Saturday, September 15, 2012

Clements Family of Canterbury

I've been busy publishing other books but my daughter's recent trip to London has reminded me of our family's link to the Boultons. (see  It has refreshed my enthusiasm to complete and publish the Boulton story.

The origins of George Boulton Snr remain elusive, but I'm now pursuing some of the Boulton links to the Clements family of Canterbury.

On 28 February 1822 at Saint Andrew in Canterbury, George Boulton Jnr's son Thomas Willson Boulton married Elizabeth Clements, part of a well-known family of innkeepers and coachmen in Canterbury. Elizabeth's parents John and Elizabeth Clements operated The Rose Inn at 16 St George's St, Canterbury. Using a surviving photo of a rather derelict building, now demolished, my artist mother Julia Woodhouse has recreated an extremely attractive image of this old inn.

Various family addresses indicate that the coaching business between London and Canterbury was conducted by the Boultons, with the onward link to Dover conducted by the Clements family. The family business continued for a fourth generation via Thomas Dawson Boulton, before the advent of the railways forced change on them.  Some of the Clements family had already spread their wings - Elizabeth Boulton's brother John Clements held an important role in the bureaucracy of the colony of New South Wales, Australia during the 1820s, enduring many hazards there before he died at sea in 1827 off the coast of Africa at the hands of pirates! Thomas Dawson Boulton's son Philip Boulton ended up as a successful bank manager in Victoria, Australia.

All of their interesting stories have been researched and written. But, before publishing them, as well as resolving the puzzle of my Boulton 'beginnings', I just need to unscramble a few more details about the origins of the Clements family of Canterbury.

I wish that it was easier to research Kent records without the need to travel there! I've twice been to Canterbury to conduct research and absorb the atmosphere of my family's bygone activities. It disappointed and horrified me to discover that many of their old homes did not survive the firestorm of World War 2's attempts to destroy Canterbury Cathedral. (Saving that magnificent Cathedral was a miracle, performed by local residents.)

Where family history is concerned, one thing is certain - always there are more questions. The trick is to know when to stop looking and publish your findings.  In the case of the Boultons, I'm pretty sure that a meaningful story requires me to explain how a family can suddenly 'pop up' with the money and influence of George Boulton Snr. I really hope that I can find the answer soon. If anyone knows more, I'd be pleased to hear the details. In the meantime, I'll press on with tidying up the Clements part of their story.

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