Bowles DNA Project
Thomas and Richard Boles' Role in the Revolt of Cork
An article in the July to December 1863 issue of The Gentleman's Magazine tells us most of this story. In 1862, Richard Caulfield, studying the Carte Papers stored at the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, discovered the transcripts of the depositions taken by the courts following the revolt in Cork city. He produced a paper entitled Abstracts From The Depositions of Cromwell's Adherents In The County and City Of Cork, Taken 1654. This paper was then published in the Gentleman's Magazine and remains today the most comprehensive account of these events.
(note: he seems to have been wrong about the date of these depositions as he appears to have missed the fact that the documents were dated in the Old Date Format which was based on the calendar year only starting on March 25. Under that format dates in January, February and the earlier part of March were considered to be at the end of the previous year. Thus, Feb. 22, 1654 would usually be written Feb. 22, 1654/55 and would actually have been Feb. 22, 1655 in terms of our modern calendar. The full transcript of Captain Robert Myhill's deposition (see the image below) clearly shows that the original document was dated Feb. 22, 1654/55 which means that the depositions were actually taken in 1655 not in 1654. See a Note on the Julian Calendar)
Here are some extracts from the article:
p. 289 Feb. 16, 1654 The examination of Col. Rich'd Townesend, aged 36, now resident in Castlehaven, English Protestant, at the declaring of Corke for the Parliament of England on the 16 Oct. 1649, a prisoner in said citty, being duly sworn sayth, That about three days before the aforesaid declaration of Corke, Capt. Robert Mihyll came to this examinant's chambers ....and thereupon engaged him in privacy, and acquainted him of an intention of severall persons to secure the city and forte of Corke and Castle of Shandon for the parliament of England and the then Lord Lieut. of Ireland. And this examinant further sayth that he well remembereth that the same night of the declaring, he saw Col. John Jefford, Col. William Warden, Col. Charles Blunt,... (many names which I have excluded from this extract)...Henry Rogers and Thomas Boles, to be very active in the securing said Citty, Forte and Castle for the English interest and further sayth that as he heard said persons continued faithful to the Commonwealth of England.
p. 291 Feb. 16, 1654 The exam'n of Col. John Gyfforde, aged 51, Eng. Prot., now resident at Ardmore, co. Waterford, at the declaring of Corke for the Parl't., a prisoner in the citty. That about three days before said declaration, Col. Charles Blount, came to examinant's chamber where he was committed and acquainted examinant on oath of a resolution of several persons, viz., Lt. Col. Reeves, Col. John Hodder, Capt. Rob't. Myhill, Capt. Peter Carew, Sir Richard Burnell, Col. Rich'd. Townsend and Col. Will. Warden, etc., to secure the citty of C. etc. for the Parl't. which motion he cheerfully embraced, and on 16 Oct. 1649, did see [said parties] with Col. Chas. Blount, Lieut. Thos. Huett...(again omitting many names from this extract)...Capt. Thos. Boles...very active in securing the citty of C. for the English interest, etc.
p. 292 Feb. 20, 1654 The exam'n. of Capt. Peter Carew, aged 45, Eng. Prot., now resident at Rosse, co. Kerry, at the declaring of C. for the Parl't., a Capt. of Foot in said citty. That about two months before the declaring, examinant with Capt. R. Burnell, Capt. R. Myhill, Capt. J. Hodder, Col. C. Blount, Cap. T. Bowles, ...(several more names)...had several meetings to contrive the surrender of C., which by the blessing of God was affected with the assistance of...(more names)...and that one Sergeant Hugh Buckland, then in the forte of C., under command of Col. Agmondisham Muschamp, then Gov. thereof, was of the council 4 days before, and did assist by removing a sentinel and giving an opportunity for the placing of a ladder and entrance by a port hole which was effected by the industry of Capt. Rob't. Myhill with a small party of men....
p. 294 Feb. 22, 1654 Capt. Thos. Bowles, aged 46, examinant. (Nothing of interest) Note: while this paper states that Thomas Boles gave no new evidence of any interest to his paper, the original transcript at the Bodleian Library could be very interesting as a documentation of Thomas' own statement of his actions and perhaps some more personal information about Thomas such as his actual military role and his occupation.
p. 294 Feb. 22, 1654 Capt. Rob't. Myhill, aged 31, examinant, a Capt. in Col. Sterling's Regiment. About 6 weeks before the declaring of C. considering with himself the sad condition the English interest was then brought into, cast about in his own thoughts what was best for him and other Eng. protestants to doe in order to freeing himself and them, so went into the shop of one Capt. Thos. Bowles in the citty of C., with whom he was intimate, and to whom he opened his mind, and told said B. that he thought it advisable to use some means for delivering himself and others from the bondage they were in (the Lord Inchiquin having joined with the Irish); and thus having a great influence on him, put said B. to his oath for secrecy, then told him of his resolution to secure C. for the Commonwealth, and further told B. that he had about 8 good men of his own comp'y. which he was sure would stand by him. Said B. promised to influence the townspeople also;
For the full transcription of this particular testimony, click on the image to the right:
p. 577 Mar. 2, 1654 Will Strangwaies, gent., aged 64, inhab. of C., did see Henry Floyd, Thos. Price, Hugh Stainer, Henry Burridge, John Clarke and Rich'd. Bowles, inhabitants of C., turning out the Irish, some having swords in their hands, others by their sides, about 12 o'cl. in the night.
p. 577 Mar. 2, 1654 Rich'd. Bowles of C., maulster, aged 40. (his evidence contains nothing of importance) Note: again the original transcript of his evidence could be very valuable to add some details of Richard's role in these events and to his life at that time in general.
As the magazine article contains many other family names and much more detail of these events, I have attached the original pages here for any interested person's further study.