Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Stanbury Bros, Savile Row Legends (and Farkas Cousins)

Botpalad, at the far northeast corner of Hungary
As a young man, my Uncle Fred Schwartz (1912-1991) liked to travel during the summer months. While in Europe, he visited with family on both sides of the family tree. That means Schwartz cousins in Hungary (related to my maternal Grandpa Teddy) and Farkas cousins in Hungary and in England (related to my maternal Grandma Minnie).

Thanks to my uncle's letters, my family knows about a "distant cousin" connection with Fred & Louis Stanbury, Savile Row legends who created impeccably-tailored bespoke suits for celebrities and royalty.

Just be aware: There are two family members named Fred in this post--very possibly my Uncle Fred Schwartz was named after the same Farkas ancestor as our much more famous cousin, Fred Stanbury.

Born as Steinberger in Botpalad, Hungary

Frederick Stanbury was born in 1893 in Botpalad, Hungary, as Frederick Steinberger, the oldest son of Josephine "Pepi" Farkas* and Noe Steinberger. His younger brother Louis (Lajos) Steinberger was born early in the new century.

Botpalad was, then and now, a small town...the same town where my great-grandpa Moritz Farkas was born in 1857.

Renamed Stanbury in London

Brothers Fred and Louis Steinberger were trained in fine tailoring and soon left Hungary for London. Anglicizing their surname to "Stanbury," the two worked their way up at the posh bespoke suit firm Kilgour on Savile Row.

By 1937, the firm had been renamed Kilgour, French & Stanbury to reflect the brothers' central importance to expanding the business. The firm became known all over the world for serving elite clients such as Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Rex Harrison, and many other big names.

Uncle Fred's 1937 Visit

My Uncle Fred, planning a trip to London and the Continent, was urged by Fred Stanbury's brother-in-law (Deszo Klein, married to Sarika Steinberger) to write ahead and ask to visit in the summer of 1937. That weekend visit went well enough that the following year, my Uncle Fred again wrote and asked to arrange another meeting.

An interesting note: In 1971, Louis Stanbury told the New York Times that he had served in the French Resistance, won the Croix de Guerre, and was a member of the Legion of Honor.

My Uncle Fred's handwritten letter of 1937 mentions visiting with Louis in Paris. He had no way of knowing that within a few years, Louis would become a legend for his wartime activities as well as famous for his achievements on Savile Row.

As always, thank you to Amy Johnson Crow for this week's #52Ancestors prompt of "Legend."

*I'm very sad to say that Pepi was killed in the Holocaust, along with at least one of her children, Zoltan. Her husband Noe had died in 1939, prior to the Shoah.

1 comment:

  1. Moe Steinberger dod not die in the holocaust. He died at home, in Boypslad, in 1939. Thank goodness.