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 (probably in lifeboat 16) but 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 (boat 16)  
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'
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Comment and discuss

  1. Gavin Bell

    Gavin Bell said:

    Anybody out there know what became of Elizabeth Anne Wilkinson "Faunthorpe" after the disaster?? Please contact me. Thanks Cameron

  2. Jeremy Watson

    Jeremy Watson said:

    This is a very hard question so bare with me. Elizabeth Anne Wilkinson was said to have been married to a guy named Faunthorpe. Come to find out she was his misstress. After the disaster she went to live with her cousin in Brooklyn. Then I heard that she was married to another man. That supposedly was her real last name. If anyone could shed some light on this I would appreciate it very much. -titanic1912

  3. Phillip Gowan

    Phillip Gowan said:

    Jeremy, Wilkinson was Lizzie's married name. She didn't stay in New York though--returning to England where she later married again and died there. Regards, Phil

  4. Lester Mitcham

    Lester Mitcham said:

    Hi Phil, The question of Elizabeth's married name is of interest to me. In her biography on this web-site it is said that her father was WH Wilkinson. Is that information correct? Because if Elizabeth's maiden name was Wilkinson, then unless she married some one of the same name then I do not understand how Wilkinson can have been her married name. You say that after she returned to England she later married again. Was this after the death of her first husband? The reason I ask this is because. The American Red Cross Report contains the following: - [While the passenger is not named... Read full post

  5. Phillip Gowan

    Phillip Gowan said:

    Lester, You seem to have it all correct. I've not been able to track the first husband (actually I haven't tried)--I suspect there was a divorce. She doesn't fit the mold of the loving, loyal housewife :-). He may have been willing to take her back but probably regretted that decision-- My best, Phil

  6. Lester Mitcham

    Lester Mitcham said:

    Hi Phil, Thank you for that. So we are back to square one, whereby we simply do not know what Elizabeth's married name was when she sailed as Mrs Faunthorpe. As a point of interest who was her 2nd husband? Thanks again. Regards, Lester

  7. Zachary Schwarz

    Zachary Schwarz said:

    Does anyone know when Lizzie died? An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer gives her name as Elizabeth Ann Fox Wilkinson. I found a marriage between an Eliza Ann Fox and a Samuel Wilkinson. Her age at the time of her marriage seems very close to that of Lizzie Wilkinson (Faunthorpe).

  8. mary frances

    mary frances said:

    I have just been read a postcard a friend has. It is from Harry Faunthorpe to Ms. Wilkinson three weeks after the Titanic went down. Shall have to post a more thorough description of this.

  9. mary frances

    mary frances said:

    not sure if this was signed "Harry" or who the Wilkinson is he sent it to? it is postmarked May 2 ,1912

    attachment
  10. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber said:

    You're satisfied from a discussion elsewhere that this is not correct, right, mary frances?

  11. mary frances

    mary frances said:

    Regarding Elizabeths marriage or non-marriage to Faunthorpe, I ran across the official papers online that authorized her as able to file for monies from the White Star line regarding the loss of Faunthorpe. Don't know English law, but wouldn't she have had to be married to him in order to be able to receive compensation for his death?

  12. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber said:

    Or fraudulently claimed to be.

  13. mary frances

    mary frances said:

    they are notarized papers from a lawyer verifying her right to claims

  14. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber said:

    Is there a copy of thes "papers" you can post here?

  15. mary frances

    mary frances said:

    No problem. I'll work on retracing my steps as I found the papers last week online thru a simple search which anyone can do. When I find them again I wil post a link. In addition, newspapers around the world published the clip below which refers to Elizabeth as his wife. A TITANIC SUIT Toronto Daily Star Wednesday 28th August 1912 Widow of Man Drowned Last April Wants $10,000 Canadian Press Dispatch Philadephia, Aug. 28 -- Mrs. Elizabeth Faunthorpe, widow of a Titanic victim, and herself a survivor, has sued the White Star Company for $10,000 in the Federal Court, for the loss of... Read full post

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