​​​​​​James Boyle

James Toffy Boyle 1804-1873 of Blackburn
Cotton Famine​ 1862

In January 1862, James Boyle became Chairman of the Relief Committee to help those unemployed and destitute in Blackburn during the cotton famine, which caused a huge loss of work in Lancashire during the American Civil War. He offered the free use of his boiler with a capacity to make 200 gallons of soup a day(i), which he normally used for preserving fruit. A few weeks later at a meeting of Blackburn Council he stated(ii) "that the soup committee was now distributing excellent soup, which seemed to be very much appreciated. They had that day distributed 2500 quarts, which was the greatest amount in any one day. The soup was a quality that had been declared by many, who had tasted it, to be put on any gentleman's table and would stand to be let down, if it were done with care, so that two quarts would make three".

In order to received help from the Poor Law Guardians, the unemployed had to earn their 'benefit' by working for the Guardians,
Infirmary.pngAbout 1,000 men were employed for approximately 1 shilling a day to build a new Workhouse and Infirmary; in March of 1862(iii), he arranged for soup to be given to the workers, who were building the Blackburn Infirmary. Although basically provided at cost price, soup and bread had to be paid for by purchasing a ticket. James also gave £10 towards a fund that gave tickets to purchase soup to those who had no money.
This is a good indication of how wealthy he had become as £10 in 1862 would have the purchasing power of £6,850 in 2018, (based on average earnings).
By the end of 1862 in Blackburn, there were over 30,000 recipients from the Poor Law Guardians, 1,200 quarts of soup and 1½ tons of bread(iv) where distributed each day at a cost of £1,500 a week(v) (over £1M in 2018 based on average earnings); this money was raised by the Poor Law Tax and by generous donations from wealthy donors. There were 17,337 unemployed in Blackburn with only 3857 fully employed and 6079 on short time. There were 4 mills working full time, 38 mills part time and 45 closed(vi)



Children of James Toffy Boyle of Bl​​ackburn.

James Toffy Boyle was married twice, said to have had 22 children, and as often happened in the nineteenth century only 9 of them lived into adulthood. Besides confectionery maker and baker he purchased other businesses around Blackburn, which several of his children managed and subsequently owned.
His children from first marriage to Elizabeth Sharples, who died after childbirth.

Jane Boyl
e
was born 1831 in Blackburn, died 17 April 1899 in Blackburn. At an early age she became involved in the shop at 44 Salford, becoming a confectioner and manager of the Victoria Street shop.
She did not marry.

William Boyle J.P.
was born on 29 April 1833 in Blackburn, he died 2 August 1897 in Blackburn. He was a confectioner, pawnbroker and Magistrate.
He resigned from the partnership with his brothers James and Robert in 1874 not long after his father's death to become a full time magistrate.
He never married.

From his second marriage to Elizabeth Robinson.​

Elizabeth Boyle Robinson.
Elizabeth Boyle Robinson.jpg
was born on 17 May 1842 in Blackburn, she died on 7 October 1905 in Oxford Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock. 
She married John Coffey, a Builder. They had three children.​

John Boyle.
John Boyle.jpg
was born on 20 November 1844 in Blackburn, he died on 28 September 1909 in Blackburn. He became manager and later owner of a
Pawnbroker in Penny Street, and then Pawnbroker and Clothier of Mount Street.
He was a Councillor of Blackburn Town Council from 1877-1892. He married Sarah Anne Birkett

Mary Ann Boyle​.
was born on 4 April 1847 in Blackburn, she died on 6 August 1885 after child birth in Blackburn, aged 37.
She married James Livesey, in 1873 in Blackburn. James Livesey a cotton manufacture, owning the Ewood and Harley Street Mills.

James Boyle.​
James Boyle CT.jpg
was born on 3 December 1849 in Blackburn, he died 4 January 1921 in Blackburn, He became the sole owner of James Boyle & Co Ltd. He married Susannah Byers.

Robert Boyle.
Robert Boyle ct.jpg
was born in 1852 in Blackburn, Lancashire, England, he died 13 October 1909 in Blackburn. He was a partner and Co. managing director of James Boyle & Co.
until he and James fell out over the excessive amount of income he was withdrawing from the company. He married Mary Ann Howarth, known as Annie.

Hugh Boyle.
 was born on 2 November 1862 in Blackburn, he died 23 April 1923 in Overton Sunderland Point, Lancaster, buried in the family grave at Blackburn Cemetery.
He was an employee of James Boyle & Co as a salesman from 1896 to 1909. He was the president of the
Manufacturing Confectioners' Commercial Travellers' Association in 1914. He married Elizabeth Ann Thompson.


John E Boyle. Australia. 2020 Gt Gt Grandson

i The Preston Guardian etc (Preston, England), Saturday, January 18, 1862; Issue 2604.
ii The Preston Guardian etc (Preston, England), Saturday, February 8, 1862; Issue 2610.
iii The Blackburn Standard (Blackburn, England), Wednesday, March 19, 1862; Issue 1416.
iv The Blackburn Standard (Blackburn, England), Wednesday, November 12, 1862; Issue 1450.
v The Blackburn Standard (Blackburn, England), Tuesday, October 29, 1862; Issue 1448.
vi The Preston Guardian etc (Preston, England), Saturday, November 1, 1862; Issue 2678.​



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​James Boyle
3 December 1849 - 4 January 1921

James Boyle 1849-1921, was born on 3 December 1849  in Blackburn, Lancashire, England. He married Susannah Byers, on 10 May 1877  at Blackburn Lancashire, England, she was born on 7 May 1856 in Blackburn, Lancashire, England, (daughter of Francis Byers and Jane Jackson), and she died on 22 March 1884 in Blackburn, Lancashire, England, aged 27 and she was buried in the family grave at Blackburn Cemetery. They had one son James Boyle born 28 Mar 1878.​

It is not known what education he received, but he would have commenced helping his father in his business at an early age, as did the other children in the family. From a young age, he successfully bred and showed rabbits, becoming a well known and respected rabbit fancier and judge of the Himalayan rabbit, being quoted in the book  'The Book of the Rabbit' published in 1881. He and four of his brothers were members of the Blackburn Volunteer Fire Brigade of which he was Captain for over 20 years; his father had also been involved with the Fire Brigade. There are many reports in the local newspapers recording the many fires he attended, particularly cotton mill fires. In 1875, he with a Mr Joseph Watson, formed the Lancashire Fire Brigade Friendly Society, of which he was Honorary Secretary for over 30 year 

After the death of his father, James Toffy Boyle 1804-1873, the business of James Boyle and Co, manufacturing, wholesale and retail confectioners continued under the direction of brothers William 1833-1897, James 1848-1921 and Robert 1852-1908 until the 9th June 1875  when the eldest brother, William, resigned from the partnership to become a magistrate. James was the dominant brother, who inherited his father's business and entrepreneurial acumen and his willingness to work long hours. Amongst the many products they manufactured and sold in their shops were cakes, breads and pastries as well as confectionery products, there were Soda Fountains and tea rooms in each shop. In 1887, they produced a wedding cake for James Edward Hubert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Cranborne, when he married Lady Cecily Gore on 17 May 1887; he was then Member of Parliament for Darwen, becoming the 4th Marquess of Salisbury in 1903.