A letter from a British aristocrat who survived the sinking of the Titanic fetched thousands of dollars in a Boston auction.

The letter was sold in the US in January 2015, more than a century after the disaster.

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 as the Titanic, which they were first-class passengers on, was sinking.

The couple fell under harsh criticism when it emerged they escaped to safety aboard a near empty lifeboat

The couple fell under harsh criticism when it emerged they escaped to safety aboard a near empty lifeboat

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

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

"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 fell under harsh criticism when it emerged they escaped to safety aboard Titanic’s Lifeboat No. 1 with only a dozen passengers, including seven crewmen, despite having the capacity for 40 people. The first-class couple was alleged to have bribed the crew in order not to go back to rescue other survivors.

However, a British inquiry would later determine that the claims were unfounded. The couple was 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 was put up for auction in Boston by RR Auction with a minimum bid of only $300 but ended up fetching $11,875.00 (which includes the buyer's premium) in January 2015.

* Originally published in Jan 2015.

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