C. R. Boxer
Charles Ralph Boxer FBA (8 March 1904 at Sandown
Sandown is a seaside resort town and civil parish on the southeast coast of the Isle of Wight, England, neighbouring the town of Shanklin to the south. Sandown Bay is the name of the bay off the English Channel which both towns share, and it is notable for its long stretch of easily accessible...

 on the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...

 – 27 April 2000 at St. Albans, Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

) was a distinguished historian of Dutch and Portuguese maritime and colonial history.

Education and Military Career

The son of Colonel Hugh Boxer and his wife Jane Patterson, Charles Boxer was educated at Wellington College
Wellington College, Berkshire
-Former pupils:Notable former pupils include historian P. J. Marshall, architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, impressionist Rory Bremner, Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge, author Sebastian Faulks, language school pioneer John Haycraft, political journalist Robin Oakley, actor Sir Christopher...

 and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Boxer was gazetted a second lieutenant in the Lincolnshire Regiment in 1923 and served in that regiment for twenty-four years until 1947. He served in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, then, from 1930 to 1933, he was a language officer in Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 assigned to the 38th Infantry Regiment based at Nara, Nara
Nara, Nara
is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture...

 Prefecture, Japan. At the same time, he was assigned to the non-commissioned officers school at Toyohashi. In 1933, he qualified as an official interpreter in the Japanese language. Posted to Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 in 1936, he served as a General Staff Officer 3rd grade (GSO3) with British troops in China at Hong Kong, doing intelligence work. In 1940, he was advanced to General Staff Officer 2nd grade (GSO2). Wounded in action during the Japanese attack on Hong Kong on 8 December 1941, he was taken by the Japanese as a prisoner of war and remained in captivity until 1945. After his release, Boxer returned to Japan as a member of the British Far East Commission in 1946-47. During his military career, Boxer published 86 publications on Far Eastern history with a particular focus on the 16th and 17th centuries.

In 1945, he married Emily Hahn
Emily Hahn
Emily Hahn was an American journalist and author. Called "a forgotten American literary treasure" by The New Yorker magazine, she was the author of 52 books and more than 180 articles and stories...

 (d. 1997), with whom he had two daughters. He had earlier been married to Ursula Norah Anstice Tulloch.

Academic career

As a major in the British Army, Boxer had resigned from the service in 1947, when King's College London
King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...

 offered him its Camões Chair of Portuguese, a post he held for twenty years until 1967. During this period, the School of Oriental and African Studies
School of Oriental and African Studies
The School of Oriental and African Studies is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the University of London...

 of the University of London also appointed him as its first Professor of the History of the Far East, serving in that post for two years from 1951 to 1953.

On retiring from the University of London in 1967, Boxer took up a visiting professorship at Indiana University
Indiana University
Indiana University is a multi-campus public university system in the state of Indiana, United States. Indiana University has a combined student body of more than 100,000 students, including approximately 42,000 students enrolled at the Indiana University Bloomington campus and approximately 37,000...

, where he also served as an advisor to the Lilly Library
Lilly Library
The Lilly Library, located on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, is a large rare book and manuscript library in the United States.-History:...

 located on its campus in Bloomington, Indiana
Bloomington, Indiana
Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the southern region of the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 80,405 at the 2010 census....

. From 1969 to 1972, Boxer held a personal chair in the history of European Overseas Expansion at Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...


Awards and honours

Honorary doctorate, University of Utrecht, 1950

Honorary doctorate, University of Lisbon, 1952

Fellow of the British Academy
British Academy
The British Academy is the United Kingdom's national body for the humanities and the social sciences. Its purpose is to inspire, recognise and support excellence in the humanities and social sciences, throughout the UK and internationally, and to champion their role and value.It receives an annual...

, 1957

Honorary doctorate, Universidade Federal da Bahia
Universidade Federal da Bahia
The Universidade Federal da Bahia is a public university located mainly in the city of Salvador. The largest university of the State of Bahia, and one of the most prestigious Brazilian universities.Students can study there without having to pay tuition fees, as it is a public university...

, 1959

Honorary doctorate, University of Liverpool
University of Liverpool
The University of Liverpool is a teaching and research university in the city of Liverpool, England. It is a member of the Russell Group of large research-intensive universities and the N8 Group for research collaboration. Founded in 1881 , it is also one of the six original "red brick" civic...

, 1966

Member of the China Academy, Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, 1966

Papal Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great
Order of St. Gregory the Great
The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great , was established on September 1, 1831, by Pope Gregory XVI, seven months after his election.It is one of the five orders of knighthood of the Holy See...

, 1969

Honorary doctorate, University of Hong Kong, 1971

Honorary doctorate, University of Peradeniya
University of Peradeniya
The University of Peradeniya is a world renowned state university in Sri Lanka, funded by the University Grants Commission...

, 1980

Gold Medal, Institute Historico e Geografico Brasileiro, 1986.

Caird Medal of the National Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England is the leading maritime museum of the United Kingdom and may be the largest museum of its kind in the world. The historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, it also incorporates the Royal Observatory, Greenwich,...

, 1989

Other awards:

Order of Santiago da Espada (Portugal)

Grand Cross of the Order of Infante D. Henrique (Portugal)

Published works

S. George West, A List of the Writings of Charles Ralph Boxer Published Between 1926 and 1984, Compiled for his Eightieth Birthday (London: Tamesis Books Ltd, 1984).

Key works:

• Jan Compagnie in Japan, 1660-1817 (1936)

• Fidalgos in the Far East, 1550-1770. Fact and Fancy in the History of Macao (1948)

• The Christian Century in Japan (1951)

• Salvador de Sá and the Struggle for Brazil and Angola, 1602-1686 (1952)

• South China in the Sixteenth century (1953)

• The Dutch in Brazil (1957)

• The Great Ship from Amacon (1959)

• The Tragic History of the Sea (1959)

• The Golden Age of Brazil, 1695-1750 (1962)

• The Dutch Seaborne Empire (1965)

• The Portuguese Seaborne Empire (1969)


External links

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