Mr Richard William Smith

Mr Richard William Smith was born on 11 June 1854 in Camberwell, London, England and he was baptised on 9 July that same year in St George the Martyr Church, Southwark.

He was the son of Richard Smith (b. 1831), a hair dresser, and Marianne Croxford (1829); his father was a native of Middlesex and his mother was from Henley, Oxfordshire and they had married on 14 November 1853. He had two siblings: Frederick Alfred (b. 1856) and Henry (b. 1858)

On the 1861 census Richard is living at 2 Williams Place, Newington, Surrey. The address was The Rose and Crown public house owned by his father. His father died sometime before 1871 and he, his widowed mother and siblings are living at 5 Emanuel Terrace in Camberwell on the 1871 census; Richard is now listed as a clerk in the tea trade. His mother was remarried in 1875 to Christopher Megson and would go on to have several more children. On the 1881 census Richard is listed as a visitor at 29 Broadway, West Ham, Essex. He doesn't seem to appear on the 1891 census but his mother his living at 69 Somerleyton (?) Road in Lambeth, where Richard appears on the 1901 census where he is unmarried and still described as a Tea merchant. By the time of the 1911 census Richard shows up with his now widowed mother at 53 Stanthorpe Road, Streatham, Surrey--an address he would live at for the rest of his life--and Richard is still working in the Tea trade and remains unmarried.

He boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a first class passenger (ticket number 113056 which cost £26), occupying cabin A-19; it is assumed he was travelling on business. Travelling with him as as as Queenstown was a family friend, Mrs Emily Nichols, who was travelling to join her husband in Ireland.

Smith died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.

His estate, worth £1708, 6s, 5d, was administered to a widow named Susan Hepburn, the identity of whom is not clear.


Articles and Stories

Sheffield Daily Telegraph (1912) 

Comment and discuss

  1. Leigh Anthony Ross said:

    I was wondering if anyone knew the age of Richard William Smith when he sailed on the Titanic? Thank-you

  2. Craig Stringer said:

    Hi Leigh, Richard was 57 years old, and had been born in Newington, Surrey. Regards Craig

  3. Leigh Anthony Ross said:

    Thank-you Craig, where did you get that information from? If you don't mind me asking.

  4. Karrie Wright said:

    yeah, I looked but it wasn't on his page. Karrie

  5. Craig Stringer said:

    Like many other people I have collected information for many years, in fact it can be quite surprising where you can find something new. Michael Standart has said something similar on Herman Klaber's thread. Regards Craig

  6. Phillip Adams said:

    I was lead to this board by a google search on the above name in the course of some family history research. My mother's maternal grandfather was named Richard William Smith. He disappeared from the family before WWI, abandoning his wife, Maria (nee Wilmot) and 3 children. They lived at 38 Noyne Road, Streatham. They had been married on Feb 3, 1894, at St. Leonard's Church in Streatham. At that time they lived at Sternhold Avenue, Streatham. My Mum recalls that even into the 1930's, her Gran would scan the death notices for news of him. He was originally a cabinet-maker, then a pianoforte... Read full post

  7. Brian Ahern said:

    Hi Phillip, In the Eaton & Haas book, there is a photo of a telegram from this Richard Smith's brother on the subject of Richard's body being found. There was also a copy of a physical description of him sent to Halifax from his alma mater, Bowdoin College in Maine, USA, from which he had graduated not long before. So it looks like his family was accounted for, and that he was indeed a young American travelling with his father who never got a chance to start a family. I'm afraid your search must continue. Good luck!

  8. Lester Mitcham said:

    Hello Brian, Which E&H book? - You say Richard Smith was "a young American travelling with his father". It seems that either you or E&H are confusing Richard Smith with Richard White.

  9. Lester Mitcham said:

    Hello Phillip, According to Craig Stringer , Richard Smith was 57. He was born in Newington Surrey the son of Marianne Smith, who remarried. Her new married name was Megson. Richard was a tea merchant working for Reinach-Nephews & Co. He had been married, but in 1912 was a widower living with his widowed mother at 53 Stanhope Rd, Streatham, Surrey. His mother died in March 1914. Richard's estate went to a widow: Susan Hepburn. You can find a photograph now identified as being that of Richard Smith and Mrs Nichols in a number of books. Hope... Read full post

  10. Brian Ahern said:

    Whoops! That is what I did. It was Richard White I was thinking of. Apologies!

Reply Watch Thread


Gavin Bell, UK

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2017) Richard William Smith (ref: #271, last updated: 28th July 2017, accessed 16th April 2021 16:16:48 PM)

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