Eliza Whiting c.1867-1900

Parents: Edmund Whiting and Lucy Clover
Born: 1867 in Bethnal Green or Shoreditch, Middlesex.
Baptised: ?
Married: James John Cortoy, 30, bachelor, cabinet maker of 245 Buck Lane, Middlesex, son of James Cortoy, umbrella maker, on 6th June 1897 at St Philip's Church, Bethnal Green. Witnessed by Frank Day and Ruth Whiting.(1,2)
Children: John Edmund Cortoy b.1898(6) and Joseph Samuel Cortoy b.1899(7) died in infancy.(4)
Died: 26th April 1900 in Bethnal Green Workhouse. Buried in Plaistow.(3,4)

Bio: Eliza is shown on census records as being born in Bethnal Green or Shoreditch in around 1867, and she appears on the 1871 census aged 4 and living with parents Edmund and Lucy and family at 1 Lee's Court, Islington. Her parents moved back to Haverhill, and we find her on the 1881 census in Burton End with her parents where she is attending school.

When Edmund and Lucy moved back to London, Eliza went with them. On the 1891 census she is living with her father at 53 Austin Place, Bethnal Green. Also with her are her brother Joseph and sister Ruth. She is working as a box maker.

Eliza got married to James Cortoy in 1897, and at the time she was living at 40 Granby Street, Bethnal Green. As far as we know her father Edmund died in 1895 although he is not listed as deceased on the marriage entry.

Baptism entries for St James the Great, Bethnal Green show that the Cortoy's had two sons. The first John Edmund was born on 26th March 1898 and baptised on 17th April whilst his parents were living at 43 Gibraltar Walk, Bethnal Green. Father James is shown as a labourer.(6)

Their second son, Joseph was born on 2nd July 1899 and baptised on 30th July 1899. The Cortoys were living at 39 Bacon Street at this time.(7)

Nonconformist registers show Eliza Cortoy dying at Bethnal Green workhouse on 26th April 1900.(3,4) Two weeks later her son Joseph died too, on 6th May.(4) Why was she in the workhouse so soon after her marriage? It seems from unconfirmed sources on the Grafton family tree on Ancestry.com that her husband had been hospitalized with TB and died in 1903 after nearly 3 years of illness in Bethnal Green Infirmary, Cambridge Heath Road.(5) She and her young son may well have died of the disease too.


(1) Marriage Register. 2nd Quarter 1897, Bethnal Green District, Volume 1c Page 469
(2) London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Philip, Bethnal Green, Register of marriages, P72/PHI, Item 029
(3) Death Register. 2nd Quarter 1900, Bethnal Green District, Volume 1c Page 141
(4) Nonconformist Registers, 1694–1921. London, England: London Metropolitan Archives.
(5) http://trees.ancestry.co.uk/tree/19476243/person/807588240/citation/3367364726?aid=11140019773&pg=32771&pgpl=pid%7caid
(6) London Metropolitan Archives, Saint James The Great, Bethnal Green, Register of baptisms, P72/JSG, Item 017
(7) London Metropolitan Archives, Saint James The Great, Bethnal Green, Register of baptisms, P72/JSG, Item 068