Osborne, Charles Glidden

Charles Glidden Osborne would become the co-founder and first President of the Cartophilic Society. His proudest moment came when the Society was incorporated on 31 Dec 1942. He had always supported the idea of scientific research into the cards he so loved,especially cards which were un-numbered, and he readily loaned cards for displays and magazine illustrations. He also gave considerable financial help to it at the outset, as he would later do to any collector he heard, or felt, was in need of funding. Fred Bason always believed it had been Mr. Glidden Osborne who had paid his subs and got him back into the Society after an absence, but could never prove it. I also believe it was him who anonymously donated the £15 required to start printing our own magazine “The Bulletin”.

Charles Glidden Osborne had been born on the 9th of February 1884 in Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA. His father was William McKinley Osborne, born in 1842, whose cousin was none other than William Mc.Kinley, the twenty-fifth President of the United States of America.

Charles Glidden Osborne sailed to England, on the Leviathan, in the October of 1923, along with his new wife May Henderson Peabody. She had been born on 28th April 1891 at Evanston, Cook County, Illinois, USA to Francis Stuyvesant Peabody, a coal millionaire, and May Henderson. May first married Addison H Stillwell on 2nd January 1914 at St James Episcopal Church, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA, but they divorced in 1922. On 1st September 1923 May married her second husband Charles Glidden Osborne and sailed with him and her children from her first marriage, May Henderson, Elizabeth Allison, and Frances Peabody Stillwell,. They set up home in Marlow Berkshire. In 1928 they had their only child, Mahmea Enid Lolita Osborne. May Peabody Osborne died on 14th April 1936 in Marlow, Buckinghamshire aged just 44 years old, and is buried in All Saints Church, Bisham, Berkshire; her grave bears an inscription which is often quoted in books of memorials. It reads

In Memory of May Peabody Osborne beloved wife of Charles Glidden Osborne. April 14th 1936 –

under the wide and starry sky
dig the grave and let me lie
glad did I live and gladly die
And I laid me down with a will
This be the verse you grave for me
here he lies where he longed to be
Home is the sailor from sea
and the hunter home from the hill.

The verse is actually from “Requiem” by Robert Louis Stevenson, and it has a direct link to her, as her father was a major collector of Stevenson manuscripts and effects. When he died in 1922, May must have inherited part if not all of this collection, for it was sold at Sotheby’s in 1949 by her widower Charles Glidden Osborne .

During the Second World War he was the Director of Operations for the American Ambulance Great Britain (AAGB). This was founded in 1940 and was a humanitarian organisation that used American donated ambulances to aid the British War effort on the Home Front. On his way out in the morning, or back home to Marlow at night, he would stop off at Cambridge House, home of Charles Lane Bagnall and the London Cigarette Card Company – he said a spot of cheery conversation was a great release from his tours of war damaged sites and patients.

After the war he moved to Sedlescombe, East Sussex, and remarried.

He passed away on Sunday the 15 of January 1961, aged 76. There was no long illness, he died quite suddenly after a full and eventful life. He was buried in the Garden of Remembrance, Hastings Cemetery and Crematorium, East Sussex, England, at plot 202384475.