Benjamin C. Boulter>
Benjamin C. Boulter
Benjamin C. Boulter
"As a schoolboy in Westminster I sat every morning among these things (the monuments in Westminster Abbey) during our morning prayers; if the architecture of the Abbey is inducive of devotion, what a pity that it should be obscured by monuments which induce mockery and rage". Quote from his book:- The Pilgrim Shrines of England, published 1928, page 194.
There were two influences on BCB as a young man when his father had a parish near Evesham. One was George Napier Whittingham, at that time vicar of Evesham and later to become Vicar of S. Silas, Kentish Town. The other was the artist E.H. New who also lived in Evesham.  E.H. New off loaded some of his commissioned work on the Methuen guides on to BCB, starting with the maps and later the illustrations. Both EHN and BCB worked in much the same style, in fact BCB might be regarded as a pupil of EHN.  See below the Methuen Series titles that BCB illustrated. It was G.N. Whittingham who was to lure BCB to Kentish Town.

January 1910:  Moved from 28 Queens Road, Bayswater, W, to 22 Old Square, Lincoln's Inn, WC.
1909 - Treasurer to the Monthly Paper Account.
1910 - Reader and in choir.
1913 - Benjamin Boulter and Bertha Tressler were the first couple to be married at S. Silas.
1913 - Moved to 22 Well Walk, Hampstead, NW
1917 - Treasurer of Mission Funds
1919 - Server at St. Silas
1919 - Secretary of the Mission Funds
1921 - Moved to 20 Well Walk, Hampstead, NW
Died 26th March 1960

Occupation:-  Schoolmaster (see Baptism Register Jan. 29th 1922) at Mercers' School, Holborn 1901 - 1936
Married to Bertha Fredericka Louisa Tressler on 8th May 1913 - B.S. Boulter (younger brother was best man). Bertha Fredericka Louisa Tressler was aged 31, a spinster, of Hazelcopse, Godalming, a violinist and composer. Pupil of Max Reger.

A resident of Bayswater and later Hampstead was for many years a member of the congregation of St. Silas. Although probably an amateur, was a quite accomplished and ingenious writer of hymns and plays for church occasions. He was also a skilled artist and many drawings by him appear in the Monthly Papers of the church.

Compiled a booklet "A Souvenir of St. Silas" to raise fund for the church - available at the time of the consecration in Nov 1912. (Copy in the Archives)

 Saint Silas the Martyr
 Soaring sublime, as thou would'st fain ascend
   Far above grimy Earth to Heaven above,
 Yet humble too, a wise and loving friend
   To all the humble who seek thee in love,
 To thee, when sad and tired, to thee we come,
   To thee, by London's ugliness distrest:
 Yea here the sparrow hath found for her a home,
   And the swallow hath built her nest.

 Even Thy Altars O Lord of Hosts my King and My God.
 B.C.B.       1919

Books published by SPCK London
A 1927 catalogue lists the following Mystery Plays which were written for S. Silas Church and performed  between 1910 and 1930.
The Mystery of the Epiphany
The Mystery of the Passion
Paul and Silas - a play in 4 scenes

The following books were written and illustrated by BCB
1920 Relics and Realities - a simple pilgrims thoughts
1920  Songs of the Epiphany
1928  The Pilgrim Shrines of England  - publ:- Philip Allan/SS Peter Paul 264pp. Illustrated
1933  The Anglican Reformers (to commemorate the centenary of the Oxford Movement)  - publ:-  Philip Allan
1936 Robert GrossetÍte - publ:- SPCK
1939 Simon de Montford  -  publ:-  Faith Press
In addition the following book was illustrated by BCB
The Home of Fadeless Splendour by George Napier Whittingham published 1921 by Hutchinson & Co, and also in a second the 1928 edition which also included The Diary of a Pilgrimage to Palestine.

Metheun Series:  The Little Guides
The following guides were illustrated by BCB
Norfolk by W.A. Dutt
Cornwall by A.L. Salmon
Rome by C.G. Ellaby
Ancient Cities - Canterbury by J. Charles Cox

Poem "At Littlemore"
Published in "They Shine Like Stars" by the Revd Desmond Morse-Boycott, chapter VII: The Parting of Friends. Skeffington & Son, London 1947. See below for text of poem.

Carol for Christmas by Benjamin & Bertha Boulter
Music by Bertha Boulter
Music by Bertha Boulter
Words by Benjamin Boulter
Words by Benjamin Boulter
Song taken from the Epiphany Mystery Play
Words by Benjamin Boulter and music by Bertha Boulter
Words by Benjamin Boulter and music by Bertha Boulter
Local maps drawn by Benjamin Boulter
Statues of S. Silas & S. Paul designed by Benjamin Boulter
St. Silas Martyr
St. Silas Martyr
Saint Paul Apostle
Saint Paul Apostle
Drawings of Saints by Benjamin Boulter
taken from the Parish Papers
First Mass Card
First Mass Card
St Agnes
St Agnes
St Ambrose of Milan
St Ambrose of Milan
St Blaise
St Blaise
St Christopher
St Christopher
St Francis of Assisi
St Francis of Assisi
St Thomas Aquinas
St Thomas Aquinas
St Joan of Arc
St Joan of Arc
St Nicholas
St Nicholas
St Pancras
St Pancras


An old man, dressed in shabby black, was seen leaning on a stile near Littlemore Church, in tears.  It was Newman.

He leant upon a stile, noble, unkempt,
old and so weary, in a coat shabby and black-green,
he leant and wept, and I think he dreamt
of what had been
at Littlemore.
Then from the valley afar, yonder, a bell
sounded.  He looked.  There Oxford lay and slept:
Saint Mary's spire and Trinity and Oriel:
his own, so dear,
so much his own, so intimately dear;
so far, so near.
And he leant there and wept,
at Littlemore.

He had sought a perfect peace on earth,
and for its sake abandoned the old home;
Church, friends and pulpit, all he had held of worth,
exchanging Oxford's mirage for the gleam of Rome.
The gleam was spent,
and now he weeping leant
upon a stile,
remembering the past a little while
at Littlemore-
his Littlemore;

so here the old man wept and prayed,
beside the church which he himself had made
long years before.
He wept with white head bared.
Here he had stood vested before the altar then,
here had christened children now grown men;
here had at last despaired,
and seeking elsewhere peace, found war.
And now he wept and prayed alone,
ungreeted and unknown,
leaning upon a stile,
weeping for faces, loved, but lost awhile,
at Littlemore.

from They Shine Like Stars The Rev. Desmond Morse-Boycott, chapter VII: The Parting of Friends.  Skeffington & Son, London 1947

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