Her Ladyship (Part Two)
Some Memories of
Cara Leland Rogers Broughton
The first Lady Fairhaven
Material Researched and Integrated
Mabel Hoyle Knipe
Part Two, a continuation of Part One
Urban Broughton died early in 1929, stricken by a fatal attack of acute gastritis. He was seventy-two years old. Newspaper articles of obsequy showed high admiration stressing the brilliance of his engineering talents and the association with the Rogers enterprises.
THE LONDON TIMES wrote:
“His own ability and initiative at a critical moment made an immense contribution to the great fortunes of the family with which he had become allied by marriage.”
This comment undoubtedly refers to the astute management with which Broughton supplied the Rogers empire at Mr. Rogers’ sudden death in 1909. Knowledgeable in many aspects of his father-in-law’s planning, Mr. Broughton was invaluable in administration and direction at this crucial time. This was particularly true in the affairs of the newly constructed Virginian Railway which had been built by Mr. Rogers almost entirely from his own resources. Of this undertaking, Urban Broughton had been elected president to succeed Mr. Rogers.
THE LONDON TIMES further stated:
“It would undoubtedly have been to his (Mr. Broughton’s) commercial advantage to have become an American citizen, but an invincible ‘John Bull’ instinct in the man made this impossible.”
Cara Rogers Broughton, ten years younger than her husband, was but sixty-two at his death. The papers mentioned a married life of “idyllic happiness,” but perhaps the depth of the relationship might be more realistically indicated by the comment of a “fellow club member” who said: “Only last year I met him in the street. He was carrying some flowers. ‘They are for my sweetheart,’ he said, ‘We’ve been married I do not know how many years!”‘
- THE PEERAGE -
The name of Urban Broughton had been placed on the Honors List of George V for elevation to the peerage early in 1929, but the list was not made public until three months after Broughton’s death, and on May 4, 1929, THE LONDON TIMES announced:
“By Royal Warrant dated May 2, 1929, the king has been pleased to declare that CARA LELAND BROUGHTON, widow of URBAN HANLON BROUGHTON, may henceforth enjoy the same style and title as if her husband, the said URBAN H. BROUGHTON had survived and received the title and dignity of BARON FAIRHAVEN and that HENRY ROGERS BROUGHTON should have, hold and enjoy the rank, title and precedence as the younger son of a baron.”
THE OFFICIAL GAZETTE of London proclaimed:
“- the title LADY FAIRHAVEN for Mrs. Cara Leland Broughton, widow of Urban H. Broughton and a daughter of the late Henry H. Rogers.”
Thus, Huttleston Broughton, the elder son of Urban and Cara Broughton received the title his father would have had and became the BARON FAIRHAVEN OF LODE in the county of Cambridge.
The desire awakes in the researcher to listen in on those long ago considerations of the family; on the thinking which had decided the nomenclature of the title chosen. Obviously, involved were warm recollections of a small town three thousand miles away -where a rugged young man had had dreams; had pursued them to the oil fields of Pennsylvania, and come home again – to establish a family memory which had become an American legend.
- RUNNYMEDE -
Urban Broughton had become a recognized engineering wizard in America; a parliamentary figure in his native land; and a humanitarian in both locales. Now his family sought a means to commemorate his name. In December of 1929, announcement was made that the historic Runnymede Meadow, twenty miles southwest of London – where the civil freedoms of MAGNA CHARTA were agreed to – had been presented to the National Trust by Lady Fairhaven and her two sons. With adjoining lands, the magnificent gift totalled 182 1/2 acres. The beneficence was done in memory of the husband and father – Urban L. Broughton.
MAGNA CHARTA was basic document to constitutional government in England, and, indirectly – in America. The great gift of Anglo-Saxon freedom was sought by a group of exasperated barons in 1215. They had pursued the irascible King John from London to Runnymede Meadow. There John had been forced into acquiescence to their demands. The historic meadow, redolent with legendary significance, had been neglected and overgrown for decades. Indeed, for some years, there had been rumors that the private owner of the land was considering its sale for building purposes, and the encroaching suburbs of London were coming ever nearer. The announcement of the Broughton family’s gift was greeted with great gratification on both sides of the Atlantic.
From the MASTER’S HOUSE in THE TEMPLE, seat of Briton’s legal hierarchy, came the following poem by William H. Draper, entitled:
“A CHRISTMAS GIFT TO ENGLAND”
“Runnymede has waited long,
Not for Honour, nor for Song,
But for one who saw the need
England felt for Runnymede,
That fair mead beside the River
Keep, 0 keep it fair forever!
Cherished in her very heart
England kept that hope apart,
Like a hidden love; until
Someone said, – Let me fulfill
England’s hope, and in her hand
Lay that precious meadowland.
Christmas first with beam benign
Saw the Star of Bethlehem shine;
Herod’s glory faded fast,
Pride’s old tyranny was past,
In the name of Christ uprisen
Man escaped the oppressor’s prison.
Christmas Nineteen Twenty-Nine
Sees again Love’s power divine
By a woman’s golden deed
Give to England Runnymede.
With that name, then, be engraven,
Lady, also thine – FAIRHAVEN.”
From America, the New Bedford Standard-Times wrote:
“It must be a source of gratification to all Americans, and especially to us here and in Fairhaven, that the presentation of this historic spot as public ground has been brought about by an American woman an appropriate enough circumstance considering that the great charter underlies our own conception of government and human rights.”
It is moving to note that years later in 1964, the NEW YORK TIMES reported that an acre of the historic meadow would be given to the United States and would legally become U.S. territory – this done as a memorial to the assassinated young president, John F. Kennedy.
The English prime minister, in announcing plans to the House of Commons, stated that a simple plinth with surrounding steps would be built on the land, and the little memorial given in perpetuity to the United States. Funds to build the plinth would come from solicitation throughout the British nation – and scholarships would be established to finance the study of British students at Harvard.
- THE LATER YEARS -
After the death of her husband, Lady Fairhaven made several visits to the town of Fairhaven. Her last trip occurred in the spring of 1938. She renewed acquaintance with old friends and entertained at the New Bedford Hotel. She spoke to the students of Rogers School and delighted in the excellent condition of Fairhaven High School. She regarded the fine condition of the school as proof that young people are influenced for good by the inspiration of a beautiful environment. This, she felt, was how her father had meant it to be.
In speaking at an assembly of Fairhaven High School students, she declared:
“My only regret is that my father could not have seen as I have, the spirit and enthusiasm you have displayed – showing that by his foresight in building this school, he achieved his object.”
Her last words to Fairhaven High School students were warm and moving:
“Take care,” she said, “of my Fairhaven!”
After she left, a gift of $600 was sent the high school authorities as expression of appreciation for the warm reception given her by the student body. One hundred dollars was to be expended in purchase of a Lady Fairhaven Cup on which to inscribe the names of graduates superior in school citizenship. The remaining $500 was to be placed in trust – interest of which was to be used each June for a cash prize honoring the graduate who, throughout the entire four years, had best exemplified good citizenship and service to school and to town.
Lady Fairhaven’s deep interest in young people was also demonstrated by her involvement in the Children’s Summer Reading Program at the Millicent Library. She was kept aware by Librarian Avis Pillsbury of the various and changing aspects of the library’s service to the town. Work with the town’s children particularly interested her, and each year, she gave time and money in choosing gift books bought in England. These she carefully inscribed with her name for each youthful winner of summer reading prizes. With these gifts she took infinite pains, and the children responded with grateful letters which must have delighted the donor.
“My dear Lady Fairhaven,
Mother and I are so glad to have a CHILD’S GARDEN OF VERSE just like Mother had when she was a little girl. Hers came from London, too. Thank you very ,very much.
“My dear Lady Fairhaven,
Thanks very much for autographing my passport. I shall treasure it all my life.
Sincerely yours, Marjorie Terry”
Cara Rogers Broughton, the Lady Fairhaven, died in March, 1939. Despite her great wealth, she had known sore trial in the human experience, and she had met adversities with patience and strength. Yet, she had known, too, great solace in the family relationship, from the youthful contacts with her strong-hearted Fairhaven grand-parents to the deep family concern of a loving husband and sons sharing her days in a foreign country many miles from the little town of her birth.
She had come to be fondly regarded in her adopted country, and at her passing, THE LONDON TIMES – in the March 25,1939 issue – echoes in warm obituary, the affection and gratitude of many friends on both sides of the “big water”:
“With the death of Lady Fairhaven, there has passed out of sight a woman of strong character whose inflexible uprightness was mated to the most winning of manners. Her great wealth was far from being the greatest of her attributes.
“Ill health at times conspired with her own inclination to withdraw her from public view; but she read more and thought more and she was always forward to give of her wide knowledge and ripe experience as freely as she contributed from her material resources to every good cause, and this no matter whether the claim sprang from the country of her birth or the country of her adoption.
“Large as were her gifts to established funds, her larger pleasure lay in helping individuals – be they British or American -especially those who had stumbled in life’s hard paths.”
- CREDITS -
All research material basic to this treatise
may be found in
THE FAIRHAVEN STAR – 1880-1939
THE BARONY FAIRHAVEN OF LODE
Established By Royal Warrant
May 4, 1929
BARON FAIRHAVEN OF LODE
URBAN HANLON BROUGHTON- 1857-1929
LADY FAIRHAVEN OF LODE
CARA ROGERS BROUGHTON- 1867-1939
(Mrs. Urban H. Broughton)
BARON FAIRHAVEN OF LODE
(URBAN) HUTTLESTON BROUGHTON- 1896-1966
Huttleston Broughton was the grandson of Henry H. Rogers and son of Urban and Cara Rogers Broughton. He was born in Fairhaven in 1896. In 1912, he went to live permanently in England with his father, mother and younger brother. The barony was originally established to honor his father who did not live to receive the elevation. His elder son thus became the first practising Lord Fairhaven, and his mother-the first Lady Fairhaven.
He devoted his early years to a career in the military, and in 1926, he became owner of Anglesey Abbey in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. He devoted much of his time to renovation of the fine old house with its creamy stone walls, myriad windows and fine chimneys.
The pleasant edifice had been founded in 1236 for Canons of the Augustine Order and was converted to a living dwelling by the Fokes Family.
Huttleston Broughton never married. He was devoted to the task of laying out the 96 acres of miraculous gardens on his estate; to studying the terrain for appropriate locale for his splendid statuary; and collecting and arranging within his home-a treasure trove of precious paintings and unusual objects of art. He ultimately arranged to give the estate to the nation under strictures of the National Trust.
He had become Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Millicent Library after the death of his mother in 1939-and with his brother, Henry Rogers Broughton-contributed heavily to the library’s Building Fund when an addition became necessary in the 1960′s.
He died in 1966, aged 69. His death was unexpected after hospitalization for a leg injury caused by a fall.
From his correspondence, one would judge him to have been a quiet, scholarly man-given to introspective consideration and concerned with fundamental issues of conscientious behavior.
BARON FAIRHAVEN OF LODE
HENRY ROGERS BROUGHTON-1900-1973
Henry Rogers Broughton, younger son of Urban and Cara Rogers Broughton, became Lord Fairhaven upon the death of his older brother, Huttleston in 1966.
Born in 1900, this second baron had espoused a military career, and had been associated with the Royal Horse Guards from 1919-1933. He married Diana R. Stanley Fellowes in 1932 and for a good portion of his life lived at South Walsham Hall in Norfolk. There was a later marriage to Joyce Irene Dickens of the literary Dickens family.
Henry Broughton took great interest in the library and its addition, as he did in all Fairhaven matters. He died in 1973 at the age of 73, his son Ailwyn Broughton becoming Lord Fairhaven at this time.
Henry Rogers Broughton is judged from his correspondence to have been a man of gentle calibre, deeply devoted to home and family. A letter extant sent to a friend after his brother’s death, shows a warm nature and a devoted brotherly affection.
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Saturday, September 14, 1996