The Penasco mystery


Mauro Zungri

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Nov 2, 2004
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Queridos amigos: queria compartir una información que escuche en un documental no hace mucho tiempo. Como todos saven los Peñasco se enconraban en su viaje de bodas cuando decidieron emabracar, sin permiso, en el Titanic... Luego toda la historia conocida la cual incluye una declaración de la Condesa de Roth.
Pero la información que yo desconocia es que por aquellas años, en España, una mujer no podia volver a contraer matrimonio a causa de la ausencia del cuerpo. Y justamente el cuerpo de Victor no llego al puerto de Halifax en ninguna emabarcación; Por ello la opulenta familia Peñasco debio comprar un cadaver y realizar una identificación falsa para evitarle a la joven Josefa años de dolor y soledad.
Esa era la informaciòn que queria compartir y preguntar si alguien tenia conocimiento de ella.
Me disculpo por escribir este texto en castellano pero como ustedes saven mi ingles no es muy fluido.
Saludos muy codiales.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Mmmmmm...if we have somebody here fluant in reading and writing Spanish, perhaps that person would be so kind as to translate the above. Hopefully then, Mauro can have a better shot at getting whatever information he's looking for.
 

Paul Rogers

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Nov 30, 2000
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Hello Mauro.

I've had a go with 'Babel Fish' at translating your post, as it seems very interesting. The following is that site's attempt:
quote:

Dear friends: queria to share one informaciòn that listens not long ago in documentary a time. As all saven the Rocky crag is enconraban in their trip of weddings when they decided to emabracar, without permission, in the Titanic... Soon all the well-known history which includes one declaraciòn of Countess de Roth. But informaciòn that I desconocia is that by those years, in Spain, a woman podia not to return to contract marriage because of the absence of the body. And exactly the body of Victor I do not arrive at the port from Halifax in any emabarcaciòn; For that reason the opulent family Rocky crag debio to buy to cadaver and to make one identificaciòn false to avoid to the Josefa young person years to him of pain and solitude. That was informaciòn that queria to share and to ask if somebody tapeworm knowledge of her. I apologize to write this text in Castilian but as you saven my ingles is not very fluid.
If anyone can improve on Babel Fish's attempt, please have a go.​
 

Senan Molony

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Jan 30, 2004
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So, it was a Rocky crag that enconrabaned the Titanic?

Vindication for Marmaduke Collins!

[I am afraid the wider Penasco mystery remains, for me at least.]
 

Senan Molony

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Mauro is asking if anyone has knowledge of this story of the Penasco ("Rocky crag") family buying a male cadaver to impersonate Victor's body since "widows" in Spain at that time were not allowed to remarry without proving the death of the husband, which could not be proved without a tapeworm, I mean body.

I put the text into another search engine and it came up with this for Mauro's last paragraph:

"I excuse myself for writing this text in Spaniard but as you saven my groins very is not flowed."

Check for yourself on:

http://ets.freetranslation.com/
 

Ernie Luck

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Nov 24, 2004
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I am currently re-reading Walter Lord's ANTR and there is a relevant paragraph which presumably has some factual basis, I quote:-

"On the fringe of the crowd stood a young Spanish honeymoon couple. Senor Victor de Satode Penasco was just eighteen years old and his bride only seventeen. Neither could understand English. As they watched in bewilderment, the Countess of Rothes spied them and hurried over. A few hurried words in French...then Senor Penasco delivered his bride to the Countess's care and stepped back into the shadows"

Hope this is of help.
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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The story is on page 62 of Titanic: Women and Children First.

As Mauro says, Mrs Peñasco couldn't inherit her late husband's considerable estate without definite evidence in the form of his body. With the connivance of Señor Peñasco's mother, the Spanish Vice Consul in Canada managed to acquire a Death Certificate. As I read it, no body was really produced, but the paperwork shows that Señor Peñasco was buried in Fairview. Money talks !
 
Apr 11, 2001
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That about says it Dave! Word for word though:


Dear Friends, I wanted to share some information that I overheard in a documentary not too long ago. As everyone knows, the Penascos were on their honeymoon (wedding trip) when they decided to embark on Titanic -without permission. (sin permiso can also mean without documentation so that might be a whole other problem). Later, the entire well-known story was revealed in an account by the Countess of Rothes. But the detail of information I was not recalling was that for many years, in Spain, a (widowed)wife could not upset the legal contract of marriage without the presence of a body of the spouse. And this was justifiably the case, as no body of Victor came into Halifax or was picked up by any boat. For the extremely wealthy Penasco family to have to resort to buying a cadaver and taking part in a fraudulent identification was a shame which caused the young Josefa years of sorrow and solitude. So, this is what I wanted to share, and also to ask if anybody here has any more information about her. Please excuse me for writing these lines in Castillian, but as you know, my English is not very fluid! Cordially,
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Having mulled this over awhile, maybe the actions taken were not as superficial as money. I imagine the match may well have been arranged, as were many marriage contracts among wealthy families. But then again, maybe she adored Victor. When I think of what I knew at 17, it must have been sheer terror that night on deck for what amounts to not much more than a child involved. I can imagine the despair of the Penasco parents, to whom in those days a son was so very important. No doubt they would have every sympathy for their new daughter-in-law, widowed so young, and in the heart-wrenching scenario of the sinking. Surely they knew she would wish to remarry, and that the impediment of the law's requirements would keep her from doing so. You can almost hear the dialogue in that household. For the measure which was taken at last, it must have cost the family plenty -in reputation more than money. And in those days appearances mattered more than wealth. I have been caught in coup d'etat in Greece in 1973, with tanks rolling down the street, gunfire all around and screaming mobs racing around speaking Greek. It gave all new meaning to "it was all Greek to me". To be in a life-threatening situation and not to know the language or what is happening around one is an unbelievably frightening situation. It is probably about the same feeling as the Penascos and so many others experienced that night. This is a topic Cameron might well have done more to portray-and Josefa and Victor's story surely had all the components of the Rose-Jack fabrication. I believe here in the States it is still a seven-year waiting period before a spouse can be declared legally dead in similar circumstances.
 

Mauro Zungri

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Nov 2, 2004
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Thanks for informaciòn and the made translations. I do not criticize the position that volume the family, single queria to saver if it were certain.
A very warm greeting.
 
A

Aniceto Gómez

Guest
Please, is saBer, with B not wit V, my god!!!

The Peñasco's travelled abroad the Titanic without the permission of Victor's mother. Doña Purificación Castellana Moreno allowed them to travel around Europe when they started their honeymoon at the end of 1910, they married in December 8 of 1910( so imaging what a long honeymoon , they spent 111 millions pesetas, a bit less than a 1€ million. Yes, they were very rich, while the rest of Spain were very poor)The problem was Victor's mother, she didn't want they to travel by ship. We don't know why, maybe she was afraid of them...anyway, they lied to her so they told their butler to send postcards from Paris to Madrid in order to make she believe that her son and his wife where at the french capital.This way they could go to NY and then to la Havana freely . You know the rest.

I have a piece of newspaper where it is all the story, even the testimony of Fermina, the Peñasco's maid, but I don`t know how to share wit you. It was published when James Cameron release Titanic. The problem is that it write all in Spanish and I'm very bad in translating into English so you will need a translator.
 

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