Meet the Boden’s

image of Temperance Bells periodical and Mr & Mrs Boden

Mr & Mrs Boden were the ultimate temperance duo spanning the 19th and into the 20th century.

Based in Derby, Derbyshire, the man and wife team dedicated their whole lives to the temperance and suffrage causes they saw were essential for the communities in the Derby area (and neighbouring towns) to live peacefully and harmoniously. They both campaigned for the abolishment of alcohol at events such as football matches, County Fairs, and other public events.

Henry Boden J.P. owned and ran a large lace manufacturing mill in Derby. The area along with neighbouring Nottingham, had multiple lace and silk manufacturing mills and Henry’s mill was in the centre of Derby. He was a Justice of the Peace (JP) and an Alderman. On the 1871 census, he is described as a ‘landowner, a County Magistrate and a Lace Manufacturer’. [1]

Mary Shuttleworth Holden was born on the 28 March 1840 in Aston-on-Trent, near Derby. [2] Mary was one of seven children born to parents Edward Anthony Holden, a County Magistrate and landowner, and Susan Moore. [3]

Mary was brought up at Aston Hall, a large mansion house on the outskirts of Derby in Aston-on-Trent.

Henry and Mary Shuttleworth Boden moved after their marriage in 1866, to The Friary on Friar Gate in Derby. Built on the site of an earlier Friary, the house was a large coaching house with many rooms, and a large garden which was perfect for the couple to host ‘at home’ meetings and large gatherings.

Henry and Mary had 7 children and lived at The Friary until just before the death of Mary Shuttleworth Boden in 1922 aged 82. [5] Throughout her life, Mary had been involved with philanthropic work both in communities and within the church. Her brother was a vicar and her involvement with the temperance movement, along with her husband, enabled Mary to provide support within the Derby area. [6]

Mary was a member of the Temperance Society for Derby, her husband Henry had been President of the Derby Temperance Society for many years, and held multiple memberships and positions with the Worlds Christian Temperance Union, the Band of Hope Union and the NBWTA. Mary was President of the National British Women’s Temperance Association (NBWTA) for the Derby regional branch and headed projects such as the Golden Bell Cafe, the Police Court and Prison Gate Mission and other initiatives, all aimed at providing an alternative to alcohol, education on the harms of drinking and helping to those who had been imprisoned due to their actions and association with drinking too much alcohol. [7] [8]

The Late Mrs Henry Boden, Derby Telegraph [9]

Prior to her death, Mary opened the Derby Pleasurance, an open space and park for children in Derby. In memory of her husband, Henry Boden who died in 1908, Mary dedicated the opening by paying for and gifting to the community a large iron gate in memory of her late husband. [10]

The Boden’s home at The Friary is now a public house and eatery.

Further research carried out into the temperance work that Mary Shuttleworth Boden was involved in, particularly with the NBWTA, will be posted in a separate blog.


[1] Census records, England. Brailsford (Ednaston), Derbyshire. 02 April 1871. BODEN, Henry (head). RD:10. ED:1/3596/19. p31. : accessed 25 November 2022.

[2] Baptisms (PR) England. Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire. 05 May 1840. HOLDEN, Mary Shuttleworth. [transcription] Collection: England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975. Film: 497377. : accessed 20 November 2022.

[3] Census records, England. Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire. 02 April 1871. HOLDEN, Edward A (head). RG: 10/ED: 2/3553/29. GSU roll: 839763. p9. : accessed 20 November 2022.

[4] Marriages (PR) England. Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire. 08 May 1866. BODEN, Henry and HOLDEN, Mary Shuttleworth. Ref: D 1408/A/PI3/3. : accessed 24 October 2022.

[5] Burials (CR) England. Normanton, Derbyshire. 24 July 1922. BODEN, Mary Shuttleworth. Grave: E/4205. Collection: Derbyshire, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1991. : accessed 11 January 2023.

[6] Testamentary records. England. Derby, Derbyshire. 26 November 1877. HOLDEN, Edward Anthony & HOLDEN, Charles Shuttleworth. Collection: England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995. : accessed 20 November 2022.

[7] Aston Parish Church. History: A Timeline of Important Dates. : accessed 20 December 2022.

[8] The White Ribbon (1922). Mrs Mary Shuttleworth Boden of Derby. The White Ribbon [periodical]. P.134-135. September 1922. The White Ribbon Association archive, Solihull.

[9] Derby Telegraph (2018). Mary Boden turned pocket land into Derby’s first ‘properly equipped’ playground, article. 13 March. : accessed 15 May 2023.

[10] Testamentary records. England. London, England. 19 December 1908. BODEN, Henry. Collection: England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995. : accessed 20 November 2022.

Cite this page:

Cite: Temperance History (2024). Meet the Boden’s, blog. J Kenyon. : accessed [insert today’s date]