Mr Richard Henry Rouse was born in Trottiscliffe, Kent, England in the Spring of 1857, later being baptised on 5 July that same year.
He was the son of George Rouse (b. 1825), a police constable, and Mary Ann Glover (b. 1830), Kent natives who were married in 1852. He had six known siblings, several of whom died in infancy: Elizabeth Mary (b. 1852), Thomas (b. 1855), James (b. 1859), Ellen (b. 1861), Henry (b. 1863) and George (b. 1865).
Richard appears on the 1861 and 1871 censuses living with his family at Love Lane in Milton near Sittinbourne in Kent. What became of his parents is not clear and by the time of the 1881 census he was living as a boarder at 29 Quay Street, Milton and was described as a brickfield labourer, a profession he would hold for the rest of his life, and he was still at this address by the time of the 1891 census.
He was married later that year to Charity Emily "Emma" Anderson (b. 1864), a native of Sittingbourne, Kent. Charity was a young widow with a daughter, Harriett Alice (b. 1885). She had been married in 1887 to William Attwood, a brickyard worker, but he died in 1890 aged 30. It is possible that Attwood and Richard Rouse had been acquainted, them sharing the same profession. The family settled in Sittingbourne, Kent at 11 George Street, appearing there on both the 1901 and 1911 censuses, and they would welcome a daughter in 1903, Gladys Nancy. By 1912 the family were living at 30 New Road, Sittingbourne.
It is believed that the coal strikes had had an adverse affect on Mr Rouse's fortunes in England and he had lost his job. His stepdaughter Harriett had been married in 1904 to George Maylum (1882-1924), a mill labourer, and had emigrated to the USA in 1910 with her husband and two sons, settling in Cleveland, Ohio where they were prospering. It was decided that Richard, his wife and daughter Gladys would also settle in Ohio.
Rouse boarded the Titanic in Southampton as a third class passenger (ticket number A/5 3594, which cost £8, 1s). His destination was the home of his stepdaughter Harriett who lived on Colt Road, Cleveland. The lists indicate that he was also en route to a Mrs Clay on the same street. His wife and daughter would follow him at a later date but brought them both to view the Titanic in Southampton. Apparently Mrs Rouse was overcome with fear and told her husband "This ship is too big, it will never reach America". She tried to talk him out of it but he replied "Don't worry, This ship is brand new and anyway, she's unsinkable". But Mrs Rouse continued to worry despite receiving a card from her husband posted at Queenstown.
Richard Rouse died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
His wife and daughter later travelled to New York, arriving on 5 June 1912 aboard Oceanic. They settled in Fremont, Ohio where Charity died on 14 November 1936.
His daughter Gladys was married in 1922 to Pennsylvanian native Sewell Walter Ickes (1894-1965) and had a son named Bradford. She was later divorced and remarried in 1925 to Indiana-born Clarence Weaver (b. 1903) and had several more children. She lived in Shelby, Indiana for many years before settling in Florida where she died in 1985.
His stepdaughter Harriet and her family continued to live in Ohio. She was widowed in 1924 and she herself passed away in Fremont in 1957.
References and Sources
Cleveland Plain Dealer (Ohio), 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 April 1912
Gavin Bell, UK
Ross Carter, UK
Homer Thiel, USA
Brian Ticehurst, UK
Articles and Stories
Cleveland Plain Dealer (1912)