Mrs Hypatia McLaren (née Draco)

Mrs Robert McLaren was born as Hypatia Draco 1 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England in the Spring of 1869.

She was the eldest child of Emmanuel Pantoleon Draco (1836-1891) and Helene Maria Papayanni (1845-1899) who had married in Liverpool in 1867. Her father was born in Smyrna, Turkey and later settled in Liverpool where he ran a cotton trade partnership with a Mr Pierre Mussabini. Her mother was born in Liverpool to a Turkish father and an English mother.

She had four brothers: Pantoleon Emmanuel (1873-1941), George Emmanuel (1874-1946), Basilio Emmanuel (1875-1948) and Michael Constantine (1878-1929).

Hypatia first appears on the 1871 census living with her family as a boarder at 168 Lord Street, North Meols, Lancashire; her father's firm was threatened with liquidation in April 1874 and proceedings were still underway in March the following year but it is not clear if the firm went bankrupt and her father would continue to be described as a cotton merchant on later census records.

The family returned to Liverpool by the time of the 1881 census, then living at 120 Princes Road, Toxteth Park. The 1891 census would show Hypatia and her family living at 31 Catherine Street, Liverpool and her father would die before the end of the year followed by her mother in 1899. Hypatia later appeared on the 1901 census as a visitor to the home of a Mrs Jane Farmer in Liscard, Cheshire, listed with no stated profession.

When she appeared on the 1911 census, as a visitor to the home of the Brooks family of 13 Trinity Road, Liscard, Cheshire, she was a married woman yet still listed without any profession. She had been married around 1906 to Robert McLaren (b. 1879), an engineer.

When she signed-on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912 Hypatia gave her address as 9 Shirley Road, Southampton. Her previous ship had been the Romanic and as a stewardess she received monthly wages of £3, 10s.

Mrs McLaren survived the sinking, reportedly leaving the ship in lifeboat 5. Her movements over the next decade are unclear and it is not known if she ever returned to sea in a working capacity.

Hypatia and her husband lived for many years at 27 Central Road, Withington, Manchester and the childless couple visited several exotic locations in their later years: In 1922 they visited India and departed from Calcutta aboard Novara; in 1947 they visited Hong Kong, returning home aboard Empress of Scotland.

What became of Hypatia's husband is not clear but she spent her final days as a widow living at 7 Hague Road, Withington, Manchester. She died in Withington Hospital on 21 February 1959 aged 89 and her estate worth £293, 7s, 7d was left to her niece Rita Draco, the unmarried daughter of her eldest brother.

Gavin Bell
Peter Engbeg, Sweden

  1. Some census records give her name as H. E. Draco/McLaren, suggesting that she had a middle name. No such middle name was listed in her birth registration.
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
The London Gazette, 14 April 1874  

Articles and Stories

Identifying Titanic stewardesses



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