Rich People in Society


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Brian Ahern

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Okay, here's what I've dug up so far...

Another ET thread puts Elizabeth Lamson's husband as Sir Victor Arthur Wellington Drummond. There was a diplomat by that name, who is probably the VAWD born in 1833 to Andrew Robert Drummond of Cadlands, Co. Hants and Lady Elizabeth Frederica Manners (Manners again!), daughter to the Duke of Rutland.

His paternal grandparents were Andrew Berkeley Drummond and Lady Mary Percival, daughter to the Earl of Egmont.

His great-grandfather was the Honourable Robert Drummond, a younger son to the 4th Viscount Strathallan.

All of this is from an online sample of The Peerage.

If you google the hubby's full name, quite a lot comes up. I'm not sure why I was under the impression that previous searches were fruitless.
 

Brian Ahern

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Incidentally, that book sounds fascinating, regardless of whether you unearth any Titanic connections. And since the Victor Drummond who was probably the Lamsons' brother-in-law was born during that period, it might not be too far off the mark!

And I also can't think off the top of my head what the Clementine-Mitford connection was. It would be easy to trace. I THINK the Mitfords' mother was an Ogilvy, as was Clementine's.
 
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sashka pozzetti

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talking of aristocrats and glamour, I just heard that Isabella Blow had died today. I doubt there was anyone in 1912 anything like her her :-(
 
Mar 20, 2007
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I think you're spot-on with the Mitford/Hozier connection, Brian.

The book I've ordered on the Drummond family does indeed promise to be fascinating. It is called 'Making Victorians' and I used to take it out with some regularity from my school library. In a nut-shell, it is a collection of naive but utterly charming school room watercolours executed by the Drummond children between 1827 and 1832. This little sliver of history, poised between the Regency and the Victorian Era (what I term to myself the 'Quality Street' period), is one of my very favourites and the Drummonds, from their unusually privileged perspective, recorded the fashions, the interior design and the social mores of their day in minute detail. I can't wait for the book to arrive as I haven't clapped eyes on a copy for over ten years! But from memory, I think the 'Lamson Drummond' might well be from the very same family and he might even make a few cameo appearances as a babe-in-arms!
 
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sashka pozzetti

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I couldn't find any pictures of Marquesa Casati, but googling her did throw up a picture of Edith Sitwell. I think she would have been a candidate if she had been around earlier.
 
Mar 20, 2007
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Keep trying with the Marquesa Casati, there must be something on-line. She was painted by Boldini and photographed by de Meyer and was truly a sight to behold. Beaton writes of her at length in his 'Glass of Fashion'.
 
Jun 27, 2007
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The 'Making Victorians' book features a different branch of the Drummond family to Victor Drummond but both branches owned and ran Drummonds Bank of 49 Charing Cross. Victor was not involved in the bank but three of his brothers were.

There are two photos of Victor on the web. Follow the links below.

Victor had no children but was a much honoured diplomat. Have researched one of Victor's brothers extensively so may be able to help on any questions.

m197601510039.jpg

m197601510029.jpg
 
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Thank you, that is most interesting. Having received my copy of the otherwise charming 'Making Victorians' from Amazon several weeks ago, I'm aware that the Victor Drummond under discussion was not a member of that particular branch of the family.

I imagine that you have read back on this thread? Brian Ahern and I have been trying to identify the recently deceased 'Lady Drummond' who was a sister of three first-class passengers, Mrs Appleton, Mrs Brown and Mrs Cornell. I take it the Victor Drummond you refer to WAS the late Lady Drummond's husband? If so, then I am intrigued. When and where did he meet his American wife? And do we know her maiden name?
 
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Silly me...

'I have nine children born to Charles Lamson and Elizabeth Robertson Marshall - the other six:
1. Fidelia Marshall Lamson 27 Jan 1848 - Paris, France
2. Elizabeth Marshall Lamson 12 Jan 1849 NYC md to Victor Arthur Wellington Drummond
3. Charles Marshall Lamson
30 sep 1850 NYC
4. Kathrine W. Lamson 5 Jul 1851 NYC md. Pedro de Florez
5. Caroline Lane Lamson
6. Malvina Helen Lamson
7. John Lamson 6 Jan 1858 NYC
8. Charlotte Lane Lamson
9. Frances Amelia Lamson 30 Sep 1861 NYC
md Charles Guthrie.


David Huffaker kindly provided the information above on a thread devoted to the 'Titanic' sisters almost exactly four years ago. Judging from their names, the Lamsons sound like the proud possessors of impeccable WASP pedigrees. Yet Katherine married a Senor de Florez (Cuban? Latin American?) whilst Elizabeth married a well-born Englishman and ultimately achieved a title. All potentially fascinating - although this discussion is perhaps best continued on the Lamson thread where I hope Mike will kindly provide some more information on Sir Victor...?
 

Brian Ahern

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Martin - I've been studying the 1895 New York Social Register for Titanic connections and other interesting listings and will get around to sharing what I've found.

All the Lamson siblings resident in NYC are listed, including Katherine Lamson de Florez and her husband. You might be surprised to learn that there are an enormous amount of Italian and Spanish surnames included in it. Usually - though certainly not always - the wife's maiden name is a solid Anglo name. Needless to say, an enormous number of dollar princesses are included with their titled husbands, whether the addresses are in New York or Europe.

American Society - or at least New York Society - has always liked having continental Europeans in its midst. I would venture to say that being an Italian from Italy or a Spaniard from Spain could be "carried off" more easily than being an American of Italian or Spanish extraction, even if one wasn't an aristocrat.

There are, of course, exceptions to this. One would be the Sartori family. The founder of their American branch left Rome - where his father was, the story goes, jeweler to the Vatican - and settled in Trenton, New Jersey in the early 19th century, where he founded a calico factory and where his family intermarried with various aristocratic French émigré families. The Sartoris were apparently very sought-after by the end of the century.

And, of course, because the Spanish were knocking about (if I may be permitted a Britishism) the south and southwest all those centuries ago, various founding families of those regions were Spanish.

But when one sees evidence of a high-profile WASP-Mediterranean pairing a century ago, it always begs the question: did he have a suitable fortune and simply take a fancy to a pretty Yank, or did he shrewdly use an exotic swarthiness to catch himself a rich, impressionable wife?

The Lamson sisters were far from the only Titanic passengers with Mediterranean relatives. Charlotte Cardeza's marriage has been much-discussed, as has Madeleine Astor's final marriage. Georgette Madill's husband was, if I'm not mistaken, a London barrister of Maltese descent. And Ellen Ryerson - the daughter NOT on the Titanic - married Victor Salvatore, a noted sculptor who had left Italy for the US when he was young. My sense is that he came from pretty humble roots, but I can't be sure.
 
Jun 27, 2007
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Victor Drummond was First Secretary to the British Legation in Washington in the early 1880s and as he married Elizabeth Lamson in April 1882 it is a fair assumption they met while he was in post. A check of the immigration records shows a Victor Drummond of the British Legation arrived in New York on the Bothnia on November 17 1877. Also a Mr and Mrs Victor Drummond arrived in New York on the Normannia on June 1 1891 from Munich Bavaria. Victor was Charge d'affaires to the King of Bavaria at that time and in fact died in Munich in 1907. Elizabeth's address is given as 18 Frederich Strasse Munich in 1907 which is after Victor retired so perhaps they intended to live permanently in Munich. In his will Victor thanks Elizabeth for "her sacrifice in leaving her home and country for me"

I understand Elizabeth died in Paris in 1912 but have no information why she was there.
 
Jun 27, 2007
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As a follow up to my previous message there is a mention of Victor Drummond and Elizabeth Lamson in a letter from Matthew Arnold (the English man of letters)to his sister Frances written in Munich and dated March 1, 1886. He says "There is no English minister here now, only a charge d'affaires, Mr Victor Drummond, married to a good looking American girl, they are only lately come here and are living at a hotel, so cannot entertain, though they are very hospitable in asking me to lunch and sup with them at their hotel" (source: The Letters of Matthew Arnold - The University of Virginia Press)

Victor was charge d'affaires from 1885 to 1890 and afterwards became British minister at the Courts of Munich and Stuttgart. As we know the Drummonds travelled to New York in 1891 I suspect this was to visit the Lamson family between diplomatic postings.

I understand that Elizabeth Lamson was a Lady of Honour of the Royal Order of Therese, Bavaria and Victor held many awards including Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (1903), Commander of the Order of the Bath (seriously!)(1898) Jubilee Medal (1897) and the Coronation Medal (1902). It raises the speculation that on Elizabeth's death in 1912, with no family, these awards could have passed to the Lamson sisters and went down with the ship.
 

Brian Ahern

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Thank you for sharing all of this, Mike. It is much appreciated. I suspect Martin has found a job, which is why we're not hearing from him. I'm sure he'll be around once he's settled.
 
Jun 27, 2007
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Taking all of this further I've picked up two more relevant points. The Lamsons were living in England in 1871 at Ashley House, Ryde on the Isle of Wight which is nine miles as the crow flies (with an awful lot of water in between) from the Drummond family seat at Cadland near Fawley in Hampshire England. According to the census that year Charles, wife Elizabeth R and children Elizabeth, Caroline, Kate, Malvina, Charlotte, Fanny and John L were all living in this major sailing resort. It is possible the Drummonds and Lamsons knew each other before Victor and Elizabeth married in 1882? Some of the family returned to New York arriving on the SS Java on October 30 1872. The eldest Lamsom sister, Fidelia had already married Richard Hoffman the concert pianist with the New Philharmonic and returned to New York on the SS Java on October 19 1869.

I also wondered why Fidelia did not appear to attend her sister's funeral. It seems she possibly did. Immigration records show there is a Fidelia Hoffman landing with daughter Malvina from France on board the SS Noorman on October 1 1912. Malvina Hoffman is the famous sculptor and her biography says she went to study with Rodin in 1910 after her father died. So is it possible that Malvina Hoffman lived with her aunt Elizabeth in Paris up and till her aunt's death in 1912 and returned with her mother at a later date thus missing the Titanic? Speculative
perhaps but maybe a comprehensive biography of Malvina Hoffman would confirm this.
 
Mar 20, 2007
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On a recent visit to the British Library Newspaper Archive, I quite by chance stumbled across an article which referenced a niece of Benjamin Guggenheim who married into the British aristocracy around 1922. At least, I THINK it was a niece - one of the daughters of one of Benjamin's brothers. I swiftly noted the names, and the appropriate reference, but - to my shame - I've since lost the scrap of paper. From memory, however, the Guggenheim girl married an earl. I'm intending to go through my Burke when I get a minute (alternatively, several hours) to see if I can work out which one!

Unless, Brian, you already know the answer and would like to share it?
 
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I'm fortunate in having found a new job that keeps me on it for literally hours a day!

Interesting alliance between the aristocracy and Jewish new money. No doubt the Guggenheim dowry helped to rejuvenate failing family finances. The countess may even have taken tips on modern art from her cousin, Peggy!
 

Brian Ahern

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Not unlike the Cavendish-Siegel marriage. Interfaith marriages of the time hold a mystique for me, particularly when it's a Jewish woman marrying into a gentile culture. This combo seems less common than that of Jewish husband-gentile wife, and leaves more room to wonder how it was handled. For instance, I'm sure everyone in New York was very aware that Mrs. Henry Siegel was not Jewish. But I wonder if people thought they were doing Mrs. Tyrell Cavendish or Mrs. Washington Dodge a favor if they didn't mention the faith of their birth.

It seems that the children of such marriages were usually raised as Christians (a notable exception being the family of Venetia Stanley, Clementine Churchill's cousin who converted when she married the Jewish Lord Montagu), and the Cavendish and Castle Stewart couples were both married in Christian ceremonies.
 
Mar 20, 2007
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Brian, I imagine that you know all about the Sassoon-Rocksavage marriage of 1913?

Sybil Sassoon was the product of two great Jewish banking dynasties (the Rothschilds and the Sassoons themselves) and was a great beauty besides. She was something of a muse for John Singer Sargent and he painted several wonderful portraits of her. She was also the sister of Sir Philip Sassoon, one of the greatest hosts and art collectors of the inter-war years.

Sybil married the very handsome Lord Rocksavage and ended up as Marchioness of Cholmondeley and chatelaine of one of England's finest stately homes, Houghton Hall in Norfolk, which she restored to perfection. She lived to a great age and continued to dispense Edwardian-style hospitality well into the 1980s. James Lees-Milne writes of her at length in his diaries, as does Cecil Beaton.

Then, of course, there was the Earl of Rosebery, who married Hannah de Rothschild - by all accounts, the pair were devoted to each other, so these inter-faith unions sometimes worked wonderfully well!
 
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