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William Bowles of Wingfield

We only know about the existence of William Bowles of Wingfield, co. Wexford through a Land Deed Memorial which was registered in Dublin on Feb. 15, 1796.  The memorial was for a land lease originally signed on April 29, 1793 between William Cooper of Coopers Hill in the Queen's county and William Bowles of Wingfield in the county of Wexford for 6 acres of land in Ballymoilder in the Queen's county bordering Cooper's property and lying along the High Road leading from Ballymoilder to the town of Carlow.  ref.


This is significant to my family's history as my direct ancestor, John Bowles of Ballickmoyler, Queen's county, had leased his 6 acres of property from William Cooper of Coopers Hill in 1750.  That memorial specified that John Bowles' land bordered William Cooper's land in Ballickmoyler and lay along the High Road.  It does not specify that the High Road led to Carlow but there is and was only one main road running through Ballickmoyler.  To the NW it runs to the town of Arles and to the SE it runs to Carlow and the Cooper land was to the SE of town so if the land lay alongside the Cooper property it was on the High Road leading to Carlow.  text of the 1750 memorial


A case might be made that Ballymoilder is not exactly the same name as Ballickmoyler however there is also an 1813 memorial in which a William Bowles leases that same property (described as 6 acres in Ballickmoiler adjacent to William Cooper's land, laying along the High Road leading to Carlow and with the same neighbours on three sides as was specified in the 1796 memorial) to his son-in-law.  So Ballymoilder is Ballickmoiler which is obviously Ballickmoyler.  text of the 1813 memorial 

So my ancestor, John Bowles, and William Bowles of Wingfield owned adjacent or practically adjacent property in Ballickmoyler.  It could be argued that this was purely a coincidence but there are sufficient other indications to make the case that these two were directly related.  My full analysis of this claim is presented at John Bowles and William Bowles of Ballickmoyler.

This is significant to my own family history and has to be examined extremely closely as William Bowles of Wingfield would knock down a 7 year brick wall and become the link between my family and Charles Bowles of Chatham, Kent, EnglandIF I can sufficiently and critically demonstrate this likelihood.

I can say only that William was 'almost certainly' connected to the Bowles of Chatham as the connection is not documented by public record but I believe that I can produce sufficient proof to demonstrate the certainty of their connection.  It's first necessary to document just what was meant by 'of Wingfield, co. Wexford'.

The Wingfields were a wealthy landowning family who recurrently held the title The Viscounts Powerscourt reference1 reference2 so named for their Powerscourt estate in Wicklow.  They also owned extensive land in neighbouring Wexford where other branches of their family had lived for hundreds of years.  This property included an estate called Wingfield, one of several so named estates in areas where branches of the family had owned land.  By the mid-1600's, Wingfield in Wexford had been leased to the Brownrigg family.  Various web sites document the Brownrigg's early history but my own interest lies in the late 1700's when they are on frequent record as occupying the Wingfield House in Wexford. references  Wingfield was not a townland but rather an estate which was occupied by a Henry Brownrigg at the time of William Bowles of Wingfield's deed memorial of 1793. 

It would be great to discover at this point that there was a William Bowles known to be connected to Henry Brownrigg of Wingfield House in 1793.  Family History seldom comes together all that easily but in this case, amazingly enough, there actually was one.

The Brownriggs of the Wingfield estate are rather hard to sort out due to their repeated use of the given names Henry and Thomas but the following tree outlines their connection to Wingfield and to the Bowles of Chatham family including to a William Bowles who would have been the first cousin (by marriage) of the Henry Brownrigg who was living at Wingfield in 1793.  He would be my candidate for the William Bowles of Wingfield, co. Wexford who acquired the land at Ballickmoyler.

Henry Brownrigg of Wingfield, co.Wexford (d. 1723) m. Joan Symes
1. Thomas Brownrigg (d. 1750) who inherited Wingfield in 1723
1.1   Henry Brownrigg (1729-97) who inherited Wingfield in 1750 and was living there in 1793
1.1.1  Rev’d. Thomas Brownrigg (1755-1826)
2. Major Henry Brownrigg (~1716-1780)
m.(1) Katherina Bowles (sister of General Phineas Bowles) and settled at Altidore, Wicklow
William Bowles (living with them, see below)
m.(2) Alithea Maria Bowles (the widow of General Phineas Bowles)
2.1   Richard Bowles (Henry's stepson through Alithea Maria Bowles)
3.  John Brownrigg
3.1  Thomas Brownrigg

My thanks to the late Henry Brownrigg of London, England for helping me sort out the Brownrigg tree. 

William Bowles was the son of Charles Bowles of Chatham's son Thomas. reference  I don't know why but his son William went to live with his Aunt Katherina shortly after her marriage to Major Henry Brownrigg of Altidore. reference  Katherina died in 1754 and in 1757 Henry married Katherina's sister-in-law, Alithea Maria (Hill) Bowles, the widow of her brother General Phineas Bowles who had died in 1749. Alithea died in October 1771 and Henry retired from his military commission reference a month later and was living in Pennington, Hampshire, England when he died in 1780 Henry Brownrigg's Will.

Henry Brownrigg's second Bowles wife, Alithea, would have been another of William Bowles' Aunts so it's likely he would have remained within the Brownrigg household, although as an adult he may well have gone on his own with some property settled on him by Henry Brownrigg or by his Aunt Katherina from her Hill inheritance ref. or he may have acquired some property in his own right with money left to him by either of his Aunts or by his father, Thomas Bowles.

In any case, we know that William was still resident in Ireland in 1784 as he was listed as having come from Ireland to attend his Uncle Humphrey's funeral in England that year.  reference

William was 'of Dublin' in 1791 as he is mentioned as a witness on a land deed memorial dated May 14, 1791 between Phineas Bowles of Roscommon (an illegitimate son of General Phineas Bowles) and Richard Bowles of Pennington, Hampshire (the son of General Bowles and Alithea Maria Hill who had inherited the Pennington property from Henry Brownrigg upon his death in 1780.  See Henry Brownrigg's Will above.  A lawyer, James Bradish, witnessed the memorial on Phineas' behalf.  The only other witness was William Bowles of Dublin so he would have been there representing Richard's interests.  ref.

William's property would likely have been at Wingfield in order for him to be termed 'William Bowles of Wingfield, Esq.' in the 1793 land deed when he acquired the land in Ballickmoyler.  He had apparently also married in Ireland as his eldest son William is mentioned in the deed.

An actual birth certificate proving this relationship would be much better but I believe there is sufficient likelihood from the evidence found to say that "almost certainly" John Bowles of Ballickmoyler was closely related (brother or cousin note) to William Bowles of Wingfield, co. Wexford who was the son of Thomas Bowles of the Chatham Bowles line and the adopted son of Henry Brownrigg and Katherina Bowles and therefore my ancestor John Bowles was a descendant of the Bowles of Chatham line. 

This is not a 100% proof but it is much more likely than that there was not only one William Bowles around the Brownrigg family of Wingfield but that there was also some second William Bowles in Ireland who had a connection to the Wingfield estate sufficient to be termed "William Bowles of Wingfield, co. Wexford", who was also a gentleman enough to use the term 'Esquire' and yet somehow was not a member of the Bowles family which was closely related to the Brownriggs who lived there.

Actually there already were two William Bowles connected to the Brownriggs as the William we are referring to, the son of Thomas Bowles, also had a son William who is mentioned in the 1793 Ballickmoyler land deed (see above).  A third William Bowles right there with the Brownriggs is even less likely.

See also The Bowles of co. Wexford for references to some other Bowles in Wexford who also seem to have had some connection to Carlow, the market town near Ballickmoyler.

The Bowles of Chatham are quite difficult to sort out mostly due to their fondness for the family name Phineas several of whom were resident in Ireland in roughly the same timeframe. 

Please see Sorting Out The Various Phineas Bowles

This site was last updated 02/04/21