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redial

Charles Boswell Information

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I am attempting to get some history on a recent purchase but never having done this

before.

I don't know where to start, I have found some history about Mr Boswell being the

son of a butcher etc.

The gun I suspect is a basic model, serial No 17194.

Any advice please.

Thanks,

Phil.

Edited by redial

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Boswell name is far as I know owned by Chris Batha . I know he does or did spend a lot of time in the US ,but as far as I know is still based in the UK .

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Nigel Brown book your friend.

made guns from The Strand London/was well known as a live pigeon shooter and specialized in live pigeon guns...the banning of these and 1st world war hit his business.

good reputation/good guns;is it a live pigeon gun?(long barrelled/heavy/well choked)?.

Will look up the serial number when in office(if listed) otherwise Gunman is right Batha bought name and all records in 2004 so for definitve answer you could email his office.(think he is in States)..

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CHARLES BOSWELL Entry Information:
Given Names

First name/s:Charles

Surname: Boswell

Location

First Address: 6 Chapel Place, Upper Fore Street, Edmonton

City/Town: London

Country: United Kingdom

Other Addresses:

126 Strand

7 South Molton Street, Bond Street

15 Mill Street, Conduit Street

79 Woodville Road, New Barnet, Hertfordshire

16 Strafford Road, London

Information

Trade: Gunmaker

Dates: 1872-1949

Notes:

Charles Boswell was born in December 1850 in Hertford, the only son of Charles Boswell (b.1827 in Ware Hertfordshire) a butcher and Miriam (nee Tydeman b.1828 in Norfolk). The family were recorded in the 1851 census living at 2 Wellfield Alley, Hertford.

The 1861 census records the family living in West Street, Shortford, Hertford.

At the usual age of 14 he was apprenticed to Thomas Gooch of Fore Street, Hertford.

When Charles was aged 21 in 1871 he moved to live at 24 Upper Clifton Street, Shoreditch, London, and travelled daily to Enfield where he worked at the Royal Small-Arms factory at Enfield as a sight filer. He does not seem to have been recorded in the 1871 census.

In 1872 he married a dressmaker, Emily Rock (aged 19), and in October of that year he established his own business repairing and fitting guns at 6 Chapel Place, Upper Fore Street, Edmonton.

His reputation as a live pigeon shot at Hendon Shooting Grounds and Hornsey Wood helped to publicise his business, and he was later famous for his pigeon guns although he made all kinds of gun and, in the early days, pistols. His guns were made by an army of out workers, and he had a considerable trade in second-hand guns. By 1880 he had appointed Harry Ackland (Ackford?) as his agent in Woolahra, Australia and he was exporting guns there. The "Edmonton Tanglock", a hammerless gun with strikers located in the top tang of the action became associated with his name but who designed it and whether it was patented or not is not known.

The 1881 census records Charles and Emily living at 5 Chapel Place, Upper Fore Street, Edmonton with their children Alice (b.1876), Osborne George (known as George) b.1878) and Kate (b.1881). Charles described himself as a gun maker. One child not mentioned in this census was Frank who was born in 1879.

In June 1883 Charles moved to more prestigious premises on the first floor of 126 Strand. By this time the firm had won ten 20 guinea gold cups at the "Field" gun trials.

On 12 August 1887 for reasons unknown he divorced his wife Emily, the usual cause at this time was adultery.

At the time of the 1891 census Charles was staying or living at 213 Crossbrook Street, Cheshunt, Hertford. Jane Maywood was his housekeeper who also seems to have looked after Osborne George, Frank and Kate. It may be that Charles lived in London during the week.

On 12 June 1896 Charles married Jessie Cross (b.1855). By the time of the 1901 census they had moved to Swiss Cottage, Barnet Road, South Mimms. Osborne George was living with them as was John Bluett, a groom.

Between about 1890 and the turn of the century the firm appointed further agents in Australia in the towns of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, also South Africa, and many guns were exported. Charles was a very successful gun maker who in 1906 and 1907 was Chairman of the Gunmakers Association. He was never made Master of the Association reportedly because he did not get on with the London Proof Master.

The firm almost certainly bought some gun parts and some guns in-the-white in Birmingham, but they were proved in London. After 1906/7 most if not all Boswell guns were proved in Birmingham.

In the 1911 census Charles and Jessie were recorded still at Swiss Lodge with a servant. Osborne George was recorded living at Brookview, Park Road, New Barnet with his wife Miriam (nee Tydeman b.1880) and a son named Charles (b.1908). Osborne George described himself as a finisher, salesman and book keeper assisting in the business.

From 1914 Charles Boswell's health began to fail and the running of the company fell increasingly on the shoulders of his eldest son, Osborne George. From about 1907 the firm claimed establishment in 1869 but all the evidence points to 1872.

The firm survived the First World War but it seems the export business ceased and in 1921 they moved to smaller premises at 7 South Molton Street, Bond Street where, up to 1931 only about 200 guns were produced.

On 31 October 1924 Charles Boswell died leaving an estate valued at £20,468. 9s. 8d. Osborne George inherited the firm.

At some time shortly before February 1930 he moved the business to 15 Mill Street, Conduit Street, Hanover Square; at that time they had a shooting school "near London" but precisely where is unknown.

From 1939 to 1945, i.e. during the Second World War, it appears that only 3 guns were sold, and on 17 April 1941 the shop and presumably a large proportion of the stock, was destroyed by bombing.

In May 1941 Osborne Boswell died but his wife, Miriam, retained the business at her home at 79 Woodville Road, New Barnet, Hertfordshire.

In 1944 Miriam died and in November that year the business was sold, but who bought it is not known.

In 1947 the firm was recorded as trading from 16 Strafford Road, London.

In 1958 the name and goodwill of the firm was acquired by Interarmco (UK) Ltd in the person of Sam Cummings, it's address became 168 Piccadilly. The company formally ceased to trade in 1963. In 1980 the name was sold to a buyer in the USA.

The records of the firm from 1897 to 1963 are currently held by Chris Batha who is contactable through E J Churchill (Gunmakers) Ltd.

Internet Gun Club has some details of serial numbers which we have not published. Please send details of your gun and its serial number by email to archives@internetgunclub.com and we will reply with what information we have.

Other:

The firm sold shotgun cartridges under the name "Express" or "Special Express" (1930-1941 probably earlier as well).

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Nigel Brown`s book indicates that serial No.17194 was made between 1913 & 1916, although I would have thought that trade diverted from sporting guns from 1914 to 1918 (WW1).

 

Does the top rib have an address ?

 

OB

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Thank you to all who contacted me.

 

I've owned the gun for less than a week and already know it was made around 1914 / 15.

I hadn't any idea it was so old, and what a period

of time.

I now have the dilemma of using it as it is or spending on having the woodwork tidied up, the

barrels are superb.

Phil.

Edited by redial

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My Dad just gave me his set of two Charles Bosworth 12 ga side by side shotguns.  Serial #s 14209 & 14210.  Tag on case shows hand written 6-33-14 & 6-33-15

Top of rib says: Charles Boswell.Maker.126 Strand London WC

28" barrels with Made of Sir Joseph Whitworth's Fluid Compressed Steel

Other barrel engravings: .729' NP  2 3/4  3 1/4 Tons

Would love to know when they were made and any other pertinent info.

Thanks,  John

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1 hour ago, John S said:

My Dad just gave me his set of two Charles Bosworth 12 ga side by side shotguns.  Serial #s 14209 & 14210.  Tag on case shows hand written 6-33-14 & 6-33-15

Top of rib says: Charles Boswell.Maker.126 Strand London WC

28" barrels with Made of Sir Joseph Whitworth's Fluid Compressed Steel

Other barrel engravings: .729' NP  2 3/4  3 1/4 Tons

Would love to know when they were made and any other pertinent info.

Thanks,  John

Welcome to the forum.

You are indeed a very lucky man John.

I will see what Nigel Brown's book can come up with tomorrow which should give an indication of date of manufacture and will post accordingly.

OB

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Hello again lucky John,

Nigel Brown's book 'London Gunmakers' list your guns 14209/10 as being made in 1901.

OB

 

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Posted (edited)
On 28 July 2017 at 08:54, redial said:

I am attempting to get some history on a recent purchase but never having done this

before.

I don't know where to start, I have found some history about Mr Boswell being the

son of a butcher etc.

The gun I suspect is a basic model, serial No 17194.

Any advice please.

Thanks,

Phil.

Nigel Brown's book lists your gun being made between 1913 and 1916, although I would have thought that the years of WW1 1914-18 would have incorporated Boswell somehow contributing to the war effort, so perhaps 1913. Maybe Gunman on here may be able to elucidate further. 

OB

Just realised the original post was from 2017 and I'd already responded.

Edited by Old Boggy

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On 28/07/2017 at 12:26, Salopian said:
CHARLES BOSWELL Entry Information:
Given Names

First name/s:Charles

Surname: Boswell

Location

First Address: 6 Chapel Place, Upper Fore Street, Edmonton

City/Town: London

Country: United Kingdom

Other Addresses:

126 Strand

7 South Molton Street, Bond Street

15 Mill Street, Conduit Street

79 Woodville Road, New Barnet, Hertfordshire

16 Strafford Road, London

Information

Trade: Gunmaker

Dates: 1872-1949

Notes:

Charles Boswell was born in December 1850 in Hertford, the only son of Charles Boswell (b.1827 in Ware Hertfordshire) a butcher and Miriam (nee Tydeman b.1828 in Norfolk). The family were recorded in the 1851 census living at 2 Wellfield Alley, Hertford.

The 1861 census records the family living in West Street, Shortford, Hertford.

At the usual age of 14 he was apprenticed to Thomas Gooch of Fore Street, Hertford.

When Charles was aged 21 in 1871 he moved to live at 24 Upper Clifton Street, Shoreditch, London, and travelled daily to Enfield where he worked at the Royal Small-Arms factory at Enfield as a sight filer. He does not seem to have been recorded in the 1871 census.

In 1872 he married a dressmaker, Emily Rock (aged 19), and in October of that year he established his own business repairing and fitting guns at 6 Chapel Place, Upper Fore Street, Edmonton.

His reputation as a live pigeon shot at Hendon Shooting Grounds and Hornsey Wood helped to publicise his business, and he was later famous for his pigeon guns although he made all kinds of gun and, in the early days, pistols. His guns were made by an army of out workers, and he had a considerable trade in second-hand guns. By 1880 he had appointed Harry Ackland (Ackford?) as his agent in Woolahra, Australia and he was exporting guns there. The "Edmonton Tanglock", a hammerless gun with strikers located in the top tang of the action became associated with his name but who designed it and whether it was patented or not is not known.

The 1881 census records Charles and Emily living at 5 Chapel Place, Upper Fore Street, Edmonton with their children Alice (b.1876), Osborne George (known as George) b.1878) and Kate (b.1881). Charles described himself as a gun maker. One child not mentioned in this census was Frank who was born in 1879.

In June 1883 Charles moved to more prestigious premises on the first floor of 126 Strand. By this time the firm had won ten 20 guinea gold cups at the "Field" gun trials.

On 12 August 1887 for reasons unknown he divorced his wife Emily, the usual cause at this time was adultery.

At the time of the 1891 census Charles was staying or living at 213 Crossbrook Street, Cheshunt, Hertford. Jane Maywood was his housekeeper who also seems to have looked after Osborne George, Frank and Kate. It may be that Charles lived in London during the week.

On 12 June 1896 Charles married Jessie Cross (b.1855). By the time of the 1901 census they had moved to Swiss Cottage, Barnet Road, South Mimms. Osborne George was living with them as was John Bluett, a groom.

Between about 1890 and the turn of the century the firm appointed further agents in Australia in the towns of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, also South Africa, and many guns were exported. Charles was a very successful gun maker who in 1906 and 1907 was Chairman of the Gunmakers Association. He was never made Master of the Association reportedly because he did not get on with the London Proof Master.

The firm almost certainly bought some gun parts and some guns in-the-white in Birmingham, but they were proved in London. After 1906/7 most if not all Boswell guns were proved in Birmingham.

In the 1911 census Charles and Jessie were recorded still at Swiss Lodge with a servant. Osborne George was recorded living at Brookview, Park Road, New Barnet with his wife Miriam (nee Tydeman b.1880) and a son named Charles (b.1908). Osborne George described himself as a finisher, salesman and book keeper assisting in the business.

From 1914 Charles Boswell's health began to fail and the running of the company fell increasingly on the shoulders of his eldest son, Osborne George. From about 1907 the firm claimed establishment in 1869 but all the evidence points to 1872.

The firm survived the First World War but it seems the export business ceased and in 1921 they moved to smaller premises at 7 South Molton Street, Bond Street where, up to 1931 only about 200 guns were produced.

On 31 October 1924 Charles Boswell died leaving an estate valued at £20,468. 9s. 8d. Osborne George inherited the firm.

At some time shortly before February 1930 he moved the business to 15 Mill Street, Conduit Street, Hanover Square; at that time they had a shooting school "near London" but precisely where is unknown.

From 1939 to 1945, i.e. during the Second World War, it appears that only 3 guns were sold, and on 17 April 1941 the shop and presumably a large proportion of the stock, was destroyed by bombing.

In May 1941 Osborne Boswell died but his wife, Miriam, retained the business at her home at 79 Woodville Road, New Barnet, Hertfordshire.

In 1944 Miriam died and in November that year the business was sold, but who bought it is not known.

In 1947 the firm was recorded as trading from 16 Strafford Road, London.

In 1958 the name and goodwill of the firm was acquired by Interarmco (UK) Ltd in the person of Sam Cummings, it's address became 168 Piccadilly. The company formally ceased to trade in 1963. In 1980 the name was sold to a buyer in the USA.

The records of the firm from 1897 to 1963 are currently held by Chris Batha who is contactable through E J Churchill (Gunmakers) Ltd.

Internet Gun Club has some details of serial numbers which we have not published. Please send details of your gun and its serial number by email to archives@internetgunclub.com and we will reply with what information we have.

Other:

The firm sold shotgun cartridges under the name "Express" or "Special Express" (1930-1941 probably earlier as well).

 

No mention of the firms name being operated in London Ontario Canada, by a guy called Frank Malin in the early 80's. They finished some Webley and Scott actions with the Boswell name , but also used Spanish barreled actions claiming them to be of English origin .This did not do the firms repute any good and all guns with the Boswell name from that period are "suspect".There are a few in the UK but most are in the US and Canada .

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On 12/03/2019 at 07:28, Old Boggy said:

Nigel Brown's book lists your gun being made between 1913 and 1916, although I would have thought that the years of WW1 1914-18 would have incorporated Boswell somehow contributing to the war effort, so perhaps 1913. Maybe Gunman on here may be able to elucidate further. 

OB

Just realised the original post was from 2017 and I'd already responded.

I have just collected a beautiful Charles Boswell serial number 14519. I was trying to find out how old it might be when I came across this thread, could you help out please? 

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No mention that the name was briefly resurrected in the 80's by Frank Malin in Canada and was put on guns supposedly made by him in London Ontario but were in fact a mixture of W & S and continental barreled actions .

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Seems odd that both Charles and his son George, both married women named Miriam Tydeman.

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I bought a cracking Damascus Barrelled Hammer S/S Charles Boswell from Wabbitbosher this year.

I have contacted Chris Batha, and his partner has replied but they are in the middle of house sale/move, so I am waiting out for info. He thinks he has records from the period - 1890's but cant access them for a bit.

My serial no. is 13996.

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18 hours ago, Ajb0 said:

I have just collected a beautiful Charles Boswell serial number 14519. I was trying to find out how old it might be when I came across this thread, could you help out please? 

Quoting Nigel Brown`s book once more, it states  No.14325 as 1902 and 14520 as 1903, so I would guess that 14519 was also 1903.

 

11 minutes ago, Hammo said:

I bought a cracking Damascus Barrelled Hammer S/S Charles Boswell from Wabbitbosher this year.

I have contacted Chris Batha, and his partner has replied but they are in the middle of house sale/move, so I am waiting out for info. He thinks he has records from the period - 1890's but cant access them for a bit.

My serial no. is 13996.

13963 shown as 1901 with a gap between 14001-14099 and 14100 as 1901, so it would be save to assume that 13996 was 1901.

Hope that helps.

OB

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3 hours ago, Old Boggy said:

Quoting Nigel Brown`s book once more, it states  No.14325 as 1902 and 14520 as 1903, so I would guess that 14519 was also 1903.

 

13963 shown as 1901 with a gap between 14001-14099 and 14100 as 1901, so it would be save to assume that 13996 was 1901.

Hope that helps.

OB

Many thanks, really appreciate you looking it up!

Fingers crossed that Chris Batha might have further detail. Its $50 though to get a copy of the relevant records, if he has them.

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