Edward was born on 15th March 1853 in Whitechapel and baptised on 10th April at St Botolph Without, in Aldgate. His parents were Edward Shortland and Maria née Jones. They had married in October 1852 at St Leonards Church in Shoreditch. Edward’s occupation at that time was a poulterer.
Edward James was the eldest child of ten children:
Edward James 1853 – 1908
Maria Sarah 1854
John William 1856 -1858
David 1858 – 1912
Louisa Jane 1864
By the 1861 Census, Edward senior’s occupation is that of a gunmaker. I have not been able to establish who he may have been working for. Despite extensive searching, I have failed to find Edward James on the 1871 Census.
On the 16th September 1877, Edward a bachelor, married Margaret Wilks née Ducker, a 27year old widow at St Marks, Whitechapel. Edward describes himself as an accountant.
Margaret had previously married Charles Wilks in March 1873 and was sadly widowed in December 1873.
In the 1881 Census, Edward James is again missing but Margaret is with her mother in Bishopsgate, giving her occupation as a mantle maker.
In 1891, both Edward and Margaret were together in Regent Court, Whitechapel. His occupation was a dock labourer and she continues as a mantle maker.
Into the asylum
In 1897, Edward was admitted to Claybury Asylum and Margaret was in the Stepney Workhouse, suffering from ‘Eczema Capitus’. It notes that her husband is in Claybury Asylum.
On the 1901 Census, Edward remains an inpatient at Claybury and Margaret is a visitor to the Weston family. She is described as single. I have not found a relationship between the Weston family and Margaret.
In 1907, Edward was transferred to Long Grove, dying on 20th March 1908, his diagnosis was carcinoma of the stomach.