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Henry John BOULT (1828-1912) coffee house keeper of London

According to censuses Henry John Boult was born about 1828 at Clerkenwell, Middlesex (now London). The earliest record that confidently links him with Neil's ancestry is the birth certificate of his son Henry which gives 'Henry born 6 May 1856 to Henry John Boult, waiter, and Elizabeth Boult, formerly Rawlings, 4 Little Coram Street, Bloomsbury, London'.

The marriage certificate of Henry John Boult and Elizabeth Rawlings showed that Henry John's father was another Henry Boult, a butcher, and that Elizabeth's father was Joseph Rawlings, a fishmonger. The marriage took place on 15 October 1854 at the parish church, Islington.

The 1861 census shows Henry John as 'Hy John' Boult, head 34, Refreshment Room [worker], born London with wife Elizebeth [sic] 33, born Thames Ditton, and son Henry, 5 born Middlesex. An Ellen Rawlings, 19, born Hackney was a visitor. (In 1841 Ellen was with her father Joseph, born Thames Ditton; so Ellen and Elizabeth were sisters.) The family was in the parish of St Paul, in Bristol, and I wondered what made them move there. The reason later emerged in that Bristol was where Henry John's parents retired - but that is part of the page on Henry, the butcher.

By 1871 Henry John was back in London at 17 Rochester Row, Westminster, London. The census listed him as 43, a waiter, born Clerkenwell with wife Elizabeth, 42, born Thames Ditton, Surrey, with son Henry, 15, born Mx Holborn, scholar, at 17 Rochester Row, Westminster. When this son, Henry, married Lucy Eyles in 1875, Henry John's occupation was given as coffee house keeper, address 128 Vauxhall Bridge Road, Lambeth.

Henry John appeared in the 1881 census as 53, born Clerkenwell, Mx, eating house keeper with wife Elizabeth, 52, born Surrey with housemaid, servant and lodger, living at 11 Broadway, London, Mx.

Elizabeth died in 1882 in London age 53. She appears to have given Henry John only the one child Henry. Perhaps her health was not good, as she died relatively young.

The 1901 census shows Henry John at 73 with a new wife Emma, born Bermondsey, age 47. The couple were at Chapel Street in Finchley and he was a coffee house caterer.

There is a puzzle or inconsistency in the 1911 census, in terms of Henry John's wife. At first sight it would seem that Emma had died and - in accordance with the custom of the time - Henry John had taken a widow as a housekeeper/wife. However the 1911 census included how long people had been married, and his wife Elizabeth had been married to him for 17 years. Furthermore, she was born in Bermondsey, as was Emma, age 58, ie the same age as Emma. Probably, she really was an Elizabeth and had been called by some sort of nickname when she first married, because Henry John's first wife had also been an Elizabeth. Probably after 17 years, this was no longer an issue. The couple were living at a new address, which was where Henry John was to die the following year: 31 Bedford Road East Finchley. I have been unable to find the marriage of Henry John and Emma/Elizabeth in all the available databases.

Henry John died on 5 June 1912 at 31 Bedford Road, East Finchley. He was 85. According to his death certificate the cause of death was senile decay and exhaustion, and his occupation was given as 'formerly caterer'. W W Pimm was present at death without any indication of any family relationship.

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