A blue plaque has been unveiled on Boscombe’s Old Schoolhouse in Gladstone Road to recall Frederick Moser and Sir Percy Shelley.
Sir Percy is known as the poet’s son who live at Boscombe Manor which we now call Shelley Park.
But who was Frederick Moser?
Frederick Moser (1822-1911), was a Southbourne landowner who for 13 years helped to run his father’s large ironmongers, Mosers Ltd. It was founded in 1787 and stood opposite St George the Martyr Church in Southwark. The site in earlier times had been occupied by Brandon House where Mary I spent one night of her honeymoon.
In 1862, having been widowed, Frederick left the business in the hands of three other family members and retired from London to Mudeford. By 1867 he had moved to a large house called Carbery (now Belle Vue Close site) which stood back from the north side of the main road running through Southbourne. The house, named after the builder’s home in County Cork, had extensive wooded grounds covering the south end of today’s Carbery Avenue.
In 1868 two sons from Moser’s first marriage were drowned. Moser married again. His second wife was Frances Woodwark, daughter of the Christchurch Congregational minister. Moser was deacon at Pokesdown Congregational Church where he and his wife donated a new schoolroom opened in 1877. Earlier, in 1872, Moser chaired a meeting which called for Pokesdown to have a railway station.
In 1887 he helped pay for Golden Jubilee medals to be presented to children. So his joint gift of a school at Boscombe was just an extension of his generosity.
More information on Moser has been included in a new book The Village of Tuckton by Alex McKinstry.