Stephen Arthur Whiting 1867-1906

Parents: Frederick Whiting and Sarah Backler (1,2)
Born: 23rd February 1867 in Burton End, Haverhill (1,2)
Baptised: 17th March 1867 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill (1)
Married: None.
Children: None.
Died: 1st April 1906 of Pulmonary Tuberculosis at Kensington Infirmary.(3) Buried at Haverhill Cemetery on 7th April 1906.

Bio: Stephen Arthur appears on the 1871 census living in Burton End with his parents and younger sister Caroline. For some reason he moved to live with his uncle George Backler and his family in Brentwood Road, Romford, where he is a scholar of 14 on the 1881 census.

We lose Stephen for the next two census, and he doesn't appear to have married, but there is record of a Stephen Arthur Whiting of the correct age dying in 1906 in the Kensington district of London.(3)

My guess was that Stephen was institutionalized for some reason, maybe in an asylum. Often census entries for these establishments list patients only by initial and so it is particularly hard to track people down. However, although he died in London, he was buried in Haverhill Cemetery and the burial records show that he was an Engine Driver who died in Kensington Infirmary.

His death certificate reveals he died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis on 1st April 1906. With a vaccination not available, and only about to be discovered, TB was still a big health concern at this time. 18,384 people died of Pulmonary TB in 1906 in UK.(5)

His occupation is given as 'Engine Driver (stationary)' which means he was not on the railways, but most likely was in charge of an engine that drove heavy-duty factory machinery of some kind.

It mentions he was living at 41 Tobin Street, which was the home of his Aunt Frances Alice Ewin (nee Whiting) who had been recently widowed.

Stephen's brother J. Whiting, of 9 Duddery Road, Haverhill, was the informant of his death. This seems most likely to have been George James, and the address given is their father's home in Haverhill.

It would still be interesting to know a bit more about his life between the ages of 14 to 40 and to explain his apparent absence from the 1891 and 1901 censuses - a lot could have happened in the intervening years.

Death Certificate courtesy of GRO. Click to enlarge.


(1) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p13 of 37
(2) Birth Register. 1st Quarter 1867, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 420
(3) Death Register. 2nd Quarter 1906, Kensington District, Volume 1a Page 53
(4) Haverhill Cemetery, Ref.3100.
(5) Department of Commerce and Labor, Mortality Statistics 1907, 8th Annual Report, p.500 (featuring UK stats), Washington Gov. Printing Office 1909.