The Bowles of St. Margaret's at Cliffe, Kent
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The Bowles of St. Margaret's at Cliffe, Kent

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This Bowles line goes well back into the early 1600's.  The use of the given name Phineas in this line indicates some connection to Charles Bowles of Chatham and the Bowles of Deal lines both of which used that uncommon given name.  Charles Bowles worked for the master shipwright, Phineas Pett (1570-1647), in Chatham as early as 1633 but there are indications that the Bowles and Pett families were connected prior to that.  Charles undoubtedly baptized one of his sons Phineas in 1647 in his boss and friend's honor.  However, in St. Margaret's at Cliffe, a Thomas Bowles baptized his son Phineas 8 years earlier in 1639.  This points to Thomas also having a connection to Phineas Pett which we haven't seen any previous indication of (and there is lots of source material on Phineas Pett) or possibly both families had a common link to an earlier person named Phineas.  After all, who was Phineas Pett named after?

Note: St. Margaret's at Cliffe is near the coast not too far from Deal where the Bowles line there also used the given name Phineas as well as another uncommon name Valentine which was also used by the Chatham line.  Likely Thomas was not from here but settled here after marrying a local woman. 

There is another possible clue, although slight, in the St. Margaret's line.  Thomas Bowles had sons Phineas and Thomas.  His son Phineas had a son Phineas (1670) but his son Thomas named one of his sons Finnis (1688).  Perhaps that was just a misspelling of Phineas by the parish clerk but there was also a Finnis family in that area from the late 1600's.  If they were in that area even earlier then that family could be the common link to all these branches and Phineas could be the misspelling of Finnis.  It's worth a thought anyway.

I have not examined the St. Margaret's at Cliffe parish register myself.  There could be subsequent generations listed in there.  The register possibly does not record the church's burials as there are no references found so far for the three very old memorial headstones to the Bowles family about 15 metres north-west of the church of St. Margaret at Cliffe: ref
 
Thomas Bowles, d.1758. About 3? feet high. Scrolled and wreathed head, with skull and crude cherub.
Phineas Bowles, d.1747. About 3 feet high, with double segmental head. Decorated with 2 Deaths heads, bones and hourglass.
Henry Bowles, d.1761. About 3 feet high, with scrolled cornice head, wreathed with doubled cherubs. 


The following family tree is based on entries in the St. Margaret's at Cliffe parish register (note: these are based on online resources; I have not yet verified them from the source material itself yet):
Reference: http://www.airgale.com.au/bowles/d2.htm#g2

Thomas Bowles b. ca. 1610
m. Joane Ffyneux Nov. 28, 1633 St. Margaret’s at Cliffe, Kent

1.  Mary Bowles bp. Sept. 7, 1634

2.  Anna Bowles bp. Apr. 10, 1636

3.  Jane bp. Apr. 22, 1638

4.  Phineas bp. Oct. 8, 1639

m.(1) Katherine Howling Oct. 29, 1665

4.1  Thomas bp. May 5, 1666

m. Susanna Kellett Apr. 15, 1688

4.2  Richard Bowles bp. Jan. 12, 1668

4.3  Phineas bp. Apr. 3, 1670

4.4  Ann bp. Mar. 3, 1672

4.5  John bp. Sept. 25, 1674

m.(2) Joane Boynian Apr. 7, 1686

5.  Thomas bp. May 11, 1642

m. Elizabeth Biere June 16, 1679

5.1  Sarah bp. Aug. 24, 1680

5.2  Thomas bp. Mar. 17, 1682

5.3  Mary bp. June 13, 1684  

m. Thomas Estes Nov. 14, 1706

5.4  Ann bp. Feb. 21, 1685

5.5  Finnis bp. July 29, 1688  (sounds like Phineas?)

m. Ann Cook Nov. 22, 1716

5.5.1  Thomas bp. Apr. 3, 1720

5.5.2  Finnis bp. Feb. 3, 1722  

m. Sarah Kenny May 1, 1744

5.5.3  Jagger bp. Apr. 5, 1724

m. Susanna Wellard Sept. 26, 1761

5.5.3.1  Mary bp. Apr. 11, 1762  

 

m. Henry Hambrook Oct. 18, 1783

5.5.3.2  Henry bp. June 5, 1763

5.5.3.3  Jagger bp. Jan. 11, 1764

5.5.4  Ann bp. Jan. 6, 1728  

m. John Wellard Dec. 13, 1767

5.5.5  Sarah bp. Sept. 27, 1730

5.5.6  Mary bp. Aug. 11, 1734

5.6  Thomas bp. May 17, 1691

m. Mary Brigg Dec. 26, 1715

5.6.1  Finnis (Phineas?) bp. Oct. 25, 1716

5.6.2  Thomas bp. Oct. 27, 1719

5.6.3  Henry bp. Mar. 5, 1726

5.7  Margaret bp. Apr. 26, 1694

 

6.   Catherine bp. July 12, 1644

7.   Elizabeth bp. July 20, 1645

m. William Wingfield Oct. 23, 1673



I have not examined the St. Margaret's at Cliffe parish register myself.  There could be subsequent generations listed in there.

So we have Thomas Bowles b. ~ 1610 marrying at St. Margaret's at Cliffe less than 5 miles south of Deal along the cost who named a child  Phineas in 1639.  In Deal we have Valentine Bowles b. ~ 1615 (his first child was born about 1638) who was at Chatham with Charles Bowles in 1641.  In Chatham we have Charles Bowles, born about 1614 (he was a young man starting a career in 1632 and married in 1637) who was working for Phineas Pett from 1632 to 1647.

Brothers?  To be continued!

This site was last updated 10/19/18