William Whiting 1864-1941

William's grave at Haverhill Cemetery. Thanks to Robert Vinten for discovering this grave. Click to enlarge.

William (far left) at the Rope Works which he co-owned. c.1920.
Courtesy of Haverhill Local History Group.
Features (from L to R): William Whiting, Bertram Radford, W.Mayes, Bertram Whiting, ?, Percy Whiting, G.Sizer, J.Downey,?, W.Mayes.

Parents: Moses Whiting and Emma Cole (1)
Born: 29th February 1864 in Burton End, Haverhill (1,2)
Baptised: 14th May 1865 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill (1)
Married: Elizabeth Ellen Binks, 24, spinster, of 13c Burton End, daughter of James Binks, cutter, on 1st June 1895 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill. Witnessed by James Binks and Millicent Clarke.(2)
Children: Leonard William Whiting b.1895, Albert James Whiting b.1898, Clifford John Whiting b.1899, Bertram Whiting b.1900, Percy Ernest Whiting b.1902, Rosa May Whiting b.1904, Kitty Whiting b.1906, Elsie Whiting b.1909, Ivy Whiting b.1910 and Ralph Whiting b.1912
Died: 26th September 1941 at Brook Villa, Rushbrooke Lane, Bury St Edmunds. Buried on 30th September 1941 at Haverhill Cemetery.(7,8,9)

Bio: William was the eldest child of Moses and Emma Whiting. He was born in 1864 in Burton End, Haverhill, where he appears on the 1871 census. By this time he has two sisters, Emma and Alice, and a brother, John. Another brother, James, was born in 1874 but two years later tragedy befell him when he was murdered by their father. (see Moses Whiting for an account of the murder)

Moses was sent to Broadmoor Asylum and the rest of family were left to pick up the pieces and carry on, which must have taken some resolve. Being the eldest son and now the man of the house (his mother never remarried) William probably felt a fair deal of responsibilty when it came to supporting his mother and siblings. The 1881 census sees William now working as a factory hand and still living with them in Burton End. The situation remained the same for the 1891 census, where Emma, William and John are living at 42 Burton End, with Annie Cowle, Emma's niece. William is working as a cutter, most likely at Gurteens factory.

Four years later, William finally married at the age of 31 to Elizabeth Ellen Binks, daughter of James Binks, also a cutter. William may well have known him from where he worked. On the 1901 census, we see William as head of his own household at 76 Burton End. He is still working as a cloth cutter and now has four children of his own, Leonard, Albert, Clifford and Bertram.

At some point before the next census, William became involved with the Haverhill Rope, Twine & Sack Company. It's not clear how he got involved in the rope business, although James Henderson had been running a rope works in Burton End since 1893. The Rope, Twine & Sack Company was set up in 1899.(5)

The 1911 census shows that William and Elizabeth had been enterprising in several ways; they now had 9 children - new additions being Percy, May, Kitty, Elsie and Ivy. Also, the family are living in Camps Road, Haverhill, in the premises which are the Rope Works. William is an employer, working from home. His eldest son Leonard, is a clerk and his second son Albert is an office boy.

William was in partnership with Bertram Leonard Radford, and they co-owned the Haverhill Rope, Twine & Sack Company. This went on until 3rd January 1927 when we see from The London Gazette that Bertram Radford took over the ownership.(6)

At some point William moved to Bury St Edmunds, for he died at Brook Villa, Rushbrooke Lane, Bury St Edmunds on 26th September 1941. Probate was granted to his sons, Albert, a licensed victualler, and Clifford, a mineral water manufacturer. Effects came to £3407 6s 8d, a reasonable amount in those days.(9)

William was buried back in Haverhill Cemetery on 30th September 1941. Elizabeth survived him by three years.


(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 1864, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 419
(3) Marriage Register. 2nd Quarter 1895, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 1037
(4) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p28 of 37
5) http://www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk/sebc/visit/hh-to-1899.cfm
(6) London Gazette, Sunday, 7th January 1927. http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/33237/pages/170/page.pdf
(7) Death Register. 3rd Quarter 1941, Bury St Edmunds District, Volume 4a Page 1563
(8) Haverhill Cemetery, Ref.5446. Compartment E, Space 219. http://www.haverhill-uk.com/pages/burial-records-137.htm
(9) Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941