The Hypothetical Trial of Captain Lord

Paul Lee

Aug 11, 2003
A thought occurred to me while slurping through many ice cold lagers in the pub last night

It seems to me that, of the two people on the Californian's bridge in the Middle Watch of 15/4/12, Stone's description of what he saw would be used in a trial of Captain Lord as part of the defence team's arguments - after all, he said he saw a ship steam away., and hence not the Titanic.

On the other hand, Gibson's statement could be used by the prosecution as its contents confirm the Titanic-Californian "link".

So, if the matter ever did get to court, hypothetically, what arguments would YOU use to convince a jury that either Stone or Gibson is the person to believe?

By the way, if anyone can enlighten me as to how Stone got his compass readings so utterly confused, then please let me know. An overestimate
of the Caifornian's rate of rotation that night would indeed make a stationary ship seem to change bearing: - Stone repeatedly refers to the Californian's heading, and the bearing of the other ship. Gibson also says that Stone was constantly taking bearings of the other ship, so how on earth can he get so muddled?



PS Woohoo! 900th post!
Dec 2, 2000
Easley South Carolina
I'm not so sure if I would try to get a jury to believe anything. If you want to get an idea of what the case for both the prosecution and the defense would have been, read Leslie Reade's "The Ship That Stood Still" and then read Senan Molony's "A Ship Accused" respectively.

Since no trial ever took place, these books are prbably as close as anyone will ever get to seeing what form the respectives cases would have been presented in.
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May 3, 2005
Since this is about a hypothetical trial of Captain Lord, here is a hypothetical portion of part of this trial.:

Lord Mersey - If you had heard the Titanic's distress signals, why would you not have gone to her aid and assistance ? In my mind , could you not have saved many, if not all, of her officers, crew and passengers .?

Captain Lord - I had stopped for the night because of the ice and I was unfamiliar with ice and fearful lest I might suffer the same calamity. I was waiting for daylight to proceed.

Lord Mersey - That will not do. Carpathia did.

Captain Lord - I rather doubt I would have had enough man power, boats and space available to save many souls.

Lord Mersey - I do not like your answers. Carpathia did. I find, you Sir, guilty for the death of some 1500 souls.

Rob Lawes

Jun 13, 2012
I've not read any of his work so it would be unfair to comment however, given he's the chap who promoted the bunker fire story, which he must have known was absolute balderdash, then is it fair to assume that the same level of academic rigour is applied to his other works?
Dec 2, 2000
Easley South Carolina
I would submit that no matter how compelling the evidence against him, Captain Lord....if represented by an advocate who's I.Q. was at room temperature....would have won an acquittal or at the very least a reversal on an appeal.

As closely as he was examined....without benefit of legal counsel at two wouldn't have been hard to show that there was no way he could get a fair trial. Further, people such as Leslie Reade and Senan Molony have shown how the defense could have easily established reasonable doubt. To win an acquittal, that's all you need.
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