Tyrell and Julia Cavendish

Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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Does anyone out there have any info on Tyrell and Julia Cavendish, aside from what is on their ET bios? I mean as far as their personalities, the circumstances surrounding their marriage, and Julia's life post-Titanic?

I've always been curious about what brought together this high-born Englishman and (Jewish?) American. Over the years I've only been able to pick up a few tidbits here and there on them, and have had to assume what I can.
A few years ago, I located a brief blurb in the London Times, printed not long after the Titanic's sinking, mentioning Tyrell's will being registered in probate. If I remember correctly, he left behind something in the neighborhood of 70 or 80,000 pounds. This was quite a fortune in 1912 and shows that Tyrell wasn't just another impovershed nobleman who crossed the ocean to find himself a dollar princess.
In fact, I once came across another newspaper article from 1912 where Julia's father, Henry Siegel, described his daughter's marriage as one of the few happy international marriages he had ever seen. I realize it's un-scholarly not to quote an exact source here, but this was some time ago.

Anyone interested can view Tyrell's family tree at http://www.worldroots.clicktron.com/foundation/britain/johncavendishgen.htm. But you'd have to be REALLY interested to bother because all it does is list the birth/marriage/death dates of his ancestors and descendents with little info besides.

The Cavendish's have always intrigued me because they are so shadowy, though I believe their son Henry did cooperate with Walter Lord for ANTR. They almost never appear in survivor accounts and it's always seemed to me that a bona fide English aristocrat, with a wife who appears quite stunning from her photos, would have attracted more attention among the first class passengers. I tend to think of them as modest people, who were very close to each other and kept to themselves.

Obviously, though, this is guess-work and I would very much appreciate hearing from anyone who could provide greater insights into these two elusive people.

Regards,
Brian Ahern
 
May 12, 2005
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Brian,

I have a letter of Lucy Duff Gordon's to her sister, written shortly after the disaster, in which she mentions Julia Cavendish standing in the crowd in the boat deck foyer (without her husband, she notes) just before the call came to evacuate. She also mentions the Cavendishes in her autobiography.

Randy
 
May 12, 2005
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Brian,

RE: The Cavendishes

No, she really doesn't go into any detail. In the letter it's but a passing reference. In her book she says more -

Discretions and Indiscretions by Lady Duff Gordon (U.S. ed.), p. 180:

"...One of the women I talked to [on Carpathia] was Mrs. Turrell (sic) Cavendish, the daughter of Mr. Henry Siegel. She was heartbroken over the loss of her husband, who had put her in one of the first boats to leave the wreck and had then gone back to save other women and children. The boat in which she had escaped had carried twenty-four women and only two sailors to row them. One of these men was so overcome by the cold that he collapsed in the bottom of the boat, and the women had taken their turn at the oars, and somehow or other managed to get the boat alongside the Carpathia. Several of them had been almost frozen during the night, for they were only half dressed and without shoes or stockings..."

I can't recall which boat Julia Cavendish was in but the story of a sailor or crewmember succumbing to the cold while rowing is supported by Mrs. Kenyon (I forget her first name) in an interview I remember hearing on tape some years back.

Randy
 

Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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Thanks for taking the trouble to include that, Randy.

According to everything I've ever seen, Mrs Cavendish was in lifeboat six. The crewmember must have been the stoker transferred from lifeboat sixteen. I actually can't think who Marian Kenyon was referring to, since sources have always put her in lifeboat eight.

Lucy Duff Gordon's reference is typical of info on the Cavendish's - tantalizing but fleeting. Kristen Iversen (author of "Molly Brown: Unravelling the Myth") is about the only person to go into any depth on Julia's actions and words throughout the disaster. But as she lists Julia as an Englishwoman in her mid-thirties, as opposed to American and 25, I have to wonder how much she can be trusted on this particular issue (in general, Iversen seems a very adept researcher).

What I'm really interested in, though, is the lives of the Cavendish's outside of the disaster. Two young people from different worlds ending up together. And then the beautiful young widow staying in England to bring up her sons and never remarrying. Outwardly, their story seems to have the makings of a novel, and I'm surprised it's never been explored.

Regards,
-Brian
 
Nov 22, 2000
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Brian,I have a copy of the Cavendish will - it's extremely long!Whilst the amount you stated was roughly correct - this amounted only to the sum held in the United Kingdom. There was a further huge amount of American property and securities to be added to that. At Florence's death, the amount had dwindled greatly - possibly much was lost during the collapse of the NY Stock Exchange.
One of the Cavendish sons is still alive, I received a letter from him earlier this year.

Geoff
 

Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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Thanks, Geoff. I assume the American money was Julia's (or did she go by Florence?).

I hate to be too prodding but did the son ever speak of his parents in any way you'd feel at liberty to discuss?
-Brian
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Hi Brian,

Regarding their shipboard acquaintances. Although I've drawn a blank on the source that may confirm this, it would appear that Tyrell and Julia were acquainted with the Countess of Rothes. Her table steward, Robert Burr, mentioned in his letters home that she was part of a table of 6. It is my belief that the Cavendish comprised two of the others. Tyrell's friend and fellow MP, Norman P. Craig, had orginally booked to sail with them, but cancelled at the last minute for no apparent reason. I believe Julia Cavendish was one of two women who purchased items of clothing on the Carpathia for 2nd Officer Lightoller who came aboard with nothing but the drenched clothes he was saved in.

I will try an upload a picture of their final resting place at Golders Green cemetary, London.

Best Regards,
Ben
 

Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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Thanks a lot, Geoff and Ben. I hadn't realized Tyrell was an MP. Every bit of info is much appreciated.
Regards,
Brian
 
Mar 28, 2002
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Little Onn Hall is 1 1/2 miles south of Church Eaton, itself 6 miles south-west by west of Stafford, just north of Gnosall station.

The Cavendish's residence, as you know, was Little Onn Hall. In 1912 the Hall was owned by Mrs Arthur Talbot of Edgmond Rectory and occupied by Tyrell William Cavendish Esq.

In 1870, Little Onn Hall is described as a modern stone mansion built in the Tudor style, with extensive and picturesque grounds. It was the seat of the Misses Ashton. (In 1851, Little Onn hamlet itself is 1 1/2 miles south of Church Eaton and is 870 acres in size, the sole property of Chas Ashton Esq.)

In 1932, Mrs Arthur Talbot still owned the Hall, occupied then by Mrs Heywood.

Nothing really to do with the Cavendish's. Would be interesting to find out why they made Stafford their home though.

Cheers,

Boz
 

ian Hough

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Dec 17, 2002
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Cheshire, United Kingdom
Ben

Did you ever get around to uploading a picture of the Cavendish's final resting place at Golders Green - I am going down to London next weekend and I would love to know where about in the Cemetery they are - if you could upload a picture or even give me directions it would save me a lot of hunting when I get there

many thanks
Houghie
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Brian,

I think you might be referring to the "New York American" 17 Ap. 1912 account by her father, which (as far as I recall) does say that they were very close, mentions the children etc. A later issue of the same newspaper has a small account by Mrs. Cavendish herself. I have never seen it; I recall someone told me about it (might have been George Behe).

Regards,

Daniel.
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Hi Ian,

I tried to upload the image on ET but it exceeded the maximum size. However, I would be glad to send it via email along with some more detailed directions. I know there are two cemetaries on Hoop Lane in Golders Green. On one side of the road is the Jewish cemetary (Golders Green is a predominantly Jewish community) where I learned subsequently that fellow passenger Adolphe Saalfeld is buried. Directly opposite is the actual cremetorium.

Best,

Ben
 

Ben Holme

Member
Feb 11, 2001
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Hi Daniel--A small account by Julia Cavendish appeared in the 19th April edition of the New York World. It is sketchy in detail and I have doubts about its accuracy, specifically her statement; My husband told me to get into a boat with the little girl. The couple were not travelling with children and her maid, Ellen Barber, was a year older than Mrs. C and hardly a "little girl". Apparently, Julia was the original source for the "I'm Ismay, I'm Ismay" story - the chairman's alleged ratings on the Carpathia.
 
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victoria clout

Guest
i am after information on ellen "nellie" barber who was a maid to mrs tyrell william cavindish on titanic, she was rescued on passenger lifeboat number 6 with mrs cavindish and they traveled as first class passengers! ellen barber was aged 26 in 1912 and born in penshurst tonbridge england and last permanate address was stafford, england! if anyone has heard of them, or knows them can they please get in touch ASAP! only via email though as i wont beable to access this site, email address: victoriaclout@hotmail.com
 
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Dana Cuddeford

Guest
Does anyone know where I can find a picture of Turrell Cavendish and his wife? I am looking for pictures of certain passengers and I am having a hard time finding any. Someone please help me.
 
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Dana Cuddeford

Guest
Hi, Bob. Thanks for your reply. How do I get to his bio page? Maybe the small picture you are referring to will be good enough. I'm desperate.
I went to the link you gave but couldn't find it.