Encyclopedia Titanica

Mathilde Françoise Weisz

Mathilde Françoise Weisz
Mathilde Françoise Weisz

Mrs Leopold Weisz (Mathilde Françoise Pëde) was born Gent, Belgium 1 on 24 May 1874 and at age 21 went to study at the Bromsgrove Guild of Art in England where she met, (and much to her parents chagrin), married a Hungarian-Jewish stonecarver, Leopold Weisz. Her husband had been employed in Montreal, and decided to emigrate to Canada. He returned to England to fetch her. Originally they were to travel first class on another vessel, but because of the coal strike were transferred to Titanic (ticket number 228414, £26).

On the evening of the sinking, Mrs Weisz took part in the impromptu hymn sing in the Second Class Dining Room. Dr. Pain played the flute, Douglas Norman the piano as she sang the Last Rose of Summer. She thought she had performed well, and that her rendition had met with great success, but after the performance as she joined her husband for a walk around the deck she told him she felt uneasy about something. They had just returned to their cabin at 11:40 p.m. when Mrs Weisz said she felt a tremor.

Her husband drowned in the sinking and Mrs Weisz was about to be deported as an indigent from Canada but her husband's body was recovered, with $15,000 worth of gold sewn into the lining. It was returned to her, and she remained in Montreal.

In the spring of 1914 she married her late husband's business partner, Edward Lancelot Wren. In an interview on the 20th anniversary of the sinking, the Montreal Herald reported that during World War I she had raised $57,000 singing for Belgian charties. For her efforts, she was decorated by the King of Belgium with the Medaille de la Reine Elisabeth.


Mathilda Weisz in Montreal 1920s
Courtesy of Dirk Musschoot, Belgium

Mrs Weisz continued to take part in Montreal musical theatricals and operettas until the end of World War II. She died in Montreal on 13 October 1953 and was buried in Section TR7532 of Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery two days later. For many years the grave remained unmarked, however in 2003 a marker was finally placed on the site.

Mathilde Weisz Marker
(Courtesy of Trevor Baxter)

Notes

1. The list which recorded immigration into the Unites States gave her birthplace as Cannes, France. Several other documents, e.g. passenger lists, 1911 census, give her birthplace as France.  There is also confusion over her date of birth but the birth certificate would appear to settle it as 24 May 1874 although other sources suggest 9 June 1874. Gent
PEDE
n° 1766.
In the year 1874, 25 May at 3 p.m.
Eugenius PEDE, labourer, 32 years old, living in Rogier Street in Gent
came to show his daughter;
born yesterday at midnight
mother is Ivanna Allyn, his wife, 29 years old.
The child has been given the name MATHILDIS FRANCISCA. At the time of her death it was stated in one source she was 69 when in fact she was 79. Her death certificate on file with the fabrique Notre Dame, Montreal gives her birthdate as 1884. Parish records read, in translation: On 16 October 1953, the undersigned priest, interred in the parish cemetery, the body of Mathilde Francoise Pède, wife of Edward Lancelot Wren who died on the 13 of October, 1953 at the age of seventy-nine years, five months, and 19 days in the parish of St. Edmund of Caterbury in the diocese of Montreal. Signed, Raoul Gagnon, priest.

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Mathilde Françoise Weisz (née Pëde)
Age: 37 years 10 months and 22 days (Female)
Nationality: Belgian
Marital Status: Married to Leopold Weisz
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 228414, £26
Rescued  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Tuesday 13th October 1953 aged 79 years

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References and Sources

1911 Census
Birmingham Daily Gazette
, 16 - 19 April 1912 inc.
Alan Hustak (1999) Titanic: The Canadian Story. Véhicule Press. ISBN 1 55065 113 7
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port Of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia) - National Archives, NWCTB 85 T715 Vol 4183
Birth Certificate (Translation)
Montreal Herald, 14 April 1932, Montreal Passenger Recounts Tragic Sinking of Titanic
Montreal Gazette, 14 October 1953, Obituary
Montreal Daily Herald
, 15 April 1932

Newspaper Articles

Montreal Star (6 May 1912) BODY OF L WEISZ, TITANIC VICTIM BURIED HERE
Montreal Herald (14 April 1932) MONTREAL PASSENGER RECOUNTS TRAGIC SINKING OF TITANIC
Montreal Gazette (14 October 1953) SURVIVOR OF TITANIC MRS. M. WREN DIES FUNERAL FRIDAY

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(1912) Mathilde Weisz
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Comment and discuss

  1. elisabeth houle

    elisabeth houle said:

    I would just like to let everyone know that Mathlida Weisz finally got a headstone in Montreal it was placed the 24th of this May/2003 Rene Bergergon of the Titanic International Society was there with Elisabeth Houle who did all the reasearch to get company's to donate to this event.

  2. Arun Vajpey

    Arun Vajpey said:

    An interesting couple travelling on the Titanic's maiden voyage were Leopold and Mathilde Weisz. He was Hungarian and Jewish and she Belgian and Catholic but they lived in Bromsgrove in West Midlands, England (a place where I briefly worked in the late 1980s). Leopold Weisz was a stonemason and carver by trade and travelled to Canada in 1911 (ironically, on board the Lusitania) and set-up business with Edward Wren of Montreal. This reportedly showed a lot of promise and so he went back to England to return with his wife and settle in Canada. They boarded the Titanic in Southampton as Second Class passengers. During the voyage, Leopold Weisz had gold coins worth $15,000, practically the couple's life savings, sewn into the lining of his greatcoat. On the night of Sunday 14th April 1912, he was strolling on the ship's deck while his wife attended the hymn singing session in the Second Class dining saloon. They had just met and returned to the cabin as the ship collided

  3. Steven Christian

    Steven Christian said:

    That is interesting. Thanks. I hadn't read that before. He must of had a life preserver on. Otherwise hew would have went straight to the bottom. 1912 gold was around $20.75 an ounce. $15,000 / $20.7 = 745 ounces. Approx 50lbs of gold in his coat. With todays prices at around $1300 an ounce he would have close to a million sewn in his coat.

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Acknowledgements

Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Phillip Gowan, USA
Elisabeth Houle
Alan Hustak, Canada
Dirk Musschoot
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Alan Tucker

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2019) Mathilde Françoise Weisz (ref: #595, last updated: 25th April 2019, accessed 26th January 2022 20:07:26 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/mathilde-francoise-weisz.html