A Difficult Year

1894 was an anno horribilis (horrible year) for Edward Weddall, loosing both his mother and wife within a few months. Eliza, his mother died in January and Emily his wife in May, leaving little time recover from one until the other occurred. He had some sibling living around the Pocklington area of Yorkshire but by and large their existence was a cold comfort to the sea captain as he was at sea most of the time.

The first Mrs Weddall’s gravestone in Hedon, Yorkshire








His loneliness was not destined to last forever, thought it took him some time to remarry, more than a decade in fact. Before hand a strange twist of fate would lead him to the second Mrs. Weddall. Some time after his first wife’s death¬† Captain Weddall contracted a tropical disease that caused him to retire from the life at sea. It was during his recuperation at Menetone, in the French Riviera that he stumbled up the vibrant young Irish woman, Miss Emily Burke.

Emily was staying at Hotel Splendid, in Mentone, when she made a collection for the families of the victims of the Kingstown Lifeboat Disaster. The sea tragedy occurred the previous Christmas Eve. As a fellow seafarer Edward Weddall made a generous contribution to the fund, which Emily praised in her letter enclosing the collection to the Irish Times. He may have been stuck in some way by the lively young Irish nurse, whose generosity and empathy towards others stood out. Their romance was a slow burning one, which would take more than ten years till they married.

Photo of Burnby Churchyard. Courtesy of http://www.pocklingtonhistory.com

York Herald 11 January 1894


Special thanks to Andrew Sefton, Archivist
Image of Pocklington Church 1844 courtesy of http://www.pocklingtonhistory.com
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