Captain of RMS Titanic
Edward John Smith was born to Edward Smith, and Catherine Hancock, born Marsh, who married on 2 August 1841 in Shelton, Staffordshire. Edward attended the Etruria British School until 1863 when he went to work at the Etruria Forge where he operated a steam hammer. In 1867 at the age of 17 he began his sea apprenticeship on A Gibson & Co. of Liverpool vessel called Senator Weber.
Obtained his Certificate of Competency as EXTRA MASTER “By Order of the Board of Trade, this 25th day of February 1888."
Captain Smith merely ordered the lookouts to be vigilant, before retiring to his sea-cabin at 21:20, leaving instructions that he was to be called if there were any significant changes. He did not order any course alteration or reduction in speed. They thought that they would enter ice in about two hours, yet Smith went to his bunk and fell asleep!
The final view of the British Inquiry under Lord Mersey was that on 14 April 1912 Captain Smith had two safe options before him: “The one was to stand well to the southward instead of turning up to a westerly course; the other was to reduce speed materially as night approached. He did neither. Why, then, did the Master persevere in his course and maintain his speed? The answer is to be found in the evidence. It was shown that for many years past, indeed, for a quarter of a century or more, the practice of liners using this track when in the vicinity of ice at night had been in clear weather to keep the course, to maintain the speed and to trust to a sharp look-out to enable them to avoid the danger. This practice, it was said, had been justified by experience, no casualties having resulted from it. I accept the evidence as to the practice and as to the immunity from casualties which is said to have accompanied it. But the event has proved the practice to be bad.”
Lord Mersey went on to conclude that Captain Smith “was not trying to make any record passage or indeed any exceptionally quick passage. He was not trying to please anybody, but was exercising his own discretion in the way he thought best. He made a mistake, a very grievous mistake, but one in which, in face of the practice and of past experience, negligence cannot he said to have had any part; and in the absence of negligence it is, in my opinion, impossible to fix Captain Smith with blame. It is, however, to be hoped that the last has been heard of the practice and that for the future it will be abandoned for what we now know to be more prudent and wiser measures.”
Father Edward Smith
Mother Catherine Marsh Hancock
Edward John Smith, RD was a British Merchant Navy officer. He served as master of numerous White Star Line vessels. He is best known as the captain of the RMS Titanic, perishing when the ship sank on its maiden voyage. 
* Smith-49339 was created by Kitty Smith on 03 Aug 2013.
* Smith-58615 was created by Ciara Humphreys on 14 Feb 2014.
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Edward John [Edward John Smith] Age: 1 Estimated birth year: abt 1850 Relation: Son Father's name: Edward Smith Mother's name: Catherine Smith Gender: Male Where born: Hanley, Staffordshire, England Civil Parish: Stoke upon Trent Ecclesiastical parish: Wellington Phillimore Ecclesiastical Parish Maps: View related Ecclesiastical Parish Town: Hanley County/Island: Staffordshire Country: England Registration district: Stoke Upon Trent Sub-registration district: Hanley ED, institution, or vessel: 1f Neighbors: View others on page Household schedule number: 51 Piece: 2004 Folio: 139 Page Number: 14 Household Members: Name Age Edward Smith 46 Catherine Smith 42 Edward John 1 Thurza Hancock 16 Source Citation Class: HO107; Piece: 2004; Folio: 139; Page: 14; GSU roll: 87406
Edward S Smith [Edward J Smith] Age: 10 Estimated birth year: 1851 Relation: Son Father's name: Edward Smith Mother's name: Catherine Smith Gender: Male Where born: Hanley, Staffordshire, England Civil Parish: Hanley Ecclesiastical parish: Wellington County/Island: Staffordshire Country: England Registration district: Stoke Upon Trent Sub-registration district: Hanley ED, institution, or vessel: 7 Neighbors: View others on page Household schedule number: 33 Piece: 1932 Folio: 7 Page Number: 7 Household Members: Name Age Edward Smith 56 Catherine Smith 51 Edward S Smith 10 Georg J Hancock 2 Ellen Pivat 22 Source Citation Class: RG 9; Piece: 1932; Folio: 7; Page: 7; GSU roll: 542889
Name: Edward J Smith Age: 21 Estimated birth year: abt 1850 Relation: Son Mother's name: Catherine Smith Gender: Male Where born: Hanley, Staffordshire, England Civil Parish: Hanley Ecclesiastical parish: Wellington Town: Hanley County/Island: Staffordshire Country: England Registration district: Stoke Upon Trent Sub-registration district: Hanley ED, institution, or vessel: 7 Household schedule number: 50 Piece: 2857 Folio: 38 Page Number: 11 Household Members: Name Age Catherine Smith 62 Joseph Hancock 38 Thyrza Hassington 32 James W S Hassington 9 Anne M C Hassington 4 Edward J Smith 21 Source Citation Class: RG10; Piece: 2857; Folio: 38; Page: 11; GSU roll: 836382
Name: Edward J. Smith Age: 31 Estimated birth year: abt 1850 Relationship to Head: Lodger Gender: Male Where born: Hanley Civil Parish: Toxteth Park County/Island: Lancashire Country: England Street address: 20 Berkley St Occupation: Mariner Registration district: Toxteth Park ED, institution, or vessel: 9 Neighbors: View others on page Piece: 3635 Folio: 92 Page Number: 14 Household Members: Name Age Georgina Bradshaw 41 Laura Bradshaw 16 Agnes M. Williamson 26 Edward J. Smith 31 Arthur H. Speck 19 Frank A. Hancock 18 George J. Hancock 22 Elizabeth Hart 18 Source Citation Class: RG11; Piece: 3635; Folio: 92; Page: 14; GSU roll: 1341870
Name: Edward John Smith Registration Year: 1887 Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar Registration district: Warrington Parishes for this Registration District: View Ecclesiastical Parishes associated with this Registration District Inferred County: Lancashire Volume: 8c Page: 231 Records on Page: Name Jane Blackledge Thomas William Boardman Sarah Eleanor Pennington Edward John Smith Source Information FreeBMD. England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915
Name: Edward J Smith Age: 39 Estimated birth year: abt 1852 Relation: Head Spouse's Name: Sarah Smith Gender: Male Where born: Walsall, Staffordshire, England Civil Parish: Walsall Foreign Ecclesiastical parish: St Michael and All Angels Town: Walsall County/Island: Staffordshire Country: England Registration district: Walsall Sub registration district: Walsall ED, institution, or vessel: 43 Neighbors: View others on page Piece: 2256 Folio: 72 Page Number: 38 Household Members: Name Age Edward J Smith 39 Sarah Smith 29 Edward W Smith 10 Thomas F Smith 8 Elsie Smith 2 Source Citation Class: RG12; Piece: 2256; Folio: 72; Page: 38; GSU roll: 6097366
Name: Edward J Smith Age: 50 Estimated birth year: abt 1851 Relation to Head: Visitor Gender: Male Birth Place: Hanley, Staffordshire, England Civil Parish: Runcorn Search Photos: Search for 'Runcorn' in the UK City, Town and Village Photos collection Ecclesiastical parish: Runcorn All Saints Town: Runcorn County/Island: Cheshire Country: England Registration district: Runcorn Sub-registration district: Runcorn ED, institution, or vessel: 15 Neighbors: View others on page Piece: 3335 Folio: 117 Page Number: 28 Household schedule number: 181 Household Members: Name Age Thomas Jones 47 Ada Jones 37 Nora Jones 11 Edward J Smith 50 Sarah E Smith 39 Helen M Smith 2 Eliza A Carroll 18 Source Citation Class: RG13; Piece: 3335; Folio: 117; Page: 28
Name: Edward John Smith Age in 1911: 60 Estimated birth year: abt 1851 Relation to Head: Head Gender: Male Birth Place: Hanley, Staffordshire, England Civil Parish: Portswood Search Photos: Search for 'Portswood' in the UK City, Town and Village Photos collection County/Island: Hampshire Country: England Street address: Wood Head, Winn Rd, Southampton Marital Status: Married Occupation: Master Mariner R D R N R Registration district: Southampton Registration District Number: 99 Sub-registration district: Southampton Eastern ED, institution, or vessel: 13 Household schedule number: 11 Piece: 5947 Household Members: Name Age Edward John Smith 60 Sarah Elaud Smith 47 Helen Melville Smith 13 Thomas Martin 22 Florence Mary Cury 12 Ann Brett 27 Mabel Lucy Sukper 22 Source Citation Class: RG14; Piece: 5947; Schedule Number: 11
Name: Edwd J Smith Estimated birth year: abt 1853 Age: 59 Birth Location: Hanley Ship Name: Titanic Source Information Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Registers and Indexes of Births, Marriages and Deaths of Passengers and Seamen at Sea. BT 334/52 and 334/53. The National Archives, Surrey, England.
Name: Edward John Smith Death Date: 15 Apr 1912 Death Place: At Sea Probate Date: 15 Nov 1912 Registry: London, England Source Information Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England
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