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Hello Andrew,

Thanks for clarifying! Good to hear from you. Hope you're well.

Kris,

One clarification as to aliases. Edith Rosenbaum was actually not known as Russell before 1918. In addition to her work as a fashion writer and stylist, she designed a retail line of clothes for Lord & Taylor which required her to have a label but it was not Russell. And she never traveled under it. NIce to see you about, too. Shell and I are missing our fashion chats with you!

Randy
 

Kris Muhvic

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Jul 3, 2001
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Randy-

I never knew of the Russell alias (1918) until now...I was always under the assumption it was a 1910 era thing, what with all the books and passenger listings, etc. Of course, I'm aware of your work regarding our dear E., so I take your setting me straight as a gospel!

And thank you for this introduction to Lucille's protectors! A big hello to them all-

Last I thought, I was sort of hanging over @ "filament de'mode"...oh well, no matter- methinks I shall subject some more of my mind-spew to the Queen of C. de C. and you! The gouche-goblin does not retreat for long!

K~
 

Alan Hustak

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Mar 18, 2000
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In Ottawa recently I was told Lady Duff Gordon was going to visit The Governor General, the Duke of Connaught at Rideau Hall after her stop in Chicago. I was told she was somehow related to the duke - I find it hard to believe a Toronto greengrocer's daughter was somehow related to royalty...can anyone shed light on this?
 

Andrew Maheux

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Dec 4, 2000
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Oh Randy you're so funny,

with all the Duff Gordon threads and you being the main person to answer them, it shows all the hard work you put into researching them.

Great Job and good luck.

Andrew Maheux
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Alan,

A stop in Chicago? When was this? Lucile wasn't going to Chicago when she sailed on Titanic. She didn't open her branch in Chicago until 1915. Somebody must have borrowed that notion from Michael Davie's book. He was wrong.

And though Lucile wasn't related to Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, she was close with his family, having dressed both of his daughters, the Princesses Margaret and Patricia, the former for her marriage to the Crown Prince of Sweden in 1905.

Princess Patricia's son's 2nd wife is today the conservative politician Baroness Saltoun, and was a close friend of Lucile's late grandson, Anthony, Earl of Halsbury. So the family has remained connected all these years.

Also Lucile's family was not from Toronto but Guelph. And her father was not a greengrocer! I suppose you think that's funny. And actually it is, since its not true. You really have your facts much mixed and mingled, I'm afraid. And your sources are misinformed. Lucile's father, Douglas Sutherland, was a successful civil engineer (employed at one time by the Grand Trunk Railway) and her grandfather, Colonel Thomas Saunders, was a prosperous rancher. His estate Summer Hill was later an agricultural college.

Moreover, she wasn't related to royalty (and I've never read it claimed that she was) though some of her ancestors (the Sutherlands) were of the nobility. The Duff Gordon family, however, was related to royalty by marriage. Sir Cosmo's cousin, the Duke of Fife, having married Princess Louise, Edward VII's daughter.

Lastly, Lucile didn't go to Canada at all on her trip to the US in April 1912, but did return in the fall with her mother and together they visited family and friends in Guelph and Toronto. I've never found any reference to her being officially received by the Duke of Connaught, during her Canadian trip but it's likely that she was.

Randy

PS) Lucile also dressed the Countess of Minto, wife of the 4th Earl (who preceded Connaught as Governor-General of Canada), and her daughters, the Ladies Violet and Ruby Elliott. The Countess ordered almost all her gowns for state functions from Lucile during the Earl of Minto's time as Governor-General and later as Viceroy of India.
 
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27617.jpg


The beautiful Princess Patricia of Connaught (posed here in 1909), daughter of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, and a niece of King Edward VII, was one of Lucile's most popular royal clients. During her father's tenure as Governor General of Canada (1911-16), the Third Battalion of the Canadian Light Infantry was named for "Patsy" and the regiment is still known as "The Princess Pats."

"Patsy" relinquished her royal titles to marry the Hon. Alexander Ramsay in 1919, maintaining only a courtesy title of "Lady." Their only son, today Alexander Ramsay of Mar, served with distinction in WWII, losing a leg in combat in North Africa. With his 2nd wife, Flora, Lady Saltoun, he lives in Aberdeenshire.
 

Alan Hustak

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Mar 18, 2000
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Thank God you set me straight, who knows what other faux pas I might have committed. All I asked was what I was told. You have enlightened me. Guelph is worse than Toronto, but you have explained why she would have been welcome at Rideau Hall, even if she might have had to use the servants entrance. Great portrait of Princess Pat. Is that one of Luciles dresses?
 
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Alan,

You made your remarks about Lucy Duff Gordon's family as fact which they aren't. So yes, it's a good thing you were corrected. Since you're a writer and supposedly a historian, it's best that you get your facts straight.

Obviously you are still peeved about being called out by myself and others for your unkind comments about Walter Lord on another thread. So if you're determined to be snippy, that's fine. I stand by what I said about your lack of good taste in posting those remarks. If you want to dog Lucile as well as Walter now, go ahead. But you really ought to try picking on somebody alive.

Actually I'm surprised we've not heard more from you on "The Libel to Remember" since you and the esteemed Mr. Jones have so much in common as far as your negative views on Lord's work.

On Guelph being worse than Toronto, maybe so. You would know better than me. I've never visited Canada. But that's not the point.

What I don't understand about your Lucile cracks is that they seem centered on poking fun at her humble origins. If you ever read her memoirs (which I assume you have) or the other biography of her you'd know how ordinary she really was and how proud she was of her middle-class upbringing. Your barbs would only be effective if Lucy had been a pretentious social-climbing snob. She wasn't. She was quite content being an "outsider" of sorts, wasn't ashamed of being a dressmaker, and despised the aristocracy.

About being admitted at Rideau Hall. Who cares? She'd been to much grander places. And she wouldn't have had to use the servant's entrance though she would have preferred it to pompous ceremony.

And yes, that is a great picture of Princess Pat. I can't say for sure if her gown was by Lucile but I think it's highly probable. She was a devoted patron and placed particularly heavy orders throughout 1909, the year the photo was taken.

Chaio,

Randy
 
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Jason,

Yes, I can look that up for you. I don't know the name of the road the Saunders farm, Summer Hill, was on right off, but I know that the house she later lived in with her mother,sister and step-father was on Lower Woolwich Street in Guelph. It was near a church and the property sloped down to a river. Lucy and her sister used to play on workmen's trestles in the yard of the church while it was being built. The family still has a charming watercolor that Lucy did of the ranch Summer Hill, which is, alas, no more. It sat on a wooded hill with a very picturesque view.

Randy
 
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Jason,

In checking through some notes, it looks like it's possible that Lucy's grandparents' old farmhouse, "Summerhill" (not "Summer Hill" as I called it above) IS still standing, though much altered in appearance and no longer in the countryside. It seems it is now within the city limits of Guelph near a civic building called River Run Center. I have seen a 1950s photo of this old house and from that I'd say it is quite ordinary-looking with a facade suggesting it was converted into a duplex at some point. There are no surrounding fields or woods anymore!

As to the house on Lower Woolwich Street in Guelph where her family lived later, I expect it's gone but one might be able to determine basically where it stood as it was between a churchyard and the River Speed. It looks like it was not far from Summerhill.

I believe I also got Summerhill mixed up with Lucy's grandparents' earlier estate "Woodlands" when I mentioned about the agricultural college. The intimation is that Woodlands, too, is still in existence on Waterloo Avenue. It was built in 1846 by Lucy's grandfather, Colonel Thomas Saunders, who was later a Clerk of the Peace for the Wellington District.

Randy

PS) Saunders was related to the celebrated Admiral Saunders who conquered Quebec; his wife, Lucy's grandmother, was Lucy Anne Wilcocks, daughter of Sir Richard Wilcocks, a Justice of the Peace and Police Magistrate in Dublin.
 
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Jason,

On another thread you asked for more details about the buildings in Guelph, Ontario that have a connection to Lucy's upbringing there. If you scroll up you'll find all that I know of these locales.

If you aren't able to get down to Guelph, not to worry. Kalman Tanito has friends in the city and they may be able to help me with pictures.

I need to get out there myself one of these days. I understand an historical society there has some of her drawings which were exhibited lately and Hugh Brewster of Madison Press, who studied at the University of Guelph, recalls that many in the town are still aware and quite proud of the fact that Lucy and her sister Elinor grew up there.

Randy

PS) above, one of my posts makes me laugh - not just for the indignant attitude I had but for being so flustered that I misspelled "ciao!"
 

Paul Mazzetti

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Feb 10, 2009
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I currently live in the Saunders family home "Woodlands", which was built by Lucy's grandfather, Colonel Thomas Saunders. Much of the estate is still intact, although altered over the years. This property also became "Vimy Ridge Farm", which housed British orphans from WW1. She would have only been at this house briefly, since the proper was sold in the late 1860's. The family then moved into Summerhill, which is in the city of Guelph, and is very close to the University of Guelph. It is also still there, and fully restored. This is a picture of the sisters, Elinor and Lucy with mother and doctor in the Channel Islands circa 1880.
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Hi, Paul, thanks for posting that great image from the Wellington Museum archives. Their collection of Saunders family history is excellent. Lucy's direct descendants were not aware of all the photo albums there until recently but I have been buying copies and sharing them with them. Below is a great picture of Lucy, age about 10, just before the family left Canada.



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