Edward SCHÖNBERG (1863–1886)
St Michael section: Row 7, Grave C45½

Schonberg grave

 

[On the cross]

 

IN

LOVING

REMEMBRANCE OF

EDWARD SCHONBERG

EXHIBITIONER OF EXETER COLLEGE

WHO WAS

DROWNED

IN THE

UPPER

RIVER

FEB. 18,

1886

AGED

23 YEARS

 

Edward Schönberg was born in Wolverhampton on 3 January 1863 and baptised at St James's Church there on 1 October. He was the son of Moritz Schönberg (a naturalized British subject born in Prussia in 1810/11) and Mary Ann Denton (born in Armley, Yorkshire in 1827/8) who were were married in the Hull district in the second quarter of 1851. They had the following children:

  • Thomas Austin Schönberg (born in the Kings Norton district in 1852, reg. fourth quarter)
  • Mary Schönberg (born in Hull in 1855, reg. second quarter)
  • Arthur Schönberg (born at 9 Worcester Place, Wolverhampton in 1858/9 and baptised at St James’s Church there on 9 January 1859); death registered in first quarter of 1859
  • Annie Schönberg (born at Albion House, Wolverhampton in 1859/60 and baptised at St James’s Church there on 22 February 1860)
  • Emma Sarah and Frances Louisa Schönberg (twins, born in St James Street Wolverhampton in mid-1861 and baptised at St James’s Church there on 23 July 1861); death of both registered first quarter of 1862
  • Edward Schönberg (born at Oxley Place, Wolverhampton on 3 January 1863 and baptised at St James’s Church there on 1 October)
  • Amy Schönberg (born in Latchford, Cheshire in 1865, reg. fourth quarter)
  • Alfred Schönberg (born in Latchford, Cheshire in 1867, reg. third quarter).

At the time of the 1851 census Edward’s father Moritz Schönberg (34), already naturalized and soon to be married, was lodging at 4 Bath Place, Hull, with his occupation given as “Missionary (Jews)”. After his marriage, he and his wife spent some time in Birmingham and Hull, and by 1859 he was appointed Curate of St James’s Church, Wolverhampton. After Edward’s birth the family moved to Latchford, Cheshire.

By the time of the 1871 census they were in Warrington, where Moritz Schönberg was the Curate of St Peter’s district in the parish of St Paul there: they were living at Froghall Lane with five of their children: Mary (15), Annie (11), Edward (8), Amy (5), and Alfred (3), and had one servant. Edward’s mother died soon after that census at the age of 44 (death registered second quarter of 1871).

Edward’s eldest brother Thomas was matriculated at the University Oxford by Oriel College on 16 April 1872. Edward, who was educated at Manchester Grammar School, followed his brother to Oxford and was matriculated from Exeter College on 23 October 1885, aged 22.

On the afternoon of Thursday 18 February 1886 Edward Schönberg went boating in a dinghy on the Upper River with a friend from Exeter College, Ernest Augustus Glover. The boat capsized when they were changing positions near Black Jack’s Hole, which is at the bend between the Perch Inn and Godstow. Neither of them, could swim. Glover was rescued, but Schönberg drowned:

† Edward Schönberg died on 18 February 1886 at the age of 23 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 22 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).

An inquest was held in the Hall of Exeter College on Friday 19 February 1886 (the day after the accident), and the Foreman of the Jury was the Sub-Rector of the college. There was a full report in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 27 February 1886. Schönberg’s servant, James Payne, identified the body, and said that he had last seen Schönberg at 1.45pm after luncheon: he was dressed for boating and left the college with another gentleman, The University Coroner, Dr Derbyshire, identified Schönberg’s boating companion as Ernest Augustus Glover, and said that he had nearly met the same fate, and was too ill to attend the inquest. James Edward Quibell, an undergraduate of Christ Church who was boating on the Upper River in a whiff, said he was passed by the dinghy, being steered by Glover, whom he considered not to be a great rower, opposite the Willows near Black Jack’s Hole, and a few minutes later saw the boat overturned and floating downstream. Another undergraduate on the river, Henry Denison Hammond of Corpus Christi College, said that there were two men in the water about six or seven yards from the towpath, and he saw Schönberg sink. The Jury then went to Glover’s bedroom to interview him, and he said that they hired the dinghy, which had swivel rowlocks, at Bossom’s. He reported that Schönberg slipped when they were changing positions so that he could take his turn at sculling, and the boat half-filled with water, and then sank. The Coroner said that it “seemed a very fool-hardy thing for two men to go on the Upper River when neither of them could swim, and were not very skilled in rowing”. The verdict of the Jury was that “Mr. Schönberg met his death by drowning, owing to the accidental capsizing of his boat on the Upper River”, and they appended the recommendation “That it is desirable that a sufficient staff of water police should be placed on the Upper River, and life belts and ropes be placed at tolerably frequent intervals on the river bank, and the Coroner be requested to convey these recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor”.

The following report on Edward Schönberg’s funeral was printed immediately after the long report on the inquest:

THE FUNERAL took place on Monday at noon, from Exeter College. Before the ceremony commenced the coffin was placed on a bier, and was wheeled into the Chapel, where many kind and sympathising friends laid a large number of handsome wreath of white flowers and ferns on the coffin, including one from the family, residing at Warrington; also wreaths from the Misses Lightfoot, the Sub-Rector (L. R. Farnell, Esq.), the Scholars and Exhibitioners, the Adelphi Club, the Falernian Club, the two Torpid crews, Mr. P. S. O’Bryen-Taylor, the Oxford residents from Manchester Grammar School (where the deceased was educated), &c. The Chapel bell tolled from 11.30 until 12, and then the Rev. W. W. Jackson, M.A., Precentor, commenced intoning the first part of the Burial Service. The 39th Psalm was chanted by the Choir, and Hymn 225, “Brief life is here our portion,” was afterwards sung. This part of the service being concluded, the organ struck up a funeral dirge, and the solemn procession passed slowly out of the beautiful edifice, re-formed in the Quadrangle, and filed out of the lodge gates into the Turl, where the two brothers of the deceased (the Rev. T. A. Schönberg, of Blackburn, and late of Oriel College, and Mr. Alfred Schönberg, of Warrington), entered a mourning coach, and followed next to the bier (which was covered with wreaths of choice flowers). Then the members of the College, including Mr. L. R. Farnell (Sub-Rector), the Rev. W. W. Jackson, M.A. (Fellow and Censor of Non-Collegiate Students), the Rev. H. F. Tozer, Rev. Professor Sanday, Mr. Pelham, Mr. A. B. How and Major Wilson (Bursar), and the Oxford residents from Manchester Grammar School, together numbering 140, all in academics, walked in procession to St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery at Jericho, passing through Broad-street, St. Giles’s, and Observatory-street. On arriving at the Cemetery, the Rev. H. F. Tozer, a Fellow of the College, read the Burial Service in an impressive manner. The deceased was the second son of the Rev. Moritz Schönberg, of Warrington.

The aged Rector (Dr. Lightfoot) was present at the service in the Chapel, but parted company with the mournful procession at the lodge gates, regretting not being able to proceed further.

The coffin, of polished elm and brass fittings, bore the following inscription on the brass plate:—

“EDWARD SCHÖNBERG
Born 3rd January, 1863.
Died 18th February, 1886.”

Mr. Webber Patterson of Broad-street (under the able superintendence of Mr. Ward) served the funeral.

The wreaths were unusually choice (“In Memoriam” and “In loving memory”), comprising the following flowers:-Various kinds of orchids, lily of the valley, calla, Eucharis lily, camilia, narcissi, Star of Bethlehem, spiraea, and various ferns. They were supplied by Mr. J. Bates, of the Turl and the Market, and Mr. Joseph Filwell, of Broad-street.

We are requested to insert the following:—“Exeter College, Oxford, Feb. 22, 1886.—The family of the late Mr. Schönberg desire me to express for them their sincere thanks to the members of the College for the sympathy they have displayed.—L. R. FARNELL.”

In the following year, 1887, Edward’s sister Amy Schönberg died at the age of 21 (registered Warrington first quarter) and his father Moritz Schönberg at the age of 76 (registered Ashton district third quarter).

In 1887 Edward’s brother Thomas Austin Schönberg became the Rector of Christ Church in Denton, Greater Manchester.


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