Contents Home Index Bottom
Acknowledgements and thanks

EDITORIAL PREFACE

     It is now some 130 years since the original History of the Boultbee Family was compiled by the Reverend Thomas Pownall Boultbee, Principal of St. John's Hall, Highbury, the London College of Divinity, and to him the Family's debt is immeasurable.
     His work was continued, though about 25 years later, by his younger brother the Reverend James Boultbee, to whom we must all be greatly indebted also.
     Following on from his contribution many other Family members have recorded details of their own immediate, or close, relations, or of more distant ones, pursued lines of descent and done much invaluable research. Due credit to these Family, and other contributors, of the past and present is made in our Acknowledgements.
     However, their efforts have until now never been gathered together. The accumulation of what was an enormous amount of additional information finally led the Editors to embark upon the joint enterprise of a new and revised edition of the History and to continue it to the present day.
     It has been their constant aim that it should be one which not only helps to relate the history of the Family to the general historical and social scene over a long period, but that it should also be entertaining to read, recording stories of brave deeds and interesting, sometimes amusing, episodes and personal anecdotes happily preserved.
     While this explains why we have produced this new edition and our aim in so doing, we should like to enlarge a little on our reasons for some aspects of it. We have thought it essential to begin straight away with the seven chapters of the original but inserting in the appropriate places explanatory or other notes or much augmented individual biographical information making it clear that these are editorial additions or that they were made by James. Continuing the various lines of descent down to modern times within the original chapters perforce would have involved the details in some instances of a very large number of people. In order therefore not to interrupt the general narration to what we think would have been an unacceptable and possibly confusing degree we have in some cases dealt with this situation by means of additional chapters. To avoid constant repetition of their full names we generally refer to Thomas Pownall as TPB, and his brother James as JB.
     One further point -- it may seem invidious that the entries for some family members have received much biographical attention, and others are known by no more than birth and death dates in addition to their names. This is not deliberate but reflects the fact that with the passage of time Thomas Pownall himself found it difficult, if not impossible, to gather more information. The Editors themselves have done their best to correct this apparent imbalance, for past or more recent times, but have not always been successful in being able to add more of interest.
     Consequently we should like to emphasise that the new Edition is to the best of the Editors' present knowledge, but any family history is, of course, always "on-going". Research continues and new information will be sure to continue to emerge in the future. In time to come we hope that younger generations will carry on the good work.
     Meanwhile, let us content ourselves that all present-day members of the main line of the Family, which we hope will eventually be joined by other known branches finally linked up with it, may take pride in the fact that their History goes back unbroken for some 350 years.
Patrick Boultbee - Willowdale, Ontario, Canada
Elizabeth Boultbee - Beckenham, Kent, England

Chapter I -- Introductory
Home Contents Index Top