Boswell Circus in South Africa

Boswell Circus

Owner -1942: Jim Boswell
1882-1963: James Clements Boswell II
Closed down1963
Country South Africa

Directors-1911: Harry Boswell (director)
: Stanley Boswell (director)
: Jack Boswell (director)

Key People -: Rebecca Boswell (artist)
-: Louisa Powell (assistant director)


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Boswell Circus, South Africa , was founded in 1882. Boswell Circus closed down in 1963.

Comments / picturesJames Boswell was a clown, horseman and equilibrist who died 1859.
His eldest son, James Clements Boswell, established his own circus - "Boswell\'s Circus".
James children came to South Africa in 1911 to join Fillis Circus, but Fillis' Circus closed down within some months.
1916: The circus became known as the Boswell Brothers' Circus and Menagerie, later directed by two brothers Sydney and Walter Boswell, with their nephew Stanley Boswell.
1921: The first Asian elephant was bought in 1921 from Frank Willison, an American who ran a circus in Madagascar. She was a cow called Molly, who arrived in Durban by ship together with a bear.
1963: Merge with Boswell Circus, as Boswell-Wilkies Circus, with none of the Boswell family present on the circus.

Stanley Boswells son, Brian, later (1982) started his own circus Brian Boswells Circus.

References for records about Boswell Circus

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2021). Boswell Circus, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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Categories circus in South Africa | South Africa Portal | africa Portal

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