I'm not feeling drained at all; assault me with as many questions as you wish. Hopefully I will give you some useful answer.
The original lists, apparently, mention a "Mr. and Mrs. Edwards," cross-channel passengers. Craig Stringer has done some research into this and it would appear that Thomas and Clementina Dyer-Edwardes, NoÃ«l's parents, did travel with her as far as Cherbourg, where they disembarked to stay at one of their many residences. You can therefore imagine what they must have been feeling when they heard the awful news, and the tremendous relief to hear that their only child had been spared - along with her two companions.
The lifestyle of Lord and Lady Rothes is an interesting subject since it seems his lordship was not at all a rich man. Which might explain the proposed North American venture - whatever that venture was.
I've always assumed the Countess had funds of her own, especially since her family consented to give the estate to monks.
But lack of funds might explain her hasty remarriage after the Earl's death.
The Leslie family had been in financial trouble but I think it was exaggerated, and certainly it was somewhat alleviated after Norman’s marrying Noelle (that is the spelling she preferred by the way).
Norman did sell his ancestral estate, Leslie House in Fife, in 1919 but it was in private hands until the 1950s or so, when it was given to the Church of Scotland for use as a hospital and, most recently, a retirement center. There was quite a mess about that when the Church threw the old people out a few years ago. Leslie House is, I believe, still up for sale.
As to Norman Rothes’ trip to America in 1912, it was his second or third to the States actually, in connection with his duties as a Representative Peer. He was observing the wireless industry in the USA to better implement changes in the system in Great Britain. His interest in purchasing land was secondary.
Brian, your guess is as good as mine about Noelle’s second marriage. It might have been a financial motivation by that time. I don’t know. It does seem that she was frugal, but many quite wealthy women were then, so it may not mean she was having money trouble.
Between 1904 and ’06, when Leslie House was being renovated extensively, the family was obviously doing quite well. Also, both Norman and Noelle moved in the highest social circles and were extremely active in charities so if they were in financial straits, they kept up a good front! I suspect, though, that their problems came with the war.
PS) the estate Brian refers to was Prinknash Park, Noelle’s father’s house which was inherited by her son. It was he, with Noelle’s blessing, who gave the place to the Benedictine order that resides there now. It was Noelle’s father’s wish. Craig Stringer has much more info on this, and he also recently visited Prinknash.
Mr. Alastair Leslie (countess' grandson) has sent me a few pages about Countess and there is written:
"In 1911 the Earl went t oAmerica to explore posibility of buying a fruit farm. Whether he intended to move his family to America is not known but seems unlikely, however he was keen to take his wife on a tour of America and so it was arranged that Noel should join him in Spring of 1912."
Norman Rothes gave a number of interviews upon his landing in New York in February 1912 (not 1911) but he didn’t refer to his personal interests. Toward the end of his tour, in June, press stories mentioned his liking of American agriculture, particularly that in California. I have so far found no newspaper references of his plans to buy a fruit farm there, but Noelle apparently told Walter Lord that, and as you have found, the family maintains that that is true. I have no doubt that it is —— I just wanted to share the info that his "official" business was to investigate the financial end of the wireless system in America.
I think it is unlikely that Noelle's marriage to Claud Macfie in 1927 was motivated by financial considerations. Noelle's father had died a year earlier, and had left a considerable estate. Aside from Noelle and her mother, Thomas made bequests to his grandchildren and sisters. The will is a complicated document, not helped by the fact that Thomas made a good many revisions to it, but certainly Noelle was left suitably provided for.
You make a good point here, Craig. Considering the fact that (according to the ET Biography) her husband left her a sum of £2,000 bequeathed to her in his will, I am also certain that he left something for his heir and younger son, too. Although the family had suffered as a result of the First WW, I do not believe they were ever utterly destitute.
As far as NoÃ«l's marriage to Macfie, I do not think a sudden, hasty marriage was largely due to financial needs. Unless I am mistaken, I believe she had already known him for some time (on friendly terms, I may add), and a relationship must have very quickly developed. Sometimes it doesn't take much for someone to fall in love.
Perhaps I should have chosen my words more carefully. I didn't mean to imply that I thought her ladyship went scrambling for financial maintenance in whatever form she could find it. I knew that her husband was an old friend and apparently quite a fine fellow.
I just meant that perhaps various interloping circumstances allowed for form and appearances to be quietly laid aside.
Thanks to those who shed some light on the Dyer Edwardes family's finances, which seems to imply that, whatever led to the quickie second marriage, poverty probably wasn't it.
I know that there are any number of reasons why people get married. It seems her husband had been ailing for a long time, the Colonel was an old friend whose character was well-known to her, she was suddenly not the wife of the head of the family and thus had a different role to fill, and she had led an extremely honorable and upright life - one that meant she didn't necessarily have to be a slave to appearances. Perhaps any or all of these things played a part in the affair. But perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...
Does anybody know who are the "table companions" of Noelle in the dinners? I know somebody has references about some of the passengers but did she stated something regarding this? Any information would be aprecciated.
João - in answer to your earlier question, this thread on the Cavendishes mentions them as potential dining companions of the Countess of Rothes. The poster who mentioned the Countess recalled her dining room steward putting her at a table of six.
I believe Fletcher Fellowes Lambert-Williams is said to have been in contact with the Countess and Miss Cherry after the collision, but there is nothing to indicate he was their dining companion.
It has also been said on this board that the Countess at some point during the voyage had tea with Marian Kenyon, though I can't quote the source and have no idea how they would have happened across each other's paths.
Thanks Brian. Yes I once read that Miss Cherry and the Countess made friendship with the Cavendishes and that Julia was probably one of Noelle's companions at the afternoon teas in the lounge room but I, stupiditly, didn't realize they could be her dining companions either.