Just days before the doomed Titanic sank, with the loss of over 1,500 lives, Captain’s steward, Arthur Paintin, wrote a letter to his parents saying that the ship was cursed by “bad luck.”
Arthur, who was last seen alive on the ship’s bridge with Captain Edward Smith, told in the letter how the Titanic nearly collided with another vessel as it left port, and he feared that was a bad omen.
The letter is being auctioned this weekend – along with a number of artifacts from the doomed vessel – and is expected to bring around £36,000.
The Sun reports that Arthur wrote, “We have now commenced the quick voyages all the summer (bar accidents).
“I say that because the Olympic’s bad luck seems to have followed us…”
Olympic was of course the Titanic’s sister ship.
The letter continues, “Bai jove what a fine ship this is, much better than the Olympic as far as passengers are concerned.
“But my little room is nothing near so nice, no daylight, electric light on all day, but I suppose it’s no use grumbling.
“I cannot realise that I had ten days at home, and am very sorry I could not get to Oxford for we have now commenced the quick voyages all the summer (bar accidents).
“I say that because the Olympic’s bad luck seems to have followed us for as we came out of Southampton dock this morning we passed quite close to the New York which was tied up in the Adriatic’s old berth…
“And whether it was suction or what it was I don’t know, but the New York’s ropes snapped like a piece of cotton and she drifted against us.
“There was great excitement for some little time, but I don’t think there was any damage done bar one or two people knocked over by the ropes.”
Andrew Aldridge, of Henry Aldridge and Son of Devizes, said, “Arthur Paintin worked under Captain Smith for several years on the Olympic and the captain had him transferred to Titanic to follow him.
“This is a man who knew Captain Smith better than most and was last seen by his side on the bridge when it sank.
“The content of the letter is superb. He questions whether the Titanic is cursed with bad luck, mentions the facilities on board and gives a very detailed account of the New York incident.
“On top of that the letter is written in Titanic headed notepaper and these letters are always in demand.”
Julian Fellowes’ mini-series about the ill fated ship continues on Sunday night on ITV1.