Capt Stanley Lord - 'sociopath captain let Titanic's passengers die without a qualm'

5th July 2009, 09:02
FOR nearly a century debate has raged over whether he was the man who ignored the plight of hundreds who died in the sinking of the Titanic.
A series of inquiries spanning several decades have failed to condemn or clear Captain Stanley Lord over allegations he turned a blind eye to the "unsinkable" ship's frantic attempts to summon help.

Now a controversial new book has posthumously pointed the finger directly at the mariner claiming he was a "sociopath" whose callous indifference condemned 1,517 to a watery grave.


5th July 2009, 10:45

whether or not the master and mate on watch of the californian ignored the distress signals that night, there could have been a nil loss of souls if the white star line had provided the right number of lifeboats for the number of persons on board.
i don't see a constant hammering away at the reputations of the greedy board of directors of the unsinkable titanic

5th July 2009, 10:49
This is getting boring - another wack at a person who can no longer defend himself. Its amazing how all the experts come out of the woodwork when there is no opposition to their barmy theories.


5th July 2009, 11:02
and no fear of an action for libel against them.

an act of cowardice.

5th July 2009, 11:06
and no fear of an action for libel against them.

an act of cowardice.

And what ho there's money to be made!!!!!Teb(Cloud)

5th July 2009, 12:19
I have a book regarding the Californian and Captain Lord, I have just Googled Captain Lord.
Captain Lord was 34 years old at the time of the Titanic disaster, and had been at sea 20 years and in command of the Californian since he was 29 years of age, having obtained his Masters and Extra Masters certificates at the age of 23.
A Board of Trade examiner at Liverpool described him as having a brilliant mind and a great seaman, he went on to say there were never ending stories as to his humanity, hardly a sociopath.
At the enquiry the position he gave for his ship were questioned, according to the co-ordinates given by the Titanic he was only five nautical miles away from the Titanic, after the wreck of the Titanic was found it was proved that Captain Lord was correct and that he had been 19 nautical miles from the Titanic.
Before he turned in he ordered his wirelesss operator to send ice warning messages, when the radio operator contacted the Titanic he was ordered to get out as the Titanic was working Cape Race.

I believe that this latest book is another historian with no seagoing experience trying to cash in on a man that is not here to defend himself, you cannot libel the dead.

Regards Robert

5th July 2009, 12:42
Well said Robert - I am fed up with such claims made by people who have no qualification to do so, hiding behind the net curtains of time.
20 years at sea, by the way (not 30).

5th July 2009, 14:42
Well said Robert - I am fed up with such claims made by people who have no qualification to do so, hiding behind the net curtains of time.
20 years at sea, by the way (not 30).

Thanks Treeve, I have corrected it now.

Regards Robert

5th July 2009, 15:15
Another load of B*****ks, from a dumb**s Californian limelight grabber!

6th July 2009, 23:40
I thought Peter Padfield had knocked this one on the head in "The Titanic and the Californian" forty years ago. Still as Teb and Billieboy point out, there's money to be made from Titanic-b*ll*cks. Lord was a scapegoat for the BoT, White Star etc. and those responsible for navigating a ship at 22knots into an ice field they had been warned about.

23rd July 2009, 10:14
I believe that this latest book is another historian with no seagoing experience trying to cash in on a man that is not here to defend himself, you cannot libel the dead.

I'm in complete agreement. As a professional mariner I find this form of character assassination to be utterly repellant. By the way, the author in question has written previously about the Titanic [A book titled "Unsinkable"] there is a partial transcript on Google Books. I've read the introduction but no further (To me, it doesn't "read" well), however I'd be interested to hear the comments of any other professionals on the Forum who might have read it.

The author also has a web site - from there you should be able to get a feel for the depth? of his maritime knowledge.

23rd July 2009, 13:11
As a student of this particular bit of marine history, I must say I have never read such unmitigated piffle!

The big problem is as outlined herein.. these people have not the faintest idea on the technicalities of subject. The very fact that Bob Ballard found the wreck and that Titanic was 12 miles east of where they said she was means that the whole story told in 1912 about Californian and Titanic was completely flawed.

The distress position sent by Titanic in 1912 placed her to the west of the ice pack while the position of the wreck now put her over 3 miles to the east of it - a distance of about 12 miles. Given that the Enquiry found Californian to be about 5 to 7 miles to the northward; this means that Lord was infact right and Titanic was indeed nearer 20 miles to his SSE.

It would surprise you how many non-mariners who would get sea-sick on a wet paper hankey have suddenly become experts. Can't think why I and many like me, spent my entire working life 'learning' when I could have saved all the effort and read one of the hundreds if not thousands of books written by these egotists about Titanic.

24th July 2009, 15:14
Now, many decades since the Titanic went down, and only a couple of decades after that, that the last official written words were written on the subject. I refer to official documents, statements, eye witness accounts, court findings and so on.
Anyone who claims to be able to put a different/alternative slant on the events, for profit, can have no more concrete information than was published at the time.
There are no new facts, but plenty of room for speculative imagination, and therefore plenty of chances for someone who is articulate to play with the words and keep the pot boiling.
By the same reasoning ''Titanic'' made a very good film (Apparently) but very little of it was fact. Yet some people believe it was a factual film.

25th July 2009, 09:33
Just had a look at the guy's website, seems he's got a bug or something in it, as it's possible to re-arrange the site, probably re-write his books too, if one is a reasonable hacker! Just goes to show how totally incompetant he is.(EEK)

25th July 2009, 09:45
Looks a right tw** standing there in his kilt!

25th July 2009, 22:10
"By the same reasoning ''Titanic'' made a very good film (Apparently) but very little of it was fact"

Thats correct Dicky........ it was a love story, and a ship sank.

26th August 2009, 09:22
Hi All

Have a look at the MAIB website, here is a reappraisal of the the Actions of the SS Californian, this report was conducted in 1992 _ss__californian_.cfm

Interesting reading. especially the conclusion that shows that even if Captain Lord had taken immediate action following the first distress rocket from Titanic, he would not have arrived untill the Titanic had sunk.

Dont think ill be buying that book.

Dave C/E

26th August 2009, 22:07
Butler certainly sound a pretentious (insert word that David Cameron said but the site software doesn't allow).

Says he worked in US Intelligence for 6 years. I wasn't aware until now that they actually extract all your intelligence while you are working for them. :)

Eric Wallace
27th August 2009, 02:31
I do believe the captain of the Titanics name was Edward Smith,correct me with proof if you think I am wrong(Cloud)

27th August 2009, 09:33
The Discussion is about Capt Stanley Lord, Captain of the Californian.

Edward Smith was indeed the Captain of the Titanic

27th August 2009, 11:44
If Captain Smith on the Titanic had exercised the same high standard of seamanship as Captain Lord the disaster wouldn't have happened.

BTW I've had a look at Daniel Butlers's website too ...not encouraging.

27th August 2009, 12:07
I do believe the captain of the Titanics name was Edward Smith,correct me with proof if you think I am wrong(Cloud)

Dear me, no need to be cross, (Jester) I think you have misread the thread, its all about Captain Stanley LORD as Dave says - NOT - Captain Edward SMITH.


30th May 2012, 04:20
The time has come to vindicate Captain Stanley Lord and his memory. Evidence proves that indeed he may not have realised that he was looking at the Titanic. The clear starry night created perfect mirage conditions and the ship could have looked smaller and further away. In fact Titanic in 1985 was found 19 miles from were she reported herself to be in 1912.

The rockets were not coloured but may have been white against a sky full of stars and the signal may have been distorted. The image of the ship was distorted by refraction and appeared on the horizon when she was over the horizon. The horizon was also raised and so the shape and size of the ship were confused and distorted. There is no evidence that Captain Lord could have saved more than a few lives even if he had have come to the rescue. His ship would not have made it before the Titanic sank.

Captain Lord was devastated the next day when he realised what had happened and he was a broken man. He was vilified wrongly and it is time that the new evidence was made public and a full apology and vindication given to his family, in his memory. It is about time that uneducated people stopped writing that he caused the disaster. Rubbish! Titanic was hit by an iceberg that was cloaked by the clear conditions and that was spotted too late to avoid it. The Titanic did not slow down, but that was not unusual at the time and she may not even have been going too fast. Confused action and reports from the bridge and lack of leadership on the part of Captain Smith led to the life boats being lowered half empty and more people than needed to losing their lives.

Captain Smith did give the order to lower the boats, and did give the order for signals, but the first signals were 50 minutes after the disaster. The passengers themselves did not want to get off the huge ship as they did not believe that she was going to sink. Mistakes were made, but not as many as legends claim and it was partly human error and partly unique weather conditions that led to the hitting of the berg and her sinking. It is not Captain Lord's fault that most of the passengers ended up in the freezing waters and died of the extreme cold. The Board of Trade told them to have no more than 16 life boats and in fact with the 4 collapsible boats, they had 20, but they did not have enough for all of the people on board. In those days, the shipping lanes were super highways and so it was believed that you used the boats to ferry between ships. The Californian would have only arrived as the Titanic was sinking and risked being sucked down if she got too close. She is not to blame for the loss of life; the stupid board of trade are to blame.

The Titanic and the Olympic were 4 times the size of any ship that had previously been regulated for, so the board of trade should have allowed for more life boats. But Titanic came within the laws at the time and so they said she had enough life boats. How wrong they were to be. Having said this, her life boats were only half full. Another 700 people could have been saved! I do not believe that is the fault of Captain Lord.

Captain Lord should have checked out the ship, but the signal was not clear and the rockets did not appear to be distress signals and this was not unusual either. Red rockets came in after the disaster and these may have been white, against a star filled, moonless night sky. With the refraction from the distorted horizon and the mirage conditions; I am not sure that it was ever fair to blame Captain Lord and he and his family deserve a public apology from the British and the American officials.

Barrie Youde
30th May 2012, 07:51
The dignity with which Captain Lord lived the remainder of his life was outstanding, from the moment when he was informed that Titanic had sunk. He had been legitimately asleep at the time. The MAIB report of 1992 notes with approval the skill required to navigate around and through the icefield even in broad daylight.

On being asked by his employers to leave the Leyland Line he had no difficulty in gaining a new command in another company.

That he was a professional mariner through and through is beyond any doubt at all.

No legal charge was ever brought against him. No doubt those who were in a position to consider such things realised full well that there was no charge against him which could or should have been made. He was an innocent man throughout.

His only son, also Stanley, fought valiantly to clear his father's name against the slurs made upon it in open Court in circumstances in which Captain Lord was prevented from making any response. When Stanley Lord jr died, he left his entire estate to Chester Cathedral.

30th May 2012, 08:13
.................................................I believe that this latest book is another historian with no seagoing experience trying to cash in on a man that is not here to defend himself, you cannot libel the dead.
Regards Robert

Dead right.
Just another opportunist cashing in on the Titanic brand. It's ironic that Lord should in effect be castigated for operating his ship in a prudent and seamanlike fashion. Pity Smith didn't do the same.
Lord was hung out to dry in order to protect the reputations of lesser men and the BoT.
I believe that Lord stayed at sea for many years with another company

30th May 2012, 08:55

It appears that the Titanic's rockets were not sent up as per the Regulations of the time.


Barrie Youde
30th May 2012, 10:21
One legacy of the the MAIB Report of 1992 is that the subsequent film-makers of the Kate Winslet version at least had the decency to omit any reference to the Californian. This was in marked contrast to the earlier Kenneth More version (1958), which had prompted Captain Lord (by then aged 80-odd) to consider suing for libel.

Barrie Youde
30th May 2012, 10:45
My own further view, for what it might be worth, is that the MAIB Report of 1992 does clear Captain Lord in personal terms, insofar as it makes clear the fact that the legitimately sleeping and wholly-sober and competent shipmaster was simply not made more aware (as he perhaps should have been) of developing events as they were observed from the bridge of his ship. In short, the message simply did not get through (as Peter Padfield had concluded thirty years earlier).

That seems to be the truth of the matter, which is more than enough to clear Lord in human and personal terms, even if it does leave some unanswered questions - but nothing more - as to his officers. Even there, if Stone and Gibson had been sure that they were witnessing facts which others allege that they saw, it remains inconceivable that they would not have done more: thus leading to the conclusion that Stone was, at worst, unsure what he was seeing.

"If in doubt, call me."

Stone sent the apprentice Gibson to call Lord : and the authoritative conclusion is that the message simply did not get through.

30th May 2012, 11:49
Cudn't find a first trip galley boy to blame??

Barrie Youde
30th May 2012, 12:13
Difficult to see why responsibility should lie with anybody other than those who operated Titanic.

In point of fact, not only was Stanley Lord not held legally responsible: he was legally denied any opportunity at all to respond to Lord Mersey. And because Lord Mersey's remarks were made in judgment in open Court, Lord was legally barred against any action in libel at the time.

The circumstances giving rise to a possible action in libel arose only in 1958.