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|a Toronto, Canada based descendant of Henry Perigal Borell, a numismatist in the Levant|
I am a descendant of Henry Perigal Borell (1795-1851) and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography gives this account of his life:
A numismatist, after learning business in London established himself as a trader at Smyrna, where he lived from 1818 until his death. He devoted much of his attention to the discovery of inedited Greek coins, in which he was remarkably successful. The results of his discoveries were given in papers contributed to the Revue Numismatique, the Numismatic Chronicle, and various German numismatic periodicals. In 1836 he published at Paris a ‘Notice sur quelques médailles grecques des rois de Chypre’. His articles entitled ‘Coins in Andeda in Pisidia’ and ‘On the coins reading OKOKLIEÕN’ were published in 1839 and 1841 respectively in the Numismatic Chronicle. Borell was an associate member of the Numismatic Society of London from 28 November 1839 until his death at the age of fifty-six, at Smyrna on 2 October 1851. His collection of coins, antiquities, and gems was sold by Sotheby and Wilkinson of London in 1851 and his numismatic library was sold at Sothebys on 28 February 1853.
[Anon.], Rev. Joanne Potier
Sources GM, 2nd ser., 39 (1853), 324 - ‘Proceedings of the Numismatic Society for 24 June, 1852’, ‘Numismatic Chronicle, 14 (1851-2)) [death notice] - Boase, Mod. Eng. biog. - R. A. G. Carson and H. Pagan, A history of the Royal Numismatic Society, 1836-1986 (1986), 79 [honorary members list] - private information (2004) [D. Whitehead].
Henry Perigal Borell was clearly interested in classical studies and archaeology, as there is an on-line article by David Whitehead in the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. 99c 73-113 (1999) on the discovery of one of Henry Perigal Borell’s notebooks in Ireland and the story of how it got there.
Henry Perigal Borrell married Emily Boddington (sometimes known as Amelia). Her family was a well established in Smyrna where her grandfather George (b. 1706) was the British Chancellor. I have a large family tree of the Boddington Family and I enclose a small portion of it. Emily’s great grandfather, another George (1675-1759) was a member of the Levant Company, and his father, another George (1646-1719), was the Governor of the Greenland Company and a Director of the Bank of England.
John Henry Borrell was Henry Perigal’s father. He was a Huguenot Swiss1 clockmaker living in London. Amongst other things he made musical clocks for the Turkish market and we assume Henry Perigal went to Smyrna to promote the sale of his father’s clocks. The clocks now seem to sell for about £10,000. I enclose an advert about one of them taken from the Internet:
‘Derek Roberts: Fine Antique Clocks:
HENRY BORRELL, LONDON. A MOST ATTRACTIVE AND UNUSUALLY SMALL QUARTER STRIKING AND MUSICAL CLOCK MADE FOR THE EXPORT MARKET, CIRCA 1795. Henry Borrell, who usually made clocks on his own account, but occassionally also in partnership with makers such as Markwick Markham and Perigal, is famed for the fine musical clocks with automata which he made, particularly for the Middle and Far Eastern markets (i). They often depicted maritime scenes such as ships passing by but on at least one occasion an erotic scene mounted above the body of the clock was employed. A characteristic feature is the external dead beat escarpment mounted on the backplate. These clocks are usually 24" to 27" high; however this example is only 16.5" (42 cms.) including top finial or 14" without (35.5 cms). In common with most other clocks by Borrell it has a centre seconds hand; provision for hand setting and external dead beat escarpment. A feature common to most other movements by Borrell is that it is signed on the backplate but not on the dial because the signing of objects was prohibited in China at the time. The three train fusee movement with engraved backplate, strikes the quarters and plays one of the two tunes on the hour employing six bells and eleven hammers. The circular enamelled dial some 4.5" in diamter, has Roman hour and Arabic minute numerals and is surrounded by a ring of brilliants in white, green and red. The case, obviously made for the export market, probably China, is of particularly fine quality. It has five fire-gilt finials; one surmounting and the other surrounding the cupola, which is decorated with twelve draped and gilded leaves falling around it. At the bottom is a gilded brass ring. There are particularly delicate and well executed red silk backed floral frets to the four corners of front of the case. To either side of the front are delicate gilded columns let into the case. The front of the case is brass strung and the clock rests on acorn feet. The sides of the case have silk backed panels of delicate gilded floral fretwork and above each of these is a large pierced out gilded rosette.’
I enclose two pictures of this clock.
Most of what I know about the Borrells come from the researches of a family member Peggy Sparrow11. Here is Peggy’s information on Henry John Borrell:
From the Records of Sun Fire Office: ref. MS 11936/492 - date 1821-1823 - Insured: John Henry Borrell, 5 Wilderness Row, Goswell Street, watch and clock maker.
St Dunstan West City of London Parish Register. John Henry Borell, bachelor and Kitty Howe, spinster, both of this parish were married in this church by banns this 7th days of May 1791 by me Joseph Williamson. One of the witnesses was Harriet How.
John Henry Borell or Henry as he is referred to most of the time was a clock and watch maker and manufacturer. In 1794 he was living at 8 Aldergate Buildings and had his name in the London Directories. He was presumably living there earlier because his first two children were baptised at St. Botolph Without, Aldersgate. Harriet married in 1792 and Elizabeth in 1793. By 1795, the family had moved to Wilderness Row and remained there. John died there in 1840 and Kitty in 1839.
John Henry Borrell’s Will:
The will of John Henry Borell dated 12 June 1840 and proved at London 4 August 1840.
I, John Henry Borell of Wilderness Row, Clerkenwell, in the County of Middlesex, watch and clock manufacturer do make my last Will and Testament as follows. I give my household goods, plate, linen, china and household effects to my two daughters Elizabeth and Judith absolutely. I give my shop tools to be divided between my two sons Maximilian and George. I give to my son Henry Perigal Borell the sum of four hundred and eighty three pounds. I give to my son Maximilian John Borell the sum of ten pounds. I give to my son George Howe Borell the sum of two hundred and ten pounds and I give to each of my two daughters Elizabeth and Judith the sum of one hundred and ten pounds each. I give and forgive to each of my said five children to be on account of my having already advanced, lent or paid to or for the benefit of work of my said five children all such sums and funds (?) of money. If any as they or any or either of them may owe to me at the time of my decease and I declare my reason for giving the before mentioned different degrees in money to my said five children to be on account of my having already advanced, lent or paid to or for the benefit of work of my said five children or allowed some or one of them to retain sums of money sufficient with the sums above mentioned or to put them upon an equality and I give all the rest, residue and remainder of my Estate and Efforts of what nature and kind soever unto my said children in equal shares in tenants in common absolutely and I appoint my friend James Pascall and my said daughter Elizabeth Executor and Executrix of this my will and hereby revoke all my former wills and codicils, in witness therefore I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twelfth day of June one thousand eight hundred and forty.
Signed John Henry Borell --- Witnesses Thos Cole and Thos Husey?
Henry Perigal Borell (1795-1851) and Emily Boddington (1804-1870).
The couple were married in Smyrna 9th January 1820 and then had nine children.2
Henry Joseph, June 1821
Julia Matilda, 8 Sep 1823 - 19013
Harriet Emily, 1822 - 18724
Charles Williams, 1825
Olympia, 9 Sep 1827
Rosalie, 21 Oct 1828
Henry Julius, Feb 1832
Frederick Anthony, 18 Sep 1836
All the children, except Anthony who came to London, stayed in Smyrna until they, as Christians, were driven out in a religious pogrom around 19055. I have been in contact in one of their descendants. There are probably other lines elsewhere living, yet to be discovered. Sadly I have no family ephemera of that period.
We don’t know why Frederick Anthony came to England. He married Laura Bithynia Mary Maceroni at St Mary’s Church Catholic Church, Cardigan St., Chelsea. Laura’s father was the Col. Francis Maceroni who had children by two sisters: Elizabeth Ann Williams (his wife) and her younger sister Bethena Charlotte Williams. Laura was one of Charlotte’s daughters.
Frederick Anthony Borell lost all his savings in an unfortunate business adventure early in their marriage. He was employed as an assistant librarian and I am sure earned very little money. Francis Maceroni was chronically in debt so the couple had a terrible struggle. Laura was ill with chronic tuberculosis and died at the age of 40. The couple had two children: Myrra Bithynia and Cecilia Laura. Two people stepped in and paid for Myrra and Cecilia’s education at a girl’s boarding school in Croydon. These were Clara Angela Macirone who was an unmarried professor of music at the Academy of Music and a daughter of George Macirone, the brother of Francis Maceroni (the two brothers spelt their names differently). The other was Alice Malleson, one of my great aunts who was both single and wealthy. We have no idea as to why she helped support the two Borell girls. Anyway once grown up, Myrra married Edmund Malleson, her nephew and my grandfather.
Francis Maceroni’s daughter Emelia by the other sister Ann Elizabeth Williams married Sir Edmund Hornby who tried to make sure that the Turks did not pilfer from the 4 million pound loan that the British lent to them at the time of the Crimean War. Francis and George Macirone’s father was Pietro, an Italian aristocrat, who after a prolonged battle with the Pope over a salt mine came to England in the hope of regaining the family fortune and he married the daughter of a rich English fabric manufacturer.
Simplified family tree of the Borell and allied families of Smyrna - google book view of details of the Boddington family - All Saints register listing
To assist Mr Malleson in his quest of the Borell family history: andrew.malleson[at]utoronto.ca
1 I think it was John Henry Borrell rather than an ancestor of his who emigrated from Switzerland, though it may have been an ancestor of his who had left France. There is a Bill (c.78) for his naturalization in Britain dated 1805. Although the Revocation of Nantes was in 1685 it is my impression that the Huguenots continued to leave France in dribs and drabs for many years after the revocation. I have lots of Huguenot ancestors from La Rochelle and they seems to come to UK at different times.
2 From the Index to Consular Births, Marriages and Deaths abroad 1849-1880. The births and baptisms of all the children of Henry and Emily born in Smyrna are detailed in Register Books kept by the British Chaplain (MS 10,446 G Vol 2 Smyrna 1785 - 1832 (Guildhall Library) and from 1836 at the Public Record Office, Miscellaneous Registers 1627 - 1917, RG 43 93.
3 From the listing of the Alsancak Dutch Protestant Cemetery listing we can see that Julia Matilda Borell married a George Lavino, so she clearly died in Smyrna aged 78 - view listing - According to contributor Chas Hill, the Lavino family were Dutch diplomats with later merchant interests in Smyrna.
4 There are 5 (2 of which infants) Borell family burials at the Boudjah cemetery, including Harriet who was again born and clearly died in Smyrna aged 50 - view listing -
5 The information on the anti-Christian pogrom and its date comes from a descendant of this family, Dennis Borell of England. However contemporary sources do not mention such brutality at that time, so perhaps the reasons for some leaving were economic?
6 Wikipedia entry for Henry Perigal Borell:
7 It appears the above listing of the children of Henry Perigal Borell is missing at least one member, as revealed on a family tree site of a Smyrna - Beirut Levantine family, there is a Sophia Borell who marries into the Joly family in 1856 and has numerous offspring.
8 There are papers (code: 10823) relating to George Boddington senior (period covered 1642 - 1789) held at the Centre of Maritime and Historical Studies at the University of Exeter, though these haven’t been reviewed yet. There seem to be similar archives held at the Guildhall Library in London, (1639-1843), that have been viewed by the administrator of this site, segments viewable here: This family record book is also referred to in the ‘Gentelman’s Magazine’ of 1838, the obituary of a Joseph William Boddington - google book view. In addition, the pages of the early Smryna Anglican registers of Smyrna give the marriage details of Benjamin (later second marriage?) Valentine Boddington and Elizabeth Boddington, as well as those for Henry Perigal Borell, showing he was married in 1820. In these same registers there is also a marriage of a Boddington, Sophie Josephine, in 1832 viewable here: A descendant of this last union, (Jules de Cadalvène and Sophie Boddington) has created a web site detailing her family ancestry, viewable here:
9 Frederick Anthony Borell had 5 brothers, so almost certainly must have been some offpring carrying the family name, and possibly there are descendants from these lines today, though not necessarily with the Borell name. The Charnaud family were long term Levant residents in Smyrna, Trabzon and Salonica, and the family tree shows a Frederick Charnaud married a Dermina Borell sometime during mid-19th century, presumably the daughter of one of these brothers.
10 There is a study done by the French researcher Jean Wahby on the Boddingtons, viewable here that fills in a lot of gaps on the early history of this family and their prominent role within the Bank of England.
11 The information sources as listed by Ms Peggy Sparrow:
Guildhall Library (August 1988)
MS 10,446 G Smyrna Vol2 1785-1832
Copies of the entries of Baptisms, Burials and Marriages at present existing in the register books belonging to the British Chaplain in Smyrna.
Henry Perigall Borrell of london and Emily Boddington of Smyrna married 9th February 1820
Births and Baptisms.
Henry Joseph son of Henry Perigall and Emily Borrell born June and christened 22 June 1821
Harriet Emily born 13 September and chr 15 Sept 1822
Julia Matilda born 8 Sept and chr 15 Sept 1823
Charles William born 12 May and chr 5th June 1825
Olympia born 9 Sept 1827 and chr 22nd Jan 1828
Rosalie born 21st Oct and chr 30 December 1828
Henry Julius baptised 25 February 1832
Olympia Sophie born 26 January 1831 and chr 25 February
Public Record Office Chancery Lane, I think Miscellaneous Registers Births and Baptisms
Frederick Anthony Borrell born 18 Sept and chr 16 October 1836
Edward Philip born 22 march 1838
Ernest Albert born 21 november 1839 ande chr 16 Feb 1840
Henry Joseph 6 August 1823 age 2 years
Olympia 11 August 1828 age 1 year
Ernest Albert 22nd March 1840 age 4 months
I’ve got the following information about marriages but not how I acquired it
Charles William married between 1849 - 1880
Olympia Sophie married between 1849-1880
12 Using local church registers, Marie-Anne Marandet in collaboration with Jacques Caporal has unearthed and documented a more complete Borell family tree, revealing a complex series of marriages with other Levantine families, such as Guys, Chassaud etc. - details:
1- I will be grateful for any readers out there who can provide more information on my continuing quest: andrew.malleson[at]gmail.com
2- In the Autumn of 2008 contact was made with Mrs Valerie Neild who is also a Smyrna Borell descendant, and her story is also accessible in this web site as it compliments the history above, and brings into the story other long established Levant families all with their secrets yet to be solved.
submission date 2008-9