Male portrait placeholder image

Name: Ernest Van Buren

Burial Number: 0218

Gender: Male

Occupation: Medical Student; General Practitioner

Distinction: Typhoid Victim

Born: 00/00/1859

Died: 13/09/1893

Buried: 15/09/1893

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Ernest Cecil Alfred Haward Van Buren, MD., Ch.D., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., L.M., died in Worthing on 13 September 1893 of thrombosis and heart failure after suffering for six weeks from typhoid fever. The town was in the grip of a typhoid epidemic caused by contamination of the water supply when a supplementary well sunk at the Waterworks disturbed old sewers. Between May and November 1893 there were 188 deaths out of a population of 17,174. Ernest had studied at St. George’s Hospital, London, as well as in Edinburgh, Paris and Brussels. He was a member of the West London Medical and Surgical Society and of the British Medical Association. He had been Assistant House Surgeon at St George’s, House Surgeon at the Buckinghamshire General Infirmary and House Surgeon at Kensington Infirmary. Since moving to Worthing in 1890, he had been in partnership with W. S. Simpson. Ernest lived with his mother, Caroline Van Buren, at 9, Montague Place. Information about his father was not found until he was named in one of Ernest’s obituary notices. In fact, Ernest was illegitimate. When he was 6 years old, his mother, Caroline Price, 28, spinster, married Martinus Robert Van Buren, 55, widower, merchant and gentleman, at St. Mark, Notting Hill, London on 25 November 1865. Martinus gave the boy his name and must have financed his education and laid the foundation of his successful career. The same obituary that named Ernest’s stepfather also named his real father – James Cartwright Haward. Unfortunately. nothing further could be discovered about him. He was not entirely forgotten, however, for Ernest had had Haward among his forenames from the start. Caroline was widowed after only three years of marriage and it is not known where she and Ernest lived in 1861 and 1871 as the Censuses could not be found but in 1881 they were living at the District Metropolitan Lunatic Asylum at Watford in Hertfordshire. No patients were listed at the Institution but, judging from the large number of staff, it was a substantial place. At its head was the Medical Superintendent, Henry Case. Under him was Caroline Van Buren, in the position of Matron and Ernest was now a medical student. The bulk of the rest of the staff were “attendants”, mostly female but a few males. In 1886, Ernest was a witness in an Old Bailey trial in his capacity as a doctor. The case concerned James Crowdy who stabbed his wife, Emma, for pawning the boots of one of their sons and getting drunk on the proceeds. She said she had done it because James had pawned another son’s boots and she said he had no right because she had bought them herself with money she had earned. Ernest’s statement was as follows “I am assistant medical officer at Kensington Infirmary – on 1st June I received the prosecutrix into my charge, suffering from an incised wound, and she remained under my charge about a fortnight and three days, when she was discharged, she never had a bad symptom,” The 1891 Census shows Ernest and his mother at 9, Montague Place, Worthing, and he describes himself merely as a “general practitioner”. During his short time in Worthing he became a member of the Worthing Friendship Freemasons Lodge and was made Honorary Secretary of the West Sussex District of the South-Eastern Branch of the British Medical Association. At the time he died shortly after noon on 13 September 1893 his address was “Ennismore”, Rowlands Road, Worthing. His body lay in a plain oak coffin in St Botolph’s for a choral service attended by representatives of the medical profession and of the Freemasons who cast the customary sprigs of acacia on to the coffin. Besides his mother among the mourners was a Miss McGavin, Ernest’s fiancée.

Researcher: Angela Levy

The Grave

Photograph of headstone for Ernest Van Buren

Location in Cemetery

Area: NWS Row: 2 Plot: 20

Exact Location (what3words): prone.items.desk

Ashes or Urn: Unknown



No description of the headstone has been added.


In loving memory of Ernest Cecil Haward Van Buren M.D. who died 13th September 1893 aged 34. Also of Caroline Van Buren mother of the above loved one died 22 April 1907

Further Information


Name: Ernest Cecil Haward Van Buren

Gender: Male

Born: 00/00/1859

Town: Highgate

County: Middlesex

Country: England


Maiden Name: Not applicable

No marriage information is available for this burial record.

Information at Death

Date of Death: 13/09/1893

Cause of death: Typhoid Fever

Address line 1: Ennismore

Address line 3: Rowlands Road

Town: Worthing

County: Sussex

Country: England


No obituary has been entered.

Personal Effects

Money left to others: £1222 5 s 2 d

Current value of effects: Not calculated

Census Information


Living at District Metropolitan Lunatic Asylum, Watford, Hertfordshire – Henry Case, 36, head, Medical Superintendent; Matilda Ann Case, 27, wife; Caroline Van Buren, 44, widow, Institution Matron; Ernest C A H Van Buren, 22, medical student; Charles Mercer, 28, surgeon; Arthur Walmesley, 29, doctor of medicine; Edward George Ackity, 21, steward’s clerk; John Phillimore, 19, assistant clerk; plus 4 domestic servants, 10 laundresses, 3 head attendants, 58 attendants, a coalman and his family and a coal carrier


Living at 9, Montague Place, Broadwater, Worthing – Ernest H Van Buren, 32, general practitioner; Caroline Van Buren, 54, living on own means

Miscellaneous Information

No miscellaneous information is available for this burial record.