The Bowdlers

the genealogy and history of the Bowdler family

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Heraldry

College of Arms: "There is no such thing as a 'coat of arms for a surname'. Many people of the same surname will often be entitled to completely different coats of arms, and many of that surname will be entitled to no coat of arms. Coats of arms belong to individuals. For any person to have a right to a coat of arms they must either have had it granted to them or be descended in the legitimate male line from a person to whom arms were granted or confirmed in the past."

The College of Arms are the only people who can issue British arms. Anyone else will simply be selling you a picture of someone else's arms. The arms on this page belong to the individuals quoted (where known). As above, to bear them you must prove your descent from the bearer and have this verified by the College of Arms.

So, after all that, here are various Bowdler Arms:



"Or, an Inescutcheon Gules"

From a seal of Michael of Boelare, c. 1215; and a Seal of Philip of Boelare, 1231.

See "The Flemish Nobility before 1300" by Dr E. Warlop, pp. 691, 692.


"Sable, a maunch Or"

The "General Armory of England, Scotland and Ireland" by J. Burke credits this coat-of-arms to both Bollers and Boulers. These arms could have been borne by Baldwin de Boulers or Bollers who died in 1207, the last Lord of Montgomery to hold this name.


"A Bend Argent"

Ex. "Knights of Edward I". Arms of Baldwin de Boulers., 1243.


"Sable, Billetty and a Bend Argent"

Recorded for Baldwin de Boulers on St. George's Roll I, Shield No. 466 of c. 1285 ; also Charles Roll of c. 1285 on shield No. 208 see Note 2; also on a 15th century copy of the Dering Roll of c. 1275 on shield No. 280.


"Sable, Billetty and a Bend Cortised Argent"

Recorded for Baldwin de Boulers


"Argent, two Cornish Choughs sable, beaked and legged Gules"

Confirmed to the family at both the 1559 Visitation of Shropshire and in the 1623 Pedigrees in Vincents Collection of Arms. Also confirmed at the Visitation of Shropshire (1623) to:

1) William Bowdler of Ludlow (College of Arms MS. C20/160)

2) Samuel Bowdler of Arlescot (College of Arms MS. C20/415)

Probably 14th Century. [cf. "Argent two Corbies Sable" confirmed to Pers Corbet in c. 1285].

"Argent, two Cornish Choughs, legged and beaked Gules, a Canton Vair".

These arms were confirmed to the descendents of William Bowdler of Ludlow and his wife Isabell, daughter of Tamberlain Gwillim, in the Visitation of 1663.


"Argent, two Cornish Choughs beaked and legged Gules, a Canton Gules".

These arms were confirmed to the descendants of Samuel Bowdler, Ludlow and his wife Lucy Forster in the Visitation of 1663.


"Or, a maunch Gules, on a Chief of the last, three arrows Or, feathered proper", 1661 (Irish)


A more modern arms - attributed to a Col. Cyril William Bowdler with 'Bell' connections.


Arms of John C. A. Bowdler of Sussex (Modern)

Arms: Argent, two Choughs in pale proper. beaked and legged gules.
Crest: A dexter arm embowed, holding in the hand an arrow, all proper, above a knights helmet
Motto: Innocue ac provide (harmless but provident)


Note 1 St George's Roll
College of Arms, London, MS Vincent 164 ff 1-21b.
Dated c1285. Painted, containing 677 shields.
Source: Gerard J Brault, Rolls of Arms of Edward I, Boydell & Brewer, 1997.

Note 2 Charles' Roll
Society of Antiquaries MS517. The copy is probably from the fifteenth century.
Dated c1285, containing 486 painted shields with names over.
Source: Gerard J Brault, Rolls of Arms of Edward I, Boydell & Brewer, 1997.