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The Attack on Cadiz in 1625 

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In 1625, during the 80 Years War fought largely between the Protestant and Catholic powers in Europe, England tried to repeat the success of their attack on Cadiz in 1596.  This attempt would be disastrous though as while the wind had favoured their attack in 1596 it went strongly against them this time.  After being blown far out to sea the fleet finally arrived at Cadiz in a badly weakened state.  Poor leadership and a bungled landing at the wrong entrance to the harbour of Cadiz caused the loss of over 1000 men.  As no protracted action could then be taken due to the scarcity of the remaining supplies on the ships the fleet was ordered back out to sea.
The ‘List of the Names of the Chief Commanders, Captains, Lieutenants and Ancients of his Majesty's Army Employed this Voyage’ includes a Captain Bowles, junior in Essex’s regiment and a Captain Bowles, senior and an Ensign Bowles in Sir William St Leger’s regiment. ref.
Although there are no first names to go by in that report, the only ones that fit all the known facts would be Sir John Bolle’s Uncle John Bolle ( in the Bolle of Haugh tree) as Captain Bowles Sr., Captain Bowles Jr. was his cousin John Bolle (who later held the rank of Captain) ( in the tree) and Ensign Bowles would likely have been John Jr.'s brother Richard Bolle (later the Hero of Alton Church) ( in the tree). 
The Ensign Bowles listed in St Leger’s regiment is confirmed to be Richard Bolle by this paper in the Calendar of State Papers of the Reign of Charles I; Volume 3: p. 67 April 8, 1628  Letter from Sir Peregrine Bertie to Secretary Conway. 
Certifies that Capt. Richard Bolles, Ensign to Sir Peregrine in the Low Countries, was called thence by Sir William St Leger, to serve in the expedition to Cadiz on June 1, 1625.
Once the fleet was out of Spanish waters a general council was held it which it was decided that their strength was so weak that they would have to return immediately or they wouldn't have enough able bodied men to make it.
The story of their return trip to England is told in the book ‘Life and Times of General Sir Edward Cecil, Viscount Wimbledon, Colonel of an English Regiment in the Dutch Service, 1605-1631, and One of His Majestys Most Honourable Privy Council, 1628-1638’:
While describing the poor state of the men returning from the attempted attack on Cadiz, it states that Captain Richard Bolle of Sir William St Leger’s regiment died upon the Swiftsure’s return to Plymouth on Dec. 5, 1625 from the effects of the spoiled food on the ship.  However I believe the writer incorrectly identified which Captain Bolle this was.   The book references a letter from John Eliot, the Vice Admiral of Devon, to Secretary Conway which I was able to locate.  The letter simply states “there is now to be buried one Captain Bolles, a landsman, who died since their coming in and with much grief expressed the occasion of his sickness to be scarcity and corruption of the provisions.”  The editor of Sir Edward Cecil’s papers had assumed that this was a reference to Richard Bolles but there were two Captain Bolles on the expedition, senior and junior, and I believe that it was actually the Captain senior, Richard’s father, John Bolle, who died upon his ship’s return to Plymouth in 1625.  This is supported by John Bolle’s wife’s Will of 1626 which states that her husband had pre-deceased her and includes bequests to son Richard who survived her.
Captain Bolle Jr.'s (Richard's) company was on one of the ships which was only able to reach the Royal Navy base at Kinsale, co. Cork where they were reorganized into new companies to serve immediately in Ireland due to the threat of an imminent Spanish landing.  Richard's company which would have started off with a full complement of 100 men was down to only 8 healthy men able to continue serving.  Four companies including Richard's were sent to subdue the last remaining rebels in Clare. 
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This site was last updated 01/19/20