Ancestors of Mandy Willard

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The FOWLE Family of Sussex


My Fowle Ancestors

Family Group Pages

Fowle History

Other Web Sites







My Fowle Ancestors


I am indebted to William Green and his article on the Fowle ancestry, which appeared in the March 2012 edition of the Sussex Family History Group's journal.  Thank you William for uncovering errors in Catherine Pullein's account of the family, which I had previously taken as read without actually doing the leg work for myself.


A 10x Great Grandmother was Helen Fowle or Ellener Fowle, who may have been born in about 1580-1600, was the daughter of William Fowle of Lightlands, a gentleman of Frant.  He married 3 times.  Firstly to Elizabeth Pankhurst (Helen's mother), then Mary Whitton and then Sybil GrayeHelen Fowle married David Barham (c1581-1644) in 1622 in Frant, as his second wife.

William Fowle sold, by deed dated 20 December 1611, the Shoesmiths estate in Wadhurst to John Barham (c1587-1640) - the husband of his niece.  (John Barham was a very distant cousin of David Barham.  Their 3x Great Grandparents Richard Barham (c1425-bef 1480) and Anna Busse were their common ancestors.)

William Fowle received 1000 from the sale of Shoesmiths, which included "All that Messuage called Shoesmiths als old Shoesmiths, with two Barns, one Stable, two Watermills and several parcells of Land Meadow pasture and Land covered with water ... containing by Estimation one hundred and forty acres".  This estate had previously belonged to Thomas Whitfield, third son of Richard Whitfield of Wadhurst and Agnes Giles, daughter of John Giles of Biddenden, Kent.  Thomas Whitfield died in 1553 and his daughter Susan Whitfield was his co-heir.  She married John Clarke in 1563 and they conveyed Shoesmiths to Reginald Knight by deed dated 10 July 1571.  The following year the property passed to Nicholas Fowle of Mayfield.   (SAC vol. 56, page 149)

William Fowle was the son of Nicholas Fowle of Riverhall and Elizabeth Isted.  Father and son built the mansion at Riverhall in 1591, and another at Lightlands, with the profits from their Iron Foundaries.  William was mentioned in the will dated 18 January 1624/5 of his brother-in-law John Dunmoll.  William was buried in Wadhurst in 1634.

Nicholas and Elizabeth were also the parents of Dorothy Fowle, who married John Dunmoll.  John and Dorothy's daughter Elizabeth Dunmoll was born about 1590-1593, and she married the John Barham (c1587-1640) to whom her Uncle had sold Shoesmiths.

Nicholas's will was dated 24 October 1599 and proved on 8 November 1600.  The IGI records that he was born about 1532 or 1540 but he may have been born as early as 1522.  He was the son of William Fowle and Margaret Godyne.



John Dunmoll (?-c1625) and Dorothy Fowle may also have been the Grandparents of Joseph Dunmoll, who married Helen Barham (1629-1651).  Helen Barham was the daughter of David Barham (c1581-1644) and Helen Fowle.


John Barham (c1587-1640) and Elizabeth Dunmoll (c1590-1638) (daughter of John Dunmoll and Dorothy Fowle), had a Granddaughter Elizabeth Barham (1649-?) who married Nicholas Fowle (1634-?) of Riverhall, in 1666.  Nicholas and Elizabeth may have been the parents of Catherine Fowle, who married Nicholas Barham (1661-1710).


A Magnus Fowle of Mayfield left a Will dated 1595, in which he mentioned Robert Barham (c1545-?).


Tiz all a bit confusing!  The Fowle's, Barham's and Dunmoll's were well mixed, and there are still many missing pieces to bring together.


My line of descent





Thomas Fowle



William Fowle



William Fowle



Nicholas Fowle



William Fowle



Helen Fowle



David Barham



Thomas Barham



Thomas Barham



Nicholas Barham



Nicholas Barham



Nicholas Barham



Nicholas Barham



Frances Barham



Flora Boorman



Bessie Warman



Jesse Willard


 Mandy Willard


(click on a name to go to their family group page)






Family Group Pages

Anthony Fowle (c1536-1567) and Margery Shurlock

Nicholas Fowle (c1475-1522) and Joan Vince

Nicholas Fowle (c1522-1600) and Eleanor Isted

Thomas Fowle (c1450-1502) and Ellen

William Fowle (c1500-1566) and Margaret Godive

William Fowle (1568-1634) and Elizabeth Pankhurst and Mary Whitton and Sybil Graye

John Parsons (1718-1798) and Ann Fowle (1721-?)

Stephen French (c1555-1606) and Barbara Fowle (c1560-?)

Stephen Kitchenham (c1610-?) and Dorothy Fowle (c1615-?)

David Barham (c1581-1644) and Helen Fowle (c1583-?)



Fowle History

The following is an extract from "Arms of Sussex Families" by J.F. Huxford.

In 1427, during the reign of King Henry VI, a certain Ricardus Foull was summonded to parliament for East Grinstead.  Whether or not he was an ancestor of the Fowles I cannot say, for they are said to descend from a brother of Bartholomew Fowle, last prior of St. Mary Overie in Southwark.  They were among the ironmasters of Sussex and a forge at Riverhall between Wadhurst and Frant was worked by them.

In 1588 Nicholas Fowle is among those mentioned in a list of Sussex gentry showing that he contributed 40 towards the defence of the realm at the time of the threatened Spanish invasion.  He lived at Riverhall and built the mansion there in 1591.  His son William had a grant of free warren from King James I over his numerous manors and lands in Wadhurst, Frant, Rotherfield and Mayfield.  It seems that this branch of the family fell on less prosperous times, because the fourth in descent from William left Riverhall and kept the turnpike gate at Wadhurst and his grandson Nicholas, a day labourer, emigrated to America in 1839 with his son John Fowle, a wheelwright, and with numerous young family, carrying with them as a family relic the royal grant of free warren given to their ancestor.

The branch of the family descended from Nicholas' brother Anthony, who lived at Rotherfield, seem to have been more fortunate, for his son, also named Anthony, was a justice of the peace and in 1637 High Sheriff of the county, as in 1763 Thomas Fowle was to be.

In the parliament of Oliver Cromwell's son Richard - Tumbledown Dick - summonded to meet on 26 January 1659 a Robert Fowle was one of the representatives for Winchelsea.  In 1709 when a Road Act of Queen Anne placed responsibility for the roads in Sussex in the hands of commissioners, one of these was Anthony Fowle.

The arms of Fowle are blazoned:  Gules, a lion passant guardant between three roses Or.

William Berry notes that the ancient arms of the family wre slightly different, the shield being divided per pale, that is vertically, gules and azure instead of being gules only.  the lion and roses were then as now of gold.  mention of ancient arms was often a polite convention fo the heralds of the day when a crest was granted to assume that the right to arms did exist when in fact no patent for either arms or crest had ever been issued.


Other Web Sites


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This page was reviewed on 10 April 2012