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The Bowles of Canada and their Roots in Ireland and Great Britain

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The Bowles Draper Shops in Dublin

See Robert Bowles of Ballickmoyler, co. Laois and Dublin for more information on this family

Lucy (possibly Lucinda) Bowles was born in 1813, the only daughter of Robert Bowles, a shoemaker of Ballickmoyler, co. Laois, and Anne Waring, a Quaker woman who had been disowned by the Carlow meeting for marrying outside her faith.  The couple's three children were baptized in the Church of Ireland but following the family's move to Dublin in the 1820's all three children married back into the Quaker faith.  It would seem that despite being barred from her faith Anne had remained true to her religion and brought up her children in that belief.  Anne successfully appealed the order and was welcomed into the Dublin Friends Meeting in 1833.

In 1843 Lucy married Jonas Wardell, son of George Wardell of a prominent family of Quaker merchants in Dublin.  Slater's Dublin Directory of 1846 lists Jonas Wardell as a Linen Draper working for Baker & Co. and living on Rumley Avenue in Kingstown.  Baker & Co. were wholesale and retail linen drapers at #'s 2 & 3 Johnson's Place at George's Street, Kingstown which was operated by Samuel and John Baker who also had a second Baker & Co., grocers, location at 1 Mercer Street. While there were a lot of Samuel and John Baker's in Dublin these were most likely Lucy's half brothers (see Robert Bowles of Ballickmoyler and Dublin for the full story).

This business would have been associated with the firm of Baker, Wardell & Co., wholesale grocers and tea dealers of 76 Thomas Street whose principal's were Lucy's half-brother, Samuel Baker and a John Wardell.  John Wardell's obituary mentions his nephews Samuel and Thomas Baker.

Undoubtedly they were also connected with the firm of John Wardell, grocer and tea dealer at 47 Thomas Street and 10 Harold's Cross; William Baker, linen draper, at 2 Lower Dorset Street; William and Henry Baker, tailors, at Henry Baker & Co., tailors and drapers, at 7 Anglesea Street; and the Cassin and Waring, wine, tea and general merchants, at 10 & 11 Fownes Street who also had a Tea and Coffee Warehouse at 11 Eustace Street (next door to Thomas Bowles' print shop at 12 & 13 Eustace Street) all of which are listed in the 1846 Slater's Directory but these family connections have not yet been fully worked out. 

Shaw's Dublin Directory of 1850 lists Jonas and John Wardell as grocers with a store at a new location at 50 High Street.

Shaw's listing was a bit out of date as Jonas had died in 1849 leaving Lucy with two young daughters.  Thom's Irish Almanac of 1852 lists John Wardell, grocer, provision dealer and linendraper with only the original two locations at 10 Harold's Cross and #46&47 Thomas Street.

    Lucy Wardell & Co, 89 Lower George's Street, Kingstown

However, Lucy went on to open her own draper's shop at 89 Lower George's Street in Kingstown.  I haven't found when she opened it but the Religious Society of Friends' (Quakers) Historical Library in Dublin has an 1864 apprenticeship agreement between Lucy Wardell, draper, and a Charlotte Jackson (Deed Box IX, folder 7.7) and we know that family members bought "the interest in the Drapery Concern of the late Firm of Lucy Wardell & Co, Kingstown" in 1873 and continued to operate it as Penrose, Bowles and Co.  Lucy would have been 61 years old at the time and was passing on the business to younger members of the family.  This was exactly the same period in which her brother Robert sold off his agricultural business in Dublin and moved to a duplex style house called Air Hill in Kingstown.  The duplex style was probably for Lucy to live in the other side of the house. She died in 1881 at the age of 68 in her brother Robert's home in Kingstown. 

   Penrose, Bowles & Co.

I don't know yet exactly which Penrose or which Bowles this was but I would speculate that they were Robert's daughters Anne (now Penrose), Hannah (who died unmarried in 1887) and/or Lucy.  Robert's death notice in 1887 mentions that he held 89 Lower George's Street as well as his own house on York Road in Kingstown.

In February 1874 the Penrose, Bowles & Co. notices in the Dublin papers were all about the establishment of the new business at 89 Lower George's Street, Kingstown.  The first notice gives a very detailed list of the items which Lucy had stocked in her shop.  A month later they announced the building completion of their new "workrooms and warerooms" and that their buyers had just returned from London and Paris. Another month later they advertised their mantle and dress making department was open and were now describing themselves as "Silk mercers, drapers, milliners and mantle, dress and costume makers".

Pass your mouse over any map or clipping on this page for a larger view.

   
 
By the next spring the notice for their winter items clearance sale listed such items as Russian Seal Jackets, Beaver Jackets, Bannockburn Tweed Jackets, Cashmere Mantles, Home-spun Tweed etc. as well as a large stock of fabrics and materials as well as house linen, window curtains, shirts, ties etc. 
 
 
By Christmas 1877 they had become Drapers, Silk Mercers, Haberdashers, Mantle and Costume Cutters, Shirt Tailors and Outfitters.  The ad also includes the note that "All goods for charitable purposes charged lowest wholesale rates. Members of cooperative societies allowed the usual discount."
   
 
The Quaker historical library in Dublin has an apprenticeship agreement dated 1883 between Priscilla  Jane Wicklow, daughter of Joseph Wicklow, and Edward Lee of Penrose, Bowles and Company, General Drapers, Kingstown. 
 
  In 1885 a woman was convicted of stealing 5 silk handkerchiefs from the store.
 
 
 In 1888  Messrs. Penrose, Bowles & Co. made a 1£ contribution to the Catholic St. Michael's Hospital in Kingstown.
 
 
   
  The last reference that I have found for the company is an 1890 advertisement for a good practical milliner, outdoor which might mean that the store also had a market stall.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It's likely a complete coincidence but the Bowles and Penrose names appear together again in Winnipeg, Canada in the 1880's.  A James Penrose from England (note: James Doyle Penrose and his wife, Anne Bowles, did move to England as their 8th child was born in Norfolk in 1874 while the rest of the Bowles relations remained in Ireland) set up a photography studio in Winnipeg in 1871.  In 1879 he took on a Harry (Henry) Bowles as a partner although their term together was short.  James Penrose married and his third child was baptized Charles Bowles Penrose in 1888.  In the 1901 Census of Winnipeg we find a Henry Bowles, age 32 and born in Ireland, living with a James Bowles, age 37 and born Ireland, and family.  Obviously there was a strong connection between this James Penrose from England these Bowles from Ireland but were they connected to my line of Bowles and Penrose in Dublin?  I'll try to sort that out on my Bowles and Penrose Photographers in Winnipeg page.

This site was last updated 10/19/18