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b. 1853 – d. Unknown

FOHC Intro

This is the story of Edward COTTRELL. This is NOT the Edward Cottrell (b.1890) who was buried aged 54, on 31 March 1944 at Horton Cemetery in grave number 2592b. This story is of a man with the same name who also resided at the same asylum. We all make mistakes, and it was by mistake we researched the wrong Edward, but due to the time and effort put in, we made an exception and decided to publish his story anyway as an honorary guest. The actual Edward buried in the cemetery was buried in 1944, and so falls within the 100yr rule restricting access to most of his records, he may even be related.

Author Notes

The name COTTRELL is sometimes transcribed as COTTERELL / COTTERAL throughout the records, but research has been done to ensure the right line of enquiry is followed.

Early Life

Edward Cottrell is born on the 19th May 1853 in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England to parents John COTTRELL and Emily BUTLER, address recorded at the time as Nichols Street.

John and Emily married in Shoreditch, Middlesex ~1850 and from what I can locate so far they went on to have at least 9 children. All except the oldest John, who was born in Shoreditch, were born in the neighbouring borough of Bethnal Green. John ~1851, Emma ~1852, Edward 1853, Matilda ~1855, Henry ~1857, Samuel ~1861, Sarah ~1862 and twins Mary Ann and Elizabeth ~1865.

Orders of Removal dated 1856

John worked as a Varnish Maker and Upholster to support his family and they moved from Shoreditch to Bethnal Green where they can be located on the Selected Poor Law Removal and Settlement Records – Orders of Removal dated 1856,

Emma COTTERAL, 26 of 34 Trafalgar Street was marr’d at Shoreditch to present husband John in 1850 – Certe at home have 4 children John 5½, Emma 4, Edward 2½ and Matilda 8-months. Husband never must see his mother Mrs Cottrell 29 Old Nichols St.


The 1861 census has the family living at 5 Princes Court, Bethnal Green, London & Middlesex, England where Edward is recorded as an 8-year-old living with his parents John and Emma and his siblings John, Emma, Henry, and Samuel.

Sadly, the family did not go without tragedy when between 1860 to 1865 they saw the passing of 4 daughters, Matilda in 1859 aged 3 years, Sarah in 1863 aged 11 months, Mary Ann in 1865 aged 1 month, and her twin sister Elizabeth that same year aged 5 months.

Edward was next located on the 1881 census recorded as a single 23-year-old Upholsterer boarding at 49 Hassard Street, Bethnal Green, London & Middlesex, England with the Oliphant Family, head of house John Oliphant was a married 66 year old Gas Fitter living with his wife Rebecca their son Frederick and granddaughter Emily Whitten, also boarding with the family at the time was Richard Jones.

The following year Edward married Emma Elizabeth Meek on the 27th March 1882 at the St Peter’s Church in the Parish of Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England, Edward was recorded as a 28 year old bachelor from Hackney working as an Upholster, father listed as John Cottrell (deceased) also an Upholster. Emma was recorded as a 21 year old Spinster, father listed as Richard Meek, witnesses to the marriage where Joseph Platt and Alice Mary Meek.

A year after their marriage, daughter Emma Elizabeth was born in Middlesex, England and 2 years later another daughter Alice Minnie was born on the 3rd of July 1885 in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England.

In the late 1800s, it seems Edward’s health started to deteriorate; according to his reception order, he was originally admitted to Banstead Asylum on the 8th September 1888 aged 30 years old. (The 1888 lunacy admittance records are not available). He is recorded as a married Upholsterer who had previously been at the Bethnal Green Infirmary, and this was his first attack. His next of Kin is his wife Emma at 82 Chisenhale Rd, Roman Rd, Bow.

Wife Emma was ~6-months pregnant with their 3rd daughter at the time of her husband’s admission, and Charlotte was born 3 months later on the 29th of December 1888 in Bethnal Green, England.

Baptism Charlotte Matilda, Jan 25th 1889, Born Dec 29 1888

Sadly, it would appear that Edward never returned home to his family and saw the rest of his days inside an Asylum. He is located on the 1891 census, as a married 32 year old former-upholsterer, admitted to the London County Lunatic Asylum in Banstead, Epsom, Surrey, England.

He stayed at Banstead for ~11years, until transfer to the Manor Asylum (often referred to as Horton) in Epsom, Surrey, England on the 21st August 1899 aged 41 years old.

Admitted 21 Aug 1899 – Discharged “Not Improved” 3 mar 1902

Has a delusion that people make remarks about him & say he has committed crimes. His picture has been taken & past [sic] about the streets. Thinks he will soon be hanged.

Fact indicating insanity observed by myself at time of examination viz.:-

His diagnosis: Dementia.


The 1901 census records Edward as a married 42-year-old Pauper patient admitted to the Manor Asylum in Epsom, Surrey, England, occupation listed as Upholsterer. During his time at Manor he was recorded as quiet and well behaved often muttering to himself and throwing his arms around, with no improvement in his mental health.

The lunacy admittance record for Edward in 1902 has many corrections, but it is confirmed by the Manor case book that he was transferred to Horton Asylum “Not Improved” on 3rd March 1902. The lunacy record, very confusingly states that he was “presumably discharged or died before 1935”. Clearly an error was made in the record keeping of Edward’s whereabouts, and unfortunately we do not have the Horton records to check.

Admission Horton Asylum, 3 Mar 1902

Edward is next located on the 1911 census as a married 53-year-old patient still at the Horton Asylum in Epsom, Surrey, England, occupation listed as Upholsterer.

We find from the Workhouse Admission and Discharge records of London Asylums that Edward was transferred from Horton to the Hanwell Asylum on the 26th March 1915.

Discharged Horton to Hanwell
Admitted Hanwell from Horton

Unfortunately, it’s not known what happened to Edward after 1915, no further records or any record of death can be located to date. We have entered a period of time where the record become locked from public view which makes it harder to research.

He is mentioned on his daughter Alice marriage record in 1926, not marked as deceased so we are assuming he was still alive around this time.

What of the family?

After Edward’s admission to the Asylum, his wife Emma, with 3 young children to support, took on work as a Tailoress.

In 1901, the census shows wife Emma E. (40) working and living at 82 Chisenhale Road with her three daughters, Emma (18), Alice (15), and Charlotte (12).

The youngest daughter Charlotte can be located in School Admission and Discharge records firstly admitted to the Olga St. School in Bow, on the 21st March 1892 aged 3, and then at the Cranbrook Road School on the 3rd November 1896 aged 7. Her mother is listed as next of kin and father listed at the Lunatic Asylum.

Emma and her daughters continued to live in Bethnal Green until their move to Essex where they are then located on the 1911 census at 12 Leyton Park Rd, Leyton, Essex, Emma recorded as married 50-year-old still living with her 3 daughters in their 20s.

1911 census

Charlotte the youngest daughter of Edward and Emma continued to live with her mother working as a Tailoress. Sadly, she passed away ~1915 at the age of 26 never having married.

By 1921 Emma was recorded on the census as a married 60-year-old now living at 4 Colville Houses, Kensington, London & Middlesex, England with her daughter Alice Minnie, employed as a Tailoress for Cook Wholesales at 59 61 Sabermasla St.

Emma passed away on the 9th January 1928 in Leyton, Essex, England aged 67 years old from Angina Pectoris, an inquest into her death was held on the 12th January 1928 by Coroner Ambrose.

Oldest daughter Emma completed her Nursing and Midwifery Training from 1906 to 1915, officially being appointed on the Roll of Queen’s Nurses on the 1st Jan 1915, she can be found on the 1921 census working as a Trained Nurse for the Reed Family at 6 Vicarage Road, Leyton, Essex & London, England.
Alice continued to live with her mother working as a Tailoress until her marriage on the 23rd Jan 1926, listed as a 40 year old Spinster she married Samuel George Woollon a 54 year old widow, I can locate one daughter to this marriage, Dorothy Ellen Woollon born in 1928, Alice passed away ~1966 aged 81 years old.

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