Edward Bostock

From the list of elephant persons Family: Bostock

Edward Bostock
Edward  Bostock

Personal details
Country United Kingdom

Title owner 1897-1919
Location at Scottish Zoo and Glasgow Hippodrome in United Kingdom

Title owner 1889-1932
Location at Bostock & Wombwells Menagerie (Wombwell No.2 menagerie) in United Kingdom

Title owner-1872
Location at Wombwells Menagerie No.1 in United Kingdom

Relevant literature
Biography details

Edward Henry Bostock , circus director in United Kingdom

Born 1858 in United Kingdom dead ? in South Africa , son of director James Bostock and director Emma Wombwell .

James Bostock and George Wombwell's niece Emma had three sons, among them Edward (E.H) Bostock and Frank Charles Bostock, who made his fortune in America, while Edward purchased the original business from his mother in 1889. Edward became also owner of The Scottish Zoo And Variety Circus in Glasgow.

He was educated at Tolleshunt D'Arcy School, and at Kelvedon Collegiate School, until Christmas 1870. Then, at 12, he was taken on to the menagerie staff. Aged 15 he rescued his cousin Harriet Wombwell, herself an animal trainer, from a hyena which attacked her during a menagerie performance.

He left his mother's menagerie in 1883 and started business on his own. E. H. Bostock's Grand Star Menagerie opened at Tutbury, Staffs.

He bought his mother's show on 28/2/1889, and later acquired the menagerie of his brother Frank Charles.

His life was spent organizing and touring with his menageries in Britain, Europe and the East, with the assistance of his sons, and in promoting and managing circuses, theatres, and cinemas. His ventures in Glasgow, Ipswich, and London were of special importance.

The story is told in his book "Menageries, Circuses and Theatres", published in 1927.

He was a member of Glasgow City Council 1908 - 1911, and in 1917 was elected a J.P. He was a rotarian, a philanthropist, and a devout churchman, as well as being a Fellow of the Zoological Society.

Bostock Road in Ipswich commemorates his association with the city.

He also owned Hippodromes in Paisley, Hamilton, Motherwell, Wishaw and Greenock in Strathclyde, and a cinema at Blantyre, Strathclyde. He lived in Glasgow.

1914-08-22: Three healthy, medium-sized elephants have been requisitioned from Bostock’s Zoo at the London White City by the military authorities. It is presumed that they will be used for heavy draught purposes. At the end of the war the elephants will be returned to the menagerie. The Government fund the wages of the keepers of the animals, but otherwise there is no further payment; the Bostock people being satisfied to be freed for a time from the expensive upkeep of a trio of voracious appetites. “Besides,” as young Mr. Bostock puts it, “we are doing something to help.”

Known far & wide throughout the British Isles since 1805, Bostock & Wombwell's Royal Menagerie gave a farewell performance in Glasgow last fortnight and then folded its tents forever. Big, florid E. H. Bostock ran the circus. Last year he was 73. He arranged to disband the animals, then went off to South Africa to avoid seeing the menagerie broken up.


Total: 4 children

  1. Gus Bostock. Born: 1882-06-04. Dead: † 1943-08-05
  2. Alexander Bostock. Born: 1885-01-22. Dead: † 1919-01-12
  3. Douglas Bostock. Born: 1886-10-13. Dead: † 1963-07-17
  4. Jack Wombwell Bostock. Born: 1889-02-22. Dead: † 1920-12-21


Siblings through the father James Bostock (1814-04-20 -- 1878):

  1. Frank Bostock Born 1886-09-10 Dead: † 1912-10-08

Edward Bostock s ancestral Ahnentafel:


Edward Bostock
Born: 1858

James Bostock

Born: 1814-04-20

Paternal Grandfather:

Paternal Great-grandfather:
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Paternal Grandmother:

Paternal Great-grandfather::
Paternal Great-grandmother:

Emma Wombwell

Born: 1835

Maternal Grandfather:
William Wombwell

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Maternal Grandmother:

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). director Edward Henry Bostock in United Kingdom. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 4 March 2024 at https://www.elephant.se/person.php?id=1070. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications

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Categories director | circus | Bostock & Wombwells Menagerie (Wombwell No.2 menagerie) | Bostock family | Born 1858 | Dead ? | People from United Kingdom

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