Mr Arthur Lawrance 1 was born in Poplar, London, England on 30 April 1875. He was baptised three years later on 11 June 1878 in All Saints Church, Poplar.
He was the son of Arthur Lawrance (1844-1901), a railway clerk, and Mary Ann Edwards (1846-1928). His father was a native of Raydon, Suffolk and his mother was from Langham, Essex and he had nine known siblings: Alfred (b. 1869), William Henry (b. 1871), Maria (b. 1872), Annie (b. 1873), Albert Edward (b. 1877), Agnes (b. 1880), Charles (b. 1882), Frank (b. 1883) and George (b. 1888).
Arthur first appears on the 1881 census living at 10 Bedford Street in Poplar, later moving to 14 Lumsden Street, also in Poplar, showing up at that address on the 1891 census. Arthur, aged 15, had already left school and was working as an errand boy by the time of the latter record. The Lawrance family settled in Essex sometime around the close of the century and show up on the 1901 census living at 29 Essex Street, West Ham where his father was by then described as a self-employed newsagent; Arthur was absent, presumably at sea at the time. His father passed away in 1901 and his widowed mother and brother Charles appear on the 1911 census living at Rectory Road, Hawkwell, Hockley, Essex.
When Lawrance first went to sea is not certain but he first appears on crew records in May 1899 whilst a steward aboard Cymric, prior to which he had served aboard Gothic. He went on to serve aboard Britannic but by September 1899 began a long association with Majestic and was shown aboard her on numerous voyages between then and around June 1902. He then worked briefly aboard Teutonic before returning to Cymric in October 1902. On all voyages he gave a local address of 37 Smollett Street, a boarding address owned by John and Margaret Hughes who lived there with their five adult children, including four daughters. Arthur would be listed with them at that address on the 1901 census when he was described as an unmarried steamship steward. He began a romance with their daughter Elizabeth Ellen (b. 1869), a café worker.
Arthur and Elizabeth were married in Liverpool's Christ Church on 29 November 1903, both their addresses being listed as 37 Smollett Street and he was described as a seaman. The couple had only one child, their son John Arthur who was born on 23 December 1904. The family are listed on the 1911 census living at West Street in Rochford, Essex where Elizabeth ran a sweet shop; Arthur was described as a seafarer in the merchant service.
Lawrance initially signed-on to the Titanic in Belfast for her delivery trip to Southampton. When he signed-on again on 4 April 1912 he gave his local address as 66 Old Oxford Street, Southampton and his previous ship as the Adriatic. As a saloon steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Arthur Lawrance died in the sinking; his body was later recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#90).
NO. 90. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 35. - HAIR, MEDIUM.
CLOTHING - Black rainproof coat; dark mixture suit; white steward's coat marked " A. Laurance"' knitted vest; green and pink pajamas.
EFFECTS - Gun metal watch and chain; button book; bundle letters; two fountain pens; pocket knife; keys; book of stamps; empty purse.
NAME - A. LAWRENCE.
The body was taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia and forwarded on 4 May to Liverpool via Boston aboard the Arabic which sailed on 7 May.
Arthur Lawrance was buried at West Derby Cemetery, Liverpool on 13 May 1912; one of the mourners in attendance was his colleague, fellow-Titanic steward and survivor William Wright. Wright stated that although he was not intimate with Lawrance they had worked with each other for about five years.
His widow Elizabeth never remarried and later relocated to her native Liverpool. On 15 April 1915 she placed a memorial to him in the Liverpool Echo and the Liverpool Daily Post:
LAWRANCE--In ever-loving memory of Arthur, the beloved husband of E. E. Lawrance, who lost his life April 15, 1912, on board the Titanic. (Sadly missed by his Wife, Son, and all the family.)
Elizabeth Lawrance died in Birkenhead in 1934 aged 65.
Lawrance's son John was married in 1941 to Mary Lilian Swanton (1917-1991) before emigrating to Canada. He died in Kamloops, British Columbia on 24 January 1971 and is buried in Eagle Bay Cemetery, Eagle Bay, British Columbia.