Charles William BOASE (1828–1895)
St Michael section: Row 44, Grave N47
In Memory of
REV. CHARLES W. BOASE, M.A.
SENIOR FELLOW OF EXETER COLLEGE
BORN PENZANCE JULY 6, 1828
DIED OXFORD MARCH 11, 1895
A GOOD SON
A GOOD BROTHER
AND A GOOD FRIEND
See the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
for the full academic career
of Charles William Boase,
historian and antiquary
Charles William Boase was born in Penzance on 6 July 1828, the son of John Josias Arthur Boase (born in Knightsbridge in 1801) and Charlotte Sholl (born in St Clement, Truro in 1802). His parents were married at St Clement, Truro on 4 July 1827 and had six children:
- Charles William Boase (born in Penzance in 1828)
- George Clement Boase (born in Penzance in 1829)
- Charlotte Annie Boase (born in Penzance in 1832/3)
- Edward Ley Boase (born in Penzance in 1836)
- Julia Boase (born in Madron, Penzance in 1839/40, reg. first quarter of 1840)
- Frederick Boase (born in Madron, Penzance in 1843).
Charles’s father was manager of the Penzance office of a Devonport Bank, later the Penzance Union Bank. (This had once been owned by his family: his grandfather, Henry Boase (1763–1827), who had served as Mayor of Penzance in 1816/17, had bought it in 1823 and renamed it Henry Boase & Sons: see the Australian Postal History website for more on Charles William Boase’s father and the family bank.)
At the time of the 1841 census John & Charlotte Boase were living at Higher Lariggan in Penzance with their children Charles (12), George (11), Charlotte (8), Edward (5), and Julia (1), plus three servants.
On 4 June 1846, when he was seventeen, Charles was matriculated at the University of Oxford from Exeter College, where he was to spend the rest of his life. He obtained his B.A. on 18 May 1850 (with a second class in Classics), and was ordained deacon at Cuddesdon on 4 March 1855.
The bank in Penzance run by Charles’s father closed on 11 October 1847.
At the time of the 1851 census Charles (22) was lodging at 32 Broad Street, Oxford (one of the houses demolished to make way for the Indian Institute). His family were living at Alverton Vean in Penzance, and his father (no longer a banker) described himself as a magistrate and landed proprietor. Three of his siblings were still at home (Charlotte, Julia, and Frederick), and the family now had four servants (a groom, parlourmaid, housemaid, and cook).
Charles Boase was appointed Exeter College Lecturer in Modern History in 1855, Exeter College Librarian in 1868, and University Reader in Foreign History in 1884. He also took a great interest in local Oxford history: he produced a register in two parts of the students of Exeter College, and was one of the honorary secretaries of the Oxford Historical Society when it was formed in 1884, compiling and editing its first publication, the Register of the University of Oxford, 1449–63, 1505–71.
On 22 July 1863 Boase officiated at the wedding at St Mary’s Church, Penzance of his sister Charlotte Annie Boase of Alverton Vean, Penzance to Robert Milford Tweedy of Falmouth.
Boase’s mother Charlotte died in Penzance at the age of 70 in 1873 (death reg. third quarter).
At the time of the 1881 census Boase (52) and his brother George (57) were visiting their married sister Julia in Compton Gifford near Plymouth.
Boase died in 1895:
† Charles William Boase died of bronchitis following on from influenza in his rooms at Exeter College at the age of 67 on 11 March 1895 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 13 March (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).
The following report on his funeral was published in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 16 March 1895:
The funeral of the deceased took place at noon on Wednesday. The first part of the service was held in the college chapel, the Rector of Exeter and Professor Sanday officiating. The Vice-Chancellor, the Archdeacon of Oxford, and many senior members of the University were present, as well as the Fellows and members of the college generally. At the conclusion of the service in the chapel the coffin was borne to the hearse, which was drawn up in the quadrangle, and taken thence to St. Sepulchre’s cemetery, where the interment took place. The mourners were Mr. G. Clement Boase and Mr. Frederic Boase (brothers), Mr. Robert Tweedy, of Falmouth, and Mr. Lewis Thomson (brothers-in-law). The coffin was covered with a profusion of beautiful wreaths, floral tributes being received among others from Drs. Morgan and Collier, the Rev. A. J. Carlyle, Messrs. J. A. R. Munro, V. Bartlett, and H. G. Butler (Oriel), Professor Pelham, Mr. P. J. Willert, Dr. Thompson (Plymouth), the Rector of Exeter and the undergraduates of the college, Rev. W. Sanday, Professor Ingram Bywater, Mr. W. Keatley Stride, Rev. R. Plumptre. The coffin, which was of unpolished elm with brass fittings, bore the following inscription:— “Rev. C. W. Boase, M.A. Died 11th March, 1895. Aged 67 years.” The funeral arrangements were entrusted to the care of Messrs. Elliston and Cavell.
His wealth at death was £14,907 4s. 5d.
His father John Josias Arthur Boase died in the Lewisham district the following year at the age of 95 (death reg. third quarter of 1896).
Siblings of Charles William Boase
- George Clement Boase (born 1829) worked as a banker’s clerk and then went to Australia in 1854. He had various jobs, including a gold-digger and working in a general store. He returned to Britain in 1864 and managed a provision merchant’s business to 1874, and then became a bibliographer. He never married, and his brother Frederic lived with him from 1868. He died in Lewisham in 1897, and his wealth at death was £16,044 18s. 10d. (Full details in George Clement Boase’s separate entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, or here in Wikipedia)
- Charlotte Annie Boase (born 1832/3) was described as being of Alverton Vean, Penzance when she married the banker Robert Milford Tweedy of Falmouth on 22 July 1863 at St Mary’s Church, Penzance. At the time of the 1871 census they were living at 1 Woodlane Crescent, Falmouth with their children Edith (6) and Arthur (4), and two servants. In 1881 they were staying with Charlotte’s parents-in-law Robert and Harriet Tweedy (while Arthur was boarding at Sherborne, and Edith at a school in Kent). In 1891 they were living at Landsdowne Road, Falmouth with Edith (26) and Arthur (24), who was a solicitor. They were still there with their unmarried daughter in 1901; and in 1911 it was just Charlotte, a widow, with her daughter and two servants.
- Edward Ley Boase (born 1836) emigrated to Australia. He married Jane Miller in Victoria in 1864 and they had four children: Edward (1854), Arthur (1868), Ethel (1869), and Harold (1872). More on this family
- Julia Boase (born 1839/40) married Lewis Charles Thomson at Penzance in the first quarter of 1874 and they had three children, all born in the Plymouth area: Ethel (1876/7); Charles (1875/6) and Ida Dorothy (1879/90). At the time of the 1881 census they were living at Hillsborough, Compton Gifford, near Plymouth, and Lewis was a Clerk in the Admiralty. He still had this post in 1901 when he and his wife were living at 13 Granville Park, Lewisham. Their address is given as 2 Granville Park in 1911: Lewis Thomson was now retired, and their daughters were still with them: Ethel (34) was her parents’ housekeeper (with the help of two servants) and Ida (31) was working as a governess.
- Frederic Boase (born 1843) was articled to a solicitor in Penzance after he left school and worked as a solicitor in Exmouth until 1868 and then as a conveyancing clerk in London until 1872. In 1877 he was appointed librarian of the Incorporated Law Society. He retired in 1903 to concentrate on six volumes of Modern English Biography, which had 30,000 entries. He never married, and from 1868 lived with his brother George, and lived with him from 1868. He died in St Leonards on 23 December 1916, and his wealth at death was £8,876 19s. 3d. (Full details in Frederic Boase’s separate entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)
For more on the ancestors of the Boase family, see Charles William Boase, George Clement Boase, and Frederick Boase, An account of the families of Boase or Bowes, originally residing at Paul or Madron in Cornwall (1876, 1893).
This gravestone was lying flat until August 2015, when members of the Boase family and Exeter College had it restored by Reeves Memorials of Oxford.