MONSON, Edward

1821 - 1907

Edward Monson was born at Colchester, Essex on 2 May 1821 and baptised at Lion Walk Independent Meeting House, Colchester on 13 October 1822, third of the eight sons of James Monson (c1784-7 March 1862), a gardener, and his wife Susannah née Cook (1789-1862), they also had a least two daughters, two of his brother's, Charles (1831-1904) and Philip (1828-1905)), also became artists. As a ‘writing master’, Edward married at Stockwell Chapel, Colchester, Essex on 25 June 1844, Diana De'Ath (1819-1855), youngest daughter of John De’Ath of Wivenhoe, Essex. Edward moved to Ipswich as an assistant in the engineer’s office of the Eastern Union Railway working as an assistant to Peter Bruff (1812-1900), the railway builder, a reference which he included in his advertisement in 1862, and in 1848 published a map of Ipswich by the Anastatic process by Cowell the Ipswich printer. Monson exhibited at the Suffolk Fine Arts Association held at the New Lecture Hall of the Ipswich Mechanics' Institution in August 1850 'Photographic Portraits'. In 1851, a 29-year-old land surveyor &c. &c., at Falcon Street, Ipswich with his 31-year-old Colchester born wife Diana and their three children 3-year-old Edward, jun.. 2-year-old Philip and 8-month-old Elizabeth Ann, all Ipswich born. In 1853, a daguerreotype artist, land surveyor & writing master, anastatic draughtsman, accountant, etc., still at Falcon Street, Ipswich but then seems to have moved to 2 Addenbrookes Place, Cambridge and was still at 57 Regent Street, Cambridge in 1859. He visited various towns for short periods including Wind Hill, Bishops Stortford in 1853, Bridge Street, Northampton, Warwick Row, Coventry and 117 New Street, Birmingham in 1854 also at Darlington Street, Wolverhampton and elsewhere. His first wife died at Birmingham in 1855 and he married again later in that year, Sarah Brown (c1818-20 March 1892) and by 1861 had returned to Ipswich where, as a photographic artist, he was living at 13 Priory Place with his 43-year-old wife Sarah, who was born at Paddington, London and with a new addition to the family, 3-year-old son Henry, born at Cambridge. An advertising broadside at SRO/I printed by Cowell’s Economic Steam Printing Press [c.1860]: - ‘Photographic portraits, either plain or coloured, in the first style of the art. Photographic portraits painted in oils. Portraits in oil life–size. Mr. Monson, artist, and photographer, 2 Queen Street, Ipswich.’ In 1860 he also advertises ‘Door and Copper Plate Engraving’ and his wife also advertises as being a governess for seventeen years and ran a private school. In 1862 he applied for the position as Surveyor and Inspector of Nuisances for the borough of Ipswich but was not successful but obtained a position as Surveyor to Halstead Local Board in Essex and in 1866, admitted an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers. In 1871, a 49-year-old civil engineer & surveyor and local board inspector for Acton, London, living with his family at 2 Birkbeck Crescent, Turnpike Road, Acton, his 23-year-old son Edward, jun., was an architect & surveyor, and was at the same address with his 23-year-old wife Mary. In 1891 Edward was described as ‘a printer’ living at 43 Mill Hill Road, Acton with his wife Sarah and 40-year-old unmarried daughter Elizabeth Ann. His second wife Sarah died in 1892 and in 1893 he married for a third time, Eliza Isabella Winch (c1823-25 September 1908) and in 1901, a 79-year-old ‘printer’, living at 3 Etherrow Street, East Dulwich with his 78-year-old wife Eliza, born Burnham, Buckinghamshire, and daughter Elizabeth Ann. Edward Monson was of St James's Place, Garlick Hill, London when he died at his home 3 Norman Villas, Etherown Street, East Dulwich, Surrey on 29 March 1907, aged 85. His namesake son Edward Monson (1847-1935) is sometimes conflated with his father.