William Carter's Mistress


derek byrne

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Charles Pellegrino in his book 'Ghosts of the Titanic' claims that William Carter had a mistress with him on Titanic as well as his wife and children. I can find no other evidence to support this claim. Can anybody comment either way? Thanks for any help.
 

Cam Houseman

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Charles Pellegrino in his book 'Ghosts of the Titanic' claims that William Carter had a mistress with him on Titanic as well as his wife and children. I can find no other evidence to support this claim. Can anybody comment either way? Thanks for any help.
do you have a page number and quote? that would help alot :)
 

George Jacub

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do you have a page number and quote? that would help alot :)
Page. 10 The single paragraph reads:

First-class passenger William Carter, a notorious playboy, had the disquieting knowledge that he had been caught in the act of uhering his mistress onto a lifeboat---by Mrs. Carter. He expected that if the entire triangle survived the night, he was due for some "really interesting times" when he reached New York.
 
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Cam Houseman

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Page. 10 The single paragraph reads:

First-class passenger William Carter, a notorious playboy, had the disquieting knowledge that he had been caught in the act of uhering his mistress onto a lifeboat---by Mrs. Carter. He expected that if the entire triangle survived the night, he was due for some "really interesting times" when he reached New York.
thanks, I'll check around!

Ropey, everything sounds ropey until there's a source.
 

Arun Vajpey

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I have not seen any mention in any other publication of William Carter having a mistress on board the Titanic. AFAIK, the only well known passenger with a mistress on board was Benjamin Guggenheim, with his Leontine Aubart. Mme Aubart was rescued on Lifeboat #9 with her maid but I am not sure if Guggenheim ushered her to it. It might be another case of Pellegrino getting things mixed-up.

William and Lucile Carter were among the invitees of the dinner party that the Wideners gave to Captain Smith on the night of the disaster. Other than those two, Mrs Widener and Mrs Thayer survived from that party. AFAIK, no untoward incidents were mentioned by either of those two women, but I suppose that is expected in that class of people, especially under those circumstances.

The general opinion is that Lucile Carter took umbrage to the fact that her husband had arrived on board the Carpathia earlier than she could and when they met, made a careless (and perhaps tasteless) remark about having just had a good breakfast. May seem trivial to some but apparently their marriage went downhill from that point. Lucile accused William Carter of deserting her and the children on board the Titanic, although I cannot see how he could have done that. It was not Bill Carter's fault that launch of Lifeboat #4 was delayed and in any case, Collapsible C, on which he was rescued, was lowered some 8 minutes after #4.

Lucile also accused her husband of marital violence, including horsewhipping her. Also, Carter being clubbed with Ismay in the post-disaster finger-pointing and vilification might not have helped. But AFAIK, there was no mistress involved.

What I did find interesting was the derogatory comments that Lucile is supposed to have made about her husband in public during the time leading up to their divorce. Oddly, Lucile remarried just 3 months later to George Brooke and so one has to wonder which one of the former Carter couple was entitled to accuse the spouse of misdemeanour. William Carter never remarried.
 
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Cam Houseman

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I have not seen any mention in any other publication of William Carter having a mistress on board the Titanic. AFAIK, the only well known passenger with a mistress on board was Benjamin Guggenheim, with his Leontine Aubart. Mme Aubart was rescued on Lifeboat #9 with her maid but I am not sure if Guggenheim ushered her to it. It might be another case of Pellegrino getting things mixed-up.
That's what I was thinking thanks Arun, could only find mentions of Guggenheim and his mistress.
We all get mixed up, happens to the best of us ;)
 
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derek byrne

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I have not seen any mention in any other publication of William Carter having a mistress on board the Titanic. AFAIK, the only well known passenger with a mistress on board was Benjamin Guggenheim, with his Leontine Aubart. Mme Aubart was rescued on Lifeboat #9 with her maid but I am not sure if Guggenheim ushered her to it. It might be another case of Pellegrino getting things mixed-up.

William and Lucile Carter were among the invitees of the dinner party that the wideners gave to Captain Smith on the night of the disaster. Other than those two, Mrs Widener and Mrs Thayer survived from that party. AFAIK, no untoward incidents were mentioned by either of those two women, but I suppose that is expected in that class of people, especially under those circumstances.

The general opinion is that Lucile Carter took umbrage to the fact that her husband had arrived on board the Carpathia earlier than she could and when they met, made a careless (and perhaps tasteless) remark about having just had a good breakfast. May seem trivial to some but apparently their marriage went downhill from that point. Lucile accused William Carter of deserting her and the children on board the Titanic, although I cannot see how he could have done that. It was not Bill Carter's fault that launch of Lifeboat #4 was delayed and in any case, Collapsible C, on which he was rescued, was lowered some 8 minutes after #4.

Lucile also accused her husband of marital violence, including horsewhipping her. Also, Carter being clubbed with Ismay in the post-disaster finger-pointing and vilification might not have helped. But AFAIK, there was no mistress involved.

What I did find interesting was the derogatory comments that Lucile is supposed to have made about her husband in public during the time leading up to their divorce. Oddly, Lucile remarried just 3 months later to George Brooke and so one has to wonder which one of the former Carter couple was entitled to accuse the spouse of misdemeanour. William Carter never remarried.
Thank you for a very helpful and thorough answer.
 

Seumas

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I didn't see Walter Lord provide any sources besides naming passengers.
Pellegrino had access to Lord's files, and knew survivors personally.
Hence why I said the other day on another thread that Walter Lord was a nice man but truthfully not a great historian.

Regarding Lord's files, Dr Lee (who has actually been through Lord's papers in London with a fine toothcomb) has said they are quite disappointing and nothing really exciting.

We need a source. It's not good enough to just write "I think this happened - therefore it did". Any half decent high school history teacher would have their head in their hands at stuff like that.

The world's top living historians such as Sir Richard J. Evans, Ron Chernow, Anne Applebaum or James M. McPherson amongst others get the respect they do and sell millions of books each year because they meticulously publish all their sources. It's almost impossible to fault them.
 

George Jacub

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If there was a mistress, the most likely suspect would be Miss Augusta Jeanne Serreplaà, Mrs. Carter's maid. She was six or seven years younger than Mrs. Carter and was probably assisted into Lifeboat No. 4 by Mr. Carter at the same time he was helping his wife into the boat. According to the biography on Encyclopedia Titanica, there's no record for when she was hired by the Carters and no record for when she left Mrs. Carter's employ.


Society men travelling with their mistresses wasn't unusual. Quigg Baxter, first class passenger from Montreal, had his paramour on the Titanic. She was 24-year old cabaret singer, Berthe Mayné who performed throughout Europe. He was bringing Mayné back to Montreal with him. He booked her a cabin of her own under the name Madame DeVilliers. His mother and sister, also on the Titanic, had no idea she even existed until they all wound up in the same lifeboat waving goodbye to Quigg.
 
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Seumas

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If there was a mistress, the most likely suspect would be Miss Augusta Jeanne Serreplaà, Mrs. Carter's maid. She was six or seven years younger than Mrs. Carter and was probably assisted into Lifeboat No. 4 by Mr. Carter at the same time he was helping his wife into the boat. According to the biography on Encyclopedia Titanica, there's no record for when she was hired by the Carters and no record for when she left Mrs. Carter's employ.
That's not very convincing evidence.
 

Cam Houseman

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If there was a mistress, the most likely suspect would be Miss Augusta Jeanne Serreplaà, Mrs. Carter's maid. She was six or seven years younger than Mrs. Carter and was probably assisted into Lifeboat No. 4 by Mr. Carter at the same time he was helping his wife into the boat. According to the biography on Encyclopedia Titanica, there's no record for when she was hired by the Carters and no record for when she left Mrs. Carter's employ.
That's what I was thinking, good idea!

Isn't that a stereotype, the Husband has an affair with the maid, lol.
 
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I have not seen any mention in any other publication of William Carter having a mistress on board the Titanic. AFAIK, the only well known passenger with a mistress on board was Benjamin Guggenheim, with his Leontine Aubart. Mme Aubart was rescued on Lifeboat #9 with her maid but I am not sure if Guggenheim ushered her to it. It might be another case of Pellegrino getting things mixed-up.

William and Lucile Carter were among the invitees of the dinner party that the Wideners gave to Captain Smith on the night of the disaster. Other than those two, Mrs Widener and Mrs Thayer survived from that party. AFAIK, no untoward incidents were mentioned by either of those two women, but I suppose that is expected in that class of people, especially under those circumstances.

The general opinion is that Lucile Carter took umbrage to the fact that her husband had arrived on board the Carpathia earlier than she could and when they met, made a careless (and perhaps tasteless) remark about having just had a good breakfast. May seem trivial to some but apparently their marriag. Lucile accused William Carter o

I have not seen any mention in any other publication of William Carter having a mistress on board the Titanic. AFAIK, the only well known passenger with a mistress on board was Benjamin Guggenheim, with his Leontine Aubart. Mme Aubart was rescued on Lifeboat #9 with her maid but I am not sure if Guggenheim ushered her to it. It might be another case of Pellegrino getting things mixed-up.

William and Lucile Carter were among the invitees of the dinner party that the Wideners gave to Captain Smith on the night of the disaster. Other than those two, Mrs Widener and Mrs Thayer survived from that party. AFAIK, no untoward incidents were mentioned by either of those two women, but I suppose that is expected in that class of people, especially under those circumstances.

The general opinion is that Lucile Carter took umbrage to the fact that her husband had arrived on board the Carpathia earlier than she could and when they met, made a careless (and perhaps tasteless) remark about having just had a good breakfast. May seem trivial to some but apparently their marriage went downhill from that point.
Lucile accused William Carter of deserting her and the children on board the Titanic, although I cannot see how he could have done that. It was not Bill Carter's fault that launch of Lifeboat #4 was delayed and in any case, Collapsible C, on which he was rescued, was lowered some 8 minutes after #4.

Lucile also accused her husband of marital violence, including horsewhipping her. Also, Carter being clubbed with Ismay in the post-disaster finger-pointing and vilification might not have helped. But AFAIK, there was no mistress involved.

What I did find interesting was the derogatory comments that Lucile is supposed to have made about her husband in public during the time leading up to their divorce. Oddly, Lucile remarried just 3 months later to George Brooke and so one has to wonder which one of the former Carter couple was entitled to accuse the spouse of misdemeanour. William Carter never remarried.

f dee went downhill from that pointserting her and the children on board the Titanic, although I cannot see how he could have done that. It was not Bill Carter's fault that launch of Lifeboat #4 was delayed and in any case, Collapsible C, on which he was rescued, was lowered some 8 minutes after #4.

Lucile also accused her husband of marital violence, including horsewhipping her. Also, Carter being clubbed with Ismay in the post-disaster finger-pointing and vilification might not have helped. But AFAIK, there was no mistress involved.

What I did find interesting was the derogatory comments that Lucile is supposed to have made about her husband in public during the time leading up to their divorce. Oddly, Lucile remarried just 3 months later to George Brooke and so one has to wonder which one of the former Carter couple was entitled to accuse the spouse of misdemeanour. William Carter never remarried.
In another thread about Titanic tall tales I posted about a tale where someone was accused of telling his wife that everything was ok, go back to sleep and then got in a boat and abandoned her. I'm wondering if that tall tale grew from her story.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Society men travelling with their mistresses wasn't unusual
That is very likely true.
If there was a mistress, the most likely suspect would be Miss Augusta Jeanne Serreplaà, Mrs. Carter's maid.
But is there any evidence to support this? I have seen no gossip column clipping of a possible affair between them. Lucile Carter was no fool and even if he was so inclined, Bill Carter would know that any dalliance with the maid would have serious repercussions. Furthermore, just because Augusta Serreplaa was young and French, it did not follow that she was attractive or amorously inclined.

After the Titanic disaster and in the time leading up to their divorce, Lucile Carter lost no opportunity to deride William, like calling him a "wet dishrag of a husband" in public. If there had been an affair with the maid, I am sure that Lucile would not have hesitated in making that public, probably after she got married again.
 
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George Jacub

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What gossip column clippings have you read linking Benjamin Guggenheim with Leontine Aubart? Was Mrs. Guggenheim a fool?

Just for fun read up on Lucille Polk's scandalous reputation before she married Mr. Carter.
 

Arun Vajpey

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What gossip column clippings have you read linking Benjamin Guggenheim with Leontine Aubart?
I have read - like I am sure you have - in several Titanic publications about Guggenheim and Aubart. I don't think it was that much of a secret.
Just for fun read up on Lucille Polk's scandalous reputation before she married Mr. Carter.
I can very well believe it. In fact, in my earlier post I have commented on her very early post-divorce second marriage and insinuated that it might have been Bill Carter who had reason to point out his spouse's misdemeanours rather than the other way round. I would not be surprised if it was she who instigated that "notorious playboy" report.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Society men travelling with their mistresses wasn't unusual. Quigg Baxter, first class passenger from Montreal, had his paramour on the Titanic.
Yes, and there were other 'couples' on board like that.

Henry Morley and his 19-year-old mistress Kate Phillips (travelling as Mr and Mrs Marshall)

George Rosenshine and Maybelle Thorne. He called himself George Thorne to avert any raised eyebrows.
Interestingly, this couple were among the diners in the a la carte restaurant on the night of the disaster. Although they were not invitees to the Wideners' party to the Captain (some sources claim that they were), their table appears to have been closest to the other group. Maybelle Thorne was one of those who commented on the gay atmosphere at the Wideners' party and also noted that it was almost 10 pm by the time Captain Smith left the table. That was more or less independently corroborated by Daisy Minahan, which made me wonder if (unbeknown to Lightoller) Captain Smith returned to the party table after his 08:55 pm trip to the bridge.

Such 'unofficial' dalliances were not limited to First Class. Dennis Lennon and Mary Mullin were travelling as Mr and Mrs Lennon in Third Class; sadly, both perished in the sinking.
 

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