- Also known as
Rev Ernest Shilston Box
primary name: Box, Ernest Shilston
other name: Box, E S
- individual; cleric/religious official; collector; British; Male
- Life dates
- Missionary. Born in Shanghai, of missionary parents (father was also called Ernest Box [q.v.]). Educated in Britain, returned to China in 1926 as missionary for the London Missionary Society, and married Peggy, a nurse at the Baptist Missionary Society, Beijing. In the 1930s the Box family moved around China: to Tianjin, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Hankou. In the early 1940s, after a period of house arrest, they were interned by the Japanese for two and a half years. Box worked in the kitchens, taught history and Chinese in the school, and took part in amateur dramatics. Returned to Britain in 1951. Served as Minister at Ashford Congregational Church for twelve years, then at Broadstone Congregational Church for fifteen years. Retired to Cornwall, where he continued to preach in Looe and Trewin in a locum capacity into his late eighties. During his retirement he corresponded with Joe Cribb (Dept of Coins and Medals, British Museum) about his collection of Chinese coins. He eventually left the Box Collection (over 2,500 coins) to his daughters, Phyllis Hill (q.v.) and Eleanor Barker (q.v.), with the express wish that it should not be broken up, and that it should be offered first to the British Museum. The Museum acquired the collection in 1995 with the generous support of the British Museum Society. The temporary exhibition 'The Reverend Ernest S Box: an Englishman's collection of Chinese coins' was displayed at the British Museum, 10 Sept 1996 - 18 May 1997, and subsequently toured the UK: Aberdeen, Derry, York, Exeter, Bath.
- Helen Wang, 'The Reverend Ernest S. Box - an Englishman's collection of Chinese coins', Newsletter of the Oriental Ceramic Society (London), Jan 1997, no.5, pp.13-17.