1893 text

A yacht which was greatly admired, and was imitated and improved by Commissioner Pett, who built a yacht for the King in 1661, which was called the “Jenny.” Queen Elizabeth had a yacht, and one was built by Phineas Pett in 1604.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

12 Annotations

First Reading

Sjoerd  •  Link

The site of the "Scheepvaartmuseum Amsterdam" had this to report on the building of the yacht "Mary".

"While decorating ships for rich or influential people no costs or trouble were too much. In 1660 Amsterdam ordered a yacht as a present for the English king Charles II. For the gilding alone 983 'booklets' of gold foil were used, which would have cost the equivalent of 15 years salary for a VOC-ships captain!."

You can't help wondering if all this gold was still in place when the little ship was sent out in the Irish Sea in search of privateers, with 6 extra guns.

vicenzo  •  Link

Gift to Charles from arch trade Rivals VOC: after Charles had a English version made; this poor Ship was then used by the Navy to transport the Bemedalled ones ashore ??.
Mary [named for his[Charles] Sister ]
Yacht (1m) L/B/D: 52 (keel)

Sjoerd  •  Link

The list of Navy vessels for December 1695 (House of Commons Journal) contains the following Yachts (still) in use
Name Men Guns
Charlotte 30 8
Fubbs 40 12
Henrietta 30 28
Isabella 45 8
Isle of Wight 6 4
Jemmy 4 4
Catharine 30 8
Merlin 30 8
Monmouth 40 8
Mary 30 8
Navy 35 8
Queenbrough 4 4
Soesdyke 35 8. Fal.
Squirrel 4
William&Mary 40 12


Pedro  •  Link

The Mary yacht.

On the 13th June 1661 Sandwich left to take over Tangier and bring over the Queen. He wrote...

"I took a barge at Privy Stairs at Whitehall and boarded the Mary yacht at Deptford about 12 o'clock and so sailed for the Downs, where I arrived on board the Royal James on Friday in the evening."

Sandwich Journal (Anderson)

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Van de Velde, the younger

Drawing: "The Royal yacht 'Mary', from the Port Quarter; ..."
(click on image to enlarge)

Pedro  •  Link

The Mary yacht.

Not to be confused the the Mary warship that appears in the Fleet list of April 1665 as 3rd rate with 58 guns and 300 men. The warship was sunk by Dutch shot on the 3rd September 1665.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

The Mary yacht.

Thanks for the note, Pedro: the BM drawing I referenced above is definitely of the yacht, note the Dutch construction, the sideboard to cope with the shallow draft and absence of a keel.
[I think the BM cataloger has got himself confused by following a note in Croft-Murray rather than looking up more recent publications specifically on the van de Velde drawings]

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


The Mary was presumably the identical vessel which the Burgomaster of Amsterdam offered to Charles II in 1660. There is no certain knowledge of how she was rigged. The matter is one of interest rather than of importance. If the Mary was not at first sloop-rigged, it is more than likely that she was so rigged during one of her periodic refits.

The Mary was in hand for important alterations and repairs in 1662, including a new mast and a new suit of sails, so that it is reasonably certain that after that date she was rigged with a gaff; which seems to have been universal among English yachts, although the Dutch largely used the sprit sail.*

The only serious objection that can be urged against the picture is that the yacht represented [see article] seems to be too small, by her freeboard and cabin accommodation, to be the Mary, and that the Mary, whose draught was 10 feet, would scarcely be likely to have had leeboards.

In tracing the doings of this yacht, care has to be taken to avoid confusing her with the third-rate man-of-war Mary, or with the Little Mary, or with the Mary fireship, which was also her contemporary on the Navy List. Sometimes she was called the Maria.

* The spritsail is a four-sided, fore-and-aft sail that is supported at its highest points by the mast and a diagonally running spar known as the sprit. The foot of the sail can be stretched by a boom or held loose-footed just by its sheets. A spritsail has four corners: the throat, peak, clew, and tack.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Those with an interest in the late 17th century Royal Navy might be interested to know that there’s a research group investigating the history of the Stuart royal yachts, and that it has a website, to which further information will eventually be added – www.syrg.org.uk.
The group can be contacted via info@syrg.org.uk.

They haven't posted anything of interest yet.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.