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Re: The Vanderbilts

At 12:57 PM 16/06/02 -0500, Stan St. Clair wrote <snipped>:
>The family entertained guests from noble and royal families of Europe,
>and other notable individuals during their time of occupying the entire
>Many gargoyles and other symbolistic emblems are built into the structure. 
>An etching of a two-headed pheonix is among symbolism to be found within.
>Clearly, the Vanderbilts were an extraordinary lot, and their descendants,
>Cecils, still own the estate. 

Consuela Vanderbilt went to UK as one of the "Dollar Princesses."
The Duke of Marlborough married her for her money in 1896. 
Hers was not a happy marriage and she separated from the Duke in 1907.
After this she worked for a number of socially worthwhile causes in London
before remarrying happily in 1921.

My great grandmother worked as a matron for her at one of those institutions,
"The Duchess of Marlborough's Home for Prisoners Wives & Children" (phew!
try saying that quickly! Imagine being the receptionist!) and a pocket watch
inscribed by the Duchess to her for Christmas 1914, is still in the family's
possession. I am trying to find more about this institution, but the records 
seem to be lost. It appears that the institution closed around that year, due 
to the outbreak of war - the premises in Endsleigh Street, London, were then
used for some years as a hospital for returning injured servicemen.  Today it
forms part of an accomodation hostel for students.

"The Glitter and the Gold" by Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan first published by
Heinemann 1953, republished 1973 by George Mann books ISBN 0 7041 0002 9
(paperback) makes very interesting reading. The Duchesses observations of
life around then are well written and quite detailed.


Ian Newman
Perth, Western Australia 

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