Cosmo Edmund Duff Gordon

Sir Cosmo Edmund Duff Gordon (Mr Morgan)

Cosmo Edmund Duff Gordon

Sir Cosmo Edmund Duff-Gordon, 49, was born on July 22, 1862 the son of Cosmo Lewis Duff-Gordon.

Cosmo Duff-Gordon was educated at Eton and in 1896 he became the fifth Baron of his family estate (the baronetcy having been created in 1813). In 1900 Duff-Gordon married Lucy Wallace the eldest daughter of Douglas Sutherland. 'Lucile' who was the fashionable designer with a couture firm of which Duff-Gordon was a director.

Cosmo Duff Gordon was a proficient fencer and represented Great Britain at the 1908 Olympics.

Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff-Gordon boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg with ticket 11755 (39 12s) Sir Cosmo occupied cabin A-16 and Lady Duff-Gordon cabin A-20. For some reason the Duff-Gordons signed onto the ship as Mr and Mrs Morgan.

On the night of the sinking they approached First officer William McMaster Murdoch who was supervising the loading of the Emergency Lifeboat 1. Sir Cosmo asked if he and his wife could get in and Murdoch replied that he would be glad if they would. A few minutes later at 1:10 am Lifeboat 1 was lowered containing only 12 people of whom 7 were crew members.


Photograph from the Frank Blackmarr collection, unfortunately it is blurred, of the occupants of Emergency Lifeboat 1. Left to Right, Standing: George Symonds, Laura Francatelli, Lucy Duff Gordon, Cosmo Duff Gordon, Abraham Salomon, Charles Hendrickson, Henry Stengel.
Left to right Seateed: Robert Pusey (?), Edward Horswell, Samuel Collins, James Taylor (?), Frederick Sheath (?).
Courtesy of Randy Bryan Bigham, USA

After the sinking Leading Fireman Charles Hendrickson asked those in the lifeboat whether they ought to go back to help the people swimming in the water but Lady Duff-Gordon warned they might be swamped by people trying to get on board. Several of the men agreed that it would be dangerous to go back. Eventually Hendrickson was persuaded by Charles Henry Stengel's suggestion that they should head for a light that could be seen in the distance. So the twelve survivors set off while hundreds more were left dying in the water.

As they rowed and the cries of swimmers began to die down tempers began to fray among those in the boat. They were still rowing towards a light but it got no nearer and hailing other boats brought no result. Stengel continually shouted directions until Duff-Gordon eventually told him to keep quiet.

Meanwhile, Fireman Robert Pusey complained to Duff-Gordon that they had lost all their belongings (their 'kit) 'and that, in all probability, their pay would end when the ship sank, so the wealthy passenger offered all the men five pounds on their return. This was a pledge he would honour on board the Carpathia. Later Sir Cosmo would appear before a packed British Inquiry to defend himself against the accusation that he had bribed the men to secure his escape from the Titanic and that they were thus encouraged not to return to the scene of the sinking to rescue swimmers.

Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon died on 20 April 1931. At the time of his death he was living at 5 Alfredplace, South Kensington. He, and later his wife, was buried at Brookwood Cemetery, Near London.


Courtesy of Randy Bryan Bigham, USA

References and Sources
Board of Trade Hearings, Day 10 Testimony , Day 11 Testimony
Daily Sketch, 17 April 1912
Walter Lord (1976) A Night to Remember. London, Penguin. ISBN 0 14 004757
3
Wreck Commissioners'' Court, Proceedings before the Right Hon. Lord Mersey on a
Formal Investigation Ordered by the Board of Trade into the Loss of the S.S. Titanic

Pictures

Portrait of Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon

(1908) 

PORTRAIT OF SIR COSMO DUFF GORDON

 
Sir Cosmo Edmund Duff Gordon

(1908) 

SIR COSMO EDMUND DUFF GORDON

 
Sir Henry William ('Harry') Duff Gordon, younger brother of Sir Cosmo Edmund Duff Gordon

(1910) 

SIR HENRY WILLIAM ('HARRY') DUFF GORDON, YOUNGER BROTHER OF SIR COSMO EDMUND DUFF GORDON

 
Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon in 1896, age 34

(1912) 

SIR COSMO DUFF GORDON IN 1896, AGE 34

 
Elinor Glin on her sister Lady Duff Gordon's Titanic ordeal

ELINOR GLIN ON HER SISTER LADY DUFF GORDON'S TITANIC ORDEAL

 
Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff Gordon

(1900) 

SIR COSMO AND LADY DUFF GORDON

 
Lady Duff Gordon

(1904) 

LADY DUFF GORDON

 
Lucile tea gowns

(1912) 

LUCILE TEA GOWNS

 
Lady Duff Gordon Crochet Book

LADY DUFF GORDON CROCHET BOOK

 

Articles and Stories

12.45am -– A Time to Go!

Titanic Research  (2008) 

12.45AM -– A TIME TO GO!

 
The Titanic Inquiry: Lady Duff Gordon's Evidence

The Times  (1912) 

THE TITANIC INQUIRY: LADY DUFF GORDON'S EVIDENCE

 
C. E. H. STENGEL TELLS IN DETAIL OF BATTLE FOR LIVES

Newark Star  (1912) 

C. E. H. STENGEL TELLS IN DETAIL OF BATTLE FOR LIVES

 
Milestones

Time Magazine  (1931) 

MILESTONES

 
ALARM FROM LOOKOUT IGNORED, SAILOR SAYS

New York Times  (1912) 

ALARM FROM LOOKOUT IGNORED, SAILOR SAYS

 
Death Closes Career of Lady Duff Gordon

New York American  (1935) 

DEATH CLOSES CAREER OF LADY DUFF GORDON

 
SIR COSMO DUFF-GORDON

New York Times  (1931) 

SIR COSMO DUFF-GORDON

 
A Pen to Sink a Thousand Ships

Titanic Research  (2006) 

A PEN TO SINK A THOUSAND SHIPS

 
I was saved from the Titanic

Titanic Research  (2010) 

I WAS SAVED FROM THE TITANIC

 
The Olympian Games

The Times  (1906) 

THE OLYMPIAN GAMES

 
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    (2014) Cosmo Edmund Duff Gordon Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #100, accessed 23rd July 2014 10:52:08 AM)

    URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/sir-cosmo-duff-gordon.html