Obituary : The Rev E.C. & Mrs Carter


After the usual alternations of fear and hope, not to speak of a pathetic thanksgiving last Monday in church for their supposed rescue with all the other passengers, it has become necessary to presume the death of the Rev E.C. and Mrs Carter, of St Jude’s Vicarage, Whitechapel.

Ernest Courtenay Carter, who was about 60 years of age, graduated from St. John’s College, Oxford, in 1884, and was for some time an assistant master at Godolphin School, Hammersmith. On his ordination (deacon 1888, priest 1889) he became curate of Christ Church, Mayfair, and from 1889 to 1896 was in charge of the parish of Chieveley in Berkshire.

For the last 14 years he had been vicar of St Judes, Commercial Street, E., where he succeeded the Rev Ronald Bague, now of St Edmund the King, Lombard-street. But a bare record of facts like these offers no indication of the reasons why Mr and Mrs Carter can ill be spared by the religious and social life of Whitechapel, and why the sense of personal loss lies heavily on many friends. A man of moderate attainments, of which the most striking was his sincere modesty about the rest, Mr Carter was busy with a variety of activities - the chapter of the rural deanery of Stepney, of which he was clerk; the great meetings at the People’s Palace and elsewhere, which he helped to organize in the cause of temperance or of home or foreign missions; Sion College, of which he became President for the year 1910-11, and whose antiquities appealed strongly to him; any attempt at legislation in the direction of licensing reform - to all these he brought a merry enthusiasm which made it impossible for any gloom to settle down on any cause, however desperate, with which he was concerned.

Mrs Carter was a daughter of “Tom Hughes,” and the perfect complement of her husband. To the paternal zeal for Liberalism and social reform she added a zest for theological knowledge and a ceaseless quest for truth in days when it is often assumed that Christian propaganda is failing and that the only hope is to effect some belated improvement of social conditions apart from religion, the Carters stood together for the Christian faith as the instrument of progress, and week by week in the great room attached to their vicarage in Commercial Street they gathered together their little band of local seekers after truth, who listened while some one expounded and whose questions were formulated at the close of the exposition by the keen-eyed, beaming lady, who was the very soul of the class, and the light of all their seeing. She had recently proved her capacities by winning the testimony to theological fitness recently established by the Archbishop of Canterbury for women students.

Given a situation such as that with which the passengers on the Titanic were faced between the first shock and the last plunge, there is no question as to what these two would wish to do. They were childless, and in Commercial Street their life was always lived for others. Ernest Carter would pass round with his words of artless and ardent comfort, and his wife would say, Let the mothers get to the boats first; you and I must see this out together”.

Related Biographies:

Ernest Courtenay Carter
Lilian Carter

Relates to Place:

Whitechapel, London, England

Relates to Ship:



Stanley C. Jenkins


Encyclopedia Titanica (2007) Obituary : The Rev E.C. & Mrs Carter (The Times, Saturday 20th April 1912, ref: #5532, published 20 April 2007, generated 26th September 2020 04:00:10 PM); URL :