Encyclopedia Titanica

Arthur Lawrance

First Class Saloon Steward

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).


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.



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.


  1. Frequently spelled as Lawrence or sometimes Laurence/Laurance. Records confirm the spelling as Lawrance.

Newspaper Articles

Southend Standard (23 May 1912) Titanic Victim's Funeral
Pathetic Ceremony at Liverpool


Brian J. Ticehurst (1996) Titanic's Memorials World-wide: Where they are Located, ISBN 1 871733 05 7
Search archive online


Comment and discuss

  1. Edward Chase Stephen Lawrence XVIII

    Edward Chase Stephen Lawrence XVIII

    He was a relative of mine, I just recently found this out, and I need some help on trying to obtain info on him. I live here in America, so I don't have access to any sort of British records or anything like that. Any help would be appreciated. I thank u.

  2. Brian J. Ticehurst

    Edward - Here is a very interesting account of his funeral along with other details: Lawrence, Arthur. Lived at 66 Oxford Street, St Marys, Southampton. Occupation - Saloon Steward. 35 years old. (Born in London). (Had a wife (Lily) and young son, wife ran a sweet shop at Rochford, Essex). Body Number 90. Estimated age 35. Hair medium. Clothing:- Black rain proofed coat, dark mixture suit, white steward's coat marked ''A. Lawrence'', knitted vest, green and pink pyjamas. Effects:- Gun metal watch and chain, button hook, bundle letters, two fountain pens, pocket knife, keys, book of... Read full post

  3. Bob Godfrey

    Brian, it looks like the Glory Hole steward is your man. Craig Stringer (in Titanic People) records that William Wright and Arthur Lawrence were good friends and that Wright travelled to Liverpool to attend the funeral.

  4. Philip Davies

    Hi all, Just to say I will be at BTS Convention in Liverpool this weekend, and to ask if anyone has any info regarding the below (posted quite some time ago now), then be great to see any BTS members at Liverpool. Especially - Friends made in Halifax last year - Nikki,Carl? Hi all, just to say a big thanks to Mike Cowlard,and all at BTS for a fabulous weekend in Halifax.It was very well organised from the airport to the return!. My interest in Titanic has spanned 30 years or so (BTS Member for 15 or so!), but brief background are that :I was born in Southampton,now live and work... Read full post

  5. Chase Stephen Lawrence

    Hello, Mr. Davies. I am that same person (Chase Stephen Lawrence XVIII) that you mentioned in this post. I used to post on here often, but lost touch after a good long while. But I'm back now and happy to fill in some of the gaps with the best information I have. The Lawrence family on Great Britian spans all the way back to the days of King Arthur. Arthur Lawrence was a distant relative of mine. I know that before sailing on the RMS Titanic, he was a Saloon Steward on another White Star Line vessel the Adriatic. Along with his wife they lived in Southampton England. His wife Lily... Read full post

  6. Deborah Burroughs

    Hi I am the youngest daughter of George Yeowell, whose uncle was Arthur Lawrence, so my great uncle, I would love to find out anything about my great uncle as I do not have very much infomation about him or his family, it was good to read about you on this site. I am looking forward to hearing from you, kind regards Deborah Burroughs/ nee Yeowell, Norfolk England

  7. Philip Davies

    Hello all, Hope to be posting some updated pictures of Arthur's gravestone in a few weeks, as Ive now found the grave and as discussed with Chase in a private e-mail not on this site, I will be hoping to tidy up the 96 years worth of untended grave!! (in West Derby Cemetery) and would love to learn more about the family from Deborah and Chase.

  8. John Knight

    Hi all, I have an interest in Arthur and his family. One thing is puzzling me from the posts so far though. I keep reading about Arthur and his wife having a son. However, despite extensive research by myself, I have never found proof of this. Could anyone enlighten me? Regards, John.

  9. Philip Davies

    Hi John, Thanks for the post...Nice to hear of someone else with an interest in details regarding the Lawrence family!.. I would suggest that Brian Ticehurst at the top of these posts can perhaps enlighten both of us regarding Arthur's son Edward, as I have assumed both what Brian has provided and also Chase Lawrence's family history details that this was the case. It would appear from what Chase has already provided to me by e-mail, that barely any records survive of Lily and Arthur's son Edward,but it seems that brother Edward Lawrence found wealth in Canada and that side of the family... Read full post

  10. Brian J. Ticehurst

    Hello John and Philip Reference Mr. Lawrence's wife and son. Lily (Elizabeth) Lawrence is named on the gravestone at West Derby Cemetery so there can be no doubt about her. The only concrete reference to the son is: (Had a wife (Lily) and young son, wife ran a sweet shop at Rochford, Essex). That came from a 1912 newspaper cutting (I think Rochford) about 25 years ago. Unfortunately Lily (Elizabeth) Lawrence did not (or I cant find any trace of her doing so) make a claim on the Titanic Relief Fund - if she had her full name and the name of any dependent child would have been printed in... Read full post

  11. Philip Davies

    Brian, As always thanks for your continued help, and I am hoping that once I have tended Arthur's grave and discovered some more details on his family (if possible!!), I hope to forward an article to BTS for addition in future ADB. Thanks again, and best wishes Phil

  12. John Knight

    Hello Brian and Philip. Firstly, thank you Brian for your help. It is much appreciated. About two years ago I set out to research Arthur and his immediate family. Part of that research was to try and find records of the birth of a child to Arthur and Elizabeth. Extensive searches were carried out and, if memory serves me right, two possible birth returns were found, maybe three. Either way I payed a visit to the records office and filled out the necessary forms and waited for the staff to see what they could find. All the returns showed very clearly that none of the 'possibles' were... Read full post

  13. Philip Davies

    Hi John, Thanks for the quick response. When looking on the internet this morning, I notice that the 1911 census records are now available on-line from today and have registered for future use.(What a timely event!!!and am sure that this may help your research also?) I'm sure that this census should help us both as it will contain details of the family living in Rochford at 1911.(Of course Arthur may well have been registered as living elsewhere due to his position of saloon steward, but perhaps the census can shed some light on this?) I am also presuming that you live near or in Rochford... Read full post

  14. Philip Davies

    Hi all Just a quick post to confirm that I have followed up on the 1911 census and have found proof that Arthur and Elizabeth Lawrence as at 1911 had 1 son..John Arthur Lawrence who was 6 as at 1911. No mention of Edward or a Charles at this point, but perhaps between 2nd April 1911 and 15th April 1912, then Arthur and Lily had another son? I am now following up Arthur's family who I think Deborah may be able to help...i.e Arthur's sister or brothers who are relatives of hers. I hope this information has helped you John with confirmation of at least 1 son to Arthur and Lily, but the 1911... Read full post

  15. John Knight

    Hiya Phil, I've taken a note of your e-mail, thank you. I too found out today about their son via the census. Thanks to somebody who knows who she is. I'm really glad that the question has finally been solved. Also, yes, I do live very near to where Arthur and family used to and yes, the shop is still there, or rather, the building is. Must go. Regards, John.

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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Arthur Lawrance
Age: 36 years 11 months and 15 days (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Elizabeth Ellen Hughes
Last Ship: Adriatic
Embarked: Belfast on Monday 1st April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body recovered by: Mackay-Bennett (No. 90)
Buried: West Derby Cemetery, Liverpool, Lancashire, England on Monday 13th May 1912

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