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The Bolles of Bolle Hall, Swineshead parish

See also The Bolles of Swineshead and The Family Tree of the Bolles of Swineshead


For the first part of the Bolles of Swineshead story see The Roots of the Bolles of Swineshead

See more information about the actual Bolle Hall


This page will contradict the long accepted claim in the Bolle of Haugh pedigree that an Alan of Swineshead, father of Thomas Bole of Bole, was the Lord of Swineshead.  Please see The Lords of Swineshead and The Question of the Bolle as Lords of Swineshead.


The Hundred Roll of 1274 documents that a John Bolle was living in Kirton wapentake, the administrative district which included Swineshead parish, and an Allan Bolle and a Thomas Bolle were referenced in an inquisition held in Elloe wapentake just to the south of Kirton.  Although this doesn’t place them at Bolle Hall, this is consistent with the top two levels in The Bolles of Haugh Pedigree that show the earliest known Bolle of Haugh ancestor was an Allan of Swineshead and his son was Thomas Bolle of Bolle Hall.  So far I can just say that people of that name were in the immediate area and according to references in the Hundred Roll that John Bolle was of enough authority in the Swineshead area to have influence over the hanging of thieves and that Thomas Bolle was accused by some for abusing his office as a royal sub-bailiff in the area around Moulton, Whaplode etc.



The next levels of the Haugh pedigree can be confirmed. 



William Bolle (1)


The earliest Bolle mentioned in the Bolles of Haugh Pedigree that I could find an original source reference for is William Bolle (ca. 1270-1326) of Swineshead. 


In this reference from November 1311 he was referred to as ‘the attorney of John la Warre, Lord of Swineshead’.  This is notable as John la Warre had been Lord of Swineshead for only 1 year at that point.  The Gresley family had been the Lords of the Manor of Swineshead since about 1070 when this land was first awarded to Sir Albert de Gresley by William of Normandy following his conquest of England in 1066.  Sir Thomas Gresley (1280-1310) was the 8th Lord of Swineshead but he died with no heir in 1310 and the estate passed to Thomas’ sister Joan’s husband, John la Warre of Ewyas, Wales (now Hereford).  John la Warre already held extensive land in Somerset, Hereford, Wiltshire, Wales, Northampton, Surrey and Shropshire and through Joan he acquired her father’s holdings of Wakerle, co. Northampton;  the Manor of Manchester, co. Lancaster and the Manor of Swynesheved in Lincolnshire in September 1310.


With all that property, la Warre would have been too busy to see to the day-to-day business end of running Swineshead Manor so he would need a trusted local representative.  When one of la Warre’s tenants, William de Staunton, fell into debt, the Sheriff of Lincolnshire was not able to locate him within his bailiwick and reported back to the chancery court that he had seized all Staunton’s land and chattels and delivered them to ‘William Bolle, the attorney of John la Warre’.  Attorney did not mean what it means today, it was just a person appointed to represent another person on a specific occasion but it did indicate a level of trust that la Warre must have had in William.


As la Warre had only been Lord of Swineshead for one year at this point it has to be considered whether his trust in William could have been based on an earlier association with him.  See Was There a Previous Connection Between William Bolle and John La Warre?



In the 1300’s abbeys were run as businesses often with a son of the founding family or another leading local family as the Abbot.  Faith was a strong driving force and the church was seen as being able to influence the future of the soul after death.  Gifts of land and other assets to the church often followed an inheritance for the sake of prayers for their ancestor’s souls.  Those grants are very helpful to establish the lines and dates of descent at least in the better-off landholding families.  Well run abbeys were skilled at developing those donated lands, building manors on donated land to lease and running their own farm operations with donated labor coming from their parish. In the 1320’s John the carpenter, son of Thomas Bolle of Algarkirk, gave Crowland Abbey an acre of sea-marsh lying between the sea-marsh of John Bolle and Foscedyke towards the east and John the Carpenter’s land toward the west, the south abutting on the sea-marsh of the Abbot of Crowland and the north on the sea-dyke.  Ref. (Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, Wrest Park Cartulary, f. 132, no. 12)


The list of tenants of Thomas of Multone, Lord of Fleet (sons Alan and Lambert de Multone and Thomas de Lucy) in 1315 includes a Simon Bolle.  Ref.

Land between the messuage of Simon son of Gilbert and the church and between the bank and Westgate:

Richard son of Roger atte Green the plot of Simon Bolle and returns per year 18d and 3 days of boon work

On page 150 there is a summary of boon work days owed annually to the Manor of Fleet which has Ro(ger) son of Asceline on Simon Bolle’s plot owing the 3 days.

The land in the Fells south of Swineshead was very swampy but the landowners and church leaders built dikes and drainage canals to reclaim the swamps as very valuable meadow land.  Then began a period of competition for these lands as ages old grants were studied to see just what rights may have been retained when their families made grants to the abbeys in the past.  Claims and counter-claims were regularly made as the various factions argued over their rights to these valuable meadows.  As the king rarely ruled on church matters (until Henry VIII’s time) they sometimes escalated into armed encounters.


The abbot of Crowland Abbey, which had originally founded Spalding Priory, attempted to supplant the Abbot of Spalding’s use of church land within the manors for which Crowland still held the charters but that was met with resistance and an offensive onto his own lands.  In July 1329 he complained to the king that Walter, the prior of Spalding, with his men of Spalding and Moulton, including Alan of Multon, Thomas de Fleet of Holbech, John Bolle of Whaplode, William son of John of the same (so William Bolle?) and an Alan Bolle (of Moulton), had cut down the beams supporting his dikes protecting his abbey and crop lands had been flooded, they had also extorted tolls from persons coming to the Crowland fair and assaulted the officers he had appointed to collect those tolls within his own manors of Spalding, Holbech, Whaplode and Sutton.  Ref. (Patent Rolls of Edward III)


In another land dispute, in 1332, Thomas Wake of Liddell and his men of East and West Deeping and Barholm prevented Crowland’s bailiffs from collecting tolls and other dues from the fair there and hindered merchants from attending and also broke into the abbey’s close at Baston and seized livestock from several of the abbey’s manors and held them at West Deeping until a fine of £500 was paid.  However, the abbot had other plans.  Accompanied by his monks and several other men he raided Wake’s manor assaulted Wake’s servants and carried away his animals.


Later Wake raised a dike to manage the water on his own land which caused it to flow onto Crowland’s land and in June 1342 Wake complained to the king that ‘the Abbot of Crowland with several monks and many others (the list of men is stated this time and included a Richard Bole) broke a dike in his marsh at Depyng (Deeping) causing his land to be flooded so that he lost the profits of the marsh for a great while and carried away his fish’.   (Patent Rolls of Edward III)


One last reference in the south of Lincolnshire.  In 1349, a William Bolle, chaplain to the church of St George Stamford (west of Deeping) was appointed to the ministry of that church.  The appointment came from King Edward III as the church was normally under the abbot of St Fromond (of France) but was temporarily in the king’s hands due to the present war with France. (Patent Rolls of Edward III)


John Bolle (1)

 under construction


William Bolle (2)

 under construction


John Bolle (2)

 under construction


Randulph Bolle

 under construction

The National Library of Wales

Lease for 5 years of a piece of meadow called le Ouxpastr', , and if 2 ...,


Material type:     Text

Language:  Latin

Year: 1383

Level:        File.

Summary:  1 Lord John la Warre, kt, lord of Swynesheued. 2 Ralph Bolle of Swynesheued. Lease for 5 years of a piece of meadow called le Ouxpastr', [ ? p. Swineshead, Lincolnshire], and if 2 dies within the aforesaid term there will be no constraint upon his heirs to rent the aforesaid meadow beyond the first day of March following his death. Annual rent: 100s. Dated at Swynesheued. Latin. Armorial seal of 2 (damaged). Deed repaired prior to purchase by NLW.




William Bolle (3)


 under construction

John Bolle (3)


 under construction

William Bolle (4)


 under construction

John Bolle (4) – later of Haugh

    See The Bolles of Haugh



This site was last updated 10/19/18