Page revised 21 July 2001




The Royal Yacht Squadron is not the earliest foundation among British yachting clubs, it was predated by the forerunner of the Royal Cork Yacht Club which was in being by 1720. It is, however, the most prestigeous and influential. It was founded, as the Yacht Club at Cowes, by a group of men interested in salt-water yachting. It was known from 1820 as the Royal Yacht Club and in July 1833 was renamedThe Royal Yacht Squadron, at the request of William IV.


The RYS entered into its historic headquarters, the Castle at Cowes in 1858.


It is no surprise that men who were prepared to lavish huge sums upon their yachts should furnish high quality stationery for themselves and guests whilst on board and many of the crests which are encountered are attractive and opulent.

The Portia was a steam ship. There had been reservations about steam powered ships in the early days, but they were fully accepted from 1853.

Records are extant of the ownership of the various vessels which sailed under the ensign of the RYS. Unfortunately ownership of many changed fairly frequently so that the originators of the crests can be identified in only a few cases. A contemporary inscription indicates that the crest of Zara, above, was from the stationery of Allen Young (later Sir Allen), the Arctic explorer, who sailed the schooner from 1869 to 1872.



The Sunbeam, a steam ship was owned by Thomas Brassey, 1st Lord Brassey, and Nymph, a cutter, by Sir John Bayley, Bart.


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