The ‘violent’ death of Daniel Ellis Roe

Daniel Ellis Roe, born in at 8 Great Crown Court, Westminster, on 7th March 1853, was the second child and eldest son of Daniel Roe and Mary Ann Blanch. In 1871, age 17 and one year after his mother’s death, he was already working as an engineer, and living (along with two of his sisters) with his grandmother. Ten years later, we find him listed in the 1881 census record for the Royal Engineers camp in Aldershot, Hampshire.

Daniel died on 25th January 1890 at the age of 36. I have just acquired a copy of his death certificate, which describes him as an ‘engineer in electric works’, suggesting that he was no longer a serving soldier. His death occurred at 93 Manor Street, Chelsea and its cause is described as ‘Violent – Fall from a ladder’. It seems that the circumstances of Daniel’s death were sufficient to prompt a coroner’s inquest, held on 29th January. 

It’s unclear whether the accident took place at home or at Daniel’s place of work. Further research is needed to determine whether Manor Street was in a residential area, or if there was an electric works there. It would also be interesting to know what prompted Daniel’s move to Chelsea, and whether he was living with or close to any of his Blanch relations, some of whom were certainly living nearby.

My great grandfather, Joseph Priestley Roe, lost his mother and probably his father when he was still a child. When Joseph was 14, his 16 year old brother John Richard died, and when his oldest brother Daniel died Joseph was a young married man of 27. 

Update

Manor Street (now Chelsea Manor Street) ran north to south, from St. Luke’s church, crossing the King’s Road, to the Thames at Cheyne Walk. The census record for 1891, a year after Daniel’s death, shows that No. 93 had a single inhabitant at that date, one Samuel Jeffery, 26, an engine driver.

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