Encyclopedia Titanica

Elizabeth Anne Wilkinson

Elizabeth Anne Wilkinson
Elizabeth Anne Wilkinson

Mrs Elizabeth Anne Wilkinson was born at 42 Hadfield Street in Newton Heath, Manchester, England on 3 February 1882, later being baptised in St Anne's church on 15 March.

She was the daughter of William Wilkinson (b. 1855), a wheelwright originally from Rochdale, and Mary Anne Jordan (b. 1847) of Bradford who had married in St Barnabas' Church, Miles Platting, Manchester on 30 December 1877. The youngest of two children, Elizabeth's only sibling was her elder brother William (b. 1880).

Lizzie and her family appear on the 1891 census living at 14 Mount Street in Swinton, Manchester, her father having switched his career to that of a paper dealer. By the time of the 1901 census the Wilkinsons were still living in Swinton although now at 2 Clarendon Road and Elizabeth, then aged 19, had no stated profession.

In Salford on 20 May 1907 Elizabeth married Manchester-born Samuel Wilkinson (b. 4 July 1882) who, like her father, was a paper dealer. Samuel was the son of Frederick and Mary Ann Wilkinson and his father, like Lizzie's own father, hailed from Rochdale and there is a possibility that she and her new husband were second cousins. 

The marriage between Lizzie and Samuel produced no children and by the time of the 1911 census they lived 47 Oldham Road, Failsworth (between Oldham and Manchester).

At some point Lizzie crossed paths with Lincolnshire-born Harry Bartram Faunthorpe (b. 1880), an unmarried furniture salesman; although the circumstances of their meeting are unknown they became lovers and presumably hatched a clandestine plan to run off and live as a couple.

Lizzie boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second-class passenger (joint ticket number 2926 which cost £26), posing as the new wife of Harry Faunthorpe; they told fellow passengers they planned to honeymoon in California.  

She was asleep, she says, at the time of the collision, but awakened by the shock. When she rushed upon deck she was ordered into a lifeboat, but feared to trust herself in one of the frail craft. While officers with drawn revolvers issued their orders, one of the men, she says, forced her bodily into the second boat... — The Evening Telegraph, 26 April 1912


Saved from Titanic
Only lady passenger from the Manchester district.
Mrs Elizabeth and Wilkinson
Wife of Mr Samuel Wilkinson, of 47, Oldham Road, Failsworth, who appears to have been the only lady passenger from the Manchester district on board the Titanic. Mrs Wilkinson formally lived in Swinton and was going on a visit to relatives in Philadelphia. Cablegram was received last night by relatives at Pendlebury, "Ann safe, Lizzie." - Manchester Evening Chronicle, 20 April 1912

Mrs Wilkinson survived the sinking but which lifeboat she escaped in is uncertain.  She said that officers with drawn guns forced her into the 'second boat'. Edwina Troutt mentions her being with her, but there is uncertainty over which boat Troutt was in (Possibly collapsible D or one of the aft lifeboats). 

Her companion Harry Faunthorpe was among the lost; his body was later recovered and among his effects was jewellery valued at $1000.

After arriving in New York Lizzie went to her cousin John M. Devine at 669 Brooklyn Street, Philadelphia where she spent several weeks recuperating from shock.

Failsworth Woman Saved
Elizabeth Ann Wilkinson, wife of Mr Samuel Wilkinson of 47 Oldham Road Failsworth, was a second cabin passenger on the Titanic. She has telegraphed from New York: ‘Am safe. – Lizzie’ — Unidentified Oldham newspaper, 1912

According to the Red Cross Mr Faunthorpe's body was sent to Lizzie after it was recovered and he was buried at Mount Peace Cemetery, Philadelphia on 11 May; she later received $600 from various American relief funds. In August 1912 the Toronto Daily Star reported that Lizzie launched a lawsuit against the White Star Line, suing for $10,000 for the loss of her "husband."

The American Red Cross report states that Lizzie's lie had been uncovered and that she had a husband back in Manchester who, reportedly, accepted her back. She subsequently returned to England to face her real husband, Samuel. 

What became of Lizzie and Samuel's marriage is not clear but there is speculation that they eventually divorced and remarried. 
 

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Elizabeth Anne Wilkinson (Lizzie Faunthorpe)
Age: 30 years 2 months and 12 days (Female)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Samuel Wilkinson
Last Residence: in Manchester, England
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 2926, £26
Rescued
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912

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References and Sources

The Evening Telegraph (Philadelphia), April 26, 1912, Miss Faunthorp Ill in Uncle's Home from Strain of Experience
Oldham Evening Chronicle (2012) Titanic Mystery of Survivor Lizzie, www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk/news-features/8/news/69079/titanic-mystery-of-survivor-lizzie, 27 April 2012
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.
United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912.
GRO Marriage Index
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

Research Articles

Titanica! (2018) Titanic: The Disappeared
Which Titanic survivors have never been found?

Newspaper Articles

Toronto Daily Star (28 August 1912) A TITANIC SUIT
Widow of Man Drowned Last April Wants $10,000

Miscellaneous

Red Cross File for 'Mrs Faunthorpe'
Search archive online

Comment and discuss

  1. mary frances

    mary frances said:

    the papers are digitized on the novascotia.ca website at the link shown below. They are issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the County of PA. They show many signatures from a judge on down. They are described as "exemplified copies of letters of administration of the estate of Harry Faunthorpe" naming Lizzie Faunthorpe as Executrix. Hope this clarifies things for you MAD.

  2. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber said:

    Thanks for the link, mary frances. Very interesting.1. I'm not mad, just questioning. 2. None of those documents establishes that Ms. Wilkinson was married to Faunthorpe, just that she claimed to be.

  3. mary frances

    mary frances said:

    Oh my lord, i meant to say MAB which is your signature on the bottom. Heavens, I would hope you wouldn't be mad. No, it isn't a marriage certificate but as I said before, I would hope that a judge and the state of PA would have some system of documentation before declaring someone essentially Next of Kin.

  4. jtdecoff1027

    jtdecoff1027 said:

    This may sound weird; however, a while ago I had a past life regression done and I got the name Anna Wilkinson. I had done a report on the Titanic in high school and the movie had just come out so when I received the fact that I was in the disaster but lived I was not impressed. I thought the info came from my subconscious; however, the passenger list in the small book that I used as reference for my high school report did not have her name. They released a new updated passenger list in a anniversary series hard cover book, and the name was in there; however, mis-represented as Anna... Read full post

  5. Elisabeth Anne Dolowy

    Elisabeth Anne Dolowy said:

    This may all be a coincidence, but I almost have the same name as Elizabeth (Mine is Elisabeth Anne), she was on life boat 16, (my favorite number has been 16 since I've learned how to count) I was also obsessed with the Titanic since 1st grade, and only Titanic no other famous sunken ship, and she married a guy named Samuel (My bestfriend's name is Samuel) So it may all be coincidental, and it's a long stretch, but maybe I was Elizabeth in my past life.

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Acknowledgements

Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Andrew Williams, UK