Elizabeth Agnes Mary Davies

Mrs Elizabeth Agnes Mary Davies (née White)

Mrs John Morgan Davies (Elizabeth Agnes Mary White), 48, was born on 23 November 1863 in the village of Ludgvan, Cornwall, the daughter of Mr John White (?Friggens) (a Carrier, whose business address was 93A Market Jew Street, Penzance) and his wife Elizabeth. She was sister to John, James, Mary Teresa, Edith E, Josiah Eade and Emily. At the time of the 1881 census she was a dressmaker, living with her family at 17 New Street, Penzance, Cornwall.

Agnes married Richard Henry Nicholls, a stonemason who worked at the granite quarry at Trenowith Downs. They lived in the nearby village of Nancledra where their 3 children were born. Richard Henry Nicholls was the eldest, followed by a daughter, Mary and Joseph Charles Nicholls. After the death of her husband in about 1900 the family moved to live in the Stennack, St Ives where she had relatives.

Agnes subsequently remarried, to a welshman, Mr John Morgan Davies. She and her children moved with him to live in Cardiff, South Wales where a further son, John Morgan Davis was born. Her second marriage however, was short lived. When John Morgan Davies died she and her family returned to live in St Ives. Not long afterward her eldest son, Richard Nicholls and his wife, emigrated to Kearsarge near New Allouez, Houghton County, Michigan. A short while later Agnes decided to take her family to join her son and daughter-in-law in America. To raise the necessary funds she sold all her belongings in St Ives. With this done their ticket was purchased from William Cogar who was the White Star agent in St Ives, it was numbered 33112 and had cost 36 15s. The family left St Ives by train and travelled with a family friend, Maude Sincock of Halsetown. She and her infant son, John Davies occupied a cabin with Maude Sincock and also Alice Phillips of Ilfracombe, Devon, her elder son Joseph had separate accommodation.

Agnes survived the sinking, probably in lifeboat 14, the events immediately before and after the sinking were recounted by her to a Calumet newspaper on arrival in Michigan.

'We were in our berths when the steamer struck the iceberg at 11.50 the night of Sunday. we felt the jar but did not imagine that anything serious had occured. However I rang for the steward for the purpose of making inquiries. He assured us that nothing of consequence had happened and that we could remain in our berths without fear. A few minutes later Miss Phillips' father, who was also a passenger on the boat called his daughter and told her to dress. She went on deck and returned shortly and said orders had been given for all the passengers to dress and put on lifebelts. By this time I had dressed, although my little son was still sleeping. The steward again came to the stateroom and said there was no danger or occasion for fear. I decided to dress the boy, however, and did so.
My son Joseph had dressed and he came to the stateroom and put lifebelts on us. Through all this time we had received no warning from the steward, no orders to prepare for anything like what we were to experience. Had it not been for our curiosity to learn what was going on we might have perished. we went on deck about 12.15 and my son and myself were placed in the third lifeboat.
My older son, Joseph, helped to place us in the boat and asked permission to enter it himself, this being refused with the threat that he would be shot if he attempted to get in. I pleaded with the officers in vain, that he be allowed to come with me. There were about fifty in the boat, but there was room for more. After we were lowered away and before the boat left the ship some men entered it by sliding down the davit ropes. The men in charge of the boat rowed as hard as they could to get away from the ship. By the time she sank, which was at 1.45, it seemed as if we were miles away, although I could hear the screams, cries and moaning of the drowning passengers.'

Agnes and her infant son spent about 5 hours in the boat before being picked up by the Carpathia, once on the ship she commented that 'everything possible was done for the saved'.

On arrival in New York in addition to overnight accommodation she was given a train ticket, $5 in cash and a lunch box by the White Star Line. She left New York by train heading for Mohawk, Michigan. Once in Michigan passengers on the train between Negaunee and Calumet recognising her need, raised 'a neat little sum for her benefit'. A subscription list was also started for her benefit in Calumet. The Calumet News also went on to say that Mrs Davies was a 'pleasant and refined woman but greatly overwrought and nervous as a result of her experience, suffering and bereavement. The sinking of the Titanic had taken from her, her almost sole support, a nineteen year old son. The loss of whom seems to her to have been unnecessary, too, which makes it all the harder to bear. '

The following appeared in the St Ives Times in early May 1912.

MRS DAVIES ARRIVES IN MOHAWK.

We have received welcome news this week that Mrs Agnes Davies, formerly of St Ives, and her nine year old son - Master John Morgan Davies - have at last reached Mohawk. On arriving they were met by Mr Richard Henry Nicholls, Mrs Nicholls, and Mr G P Curnow, the latter being a close personal friend of Mrs Davies's family. There was a most touching scene between mother and son, after their trying ordeal. the last time they met Mr Joseph Nicholls - who perished in the 'Titanic' disaster - was a member of the family circle which then gathered. Mrs Davies's sufferings were very noticeable, and the suspense and agony of mind and body have left their marks upon her.

She later recounted her experiences on the Titanic at the Calumet Opera House.

Agnes remained in Michigan for the rest of her life during which time she married a Mr Richard Edwards, they lived at 949 Railroad Avenue in Hancock. She passed away in St Joseph's Hospital, Hancock, Houghton County, Michigan on 4 August 1933, aged 70. She was buried on 7 August 1933 likely in the Lakeview Cemetery, Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan. This cemetery also holds a memorial to her son Joseph Nicholls and the grave of her son, John Davies who died in 1951.


Courtesy of Chris Dohany, USA

Documents
Michigan Department Of Health Ce rtificate Of Death
Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio), 20 April 1912, p.1.
Daily Mining Gazette (Hancock, Michigan), 5-6 August 1933, Obituary and Death Notice

References
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port Of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia) - National Archives, NWCTB 85 T715 Vol 4183
British Census 1881
The Story of the Titanic by Maude Sincock Roberts
Calumet News, April 1912
St Ives Times, May 1912

Contributors
Steve Coombes, UK
Chris Dohany, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Homer Thiel, USA
Brian Ticehurst, UK

Articles and Stories

EDWARDS FUNERAL MONDAY

Daily Mining Gazette  (1933) 

EDWARDS FUNERAL MONDAY

 
MRS. ADDIE WELLS THOUGHT IT WAS BOAT DRILL UNTIL SHE SAW OFFICER'S PISTOL

Akron Beacon Journal  (1912) 

MRS. ADDIE WELLS THOUGHT IT WAS BOAT DRILL UNTIL SHE SAW OFFICER'S PISTOL

 
MRS. AGNES EDWARDS SUMMONED BY DEATH

Daily Mining Gazette  (1933) 

MRS. AGNES EDWARDS SUMMONED BY DEATH

 
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