Mr Arthur Ernest Nicholson was born in Balham Hill, Streatham, Surrey, England in the closing months of 1852. His birth was registered in the last quarter of that year in Wandsworth.
He was the son of Charles Nicholson (b. 1822) and Mary Ring (b. 1821). His father worked as a warehouseman, later a coal merchant, and was a native of Essex whilst his mother hailed from Dorset. He had five known siblings: Emily Mary (b. 1846), Charles William (b. 1849), Alice Irena (b. 1851), Duncan Ring (b. 1854) and Frederick George (b. 1858).
He first appears on the 1861 census living at Oaklands on Grove Road, Streatham, Surrey. The family later moved to Brighton and they appeared there on the 1871 census, an 18-year-old Arthur then described as a clerk for a tea merchant.
Arthur was married in Yorkshire in the closing months of 1880 to Kate Kilvington Hattersley (b. 1857), a native of Leeds, but the couple would remain childless. They appear on the 1881 census living at 13 Hyde Park Terrace, Bilton, Harrogate, Yorkshire and Arthur was described as a wholesale tea dealer; for many years he was an agent of the Tea Grovers Association. Also living with the couple was Arthur's widowed mother Mary who would later die in Twickenham, London on 29 March 1895, then a resident of Crown Road.
Arthur and his wife later settled in London but would spend winters in their home on the Isle of Wight at Claremont on Steep Hill Road, Shanklin. Kate appears there on the 1911 census but Arthur is absent, perhaps abroad for business. He was known to have spent much time in the United States and he maintained an office at 128 Front Street in Manhattan.
He boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a first class passenger (ticket number 693 which cost £26) and he was en route to New York City to visit an elderly sister. He was primarily coming to assist her financially and to make necessary arrangements for her care in her advancing years.
Arthur Nicholson died in the sinking and his body was later recovered by the MacKay Bennett.
NO. 263. - MALE. - HAIR AND MOUSTACHE, GREY.
CLOTHING - Light tweed suit; brown waistcoat.
EFFECTS - Pearl scarf pin; "N" on book; gold watch and chain; gold pencil case; horseshoe cut diamond pin; glasses; gold cuff links; 3 gold studs; £9 in gold in pocketbook.
NAME - A. S. NICHOLSON
His sister requested that the remains be shipped to New York. This was done under the care of F. E. Campbell (214 West 23rd St.) on 6 May 1912. Rather than return the body to England, she buried her brother at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, New York. Coincidentally, Arthur Nicholson was buried within a few feet of Charles Henry Chapman, another Titanic passenger whose body was also recovered. Nicholson and Chapman are among four known Titanic victims buried at Woodlawn Cemetery. The others were Alexander Holverson and Isidor Straus. A large stone was erected over Nicholson's grave, but there was no mention of the Titanic disaster.
There is no record of what became of Mr Nicholson's sister. She did receive assistance from various relief agencies that were established following the disaster. As she was dependent upon her brother, his death more than likely left her in needy circumstances. Interestingly, when she eventually passed away, she was not buried with her brother.
Arthur's estate, valued at £447, 6d, was administered to his widow Kate on 11 September 1912. Kate was never remarried and apparently continued living on the Isle of Wight. When she died on 22 April 1914, aged 86, her last address was listed as the Yelfs Hotel, Union Street, Ryde.
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
Articles and Stories
New York Times (1912)
Shore Press (1912)
Evening Times (1912)