Recently I found a database on Ancestry that led me to more details about the death of John Needham. He died on September 27th, 1890, at age 39. There had been a listing on the BMD which I thought may have been him, so I had saved it to my shoebox of odds and ends on Ancestry, but the new burial record I found now confirms it was. The BMD listed him as dying in Strand, London which did not make sense to me considering he lived in Plumstead. The burial record for Plumstead notes that he died at Charing Cross Hospital, which is in the district of Strand, London (see map below). Now we have a date of death and I placed an order for the death certificate and am anxiously awaiting it to see if there are any other details listed, such as a cause of death.

Burial Records for Plumstead, September 1890, Source: London, England, Deaths and Burials 1813-1980 database,

Image of Charing Cross Hospital in 1865, Source: see image above.

It must have been extremely difficult for Elizabeth to lose her husband and be a single mother to seven children. Her youngest daughter Beatrice was still a baby at this time.  In 1890, there were not many options for women when it came to occupations, but Elizabeth was listed as a self employed Confectioner in the 1891 UK Census. The Census page does not list a date in which it was taken, but from Ernest’s age it must have been sometime between January and May 1891, merely a few months after John Needham’s death. In the census, the two oldest sons John (17) and Andrew (15) had jobs as general labourer and port office boy, respectively. The middle children, Frederick (12), Elizabeth (10), Ernest (7), and Leonard (5) were scholars.

Elizabeth Needham's family in 1891, Plumstead, Source: 1891 UK Census,