In Titanic, what happened to Rose's mother after the sinking?

I'm curious because she made it very clear while she was lacing up Rose's corset, that she was entirely dependent on Rose's match with Cal to survive. Whether she was exaggerating or not, she made the statement that she would be poor and in the workhouses if not for the marriage and Cal's fortune to support them.

Obviously, since Rose is presumed dead after the sinking, she did not marry Cal and her mother was not able to benefit from his money. So would she then, in fact, end up poor and in the workhouses as she said? Rose didn't just abandon Cal and that lifestyle to start anew, she also had to abandon her mother. So did she leave her mother to be a poor and squandering worker?

At the end of the movie, Rose gives her account of Cal and what happened to him in the following years, but never anything about her mother. I realize this question would probably be more speculation than a factual answer, but I just wondered if there were some clues at the end that I maybe didn't pick up on or if there were some "DVD bonus" or behind the scenes I haven't seen that answered this.

  • This is assuming she survives... Approx 70% of people aboard the Titanic died so odds are she didn't make it to the workhouses
    – m1gp0z
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 14:45

3 Answers 3


She likely survived as she made it into a boat. This is supported by the originally scripted scene on the Carpathia.

Cal was intended to actually find Rose aboard the Carpathia after the sinking. Rose was to tell him to let her mother know that she died on the Titanic, and that he would leave her alone for the rest of her life.

And also by the ending sequence.

Several main characters are not present in the ending sequence, including Cal Hockley, Rose's mother Ruth, Bruce Ismay and Molly Brown. This is because they survived the sinking. Only the characters who died on the Titanic are present in the dream sequence, because it serves to illustrate Rose being reunited with all the people she lost when it sank, including Jack.

What happened to her afterwards is unknown, even according to an amazingly detailed "biography" on fandom.

Most fans speculate that she became a poor and penniless seamstress and lived out her life working in a factory. With is very possible, without the financial security of the arranged marriage between Cal and Rose.

It is, however, also just as possible that she re-married into wealth. However, since Ruth does not make an appearance after her survival, nor is mentioned again, her fate is left unknown.

So speculate away, this is one of the many places to do so.


I think she was exaggerating the degree of their poverty. Even if the family fortune was gone, there may have been relatives who could help. She would not have been a starving seamstress. She just would not be able to live in luxury.

Even if she had really had no relatives who could help, right after the disaster she would have had lots of rich friends eager to be her hostess. She could have lived in continued luxury and comfort for some months, especially if she had been wearing expensive jewelry that she could sell to buy clothes with.

Also, the steamship line paid some compensation to survivors (not sure if it was only those who sued, but I see her suing). And there was some sort of benevolent association fund for the survivors. Stuff like this could have kept her going for at least a year, during which I am sure she did her best to catch a husband (even if she had to settle for the upper-middle class, she would have had security, servants, etc.).

Eventually, if she did not remarry, she could have made a living as a paid companion/chaperone. A lot of nouveau rich American families would hire women with the right manners and connections to help them and their daughters make their way into the upper classes. So I don’t see her ending in dire poverty or in a working-class environment.


There is high likelihood that she survived based on the following logic.

When they introduced Molly Brown to the story, Rose said "she would become known as the 'unsinkable Molly Brown'". This implies that Molly Brown survived the disaster in order to earn that nickname. So we can assume Molly Brown's boat was rescued. But guess who else was on that boat? Rose's mother - and she looked quite comfy with all those blankets when they showed her floating on the water, at least compared to the others.

So, yes, she would have survived.

  • This appears to be a reply to a comment on the question, rather than an attempt to actually answer the question (which is about more than simple survival).
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 15:31
  • I was answering the question about whether or not she survived. As for what she did with her life, beats the heck out of me. Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 23:08
  • So, only part of the question. Gotcha.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 13:11

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