Mr. Charles Edwin Paynter

Charles Paynter Saloon Passenger Lost
Charles Paynter image:  Michael Poirier Collection.
Born Charles Edwin Paynter 5 June 1851 Almwch, Wales, United Kingdom
Died 7 May 1915 (age 63) At sea
Age on Lusitania 63
Ticket number 46133
Cabin number B 99
Traveling with Irene Paynter (daughter)
Body number 37
Interred Bidston Churchyard, Cheshire, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Businessman
Citizenship British
Residence Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
Other name(s) none
Spouse(s) Emily Jane Seager (1882 - 1912, her death)
Charles Paynter (1851 - 1915), 63, was a British national traveling aboard Lusitania with his daughter Irene after a trip to North America. Charles and Irene went down with the ship together, but Irene survived. She believed that her father was killed when wreckage struck him in the water.


Charles Paynter was born on 5 June 1851 in Almwch, Wales to William Cox Paynter and Emma Ellin Dyer.  Charles was baptized at St. Eleth on 29 October 1851.  He was one of five children.  Only his two younger sisters would survive into adulthood, but they and Charles' four daughters never married, that Paynter line died out. The Paynter family came originally from the Redruth area of Cornwall, England.  Jonathan Paynter and Elizabeth Perks moved to Anglesey with their four sons some time after 1740 when copper mining was established at Parys Mountain, near Amlwch.  They had been involved in tin mining in Cornwall.  In the nineteenth century, several members of the Paynter ‘clan’ moved to the Wirral, Liverpool and Widnes, all places which had close connections through trade. Charles' father William was a prosperous member of the community, at various times an engineer, shipbuilder and timber merchant.  Charles appears on the 1861 census in Amlwch as being 7 years old (wrong age).  He was educated privately and became an apprentice with the Liverpool timber firm of Farnworh and Jardine in 1867. In 1881 he was a lodger at a boarding house on Huskisson Street in Liverpool and was shown as a timber salesman, so he had obviously followed in his one of his father’s interests.  In 1873 he joined Alfred Dobell and Company and was at one time President of the Liverpool Timber Trade Association.  He also sat on the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.  He was a Freemason.  In 1911, Charles was elected to the Liverpool Dock Board. Charles Paynter married Emily Jane Seager in Scarborough in 1882.  She was the daughter of  Lieut. General Sir Edward Seager, C.B.  They seem to have spent most of their married life in the Birkenhead area, eventually settling at 17 Kingsmead Road South, Oxton some time after 1906.  They had four daughters, none of whom married.  Violet Florence was born in 1883, followed by Irene Emily, Evelyn Frederica "Freda", and Kathleen. Charles' wife Emily died in 1912 and was buried in the churchyard at Bidston.  There is a large family memorial which also includes Charles Edwin and Florence Violet (d. 1951). Charles visited North America several times.  Once was in 1902.  In November 1907 he was in transit to Canada and booke the Lusitania.  In March 1914, he and Freda traveled on the Mauretania en route to Mobile, Alabama.  In March 1915 Charles and Irene booked the Adriatic to go to New York. Returning home to Britain, Charles and Irene booked saloon (first) class on the Lusitania.  They sat at Charles Bowring's table in the dining saloon.  During the day they played games in the lounge with Dwight Harris and friends.  He found his daughter packing in her cabin when the ship struck.  Mr. Bowring tried to help her with her lifebelt, but Ralph Moodie eventually adjusted it for her.  Charles and Irene went down together.  She was under the impression that her father was struck by wreckage and that is what killed him.  She believed that she was in the water for over three hours and was unconscious when she was rescued.  She was badly bruised, but not otherwise injured.  Charles Bowring escorted Irene home.  Charles Paynter's body washed up at Queenstown, number 37. Charles’ death was extensively reported in the local papers and there was a very well-attended funeral on 11 May 1915, at which Bowring was also present.  Descriptions and reports can be found in the Birkenhead News, Liverpool Journal of Commerce, Post and Mercury, etc. Contributors: Michael Poirier Ann Paynter Roberts Judith Tavares References: Ellis Island Online.  <> Liverpool Post and Mercury, 12 May 1915.

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