Show ContentsBolingbroke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bolingbroke belongs to the early history of Britain, it's origins lie with the Anglo-Saxons. It is a product of their having lived in the parish of Bolingbrooke. The place dates back to the Domesday Book as Bolinbroc [1] from the Old English Bulingbroc, which literally meant brook associated with a bull. [2]

Today there is also a village named New Bolingbroke located in the Lincolnshire Fens about 10km east of Coningsby.

Early Origins of the Bolingbroke family

The surname Bolingbroke was first found in Lincolnshire. Undoubtedly, one of the most interesting aspects of this surname is that King Henry IV of England, was also known as Henry of Bolingbroke because he was born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire. The castle, now in ruins, was first fortified by the Saxons in the 6th or 7th century. In the 12th century the Normans built a Motte-and-bailey on a nearby hill above the settlement of Bolingbroke. The present structure was founded by Ranulf, Earl of Chester, in 1220 shortly after he returned from the Fifth Crusade.

Another source explains the castle's origin in a slightly different manner: "A castle was built by William de Romara, Earl of Lincoln, of which his descendant, Alicia de Lacey, was dispossessed by Edward II. Henry IV. was born in this fortress, and from it took the name of Henry of Bolingbroke: it was nearly demolished in the civil wars, the south-west tower being all that remains." [3]

Lucy of Bolingbroke (died c. 1138) was an Anglo-Norman heiress and later in life, Countess of Chester. William de Bullingbroc was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1170-1180 in Lincolnshire and later, John be Bolingbrok was recorded in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1275 in Yorkshire. Much later, John Bullyngbroke was listed in Nottinghamshire in 1476 and William Bolyngbroke was found in the same shire in 1503. [4]

Early History of the Bolingbroke family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bolingbroke research. Another 263 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1367, 1170, 1275, 1295, 1476, 1503, 1500 and 1441 are included under the topic Early Bolingbroke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bolingbroke Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Bolingbroke include Bolingbroke, Bollingbroke, Bolingbrook, Bullingbroke, Bullingbrook, Bollingbrooke, Bulingbroc, Bolingbrok, Bullyngbroke and many more.

Early Notables of the Bolingbroke family (pre 1700)

Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bolingbroke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bolingbroke migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Bolingbroke were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Bolingbroke Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Lizzie Bolingbroke, aged 19, who arrived in America from Swinford, Ireland, in 1909
  • Alfred Bolingbroke, aged 29, who arrived in America from London, England, in 1912
  • Annie Bolingbroke, aged 30, who arrived in America from Manchester, England, in 1914
  • Uhelreda Bolingbroke, aged 32, who arrived in America from Norwich, England, in 1916
  • George Bolingbroke, aged 54, who arrived in America from London, England, in 1921
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Bolingbroke (post 1700) +

  • George Bolingbroke (1866-1947), better known as George Ali, an American actor who specialized in playing animals in stage and cinema productions, known as the Animal Impersonator; best known for his role in the 1924 film adaptation of Peter Pan
  • Henry Bolingbroke (1785-1855), English writer on Demerara, born at Norwich 25 Feb. 1785, the son of Nathaniel Bolingbroke [5]
  • Henry St. John Bolingbroke (1678-1751), Tory party Jacobite grandee and British statesman

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 5 Feb. 2019 on Facebook