Encyclopedia Titanica

James Edward Byrne

Mr James Edward Byrne was born at 2 Peel Grove in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England on 16 August 1867.

He was the son of William Byrne (b. 1830) and Jane Furlong Adams (b. 1835); his father, a vellum binder, was native to London whilst his mother hailed from Co Cork, Ireland and the two were married in Bishopsgate, London on 14 January 1856. 

He had eight known siblings: William (b. 1858), Jane Furlong (b. 1860), Eliza Rebecca (1861-1931), Ellen (b. 1863), Christopher (b. 1865), Charles (b. 1869), Thomas David (b. 1873) and Roger John (b. 1875).

James and his family appear on the 1871 census and at that time were still listed as living at 2 Peel Grove, Bethnal Green. The 1881 census would show the family living at 64 Sewardstone Road in Bethnal Green and James, aged 13, was still a schoolboy whilst his elder siblings were described as assistants in various capacities (stationer/vellum sewer) to his father. Whether James also followed this route is unclear and he would be absent from the 1891 census, possibly indicating that he had commenced at career at sea by that point. His mother, then a widow (his father passed away around 1882) and his brother Roger were listed as living at 25 Autcliffe (?) Road, Mile End. His mother passed away the following year aged 58.

James would not appear on either the 1901 census or the 1911 census; he was shown working aboard Majestic for several voyages in 1907 and gave his address as 218 Balfour Road, Ilford, Essex, the home address of his married sister Eliza Rebecca and her husband Sidney Herbert Ray. 

When he signed-on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 Byrne gave his age as 38 and his address as 218 Balfour Road, Ilford, Essex, His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a bedroom steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.

James Byrne died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

His sister Eliza, who was childless, had been married in 1887 to Sidney Herbert Ray, a teacher. She remained in Essex for the rest of her life and died in 1931, her husband following her in 1939.

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr James Edward Byrne
Age: 44 years 7 months and 30 days*  (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: at 218 Balfour Road Ilford, Essex, England
Last Ship: Olympic
Embarked: Southampton on Thursday 4th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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