Charles Boileau Elliott (repaired by Justin Barton) CROPPED.jpgCharles Boileau Elliott (water-damaged) TINY.jpg
Charles Boileau Elliott as a boy. This digital restoration (LEFT) was kindly and skilfully performed by Justin Barton (; unfortunately the original watercolour was heavily water-damaged in a flooding incident in the 1980s (see RIGHT).

Charles Boileau Elliott miniature from Charles Baron SMALL.JPG

Rev Charles Boileau Elliott FRS 1803-1875.jpg

LEFT: CBE as a younger man, from a miniature portrait that forms a matching pair with one of his wife. Image courtesy of Charles Baron.
RIGHT: CBE as an older man. From the *NJB family archive.

He went to India in the Bengal Civil Service in 1821, and returned home invalided in 1829. He then went to Cambridge & was ordained in 1834. Became vicar of Godalming, until ~1839, when he moved instead to St. Mary's Church, Tattingstone, though spent more time abroad than working there!

Mentions in his daughter Emily's memoirs:

"My father, the Reverend Charles Boileau Elliott, was educated at Harrow, and at the East India College of Haileybury - then used only for the East India Company's men; at 18 having won all the honors the College had to offer he left as first on the List, and was considered as the most promising of the 'writers' (as they were then called) of his year. This was in 1821." p1

"Brought up as my Father was in such an atmosphere, where the conversation was said by someone to be 'the feast of reason, and the flow of soul', it was not astonishing that he was at 18 much beyond his years; with a traditional respect and love for all that was highest and best, though without any deep personal knowledge of it. When, after a six months voyage in a luxurious cabin for which his indulgent grandfather paid £300, having given him an outfit worth as much besides, he found himself sailing up the river Hoogly to Calcutta, how gratified he must have been to find his Mother sailing down to meet him, with a white flag hoisted at her mast's head that he might know her. And when his Father, proud of his eldest son's honors, and personal attractions, brilliant conversation etc, plunged him at once into a vortex of the most worldly society, and feted him everywhere, what wonder that his head was turned - and as each year saw him rising higher, and very rapidly to important positions, with unlimited power, a love of autocratic power, and an impatience of opposition grew upon him which were the bane of his life, alas! and of his happiness." pp3-4

"My Grandfather retired in 1826 after 30 years spent in the East India Company without going Home; and my Father followed him three years later, after only eight years in the country - with liver complaint. The East India Company kept his appointment open for him 5 years in hopes of his being able to return, but ere this time was over he had made up his mind to throw over the Service. This was the greatest mistake of his life - and a most unfortunate one to make so young.

But before I entirely close this page of their Indian life, I must say a word about the private life of my Grandfather and Father, which I am deeply thankful to be able to say to you their descendants; especially as they were rare and marked exceptions amongst men in the high circles in which they moved in India. Although my Grandfather was not a religious man until quite his latter years, his standard of morality and honour, and of temperance were so infinitely higher than that of any of his surroundings, that he was never known to fail in any one of these respects. It was the custom in those days to drink a good deal of wine, but as he knew that he could not take much, he had the lower half of his glass colored so that he might appear to be doing the hospitable with his friends when he had no intention of taking any more! As to receiving bribes, it is said that he and my Father were the only men then in the Civil Service who refused, to take them - so universal was the practice for a man who had a case in court, and who was desirous to win favour, to put Bank Notes under his Judge's plate at breakfast time - and let him know, of course, where they came from. I thank God that no money that will ever come to my children has been thus dishonestly come by." pp4-5

"But to return once more to my Father. He came home in 1829 - an invalid - and was nursed and beloved by all the large party at Brighton who had ever done their best to spoil him. But they soon discovered the work Indian life had done for him - and spent many sighs over him, wishing old days back again.

My Grandfather was much annoyed when my Father finally decided to throw up the Indian Service - having seen that he had great administrative talents, as well as linguistic, in addition to a first rate pen - and I never for my own part, could understand why he did it. Had his father not made him a handsome allowance, he would probably have returned to India - and would have been a happier man for the rest of his life; for he never really found his sphere in England.

He had a passion for travel; and as soon as he was well enough, travelled through Norway and Sweden with two other Englishmen, and published a Volume [see below] on his journey through those then little known countries on his return.

It must have been in 1830 that my Father met my sweet Mother (Emily Dougan), of whom I love to say that 'I owe her all I am and have' — (for she always prayed for her daughters' husbands and her sons' wives from the time they were 17).

They met in a romantic way – for being caught in a summer shower in Torquay he suddenly bethought him he must be near the home of the sisters of a young officer he had known in India, and promised to call on. He said to himself 'there will I take shelter, and pay off my visit at the same time'. No sooner said than done - and he found himself in the middle of what must have been a very charming family of sisters, of rare accomplishments and good looks, and seems to have been in no hurry to leave Torquay. Their name was Dougan, a good Irish family, descended from the O'Neils. But we know but little of our dear Mother's family – for both her parents died before she became our father's wife; and as his jealously absorbing love induced him to separate her one by one from all her family" pp5-6

"Shortly after the aforesaid introduction to her husband's family, my dear mother was married to my Father in Holy Trinity Church, Marylebone, by the Rev. Charles Simeon, of Trinity Church Cambridge, her guardian, Sir James Stephen, giving her away.

Of course all the Brighton party came up by coach days beforehand to welcome 'Charles' bride' into the family, and a very loving welcome they gave her. There was none of the worldliness about them that had gathered round my Grandfather in his Indian life - they only wished to make sure that he who had been as a son or brother to them all his boyhood and youth, had chosen wisely and well. I never pass Trinity Church, Marylebone to this day without recalling the little speech my Father told me my Great Uncle 'Henry Venn Elliott' made him as he led his Bride down the flight of steps to the carriage: 'Well Charles! if you haven't got a fortune with your wife, you've got one in her!' It shewed the just estimate that portion of the family had formed of her during those few days.

And so they went off on their honeymoon, which was spent at the country house of Sir Harry Verney, an old friend, near Farnham. He lent it them for a month.

When summer was over, and October came round, it was time for my father to return to Cambridge, to keep his terms - for he had some time before entered Queen's College as a Fellow Commoner, and resolved on taking Holy Orders. This most unusual decision on the part of one who had held the position my Father had done in India attracted the notice of all good people in the University - and particularly of dear good Mr. Charles Simeon - with whom he had become, ere this, great friends. So my young parents took a house, on Parker's Piece, and settled down for a year. In the following June they left Cambridge, and settled at Southampton; and my Father came up to keep the necessary days required for his terms at Cambridge, until he took his degree. I came across an old bundle of my Father's letters to my Mother lately, written at this time, in fine writing, the ink pale with age and much crossed, for the days of the 1d post were not yet. He told her, writing from Queen's College, Cambridge, how he had accepted an invitation from Mr. Simeon who was a fellow of Kings College to dine with him one night at the Fellows Table, and how shocked he had been at the murmur of surprise which greeted Mr. Simeon's entrance in the company of a Fellow-Commoner; whose remarkable dress at this time, gold lace on their gowns, and gold tassels on their caps, made them objects of notice. I mention this letter as it curiously corroborates the fact of Mr. Simeon's unpopularity amongst a portion of the University, even so late as 1832 when this great and good man was really at the zenith of his influence. I am glad to say my Father was quite above such pettiness - and was proud to be seen with Mr. Simeon at any time.

Some months after this your Aunt Alicia was born at Southampton; and my Father, who had caught small pox, was ill in an adjoining room. His Mother left London directly, and came down to nurse him herself - at the same time keeping strict guard that no one but her own nurse went near the young mother, and child. By means of the greatest care, this perilous time was safely passed, and no harm came to my dear Mother and sister. My Father was dreadfully marked by this frightful disease - and suffered in his eyes and throat more or less, in consequence, for the rest of his life.

In 1834 he was ordained by the Bishop of Winchester, and immediately instituted as Vicar of Godalming, Surrey - a living presented to him by his uncle the Dean of Salisbury, Dr. Pearson; whose daughter (Mary) as I have before said, had married her cousin, my Father's brother Willie Henry, and gone to India. This was an unusual, and one cannot but think unwise proceeding; for without any previous training as curate, under a Superior, how could he be fit to be incumbent of a large parish! However - he did the best thing he could - and chose two curates, one in priests orders (the present Dean Fremantle of Ripon), the other in deacon’s. In December of this year your Uncle Charlie was born at Godalming Vicarage - and before another year was over the Doctors had ordered my Father abroad, his throat being in such a state that they said he could not pass the winter in England. So my poor Mother had to leave her two babies in charge of a Nurse, and one of the Curates, who came to live in the Vicarage, and began her travels with her husband. They went to the South of France; and at Nice in 1835 or 36 my baby brother 'Harry Verney' was born. When he was 8 months old, my father wished to be off on his travels again; and as the poor little babe would have been an 'encumbrance', he had to be left behind, with the Doctor and his wife. The last my poor Mother saw of him was, as the French nurse lifted him up to the windows of their travelling carriage, covered with violets, for a last kiss. She never saw him again - he died 2 months later of convulsions, and is buried at Nice.

It was at this time our parents travelled in Spain and Portugal. One curious little incident my Father used to tell of this time, in addition to scenes of Bullfights, Tournaments etc. Putting up their carriage at a country inn for the night, the Innkeeper apologized for limited room - and said there was but a wooden partition between the bedroom he could offer them, and that of a single gentleman who was in the other part of the room - 'but he was a very quiet gentleman'. To such good travellers this mattered not - and next morning their quiet friend and they breakfasted together, and had a little conversation on travelling in Spain, politics etc. When this young man, then about 20, left the room the Innkeeper said confidentially to my Father 'Who do you think that is, Segnor? Prince Louis Napoleon! now exiled from his country'. It was little thought at that time that he would ever be Emperor of France.

In 1836 my parents went to Smyrna - and my Father left my Mother, who had been very ill, in the family of some dear German missionaries named [[@ missionary Smyrna&pg=PA159#v=onepage&q=jetter missionary Smyrna&f=false|Jetter]], for six months, while he went to the Holy Land. The two young daughters used to take my Mother out for a sail, for her health, every fair day, and amused her greatly by chattering in Romaic to the sailors.

It must have been in 1837 I think that, on their way home, my brother 'Willie Henry' was born at Paris; and then they returned once more to their two little ones at Godalming - and my dear Mother must have hoped her travelling days were done. A year or two after this, my Father, who felt Godalming was too much for him, exchanged with a Mr. Ball, for the quiet country living of Tattingstone in Suffolk, where there are only about 400 souls. And soon after this, his father taking a fancy to the place, bought the advowson, as it is called, and became Patron, with power to present whoever he liked during his life time, and I think one life beyond. It thus became a family living, and the burial place of our family.

My Father, who had a great taste in landscape gardening, took a good deal of interest in laying out the place - and planted it with beautiful trees finding they took kindly to the soil. His brother George sent home deodara fir seeds [a species of Cedar], from the Himalays - each seed sown up separately in muslin - and my father took great interest and pride in a nursery of these until they were big enough to be transplanted into the Avenue in which you now know them. There were originally twice as many - but as they grew bigger than he had any idea of (the tree being quite new in England), they had to be thinned out.

And here, during 3 or 4 quiet years, I and my brother Arthur, and sister Isabel, were born.

In January 1842 my Father asked and obtained leave to present to the Queen [Queen Victoria] a bottle of water he had himself brought from the River Jordan, for the christening of the Prince of Wales. His father's friend Lord Delaware being then Lord Chamberlain, easily managed it for him, and he was allowed to be present at the Baptism in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, an honor he had hardly hoped for. After the ceremony, Lord Delaware asked him if he would like to have the box and bottle back again? as these things were his perquisites. Of course he said Yes - and two or three of us were baptized from the same bottle.

My dear Mother's quiet time was nearly over, and my sister Isabel was but a few months old when my Father was off again on his travels, leaving a good Curate in the Rectory. This time there were 6 children to leave. Alicia and Charlie were disposed of among relations, and we four little ones, Willie and I, Arthur and Isabel, found a home at Bromley in Kent with a married Governess, a Mrs. Hewison, a very sweet person, whom we involuntarily called 'mama' for two or three years, knowing no other; and she did indeed act a mother's part to us. My Parents now went straight to Madeira - as the air was recommended for my father's throat. They made there some lifelong friends - chiefly a Mr. and Mrs. Austen and their only child [Frances Eliza Austen (1836-1864), a relative of the writer Jane Austen (1775-1817)], a girl of 5 years old; who grew up to be a great friend of ours - and at 20 married Dr. Cartmell, Master of Christs College Cambridge, a man 25 years older than herself.

This little girl was a great delight to my parents who had left six behind them - and my father often reminded her in after days how he taught her her letters on the hill sides of Madeira. Mrs. Austen, whom we have loved to call 'Granny' for many years - and who still lives - has told me of this time that my poor mother could not bear the sight of a pair of baby socks without tears - but she was a wonderfully brave and plucky woman, and made the best of everything instead of the worst. She rode a good deal at this time as every one did at Madeira, being often accompanied by Mr. Austen, as well as by my Father. This gentleman was her very devoted squire - always trying to serve her, and one day made the pretty speech that my Father was a happy man to be the 'cinosure of brightest eyes'. We have a few sketches of Madeira done by dear Mother at this time, and wish we had more. This year or 10 months passed only too quickly, and they left these dear friends behind, and returned again to the South of France - and thence to Paris - where in the autumn of that year my youngest sister Mary was born, and left with a French Doctor and his wife and wetnurse for two years.

They went through the cold water cure at [[@ázně_Jeseník|Grafenburg]] in Silesia this winter - supposed to be bracing to the system. It consisted of a good deal of cold water drinking, and snow walks before breakfast - of a 'pack' in bed, when you had a cold, being piled with blankets until you perspired profusely - and then, when taken out of this, having a cold wet sheet thrown around you - and being furiously rubbed. The same thing is now more pleasantly done by means of a Turkish bath; but the idea was novel at this time, and instructions were sent to our quasi mother to try all these experiments on us!

After this strange winter (of 1844), they went a tour through Wallachia and Moldavia, and down the Danube, which my Father was anxious to explore. My Mother must have suffered great hardships on this journey; it is said she was the first lady who ever went down the Danube. They went on to Palermo for the winter, and in the spring cruised about the East or South part of the Mediterranean; and amongst the Islands of the Archipelago; whence my father visited the Crimea, 10 years before the famous war there, and in a Volume of his travels at this time, published when he returned to England in 1846, he foretold that the Crimea would one day become a bone of contention between Russia and Turkey. [Volume 1, p89: “it does not seem improbable that, ere many generations have played their part on the stage of life, unless France and England interfere, Russia will be in nominal, as well as virtual, possession of the two principalities”. The Crimean War, between Russia and an alliance of Turkey, Britain, France and Sardinia, lasted from 1853 until 1856.]

They encountered a great storm when on a miserable Italian barque at this time, and my dear Mother, being in very delicate health, was carried on shore more dead than alive at Constantinople, where they were landed. Ominous glances were cast at her - and dark hints about 'the plague' whispered to my father, for it was then causing much anxiety in Turkey; but despite all his protestations that my Mother was only ill from sea sickness etc. they were both carried off to the Lazarind, where they had to spend 3 miserable weeks in quarantine!

And now their journeyings were nearly over for a season - and in June 1846 they returned to England, picking up the little 'Mary' (who was naturalized as a Frenchwoman at 8 days old!) at Paris; and the first time I can remember my parents was when we met now in Portland Place. Alas - there had been a gap made in the family during this 3 years absence, and my brother Willie had died 2 years before, very suddenly, it was said from an enlarged spleen.

And now we were all to assemble in our own home, Tattingstone; to which, I suppose, there could at this time have been no railway; for we all went down by sea to Ipswich, and drove the 6 miles to our pretty home, where everything was new to us younger ones; and I remember feeling very happy that sweet June evening, to be in our own Home, with our own parents at last. And here they really did settle down for 10 years.

It is very interesting to see, how Time throws a softening halo over years which were undoubtedly not all happy. And looking back now I would say that I think we had much innocent happiness, and a great deal of love for one another during the years that now followed; though our Father was very strict and had peculiar views about ruling his family, even down to their food and dress! From the standpoint of the present day, much of this looks Spartan training; and yet I am sure it had its most excellent side, which present day training in little matters of good etc. has not; every thing was a treat to us. So much so that a story is told of me that at this time I called brown bread 'cake'!" pp8-13

"In 1850 our Parents were longer in London than their usual annual visit to Portland Place, as our dear Grandmother’s fatal illness had begun.

Miss Hyde was now our Governess - and as my Father trusted her completely, they stayed away all the haymaking time that summer - she paying the men etc. and we had grand times in the hay - and a very happy summer. When asked how it was she could manage Mr. Elliott so well, Miss Hyde replied with characteristic wit 'I always say Yes, and do No!' and she was never afraid of him, and carried her point with a laugh, which was a new thing to him, who was accustomed to every one giving in. He only respected her the more." p17

"It was now thought well that I should go to School abroad. I was told that I was found unmanageable in the Schoolroom! though our dear old friend Miss Hyde stoutly denied having said so, in later years. One cold October morning I drove away from the old Home with a bright face, and won a character for great pluck because I did not shed a tear! and though that is 36 years ago I can remember as well as if it was yesterday, comforting myself with the thought 'after parting comes meeting'! Life has proved that it is not always thus — but yet that same thought has come back, as a sort of refrain from childhood's days, scores and scores of times to me with solid comfort - and thank God we need not stop short at Meetings in this life. Brussels was decided upon - and our Father took Arthur and me across the Channel to our respective schools." p18

"My Grandfather died in 1856, and my Father, who was his Executor, had a great deal of business to see to that summer. His fortune was divided between our Father, and our Uncle William Elliott, his only two sons then living; and from this time my Father was very well off. But the last tie that bound him to England was now severed and he resolved to give up his house in England, and live abroad. My parents and Aunt Alicia spent that winter at Naples" p21

"In the summer of 1858 I left school, and joined my parents in Belgium. We spent a month or so at Blankenburg, on the coast near Ostend, and there I caught gastric fever, and was taken to Brussels very ill for the first time in my life. Your dear Aunt Alicia nursed me with her usual devotion; and my Father and Mother were very kind making no trouble of being delayed in their autumn plans. When I had recovered, we moved on to Paris - and I saw, for the first time, that beautiful smiling, but wicked and godless city: the Louvre, the Champs Elysee, and the Madeline etc.

Thence we moved on towards Italy; and via the fine cities of Lyons, Nimes, Avignon, Arles, Marseilles and Hyères, to winter in Rome. I must not linger on these places; but though over 30 years ago, the impression produced on me during that journey of dipping ever South, has not yet faded, and will not fade I think. The first sight of the grey olive tree - on which, as Byron has it "the ashes of Gethsemane have been cast for ever" - the first taste of green figs at Avignon, sitting in a bower formed by a vine full of clusters of ripe grapes ready for the vintage! And the first scent of lemon and orange groves on the Riviera - the brightness of these memories is not dimmed with years.

We went by steamer from Marseilles to Civita Vecchia - the nearest port to Rome; and drove the remaining few miles to the famous city. Day was dawning, and the sun rising, as we reached the top of a long ascent overlooking Rome; and as the horses stopped to rest, we awoke to find ourselves in full view of the 'City of the Seven Hills', with St. Peter's and the Vatican spreading out its arms in the foreground; and the Sabine and Alban Hills, and the great waste Campagna stretching away for miles in the distance.

The six months and more we spent there, was a time of education in more ways than one; for besides studying Italian, and having singing lessons, our father was anxious we should see all the historic ruins, and we went through them methodically. The wonderful and awful amphitheatre - the Colisseum -which must ever be associated in the Christian's mind with blessed saints and martyrs who there laid down their lives, for Christ's sake - and of whom (as St.Paul, probably writing from Rome itself, rapturously exclaimed) 'the world was not worthy!' The Arch of Titus, built to commemorate his conquest of Jerusalem - and with a bas relief on the inner side of captive Jews carrying the seven branched Golden Candlestick, and other holy vessels from the Temple in procession. The Via Sacra and Forum, of which literally every stone is interesting. The Palace of the Cesars - where St. Paul must oft times have been. The Baths of Caracalla - huge ruins - where in those days , though not now I suppose, you often saw valuable pieces of rare marbles and Roman mosaics laying about on the grass. We saw a good many Catholic Churches too; the gaudy finery of their decorations, and the faint scent of incense everywhere helped dissipate any dangerous romance over the inexhaustible wealth of marble and painting and sculpture on every side. And there may be danger when these things are associated with the worship of Him who is a Spirit, and must be worshipped 'in spirit and in truth'. I know my own great love of music and art at this time, added to a good deal of natural reverence, would easily have led me to like a much more ornate service than I had been brought up to, had I not been wisely led.

But looking back, I think now that my 'churchy days' which lasted at this time for about 3 years, did me good and not harm; encouraging reverence and self denial, which are perhaps not always sufficiently insisted upon by the more Evangelical party of our Church of England to which we all belonged. Those of you who may ever have the pleasure and advantage of visiting Rome, will learn for yourselves its endless treasures of interest, connected both with past and present - but I cannot attempt here to detail them. A Sunday afternoon walk was often taken up the long long flight of stone steps to the Pincian Hill, crowned by the Trinita dei Monti Church - to watch the effect of sunset upon that lovely facade of cream colored marble - first golden - then pink - and changing into ashy grey 'as she died away' we used to say. Sometimes we went in to hear the Nuns' exquisite singing in the Church - and it was always arranged that there should be a pretty English 'Sister' at the door to speak to those of her country people, who came to listen, and give them seats.

Once we met Cardinal Manning in the streets; he had but just left the Church of England I think, and joined the Roman Church, and always looked very uncomfortable when he met English people. He preached a course of sermons at this time, in one of the R.C. churches in the Corso; and his eloquence and name drew large audiences. We went out to musical evenings this winter - and Aunt Alicia and I often sang together, both Italian and English duets. We saw a good deal of society in this way, and knew many folk both English and Italian. Mr. and Mrs. R. Barrett Browning, the poets - also Mr. Aubrey de Vere - and Gibson the sculptor - and the young Rajah Dhuleep Singh - are some who occur to my mind now. We had an apartment first in the Via Condotti; and later, at No.8 Piazza di Spagna. The Caravale which takes place the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday ushers in Lent, was an amusing and pretty sight. The Corso - or main street - was made a moving promenade by strings of carriages, filled with people in grotesque costumes, who pelted those in the houses with confetti, or sugar plums, and flowers, and were pelted in return. Those too who filled every window in every house, exchanged tongue with those who passed in carriages, or with their neighbors.

I had a curious adventure with the Prince of Wales, who was then a youth, and spending the winter with his tutor in Rome. It came round to him through his chaplain whom our Father knew, that I had been baptized in Jordan water from the same bottle as himself - (brought by my Father from Palestine, as before mentioned) - and he dubbed me his "baptismal sister"! So one day during the Carnival - at which time all things are permissible - we exchanged bouquets and bows and smiles by means of a string let down from the balcony we were in, to H.R.H! I dried the flowers - and still have some camelias left as a relic of that little episode.

By May it became very hot; and the English began to fly to the mountains and Switzerland. We did not get away till the 12th ourselves; which was too late; and I got a touch of sun, and was laid up for some days. We travelled via the St. Gothard in a diligence (for there was no tunnel in 1860 of course) to Lucerne; and after a short stay on that most lovely lake, returned to England, to spend, what was to be our last summer all together at Tattingstone." pp23-26

"By September [1860], the dear Mother began to suffer greatly from the damp of England; and our Father decided to put in a permanent Locum Tenens at Tattingstone Rectory, and to hasten abroad again. This time Isabel went in my place, and they wintered at Nice." p27

"I was very happy these nine months; and never felt the least dull, though living alone with two elderly people. I undertook a little parish work; and learnt to illuminate texts, and many other things from this dearly loved 'Granny' as we called Mrs. Austen. Mary, now at school in London, always spent her holidays with us; and Arthur also joined us sometimes, until the summer of '61, when Charlie returned from India on furlough; and we four went out to meet our Parents, Alicia and Isa at Interlaken." p28

"This [1861] was a very shadowed year of our home life; and one that I must almost pass over in silence; for all that should not have been ought to be forgotten in the grave, and looking back I see how good the training was, and would not have had one hour less. Faber says truly:

'All is right that seems most wrong
If it be His sweet will.'

Very briefly - our Father's conduct to us all had been so much talked about by this time outside the family, that our Great Uncle Henry Venn Elliott thought right to interfere on our behalf. My father resented this exceedingly, and little good resulted. It came out that during my stay in England, Arthur and I had both been questioned by the uncle, and being no longer children, had not kept silence. The chief brunt of my Father's displeasure fell of course on me, as present, and I was more than willing to bear Arthur's share.

How many dark, dark days there were that winter! We never expected sunshine, and were thankful to get through a day without a storm. My Father saw but one way out of the difficulty of keeping any longer at home one who had offended as I had done; and this was to send me to India with Uncle Charlie in the coming autumn. But - for the sake of appearances, I must be supposed by the family to have elected to go, myself. So, having told me how desirable he thought it that I should accept Charles's invitation, he said that if I went, I should carry with me his blessing - but if not ........ And thus it was left to me to 'choose' - and I was to give in my decision on a certain day.

A text book I used at the time helped to assure me that my decision to leave home was a right one. For on opening it on January 20th (1862), the day fixed by my father, these words met my eyes: "Thine ears shall hear a voice behind thee saying 'This is the way, walk ye in it' (Isa.30.21)". So I told my Father that I thought I should be right to go under the circumstances, and the matter was settled; though none but my Mother and Aunt Alicia knew what it cost me to leave them, and (as I then thought) the dearly beloved Arthur.

From this time forth I was, so to speak, 'whitewashed', and arrangements were made that I was to have everything of the best for my outfit, most of which was obtained from England. The greatest pleasure of this winter was our friendship with the Reverend Charles Childers' family, at Nice. His sweet wife and daughters were almost the only friends we were allowed." pp29-30

"On leaving Nice we spent a month at Vichy in France and then once more made our way to Interlaken, where for the last time we met as an unbroken family, in July. Arthur joined us from England - Aunts Isa and Mary from Switzerland; and later, Uncle Charlie and his bride. How little we thought that, ere the autumn took three of our party to India, one of our number would be called 'to go up higher'.

We were, all struck with Uncle Arthur's delicate looks - and on the 15th July, after getting wet through on a steamer on Lake of Brientz, returning from a day at the Giesbach, he began visibly to fail. He seemed to lose all strength and appetite - and to be gradually consumed by a low fever. Everything was an effort - and one thing after another was given up. During the hot part of the day we used all to sit down by the river side under a clump of walnut trees - and read aloud and work. Gradually Arthur became too weak to walk down, and kind friends wheeled him there for a few days; soon even this became too much for his gradually waning strength - and he ceased to join us. Then he could not come in to meals, and used to lie on a sofa outside where he could get air, during out Table d'hote. On one such occasion we heard afterwards that he said to a lady friend who was keeping him company (alluding to the quartette by Mendelssohn which we often sang together) "I often long for the wings of a dove to fly away and be at rest - for I am so weary."

About August 1 [1862] our parents felt so anxious about the dearest Brother, that a Swiss doctor was called in - who failed to see the serious character of his disease, and treated him wrongly. Later on an excellent American, Dr. Bolton, came to our hotel, and immediately threw his whole strength into the case, seeing how serious it was - and what a beautiful life was fading away. He pronounced the fever to be typhoid - and used every human means to bring our dear one through. But God willed otherwise ... Meanwhile we were being taught to live without him - and only one of us at a time was ever with him - either sitting near, while he slept, or reading to him.

Our Mother seemed to have special strength given her for those two weeks of incessant nursing - for I never remember her either before or after that time able to do so much. On August 12th [1862] Charlie and Fannie had to leave us, for England; and I know he realized that he might never see Arthur again - for he said with faltering voice after wishing Arthur goodbye 'remember if anything happens to Arthur I should value his Bible.' Next morning at 6 o'clock Dr. Bolton told our parents he had no longer any hope of our dear one's life being spared; and our brave Mother knelt by his side to tell him so. He answered directly with a bright smile: "Well - to depart and be with Christ is better - far better! "

Throughout the day he repeatedly took his pocket Bible, Miss Marsh's gift, and read portions aloud to us - such as Rev. XXII, Phil. III, and passing over Eph. VI said "the work is all over now." To our dear Mother he said "You did not think I should be first! But I'll be at the gate to welcome you, my Mother." Canon Hugh Stowell who happened to be in the Hotel, came up for a few minutes, and prayed with him, and on leaving said 'Would that all in this Hotel could see how a young Christian can die!' We encouraged him to sleep a good deal, and once after a cup of broth when I was settling him comfortably for a doze, he turned and looked earnestly at me and said: "Darling - if I should go to sleep, and never wake again, you'll know that I have gone straight to Jesus! What a quiet passing away that would be, and what a glorious awakening to find myself with Him." And then he closed his eyes, and fell asleep evidently thinking he should never wake again.

Our Father, knowing that Miss Marsh would wish to hear of it, telegraphed to her 'Pray for Arthur's departing spirit - he is conscious - all is peace.' The answer came back "Tell him Jesus says 'because I live, ye shall live also' - nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Tell him how we love him, and shall meet him." (This incident is mentioned by her in her life of her father - the well known Divine Dr. Marsh D.D.).

During the two following days life ebbed fast; and he wandered much - though the incessant talking was always on flowers, or on children or on the longing to be up again, and on the mountain side, which never left him. He had asked us when he felt himself getting ill to pray that if he should be delirious no word should escape him concerning the late troubles in the family - and this prayer was fully answered.

Twice at different times, when our father tried to see if he were still conscious, by asking if he knew different members of the family, he failed to respond in every case, until asked 'you know Jesus don't you? ', then he turned his head on the pillow, and the dear eyes from which the light of earth was fading fast, seemed to reflect a far more glorious light beyond as he said "Oh yes, I know Him! He loves me - I love Him." Every hour of the 14th we expected he would breathe his last - but he had still one last word to speak for his Lord. During that night when he had for some hours seemed unconscious, and the Swiss nurse alone happened to be in the room, one more flicker of life and consciousness seemed given him - and looking round the room he called her - and thanked her in broken French for all her goodness to him. She replied 'Mais, Monsieur, c'est vous qui etes si bon si gentil!'; to which he replied "Non - non - je suis un pauvre misérable pécheur, mais pour l'amour de Jésu Christ jé serai sauvé! Et le sang de Jésu nous nettoyé de tout péché." ["No, no, I am a miserable poor fisherman but with the love of Jesus Christ I will be saved! And the blood of Jesus cleans us of all sins."] And thus with his last words, a wish of years was fulfilled, and he was permitted to preach his first (and only) sermon from 1 John I.7.

A few hours later, as the sun rose behind the Jungfrau, [[@önch|Mönch]] and Eiger mountains who clad in their eternal snows looked like majestic sentinels watching that hallowed room, angels carried the blesséd spirit of our Arthur to be 'for ever with the Lord' - and the chiselled marble features lay peacefully on the pillow - with a smile on his lips.

Swiss authorities require that burial should take place in 24 hours. When laid in his coffin, we covered our dear one with fresh flowers - especially heartsease - and the following day, August 16 [1862], a low charette, covered with flowers drawn by one horse, and led by one man, carried him to the sweet village churchyard of G'Steig, a mile out of Interlaken, - we sisters all four following in white, and a few other sympathising friends from the Hotel joining us there.

Canon Stowell repeated our glorious Church of England service by heart I remember, in the little Lutheran Church; and then they carried him through the long pass, and laid him on the hill side where he had longed to be, and whence there will one day be a glorious resurrection unto eternal life.

Within a month, a marble and granite stone engraved at Thun, marked the spot - which is in the left hand corner near a great walnut tree; and I think after this little record of the bright and blesséd death of their young Uncle of 22 years none of my children would go to Interlaken without visiting this, to us, so sacred spot. If you do so, you will recognize on the slab the device on the onyx ring he always wore, and gave me when dying; viz a cross, encircled with the words 'Ye are complete in Him'. A year or two ago your Aunt Mary on visiting the spot had a German rendering of his favorite text 1 John I.7 added to the inscription - so that he 'being dead, yet speaketh' to the people of the country amongst whom he rests. 'Until the day dawn, and the shadows flee away.'" pp31-34

"But ere September [1862] was out, we were called upon to take up our lives again, very practically, though he would never share them on earth. Uncle Charlie and his bride appointed to meet me at Marseilles on October 20, and our passages were taken thence to Bombay. My Father thought a thorough change of country and scene necessary for our dearest Mother, who nevertheless never really recovered from the shock of this great sorrow - suffering much from sleeplessness - and each year from this time forward, being increasingly a martyr to rheumatic gout - until she became so helpless as not only to be unable to walk, but even to feed herself. So - he decided to spend this winter on the Nile, with Aunts Alicia and Isa; and they came with us on board the S.S. "Valetta" from Marseilles, as far as Cairo. Aunt Mary was left at school at Geneva again, and must have felt very desolate that winter alone in Europe.

During the eight days voyage to Alexandria, we made friends with a Major Field, of the Indian Army, now General C. B. whose name is well known as having been second in command, a few years later, under Lord Napier of Magdala, in the Abyssinian Campaign - when 8 or so European captives were rescued from King Theodore. I parted from the dear Mother and sisters at Cairo - and my Father accompanied us as far as Suez - and saw us off on the great P. & O. Steamer "Jeddo", since wrecked.

As I stood alone on that moonlit night looking over the side of the greatest vessel I had ever been on, and watched my Father's receding figure on the little 'tug' which having brought us on board, was now returning to shore, I felt that the bridge was burnt, so to speak, between my home and me - and that a new life had begun." pp34-35

"In August [1875] we heard of my Father's death on July 1st and decided to go home the following spring." p76

"My Father's death had made our duty clear to come home - and we arranged to leave India in March 1876." p77

Memorials & Graffiti

Charles' name can be found on monuments around the world! For example:
C B Elliott Abu Simbel graffiti.jpg
Graffiti on the Great Temple of Abu Simbel, Egypt (I am indebted to Roger De Keersmaecker for contacting me with this information). It is on the buttock of a broken colossi, to the left of the Great Hall's entrance. There is also - in the sanctum of the same temple - a piece of graffiti reading "Dougan 1850" but presumeably this is coincidence. This 1863 trip to Egypt is mentioned briefly in Emily's memoir. It took place only one year after the death of his son Arthur and on the same trip Charles said goodbye to his daughter Emily, having arranged her expulsion to India. She would get married there in 1863 without her parents attending.

In the Church of the Holy Trinity in Nice, France is a memorial (I am indebted to Judit Kiraly of Nice for contacting me with this information.) reading:
Emily's memoir mentions that her parents had a winter home in Nice and visited the city often (p10, p27, p29, p30, p43, p59, p64, p66). One of their infant children even died there while Charles and his wife were travelling elsewhere.

Though he died in Geneva, his remains are said to be buried at St. Mary's Church, Tattingstone where he had been rector. There are two memorials bearing his name there:

[[image:St Marys Tattingstone monuments/St Marys Tattingstone vault stone.jpg width="716" height="876"]]
Image courtesy of Charles Sale, [[@ Elliott&grave=13642&personid=20623|]].

In this Vault repose the mortal remains of ALICIA the beloved wife of CHARLES ELLIOTT, ???? of Portland Place, London, who departed this Life on the 5th July, 1851, Aged 71 Years.
Also of the said CHARLES ELLIOTT, ???? who died on the 4th May, 1856, Aged 79 Years.
Also of WILLIAM HENRY ELLIOTT, ESQUIRE of H.M. Bengal Civil Service, Second Son of the said CHARLES ELLIOTT ESQUIRE who died on the 8th October 1870, Aged 59 Years.
Also of the Rev. CHARLES BOILEAU ELLIOTT, Eldest Son of the said CHARLES ELLIOTT ESQUIRE who died on the 1st July 1875, Aged 72 Years.
Also of EMILY GERTRUDE, his wife, who fell asleep on the 3rd January 1877, Aged 70 Years.

[[image:St Marys Tattingstone monuments/St Marys Tattingstone monument to Charles Boileau Elliott and Emily Dougan.jpg]]
Image courtesy of Charles Sale, [[@ Boileau Elliott&grave=13641&personid=20620|]].



With Emily Dougan (1806-1877):
  1. Alicia Elliott (1832-1912).
  2. Charles Pearson Elliott (1833-1876).
  3. Harry Verney Wingfield Elliott (1834-1835).
  4. William Henry Elliott (1837-1844).
  5. Emily Elliott (1839-1924).
  6. Arthur Wilmot Elliott (1841-1862).
  7. Isabel Maria Elliott (1842-1870).
  8. Mary Elliott (b.1844).

Lived at Tattingstone Rectory, Suffolk.


Letters from the North of Europe; or A Journal of Travels in Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Prussia and Saxony (1833) by Charles Boileau Elliott (online here)

Travels in the Three Great Empires of Austria, Russia and Turkey (1838) by Charles Boileau Elliott (volume 1 online here, volume 2 online here)


The life of Hafiz ool-Moolk, Hafiz Rehmut Khan (1831 translation by Charles Boileau Elliott) by Muḥammad Mustajāb ibn Ḥāfiẓ Raḥmat Khān (online here).