The Bowles of Canada and their Roots in Ireland and England 


Sorting Out the Various Phineas Bowles

Charles Bowles of Chatham and his descendants certainly had a fondness for the given name Phineas. 

Charles was the clerk and close friend of Phineas Pett (1570-1647), Master Shipwright, Master of the Corporation of Shipwrights and Commissioner of the Navy at Chatham (1630 to 1647).

Notable ships which Pett designed and built include the Prince Royal, the 'pride of the fleet', for Prince Henry in 1610 and the Sovereign of the Seas 'a first rate of 100 guns' in 1637.


Phineas Pett (1570-1647)

Pett refers to Charles Bowles several times in his autobiography.  In pages 151 to 153 Pett describes a trip he made to Woodbridge in July 1633 with several companions including his son Peter and his 'man' Charles Bowles.  The purpose of the trip was to propose terms for the marriage of his son Peter to Katharine Cole the daughter of his old friend and fellow Shipwright of the Royal Navy, Thomas Cole.  That marriage occurred in September 1633.  In October 1637 Charles Bowles married Agnes Cole, another daughter of Thomas Cole's, so perhaps more than one marriage was founded during that trip to Woodbridge.  The fact that Peter Pett and Charles Bowles married sisters is a good indication of the strength of the connection between Charles and the Petts.

In May 1647 Charles Bowles' 4th son was baptized Phineas in his friend's honor just 3 months before Phineas Pett's death. Young Phineas Bowles would grow up to Secretary of the Admiralty and was only the first of at least 7 of that name to be born in the next four generations.

Here is a handy guide to help sort out the various Phineas Bowles:

Note: the following tree ignores numerous other siblings in order to emphasize the lines which contained the various Phineas Bowles.  For a detailed family tree of this family see Charles Bowles of Chatham's Family Tree

1. Charles Bowles of Chatham
1.1   John Bowles of Eltham
1.1.1  Charles Bowles of Southwark
1.1.2  Phineas Bowles of Loughborough House (d. 1718)   Humphrey Bowles   Phineas Bowles (Lieut. Gen.) (d. 1749)
(given command of 1.2.1  Brig. Gen. Phineas' Brigade in 1719)   William Phineas Bowles (d. 1760)  Phineas Bowles (illegitimate)   Richard Bowles  Thomas Bowles  Phineas Bowles (Captain in Fowkes' Regiment, killed at Gibraltar in 1743)
1.2   Phineas Bowles (Secretary to the Navy 1689) (d. 1714)
1.2.1  Phineas Bowles (Brig. Gen.) (d. 1722)
Note: several web sites report that Lieut. Gen. Phineas Bowles took command of his father, Phineas Bowles', brigade in 1719 but in fact it was his father's cousin's brigade.  There are also references online to a 'General Phineas Bowles' which confuse or combine the details of the two General's careers.

See The Bowles of Canada

See  The Bowles of Ireland

See The Bowles of Great Britain

This page was last updated 10/18/18