Cerise Boyle née Champion de Crespigny, one of my 5th cousins twice removed, was born on 6 December 1875 in Ringwood, Hampshire. She was the third of nine children and second of four daughters of Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny the fourth baronet and Georgiana Lady Champion de Crespigny née McKerrell.
On 3 August 1899 Cerise married Commander Robert Boyle of the Royal Navy in the fashionable church of St George’s Hanover Square. Robert was a son of the fifth Earl of Shannon and brother of the then present Earl.
The Queen magazine of 12 August 1899 reported the marriage, with illustrations of the wedding gown, bridesmaids’ dresses, and the bride’s travelling dress.
Fashionable Marriages Boyle-Champion de Crespigny On the 3rd inst., at St George's Church, Hanover-square, the marriage was solemnised of Commander the Hon. Robert Boyle, R.N., son of the fifth Earl of Shannon, and brother of the present peer, with Cerise, second daughter of Sir Claude and Lady Champion de Crespigny, of Champion Lodge, Heybridge, Essex. The church was prettily decorated with palms and white flowers, and the service was choral. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a dress of ivory satin Duchesse, the skirt edged with flounces of chiffon arranged in waves ; the bodice had a chiffon fichu and yoke, and sleeves of silver embroidered lace, and old Venetian lace fell from the left side, where it was fastened with orange blossoms. The Court train of handsom Louis XV brocade fell from both shoulders, and her ornaments were pearls. She was attended by four bridesmaids, wearing dresses of pale poudre blue silk voile, the skirts having flounces edged with narrow Mechlin lace ; draped tucked bodices with tucked chiffon collar edged with frills bordered with narrow lace. They carried bouquets of Germania carnations, and wore gold curb bracelets set with turquoises, the gifts of the bridegroom. The officiating clergy were the Rev. Dr Porte, vicar of St. Matthew's Church, Denmark-hill, and the Rev. E. Galdart, rector of Little Braxted, Witham, Essex. Commander C. Craddock, R.N., was best man. After the ceremony a reception was held at 31, Curzon-street, Mayfair, and later the bride and bridegroom left for Scotland, where the honeymoon will be spent. The bride's travelling dress was of pale Parma violet cloth, the bodice having an inner vest of tucked velvet of a paler shade, and applications of guipure lace, and with it was worn a toque of cloth to match, with velvet and black ostrich tips. Lady de Crespigny wore blue crêpe de Chine, with lace appliqué on the skirt and bodice, and toque en suite ; she carried a bouquet of pink carnations.
They had four children. In 1916 a photograph of Cerise and her oldest son appeared in The Sketch. He was 14 and had just joined the navy.
Cerise painted, and her work was exhibited with the Society of Miniaturists in 1901. Among other exhibitions in 1921 and 1937 she exhibited watercolours at Walkers Galleries. In 1945 the Hon. Mrs Robert Boyle raised £115 for King George’s Fund for Sailors from the sale of her water colour sketches exhibited at the University College Buildings in Exeter. Two of her paintings have been sold in recent times. “A Hunter in a Wooded Landscape” painted in 1900 was sold by Christies in December 2012 as part of a collection from the attic of Harewood House. It had been owned by H.R.H. The Princess Mary, Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood (1897-1965) and her husband Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood, (1882-1947). In 2006 Gorringes sold “Portrait of a horse Benedict”.
Robert Boyle died in 1922. His obituary in The Times of 12 September 1922 gives an account of his career:
DEATH OF VICE-ADMIRAL,R. F. BOYLE. DISTINGUISHED SERVICE Vice-Admiral the Hon. Robert Francis Boyle, M.V.O., R.N., retired, died suddenly yesterday at Harewood House, Leeds. He had been staying with his cousin, the Earl of Harewood, for the last fortnight. A week ago he did not feel very well, and a nurse and a doctor were called in. He was better on Sunday, but yesterday became suddenly worse. During the early part of his stay Admiral Boyle had a good deal-of shooting on Rigton moors with Lord Harewood. Princess Mary and Lord Lascelles were staying at Harewood at the time, and Admiral Boyle was to have been one of the visitors to Doncaster races. Admiral Boyle was the third son of the fifth Earl of Shannon by his marriage to Lady Blanche Emma Lascelles, daughter of the third Earl of Harewood, and was uncle and heir presumptive to the present Earl of Shannon. Born on December 12, 1863, the late admiral was a half-brother of Captain the Hon. Edward Boyle, R.N., and of Rear-Admiral the Hon. Algernon Boyle, C.B., C.M.G., M.V.O., now Fourth Sea Lord of the Admiralty. Entering the Navy in 1877, he was midshipman of the Minotaur during the Egyptian War of 1882, for which he received the medal and the Khedive's bronze star, and he obtained his promotion to lieutenant in 1886. Selected to qualify in gunnery, he joined, in 1891, as gunnery lieutenant, the Raleigh, flagship at the Cape. From her he was landed for service in Rear-Admiral Bedford's punitive expedition at Bathurst, on the River Gambia, in February, 1894. In this undertaking, for which he was mentioned-in dispatches, he was dangerously wounded, and had been in receipt of a special wound pension from August 1, 1896, until his death. On returning home he was appointed to the Royal yacht Victoria and Albert, and promoted commander from her in 1897. He afterwards commanded the Caledonia, boys' training ship at Queensferry, and was made captain in 1903. He then served as a member of the Cookery Committee appointed by the Admiralty, but from 1905 to 1911 was continuously afloat, commanding during this period the Leviathan, Prince George, Antrim, and Duke of Edinburgh, in home waters and the Mediterranean. From 1911 to 1914 he had charge of the Eastern Coastguard District, with headquarters at Harwich, until promoted to flag rank. During the early months of the European War he was on half-pay, but in April, 1915, was appointed in command of the Marne patrol area, and remained in the auxiliary patrol service until after the Armistice. Promoted vice-admiral in February, 1910, he retired forthwith, and last year was appointed a nautical assessor to attend the hearing of Admiralty appeals in the House of Lords. Vice-Admiral Boyle married, in 1899, Cerise, third daughter of Sir Claude Champion-de-Crespigny, and had two sons and two daughters. The elder son, Vivian Francis, entered the Navy during the war and was promoted sub-lieutenant last January.
Cerise died on 7 April 1951 in Kingston, Jamaica, at the age of 75. Her death was announced in The Times of 12 April 1951:
BOYLE.-On April 7 1951, peacefully, in Jamaica, CERISE, wife of the late VICE-ADMIRAL the HON. ROBERT FRANCIS BOYLE, second daughter of Claude Champion de Crespigny, Fourth Baronet, of Drakelow, Virginia Water, Surrey, aged 75 years.
- Index to articles concerning the de Crespigny baronets including her father the 4th baronet and her brothers: de Crespigny family index 3 – the baronets and their descendants
- S is for St George’s Hanover Square