Prince George’s Co., this John Bowling has sometimes mistakenly been said to have married Elizabeth Dorsett.
N.B. This John Bowling (1673-d. May-June 1711) of Thomas is to be distinguished from John Bowling (d. March-April 1711) of John of Calvert Co. who lived at the same time in Maryland on the upper Patuxent but was apparently not related to him.