Bolton of Bective Abbey

Sir Richard Bolton, Knight (c.1570-1648), was the son of John Bolton of Great Fenton in Staffordshire, and, depending on the source, the family’s origins are believed to have been in either Lancashire or Westmorland.[1] Concluding that the origins of the name are toponymic the family have claimed descent from Ughtred de Bolton whose 12th century effigy adorns the church at Bolton in Westmorland.[2]  Richard Bolton commenced his career as a lawyer. However his beginnings, practising as a barrister, seem to have been marred by an encounter with the notorious, Westminster based, Court of Star Chamber. The threat of reproach from that sinister body appears to have influenced his remove to Ireland. In Dublin he first emerges as a recorder of the city in about 1606/7 and the following year he had sufficiently ingratiated himself to earn a commendation from the Lord Deputy, Sir Arthur Chichester.

[1] The most comprehensive account of Bolton’s career, from which the following is derived, appears to be the entry written by Sir John T. Gilbert for the Dictionary of National Biography, hereafter DNB (L. Stephen and S. Lee, eds. Vol. II, 1905, pp. 790-792).

[2] Charles Knowles Bolton, Bolton Families in Ireland (with their English and American kindred). 1937.

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