Countess of Rothes


J

Justin L. Kwarta

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I would like to know if there has ever been a biography on her? { Lucy Martha Dyer-Edwards} I know she was a passenger on the Titanic, and she was the
" as it was said the hero of lifeboat No. 8 "
Did she raise a family with any of her husband's and is the family still in existence/ grandchildren great-grandchildren etc./ contrary to what I've been told {In my opinion I think she was a beautiful woman!}
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Justin,

I share your interest in this beautiful and rather mysterious woman. Did you catch the "beauty pageant" thread here on the board not long back? I believe the Countess won the "prize" of most beautiful woman on Titanic - almost tieing, though, with Margaret Hays.

Despite being wealthy and titled, Noelle Rothes MacFie (I understand she did not go by "Lucy Martha")was not a public figure. She lived a private life before Titanic and continued to do so. In some article I read, a stewardess said to the Countess after their rescue, "You've made yourself famous" to which she replied "I should hope not." That I think sums up her view of herself and the role she played the night Titanic sank. I think she'd be the first to say that her otherwise uneventful life would not warrant a full biography.

Basic info on the Countess of Rothes is on her bio page here on ET. Off hand I recall that Walter Lord wrote that she stayed in contact with Seaman Jones who at some point sent her the number 8 off the lifeboat as a Christmas gift. She was widowed in the 1920s and remarried (to a Colonel Macfie).

She had two sons and has a grandson or great-grandson (I forget) still living who was interviewed either by Judith Geller or Michael Findlay for the book "Women and Children First." I understand the present Earl was also in contact with another researcher who used to post regularly to ET but had to end that correspondence when the man became a bit of a bother.

There is a memorial plaque to the Countess in her parish church of St. Mary's in Fairford, Gloucestershire. See the Geller book for more details. There is a photo of it. It reads:

NOELLE
Widow of the 19th Earl of Rothes
And Beloved Wife of Col. Claude Macfie, DSO
of Fayre Court, Fairford
At Rest 12 Sept. 1956

"Holiness is an infinite compassion for others.
Greatness is to take the common things of life
and walk truly among them. Happiness is a great
love and much serving"

Randy
 
D

Daniel Odysseus

Guest
Does anyone know her first name, by any chance?

I checked the passenger list, and it read: "Rothes, Countess of" and in the ending(?) of a Night to Remember, it stated that her name later was Mrs. Noel MacSomething, but I assume that that was her husband's name (the female spelling, in my experience anyway, would be Noelle)...

It's a mystery that's been plaguing me for a while... Does anyone know her name?

-D.O.
 
Mar 20, 2000
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An entry in Burke's Peerage has her first name as "Lucy-Noel" but I think the latter was actually spelled "Noelle." And she preferred using only "Noelle," I believe. It says she remarried to Col. Claud McFie.

Geoff where are you? You would know best about this lady.
 
Dec 13, 1999
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Hi Randy, I must defer in favour of Craig Stringer who is (albeit very modest)an authority on the Rothes family. If he's not perusing this site at present I will email him.

Geoff
 
Aug 20, 2000
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Hello,
Thank you to Geoff for prompting me. The Countess of Rothes was born Lucy Noel Martha Dyer-Edwardes, although as Randy suggests she preferred Noelle. When she married in 1900 she gave her name as Noel Lucy Martha. Her husband was one Norman Evelyn Leslie, Earl of Rothes. Norman was the son of Martin E. Haworth, and Mary Elizabeth Leslie. When his mother became Countess of Rothes, the family changed its name to Leslie, and following Mary Elizabeth's death, Martin became Earl of Rothes in 1893.
And to add further to Noelle's name. Her father was Thomas Dyer Edwardes, who later in life combined his last two names with a hyphen to become Dyer-Edwardes! Noelle's mother had quite grand connections, being descended, if I remember right, from the Sixth Duke of Melfort.
Hope this helps
Craig
 
Aug 20, 2000
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Hi Randy,
I'm quite well. Geoff is rejoicing that I have lost my voice at the moment, thanks to a winter cold. I wouldn't describe myself as an authority on the Countess, although it is kind of you to say so. I just know a little bit. Good to hear from you.
Craig
 

ian Hough

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Dec 17, 2002
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Happy Birthday to the Countess Tomorrow - Am I right in believing her maiden name was Miss Dyer Edwards? - When She married the 19th Earl of Rothes (Norman Evelyn Leslie) and took on the title of the countess of Rothes - Does anyone know what their surname was?
 
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Mar 28, 2002
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Was it McFie?

Judith Geller's "Women and Children First" lists her as:

Rothes, Countess of (Noelle Lucy Martha-Dyer Edwards), aged 27, of London, England.

Where did I hear McFie???
 

ian Hough

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Dec 17, 2002
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DOB 25 dec 1878
rip 12 sept 1956
Married Norman Evelyn Leslie 19 april 1900
He died March 1927
she remarried
on 22 Dec 1927
to Col Claude Macfie

But what was her married surname when she was Countess Btwn 1900 and 1927?
Anyone know?
 
Mar 20, 2000
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The Countess' married surname was Leslie but she would not have used that generally. Rothes was her titular name.

She would thus have been "Noelle Dyer Edwardes Leslie" while married to Lord Rothes. However she would probably not have used "Leslie" at all. And I am fairly certain she would have signed her name "Noelle Rothes."

But she would have been addressed as "Countess" or "Lady Rothes," even after marrying Col. Macfie, as she did not relinquish her title.

Randy

PS)Another bit. In her last years, as the Earldom of Rothes would have passed to her son and possibly her grandson (?), she would likely have been addressed as the "Dowager Countess of Rothes," to distinguish her from the wife of the sitting Earl.
 

ian Hough

Member
Dec 17, 2002
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Their is a plaque in St Mary's Church, Fairford, Gloucestershire. Which she placed there in memory of both of her husbands. But I have not come across anything regarding her final resting place. I assume she can not be to far away from he husbands.
 

Brian Ahern

Member
Dec 19, 2002
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Anyone interested can read about the Countess's childhood home, Prinknash Park, at


This relates the history of the estate and how her father purchased it in 1888 and, after he converted to Catholicism in the 1920's, deeded it to the Benedictines.

Apparently he died before the legal footwork was completed and so his grandson, the Countess's son, inherited the house and could legally have kept it as his own. He did, however, honor his grandfather's wishes and handed it over to the Benedictines after all.

If the html I wrote doesn't work, anyone interested could easily type "Prinknash Park" into a search engine and read about it that way. The house is now open to the public.

Regards,
Brian Ahern
 

Brian Ahern

Member
Dec 19, 2002
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It's interesting enough reading, though it gives little or no Dyer Edwardes family history since the family didn't purchase the house until Noelle's lifetime.
Regards,
Brian
 

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