BOWES, William (1657-1707), of Streatlam Castle, co. Dur.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Oct. 1679
1705 - 7 Feb. 1707

Family and Education

bap. 6 Jan. 1657, 4th but 1st surv. s. of Thomas Bowes of Streatlam Castle by Anne, da. and coh. of Anthony Maxton, BD, preb. of Durham. educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. 1672, G. Inn 1675. m. 17 Aug. 1691, Elizabeth (bur 5 July 1736), da. and h. of Sir Francis Blakiston, 3rd Bt., of Gibside, co. Dur., 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 4da. suc. fa. 660; kntd. 13 Apr. 1684.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, co. Dur. 1679-80, 1689-90, Yorks. (N. Riding) 1690; j.p. co. Dur. 1680-?89, 1700-d., (W. Riding) 1683-?89, (N. Riding) 1683-?d.; ranger, Teesdale forest 1685-9; capt. of militia horse, co. Dur. by Nov. 1688, dep. lt. by 1701-d.2


Bowes’s ancestors had held Streatlam since the reign of Edward III and produced an MP for Appleby in 1362. Between 1645 and 1648 his father was appointed to several local parliamentary commissions, but he assisted the Scots in the second Civil War and was fined £456. Any losses at this time were more than made good by the prudent management of Bowes’s mother during his minority. He was returned with his kinsman Thomas Fetherstonhalgh to the second and third Exclusion Parliaments with clerical support, though they were described by a local nonconformist as neither Protestants nor enemies to Popery; but he left no trace on the records of either Parliament. He served on the grand jury which produced a loyal address in August 1681, and took an active part in searching for suspects after the Rye House Plot. Despite his efforts to secure nomination by Sir Leoline Jenkins as court candidate, he did not stand in 1685, but his loyalty was recognized by the grant of the rangership of Teesdale. After the Revolution he lost his office to Christopher Vane. He regained his seat in 1695, and, though a Tory, signed the Association. He died on 7 Feb. 1707 and was buried at Barnard Castle. A younger son represented the county as a Whig from 1727 to 1760.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: Gillian Hampson / Geoffrey Jaggar


  • 1. Surtees, Dur. iv. pt. p. 108; Hutchinson, Dur. iii 253
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 260, ix. 102-3; N. Riding Recs. vii. 63, 133, Durham Cathedral Lib. Sharp mss 109/48.
  • 3. Surtees, 101, 107-8; CSP Dom. 1648-9, p. 341; 1680-1, p. 386; July-Sept. 1683, pp. 50-51, 435, Cal. Comm. Comp. 203; Royalist Comps. (Surtees Soc. cxi), 125; C. E. Whiting, Nathaniel, Lord Crewe, 116-17; Sharp mss 82/10; E. Hughes, N. Country Life in 18th Cent. i. 231-42.