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‘Silk-Stockinged Stowaway’ dies at 90

Notorious runaway: Carroll Wainwright

Carroll Wainwright, a prominent American lawyer who achieved lifelong notoriety after skipping Bermuda as a child stowaway in 1934, has died at the age of 90.

The press dubbed Wainwright, heir to a wealthy family, “the Silk-Stockinged Stowaway” after his caper.

Unhappy in Bermuda and piqued that his school did not allow Thanksgiving as a holiday, the eight-year-old secreted himself aboard the Queen of Bermuda luxury liner shortly before it set off for New York on November 28.

Wainwright inadvertently set off a scare that captured headlines, coming just two years after the infamous kidnapping and murder of the infant son of aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

Wainwright was the stepson of Sir Hector MacNeal, a British shipping magnate based on the island. Born in New York, he bridled at life in Bermuda, according to The New York Times.

Thanksgiving proving the final straw, young Wainwright took his bicycle to the Hamilton waterfront and talked his way on board, claiming to be seeing off relatives.

Three hours after the ship set sail, the boy came out of hiding, and his presence was radioed back to Bermuda, where his abduction had been reported to police.

Wainwright made the rest of the journey home, with his grandmother in New York covering his fare, first-class.

Arriving on November 30, he reportedly told her: “Gee, I had a swell time.”

The captain was “a grand guy”, the boy added.

Curiously enough, as the Times reported, he was not the only young stowaway below decks on the Queen of Bermuda.

Also hidden was William Hires, the 16-year-old nephew of Charles E. Hires, the root beer tycoon.

Wainwright went on to serve in the Second World War, followed by a legal career and a keen travelling life, but he did not return to Bermuda.