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Victims of the steamboat disaster on the Thames River, near London, Ontario, Canada May 24th, 1881





List published in The Dominion Annual Register and Review, 1880-1881 (published in 1882), page 262


Indexed here in alphabetical order.

Surname, first name, occupation, age.






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ABBOTT, Hodson G. B. - 9y 6m 24d

ABEY, Harvey – 12

AMSBURY, Minnie – 17

ANDERSON, Harry – 8

ANDERSON, Henry – 10

ASHBERRY, Jane, g'man's wife – 58y 6m 3d

BAILEY, Rosetta – 18

BAKER, Annie May, dressmaker – 15

BASKERVILLE, John – 26

BATZNER, Ida – 17y 6m

BEATON, Henry A. - 7

BEATON, Lilian – 14

BOOMER, Charles – 14

BOX, Emma Jane, servant – 22

BREEZE, Thomas – 32

BURNS, Ida M. L. - 11

BURNS, Jennie M. - 13

CHAPMAN, Eliza – 25

COLE, A. - 7y 6m

COLVILLE, Samuel – 13

CONROY, Henry E. - 16

COOPER, Fannie D. - 19

CORNISH, Ellen G., milliner – 19

COUGHLIN, Edward – 9

CRADDOCK, May – 18

CURRAN, John, labourer – 50

DARCY, James, moulder – 28

DEACON, William S. - 17y 6d

DEADMAN, Alice M., milliner – 21

DELLING, Daniel – 25

DENNIS, Hannah – 28

DIVER, Alberta Ismena – 2y 6m

DIVER, Bingham – 11

DIVER, Hiram – 27

DIVER, Wealthy M., matron – 27

DUBEAU, Emma, matron – 30

DUBEAU, Nellie – 3

DYER, Bertie – 5

DYER, Margaret, matron – 47

DYER, W. H., clerk – 45

EDMUNDS, S. W., confectioner – 15

EDMUNDS, Wm. C., confectioner – 13

ELLIOTT, Jessie – 12

EVANS, Albert E. - 1y 2m

EVANS, Elizabeth, matron – 35

EVANS, Fanny E. - 9y 5m

EVANS, George W. - 2y 10m

EVANS, Samuel – 6y 6m

FISHER, Emma Jane – 8

FITZGIBBON, Richard – 14y 7m

FOXTON, Jane E., teacher – 26y 5m

FOXTON, Mary Anna, teacher – 22y 10m

FRYER, Alfred Robt., plumber – 23

FRYER, Matilda, matron – 21

FRYER, William, clerk – 60

GAHAN, Joseph, printer - 17

GIBLING, Walter J. - 9

GLASS, Willie D., clerk – 23

GLAVIN, Mary Ann, matron – 27

GLAVIN, May – 4

GORMAN, Charles – 13

GRAFTON, Mary Ann – 12

GRAHAM, Mary E. - 10

GRAHAM, Simon P., jun.- 12

GRIFFITHS, J. A. - 17

HALL – 1

HALL, Benjamin, cabinetmaker – 25

HALL, George, clerk – 29

HALL, Mary, matron – 23

HANDY (HARDY?), Mrs. H., matron – 30

HARDY, Nellie – 3

HARDY, William

HARPER, David, hostler – 47

HARRISON, Harry – 8y 6m

HAY, John, school teacher - 23

HAYMAN, Charles W. - 2

HAYMAN, Henry, bricklayer – 37

HAYMAN, Mary Jane, matron – 37

HAZEN, Ida

HERON, Mary Ann – 20

HINES, Mrs.

HOGAN, Minnie – 12

JOHNSON, T. E. - 7y 9m

JONES, Flora A. - 13

JONES, Francis P. – 7

JONES, Lizzie E. - 15

KELLY, John, laborer – 24

KENDRICK, Maria E., dressmaker – 24

KILBURN, Amelia, matron – 20

LAUGHLIN or LANGHLIN, Eddie

LAWSON, Elosia – 21

LECLAIRE, John – 15

LISTER, Thomas – 16

MADDEN, Elizabeth – 13

MADDEN, Mary, servant – 16

MAGEE, Harvey – 13

MAJOR, Charles Edward – 12

MALONEY, Delia, dressmaker – 22

MARHAM, Rosetta – 8

MATTHEWS, Annie, matron – 23

McBRIDE, William, Asse'r of London – 64

McCARTY, John – 11y 6m

McELLISTRUM, Julia Ann, confectioner – 21

McINTOSH, Adeline F. - 11

McKAY, Gertrude – 18

McLENNAN, Mary A., matron – 39

McNORGAN, Eliza – 22

McPHERSON, Mary – 15

McPHERSON, Mary – 15

McVICAR, J.

MEREDITH, John W. C., clk. of D. Ct. - 72

MIDDLETON, Hannah – 17

MIDDLETON, Janet – 24

MILLMAN, Ontario H. McKay – 8

MILLMAN, Turville H. McKay – 6

MILLMAN, Wm. H. McKay, com. Trav. - 39

MOONEY, Fred. - 17

MORISSON, William James – 4

MORISSON, Willie – 16

MORRISON, John – 14

MUSTILL, Pricilla – 11

NATTHEWS, G. W., infant – 2y 9m

NIXON, Wm. - 14

NUKINS, George

O'BRIEN, Thomas, labourer – 19

O'CONNELL, Mary – 17

ORONHYATEKHA, W. H.

PENDERGAST, Hannah, matron – 36

PENDERGAST, John, mechanic – 36

PERKIN, J. - 9y 8m

PIKE, Mrs.

PILE, Samuel, baker – 23

PILKEY, Joseph – 16

PRESCOTT, Emma – 14

PRESCOTT, Nellie – 13

QUINN, Mary – 15

ROBERTSON, Jas., Man. Bank B.N.A. - 40

ROE, Frederick. labourer - 17

SCOTT, Jane, matron – 58

SHANE, Henry – 12y 5m

SHAYRE, Alfred, brewer – 25

SHIPLEY, L. - 26y 7m 7d

SHIPLEY, M – 21y 6m 24d

SHORT, James – 13

SHORT, William – 15

SIDDONS, Charles J. - 13

SKINNER, Lilly, dressmaker – 16

SMART, Elizabeth, matron – 26

SMART, George – 5

SMART, Laura – 8m

SMITH, Edwin Albert, clerk – 14

SMITH, Harvey, storekeeper – 21

SMITH, Mary J. - 45

SMITH, Minnie – 17

SMITH, Orville E. - 21

STEVENS, Mary, matron – 35

STEVENS, Thos. - 5

STEWART, Elizabeth, servant – 18

SWANWICK, Letitia, spinster – 21y 6m

SWAYZIE, Jennie, matron - 18

TATHAM, Dolly – 7

TEIRNEY, Mary, spinster – 14

TREMEER, George P. - 14

TREMEER, Willie M. - 11

VICK, Richard Henry, clerk – 17

WALL, John – 33

WALL, Martha – 26

WALLACE, Thomas J. - 16

WALSH, Joseph, confectioner – 17

WALSH, Patrick, confectioner – 20

WASTIE, Alfred - 14y 9m

WEATHERHEAD, James – 38

WESTMAN, William B. D., clerk – 14

WHALEY, W. H. - 7y 11m

WILLIAMSON, Alice, matron - 29

WILLIAMSON, Edward - 8m

WISEMAN, Glenville G., confectioner – 16

WONNACOTT, William – 14

YOUNG, Joseph, clerk – 12


An account of the tragedy published in The Dominion Annual Register and Review, 1880-1881 (published in 1882), page 261 :


The Queen's Birthday is everywhere loyally and dutifully observed, excursions, sports and other pastimes being the order of the day (…). A gloom is cast over the day's rejoicings by a fearful steamboat disaster on the Thames River, near London, Ont. Excursions had, during the day, taken place on the steamer Victoria, Capt. D. Rankin, from London to Springbank, a place of popular resort, distant about 4 miles down the river, and many hundreds had availed themselves of the opportunity. About 4 p.m. The ill-fated vessel started from London on her fourth and last trip for the day, with a large load of passengers of all ages, variously estimated at from 400 to 600 in number.


All went well on the down trip, though the boat was so heavily laden that she shipped water in small quantities occasionally when the crowd would happen to surge to any particular side. On the return trip, when more than half way home, a slight commotion on the boat, said by some to have been the playful pranks of a number of youth on the lower deck, and by others ascribed to the boat striking on a snag, caused the crown out of curiosity to rush to one side, ans as the side of the boat sank with the additional weight, a volume of water a foot or two in depth poured in on the lower deck, which was crowded with passengers. Instantly the crowd on both decks rushed to the opposite side, and their weight, together with that of the water shipped by the boat, caused a lurch in the opposite direction.


Then it was that the disaster occured. The side of the boat sank in the water to the depth of one or two feet, and while the crowd on the lower deck were struggling to save themselves from slipping down into the river the stanchions supporting the upper decks suddenly gave way, and the whole structure with its load of human beings, came down on those who were below, crushing them on the deck, and rendering escape impossible. It is impossible to describe the scene that followed. The boat continued to settle on its side deeper into the water, taking with it many of the passengers who were stunned by the fall of the upper deck, and were unable to help themselves.


Scores sank in the water without an effort, while many others who were precipitated into the river unhurt rent the air with their vain appeals for that succour which those of the passengers who were safe were powerless to extend to all in a moment. The utmost exertions were put forth to rescue as many of the drowning ones as possible, and many were in this way saved form a watery grave. The total number of the unfortunate victims, according to the official return of the Dist. Registrar, was 181.



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