Titanic passenger's letter sells for $40,700 in New York

A two-page handwritten letter written aboard RMS Titanic achieved $40,700 at a New York auction house earlier this month.

The letter, written by 37-year-old assistant surgeon John Edward Simpson, was purchased by Irish museum Titanic Belfast. The museum is set to open on March 31, exactly 100 years after the building of the Titanic was completed in Belfast.

The letter, which is written on White Star Line stationary, is dated April 11, 1912, just four days before the tragedy.

Addressed to his mother, the letter details how Dr Simpson arrived at the ocean liner. "I am very well and am gradually getting settled in my new cabin, which is larger than my last", he writes. This is a reference to the Olympic, a ship on which Dr Simpson had previously travelled.


John Simpson's letter

He also discusses a theft of his luggage trunks before closing the letter "Love, John."

Dr Simpson, who was responsible for second and third class passengers on the ship, died during the tragedy.

The auction saw the sale of another Titantic related letter, which brought $15,820. From Charles Herbert Ligholler, a 2nd officer on RMS Titanic, this particular letter was written aboard the RMS Adriatic on May 1 1912.

Lightoller, who survived the disaster, discusses Dr Simpson in his letter stating: "I may say that I was practically the last man to speak to Dr. Simpson".

The HMS Titanic first class deck plan, which was given to passengers to help them find their way around the ship, also featured at the sale, realising $4,294.

View our collection of investment-grade books and manuscripts.

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