For the 1880-1884 yachting seasons Lemon Cranfield, of Rowhedge, was skipper of the schooner Miranda, owned by George Curtis Lampson. George was the son of Curtis Miranda Lampson, an Anglo-American fur merchant, who inherited his father’s baronetcy in 1885.
Miranda’s crew were mainly from Brightlingsea and she spent her winters laid up at Wivenhoe or Brightlingsea.
During this period Miranda was one of the most successful racing yachts in the country with both yacht and skipper becoming household names.
Capt. Lemon Cranfield
Miranda’s more notable victories, recorded in The Times, included:
Channel match from Harwich to Southend, prize £50 (image below)
Dover to Ostend match, £70
Vice-Commodore’s Cup at the Royal Albert Regatta.
Lemon named his new daughter Miranda.
At the Harwich match he was joined by his brothers William, Jonathan and Richard who all sailed winning yachts.
Miranda’s victory in the Royal London Yacht Club match won her crew £100.
Tom Jay, of Rowhedge, was a crew member during the first half of this year.
Southend to Harwich match, £60
Royal Harwich Yacht Club match, £50
New Thames Yacht Club match, £80
Royal Thames Yacht Club match, £100
Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club match, £60
Royal St. George’s Yacht Club match, £70
Royal Yacht Squadron Regatta, the Prince of Wales’s Cup.... “Miranda upheld her character of being the fastest of the rig in England.”
Royal London Yacht Club match, Isle of Wight
Royal Weymouth Regatta, £50
Royal Torbay Regatta, £60
In 1882 Lemon and Miranda won a total of £1,415 in prize money.
THE STANDARD (LONDON) - Tuesday 26 September 1882 - “THE YACHTING SEASON OF 1882 - “In the schooner class, Miranda had it quite all her own way, beating all of her rig very easily, and eclipsing what she has hitherto done. Until she got to the Clyde she only met Fiona and Australia; but on the Clyde the new Lenore, designed by Mr. G. L. Watson, was her antagonist, and a fast vessel she proved at times. However, Miranda held her safe, perhaps to a great extent owing to the exceptionally masterly manner in which she was handled. In fact, we look upon the Miranda as the best managed racing yacht afloat, and the organisation and discipline of her crew, and the quiet, methodical, machine-like ease with which the orders given are carried out, reflects the highest credit on her sailing master, Lemon Cranfield, and mark him as being no ordinary man. From the very first to the last day of the season Miranda was at every regatta she could reach ready to fight against all comers, of whatever tonnage or rig, winning or losing with equally good spirit. Her best races were probably at Harwich, when she beat the hard-weather Fiona in a very strong wind and heavy sea; on the Clyde, when she led the fleet, actually turning to windward ahead of Erycina, and in the two matches round the Isle of Wight; and her worst was at Cowes, when sailing for the Town Cup, her halliards, which had been turned end for end, stretching so much all day that her canvas would not stand.”
Ostend International Regatta, £100
Royal London Yacht Club match round the Isle of Wight, “£100 and a silver medal to the captain.”
THE HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 21 March 1883 - “YACHTING ITEMS - Mr. G. C. Lampson, owner of the Miranda schooner, has presented a very handsome gold watch to his sailing master, Lemon Cranfield. Inside the case is engraved the following:- “Presented by G. C. Lampson to Lemon Cranfield, in recognition of his services as sailing master of Miranda during the season of 1882.” Outside on the back is Miranda’s racing flag.”
THE HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 29 September 1883 - “ITCHEN FERRY, Sept. 29. YACHT RACING - The Field of Saturday last had an article in which they gave the doings of several well known masters of racing yachts. From this it seems that in the past twelve years-.... Lemon Cranfield sailed 244 matches, and won 143 prizes, value £8123.” Far more than any of his rivals.
THE ESSEX STANDARD - Saturday 8 December 1883 - “DROWNED AT SEA – We learn that one night this week, the son of Capt. Cranfield, of East Donyland (the Captain of the well-known yacht Miranda), was lost at sea. The particulars are not to hand, but it is said the deceased, a young man about 18 years of age, was accidentally knocked overboard by the boom of the fishing boat in which he had a few hours previously left the Colne”.
Royal Victoria Yacht Club Regatta - Miranda took third place “which made the one hundredth prize which the latter has won since Cranfield has sailed her.”
Tom Jay, James Simons and Elijah Goldacre, of Rowhedge, were crew members in the second half of this year.
Lemon joined Lieut. Henn’s America’s Cup challenger Galatea for the 1885 season.
THE TIMES - Wednesday 8 November 1899 - “OBITUARY - Sir George Curtis Lampson died yesterday at his residence in Albert-gate. He was born in 1833 and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1885 he succeeded his father, the well-known deputy-chairman of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, as second baronet.... Sir George Lampson, who was J.P. for Surrey, and D.L. for Middlesex, is succeeded in the title by his son, Curtis George, who was born in 1890.”