Williams, Edward Ellerker

BORN 22 May 1793, India - DIED 8 Jul 1822, Lerici, Liguria: at sea
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

16/1/1821Jane and Edward Williams arrive in Pisa. They met the Shelleys on January 19th and the couples soon became friends. [Shelley, Mary][Shelley, Percy Bysshe][Williams, Jane]
5/11/1821First meeting between Lord Byron and Edward Williams. Percy Byshhe Shelley took Williams to see Byron and introduced them to each other. Williams was favourably impressed by Byron's good mood and by his wit. [Byron, George Noel Gordon ][Shelley, Percy Bysshe]
16/12/1821Byron 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. [Byron, George Noel Gordon ][Shelley, Mary][Williams, Jane]
14/1/1822Edward John Trelawny arrives in Pisa. He was a friend of the Williams family and he admired Lord Byron. He soon met the Shelleys. [Shelley, Mary][Shelley, Percy Bysshe][Trelawny, Edward John][Williams, Jane]
20/4/1822Edward Williams meets Samuel Rogers during a visit to Lord Byron. Williams wasn't much impressed by his appearance. The next day he saw Rogers again. [Byron, George Noel Gordon ]
30/4/1822The Shelleys and Claire Clairmont move to Casa Magni, San Terenzo. The Williams family joined them one day later. [Clairmont, Claire][Shelley, Mary][Shelley, Percy Bysshe][Williams, Jane]
8/7/1822Percy 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. [Shelley, Mary][Shelley, Percy Bysshe][Williams, Jane]


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)


• 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
• Jones, Frederick L., Maria Gisborne & Edward E. Williams, Their Journals and Letters, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma, 1951
• Mellor, Anne K., Mary Shelley, her Life, her Fiction, her Monsters, Routledge, New York, 1989
Edward Ellerker Williams - Wikipedia

Williams, Helen Maria

Published: 17 Apr 2017
Last update: 25 Apr 2022