Mrs Marie Spencer


Gary.J Bell

Member
May 30, 2004
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Having read the thread about the mix up of the Spencer Cabin in Cabin numbers, i began trying to find out a little more about Mr.and Mrs.Spencer.
The cabin number thread was started by someone quoting a misprint in a book that said the couple were quoted as staying in C-78 and had refused to leave their room once the sinking began, and how they were really in B-78.
I then had a look at the Cave list and saw that Mrs.Spencer did infact leave in a lifeboat (number 6).
I found a curious obituary for her that stated she died in Paris just a little over a year later on October 1913! She didnt live very long after her husband died and she was only 46.Does anyone know anymore about this couple or have a picture, if they refused (supposedly) to leave, what made her go?
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Gary,

There are no lifeboat numbers on the Cave List. The lifeboat 6 information appears in a Passenger List complied by Michael Findlay. That information also appears on several web-sites. However, in a subsequent Passenger List that Findlay complied no lifeboat number is given.

Some years ago I had a letter from Findlay in which he advised: "..... Mrs Spencer and her maid .... were thought to be in boat 6 but were not since they did not reach the deck until much later."
 
Apr 16, 2001
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Hi Gary,

I am sorry to say that there is still uncertainty with regard to which boat Mrs. Spencer and her maid escaped in.

Interviews attributed to Elise Lurette, Mrs. Spencer's maid, in several New York newspapers soon after the sinking, implied that she and her employer were in the same boat as Molly Brown - therefore they were placed in boat #6 originally.

However, after comparing later interviews, and the testimony given at the American Inquiry, it seems likely that the Spencer party were stragglers to the boat deck. I believe the ladies left in one of the very last boats but wouldn't rule out the possibility of boat #4 altogether as some historians have done. Some researchers believe boat #4 is "overcrowded" with possibilities given the general number of occupants. I personally feel that the Spencer party was detached from the rest, and the ladies may have well entered one of the port-side aft boats....like boats #10 and #14 which contained several first-class passengers and therefore went virtually unnoticed.

According to her family, Mrs. Spencer was ill at the time of the sinking, and suffered from manic depression and anxiety. She had been ill for some time, and the family today relates the tale of how William Spencer was not only travelling to the United States to be present for the reading of his late brother's will, but also to seek medical attention for his wife.

I have heard that Mrs. Spencer continued her decline until her death in October 1913. According to one family report, the disaster was the beginning of the end for Mrs. Spencer, who reportedly stopped eating in the weeks leading up to her death. There is also a report that Marie Spencer suffered from acute nephritis (kidney failure).

I hope this will help.

Michael Findlay
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Here is an list of Mrs. Spencer's lost belongings (in Fr. francs), presumably for an insurance claim. She certainly didn't travel light by our standards, but she's not in the Cardeza league. It seems she managed to get this lot into a large trunk (Vuitton!) and a travelling bag, though I don't see how. It's interesting to see what sort of clothes predominated then (so many gloves and nightdresses...). She also has six brassieres and only one corset, I think, which suggests she valued her comfort.
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/titanic/tspencer4.html
 

Claude Roulet

Member
May 29, 2007
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I wrote a longer message in William A. Spencer subject. I am the grand-grand nephew of Elise Lurette, the "devoted family maid" of the Spencer family.

I don't know a lot about Mrs. Spencer. She and her husband were booked and had their cabin on the deck B. In March 1912 William A. Spencer asked Elise Lurette to travel with him and his wife to New-York. It was said in our family that Mrs. Spencer was morphine addicted. This was the reason why William wanted Elise to accompany them to New York. Elise Lurette liked very much William A. Spencer so she accepted.

After her return to Paris, she didn't have contacts with the Spencer family anymore.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Apr 21, 2009
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Having read the thread about the mix up of the Spencer Cabin in Cabin numbers, i began trying to find out a little more about Mr.and Mrs.Spencer.
The cabin number thread was started by someone quoting a misprint in a book that said the couple were quoted as staying in C-78 and had refused to leave their room once the sinking began, and how they were really in B-78.
I then had a look at the Cave list and saw that Mrs.Spencer did infact leave in a lifeboat (number 6).
I am also interested in knowing the correct cabin number occupied bt the Spencer couple, albeit for different reasons to Gary Bell. Like him, I have read in one or two books (cannot quote the titles from memory) that they occupied C-78. But later sources including ET (other than the Cave List) have them occupying B-78 while their maid was in B-80. Then there is the Cave List, also quoted in ET, has them in B-76 while keeping the maid in B-80.

My interest stems from Bedroom Steward Henry Samuel Etches claim that a couple in B-78 (was it?) did not open the door to his knocking and kept asking him what the matter was. Assuming that Etches was telling the truth and the Cave List was correct, then the middle-aged Spencers were in B-76 and Etches would have known their identity had he been knocking on that cabin door. It transpires therefore that B-78 was probably unallocated at the start and the unknown couple were there clandestinely. Who could they have been?
 

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