Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bowle, John (d.1637)

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BOWLE or BOWLES, JOHN (d. 1637), bishop of Rochester, a native of Lancashire, was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he obtained a fellowship. He proceeded M.A. (1603), D.D. (1613), and was incorporated M.A. of Oxford on 9 July 1605, and D.D. on 11 July 1615. He was household chaplain to Sir Robert Cecil, first earl of Salisbury, and attended him through his last illness in 1612. After the earl's death Bowle addressed to Dr. Mountague, bishop of Bath and Wells, 'a plaine and true relation of those thinges I observed in my Lord's sickness since his goeing to Bath,' which is printed in Peck's 'Desiderata,' pp. 205-11. Bowle held at one time the living of Tilehurst, Berkshire. He became dean of Salisbury in July 1620, preached before the king and parliament on 3 Feb. 1620-1, and was elected bishop of Rochester on 14 Dec. 1629. He died 'at Mrs. Austen's house on the Banckside the 9th of October 1637, and his body was interred in St. Paul's ch., London, in the moneth following.' Archbishop Laud, in his account of his archiepiscopate addressed to Charles I for 1637, complained that Bowle had been ill for three years before his death, and had neglected his diocese. He was the author of a 'Sermon preached at Flitton in the countie of Bedford at the funerall of Henrie [Grey], Earle of Kent,' London, 1614, and of a 'Concio ad ... Patres et Presbyteros totius Provinciæ Cantuar. in Synodo Londini congregates, habita . . . 1620, Jan. 31,' London, 1621. Bowle married Bridget, a sister of Sir George Copping, 'of the crown office,' by whom he had a son (Richard) and a daughter (Mary).

[Wood's Fasti, ed. Bliss, pp. 308, 364; Le Neve's Fasti, ed. Hardy, ii. 517, 673; Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1620-37; Nichols's Progresses of James I, ii. 448; Laud's Works, v. 349; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

S. L.