Williams, Edward Ellerker

NAVAL OFFICER (ENGLAND)
BORN 22 May 1793, India - DIED 8 Jul 1822
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (088/PS (18029) (ashes))

Edward Williams was born as the son of John Williams, an officer in the Bengal Army. He was sent to England and attended Eton from 1805 to 1807. In 1807 he joined the Navy. His father died in 1809 and he joined the army in India in 1811. After serving under his half-brother, he was promoted to lieutenant in 1813. In India he served with Thomas Medwin, the cousin of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

In 1818 he retired on half-pay. On his return to England he was in the company of Jane Johnson (born Cleveland), the wife of another officer. Soon she called herself Jane Williams.

In 1819 he went to Geneva with Medwin and they lived there with him until 1820. Medlin left, but the Edward and Jane Williams went to Chalon and then to Italy, where they met Medwin again in Pisa. Medwin introduced him to Percy Bysshe Shelley and befriended him. Shelley took a liking to Jane and adressed several poems to her.

In November 1821 Williams met Lord Byron and in January 1822 Edward John Trelawny. Williams and Shelley drowned on 8 July 1822 after they left Leghorn with their boat to return to Pisa. Their bodies were found and their remains were cremated on the beach. Jane took his ashes back to England and when she died they were buried with her at Kensal Green Cemetery.

Related persons
• knew Byron, George Noel Gordon
• was a friend of Medwin, Thomas
• was a friend of Shelley, Percy Bysshe
• knew Trelawny, Edward John
• was the lover of Williams, Jane

Events
1821/1/16: Jane and Edward Williams arrive in Pisa
They met the Shelleys on 19 Jan and the couples soon became friends.
1821/12/16: Byron shoots a small twig in two from 14 feet distance
This was written in his diary by Edward Williams, who was a witness. Mary Shelley and Jane Williams were also there.
1822/1/14: Edward John Trelawny arrives in Pisa
He was a friend of the Williams family and he admired Lord Byron. He soon met the Shelleys.
1822/4/30: The Shelleys and Claire Clairmont move to Casa Magni, San Terenzo
The Williams family joined them one day later.
1822/7/8: Percy Bysshe Shelley drowns in the Gulf of Spezia
He and Edward Williams were sailing back home to Mary Shelley and Jane Williams from Leghorn, where they had met Leigh Hunt and his family. Allthough a storm was rising they left in Shelley's small boat the Don Juan. Only ten days later their bodies were found on the beach.

Sources
• Blunden, Edmund, Shelley, Collins, London, 1946
• Feldman, Paula R. and Diana Scott-Kilvert, The Journals of Mary Shelley, 1814-1844, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1987
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Ellerker_Williams

Images

The grave of Jane Williams and T.J. Hogg at Kensal Green Cemetery, London. Her daughter Prudentia Sarah and her first husband Thomas James Arnold were buried here as well.
Picture by Androom (10 Aug 1997)

 


Williams, Jane

Published: 17 Apr 2017
Last update: 17 Apr 2017