Mrs Robert McLaren was born as Hypatia Draco1 at 2 Clare Terrace on Marmaduke Street in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 4 May 1869.
She was the eldest child of Emmanuel Pantoleon Draco (1836-1891) and Helene Maria Papayanni (1845-1899) who had married in Liverpool in the first half of 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—Hypatia was a married woman yet still listed without any profession. She had been married around 1906 to Robert McLaren (b. 1879), an engineer about whom little else is known.
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.
Mrs Mclaren, a stewardess who waited on Lady Duff Gordon on the fateful voyage
Among the Titanic survivors who are now at Southampton is Mrs. Mclaren, a stewardess who attended Lady Duff-Gordon. She was put in a lifeboat by Mr. Bruce Ismay, and is here seen being toasted. ("Daily Graphic" photograph.)
Hypatia and her husband remained in Liverpool but spent time living or visiting many exotic locations: In December 1922 they set off for a visit to India and departed from London aboard Novara; they returned to Britain in May 1927 aboard Rajputana and at which point their destination address was stated as Nicander Road, Sefton Park, Liverpool. They returned to India in September of that year aboard Rawalpindi when Robert McLaren was in the jute business and their address was given as 29 Central Road, West Didsbury, Manchester.
In 1947 the couple visited Hong Kong, returning home to Britain aboard Empress of Scotland. Hypatia and her husband also lived for several years at 27 Central Road, Withington, Manchester.
What became of Hypatia's husband Robert is not clear but she spent her final days as a widow living at 7 Hague Road, Withington, Manchester.
Hypatia McLaren died in Withington Hospital, Manchester 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.