The epitaph of Rawson Hart Boddam, Governor of Bombay (1784 - 1788), in Bath Abbey
The epitaph of Rawson Hart Boddam, Governor of Bombay (1784 - 1788), in Bath Abbey

Rawson Hart Boddam (1734 – 20 May 1812, Bath) was the former Governor of the Bombay Presidency during the rule of the East India Company in British India from 1784 to 1788.

Boddam entered East India Company service in 1752.[1] In 1760 he married Mary Sclater, sister of the Eliza Draper for whom Laurence Sterne wrote his Journal to Eliza,[2] though Mary died soon after the birth of a son Charles (1762-1811) and is buried in St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai[3]

Rawson Hart Boddam was the first Governor of Bombay to be paid entirely by salary, at an annual rate of nearly £10,000. By a second wife, Eliza Maria Tudor, he had nine children, and settled at Capel House, Bull's Cross, near Enfield on his return to England.[4] He died 'aged 78 years' in May 1812.[1] In the 1920s a portrait was in the possession of Mrs. Hungerford Meyer Boddam, of Capel House, Guildford.[4]

As a legacy, in 2004 he had a train station named after him.


  1. ^ a b T. P. A., 'To the Editor of the European Magazine' [Transcription of Boddam's epitaph in Bath Abbey], The European Magazine, and London Review, April 1816, p. 296
  2. ^ Arnold Wright & William Lutley Sclater, Sterne's Eliza: Some Account of her life in India, 1922, p. 21
  3. ^ "Here lies the body of Mary Boddam, wife of Rawson Hart Boddam, who departed this life the 9th day of July Anno Domini 1762, aged 18 years." Inscription quoted in Wright & Sclater, p. 29; see also, on Charles Boddam, p. 185-6.
  4. ^ a b Wright & Sclater, p. 185
Political offices Preceded byWilliam Hornby Governor of Bombay 1784–1788 Succeeded byAndrew Ramsay