Tragedy for family of UK’s ‘Traveller King’ as wife & son die days apart

TRAGEDY struck the family of Britain’s ‘Traveller King’ as his wife and son died with just days of each other.

Immense heartbreak has stuck after the mother and son of one of Stoke-on-Trent’s most well known families have passed away six days apart.

Gladys Boswell, 91, passed away on October 26 2022

Gladys Boswell, 91, passed away on October 26 2022Credit: BPM
Tony ‘Tiger’ Boswell died aged 67 from cancer on November 1

Tony ‘Tiger’ Boswell died aged 67 from cancer on November 1Credit: BPM

Gladys Boswell was the window of Romany ‘traveller king’ Lawrence Boswell and sadly left behind 18 grandchildren on October 26 2022.

The matriarch died aged 91, less than a week before her son, Tony ‘Tiger’ Boswell.

Tony, aged 67 years, passed away due to cancer on November 1 and his funeral is taking place today at Stoke Minster with a horse and carriage.

The much loved maintenance man was engaged to fiancé Cathy and they had shared 42 happy years with each other.

His memory is kept alive by daughter Joanne, 38 and two grandchildren, Bradley aged eight and Liberty aged four.

‘Tiger’s’ niece Rachel told Stoke-on-Trent Live: “Gladys was an usherette but she retired quite early having so many children – that was a full-time job. She had also worked on the pot banks.

“She was a well-known lady in Stoke. She used to go to Stoke every day when she was younger – she had lived in her house on London Road since she was a little girl.”

“She would walk in with her sister or friends and they would do a bit of shopping. When she got older she went to Tesco three days a week,” the 38-year-old continued.

“She only stopped going when there was a lockdown. She had covid, but overcame it. With their deaths, we are just sticking together and being there for each other to get through it. It’s a hard time,” she added.

“I hope Tiger has as beautiful a send-off as my nan. He was a really well-known person in Stoke.”

The Boswell family are thought to have settled in North Street, Stoke, around 200 years ago.

Their way of life garnered a lot of attention over the years, including their funeral ceremonies.

The ritual included burning all possessions of the deceased family member – including their caravans – and throwing the remains into deep water.

One newspaper recorded the death and funeral of Boswell patriarch Major, who lived to the age of 108 before passing away in 1870.

Family lineage was continued by 17 children and 59 grand-children.

Lawrence Boswell (right), pictured with nephew Barry Orpe

Lawrence Boswell (right), pictured with nephew Barry OrpeCredit: BPM