David Boulding - Email: david@boulding.org Tel: 01892 800106

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The Boulding Study

The Boulding Study


The Boulding Name

Prior to the 17th century the name "Boulding" as such was virtually unknown in Kent.

The origin of name Boulding starts life in the 13th century as "de Bollyng" or "de Bullyng" and gradually by the late 16th century with an added "d" inserted into Bollyng more and more frequently. By the 18th century the name - with the added "d" - became the norm and the name is now routinely written as "Bolden", "Boulden" or "Boulding". Some earlier examples use two different spellings in the same document.


Will of Thomas Bowldinge als Bowlinge of Crundale 1622

The addition of the apparently spurious letter "d" to a name appears elsewhere; for example in the name "Aldgate" in London where documents show that the "d" is missing in documents written before 1486-87 and so the added "d" may well have been the result of some kind of linguistic change in our English language.

That the name is initially found with the preposition "de" is certainly suggestive of a locative name - and this spelling - "de Bollyng" or "de Bullyng" - more or less continues unchanged up to and until around the late 16th century and early 17th century. It's highly likely that "Bullyng" or "Bollyng" was an early attempt to write "Boulogne".

Bullinge Borough in Whitstable

In Whitstable, by the junction of All Saints Church there is a Bullinge Corner (NGR 120662). This is town where it is known the family was in possession of property; "Bullinge Borough" in the Hundred of Upper Whitstable. It is uncertain whether the place name is taken from the family or the other way around. It is more likely that this location was a Bullyng family property as they seem to have been an important family in the Hundred of Whitstable from early times.

The first noting of the name in Kent - found to date - is in the Curia Regis Rolls of 33-34 Henry III (1249-50) where there is a mention of Christianam de Bullinge in Whitstable. "Estrilda que fuit uxor Alani filii Johannis optulit se quarto die versus Leodegarium del Broc de placito medietatis trium acraram terre cum pertinentiis in Whitstapl' et versus Christianam de Bullinge de placito meditatis j acre terre cum pertinetiis in..."

The second noting of the family in Kent is around about the same period as above: "an annual payment of 23½d free rent, payable by Roger de Bullinge, Ralph Sandbreil, the heirs of Robert Burel and Simon Noreis" for property that appears - yet again - to be in Whitstable.

Some twenty five years after this there in 1274 is a mention of the name is found in the Whitstable Hundred Rolls when Hamo de la Forstall, the sherrif, was accused of extorting 5s from Richard de Bullyng - possibly even the Richard, father of John who paid 2/6d tax 60 years later in 1334:

"They say that Henry Malemains and his associates, collectors of the tax of one-twentieth, took 13s. more than the assessed amount from this hundred and Hamo de la Forstall, the sheriff, took 1 mark unjustly from a certain John Symon' who had accompanied a certain man towards the church and and he killed that man on returning from church, afterwards the same John was acquitted by the jury. Then the same Hamo took 5s. from Richard le Nute accusing him of being in debt to the Jews and he had never been so. The same Hamo took 5s. from Richard de Bulling in the same way and 3s. from Joceus de la Brok for a similar reason."

Crundale Parish - Trimworth Manor

Twenty eight years later in the year of 1303 the name Bollyng appears in the Court Manor rolls of Trimworth Manor, a manor which approximates roughly to modern day Crundale parish near Wye, a tiny isolated parish of but few families, situated between Canterbury and Ashford.

Trimworth Manor was jointly administered with Dodingdale in Canterbury.

Hasted tells us "THE MANOR OF MORTON, alias DODINGDALE, lies in the same parish of St. Mary Bredin, about two miles south-eastward from the walls of Canterbury. It was originally called Dodingdale, from a family who were possessors of it, one of which name, Hamo, the son of Guido de Dodingdale, as appears by the records of St. Augustine's monastery, gave the tithes of his manor of Dodingdale to that abbot and convent; (fn. 8) but it seems it was but for a certain term of years, for in king Henry II.'s reign, according to the same records, Richard de Marci, who was then the possessor of this manor, granted the tithes of his lands of Dodingdale, to the hospital of St. Laurence, near Canterbury, in perpetual alms, to the intent, that the brothers and sisters of it should have these tithes in particular, to buy linen cloth on the feast of St. John Baptist; trusting that they would remember him and his in their prayers".

When the family of Dodingdale was become extinct here, this manor came into the possession of another family of the name of Morton. By a deed without date, Elias de Morton, who implanted his name on it, by which it has ever since been called, demised the see simple of it to Hugh Fitzvinon, a family which had large possessions at Sellinge, near Monk's-Horton; and his daughter Eugenia Fitzvinon passed it away by deed in the 20th year of king Henry III. to Nicholas de Twitham, and he immediately afterwards, by a deed not having any date, settled it on Robert de Polre, but whether his successor sold it or not to John Chich, is uncertain, as there is a chasm of this time in the private evidences of it, (fn. 9) though the records of St. Augustine make him to have some interest in this manor in the 3d year of king Edward III. anno 1330."

Crundale appears to be the very centre of the origin of the family and Bouldings and Bouldens living very nearby, even to this day. Hardly anyone of this name from Kent does not stem from this little parish or the nearby parishes of Canterbury, Wye, Godmersham, Waltham and Elmsted - and probably from Whitstable or Bleangate Hundreds before that. Since the mid 17th century the name Bollyng appears to have been completely replaced by Boulding or Bo(u)lden as the preferred spelling.

Lay Subsidy Roll 1327/8 - Kent

The Lathe of Scray - the Hundred of Wye - Crundale;
Joas Bollyng iijs iijd ob gli..
[The Hundred of Wye covers: Boughton Aluph, Braborne (part), Brook, Eastwell, Crundale, Westwell (part), Wye]

The Lathe of Scray - the Hundred of Feleburghe
Johne de Bellinge ? ijs
[The Hundred of Felborough covers: Challock, Chartham (part), Chillham, Godmersham, Molash]

The Lathe of St Augustine - the Hundred of Bleangate;
Thoma Bollyng vijs xd g (? strange symbol)
[The Hundred of Bleangate covers the parishes of: Chislet, Herne, Hoath, Reculver, Stourmouth, Sturry, Swalecliffe (part), Westbere (part) and Whitstable (part)]

The Lathe of St Augustine - The Hundred of Whytstaple [Whitstable];
Joha Bullyng ijs
[The Hundred of Whitstable cover: Hernhill (part), St Cosmus and St Damian in the Blean, Seasalter (part), Swalecliffe (part), Whitstable (part)]

Lay Subsidy Roll 1334/5 - Kent

In this early tax we find three Bollyngs/Bullyngs in Kent viz: Joice, Thomas and John. It should be noticed that their immediate neighbours are the same people that appear as part of the syndicate that own land in Dodingdale (jointly managed by Trimworth Manor - Crundale Parish) as discovered in the Inquisitions Post Mortem.

The Lathe of Scra [Scray] - the Hundred of Wy [Wye] - Crundale;
Joice Bollyng' 4s 0d
[The Hundred of Wye covers: Boughton Aluph, Braborne (part), Brook, Eastwell, Crundale, Westwell (part), Wye]

The Lathe of St Augustine - the Hundred of Bleengate [Bleangate];
Thomas de Bullyng' 10s 0d
The entry following Thomas de Bullyng for Bleangate shows a Thomas Spryngate 8s 6½d as a neighbour
[The Hundred of Bleangate covers the parishes of: Chislet, Herne, Hoath, Reculver, Stourmouth, Sturry, Swalecliffe (part), Westbere (part) and Whitstable (part)]

The Lathe of St Augustine - The Hundred of Whytstaple [Whitstable];
Jn de Bullynge 2s 6d
The entry for John Bullyng for Whitstable Hundred show Richard Leger and John Badekyn both assessed as 2s 8d as being neighbours to John de Bullyng
[The Hundred of Whitstable cover: Hernhill (part), St Cosmus and St Damian in the Blean, Seasalter (part), Swalecliffe (part), Whitstable (part)]

The Lathe of Scra [Scray] - The Hundred of Longhebregge [Longbridge];
John Groncurt 6s 0d
[The Hundred of Longbridge covers: Ashford, Bethersden (part), Hinxhill, Hothfield, Kennington, Kingsnorth, Mersham (part), Sevington, Shadoxhurst (part)]

[1302: one quarter of one fee which Johan Barry, Isabella Barry, Robert de Grauntcourt, and Isabella widow of Andreas Rabele hold in Seyveton' from Willelm de Leyburn']

The Lathe of Scra [Scray] - The Hundred of Blackborne:
John de la Hay 1s 8d
[The Hundred of Blackburn - includes Halden, Shadoxhurst, Kenardington, Appledore and Woodchurch]

Inquisitions Post Mortem

There has been a strong connection between the Bollyng family of Crundale parish and the Bollyngs of Whitstable because in 1315 and 1348 till 1403 the same group of families - a sort of consortium - appear to have held land in both places as noted in the Inquisitions Post Mortem on the death of the various Earls of Gloucester to whom they were vassals:

Gilbert de Clare, 8th Earl of Gloucester, 7th Earl of Hertford (c. 10 May 1291 - 24 June 1314 at Bannockburn)
1315 Inquisitions Post Mortem; DODYNDALE near Canterbury 8 Edward II. 1/4 fee held by John Polre. & 1/3 of a fee held by Robert de Grauntcurt; John s of John de Bullynge; John Springe; John Baukyn; Walter de la Haye; Thomas de Bullynge; John Leger & John s of Richard de Bullynge. [Dodingdale was held for many years jointly with Trimworth Manor - and this manor approximates to the parish of Crundale]. 8 Edward II (July 1314 - 7 July 1315)."

HUGH DE AUDELE or DAUDELE, LATE EARL OF GLOUCESTER - died 10 November 1347 Tonbridge
1348 Inquisitions Post Mortem: 1348 18 Nov - 21 Edward III; Inq. taken at Tonebrigg, WESTAPLE 1/3rd part of a knights fee held by Robert de Grauntcourt, John de Bollyng, John Sprynger, John Badekyn, Thomas Bollyng (and) John Leger. 1348 Calendar of Inquisitions Edward III

THOMAS, EARL OF STAFFORD Thomas Stafford, 3rd Earl of Stafford (c. 1368-4 July 1392 at Tonbridge) was the second son - but the senior surviving heir - of Hugh Stafford, 2nd Earl of Stafford and Philippa de Beauchamp, daughter of Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick - died 4 July 1392
1393 Inq. taken at Tonebregge, Wednesday before St Lawrence, 16 Richard II. DODYNGDALE. A third part of a fee, held by the heirs of Robert de Grauntcourt, John son of John de Bellynge, John Spryng, John Badekyn, Walter de la Haye, Thomas de Bellynge, John Leger and John son of Richard de Bellyng.

1398 Inq. taken at Hadlo, 20 February, 22 Richard II. 1398 DODYNGDALE. A third part of a fee, held by the heirs of Robert de Grauntcourt, John son of John de Bellyng, John Spryng, John Badekyn, Walter de la Haie, Thomas Bellynge, John Leger and John son of Richard de Bellyngge.

EDMUND EARL OF STAFFORD died 22 July 1403 at Stafford (younger brother of the above Thomas and whose widow, Anne, he married)
1403 Inquisitions Post Mortem: 1403 5 Sep WHITSTABLE, 1/3rd fee held by the heirs of Robert Grauntcurt, John s of John de Bellinge, John Sprynge, John Badekyn, Walter de la Haye, Richard Leger, Thomas Bollynge & John, son of Richard Bollynge
Inq. Saturday after St. Matthew, 8 Edw. II. [1403](defective.)

1403 Inquisition. Tonbridge. 19 Sept. WHITSTABLE, 1/3 fee held by the heirs of Robert Grauntcourt, John son of John de Bellinge, John Sprynge, John Badekyn, Walter de la Haye, Richard Leger, Thomas Bollynge and John son of Richard Bollynge.

The Inquisitions Post Mortem continue with the exact same families involved from 1315 to 1403 with the same interests in Dodingdale - property held by Trimworth Manor (Crundale parish) and Whitstable for nearly 100 years; a clear link between the two parishes of Whitstable and Crundale. This connection is known to have lasted until the mid 17th century.

Associated Familes

In 1521 the High Sheriff of Kent, William Roper (circa 1496 - 1578), married Margaret, the favourite daughter of the Lord High Chancellor and author of Utopia, Sir Thomas More. William's father, John Roper (circa 1453 - 1524) of Eltham, died in 1524 and left a legacy "to pray for the soul of Ric. Bollinge"; Richard, is almost certainly Richard Bollinge (circa 1455 - 1517) of Crundale and Godmersham. Richard's neighbour in Godmersham, Jane Frognalle, is also remembered in this will. The Roper and Bollyng families both had property in St Dunstan's Canterbury and would have been well known to each other and were almost certainly family. John Swann (14?? - 1498), former Mayor of Canterbury, was married to Joan Bollyng (circa 1444 - 1504) and he left money in his will to William Roper.


The Boulding family, from the very start of the 14th century onwards, was regularly found at the Wye Manor Court (Tremworth Manor) for the "Assize of Ale". The Assize of Ale was normally a fine levied for selling short measure or, indeed, bad beer or bread. However, a suggestion has been made that, rather than it being a fine per se, it was an early method of licensing brewing not dissimilar to that which we have today where the sale of alcohol is licensed.

The Boulding link with brewing was maintained from the very start of the 14th century in 1303 - for over 500 years - until the end of the 18th century during which time many family members were noted as vintners, victuallers, maltsters and owned inns and public houses; Ye Peal in Canterbury (circa 1490), the Chekur in Godmersham (circa 1520), the Red Lion in Wye (c1600-1750), a small market town next to Crundale, the Swan in Lynsted (1772-1775) and The Three Crowns (1759-1791+) in Sittingbourne.

Bouldings Elsewhere

The name Boulding/en can also found today in Norfolk and Warwickshire and a number of Bouldens in Cornwall but more interestingly in north Holland and Denmark suggesting possible Saxon origins, for the suffix "ing" means "son of" in early English thus arriving at a meaning of "son of the bold".

There is also the famous Bolling family of Bolling Hall, Bolling near Bradford, once a powerful family until they supported the wrong side in the Wars of the Roses and one often wonders if the Kentish Bollyngs were an offshoot of this family. Potentially this connection has already been found because in the Calendar of entries in the Papal Registers, Petitions to the Pope: "1364 f82 Thomas, son of Robert Bolling of Sandwich. For a benefice in the gift of the prior and convent of St. John's, Beverley." This is a direct link with the Kentish family and the Bollyngs "up North" in Yorkshire.

Bolling is, of course, the same name as Boleyn. The father of King Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn, signed his own name "Bollyng" in a letter written to his daughter Anne at Hever [see letter hanging on the wall at her home in Hever Castle, Kent].

One of the first settlers to America in Jamestown, Virginia, was a Thomas Boulding (born circa 1584) who made his voyage in 1607 on The Swan - a journey which pre-dates the Mayflower by nearly 13 years. Whether this Thomas Boulding is from the Kentish family is not, alas, clear but that the Kentish Bollinges/Bouldings were strong conventiclers - seperatists from the church of England - and had close family who later settled in Martha's Vineyard is certain.

Thomas Boulding (1592 - 1663) from Crundale, Kent - my own direct line - had a sister in law, Joyce Baker, married in 1623 in Ashford to a Nicholas Butler who left for America on the Hercules in 1636. Butler is one of the American Bush family progenitors. This same Thomas's son, Robert Boulding (1634 - 1717), married Miriam Starr whose uncle, Comfort Starr, went to America and helped found Harvard university.



Charles Boulding 1836 - 1926

Charles Boulding

1926: Bonnington's "grand old man" Mr Charles Boulding, passed away on Sunday at the age of 90 years. By his death the district loses a truly remarkable man, who never experienced a days illness in all his 90 years. He was born in September 1836 and for the past 50 years resided at Goddards Farm, Bonnington. For a number of years he was in partnership with his brother [George] at Court Lodge Farm. He also had extensive agricultural and grazing interests in Romney Marsh.

Mr Boulding's very active career included public work as Overseer, Guardian, District Councillor (East Ashford Union) and Rate Collector. He was a Tory of the old school and it is interesting to note that his last political activity took him to Bilsington by motor car to record his vote at the General Election 2 years ago. On this occasion he was accompanied by Mr William Higgins who was the same age, 88, and has since died. Mr Boulding could relate many humorous political stories of the old days. He was then a man much sought after at social functions being a keen dancer and singer. For many years he played the bassoon in Aldington Church choir. He was a staunch Churchman and a bell ringer. In his younger days he was a good goalrunner and supporter of foxhunting and coursing. Only 2 years ago Mr William Blacklocks, of Lydd, claimed him as guest at the Coursing Club annual dinner.

Mr Boulding will be widely missed as a gentleman of sterling character, loved and respected by many throughout the county. His wife died 34 years ago. There were no children, but deceased leaves a brother Mr Hy Boulding, of Kennington and a sister, Mrs Washford of Croydon. Longevity evidently is hereditary, for his father reached the age of 74 and his mother lived to see her 91st birthday.