Mrs Julia Cavendish was born was Julia Florence Siegel on 3 November 1886 in Chicago, Illinois.
She was the daughter of Henry Siegel (b. 1852), a prominent businessman of Russian birth, and Julia Rosenbaum (b. 1862) who had married in Chicago on 8 December 1885. She was privately educated in Europe and is thought to have had at least two siblings.
She was married in New York on 26 December 1906 to Tyrell William Cavendish, an aristocratic gentleman from Staffordshire, England. The couple returned to Britain, arriving in England on 14 January 1907 aboard Teutonic and they made their home in Uttoxeter and had two sons: Henry Siegel (b. 29 August 1908) and Geoffrey Manners (b. 3 October 1910). The family appeared on the 1911 census living at Little Onn Hall, Church Eaton, Staffordshire.
Mrs Cavendish boarded the Titanic at Southampton with her husband and her maid Ellen Mary Barber. They travelled as first class passengers (ticket number 19877, £78 17s) and occupied cabin C-46. They were travelling to visit Julia's father at his country home, Orienta Point, in Mamaroneck, New York.
Mrs Cavendish and Miss Barber were rescued in lifeboat 6 but Mr Cavendish was lost in the sinking, his body later being recovered and forwarded to New York for cremation. She later recalled:
"I was in the second boat. My husband kissed me and bade me remain in the boat, declaring he was all right. There was no light, but the sky was clear. Bright skies illuminated the scene of the disaster. Just as the lifeboat was lowered I again kissed my husband. He assured me he would rather stay on the boat, thinking he would be safe... As the boat reached the water there were twenty-three women in the boat and two men to guide and row her. Many of us women implored men on the upper deck to come to our succour, but most of them said they could not row. One man there was about to get in the boat, but a sailor, after questioning him threw him aside. A Canadian, who stated that he could row turned to a group of men on the deck who were watching the proceedings and said: "I can row, but if there is room for one more let it be a woman."
Julia and her maid Ellen returned to England. She was never remarried and would cross the Atlantic many times over the following years. She later lived at Crakemarsh Hall in Staffordshire, her husband's childhood home and she died there on 16 January 1963 aged 76.
Both her sons were later married and both raised families. Henry died in 1995 and William in 2007.