Edmund Whiting 1832-1895

Parents:     Joseph Whiting and Rebecca Cole (8)
Born:          10th January 1832 in Haverhill.(8) 
Baptised:   15th February 1832 at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, Haverhill.(8)
Married:      Lucy Clover, 20, spinster of Chauntry Croft, daughter of George Clover, groom, on 13 May 1855 in St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill. witnessed by John Walter Amey and Eliza Scott.(1,2)
Children:    Minnie Anne Whiting b.1856(3), Sophia Whiting b.1858(4), Elizabeth Whiting b.1860, Christiana Whiting b.1863, Caroline Whiting b.1865, Eliza Whiting b. abt 1867, Frances Whiting b.1870, Joseph Jabez Whiting b.1873 and Ruth Whiting b.1878(5).
Died:            26th October 1895 of cardiac disease and exhaustion at 5 Essex Place, Hackney Road, Shoreditch.(6) 


Bio:               Edmund first appears in 1832 in the baptism register of the Old Meeting house in Haverhill, where his parentage is identified. Next time we see him is on the 1841 census living with his parents and siblings in Burton End. By 1851 Edmund is a shoemaker, aged 19 and living in Chauntry Croft with his parents and siblings. Four years later, he is to marry Lucy Clover and at this time he is living in Crowland, Haverhill.

Edmund relocates to London around the same time his father and mother and the rest of his family do so. This seems to be around 1860 as his second eldest child Sophia was born in Haverhill  towards the end of 1858 and his third child was born in Bethnal Green in 1860. On the 1861 census, 'Edward' (maybe his suffolk accent confused the census taker!) is living in the same house as his parents at 2 Mount Square, Bethnal Green, and has three children Minnie, Sophia and an unnamed child.

Still a shoemaker in 1871, Edmund, seemingly now known as 'Edward' (for census purposes at least) is living at 1 Lees Court, Islington with a compliment of six children. On 9th May 1873 he has his two girls Caroline and Fanny baptised at Bethnal Green Holy Trinity and his address is listed as 5 Busby Street. A month earlier when his son Joseph was baptised he was living at 4 Boundary Street, so it appears he upped and moved around fairly often. Maybe the city life was wearing thin for Edmund, because by the 1881 census he is back where it all started in Burton End, Haverhill. 

He must have moved there in 1876 or earlier as he and Lucy had a stillborn child who was buried at Haverhill Cemetery on 21st August 1876.(9) The couple are listed as living at Burton End at this time. Their last child Ruth is born in Haverhill two years later.(5) On the 1881 census, Edward's youngest four children Eliza, Frances, Joseph and Ruth are living with him and Lucy.

School admission records for Edmund's son Joseph at Rochelle Street School show that by 17th October 1881 the family were back in London, living at 3 Virginia Row, Tower Hamlets.(7) This is also the address that Edmund's daughter Sophia was living at when she was married in 1884.

Edmund's wife Lucy started to have problems of 'unsound mind' around this time as was frequently in and out of County Asylums during the years that followed.

Whether this was just down to post-menopausal depression, we'll never know.

On the 1891 census Edmund has returned to Bethnal Green working as a boot repairer and living at 53 Austin Street with his son Joseph, also a boot repairer, and daughters Ruth and Eliza. His wife Lucy is not present, he is listed as married not a widower. This was because she was in the London County Asylum at Hanwell. Edmund never returned to live in Haverhill and died in 1895 in Shoreditch, London.

The death certificate shows he was living at 5 Essex Place, Hackney Road, Shoreditch (an address that no longer exists) and that he died of heart disease and exhaustion. His age is given as 64, which is close enough not to cause concern. His occupation is 'boot repairer', which is also accurate. 'Edmund' is not a common Whiting forename, so it is possible to be virtually certain that this certificate refers to 'our' Edmund.

There are, however, a couple of slightly puzzling things about the information or lack of certain bits of information contained on it. 

The informant  who was present at Edmund's death was Mary Griffiths (full name Mary Ann Griffiths), who is listed as being his niece. She resided at 19 Essex Place. She was the wife of John William Griffiths b.1851, who was a wood carver. His name appears on the electoral registers as living at 19 Essex Place around this time. Her maiden name was Nottage, and she was herself born around 1849 in Shoreditch. The baptism record of their daughter Maria shows them also at this address in the year following Edmund's death.(10)

The problem we have is that It's a bit of a mystery as to which of Edmund's brothers or sisters she was the daughter of, or indeed whether she was a daughter of one of Edmund's wife Lucy's brothers or sisters. Griffiths or Nottage are not names I've come across before in connection with the Whitings on this site.

It is perhaps strange that one of Edmund's sons or daughters wasn't present at the death, and also no reference is made concerning his marriage status. As it turns out, Lucy was most likely in an Asylum at the time.

image of Death Certificate courtesy of the GRO. © Crown Copyright.


(1) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/25 of 37
(2) Marriage register. 2nd Quarter 1855, Risbridge district, Vol 4a Page 462
(3) Birth register. 4th Quarter 1856, Risbridge district, Vol 4a Page 334
(4) Birth register. 3rd Quarter 1858, Risbridge district, Vol 4a Page 326
(5) Birth register. 2nd Quarter 1878, Risbridge district, Vol 4a Page 507
(6) Death register. 4th Quarter 1895, Shoreditch district, Vol 1c Page 88
(7) Ancestry.com. London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1840-1911
(8) Non-conformist Registers, RG4/1845/21, www.bmdregisters.co.uk
(9) SFHS, Suffolk Burial Index issue 2, 1538-1900.
(10) London Metropolitan Archives, Haggerston St Augustine, Register of Baptism, p91/aug, Item 004.