A letter from a British aristocrat who survived the sinking of the Titanic will go up for sale in the United States this week.

Lucy, Lady Duff Gordon and her husband, Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon, were the target of criticism when it was alleged that they had bribed their way onto an almost empty lifeboat.

The two-page letter was written in London a month after the disaster in 1912.

"How kind of you to send me a cable of sympathy from New York on our safety," the 48-year-old fashion designer wrote to a friend in the US..

"According to the way we've been treated by England on our return we didn't seem to have done the right thing in being saved at all!!!! Isn't it disgraceful."

The couple, who were traveling first class on the doomed ship, fell under harsh criticism when it emerged that their lifeboat held only 12 people, including seven crew members, despite having room for 40 people. They were alleged to have bribed the crew in order not go back to rescue other survivors. A British inquiry would later determine that the claims were unfounded. The couple were the only passengers called to testify.

The Telegraph reports that Sir Cosmo would remain bitter about his treatment for the rest of his life. Letters recently discovered reveal that the couple had in fact passed up the chance to flee on several lifeboats before asking permission from an officer to leave.

The letter will go up for auction in Boston on January 22, following a week of online bidding.

New England auction house RR Auction said the letter could fetch as much as $6,000 (£4000).


Lady Duff Gordon expresses annoyance over treatment in England.Wikimedia Commons