Encyclopedia Titanica

Arthur Peckham Burroughs

RMS Titanic Fireman

Arthur Peckham Burroughs
Arthur Peckham Burroughs

Mr Arthur Peckham Burroughs was born in Lewisham, London, England on 13 October 1877.

He was the son of Arthur Burroughs, a draughtsman, and Mary Jane Peckham (1857-1918). His parents appear never to have been married and his father's background and true identity remain uncertain.1

His mother Mary Jane was born in Lymington, Hampshire in 1857, the daughter of brewer's labourer William Peckham and Mary, née Phillips. Following the birth of her seemingly illegitimate son Arthur in 1877 she was married in Southampton in 1879 to Tom Harry Rickman (b. circa 1853 in Boldre, Lymington; d. 1911), a carpenter. Together they would have two children, Harry (b. 1878) and Rose (b. 1880). 

Arthur—listed as Arthur B. Peckham—is shown with his mother and his stepfather on the 1881 census as 55 Melbourne Street, Southampton; curiously his mother and stepfather appear on the same census twice, they as residents of 6 Bullar Street, Southampton with their other children. The family appear together on the 1891 census when they were living at Radcliffe Road, St Mary, Southampton and 13-year-old Arthur was described as a scholar. Arthur was absent by the time of the 1901 census but his family are listed at 65 Northumberland Road, St Mary, Southampton. 

Burroughs was married in St Denys, Hampshire on 15 August 1903 to Harriett Jane Howells (b. 5 November 1877 in Lyndhurst, Hampshire); he was still a resident of Northumberland Road and was described as a seaman. He and Harriett went on to have three children: Arthur John (b. 28 February 1904), Harry (b. 14 November 1906) and Gwendoline Agnes (b. 30 June 1910).

Arthur Burroughs and his family
Arthur Burroughs and his family
(Courtesy of Graham Bannister)

Burroughs was absent from the 1911 census but his wife and children were listed as living at 73 Adelaide Road, St Denys, Southampton.

When he signed-on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912 Burroughs gave his address as 73 Adelaide Road, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Philadelphia and as a fireman he received monthly wages of £6.

Arthur Burroughs died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. He is remembered on a family headstone in the Old Cemetery, Southampton.

Arthur's widow Harriett was remarried in 1915 to Albert Edward Mullins (b. 1890), a dock policeman from Wimbledon, Surrey; with him she had two children, Edward and Edna. She remained in Southampton for the rest of her life and predeceased her husband when she died on 17 June 1949. Her husband Albert died on 25 October 1969.

Arthur Burroughs Harry Burroughs

Arthur’s sons Arthur (left) and Harry as young mariners

Burroughs’ son Arthur began a career at sea and was later married to Phyllis Butcher (b. 1905), with whom he had one son and one daughter; he died in Southampton on 4 September 1970.  Son Harry also went to sea and was as later married to Elizabeth Batt (b. 1912) and had two sons; he died in Southampton on 22 August 1985. His daughter Gwendoline later married George Alfred Bannister (d. 1983) and they had two sons; she died in Shirley, Hampshire on 13 August 1985.


  1. The identity of his father is unclear; on Arthur’s marriage record his name was given as Arthur Burroughs (deceased), a draughtsman. He may have been born in Lewisham in 1855 or 1856, son of John Thomas Robert Burroughs and Mary Ann Julia Jackson; his father was a doctor. At the time of the 1871 census he was living with his family at Manor Villa in Lee, Kent; there is no record that he was ever married to Arthur's mother and, likewise, there is no identifiable record for his death. What became of him is not known.

Documents and Certificates

Agreement and Account of Crew, National Archives, London; BT100/259
(1912) Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths of Passengers and Seamen at Sea, National Archives, London; BT334/52 & 334/53
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Comment and discuss

  1. James Gundersen-McLaughlin.

    Mr Arthur Burroughs is the father of my Maternal Grandfather James Albert Simmonds (1908-1947) Aunt, who was Gwendoline Burroughs=George Bannister. James Gundersen-Mclaughlin.

  2. James Gundersen-McLaughlin.

    Arthur Peckham Burroughs (1877-1912) was the father of Gwendoline Agnes Burroughs (1910-1985)=30 June 1930-George Bannister who was my Grandfather-James Albert Simmonds (1908-1947) first cousin on his mothers side.James Gundersen-McLaughlin.

  3. Jeff Mullins

    Harriet was my Grandmother. She married my Grandfather (Albert) after Arthur Burroughs died on the Titanic. Albert (Joe) Edward (my Grandfather) did not die just after her. He died 25th October 1969, aged 79. He was 13 years younger than Grandmother. Gwen, Harry and Arthur were my uncles and aunt. Joe was a dock policeman in Southampton for 45 years. He was a lodger with my Grandmother before they married in early 1915. They raised together my Dad, Edna, Gwen, Arthur and Harry.

  4. Jeff Mullins

    James, just found this site. Arthur was my Grandmother's first husband. I still have cousins that were Arthur's direct desendants. Not too sure your description of how you are related. I don't see a Simmons anywhere. Can you explain further??

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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Arthur Peckham Burroughs
Age: 34 years 6 months and 2 days (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Harriett Jane Howells
Occupation: Fireman
Last Ship: Philadelphia
Embarked: Southampton on Saturday 6th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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