Michael Daniels
Edward St John Daniel VC
 The story of the first man to forfeit the Victoria Cross



The Life of Edward St John Daniel


Childhood and Family


Edward St John Daniel was born at the family home 1 Windsor Terrace, Clifton, Bristol, England on 17th January 1837, the first child of a well-known Bristol attorney, Edward Daniel. His mother, Barbara Bedford, was the granddaughter of Henry Beauchamp St John, the 12th Baron St John, and there is evidence that Edward was known as "St John" (pronounced sinjon) by his family. Edward St John Daniel was also the first cousin 12 times removed of Henry Tudor, King Henry VII (1457-1509), through their common ancestor, Henry Tudor's grandmother, Margaret Beauchamp of Bletsoe (c. 1410-1482).

Edward St John Daniel's only brother, Henry Beauchamp Daniel was born on 26th November 1838, and he was followed by three sisters: Barbara Anne Trefusis Daniel (b. 26th April 1840), Adela Margaret Daniel (b. 16th November 1844) and Lucy Gertrude Daniel (b. 3rd February 1850).

Commemorative Plaque at Windsor Terrace
Commemorative Plaque at
1 Windsor Terrace, Clifton

Photo courtesy of
Maggie Shapland and CHIS

Ten days after Lucy's birth, on 13th February 1850, the children's mother died, of "marine phlebitis" (inflammation of a vein), aged 36, when Edward St John Daniel was barely thirteen.

In 1854, when Daniel was 17, his father married the 21- or 22-year old, and very beautiful, Darkey Knight Cox. In the next fifteen years, Edward and Darkey had four sons and three daughters, although their first child (a daughter) and fourth child (a son) died in early infancy.

    Darkey Knight Cox
Darkey Knight Cox

Portrait by W. Symonds (1856)
Courtesy of Mrs Hilda Daniel

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