Tyrell and Julia Cavendish

In case anyone caught it, the one paragraph should read:

There had apparently been charges on Henry’s part that Marie’s extravagance had played a part in his ruin. Marie said, “My books will show and I have only one set, that in no year, even when Mr. Siegel was accredited with having an income exceeding several hundred thousand dollars a year, did he give me over $24,000 a year with which to maintain the expenses of his elaborate establishments.”

I left out the 'hundred'. Sorry!
Brian, I can't thank you enough for this. Your contributions are simply outstanding. I cannot wait to hear what you've uncovered about the Hippachs, Clarks and Harders!

As a matter of interest - are you using any sort of system for your research? Are there particular passengers who interest you more than others? You must surely have a book in you somewhere, just waiting to get out - I envisage a lavishly illustrated tome, dealing alphabetically with each man, woman and child in first-class! With all the inter-connections between the various individuals aboard, and the light it would throw on the lives of the Victorian and Edwardian rich, it would make for fascinating reading.

Oh - and I tried to send you a private message through E.T. about three weeks ago. I wonder, did you receive it?
Martin - I've scoured my inbox and didn't find a message. I receive a ton of discussion board updates that I delete without reading, so I probably deleted yours by accident. Sorry about that!

In answer to your other question, I'm usually interested in the passengers about whom little is known, rather than the names you encounter every time you read even the shallowest account of the disaster.

The book you described sounds great - you should get on it! As much as I would enjoy the work, I'm too busy eking out a living to tackle something of such questionable marketability. Especially something that I'd probably get so immersed in that it would get fired from my day job.

I'm so glad you enjoyed reading what I uncovered on the Cavendishes. It motivates me to get around to sharing what I've encountered on the others. I'm treating myself to a long weekend, so will get to it.

I was this afternoon thrilled to discover a previously unsuspected 'Titanic' connection in the Society columns of 'The New York Times'. It appears that, in the summer of 1900, Tyrell Cavendish arrived in Newport, where he stayed with Commodore and Mrs C.L.F. Robinson. On 10 July, he went to register at the ultra-modish Casino where he signed his name just below that of J. Clinch Smith who paid a visit that very same day!

I'd be intrigued to know what the bachelor Tyrell was doing in the States where, as we know, he would ultimately take a bride. Was he really on a mission to snaffle a dollar princess? From what I've read, he wasn't in a position to worry about money prior to his marriage...
That is something! I guess he would have been about 25 at the time? The little I know of the man makes me think he was a people-person; and so would have gamely accepted an invitation to cross the pond and check out a new scene.
The wedding of Julia Siegel and Tyrell Cavendish was, surprisingly perhaps, a very low-key affair. It took place at the home of her father at 26 East Eighty-Second Street on Boxing Day, 1906, and only twenty guests (mainly family) were present. The Rev. Dr. Ernest M. Steers of St. Thomas's Church officiated, and Julia wore a white broadcloth gown, trimmed with Irish lace, for the ceremony. Her cousin, Jerome Siegel, stood in as Tyrell's best man.

Again, I'd be fascinated to know why this marriage between a beautiful 'dollar princess' and a representative of England's aristocracy was carried out with such an absence of pomp and ceremony. By the standards of the time, one would have expected something quite other! Interesting, too, to learn that it was evidently a Christian service...
Another tiny scrap of information to add to what we know about Tyrell Cavendish. He was apparently educated at Harrow - not Eton, as I've speculated elsewhere on the board.
In my view, the story of the Cavendishes, with its background of wealth and glamour, scandal and disgrace, is one of the most fascinating of all that have come to light from the 'Titanic' so far.

Anybody with even a passing interest in the couple should Google 'Siegel-Cooper' which will immediately pull up quite an extensive amount of information about the landmark New York department store of that name, which was owned and operated by Julia's father, Henry. There are various photographs on-line from both the turn of the century and the present day - it was, and remains, a vast and magnificent edifice, which in its heyday rivalled both Macys and Harrods. Evidently, it was a great money-spinner too; the profits made Henry hugely rich and allowed his wife and daughters to move in the highest social circles and contract marriages with members of the European aristocracy. I seem to recall reading on another thread that, whilst on the 'Carpathia', Julia Cavendish and Leila Meyer (the daughter of the proprietor of Saks Fifth Avenue who had also been widowed) offered guarantees to Second Officer Lightoller that he could be kitted out at their family stores, free of charge, upon arrival in New York. A touching gesture.

I'd also add that a book I've mentioned on the board before, 'Crowning Glory: American Wives of Princes and Dukes' by Richard Jay Hutto, contains a lovely portrait, circa 1910, of the Italian Count Carlo Dentice de Frasso, who Julia's step-sister, Georgine Wilde, married at Brompton Oratory, London, in the spring of 1906 (Julia was a bridesmaid). As Brian points out in his post above, the marriage was dissolved in 1921, and the Count was later married again, to a very interesting lady called Dorothy Caldwell Taylor, who blazed a trail in international high society during the Jazz Age and even (reputedly) inspired a character in Clare Booth Luce's scandalous - and delicious - play, 'The Women'!
Greetings, Martin, I haven't logged on in a while.

I had read earlier on this thread that Julia and Leila bought clothes for Lightoller while on the Carpathia, and was surprised that the Carpathia's store (the barber shop, I believe) had such an extensive inventory. It makes much more sense that they would have provided him with the means of buying clothing once he was on land.

Henry Siegel's rise and fall were equally spectacular. The murky info we have on the Cavendish marriage makes me feel Tyrell would have manfully stood by his wife and father-in-law through the trials and humiliations that were soon to engulf them. In the end, Julia apparently had nothing material to bring to the marriage (if her stepmother's claims that Henry never gave her a penny can be believed). But I like to think that the woman herself was treasure enough for her husband.
That's an interesting thought, Brian. My own interpretation of Tyrell's character is that he was a very discreet individual, which might explain why so few passengers had any recollection of his activities during the voyage. Then again, if he really WAS hoping to run for Parliament, then he must have had a reasonably strong persona, besides abilities as a public speaker...I suppose we'll never know!

On the subject of finance: I wonder if Julia received a lump sum from her father by way of a dowry when she married, to be safely invested in England, or whether he made her a regular allowance, which presumably dried up completely when his business collapsed? I don't believe that she ever struggled to make ends meet. The village hall in Suffolk that she endowed in her husband's memory wasn't built until around 1915 (when Henry had gone bust) and her sons were attending very good schools in the Twenties. Likewise, at the end of her life, she was living in an elegant townhouse in Kensington, having never felt the urge to remarry, like so many 'Titanic' widows did in later years.
Good points. I'd forgot about the village hall, and never knew that she still had a London home at the time of her death.

I would find it hard to believe that Henry didn't settle money on her when she married, since that was still common practice then. As discussed above, Julia's stepmother Marie claimed he didn't, but we also discussed how this claim was suspect.
It might be interesting to know how much money Count Carlo Dentice de Frasso's SECOND wife brought to their marriage. The implication in Hutto's book (which I urge you to look out, Brian, if you haven't already done so) is that they had a high old time together in the Twenties and Thirties and that, far from being 'ruined' by his first marriage to Georgine Wilde, the Count was doing rather well. I mean, he must have contributed something other than his title to the match and, as I've mentioned elsewhere, Italian titles were not massively prestigious anyway.

Yes, at the time of her death, Julia was living in a very substantial white stuccoed villa just off the Gloucester Road, with Hyde Park only a stone's throw away. She doesn't appear to have moved all that far from Chesham Place, in Belgravia, which is where she and Tyrell maintained (or at least rented) a house in the early years of their marriage.

There is one thing that really strikes me about the Siegel-Cavendish saga and that is how easy it was for even the brightest stars in the American social firmament to slip into obscurity and disgrace. After all, Henry had been held up as one of the 'super-fashionables' of New York Society around the time Julia married Tyrell and, as you and I know, Marie was constantly in the most exclusive company at all manner of prestigious events. Then...scandal and, if not outright poverty, then certainly a dramatic tumble for them both. In a way, I'm reminded of Lily Bart's fall in 'The House of Mirth'. It seems that, in a society where status really depended on mere wealth, the social footing of men and women like Henry and Marie was increasingly precarious. Which, I feel, wasn't so much the case in Europe and certainly not in England. Julia Cavendish was perhaps fortunate to have married into an aristocratic family. Not only would Tyrell have (presumably) inherited a considerable amount of money and/or property, he - and, by extension, his wife and sons - would have been protected from the worst extremities of poverty and want by the aristocratic sense of caste. I mean, unless a well-born individual did something REALLY bad (so becoming a pariah like Lord Arthur Somerset), he or she would be unlikely to find themselves so totally lacking for some means of support.
The following link contains a brief account of the wedding of Tyrell's parents.


A cursory Google search indicates that the fortune of Tyrell's maternal grandfather, Robert Dickinson, derived from coal. This could explain why Tyrell, the son of a younger son, seems to have been quite comfortable financially. Thepeerage.com (I'm so glad it finally has a listing for the Cavendishes!) lists Robert Dickinson's homes as Ebchester Hall and Shotley House. More information seems to be availabe on the family's association with the latter. I'm curious as to what Robert Dickinson's roots were. Whatever they were, it did not prevent quite a few titled personages from attending his daughter's wedding.
By sheer coincidence, I've lately discovered that Little Onn Hall - where Tyrell and Julia Cavendish were based in 1912 and which they gave as their address when they sailed on the 'Titanic' - was actually the family home of a friend of mine: his mother's family purchased, or else took a long lease, on the house immediately after it was vacated by the widowed Julia. I've been lucky enough to look through photograph albums dating from the time of the Great War, showing children playing in the grounds, which had been landscaped during the 1890s by the famous gardener Thomas Mawson. Apparently, the funds ran out and Mawson was not able to implement some of his more grandiose schemes for the property but he DID construct a lake (known locally as 'the dog bone', owing to its irregular shape), tennis courts and terraces. A snapshot shows the formal parterres, bedded out with roses, which must have required constant maintenance by a sizeable team of gardeners. Although of only peripheral interest to the Cavendish story, seeing what THEY would have seen from their bedroom window, and imagining them strolling along the gravel paths, helped to bring them that little bit more into focus.

It has been rumoured that Little Onn was an 'unlucky' house, owing to a curse that was once placed upon it: Tyrell's untimely demise on the 'Titanic' has even been attributed to this. But my friend attests that his mother's family were in residence for many years and never felt any ill-effects...maybe the curse wore off over time?
Here's a coincidence - the Rev. Ernest Stires (that's the correct spelling) mentioned in the Nov. 21 post, also officiated at the wedding of James Clinch Smith and Bertha Barnes in Chicago in 1895. The Rev. Stires was a good friend of Major Butt and knew several of the other passengers.