Mr Robert Scovell

Robert Scovell was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England in 1857 and his birth was registered in the June quarter of that year. 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.

Robert was married in Surrey in 1880 to Sarah Jane Elphick (b. 1850 in Hellingly, Sussex). 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. 1888) 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. 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, he gave his address as 141 Foundry Lane, Freemantle, Southampton and his age as 42. His last ship had been the Olympic. As a second class steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s.

Scovell died in the sinking. 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 in Portsmouth aged 28 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  October 3, 1934 aged 42. Her estate, valued at £646 1s 4d was left to cousins.

Gavin Bell, UK

References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
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