Stoke mourners pay their final farewells to so-called “King of the Gypsies”


Hundreds of mourners lined the streets outside the  Holy Trinity Church, Hartshill to pay their final respects to a so-called “King of the Gypsies”, Lawrence Boswell.

Just before noon on Tuesday, a cortege of five top-of-the-range Rolls Royce cars crawled through busy traffic then stopped outside the main gate of the church.

A separate low-loader truck followed at the tail-end to hold all the floral tributes to a well-loved member of the traveller community, who died at the age of 83.

The floral tributes had been sent from all around the world.

Mourners came from far and wide, many from Ireland and others from travelling communities dotted around the United Kingdom.

As the procession made its way into the church, traffic struggled to get past.

There was a low-key police presence.

Many attendees could not enter the church due to overcrowding so they had to make do with waiting outside, barely hearing the service over the hum of the traffic.

Mr Boswell, known as ‘Lol’, grew up in North Street and for most of his life, lived in a traditional wooden caravan and only moved from the road to another site when a ‘D’ road was built in the area.

Lawrence Boswell’s family can trace their family roots in Staffordshire back for many hundreds of years.

His wife died some time ago and, in keeping with traveller tradition, their caravan was burned.

Lawrence Boswell leaves behind three children – two boys, one girl.






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