The Bowles of Canada and their Roots in Ireland and England
See also The Bowles of Penhow, Monmouthshire, Wales for more on their connection to this family.
ORIGIN AND EARLY DAYS
Sir William de St. Maur, Knight, was expressly called “of Penhow,” which was one of the border castles in Monmouth erected against the Welsh., and which, as has been already noticed, had formed part of the possessions of the family for some time. These possessions Sir William evidently determined to increase, for, in 1235-6, he entered into an agreement with Gilbert Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, to wrest the Manor of Woundy or Undy (as it was called later) from a Welshman, Morgan ap Howell, Lord of Caerleon, an attempt which appears to have been successfully carried out, the manor being subsequently divided between the Earl and Sir William. An old Latin record, which is transcribed in Vincent's manuscript baronage in the College of Arms, No. 20, says: “Gilbertus Marescallus., comes Pembrochiae tenetur praebere domino Willo de S. Mauro consilium in quantum poterit, secundum leges Angliae, ad perquirendum manerium de Woundy, de Morgano filio Hueli, tali conditione quod si praed ; Willus dictus menerium perquirere poterit. dictus Gilbertus habebit medietatem dicti manerii, et aliam medletatem ciat extendi dicto Willo, per probos et legales homines ad hoc ex utraque parte electos ita quod pro qualibet summa 20 L. redditus dictus Gilbertus dabit Willo de S. Mauro decem libras. Et quod idem Willus de S. Mauro teneat medietatem dicti manerii in manu sua, donec inde plenam solutionem, sicut praescriptum est, receperit. Et si forte contigerit, quod idem Willus de consilio dicti Gilberti defecrit, dictus Willus de S. Mauro remaneat soiutus et quietus de obligatione, quam dictus Gilbertus fecit super dictum manerium de Woundy.”
Sir William de St. Maur thus became possessed of the Manor of Undy in addition to that of Penhow. The latter place he made his residence, and soon transformed it into a larger and more important castle, surrounded by a large park, both of which he named St. Maur. He also dedicated the church there to St. Maur) the patron saint of the family, who seems to have been of some importance in ancient days, for even now churches are to be found abroad that were dedicated to him. Camden. in his chronicles of events in Ireland, 1361, also mentions him: “On the feast of St. Maur the Abbot., there happened a violent wind, that shook or blew down the pinnacles, chimneys, and such other buildings as overtopped the rest ; trees without number and several steeples ; particularly the steeple of the Friar's Preacher's.”
Sir William's signature appears as witness to two charters of Gilbert Marshall, and to three of Walter Marshall, two being undated, and the third bearing the date 1245. He married the 3rd daughter of William Marshall. Earl of Pembroke, but nothing more is to be found about him except that his son, Roger, is mentioned as succeeding him.
Sir Roger de St. Maur inherited his father's possessions at Undy and Penhow. He is mentioned as Lord of the Manor of the former in 1269. He died before 1300 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Roger.
It is at this period that we first find mention made of the arms of the St. Maur family which, from a seal appending to a grant of message to Thomas Elliot, of the chapel of Undy, surrounded by this inscription : (1 Sigill, Rogerii de Seimour,” appear to have consisted of two. angel's wings, joined, tips downward. In an MS. of Percy Enderby, which was in the possession of S. R. Bosanquet, Esq., in 1867, he records that in the “South windows at Penhow there were in the centre the arms of Seymour, Gules, 2 wings conjoined, or.” In his History of Modern Wiltshire, vol. i, p. 115, Sir Richard Colt Hoare says: “Percy Enderby, in his book entitled Cambria Triumphans, informs us, that the arms, now borne by Seymour (viz. : a pair of wings) Were, in his time, visible in the church at Penhow ; both cut in stone and in painted glass ; and 1 have been informed by a friend of mine, who lately visited Penhow at my request, that he perceived the wings on two old windows, belonging to a tenant at that place, and which being rather singular as to their application and situation, I think worthy of remark.”
Of Roger de St. Maur but little is known, except that he lived in the year 1314, and married Joan, daughter of ??? Damarel, of Devonshire, by whom he had two sons, Sir John St. Maur and Sir Roger St. Maur, the former of whom died about 1358, 1358. leaving a son, Roger, born in 1340, who in turn left an only daughter who married into the family of Bowlays, near Penhow, and apparently brought her inheritance of Penhow Castle into that family.
(note: the Bowlays spelling is only one of the early spellings used by this line which would later become one of the many Bowles lines)
See The Bowles of Canada
See The Bowles of Ireland
See The Bowles of Great Britain
This page was last updated 10/18/18