Press Release: March 31, 2010
THE MANORIAL SOCIETY OF GREAT BRITAIN
Press Release: embargoed 1200 hrs Wednesday 31 March 2010
LANCASHIRE LORD SPRINGS EASTER SURPRISE
Bowlanders learnt today that their new feudal lord has given them a special Easter surprise by reasserting his ancient rights.
The 16th Lord of Bowland a mystery figure who succeeded to the title in 2009 but whose identity has never been made public - has used his powers to revive the historic office of Bowbearer of the Forest of Bowland. He has also acted to revive his forest courts at Whitewell which were last convened almost two centuries ago.
Robert Parker of Browsholme Hall, whose ancestors served the Lords of Bowland for three centuries, has been made the first Bowbearer of the Forest in almost 150 years.
Traditionally, the Bowbearer oversaw vert and venison (forestry and deer) in the Forest and acted as a ceremonial attendant carrying the Kings bow during hunting. The office is thought to date back to the twelfth century.
At least one Bowbearer, Nicholas Tempest, met a bloody end - hanged, drawn and quartered for treason by Henry VIII. It is unlikely a similar fate awaits Mr Parker.
Charles Bowman, landlord of the Inn at Whitewell, has been appointed Chief Steward of the Forest of Bowland. The Inn was the Lord of Bowlands ancient courthouse for more than six hundred years. The last Chief Steward retired in 1922.
Both Parker and Bowman are said to be surprised and delighted by the appointments. It is thought the unexpected news was accompanied by sumptuous grants that will now go on public display at Browsholme and Whitewell.
Robert Smith, Chairman of the Manorial Society, the body that represents Britains 1,900 feudal lords and barons, said: The Lord of Bowland believes that he has a duty to promote the heritage of the Forest. As feudal lord, he has certain ancient rights. These two appointments are his surprising Easter present for Bowland.
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For more information, contact Robert Smith, Manorial Society, on 020 7735 6633 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The rediscovery of the Lordship of Bowland was announced in the autumn of 2009. Lost for more than a century, the title had been thought to belong to the Duke of Lancaster, HM The Queen, before it was claimed by the Towneley family in 2008 and revived from an extinct family trust.
For more than four centuries, between 1399 and 1649, English monarchs styled themselves Lord Kings of Bowland. After 1660, the lordship of Bowland, a creation of the late eleventh century, was one of Englands grandest titles and held in succession by eight dukes, an earl and a baron.
The Manorial Society of Great Britain (www.msgb.co.uk) was founded in 1906. It has a membership of approximately 1,900 lords of the manor and feudal barons, peers and historians. Its aims include promoting the study of English history and traditions, especially the Monarchy and British parliamentary institutions; promoting the preservation of manorial records; promoting awareness of the Lord's privileges and responsibilities in the local community; promoting comradeship among men and women of like mind.