Dean Boomer, son of George Boomer, a linen manufacturer of Huguenot descent, and Mary Knox, of Scotch ancestry, was born at Hill Hall, near Lisburn, County of Down, Ireland, January 1, 1810. The name was originally spelt Bulmer, and the progenitor of the family in Ireland was Rene Bulmer, who with his wife fled from France about the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and settled at Lambeg, in a house now called the Priory. The name was finally changed from Rene Bulmer to Rainey Boomer. An interesting anecdote is told of him in the Ulster Journal of Archeology. As King William (of Orange) passed through Lambeg on one occasion, about 190 years ago, he was met by Mr. Bulmer, who addressed him in French. After explaining to the King the cause of his being in Ireland, as His Majesty was about to pass on, his humble subject asked permission to embrace him. The King
consented, and having received a salute on the cheek, he, stooping toward Bulmer’s wife, a lovely French woman, said: “and the wife also,” and he saluted her heartily.
Our subject was educated at the Belfast Royal Academic Institution, of which he was a foundation scholar for five years, and at Trinity College, Dublin, having graduated from the latter in 1838, and there receiving the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, in 1860.
He came to Canada in 1840; was ordained Deacon the same year by Bishop Strachan, and Priest the following year, as a missionary for the Propagation of the Gospel; and was appointed to the mission of Galt, a position which he retained for more than thirty years. When he entered upon his mission work, there were but three Episcopal families in the parish, and neither school house nor church; when he left, a large stone church and fine parsonage were up, and there were nearly a thousand members of the church, and an endowment of $1,000.
In 1872 the subject of this notice was called to London by the Bishop of Huron, and appointed Dean of Huron and Principal of Huron College, an institution founded by Bishop Hellmuth in 1863, for preparing young men for the ministry, and which is quite flourishing under the principalship of the worthy Dean.
His present wife was Mrs. Harriet Roche, of England, an authoress who has written a very popular work on South Africa, ” On Trek in the Transvaal.”