Boase, Henry (1763-1827) (DNB00)

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BOASE, HENRY (1763–1827), banker and author, was the fourth son of Arthur Boase, of Madron, a parish in Cornwall, who died August 1780, by Jane, daughter of Henry Lugg. He was born at Madron on 3 June 1763, and in 1785 went from Penzance to Roscoff, in Brittany, in a fishing-boat, to proceed to Morlaix, where he resided for some time, and acquired a good knowledge of the French language. Not finding any business opening in Cornwall, he went to London, where he obtained a situation as corresponding clerk in the banking house of Messrs. Ransom, Morland, & Hammersley in 1788. This house had an extensive continental connection, and after the flight of Louis XVI in 1791 a large part of the funds for the support of the emigrant clergy and nobility passed through their hands. Through his knowledge of French, Boase was, on this occasion, able to render such great service to his employers, that he was promoted to be chief clerk in 1792, and seven years later he became the managing partner. During his residence in London he was well acquainted with Granville Sharpe, Robert Owen, and other men eminent for their philanthropic exertions; was a leading member of the London Missionary Society; and took a considerable part in the foundation of the British and Foreign Bible Society, in conjunction with the Rev. Thomas Charles, of Bala, with whom he had become intimately acquainted whilst engaged in distributing, as Mrs. Palmer's banker, her donation of 1,000l. to the poor beneficed clergy of Wales. He was also much interested in the formation of schools on the new system of Joseph Lancaster. His correspondence, part of which is preserved in the British Museum (Addit. MS. 29281), gives many details on these matters. His mind was also much occupied with the financial questions of the day, and he became well known in banking circles by the publication of the following works: 1. ‘Remarks on the Impolicy of repealing the Bank Restriction Bill,’ 1802. 2. ‘Guineas, an unnecessary and expensive Incumbrance on Commerce,’ 1802, 2nd edition 1803. 3. ‘A Letter to the Right Hon. Lord King in Defence of the Conduct of the Directors of the Banks of England and Ireland,’ 1804. 4. ‘The Disadvantage of the new Plan of Finance,’ 1807. 5. ‘Remarks on the new Doctrine concerning the supposed Depreciation of our Currency,’ 1811. His health was so seriously affected by the London winters, that at the close of 1809 he retired from business and went to live at Penzance. There he became a partner in the Penzance Union Bank; served the office of mayor in 1816; aided Dr. Paris and Mr. Ashhurst Majendie to found the Geological Society of Cornwall; took an active share in promoting the Penzance Public Library, and furnished to Sir Thomas Bernard valuable evidence as to the pernicious effects of the duties on salt. In 1821 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He died at Alverton, Penzance, 8 April 1827. He married, 26 Oct. 1794, Anne, the only child of Matthew Craige of Walsall, by whom he left a large family.

[An Account of the Family of Boase (1876), pp. 4–8.]

G. C. B.