Encyclopedia Titanica

Robert Scovell

Mr Robert Scovell was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England over the spring months of 1857.

He was the son of John Scovell (1811-1876) and Elizabeth Parry (1813-1875), both Hampshire natives who were married in 1847. Robert had five known siblings: John (b. 1849), William (b. 1850), Henry (b. 1851), Thomas (b. 1854) and Charles (b. 1855).

Robert first appears on the 1861 census as a three-year-old living at Weston Farm, St Mary, South Stoneham, Hampshire and his father was described as a farmer and is still present at this address on the 1871 census.

He was married in St Mary's Church, Reigate, Surrey on 7 September 1880 to Sarah Jane Elphick (b. 1850 in Hellingly, Sussex, daughter of Alfred Elphick and Mary Ann Smith); he was then described as a tram conductor and a resident of Greenwich, Kent. The recently married couple first appear on the 1881 census living at 7 Argyle Road, Preston, Sussex and Robert's profession was listed as a time keeper. They would go on to have four children, two surviving infancy: Richard Parry (b. 1887) and Margaret Louisa (b. 1892).

On the 1891 census Robert is absent but his wife and son are listed at the home of Sarah's parents, Alfred and Mary Elphick in Reigate, Surrey. He was possibly already working at sea by that point but this is not certain; he first appears on crew manifests in 1898 when serving as a waiter aboard Campania. Absent again on the 1901 census, Robert's wife and daughter are now living in Dorothy Villa, Heysham Road, Shirley, Hampshire. On the 1911 census his wife and daughter are living at 141 Foundry Lane, Freemantle, Southampton and his wife was registered as totally blind.

When he signed-on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 Robert gave his address as 141 Foundry Lane, Freemantle, Southampton and his age as 42. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a second class steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.

Robert Scovell died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. The following death notice appeared in the Hampshire Independent (unknown date):

SCOVELL--April 15, at sea, on board s.s. Titanic, Robert, the dearly loved husband of Sarah Scovell, 141, Foundry Lane, Freemantle, Southampton. Deeply mourned by his sorrowing wife and daughter. "Nearer my God to Thee".

Sarah Jane Scovell sadly passed away on 8 December 1913; her estate of £140, 9s, 6d was left to her daughter.

His son Richard died aged 28 in Portsmouth in 1916, having never married.

His daughter Margaret remained a spinster for the rest of her life and later lived at Charlton Road in Southampton. She passed away in Southampton Borough Hospital on 3 October 1934 aged 42. Her estate, valued at £646, 1s, 4d was left to cousins.

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
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Comment and discuss

  1. Mandy Le Boutillier

    Can anyone assist me with additional information about Second Class Steward Robert Scovell?

  2. David Huffaker

    I have him born in 1871 Ryde, Isle of Wight, wife Sarah Jane - daughterMargaret Louise ; - father:Robert also born in Isle O Wight (50 in 1881).

  3. Mandy Le Boutillier

    Hi David - Many thanks for this. I hadn't heard of the Isle of Wight connection before. I'll pass it on to Australian friend of mine who is a relative of Mr Scovell.

  4. Chris Dohany

    As David indicated, the younger Robert's age is given as 10 in the 1881 census. However, the 1871 census lists him at 18 mos, placing his birth in approx October 1869 which coincides with his age as given on Titanic's articles (42). His mother, the former Eliza Love, was born in Cowes c. 1845-47 and died in 1876. Robert Sr. and Eliza appear to have had three surviving children — Robert being the eldest, followed by William (c. 1872) and Ernest (c. 1874). The 1901 census shows a Sarah Scovell, aged 57, with a 9-year-old daughter Margaret L. living in Shirley, Southampton. If these ages... Read full post

  5. Mandy Le Boutillier

    Thank very much Chris - another piece in the puzzle!

Reply Watch Thread

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Robert Scovell
Age: 55 years (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Sarah Jane Elphick
Last Residence: at 141 Foundry LaneFreemantle, Hampshire, England
Last Ship: Olympic
Embarked: Southampton on Thursday 4th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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