the Untimely Demise of George Babb – Monkleigh (1847)

George was born to Thomas & Ann (Heywood) Babb about 16 Mar 1823. He was the 6th of 7 children (all boys). He was sailing by the time he was 16 years old and in 1845 he was issued Seaman’s Ticket #117,222.

From 1845, any seaman leaving the UK was required to have a register ticket, details being entered in this series of registers. The register gives the name, place of birth and Register Ticket number. I’ve ordered a digital copy of the record.

In the year after the ticket was issued, he married Eliza Dalling on 20 Aug 1846 in St. Paul, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England. The church is the featured image in this post.

George’s mother-in-law was so moved by his passing that she wrote this poetic account of the incident. Amazingly, it survives to this day and gives a real glimpse into their lives.


Mary Dalling, the author of this prose died the following year on 22 Nov 1848. She was also the Widow of a Mariner in Bideford.

Eliza (Dalling) Babb, George’s widow remarried Frederick Lorenzen just 8 days later. While this seems quite callous in our modern world, this was not uncommon at the time. In most cases women had no means of supporting themselves. So, hasty marriages were born of necessity for the basics of food, shelter and clothing.

Frederick was also a Mariner from Denmark and the two are recorded together in the 1861 & 1871 with their daughter Eliza Lorenzen who was born about 1852. By 1881 they are empty nesters and then the trail runs cold.

Photo: St. Paul Church in Bristol, England, By Robert Cutts from Bristol, England, UK – St Paul’s Church, Bristol, CC BY 2.0,

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