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Title page of English Heraldry (1867) by Boutell

Charles Boutell (1 August 1812 – 31 July 1877)[1] was an English archaeologist, antiquary and clergyman, publishing books on brasses, arms and armour and heraldry, often illustrated by his own drawings.[2]



Boutell was at one time curate of Sandridge. He was secretary of the St. Albans Architectural Society, founded in 1845; and was one of the founders in 1855 of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society. During the first forty years of the Surrey Archaeological Society, Boutell appeared regularly as lecturer at the Society's annual excursions.

Among Boutell's several publications, A Manual of Heraldry, Historical and Popular (1863) was particularly successful. A second edition was called for in two months (published under the revised title, Heraldry, Historical and Popular), and a third edition appeared in 1864. Boutell also published a shorter companion work, English Heraldry (1867), which appeared in a second edition in 1871, and in several later editions including those revised by S.T. Aveling in 1892 and by A.C. Fox-Davies in 1907. The two works had become standard popular heraldic handbooks, and in 1931 a book entitled Boutell's Manual of Heraldry was published, edited by V. Wheeler-Holohan, which drew on both Boutell's originals. Later revisions, now simply entitled Boutell's Heraldry, were edited by C.W. Scott-Giles (1950, 1954, 1958, 1963 and 1966) and J.P. Brooke-Little (1963, 1966, 1970, 1973, 1978 and 1983).

Illustrations by R. B. Utting from Boutell's English Heraldry

Financial difficultiesEdit

Boutell served as Honorary Secretary of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society from 23 July to 27 November 1857, but was dismissed for what was termed "improper" bookkeeping, involving the amount of £56 15s received in subscription fees.[3][4] According to Charles Roach Smith, he subsequently suffered from a "similar lapse" in relation to the Surrey Archaeological Society.[5] In 1868 he was imprisoned for debt, and in December of that year was declared bankrupt.[6]


Boutell died of a ruptured heart on 31 July 1877, following two years of declining health. He was buried at Paddington Old Cemetery, Kilburn.[6]


He married Mary Chevallier (1809–1885), daughter of John Chevallier and Caroline Hepburn.

Their children were:

  • Caroline Ellen Alice Boutell (1843–1882), married Nathanael Fromanteel Cobbold (1839–1886), son of John Cobbold (1797–1882), of the brewery family
  • Charles John Boutell
  • Mary Chevallier-Boutell
  • Arthur Brandon Chevallier-Boutell (1849–1923)
  • Francis Hepburn Chevallier-Boutell (1851–1937)[7]



  1. ^ "Boutell (or Bowtell), Charles (BTL829C)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ Church Monuments Society Archived January 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Levine, Philippa (1986). The Amateur and the Professional: antiquarians, historians and archaeologists in Victorian England, 1838–1886. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 54. ISBN 0-521-30635-3.
  4. ^ Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society, vol. 1 (1856–60), pp. 203–4, 209, 314–7.
  5. ^ Brooks, Sally A. (1985). "L.A.M.A.S.: a Victorian establishment" (PDF). Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society. 36: 203–222 (213).
  6. ^ a b Lee 2004.
  7. ^ The Peerage
  8. ^ Open Library

Further readingEdit

  • Lee, Colin; Whittaker (2004). "Boutell, Charles (1812–1877)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3014. (subscription required)

External linksEdit