Wallace Hartley letter sells for £93,000

editorial image
Share this article

A letter written by Titanic orchestra leader Wallace Hartley has sold at auction for £93,000.

The letter was written by Wallace to his parents as the doomed liner set off on its maiden voyage from Southampton on April 10th, 1912.

Experts estimated that the letter would fetch around £50,000 but a bidding frenzy saw the hammer go down at £93,000 at Henry Aldridge and Son in Devizes, Wiltshire on Saturday.

In the letter, Wallace, who was born and raised in Colne and lived for a time in Nelson before moving to Dewsbury in Yorkshire, wrote: “Just a line to say we have got away all right. It’s been a bit of a rush but I am just getting a little settled.

“This is a fine ship and there ought to be plenty of money on her. I’ve missed coming home very much and it would have been nice to have seen you all if only for an hour or two, but I couldn’t manage it.

“We have a fine band and the boys seem very nice. I have had to buy some linen and I sent my washing home today by post. I shall probably arrive home on the Sunday morning.

“We are due here on the Saturday. I’m glad mother’s foot is better.”

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: “We are unaware of any other surviving letter written by Hartley on board the ship.

“Clearly, this letter which mentions the band and alludes to the wealth on board the ship - implying that some of it would make its way to the band in the form of gratuities - elevates this letter to perhaps the most desirable and important on-board Titanic letter extant.”