Bowes Family

Sir George Bowes
Sir George Bowes (1527 – 1580)

The Bowes family appears here because in January 1649/50 Margaret Craddock (first cousin of Susannah Craddock, a direct ancestor of the Man family) married Ralph Bowes (born 1627) of Bradley Hall and they continued the senior male Bowes line until it ceased on the death of Thomas, Margaret’s great great grandson (see (4) below). There are some descendants living of Ralph and Margaret’s through the female line. Margaret’s husband’s great grandfather was Sir George Bowes (1527-1580) (right). The son of Ralph and Margaret (Craddock) Bowes was:

  1. George Bowes (c. 1650-1729) who married Sarah Baker and their son was:
  2. Thomas Bowes (1687-1752). He married Elizabeth Pickering, the daughter of John Pickering of Hedley Hall. Their children were George, Ralph, Sarah and Jane (see below). The eldest son George succeeded his father Thomas but George died unmarried and so the next son Ralph succeeded his brother George:
  3. Ralph (or Robert?) Blakiston Bowes (c1710-1767) married on 5 February 1756 Ann Clement, the only daughter and heiress of Ralph Clement. Ralph was succeeded by his son:
  4. Thomas Bowes was born on 29 June 1758 and succeeded his father Ralph. Thomas died in March 1844 and was the last male representative in name and descent of the senior branch of the Bowes family. His obituary appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine and can be read here. Thomas toured Sweden with two companions that resulted in the publication of a book. Thomas appears with his companions on the frontispiece of the book (see the bottom of this page) pointing toward the setting sun at midnight (a metaphor for the Bowes family?). The book can be read HERE.

    One of the descendants of the Bowes family (from a junior branch that became a senior branch thanks to the death of Thomas), Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, married the Duke of York who later became King George VI. To see a chart that demonstrates the connection between ‘our’ Craddock – Bowes family and the Windsor – Bowes family click HERE. The above Sir George Bowes was the common ancestor of Margaret Craddock’s husband Ralph Bowes and Elizabeth Bowes Lyon.

There are some descendants of Margaret Craddock and Ralph Bowes through various female lines. For instance they had a daughter Jane who married Jacob Grieve, Esq. – “1749 [or 1756]. Oct. 16. Jacob Grieve, attorney-at-law, married to Miss Jenny Bowes, second daughter of Thomas Bowes, Esq., of Bradley . . . 1750. Sept. About the beginning of this month Jacob Grieve, attorney-at-law, dismissed Jane, his wife, the youngest of the two daughters of Tho. Bowes of Bradley, esq. He had detected her of tippling and of backsliding with her cousin Benjamin Gray son of Alderman John Gray.” – from Six North Country Diaries by John Crawford Hodgson, p. 182. I believe Benjamin Gray’s father had married a sister of Elizabeth Pickering mother of Jane Bowes. The attorney’s Savile, Wyvill and George Grieve were associated with the Bowes family in a presentation to the Commons. From “A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, Enjoying…” by John Burke. 

The following is a narrative version of the list 1-4 above: Ralph Bowes, of Bradley, Esq., successor of the last Sir George, married Margaret, second daughter of Sir Joseph Cradock, of Richmond, Knt., and died November 1, 1681. His son, George Bowes, Esq., married Sarah, daughter of Baker, by whom he had issue six sons and two daughters. He was buried at Wolsingham, February 22, 1729, and was succeeded by his son, Thomas Bowes, Esq., who, on April 29, 1718, married Elizabeth, daughter of John Pickering, of Hedley Hall, and died in December, 1752. His son, Robert Blakiston Bowes. Esq., left issue, by his wife, Ann, daughter of Ralph Clement, of Hilltop, Yorkshire, a son and daughter, and died at Winston in March, 1767. Thomas Bowes, Esq., his son, baptized August 14, 1758, died unmarried at Durham in 1844; and Bradley is now held by his representatives.

Bradley Hall was the home of Ralph and Margaret (Craddock) Bowes. “It (now) occupies a retired and romantic situation, to the east of the Bradley burn, and on the north side of the road between Durham and Wolsingham. It is a massive oblong pile of building, of considerable antiquity, and has been for many years dismantled and becoming ruinous. It is supposed to be the house which was fortified by the Eures, as the strength of its walls and the remains of deep moats would seem to testify. The lower apartments are all vaulted. A projection in front is of a more modern and elegant character. Its basement story consists of three low arches; and above the centre one is a recess, in which is a light pillar, supporting circular arches, and surmounted by a battlement. Bradley mitt is situated on the Wolsingham side of the Bradley burn.”

Below the last of the senior branch of the Bowes family – Thomas Bowes with friends in northern Sweden (?) pointing to the midnight setting sun:

view of sunset thomas bowes

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