Sarsfield Ludger Emmett Cuddy (26 March 1868 – 28 October 1941) was the son of John Patrick Cuddy and his wife Jane O’Sullivan. His father was a dry goods merchant and landlord in Montreal’s east end.
Sarsfield was likely educated in a Catholic boarding school like his sisters, who attended Villa Maria. He first appears in the city directory, age 23, working as a commercial traveller. By 1896, he had entered into a partnership with Alphonse Brodeur. “Cie Cuddy-Brodeur” was a wholesale china and glassware Import Company which also had two retail locations: 1513 St Catherine’s and 233 St Laurent.
Sarsfield continued to live with his parents well into his adult years. This choice was not an easy one. His father was an alcoholic, and made life for him and three other adult siblings who remained at home a difficult one. In 1895 the family had John Patrick Cuddy declared insane. A nasty court case ensued, which supported the father’s role in the home. JP Cuddy died in early 1896. Sarsfield continued to live with his mother until about 1906. At that time Jane O’Sullivan had sold the family home on Berri to the Catholic School Board.
He retired from his china import business around 1917 to pursue what his obituary later called “private interests.” He was listed in city directories as a “capitalist.” Sarsfield was successful in his endeavours, and he was able to purchase an elegant townhouse on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal’s Great Square Mile in 1913 (after having lived a few blocks away in the Linton Apartments) at #1669. The home now forms part of the Chateau Versailles Hotel.
On June 2, 1910 Sarsfield married Estelle McKenna, daughter of William McKenna and Teresa Brennan. Together they had two daughters: Mary Lorraine (known as Lorraine) (1911-1988) and Mary Patricica (1913-4). Their home on Sherbrooke Street was next door to Narcisse Perodeau whose daughter Yvonne was married to Estelle’s brother. Her daughter and Lorraine were frequent companions according to the social columns in the city’s papers (both English and French).
According to his obituary, Sarsfiled (known by his family as Saw) was active in charitable work, most notably as governor of St Mary’s Hospital.
Sarsfield died in October 1941, and was buried in the family plot at Cote-des-Neiges Cemetery. His estate was apparently complicated enough that it was housed in its own office on St James Street for two years after his death.
Daily Star, La Presse, La Patrie, Gazette, Montreal
City directories, Montreal
Registers, Notre Dame Parish, Montreal
Registers, St Patrick’s Church, Montreal
Registers, St Leon’s Westmount
BANQ-M Court Records
Hotel Chateau Versailles: a history, Betty Guernsey, 1979
Montreal’s Sherbrooke Street: the spine of the city, Mackay L Smith, 2006