Encyclopedia Titanica

Caroline Lane Brown

Caroline Lane Brown
Caroline Lane Brown

Mrs John Murray Brown (Caroline Lane Lamson), 59, was born in New York City on 8 July 1852, the daughter of Charles Lamson and Elixabeth R. Marshall. She was married to John Murray Brown, the son of James Brown and Mary Darby, who died on 29 April 1908.

A resident of Belmont, MA, Mrs Brown boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a first class passenger (ticket number 11769, £51 9s 7d, Cabin C-101) accompanied by her sisters Mrs R. C. Cornell and Mrs E. D. Appleton. They were returning to America having attended a family funeral in England. During the voyage they were joined by Miss Edith Corse Evans who boarded at Cherbourg as well as Col Archibald Gracie who gallantly offered his services to the unaccompanied ladies.

In the early hours of April 15th after all of the main lifeboats had got away Gracie rushed up to where Second Officer Charles Lightoller was shepherding women and children into Collapsible D (or boat 4?), he guided Mrs Brown and Miss Evans as far as he could before being stopped by the cordon Lightoller had set up to prevent a rush on the boat. Evans turned to Brown and said, 'You go first, you have children waiting at home.' Brown stepped into the boat but Evans faltered and the boat eventually left without her.

‘Room had been found for several persons picked up out of the water after the boat had been launched….There were only two boats left on their side of the deck when Mrs. Brown and Miss Evans were called….Mrs. Brown was seized by one of the seamen and thrown into the boat. As it was lowered she heard the officer telling Miss Evans to ‘come along’ and that there was one more boat….The lifeboat in which Mrs. Brown found a seat was leaking badly at the plug, she said, and women had to take off their stockings to plug up the hole. Finally, Mrs. Brown and some others were transferred to another boat. Just after the transfer had been made, Mrs. Brown said, a whistle was heard. It had been sounded by Second Officer Lightoller. It resulted in at least a score of lives being saved, and among those rescued from a raft were Harold Bride, the wireless operator, and John B. Thayer, Jr.  - The New York Times, April 22, 1912

''..As we rowed away from the Titanic,'' continued Mrs. Brown, ''we picked up all the men that we could and placed them in the lifeboat. One of those whom we saved was J. B. Thayer, jr., of Brooklyn, whom we found floating on a raft with some other men.'' - New York Herald, 20 April 1912

Mrs Brown was eventually reunited with her sisters on board the Carpathia and was surprised to meet her uncle and aunt Mr and Mrs Charles Marshall who were passengers on the vessel.

Caroline Brown (née Lamson) died in Concord, Massachusttes on June 26th 1928, aged 75. She was buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Caroline Brown Grave
Courtesy of Michael A. Findlay, USA

References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])

Newspaper Articles

Brooklyn Daily Times (17 April 1912) MRS. CORNELL SAVED?
Concord Enterprise (17 April 1912) Mrs. J. Murray Brown
Brooklyn Daily Eagle (19 April 1912) ISMAY IN COMMAND SAYS MRS. APPLETON
Worcester Evening Gazette (20 April 1912) Still Playing As Water Creeps Up
New York Times (20 April 1912) WOMEN REVEALED AS HEROINES BY WRECK (2)
Boston Daily Globe (21 April 1912) GIRL WENT DOWN TO SAVE ANOTHER
Torquay Directory (24 April 1912) Mr. Julian's Companion
Concord Enterprise (24 April 1912) Mrs. J. Murray Brown (1)
Bristol Times and Mirror (27 April 1912) GRAPHIC STORIES OF HEROISM
Arlington Advocate (27 April 1912) Mrs. J. Murray Brown (2)
Concord Journal (28 June 1928) CAROLINE LAMSON BROWN


Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1912) Mrs J. Murray Brown
Boston Globe (1912) Caroline Brown

Documents and Certificates

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Comment and discuss

  1. Shelley Dziedzic

    Here is a short article found today in another small local paper called the Concord Enterprise- Among the passengers on Titanic was Mrs. J. Murray Brown, widow of the late J. Murray Brown, and mother of Mrs. George S. Keyes of Concord. Mrs. Brown went to England in the early part of March accompanied by her sisters Mrs. E.D. Appleton and Mrs. Robert Cornell, both of New York city. They were called abroad by the illness of their sister, Lady Lilly Drummond, the wife of Sir Charles. It will be remembered that she died shortly after. Immediately on learning of the terrible... Read full post

  2. Dr. Douglas B. Willingham

    Dear Shelley, The old, small town papers gave the best coverage of their citizens and relations involved in such international events as the sinking of the "Titanic" because they had to get it right! As you certainly know, Walter Lord used such cources often in his research because he knew he could rely on them. Thank you very much for sharing that interesting article. Warmest regards, Doug

  3. Randy Bryan Bigham

    Thanks Shelley for sharing these tantalizing bits. I had not known Mrs. Brown's late husband had been with Little, Brown & Co.

  4. Dave Gittins

    Unless she married a judge previously, Malvina Cornell was no widow. He husband was Robert Cornell, who was described by The New York Times as a magistrate. He met her on the pier in New York after having at first been told she was lost. He shielded her from the press and took her home.

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Caroline Lane Brown (née Lamson)
Age: 59 years 9 months and 7 days (Female)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Widowed
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 11769, £51 9s 7d
Cabin No. C101
Rescued (boat 4)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Tuesday 26th June 1928 aged 75 years
Buried: Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Brookline, Massachusetts, United States

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