Friday, 16 March 2012

The Other Victims of the Staplehurst Accident - 1865

The fame of the Staplehurst Accident of 9 June 1865 stems from the fact that Charles Dickens was on the train, travelling back from Folkestone to London with his mistress, Ellen Ternan, and her mother. Naturally, in the wake of the accident Dickens' presence and his subsequent attempts to help the dying and the injured garnered much attention. This is entirely understandable. However, the ten passengers who were killed have largely remained anonymous. They were as follows:

Emma Beaumont - Spinster
Anne Bodinham - Wife of Frederick Bodinham, Solicitor
Charlotte Chaunhay-Faithful - Wife of Faithful, Judge at Bombay
Hannah Cundliff - Wife of Martin Cundliff, Hotel Keeper
James Dunn - Warehouseman
Adam Hampton - Surgeon
Hippolite Mercia - Cook
Amelia Rayner - Wife of Lloyd Rayner, Merchant
Lydia Whitby - Wife of George Whitby, Merchant
Caroline White - Spinster

A quick search of the census found the background of only one of the accident's other victims, Amelia Rayner. Amelia had been born around 1827 and lived in 1861 lived with her husband, George - listed in the census as being a 'General Broker' - in Toxteth Park, Liverpool. They had five children, Lloyd Jun. (6 years), Ellen A. (5 years), Maurice E. (3 years), Amelia May (1 year) and Hugh (5 months). Clearly Lloyd's business was successful, and the family were employing five servants, which shows the family's not inconsiderable wealth. Furthermore, it would seem from the 1871 census that George and Amelia had another son, Norman, who had been born in 1865, just before the accident. However, by 1871 Lloyd had found love again, and had married Anne S. Brown in 1868.

If you would like to know more about the Staplehurst accident, last year I wrote a post for the main Turnip Rail site HERE.

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