THE LATE MRS. BOYCE.
The Interment—An Appreciation.
Many were the manifestations of regret throughout the town on Friday
afternoon last, on the occasion of the funeral of Mrs. Anne Ogden Boyce,
widow of the late Mr. George Boyce, J.P., whose death at the age of 88
was recorded in our last issue.
The Vicar (Rev. F. A. W. Wilkinson) conducted the service, both at the
Parish Church and at the graveside. An old friend of deceased’s in Mr.
E. Hartley Coleridge read the Lesson. Mr. Cary Bliss officiating at the
organ played “O Rest in the Lord” as the cortege entered the church, and
the Dead March in “Saul” upon its departure. The hymn sung during the
service was “Let Saints on Earth.” The Vicar’s interesting address,
dealing with the charming personality of the deceased lady was listened
to by a numerous congregation.
THE VICAR’S TESTIMONY.
In the course of his address the Vicar said:— “All of those who have had
much to do with ministering to the dying know quite well that there are
two very different kinds of death; the one which is -ugly and fearful,
from which we instinctively shrink, the other of beauty and without
fear—a faith which teaches and helps. It has been this latter in the
case of Mrs. Boyce
“You have no distance to go from this old church to see what I mean.
Just at this season there is death coming on the face of nature; but the
leaf as it reddens to its death is giving us a picture of the wonderful
beauty which is possible in death. I know of no summer beauty which is
comparable with the magnificent tints of the dying leaf.
“Just so did Mrs. Boyce grow and ripen day by day. Those who have
ministered to her in sickness know the utter absence of fretfulness, and
the fearlessness of her character; knew how she gripped the fact that
“All is love”. She grew and ripened for the moment when the Father
needed her elsewhere, bodily faculties strong meanwhile, except for eyes
which could see more of the things unseen. It was growth and not decay.
“So that we do not sorrow to-day, as those whose sorrow can find no
relief. We who are gathered here in sympathy with you, want to rejoice
with you, the daughter, relatives, and all who were privileged to
minister, at the “abundant entrance” of this servant of God into the
Kingdom. We try to be glad, for she is glad that God’s time has come.
The attitude described by Whittier in the poem “At Last”—in words I so
loved by her and her late husband— was here exactly:—
I have but Thee, my Father! let Thy spirit
me then to comfort and uphold;
No gate of pearl, no branch of palm I merit,
Nor sheet of shining gold.
Suffice it if—my good and ill unreckoned,
And both forgiven through Thy abounding grace—
I find myself by hands familiar beckoned
my fitting place.
There, from the music round about me stealing,
I fain would learn the new and holy song,
find at last, beneath Thy trees of healing,
The life for which I long,
“Yet our hearts go out to you who remain. Yours has been a long ministry
—not an irksome one, but cue made ‘very joyous by the forbearance and
loving patience of the patient. All this ceases now, and its cessation
will make a big aching void. But I dare to remind you of the fullness of
the promise of God, Who in the great and
wonderful hope set before us can ease and console and comfort to-day.
“There must be few here to-day who have not learned some deep lessons
from she who has gone. It is ours to go and live them out, seeking to be
braver and truer in our life because of a life that was true and brave.”
In Ever Grateful Memory.
Lady of bounteous heart and gracious mind,
oft tender strivings, in the quest
that led and laboured for the best
To sweeten Life arid elevate mankind:
What fragrant memories of the years behind
When Life was fresh and full of quiet zest!
What hearts and homes have been divinely blest
That she had left some kindly act enshrined
for all time, as the years go by,
Her presence lives and moves by love’s decree;
Which guards the guerdon that can never die,
to heart pass on the love to be.—
gracious memory! Fain would I
Pass on a
grateful legacy to Thee
PERCY A. WELLS.
New Barnet, Oct. 25th, 1915.
The mourners were: Miss Boyce daughter, Mr. Alec and Mr. Percy Stewart
(nephews), Mrs. Owen Gwatkin (neice), Mr. and Mrs. Baker (of Kew), Mr.
E. Hartley Coleridge, Miss Agar, Mr. A. J. Greenaway, Dr. Gossage, Miss
Chaldecott, Miss Waterer, Mrs. Crewdson, (nurse), the maids and the
gardener at “The Orchard”, Miss Smithers, Miss Sellon, and Mrs. Gibbs.
Old friends in Mr. W. O. Scott, J.P. and Mrs. Scott, Mr. T. A. Rickman,
J.P., and Mrs. Rickman, and Miss Margaret Forster, were present at the
Floral tributes were placed around the grave inscribed as follows : From
Ethel Horas non numeravit nisi serenas; from Mr. and Mrs. Owen Gwatkin,
with love; Dear Aunt Annie. with much love, Mr. and Mrs. M. J. Adams;
Mrs. Robert Stewart, in loving memory of a very dear sister ; from Percy
and Ina; In loving memory from her neices, Edith, Amy and Frances; from
Mr. George Northcroft ; with deepest sympathy and love from Mr. and Mrs.
Boutwood, Mrs. Arthur Boutwood, in ever loving and grateful remembrance
of happy days and contact with a most beautiful mind and character ;
with deep regret and love, from Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gibbs; in
affectionate memory, Mr. A. J. Greenaway; in most loving memory from
Edith; in loving remembrance of a true friend. Mrs. William Powlett
Thring, Miss Thring; with constant love and memory from M. L. Bottoms
and Phyllis Bottoms in loving memory of our dear friend Mrs. Boyce, J.
de J. Tilleard, R. M. K. and P. Tilleard; in ever loving memory of my
dearest friend of the golden days, Miss L. D. Butler; from her friends,
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Hartley Coleridge, in loving and honorable memory ;
in loving memory of a dear old friend, from Dora Knatchbull; in loving
remembrance, from Sissie; in loving memory of a dear old friend, from
Owen and Amy Warner; in loving memory, from Mr. and Mrs. Clarence and
Charlotte E. Waterer; with deepest sympathy, from Mr. and Miss W. F.
Lowe; in affectionate remembrance, Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Sullivan; Mrs.
Mandell Pearson, in loving remembrance; in affectionate remembrance,
from Mr. and Mrs. T. A. Rickman ; in loving memory, from Miss I. H.
Wood; from Dr. Herbert Gossage; with loving
sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. W.
D. Scott-Moncrieff ; kind remembrance, Mrs. and Mr. A. J.
Sewell; in remembrance Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Playford; in affectionate
remembrance, Walter J. Crosby; in affectionate remembrance from Mr. and
Mrs. Chas. Hare Leonard; with pleasant memories and deep regrets for our
old friend , Dr. and Mrs. Graham Hodgson, Miss Marjorie Hodgson and Miss
Kingston; in kind remembrance from Mrs. Louise Boorn and family; from
Mr. and Mrs. Porter, with deepest sympathy ; with
deepest sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. Le Messurier; Mr H. Edwards Paine,
deep sympathy; in affectionate remembrance from Mr. and Mrs. A. Freeman
; with deepest regret, from Mr. and Mrs. H. Freeman and the Misses
Freeman ; in affectionate remembrance, from Mr. and Mrs. Agnew Nicholson
; in kind remembrance, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Madeley ; from Lucy Wheeler,
with affectionate memories ; to my much beloved patient, from Nurse
Crewdson ; In memory of our dear mistress, Robins, Ellen, Edith :
as the sacred hill,
as mountains be,
Firm as a
rock, the soul shall rest
leans, Oh Lord, on thee”.
sympathy, from William and family, Orchard Cottage ; in kind remembrance
of one of the very best, from an old Servant, from Mrs. Cox; loving
memories of the dear old mistress, from Barbara and Lizzie ; to dear
Mrs. Boyce, with sympathy and respect, from Barbara and Janie.
Waterer & Sons were responsible for the funeral arrangements
TO THE MEMORY
OF THE LATE MRS BOYCE
Tell me, dear Saint, to what ethereal height
You have attained, now all the gloom is done
That closed your mortal vision, and your sight
Is full restored, so you can see the sun,
And watch the moving wonders of the wind;
Sharing glad days with those whom you have known,
The best and worthiest, that the worthiest find
Full face to face Now all our flowers are blown,
And evening fades too quickly from the hill,
The lamp of love you kept so deftly trimmed,
Fed with the oil of faith, is with us still.
Through recollected hours, its light undimmed,
Shines on to show our faltering steps the way
To where you rest, nor need to watch and pray.
ANNE OGDEN BOYCE.
It is often said,
when some great man dies, ‘that a life has passed away’; ‘we shall never
look upon his like again.’ Thoughts like these pass through the mind
with regard to the death of one here and there among our own friends and
acquaintances. They were something out of the common, and we know that
they cannot be replaced. Everybody thought shout them just as we did,
and put them into a place by themselves. Mrs. Boyce was one of those
memorable persons who possess the quality of distinction. We who knew
and loved her can never forget her as long as we live.
Her history may be told in a few words. She was born at North Shields,
January 23rd, 1828. Her father, William Brown, who was born in 1783 the
owner and manager of a large flour mill, was twice married. Both his
wives were members of the large Quaker clan, the Richardsons of
Cleveland in Yorkshire. Mrs. Boyce
was the youngest child of his second
Her parents held the Quaker rule! She was brought up and passed more
than a third of her long life in a home and circle of friends and
relations whose minds “were set on higher things “—on learning and
education, on liberty of thought and action, on the undoing of heavy
burdens, the “letting the oppressed go free.” It was a home of “high
thinking and plain living,” a circle of sober and retired persons who
none the less concerned themselves closely and eagerly with the
movements and happenings of the political and literary world. And this
was her way to the end. She lived out of the world, but great causes,
great affairs were to her matters of personal and vital concern,
In 1862 she married the late George Boyce. of “The Orchard” afterwards a
J.P. and Alderman of the County Council, whose name is and long will be,
held in honour in Chertsey and the neighbourhood. It will be remembered
that in 1912 Mr. and Mrs. Boyce celebrated their golden wedding.
In 182, twenty years after her marriage, Mrs. Boyce published a volume
of family history, entitled
Records of a Quaker family; the Richardsons. of
Cleveland.” It presents a vivid and particular description of the life
and manners and customs of “Friends” in the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries (reminding one, here and there, of scenes and incidents in the
earlier works of George Eliot), end at the same time its pages reveal
their attitude to such questions of the day as the abolition of the
slave trade, the Reform Bill of 1882, and the repeal of the Corn Lass.
One incident of special interest is an account of the marriage, at a
Friend’s Meeting House, of the great statesman, John Bright, to his
first wife, Elizabeth Priestman, a distant cousin of the authoress. In
1893 Mrs. Boyce contributed to the “Westminster Review” an article
entitled “A Quaker of sixty years ago, i.e., Joseph Pease of
Darlington,” known as the “Friend of India.”
Her book was a remarkable achievement, but her claims to distinction
rest on her intellectual and ethical gifts, her wide knowledge of books
and events, an unfailing memory, a responsive but calm and unmoveable
spirit.. I have known many authors eminent poets and men of letters, but
I can only recall one or two such as the late Dr. Garnett, of the
British Museum, who were fuller in respect of a general knowledge in
English literature than Mrs. Boyce. She was incapable of display, but
the store of information was at hand when put into request. She was full
of feeling, abounding in sympathy, and in all meekness and gentleness
though she was Captain of her fate.” The legend which her daughter Ethel
inscribed on her memorial wreath “Horas non numeravit nisi serenas” was
true to life. Her days “were bound each to each in natural serenity”
It was so to the last, as those who were with her to the last can
testify— the gardener and other servants at “The Orchard” and her kind
and faithful friend and nurse, Mrs. Crewdson. Well she rests in peace.
Quaker though she was at heart, she would not have rejected but in all
reverence, she hardly needs the prayer, “Requiescat in Pace.” May she
rest in peace.
ERNEST HARTLEY C0LERIDGE.
Oct. 17th, 1915.