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Name: George Eden

Burial Number: 1110

Gender: Male

Occupation: Lieutenant Royal Navy

Born: 29/10/1849

Died: 29/12/1922

Buried: 02/01/1923

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Story

George was born in Edinburgh, the son of Colonel later General John Eden and his wife Charlotte. Charlotte was his second wife whom he had married in Canada and was 35 years younger than her husband. The family lived in Edinburgh and then moved to Bath. George joined the Navy in 1862 as a cadet. In 1870, he was promoted to sub-lieutenant and served on board HMS Caledonia in the East Indies. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1874.  George was serving on HMS Termeraire in the 1880’s. The ship which was the third of that name was involved in the bombarding of Alexandria and supplying troops for the action at Khartoum. By 1893, George was home living with his now widowed mother in Bath. His name made all the society newspapers in 1893 when he was named in a divorce case brought by Sir Alfred Gooch, who accused his wife Lady Alice Gooch of adultery with George. (see below for details of the case). On 26th February 1901, George married Miriam Sophia Farnham at Holy Trinity Church, Milton in Kent. The couple set up home in Worthing, Their son Hugh Morton Eden was born on 28th June 1903. By 1911, the family were living in Boundary Road, Worthing. Miriam died after a long illness in August 1919. George moved to Heene Road and in 1922 to Orion House, 58 Ventnor Villas in Hove. He discovered that he had cancer of the tongue and on 28th December 1922, George shot himself on Hove Lawns. He died in hospital the next day. (see inquest report below). Probate was granted (administration with will, limited) on 10th April 1923 to Annie Maude Cundy, wife of Edgar George Cundy. Effects £1859 14s 2d.

George’s son Hugh became a well-known radio actor under the name Hugh Morton. He was the first actor to play the detective Paul Temple and was a regular cast member of the ITMA team. He also appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and was a character actor in many early television series. He was a first cousin to Sir Anthony Eden, Prime Minister during the 1950’s. Hugh died in 1984.

Please see Miriam’s page for a photo of the gravestone. It was taken after her death. The stone was removed when George was buried and not replaced.

Researcher: Carol Sullivan

The Grave

Photograph of headstone for George Eden

Location in Cemetery

Area: WB Row: 1 Plot: 27

Exact Location (what3words): works.bigger.water

Ashes or Urn: Unknown

Headstone

Description:

No description of the headstone has been added.

Inscription:

Sacred to the memory of Miriam Sophia dearly loved wife of Lt. Commander C M Eden R.N. who departed this life 20th August 1919 aged 46 years "He that liveth and believeth in me shall never die"

Further Information

Birth

Name: George Henry Eden

Gender: Male

Born: 29/10/1849

Town: Edinburgh

County: Midlothian (County of Edinburgh)

Country: Scotland

Marriage

Maiden Name: Not applicable

Marriage Date: 26/2/1901

Spouse First Name: Miriam

Spouse Second Name: Sophia

Spouse Last Name: Farnham

Town of Marriage: Milton

County of Marriage: Kent

Country of Marriage: England

Information at Death

Date of Death: 29/12/1922

Cause of death: Suicide

Address line 1: Orion House

Address line 2: 58 Ventnor Villas

Town: Hove

County: Sussex

Country: England

Obituary

Worthing Gazette 3rd January 1923

“Former Resident’s Suicide”

Retired Naval Officer’s Dread of Cancer.

Lieutenant-Commander George Henry Eden RN, a former Worthing resident, shot himself on Hove Lawns on Thursday. He was 73 years of age. Commander Eden entered the Navy nearly 60 years ago. For some time after his retirement, he lived in Boundary Road, afterwards living in Heene Road. It was only comparatively recently that he took up residence in Hove. At the inquest on Saturday, a graphic description of the occurrence was given by George Edward Holmes who happened to be walking near Eden at the time. He said that evidently a first shot had been fired before his arrival. ” I was told there was a man going to commit suicide” he said. “I went to the railings. Another gentleman and I got over the railings simultaneously, but there the other gentleman disappeared. I went over to the deceased who was then facing me and when I got within fifteen yards of him, he turned round sideways. He discharged a pistol right across the lawn holding it at arm’s length. Then he turned round and faced me and I saw his face was covered with blood. Immediately he did that he sat down and put the revolver to his ear. I was then about five yards from him. He shot himself again and then fell back.” The witness then stated that if the other gentleman who got over the fence with him had gone forward, the two might have tackled Mr Eden and prevented him from firing the second shot.

Dr Hayes who had attended Eden said that in October he had complained of a pain in his ear. The witness then found a lump on the tongue and at witness’s suggestion, Eden consulted a specialist who confirmed his opinion that Eden had cancer on the tongue. Eden was not told of this but he found out the truth. The Coroner read some letters written by Eden. One addressed to the Coroner read as follows: “Dear Sir, Very sorry. Got cancer on the tongue very bad and I think I am quite out of my mind. No cure for cancer on the tongue. Acute pain.” Another letter address to the Police “Tell Jordan and Gray, Worthing to coffin me. And let my son know”  A third letter addressed to Doctor Hayes read: “Dear Hayes, tongue nearly out of my mouth, can’t swallow. Only a bullet will cure me and quit me of my pain. My trustees will settle with you and my friends.”

A verdict of “Suicide whilst temporarily insane” was returned. The Coroner remarked that the danger of dying from cancer of the tongue seemed to have had a great terror for Mr Eden and no doubt he committed suicide in sheer desperation.

Personal Effects

Money left to others: £1859 14 s 2 d

Current value of effects: £76357.00

Census Information

1851

9 Alva Street, St Cuthbert’s, Edinburgh

John aged 61, colonel in army. Charlotte aged 26. William aged 13. Frederick aged 5. Charlotte aged 3. George aged 1. Plus 5 servants.

1861

6 Cavendish Place, Bath.

John aged 71, General. Col 34th regiment. Frederick aged 15. Frances aged 13. George aged 11. Emily aged 8. Plus a butler, nurse, cook and housemaid.

1881

HMS Temeraire.

George aged 30, lieutenant serving under Commander Eustace Maude.

1901

“Avonturn” Windsor Road (later Rugby Road), Worthing.

George aged 45, lieutenant RN retired. Miriam aged 30. Hugh aged 8. Plus 1 servant.

1911

“The Gull” Boundary Road, Worthing.

George aged 60, lieutenant RN retired. Miriam aged 39. Hugh aged 8. Plus a cook and nurse.

1921

7 Fourth Avenue, Hove, Sussex

First name(s) Last name Relationship to head Sex Birth year Age Birth place Occupation Employer
Charles Henry Browne
Head
M 1859 62 Islington, London, England Private Residential Paying Guset House Keeper Employer
Helen Jane Browne
Wife
F 1875 45 Tower Hamlets, London, England Assisting C H Browns In Paying Guset Howns
George Henry Eden
Boarder
M 1849 71 Lt Commander R N Retired
Florence Edith Morris
Boarder
F 1876 44 Gravesend, Kent, England Not Occupied For A Living
John Robert Morris
Boarder
M 1913 7 Newcastle on Tyne, Northumberland
Dora Therson Rotherell Greene
Boarder
F 1876 45 Dublin, Dublin, Ireland Not Occupied For A Living
Florence Augusta Wellborne
Boarder
F 1859 62 Kennington, London, England Not Occupied For A Living
Mary Mahony
Servant
F 1873 47 Westminster, London, England Cook C H Browns Paying Guest House
Winifred Kate Rich
Servant
F 1899 21 Westminster, London, England Kitchenmaid C H Browns Paying Guest House
Olive Ribverton
Servant
Female 1892 28 London, England Parlourmaid C H Browns Paying Guest House
Millicent Hall
Servant
Female 1902 19 Bristol, Gloucestershire, England Housemaid C H Browns Paying Guest House
Alise Hilda Henshaw
Servant
Female 1896 25 Bedford, Bedfordshire, England Housemaid C H Browns Paying Guest House

Miscellaneous Information

The West Somerset Free Press 25th February 1893.

“The Gooch Matrimonial Suit Judgement”

In the Divorce Division of the High Court of Justice on Tuesday, the President Sir Francis Jeune gave his decision in the case of Gooch v Gooch. This was a suit recently heard in which Lady Alice Elizabeth Gooch sued for a judicial separation on the grounds of the misconduct of her husband Sir Alfred Sherlock Gooch of Bonacre Hall, Wrentham, Suffolk and having property in Birmingham. The respondent made 14 allegations of adultery on the part of Lady Gooch with Mr George Henry Eden of Bath. At the trial, the jury found that both the petitioner and respondent had committed adultery. The case was then argued as to the effect of the verdict in relation to the terms of the deeds of separation and it was contended by counsel for Lady Gooch that this deed was a bar to the defence set up by the husband, that the wife’s conduct had by the deed been condoned, and that the judge under these circumstances the discretion of granting the wife a judicial separation.

The President now gave judgement. He dismissed the petition and as there were grave faults on both sides, there would be no order as to costs.

More details of this case can be found in any society newspaper during January and February 1893.