Annie Catherine Boulton

The grave of Annie Catherine Boulton in the old churchyard at Ayot St Peter

At the back of the churchyard is an unusual low pink granite headstone inscribed:- Annie Catherine, wife of Percy Boulton M.D. of London, died February 24th 1894, aged 54.

Inside the church, a stained glass window on the north side of the nave has a long brass plaque underneath with the wording:- This window is erected to the glory of God and in loving memory of Annie Catherine Boulton by her husband Percy Boulton M.D., London and her son Captain Vickerman of the Buffs, 1894

Annie (sometimes “Anne”) was baptised as Annie Catherine Martin on 7 June 1839 at St Helen’s church, Trowell, Nottinghamshire. Her parents were William Martin and Catherine (née Hopkinson), who had married at the same church on 17 November 1835. Annie’s father was a farmer in Trowell in the 1841 census, but by 1851 the family had moved to Kilton Farm in Radford, near Mansfield in Nottinghamshire. By the time of the 1881 census William and Catherine Martin had moved again, this time to the nearby village of Carlton-in-Lindrick, and William was aged 75 and a “retired farmer”. William died on 27 June 1884, by which time he was living in Worksop. His widow Catherine (who was about ten years younger than her husband) died in Worksop on 14 May 1892.

Their daughter Annie Catherine Martin married Albert Vickerman on 25 February 1862 at St George’s Hanover Square, London. Albert gave his address as Almondbury, York, and Annie was of Albemarle Street (London). Albert’s parents were Enoch Vickerman, a manufacturer, and Elizabeth (née Beaumont) of Almondbury, Yorkshire.

Tragically, the newly-married Albert Vickerman died later that same year, on 27 September, at West Bank, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. He was only 22, and did not live long enough to see his son, also Albert, who was born on 12 November.

The young widow Annie Catherine Vickerman married Percy Boulton at St Marylebone, London, on 4 July 1865. Her address was Worksop, Nottinghamshire. His address was St Marylebone, and his father was Robert George Boulton MD. Percy had been born in Beverley, Yorkshire on 6 August 1840, the son of Robert George Boulton MD (a “surgeon”) and his wife Ann (née Whytehead).

Percy Boulton MD, trained as a doctor in Edinburgh, and qualified in 1862. He worked briefly in Worksop after qualifying, which is presumably where he met Annie. After their marriage, Annie and Percy settled at 6 Seymour Street in London, and Percy continued his work as a doctor. He was the physician at the Samaritan Hospital for Women and Children, and became something of an expert on paediatrics and obstetrics.

The announcement of Annie’s death and funeral in the London Evening Standard of 27 February 1894. Note the instructions for attending the funeral by train. Ayot station had opened in 1877.

After Annie’s death, her widower Percy Boulton married Charlotte Frederica Holland, the widow of Harris Holland (who founded the famous gun-making business Holland & Holland). She was Harris Holland’s second wife and had been born Charlotte Frederica Puddick in London on 29 May 1849.

Percy Boulton died on 15 May 1909, leaving his widow and his step-son Albert Vickerman as his executors. It seems that Percy and Albert had a close relationship that endured, even after the death of Albert’s mother. Percy and Charlotte Boulton, and Albert and Mary Vickerman are all buried at St Mary’s church, Wargrave.

Annie’s son Albert was a career soldier with the East Kent regiment (“the Buffs”) until his retirement in 1897, when he would have been about 35. He married Mary Gwendoline Mallett that same year, and they had one child – a son Victor Percy, born in 1899. Albert died in 1932 at what was originally the Holland’s country home – The Orchard, Wargrave in Berkshire – although the National Probate Calendar gives his residence as 1 Portland Place, London. Albert’s widow Mary Gwendoline died in 1934.

It is not known how Annie Catherine Boulton came to be buried in Ayot St Peter, but she and Rev. Jephson came from Nottinghamshire families, and the most likely explanation is that they were friends or contacts of Rev. Jephson and his wife.