05 January 2015

Jewel History: Women's Jewel Fund (1918)

The Duchess of Marlborough

"Women's Jewel Fund"
(originally appeared in The Times on 5 Jan 1918)

A Jewel Fund in aid of Child Welfare has been started in London to raise money to provide grants to assist the initial expenditure on establishing child welfare organizations throughout the country. There are at present about 200 towns where it is proposed to conduct welfare centers for antenatal and postnatal care as well as day nurseries for the children of working mothers.

Ellen Terry, ca. 1912

The appeal, which is signed by the Duchess of Bedford [1] (chairman of the fund), Mrs. Lloyd George [2] (vice-president), Lady Rhondda [3] (vice-chairman), the Duchess of Marlborough [4] (hon. treasurer), Lady Henry [5] (hon. secretary), the Duchess of Norfolk [6], Dr. Mary Scharlieb [7], Miss Ellen Terry [8], Mrs. May Ogilvie Gordon [9], and Mrs. Mary R. Macarthur (Mrs. W.C. Anderson) [10], asks every woman for a gift of jewelry, which will eventually be sold at Christie's, to help in the formation of centers, which will be assisted later by government and municipal grants. The offices of the fund are at premises lent by the firm of Cartier, at 175 New Bond Street, where gifts of jewelry can be sent, addressed to the Duchess of Marlborough. A gratifying response has already been made to the appeal, and a display of the jewels received is now on view at Messrs. Cartier's.

Alice Keppel

Among the contributors are the Duchess of Marlborough, who has given a 15-row pearl collar with diamond plaques; Lady Essex [11], a diamond tiara; Lady Henry, a diamond bandeau with pearl in center, and turquoise matrix brooch surrounded with diamonds; Lady Ward [12], hair ornament consisting of rope of pearls and diamonds with 13 pearl and diamond clusters; Lady Bonham Carter [13], antique diamond ring; Lady Rocksavage [14], diamond wreath pendant with turquoise and diamond center; the Duchess of Rutland [15], necklace of eight strings of pearls and amethyst beads; Mrs. Ian Macpherson [16], diamond brooch with four rubies; Lady Cunard [17], white ostrich fan with pearl sticks; Lady Sackville [18], diamond and enamel pendant; Lady (Brynmor) Jones [19], pearl and enamel bird pendant; Lady Jellicoe [20], a bracelet of Indian fancy stones; Lady Tree [21], diamond and pearl pendant and a wedding ring; the Duchess of Norfolk, a magnificent sapphire; Mrs. McKenna [22], a watch and chain; Mrs. George Keppel [23], diamond buckle; Lady Londonderry [24], a gold bracelet; Lady Pollock [25], an old French watch; and Lady Kensington [26], 19 articles of jewelry.

1. Mary Russell, Duchess of Bedford (1865-1937) was the wife of the 11th Duke; she was a major philanthropist, and she was also a keen bird watcher and an amateur aviator.
2. Margaret Lloyd George (1866-1941) was the wife of the sitting prime minister, David Lloyd George.
3. Sybil Thomas, Viscountess Rhondda (1857-1941) was the wife of the 1st Viscount Rhondda; she was an important supporter of philanthropic and feminist causes.
4. Consuelo Vanderbilt (1877-1964) was still the wife of the 9th Duke of Marlborough in 1918, although they had been separated since 1906. The pair divorced in 1921.
5. Julia Henry (d. 1927) was the American wife of Sir Charles Solomon Henry, a Liberal MP; she raised major funds for charitable causes related to children, and she may have had an affair with David Lloyd George.
6. Gwendolen Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk (1877-1945) was the wife (and cousin) of the 15th Duke of Norfolk.
7. Dame Mary Scharlieb (1845-1930) was a pioneering female physician in India and Britain.
8. Dame Ellen Terry (1847-1928) was one of the most important Shakespearean actresses on the British stage; she had recently also begun appearing in films.
9. Dame May Ogilvie Gordon (1864-1939) was a respected Scottish geologist and the first woman to be awarded a doctorate in science from the University of London; she was also a major supporter of causes related to women's and children's rights.
10. Mary Macarthur (1880-1921) worked for the causes of women's and worker's rights as a major force within the trade unionist movement.
11. Adele Capell (d. 1922) was the American-born widow of the 7th Earl of Essex. She was the owner of the Cartier-made "Essex tiara" later worn by both Clementine Churchill and Crown Princess Margarita of Romania.
12. I think this may be Florence Ward (1858-1934), wife of Colonel Sir Edward Ward, 1st Bt.
13. Violet Bonham Carter, Baroness Asquith of Yarnbury (1887-1969) was the daughter of Prime Minister H.H. Asquith, the wife of Sir Maurice Bonham Carter, a close friend of Winston Churchill, and the grandmother of the actress Helena Bonham Carter.
14. Sybil Sassoon (1894-1989) was the wife of the 5th Marquess of Cholmondeley (who in 1918 was Lord Rocksavage), a member of both the Sassoon and Rothschild families, the superintendent of the Women's Royal Naval Service during World War II, and the great-grandmother of the actor Jack Huston.
15. Violet Manners, Duchess of Rutland (1856-1937) was the wife of the 8th Duke of Rutland; she was also an avant-garde artist, sculptor, and painter of society portraits. During World War I, she converted the family's London townhome into a hospital.
16. Jill Macpherson (d. 1956) was the wife of Ian Macpherson, a Liberal MP and government minister who later became the 1st Baron Strathcarron.
17. Maud Cunard (1872-1948) was the American-born wife of Sir Bache Cunard; she was a society and political hostess who called herself by the name "Emerald" and was a major supporter of Wallis Simpson.
18. Victoria Sackville-West, Baroness Sackville (1862-1936) was the wife (and cousin) of the 3rd Baron Sackville; she's better known today as the mother of the writer Vita Sackville-West.
19. Florence Jones was the wife of Sir David Brynmor Jones, a Liberal MP from Wales.
20. Gwendoline, Viscountess Jellicoe was the wife of John Jellicoe (later the 1st Earl Jellicoe), who was serving as First Sea Lord in January 1918.
21. Helen Maud Holt (1863-1937) was an actress and the wife of fellow actor and theatrical manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. As for that wedding ring -- her often-unfaithful husband had died the previous year.
22. Pamela McKenna (1889-1943) was a society hostess who was the wife of Reginald McKenna, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the daughter of Dame Agnes Jekyll, a writer and artist.
23. Alice Keppel (1868-1947) was the wife of the Hon. George Keppel, but she's much better known to history as a mistress of King Edward VII and as the great-grandmother of the Duchess of Cornwall.
24. Edith Vane-Tempest-Stewart, Marchioness of Londonderry (1878-1959) was the wife of the 7th Marquess. During World War I, her London townhouse was a hospital for military officers, and she was appointed the Colonel-in-Chief of the Women's Volunteer Reserve.
25. This is probably Georgina Pollock (d. 1935), wife of Sir Frederick Pollock, 3rd Bt.
26. Mabel Kensington (d. 1934) was the wife of the 6th Baron Kensington.