Charles Boswell was born in December 1850 at Wallfield Alley, Hertford. At the age of 14, his interest in guns and shooting led him to an apprenticeship with a traditional gunmaker, Mr. Thomas Gooch of Fore St, Hertford. After his training he obtained employment at the Royal Small-arms Factory at Enfield as a sight-filer for two years.
Charles was popular with the ladies and he married his sweetheart, a dressmaker called Emily, in 1872. Shortly after his wedding he set up his first business at 6 Chapel Pl., Edmonton. His early work consisted mainly of repairs and gun fitting however his business really took off when his skill as a shot at the Hornsey Wood and Hendon Shooting Ground was noticed. He started to receive business from the trap shooters and by the mid 1870’s he was making guns, including muzzle loaders and pistols. By 1880 he was trading abroad and he set up an agency under Mr. Harry Ackland of Woolahra, Australia. Charles was no great inventor and with no patents to his name he preferred to use the successful designs by others under the appropriate licence. He built a variety of different guns including muzzle loaders, large bore fowling pieces and many different hammer and hammerless patent actions.
In June 1883, Charles moved to the West End of London where he opened a first floor shop at 126 Strand. This was a great time of production for Charles Boswell and the years between 1887 and 1914 were very successful for his business. Due to this the majority of his guns in circulation today bear that Strand address.
During these years it is also recorded that in 1906 and then again 1907, Charles Boswell was elected Chairman of the Gunmakers Association as it was then known. It was the forerunner of the current Gun Trade Association on whose council he served for some years to follow.
Charles’ health was starting to suffer and in 1914 his eldest son, Osborne George, took over the running of the company allowing him to retire. Charles Boswell died in 1924 at the age of 74.