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Challenger for the America's Cup in 1893

Valkyrie II - 1893 01.jpg
Valkyrie II - 1893 New York

The following is a very short history of Valkyrie II. Her full story and that of her successor Valkyrie III can be found in the book Valkyrie Weather with many more photos than can be included here. I still have a few copies somewhere if anyone is interested.

THE TIMES - Thursday 19 January 1893 - “THE REVIVAL OF LARGE YACHT-RACING - No fewer than four new vessels have been designed, and three of these are to be built on the Clyde and the other at Southampton, the respective owners being the Prince of Wales, the Earl of Dunraven, a syndicate of Scotch yachtsmen, and Mr. A. D. Clarke... It is generally understood that the Earl of Dunraven’s new boat will turn out to be an enlarged Queen Mab, and, according to the challenge, she will be 85ft. on the load-water line. She will be named the Valkyrie.”


THE YACHTSMAN - Thursday 19 January 1893 - “YACHTING - CLYDE - William Cranfield, who has now been with Lord Dunraven for two or three seasons, is to be sailing master of the new Valkyrie.”


THE OBSERVER – Sunday 30 April 1893 - “YACHTING – Southampton, Saturday – Lord Dunraven’s racing cutter, the competitor for the America Cup, was launched yesterday at Glasgow. Mrs. Watson, the designer’s mother, named the yacht the Valkyrie. The yacht is 85ft. long, and her tonnage 220. Only a few spectators were present at the launch.”


THE TIMES - Monday 1 May 1893 - “YACHTING - Lord Dunraven’s new 86ft. cutter Valkyrie and his 20-rater Deirdre have both been launched. The former bears a strong resemblance to the Prince of Wales’s cutter Britannia and, like the latter, is a keel boat. The stem is after the Queen Mab mould, but the counter is, proportionately, considerably longer than that of the crack forty of last year. The Valkyrie’s lead keel weighs about 80 tons and the sail area will come out about 10,000 square feet, and her rating be about 145 Yacht Racing Association measurement. After getting her spars on board, she will be taken to Gourock Bay, where the Britannia is now fitting out.”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 13 May 1893 - “YACHTING – Lord Dunraven’s new 86ft cutter the Valkyrie has been just launched. Wm. Cranfield is her captain. As a racing captain no one stands higher on the list than he. He did well with the former Valkyrie, also with Vol-au-Vent, but his name is more familiarly associated with Yarana and May, with both of which at the close of the yachting season, he entered the Colne, flying a string of just under 30 racing flags, some of which were for first and some for second prizes. It is hoped he will do as well with the new Valkyrie, and will, with her, fetch from America the noted Cup for which she is built to compete.”



Royal Thames Yacht Club regatta Thursday 25 May 1893. 1. Britannia 2. Iverna 3. Valkyrie. Valkyrie broke bowsprit.

Royal London Yacht Club Friday 26 May 1893. 1. Iverna 2. Britannia 3. Valkyrie.

New Thames Yacht Club Channel Match Saturday 3 June 1893. 1. Valkyrie 2. Satanita 3. Britannia. Calluna and Iverna also competed.

Royal Harwich Yacht Club regatta Monday 5 June 1893. 1. Valkyrie 2. Britannia 3. Calluna 4. Iverna.

Royal Harwich Yacht Club regatta Tuesday 6 June 1893. 1. Valkyrie 2. Britannia 3. Satanita 4. Iverna 5. Calluna.

Royal Thames Yacht Club Saturday 10 June 1893. 1. Valkyrie 2. Britannia 3. Satanita 4. Calluna 5. Iverna. Match later awarded to Britannia due to a mistake in time allowance.

Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club regatta Monday 12 June 1893. 1. Britannia 2. Calluna 3. Iverna. Valkyrie broke main halliard block, losing topsail.

Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club Channel Match. Dover to Boulogne Tuesday 13 June 1893. 1. Calluna 2. Iverna 3. Valkyrie 4. Mabel 5. Lais (winner of 40-raters. Britannia fouled Valkyrie whose crew had to chop off Britannia’s bowsprit in order to continue.

Royal Southern Yacht Club regatta Saturday 17 June 1893 1. Valkyrie 2. Britannia 3. Satanita 4. Calluna.

Royal Mersey Yacht Club regatta Monday 26 June 1893. 1. Valkyrie 2. Britannia 3. Satanita.

Royal Largs Yacht Club regatta Thursday 29 June 1893. 1. Britannia 2. Satanita 3. Valkyrie.

Royal Northern Yacht Club regatta Saturday 1 July 1893. 1. Britannia 2. Valkyrie 3. Calluna.

Royal Northern Yacht Club regatta Monday 3 July 1893. 1. Calluna 2. Valkyrie 3. Satanita 4. Britannia.

Royal West of Scotland Yacht Club regatta Tuesday 4 July 1893. 1. Valkyrie 2. Iverna. Britannia and Satanita becalmed.

Clyde Corinthian regatta Wednesday 5 July 1893. 1. Valkyrie 2. Satanita 3. Iverna.

Clyde Corinthian regatta Friday 7 July 1893. 1. Valkyrie 2. Britannia 3. Satanita 4. Iverna.


THE OBSERVER – Sunday 9 July 1893 - “COURT AND FASHION – The Earl of Dunraven has joined his yacht, the Valkyrie, for the Clyde regattas.”


Royal Clyde Yacht Club regatta Saturday 8 July 1893. 1. Britannia 2. Valkyrie 3. Calluna.

Royal Clyde Yacht Club regatta Monday 10 July 1893. 1. Valkyrie 2. Calluna 3. Satanita. Britannia was disqualified.


NEW YORK TIMES – 30 July 1893. “The wins and winnings of the four cutters at the close of the Clyde regattas were as follows:-

Valkyrie - Firsts, 9; Seconds, 4; Value, £755

Britannia - Firsts, 7; Seconds, 5; Value, £665

Calluna - Firsts, 2; Seconds, 6; Value, £265

Satanita - Firsts, 0; Seconds, 3; Value, £105”


Royal Ulster Yacht Club regatta Friday 15 July 1893. 1. Satanita 2. Britannia 3. Calluna 4. Valkyrie 5. Iverna.

Royal Ulster Yacht Club Saturday 15 July 1893. 1. Valkyrie 2. Britannia 3. Calluna 4. Satanita.

Unnamed match (New York Times) off Cowes on Monday 31 July 1893. Result not given but after the first round Navahoe was leading Valkyrie and Britannia.

Royal Yacht Squadron regatta Tuesday 1 August 1893. Meteor owned by the German Emperor won the Queen’s Cup. Valkyrie was disqualified but in his memoirs Lord Dunraven explained that it was the Meteor which took the wrong course and to avoid an argument between the King and the Kaiser (his nephew), the Queen’s Cup was awarded to the Meteor.

Royal Yacht Squadron regatta Thursday 3 August 1893. 1. Satanita 2. Valkyrie. The German Emperor sailed on Valkyrie.

Royal Yacht Squadron regatta Friday 4 August 1893. 1. Satanita 2. Valkyrie 3. Calluna 4. Navahoe.

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THE OBSERVER – Sunday 13 August 1893 - “YACHTING – Valkyrie was dry-docked yesterday, and is now being refitted for her voyage to America. She will leave here about the 20th inst., and sail across under jury rig, whilst the Earl of Dunraven proceeds to New York by mail steamer, arriving there in time to witness the trial matches of the yachts built especially to defend the cup. The Valkyrie will be sailed throughout by Cranfield and an east country crew.”


NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 13 August 1893 - “VALKYRIE TO SAIL WEDNESDAY - NEWPORT, R.I. Aug. 12 - Mr. H. Maitland Kersey says he has heard from Lord Dunraven that the Valkyrie will sail from England next Wednesday. With fair luck she ought to reach here by the last of the month.”


NEW YORK TIMES - Thursday 24 August 1893 - “THE VALKYRIE ON HER WAY OVER - LONDON, Aug. 23 - Lord Dunraven's cutter Valkyrie sailed from Southampton for New York this morning."


THE YACHTSMAN - Thursday 24 August 1893 - “NOTES AND NOTIONS - The Valkyrie left Cowes for New York at 6 a.m. on Wednesday. Bill Cranfield, her sailing-master, is in charge, and the crew consists of 24 hands. Capt. W. Harvey is the navigating master.”


THE TIMES - Thursday 24 August 1893 - “YACHTING - The Valkyrie, Lord Dunraven’s famous cutter, left Cowes yesterday morning at 6 o’clock for New York to fulfil her engagements for the American Cup. She is under the command of William Cranfield, of East Donyland, Essex, who will sail her in the American Cup races. Her navigating crew number 24 all told. Eight more men will go over by steamer and join her in America, bringing her racing complement up to 32. The Valkyrie carries a small mainsail with a boom of about 60ft. in length, and has a short bowsprit and topmast, and in every other particular the vessel has had a perfect outfit for making the voyage across the western ocean. It is hoped that she will make the passage in about three weeks.”


Part of the crew list for the voyage to New York.

W. W. Cranfield born.1856 Rowhedge. Last served on SAME SHIP [ie. Valkyrie], Remains. Master.

Wm. Harvey b.1866 Wivenhoe. Last served on ROSEVILLE of Sunderland 1892. Navigating Officer. Master 020458 [number of Certificate]

Oscar Ponder b.1854 Rowhedge. Last served on SAME SHIP, Remains. Mate

W. Taylor b.1867 Rowhedge. Last served on L’ ESPERANCE of Cowes 1892. 2nd Mate

Enos Turff b.1864 Rowhedge. Last served on ZALA of London 1893. B’swain

Fred Rose b.1870 Burnham. Last served on ERYCINA of Cowes 1891. Carpenter

Alf. Allen b.1867 Rowhedge. Last served on L’ ESPERANCE of Cowes 1892. AB [Able Bodied]

W. Sebborn b.1858 Rowhedge. Last served on VALFREYA of U.S.A. 1893. AB

Robt. Potter b.1863 Tollesbury. Last served on EXPRESS of Colchester 1893. AB

Wm. Brown b.1862 Rowhedge. [Royal Naval] Reserve No. 881B. Last served on L’ ESPERANCE of Cowes 1893. AB

Adam Potter b.1864 Tollesbury. Last served on VOLANTE of Colchester 1893. AB

A. Wilkin b.1868 Rowhedge. Reserve No. 2061A. Last served on SAMUEL LANG of London 1893. AB

Herbert Pullen b.1862 Wivenhoe. Last served on COLUMBINE of Southampton 1892. AB

E. Percival b.1867 Rowhedge. Last served on MAGGIE WARRINGTON of Liverpool 1893. AB

H. Harvey b.1872 Wivenhoe. Last served on DOBHRAN of London 1892. AB

H. Springett b.1869 Rowhedge. Reserve No. 2410A. Last served on SHELDRAKE of Colchester 1892. AB

W. Allen b.1873 Rowhedge. Last served on MELBOURNE of London 1893. AB

W. Wadley b.1871 Rowhedge. Reserve No. 4006G. Last served on ROSERY of London 1893. AB

A. Scarff b.1870 Rowhedge. Last served on VANADIS of London 1893. AB

W. Cranfield b.1877 Rowhedge. Last served on L’ ESPERANCE of Cowes 1892. AB

John Pearce b.1856 Rowhedge. Last served on CORSAIR of Southampton 1892. AB

W. Beuen b.1855 Colchester. Last served on VALFREYA of U.S.A. 1893. Cook

E. Smith b.1868 Cowes. Last served on ROME of London 1893. 1st Steward

A. Wade b.1857 Rowhedge. Last served on SAME SHIP, Remains. Joined present Ship 19.8.93 at Cowes. 2nd Cook

“The above Crew were paid off hire, having left the Vessel in New York, and were sent home per Steamer by Owner of Valkyrie.”


The crew list also gives the wages and dates of discharge of the crew.


LEWISTON EVENING JOURNAL - (Maine ) - Friday 22 September 1893 - THE VALKYRIE IS HERE - She Reached New York at 7.50 This Morning - The English Cup Challenger Had a Very Stormy Voyage Coming Over - Sandy Hook, N.J., Sept. 22 - “At early dawn this morning the lookout at Sandy Hook marine observatory saw, way down to sea, a ship in tow. Watching for her to come nearer he made her out to be the Valkyrie. At her masthead she carried the signal of the Royal British Yacht Club. She had her mainsail and forestay sail jib and gaff topsail set. The tug Charm had her in tow and seemed to glide along with her as if nothing was dragging astern. The American ensign was run up on the large flag mast at the observatory and when she passed the point at 6.07 a.m., salutes were exchanged. The crew aboard the Valkyrie were engaged in washing the deck and a general clean up.

A Very Stormy Voyage - Quarantine, S.I., Sept. 22 - The yacht Valkyrie arrived here at 7.30 a.m. She took a northern course and on the whole experienced a very stormy passage. Capt. Cranfield confirms Capt. Griffith’s report of having passed her on the evening of the 16th. On arrival at Quarantine the Valkyrie was promptly inspected and proceeded at 7.50 to her anchorage off Bay Ridge. She carries a crew of 24 men.

Captain Cranfield said that when Valkyrie passed Scilly Islands she fell in with light winds which lasted three days, then for five days had easterly winds which were variable, shifting to all parts of the compass in the space of a very few hours. “Thus,” he said, “did we complete 15 days of our voyage without mishap or incident of any kind.”

From that time on, however, winds began to haul more to southward, and from south-south-west to west they held almost relentlessly for the rest of the voyage. For the most part they came heavily, and, besides having to beat most of the time, we were obliged to proceed, under very little sail.

We were not taking any chances just to shorten our trip. We began to encounter heavy winds, and for the most part they succeeded in rolling up some monster seas, but the sturdy boat made great weather of it. “Indeed,” said the captain enthusiastically, “she did not ship enough water to wet a biscuit. The wind was heavy, too; so heavy in fact, that on Sept. 16th the storm jib was blown completely away and the forestaysail was rent in a thousand pieces.

“When our head sheets were thus disabled we were for a moment in great danger, but the good active work of the crew soon had a storm forestay-sail set, and in a jiffy we were proceeding on our course. The rest of the voyage was uneventful. There are no damages of consequence which will take any time to repair.”


THE EVENING WORLD (New York) - Friday 22 September 1893 - “VALKYRIE SAFE IN PORT - ... An Evening World representative who had been cruising about the lower bay all night on a tug, welcomed the cutter with Health Officer Jenkins and his assistants. Almost the first thing Dr. Jenkins did after giving Capt. Cranfield a hearty handshake, was to hand him a letter from H. Maitland Kersey, General Manager of the White Star line. Immediately after her arrival at Bay Ridge she [Valkyrie] was boarded by another Evening World reporter with the tug William E. Ferguson. The anchor was run up in a hurry by the crew and at Capt. Cranfield’s request the yacht was towed about 1,000 yards further north, directly in front of the Atlantic Yacht Club-house. The yacht’s deck showed very little signs of the bad weather she had encountered. Six water casks are lashed amidships and some spare spars were lying on deck. Her short bowsprit was run in so that no more than ten feet extended outward.

Her crew of twenty-four men, under the direction of the captain, had the topmast sent down on deck, the bowsprit rigged in, and her mainsail unbent, a few minutes after she came to anchor.

The men seemed to move like clockwork. Capt. Cranfield, a fine-looking, blue-eyed Englishman, with a bushy, sandy beard, said: “We have had a rather rough passage, but the boat is all right. She behaved splendidly in the heavy weather we encountered. We lost a few sails in the gales, of which we had several. The crew are all right, not a man on board was hurt during the passage. We shall begin to fit out at once for the races.”

Then turning to Capt. Harvey, the navigator, Capt. Cranfield said: “Give the Evening World all the information they want about the passage.”

Capt. Harvey, who is about twenty-six years old, has a kindly face and a vast knowledge of navigation. He escorted the  Evening World man to the cabin, where the logbook was referred to for a story of the passage.”


August 23 - Left Cowes 5:40 a.m.; light westerly winds. Noon, calm, heavy swell; barometer 30:08; 26 miles.

August 24 - Noon, Falmouth abeam; 4p.m., signalled The Lizard.[113 miles].

August 25 - Noon, abreast Seven Storm Lightship, distance four miles; calm; barometer 30:40. P.m., light air, swell, west by northwest. [65 miles].

August 26 - Open; wind, light easterly; haze; slow progress, at noon all canvas set; afternoon calm, no headway; barometer 30:40; longitude 0:06, latitude 50:07; 27 miles.

August 27 - Open, light westerly wind. Noon, set squaresails; barometer 30:30; latitude 49:57; longitude 00:8:15; breeze, east by southeast; sea, irregular. [50 miles].

August 28 - Open, fresh winds east, clear, prowling sharp; barometer 30:36. Noon, latitude 49:18; longitude 12:48. P.m. squally, showers, southeast winds. [169 miles].

From noon of August 27 to noon of August 28, 225 miles were made by the log, 218 [miles] by observation.

August 29 - Open, fresh easterly winds; barometer 30:38. Noon, latitude 48:40; longitude 18:06. P.m. fresh winds, southeast; nasty sea; single reef and trysail. Noon to August 30, 224 miles by observation.

August 30 - Open, fresh winds, southeast. Noon, high southerly breeze and swell. P.m., less wind; latitude 42:48; longitude 23:24; 224 miles.

August 31 - 200 miles. Open, southeast winds, ship rolling heavily. Noon, wind freshening. Latitude 47:54, longitude 28:31. P.m., high wind and cloudy. Wind still southeast. [218 miles].

September 1 - 220 miles. Open moderate breeze, southeast. Noon, wind south; took squaresail in; reaching along steadily. P.m., wind west, smart breeze; rain and showers.

September 2 - 110 miles, open wind west by north-west; squally; rain; bad sea; rolling heavily. Noon, latitude 47:30, longitude 36:12. P.m., hard squall, high sea, ship laboring heavily and flooding decks.

September 3 - Strong squalls, northwest by west; rain. Noon, heavy squalls; no observation; 173 miles by log. P.m., wind freshening, double reef fore and aft.

September 4 - Wind southwest, shifting to west by west; unsteady; poor progress. Noon, no observations; 90 miles by log; overcast; rain; nasty cross swell.

September 5 - Open; close reef trysail, wind west. Noon, wind more moderate; no observations; 77 miles by log. P.m., wind moderating; set trysail; heavy swell.

September 6 - Open, moderate breeze, west by northwest, heavy swell. Noon, observation, latitude 45:50, longitude 42:40; weather same, 80 miles by log. P.m., breeze moderating; cross sea; west by northwest.

September 7 - Open, freshening winds, south by southwest. Noon, same; rain; observation 45:18 and 45:32; hard winds; heavy sea; close reef; 130 miles by observation. P.m., high wind; lay to under close reef topsail.

September 8 - Open; rolling heavily; high seas. Noon, wind moderating; overcast; let reef out; very high sea west by southwest. P.m., weather finer; heavy swells; barometer unsteady. [71 miles].

September 9 - Open; moderate winds, south. Noon, dense fog; latitude 44:07, longitude 49:55. P.m., heavy seas; wind west by north; flooding decks; 151 miles.

September 10 - Moderate wind, west; clear; passed several fishermen. Noon, 56 miles; latitude 43:42, longitude 51:06. P.m., poor progress; wind unsteady.

September 11 - Open; light wind, southwest; heavy roll; barometer falling. Noon, no observations; 61 miles. 8 p.m., wind freshening, north with hurricane force. Close reef, and trysail reached off. 10 p.m., ship seas; smashed starboard storm rail and stanchion; bending tiller.

September 12 - Open; heavy storm; jib blew clear out of ropes. 6 a.m., gale abating; fishtiller with spare spar until fine; sea high and shifting north; 61 miles. 10:30, signalled steamship bound east, one funnel, white band, three masts, fore and aft rigged; no answer. Noon, head winds; kept ship on course. 9:30 p.m., squally light winds, trysail sheet swinging in, carried away binnacle hood.

September 13 - Fresh winds, north by northwest, heavy swells; ship tubbed tiller. Noon, observation 43:17; 56:55. P.m., moderate winds, west by northwest; slow progress; 120 miles.

September 14 - Wind west by northwest, poor progress; passed eastbound steamship; signalled no answer. Noon, 80 miles; observation, 43:15, latitude 58:35. P.m., same weather; signalled another steamer all well; no answer; heavy swell north by northwest.

September 15 - Wind northwest by west. 6:30 a.m., passed steamship Berlin, signalled and was answered; set topsail and balloon staysail. Noon, calm. 2 p.m. signalled three steamships bound east; 80 miles; poor progress; observation latitude 42:17, longitude 59:47.

September 16 - Wind south by southwest; signalled ship bound east; no answer; southwest swell; passed several steamers. Noon, 160 miles; observations, latitude 41:69; longitude 63:22. P.m., freshening gale; plunging heavily. Midnight, gale increasing; ship hove to; shipping water. [Passed National Line steamship Spain and kept in sight until sundown]

September 17 - Heavy gale, southwest; split after leech of trysail; ship before wind; set storm trysail. Noon, wind falling; calm; fearful swell, washed binnacle overboard; vessel dipping stern under and seas thumping it heavily; rolling. P.m., light wind, northwest; wind and weather trying; 110 miles.

September 18 - Freshening winds, north by northwest; signalled mail steamship eastbound, no answer; repaired trysail. Noon, observations, latitude 40:39, longitude 65:25; 97 miles; light airs. 8 p.m., moderate swell; threatening weather.

September 19 - Light wind and calm. Noon, wind freshening and sea, southwest by west; under gaff topsail and jib. Noon, no observations; 78 miles. P.m., single-reef trysail; dense fog; light westerly winds.

September 20 - Dense fog, heavy swells. Noon, fog lifting; 42 miles; no observations. 2 p.m., fog cleared up; set topsail. Midnight, wind freshening, northwest by west.

September 21 - Head sea; freshening wind, northwest by north; shipping seas; took in jib and topsail. Noon, 220 miles; observations, latitude 40:19, longitude 72:33. P.m., tacked to north; calm, clear and smooth. 1:30 p.m., took pilot aboard.

September 22 - Light westerly winds. 5 a.m., abreast Highlands of Navesink, making trip 29 days, 18 hours. [65 miles].


Other crewmen arriving for Valkyrie’s crew.


Ship of travel: PARIS

Port of departure: Southampton

Date of arrival in New York: 23 September 1893

All men are described as mariners, citizens of England, transient, travelling to New York, located in the second cabin, and having one item of baggage each. Ages given are ages on arrival.

PASSENGER MANIFEST - Spellings and ages are as found

Robert Leavett aged 30

Harry Dyer aged 23

Edward Roper aged 23

Charles Cranfield aged 21

Thomas Hood aged 25

George Glazier aged 26

Walter Theobald aged 28

Edward Stewart aged 28

Bartholomew Smith aged 38

George Cranfield aged 27

William Cheek aged 26

Fred. Brown aged 26




Date of arrival in New York; 23 September 1893

Port of embarkation; Liverpool

Earl of Dunraven, age 53. No calling or occupation given. Citizen of Ireland, 7 pieces of baggage.

Countess Dunraven, age 43. Calling or occupation; Lady. Citizen of Scotland, 14 pieces of baggage.

Lady Rachel Quinn, age 21. Calling or occupation; Lady. Citizen of Scotland, no baggage noted.

Lady Aileen Quinn, age 20. Calling or occupation; Lady. Citizen of Scotland, no baggage noted.

[The passenger manifest misspells the surname “Quin” and the transcription gives “Dunraven” as “Dumaren”]


  Lord Wolverton and Colonel Paget were also among the passengers. No sailors were found in the passenger manifest.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES - Saturday 23 September 1893 - “A POWERFUL LOOKING CRAFT - Yachtsmen Have Only Words of Praise for Lord Dunraven’s Yacht - The Valkyrie proved a big attraction at Bay Ridge all day yesterday. Steam yachts circled round her as she lay at anchor, tugs came over in order to let those on board have a look at the crack English craft, naphtha launches steamed alongside, and rowboats and small craft of all kinds were put out for the Bay Ridge shore. Boatmen did a rattling good business, and as usual on an occasion like this, they did not forget to raise the price.... 

Mr. Kersey, Mr. Watson, Mr. Ratsey, and several yachtsmen lunched at the Atlantic Yacht Clubhouse, and Mr. Watson had all the crew sent ashore and treated them to their first drink of American lager. The men are a fine, intelligent-looking lot, and seem to take a great deal of pride in the boat. They wore blue costumes with the word Valkyrie in gold letters on their sweaters.

The crew of the vessel, in addition to Capt. Cranfield and Capt. Harvey, consists of Oscar Ponder, first mate; William Taylor, second mate; Ennis Turff, boatswain; William Bowen, chief cook; Arthur Wade and William Waddley , assistants, and William Cranfield, Walter Sebborn, John Pierce, W. Harvey, J. Smith, Alfred Scarf , Wallace Allen, Alfred Allen, William Brown, Herbert Springat, B. Wilkin, Herbert Pullen, William Percival, Edward Smith, and Adam and Robert Potter. 

Twelve more sailors will arrive to-day on the steamer Paris for the Valkyrie. They will be transferred from the steamer to the yacht as soon as the Paris arrives....

Capt. Cranfield is in love with his boat. He looked her over with pride at the conclusion of his long voyage. He is one of Great Britain’s most successful skippers. He first came into prominence in 1886, when he won twenty-eight yachting prizes, valued at £1,100. With the Yarana, which he sailed for three years, he won seventy-eight prizes. He has been for several years in the employ of Lord Dunraven, and commanded the first Valkyrie.

A detailed account of the races sailed by the Valkyrie on the other side was published exclusively in The Times on Sunday, Sept. 3. It showed that the Valkyrie started in twenty-three regattas, capturing eleven first prizes, five seconds, and three thirds. She met with three accidents that put her out of the races, and was disqualified once for turning a stake boat the wrong way. She finished first on this occasion.


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 24 September 1893 - “EARL OF DUNRAVEN IN TOWN - HE VISITED THE VALKYRIE AS SOON AS HE LANDED - Earl Dunraven and Mr. Kersey talked together while the Campania remained in quarantine, and as she proceeded up the bay they leaned over the starboard rail and had a look at the Valkyrie at anchor off Bay Ridge. The Campania blew a shrill salute on her steam siren as she passed the Valkyrie. Capt. Cranfield, on the yacht, had the British naval ensign run up at the masthead and dipped in acknowledgement of the salute, and the sailors on the yacht lined up and gave three rousing cheers and waved their blue and yellow striped tocques in the air as a greeting to the Earl... To settle two much-disputed points, he [Lord Dunraven] said that his name was pronounced as if spelled “D-u-n-r-a-y-v-e-n,” with the accent on the second syllable. The name of his yacht, he said, was pronounced as if spelled “V-a-l-k-e-y-e-r-e-e,” with the accent on the “ky.”

On the Valkyrie the crew worked like beavers all day long. The topmast was set on end early in the day and the bowsprit put outward, so that she begins to look more like a yacht. Men were set to work scraping the mast and cleaning the rigging. The way the crew worked called forth general admiration. The men who came over on the Paris joined their mates early in the morning. They numbered twelve in all, and included Charles and G. Cranfield, nephews of the Captain; W. Cheek, G. Glozier, Thomas Hood, Robert Leavett, Edward Roper, F. Smith, T. Seward, F. Brown, Harry Dyer, and W. Theobald. All told, there are now thirty-six men in the crew of the yacht, and, with her skipper, Mr. Watson, Mr. Ratsey, Lord Dunraven, and his friends, there will be about forty-five on board during the races.

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Tuesday 26 September 1893 - “THE VALKYRIE NEARLY READY - SHE WILL HAVE HER RACING SAILS ON TO-MORROW.  Capt. Cranfield had his men at work long before there was any sign of life on any of the other yachts anchored off Bay Ridge. He started in scraping and cleaning almost as soon as it was light, and by sunset the Valkyrie looked more like a racer than ever. Her bowsprit has been made to fit and was put outboard. When the Valkyrie raced in England the bowsprit was only sixteen feet outboard. Now it is several feet more. The boom, too, is much longer than the one used in the British waters. Nearly all the running gear was up by sunset and yachtsmen were rather surprised at the size of her spars.

Capt. Cranfield says he has not been on shore since he arrived here. He is anxious to get the yacht in shape before he takes any time to see the sights. He said: “We want to get her under sail as quickly as possible, and find out how the sails set, so as to be able to make any changes we want to. The work of cleaning the yacht’s bottom will not be very serious. The copper will be cleaned, sandpapered, and then smoothed over with emery paper. There will be some painting to be done, too, and then we shall be ready for the races.”

During the morning the crew took some of her spare gear and some of the stores used on the trip across the ocean ashore and put them in the Atlantic Yacht Club House.

Sunday evening the sailors on the English cutter saved a man from drowning. The sailors on the Valkyrie don’t work on Sundays, and just after sundown they were attending divine service in the cabin when they heard some one in the water shouting for help. Several of the sailors rushed on deck and saw a man struggling in the water, with a capsized rowboat drifting away from him. They quickly lowered the Valkyrie’s gig and caught the man. He  was taken on board, given stimulants, and then sent ashore. The rescued man refused to give his name.

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Thursday 5 October 1893 - “READY FOR A GREAT CONTEST - BOTH VALKYRIE AND VIGILANT IN FINE RACING TRIM - John Bull and Uncle Sam will engage in a contest to-day. All differences between the two cousins will be put on one side, and the contest will be of the most friendly character. The participants will take their toy boats on the big pond outside Sandy Hook, and sail a race to see who shall have the famous America’s Cup, the trophy emblematic of the yachting championship of the world.

The final preparations were made on the two yachts, the Valkyrie and Vigilant, yesterday, and last night both anchored off the Atlantic Yacht Clubhouse, waiting for to-day’s race. As soon as it was light enough to see to work, the crew of the Valkyrie and the gang of ship carpenters were at work smoothing off the boat’s bottom. The crew soon got through their work, and then Capt. Cranfield gave them a few hours’ leave of absence to put them in a cheerful mood for to-day’s big race. The carpenters hammered away at the copper plates on the yacht’s bottom, and by 11:30 o’clock Designer Watson announced that he was satisfied with everything and that the yacht could be floated.

The men cleared out of the dock and the engine started to pump the water back. A big crowd of sightseers was in the yard, and every one greatly admired the English boat. She was in perfect condition, and ready for the greatest race of her career. Slowly the water rose in the dock, and at 1:30 the English cutter floated. Just as she floated the tug Lewis Pulver, with Lord Dunraven, Mr. Charles Kerr, and Mr. H. Maitland Kersey, came up to the end of the dock and those gentlemen were at once transferred to the yacht.

To measure the English boat was the next work, and as quickly as possible all articles not used in a race were stripped out and put on floats and the yacht’s boats. When this was done Mr. John Hyslop began his work. He first measured the boom and the gaff. Then he took his tape forward of the mast. As soon as this was done the length on the water line had to be obtained. For this purpose every one was sent ashore except Lord Dunraven. In England yachts are measured with the crew on board, and the same rule should be in force here, but an error in the wording of the rule gives yacht owners a chance to send the men ashore, and the Englishmen were not slow to take advantage of it. Lord Dunraven smiled as the men climbed over the sides of his boat, and when left alone amused himself with a cigarette and the carrier pigeon, the Valkyrie’s mascot. His Lordship was evidently instructing the bird to root hard for the Valkyrie in the big race to-day.

As soon as the water line length was obtained, the crew put all the dunnage back again, and then started in to swash the decks. Mr. Hyslop then measured the mast for the perpendicular hoist. To do this a man was sent to the masthead in a boatswain’s chair, and held one end of the tape while Mr. Hyslop held the other end. Mr. Watson assisted Mr. Hyslop in measuring the Valkyrie, and when the work was finished carefully studied the figures.

While the work of measuring the yacht was going on, ex-Commodore James D. Smith and Mr. Cass Canfield, two members of the Cup Committee, stood on the dock. As soon as the length on the water line was obtained they went on board and were greeted by Lord Dunraven very cordially.

The Vigilant swung slowly into the basin, and when she was made fast, Capt. Hansen collected his men forward and called for three cheers for the Valkyrie. They were given with a will, the sturdy crew of the American boat letting forth three big shouts and then a tiger.

The echoes of the cheers had not had a chance to die away before Capt. Cranfield had his men aft, and three times “Hip, hip, hurrah!” rang out from the lusty Britishers. Then the crowd on the docks took up the strain and gave three hearty cheers for both boats.

After Mr. Iselin and the other visitors had left the Valkyrie, the yacht was backed out of the basin, and taken in tow by the Pulver for Bay Ridge.

Length, load water line......... Valkyrie 85.50 feet, Vigilant 86.19 feet

End of main boom to forward side of mast.... 92.60; 99.37

Fore side of mast to jib stay..... 66.16; 73.80

Fore side of mast to jibtopsail stay...... 66.16; 75.90

Fore side of mast to forward point of mizzenmast... 66.16; 74.85

Fore side of mast to outer end of spinnaker boom.... 72.00; 74.62

Deck to upper side of main boom.... 3.08; 3.08

Deck to topsail halyard block.... 114.86; 125.96

Deck to hounds.... 63.80; 69.08

Length of topmast.... 51.56; 56.88

Length of gaff.... 55.57; 54.76

Sail area.... 10,042; 11,272

Square root of sail area.... 100.21; 106.17

Racing length.... 93.11; 96.78

The racing length is obtained by adding the square root of the sail area to the load water line length. In this race all excess of 85 feet on the water line is counted double for calculating the racing length, so the Vigilant is rated as though she measured  87.38 feet and the Valkyrie as measuring 86 feet. These figures mean that the Vigilant will have to allow the Valkyrie 1 minute 48 seconds in each race. This is quite an item, and the Englishmen maintain that the American boat will not be able to do it.

Nearly two months ago the New York Times stated that the Valkyrie measured 85.50 feet on the water line and not 86.72 feet as was reported in certain quarters. It will be seen that The Times was exactly right.

Each yacht spreads more than 10,000 feet of canvas. The Vigilant carries 1,230 feet more than the Valkyrie. Five years ago to put so much canvas on a yacht the size of either of these would have been regarded as a crazy freak.

The challenging boat, the Valkyrie, is conceded to be the fastest yacht that has ever come over to this country to race for the America’s Cup, and she is the fastest yacht in England this season, having won no less than eleven races out of twenty-three starts. She was built by the Henderson Brothers, from designs by G.L. Watson, and since she has been in these waters she has attracted considerable attention, not only from the fact that she is the challenger for the cup, but because she has proved herself to be fast in all sorts of weather conditions.

The Vigilant is a centre-board boat, built of Tobin bronze. The Valkyrie is a keel-boat, copper-bottomed. The value of the Tobin bronze is that it does not corrode or foul in the water like steel, and the bottom is burnished until it is as smooth as glass. Copper does not foul easily, but it is not nearly so good in the water as the bronze, so that here the Vigilant has another advantage over the Valkyrie. Then, too, it has been proved over and over again that a centre-board boat can point much higher than a keel-boat, and this is where the Vigilant is expected to do her great work. In the trial races she showed that she could outpoint any of the other cup defenders, and point higher, too, than any other boat that has ever been built. Keel boats usually have shown that they can reach faster than centre-boarders, but the centre-board boat in previous contests has gained so much on the windward that the keel boat has been unable to catch her when running free.

Capt. William Cranfield is the sailing master of the Valkyrie, and he has a crew of thirty-four men to sail the yacht. In addition to these men there will be on board during the race Pilot Martin Lyons, Designer George L. Watson, Sailmaker Thomas Ratsey, who will have two riggers with him; Capt. Harvey, who acted as her navigator when she sailed across the ocean; Lord Dunraven, and several of his friends who have crossed the ocean to see the contest, and Mr. Archibald Rogers, who will be the representative of the New York Yacht Club.”



Valkyrie II is the black yacht

THE OBSERVER – Sunday 8 October 1893 - THE AMERICA CUP – THE VIGILANT VICTORIOUS (Reuter’s Telegrams) - New York, Oct.7, 9a.m. - “At the present hour there is every prospect of a good race to-day between the Valkyrie and the Vigilant. There is a brisk wind blowing from W.S.W. at the rate of twelve miles an hour. The sky is overcast, but the clouds show no signs of breaking, and it is hoped that there will be no mist. The race is to start about eleven o’clock, and at the present moment the harbour is thronged with steamers, launches, and yachts, among which rowing boats are passing constantly backwards and forwards conveying on board those who are going out to witness the race. Thousands of people will be afloat before another hour has passed. Dispatches from the points of vantage on shore say that spectators are already beginning to gather there, and that the weather is regarded as favourable for the match. The interest in the event is of the keenest, and the names Valkyrie and Vigilant are heard on every hand in New York.

9:45 a.m. The clouds have dispersed, and the weather is now clear and bright. The wind is fresher, and the prospects of a fine day’s racing are excellent.

11:16 a.m. The preparatory gun has just been fired.

11:29 a.m. The yachts have started, the Valkyrie leading. Both yachts have their spinnakers to starboard.

11:50 a.m. The start was a flying one, the Valkyrie  getting over the line first, with Vigilant close behind. Amid the hooting of sirens and screeching of whistles from the steamers, which made a deafening din, the Valkyrie began to pull ahead. Both were going dead before the wind. The breeze at this time began to fall, and the sails of neither boat kept full. At 11:48 Valkyrie was still holding a good lead, but within five minutes Vigilant was coming up to her, and was pressing her hard.

12:30 p.m. At 11:50 Vigilant seemed to be blanketing Valkyrie. They were speeding along on even terms, and the excitement among the onlookers was intense. A few minutes later Vigilant began to gain distinctly, and there was only about 25 seconds difference between the two vessels, while Vigilant was still gaining. By twelve o’clock they were very nearly even, Valkyrie being to the southward. At 12:20, amid frantic cheers, Vigilant passed her opponent, and five minutes later opened out a clear lead of 100 yards, showing the Britisher her heels in a style that delighted the American spectators.

12:40 p.m. It now appears evident that Vigilant will beat Valkyrie by eight minutes to the stake boat, and perhaps by more. The American yacht should reach the turn in about twenty-five minutes. By 12:30 Vigilant had not only overcome Valkyrie’s lead, but held a better lead than Lord Dunraven’s yacht had at the start. Unless Valkyrie can do better on the wind than running, her chances of winning are small. The yachts are now sailing between six and seven knots an hour.

12:46 p.m. Both yachts are standing off shore. Vigilant still leads, and appears to be about a mile ahead.

2:5 p.m. At 1:20 p.m. Vigilant had increased her lead to two miles. At 2 p.m. both yachts had turned the stake-boat, Valkyrie being eight minutes behind her rival.

2:30 p.m. Valkyrie does not seem able to keep up to the wind as well as Vigilant and it is believed that she will have to make one more tack than the American champion on the return journey.

2:45 p.m. Vigilant is increasing her lead rapidly, and is again some two miles ahead.

3:5 p.m. Valkyrie is hanging on with the greatest determination, but seems to lack speed as compared with Vigilant. The wind is west by south, and it looks as though Vigilant will complete the course without tacking. As the two boats draw closer up it is seen that the distance separating them is a good two miles.

3:20 p.m. Valkyrie is still plodding along and doing her best in a hopeless chase. She is, however, now gaining slowly, but it is impossible for her to close up the gap.

3:30 p.m. Vigilant has lost a little wind, and Valkyrie, holding on, is gaining fast.

3:40 p.m. Vigilant has won. She crossed the line at 3:32½, six minutes in front of Valkyrie.

Monday 9 October 1893 - The Second Race


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN – Tuesday 10 October 1893 - “THE AMERICA CUP – ANOTHER VICTORY FOR THE VIGILANT (Reuter’s Special Service) - New York, Monday - The second race between the American yacht Vigilant and the British yacht Valkyrie in the contest for the America Cup took place this afternoon. It excited even a greater measure of public interest and attracted a still greater assemblage of spectators than the first of the series, which was completed on Saturday last. The weather in the morning was murky, and the outlook was by no means promising; but the sun rose later on, and before the time for starting had arrived the weather conditions were distinctly propitious. The departure of the usual contingent of excursion steamers for the scene of the race was attended by an extraordinary amount of bustle and excitement. Above the din thousands of voices were heard shouting the name of the American yacht, the feeling of uncertainty manifested before the decisive victory scored by the Vigilant on Saturday last having entirely disappeared. The gentle swell which was noticeable on the surface of the water on Saturday had given place to a pretty strong sea, and at daybreak quite a stiff breeze was blowing from the south. Yachtsmen therefore concluded that the wind would be more favourable for racing than on the occasion of either of the two previous trials. Their hopes, however, had fallen considerably by 8.30, the wind having meanwhile shifted to the south-west and dropped so that it barely disturbed the various flags which were floating from the yachts anchored off the Atlantic Yacht Club House. By nine o’clock there was hardly any breeze, and the water had become as smooth as glass. Meanwhile every precaution was being made aboard the Vigilant for an early start. Shortly after half-past seven o’clock a tugboat with Lord Dunraven and his party on board ran alongside the yacht and exchanged compliments with their American rivals. The Vigilant then set out for the starting point, everything being shipshape. “Mascot,” a little Skye terrier which has hitherto accompanied the yacht in her sailings, was left behind. Mr. Iselin, one of the owners of the yacht, determining to set superstition at defiance. The Valkyrie, however, following the example set by Lieutenant Henn, who navigated the Galatea in the contest of 1886, carried out as “Mascot”, or luck bringer, a young woman, who as the yacht sailed down the bay was conspicuous on board in full yachting costume.

As the time for starting approached there were steady indications of a breeze south-by-west, this being exactly what both rival skippers wished. Another satisfactory feature was the probability that there would be no heavy sea outside Sandy Hook, and it was generally agreed that more favourable weather conditions for testing the comparative merits of the Valkyrie and the Vigilant could hardly be secured. Urgent representations having been made as to the inconvenience caused on Saturday and Thursday by overcrowding on the part of excursion steamers following the race, there was evidence to-day of an effort on the part of the captains of these vessels to conform to the general regulations laid down for keeping the course clear and maintaining a reasonable distance between the racers and the excursionists. The triangular course adopted for to-day’s race afforded to all the steamers an opportunity to run with the competing yachts to and from the turn. There was therefore a gratifying absence of the pushing and crowding which were so much complained of on Saturday. The result of the order thus maintained was very curious. The excursion boats were so close together and so uniform was their motion that at a distance they looked like the water front at some large seaboard city advancing out to sea. Shortly after ten o’clock both yachts were south of the lightship. Neither had then set her stay foresail. At 10.50 the staysail on the Valkyrie was broken out. The wind was then freshening, and at 11.5 the wind hauled round nearly west, dying out to nearly a three-mile breeze. The manoeuvring of the yachts for position excited much attention, and the Valkyrie’s quick turning was especially admired. Her mainsail was set beautifully, not a wrinkle being discernable in it. When the signal gun was fired the wind shifted to south-west and freshened to ten knots an hour. Both yachts came flying down to the line on the port tack, and thirty seconds later crossed almost together. The Vigilant had a trifling advantage, but the Valkyrie broke out her jib-topsail and drew away a full length, which was increased to ten lengths in the first mile. Both yachts carried their mainsail and club-topsail, staysail, and jib-topsail. The Valkyrie’s sails were beautifully full, while the Vigilant’s topsail, jib and staysail were shaking. The racers threw up clouds of spray from their bows as they forged ahead in a heavy swell. The wind outside was now freshening, and the prospect of a splendid race was improving. Every minute the Valkyrie seemed to be increasing her lead, standing off further to leeward of the American boat.

At 12.45 it was telegraphed:- The Vigilant has caught up her rival. She forced the Valkyrie to tack, and then immediately tacked herself on the weather bow. The two yachts stood together towards the New Jersey shore, the Vigilant having the lead. The Valkyrie about this time took in her jib-topsail, either because it was not drawing well or to set a bigger one. Meanwhile the Vigilant was decidedly gaining. She also took in her jib-topsail, and went along merrily, continuing to widen the gap between herself and the Britisher. The Vigilant rounded the first stake-boat at 1h.9min. and the Valkyrie at 1h.12min.15sec. At 1.35 p.m., the Vigilant was over a mile ahead, and, barring accidents, was certain to win. Finally the Vigilant crossed the line at 2h.50min., and the Valkyrie at 3h.2min.30sec., the former thus winning with plenty of time to spare.”

Wednesday 11 October 1893 - The Third Race

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Friday 13 October 1893 - “GENUINE ENGLISH PLUCK - Some words of hearty praise should be said for the fine sportsmanlike spirit shown by Lord DUNRAVEN, Designer WATSON, and Capt. CRANFIELD of the Valkyrie. Nothing more admirable has ever been displayed in the world of sports than the indomitable pluck shown by these men in Wednesday’s attempt at a race for the America’s Cup. Designer WATSON has already admitted that the prospects for an ultimate victory for his production were extremely small, and he had, with the most charming frankness, said in an interview that the best boat had won. Nevertheless, he did not despair, but prepared to try the experiment of putting the yacht back into the trim which she had when she sailed in English waters.

On Wednesday when the Regatta Committee was ready to call the race off the men on the Valkyrie refused their consent. They were ready and eager to make a stubborn contest in a light breeze, which seemed to them to give their yacht the best chance to win. The exhibition of seamanship given by Capt. CRANFIELD excited the enthusiasm of every lover of yachting, and the tenacity with which he kept the Vigilant under his lee until it was simply an impossibility to do so any longer aroused general admiration. The skipper of the Valkyrie has won a reputation in America which will stand for many years.

The third race of the match between the Vigilant and the Valkyrie for the America Cup, which was left undecided yesterday, will be sailed again to-morrow.


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Saturday 14 October 1893 - “VICTORY FOR THE VIGILANT - AGAIN THE AMERICAN CENTREBOARD TRIUMPHS - THE CUP CAN BE PUT BACK IN THE SAFE - The English Cutter Made a Gallant Fight, but Had Hard Luck on the Run Home - VIGILANT WON BY FORTY SECONDS - The Race Was Sailed in a Hard Blow from the East and the Yachts Plowed Through Heavy Seas - The Start Was Delayed  Owing to an Accident to the Valkyrie - Capt. Cranfield, as Usual, Got the Best of the Start, and the Valkyrie Beat the Vigilant One Minute and Fifty-five Seconds in the Thrash to Windward - Coming Before the Wind the Valkyrie Had Two Spinnakers Torn, and so the Vigilant Passed Her in Spite of Delay In Getting Out Her Balloon Jib - The Closest Race Ever Sailed for the America’s Cup.

THE TIMES - 14 October 1893 - “For the third time consecutively the Vigilant has beaten the Valkyrie, but only after a struggle which will be memorable in the history of the America Cup. No parallel to it, indeed could be found in the annals of international yacht-racing, except the recent race for the Brenton Reef Cup between the Britannia and the Navahoe. Each of these remarkable races was sailed in half a gale of wind; each was won by an exceedingly narrow margin; and each, unfortunately, ended in a reverse for the British champion. But, although defeated, the Valkyrie did so well yesterday as to suggest a doubt whether, after all, her two previous discomfitures did her justice. Crossing the line a minute later than her opponent, she gradually overtook her during the fifteen miles thrash to windward, and rounded the stake-boat with a lead of about two minutes. But during the run back with the wind aft, the Vigilant again drew up, passed the Valkyrie, and arrived home apparently 1min. 45sec. in advance. After deduction of the time allowance, 1min. 33sec., the American boat won by only 12 seconds. Curiously enough if the time allowance had not been diminished by 15sec. on account of the Valkyrie’s extra ton of ballast, which lengthened her water-line, Lord Dunraven’s yacht would have won by 3sec.

New York 1893 - Valkyrie II.jpg

Valkyrie II - 1894

On Tuesday April 3rd 1894 Capt. William Wadley Cranfield and a racing crew of twenty men left Rowhedge for Liverpool to sail the next day for New York on the steamer Majestic for the purpose of fetching Valkyrie II back into British waters.



G.R. & R.O. Received 8 Apr. 94

Name of Yacht; VALKYRIE

Official Number; 102,581

Port of Registry; Glasgow

Port No. And Date of Register; 37. 1893

Registered Tonnage; 106.55

Name of Owner; Earl of Dunraven

Address of Owner; Dunraven Castle, Glamorganshire

[Handwritten insertions are in italics]

The several persons whose names are hereto subscribed, and whose descriptions are contained below, and of whom – all – are engaged as Sailors, hereby agree to serve on board the said Yacht, in the several capacities expressed against their respective names, until the said Yacht shall be paid off. To sail from Liverpool on April 4th 1894 on the steamship Majestic of the White Star Line bound to New York. U.S. then to join the said yacht Valkyrie bound to the United Kingdom from New York, calling at any Port or Ports which may be necessary (on the way – crossed out). The said crew to be paid off at Glasgow. Voyage not to exceed six months from this date April 2nd 1894.

And the said Crew agree to conduct themselves in an orderly, faithful, honest and sober manner, and to be at all times diligent in their respective duties, and to be obedient to the lawful commands of the said Master, or of any person who shall lawfully succeed him, and of their Superior Officers, in everything relating to the said Yacht, and the stores thereof, whether on board, in boats, or on shore: in consideration of which Services to be duly performed, the said Master hereby agrees to pay to the said Crew as Wages the sums against their names respectively expressed. And it is hereby agreed, That any Embezzlement, or wilful or negligent destruction of any part of the Yacht’s Stores, shall be made good to the Owner out of the Wages of the person guilty of the same: And if any person enters himself as qualified for a duty which he proves incompetent to perform, his Wages shall be reduced in proportion to his incompetency: And it is also agreed, That the Regulations authorized by the Board of Trade, which in the paper annexed hereto are numbered. And it is also agreed that Regulations numbered are adopted by the parties hereto, and shall be considered embodied in this Agreement: And it is also agreed That if any member of the Crew considers himself to be aggrieved by any breach of the Agreement or otherwise, he shall represent the same to the Master or Officer in charge of the Yacht in a quiet and orderly manner, who shall thereupon take such steps as the case may require: And it is also agreed, That any Man guilty of misconduct shall be liable to be discharged by the Master at any port in Great Britain or Ireland. That the voyage shall be considered as terminated when the said Yacht is paid off. Every A.B. who conducts himself to the satisfaction of the Master, will receive Three shillings per week conduct money, when discharged. It is also agreed that each man shall receive at the termination of the voyage the sum of £5. five pounds. As a present given by the owner.

Scale of Provisions to be allowed and served out to the Crew during the Voyage, in addition to the daily issue of Lime and Lemon Juice and Sugar, or other anti-scorbutics in any case required by 30th and 31st Vict., c.124, s.4. - Crew to find their own Provisions.

When wages are given in lieu of provisions, to be stated here; The sum of £5 Five pounds will be allowed by owner to each man in lieu of provisions.

In Witness whereof, the said parties have subscribed their Names hereto, on the days against their respective Signatures mentioned.

Signed by W W Cranfield, Master, on the Second day of April 1894.


Each crewman signed his name. All signed the Agreement on 2nd April 1894 at Colchester. All crew “To start for Liverpool 3rd April 1894” and “ Wages as per private agreement”.



W W Cranfield b.1856 Rowhedge, Essex. Last served on Same ship, Remains. Master

Wm Taylor b.1867 Rowhedge, Essex. Last served on VALFRYIA (sic). Discharged from last Ship; 8.3.94 at Brightlingsea. Mate

Alfred Allen b.1867 Rowhedge, Essex. Last served on VALFRYIA. Discharged from last Ship; 18.2.94 at Brightlingsea. AB

William Brown b.1862 Rowhedge, Essex. [Royal Naval Volunteer] Reserve number; 881B.Last served on VALKYRIE. Discharged from last Ship; 6.11.93 at Colchester. AB

Walter Theobald b.1864 Rowhedge, Essex. [Royal Naval Volunteer] Reserve Number; 1942A. Last served on VALKYRIE. Discharged from last Ship; 14.11.93 at Colchester. AB

Adam Potter b.1864 Tollesbury, Essex. Last served on VALKYRIE. Discharged from last Ship; 6.11.93 at Colchester. AB

Robert Potter b.1863 Tollesbury, Essex. Last served on VALKYRIE. Discharged from last Ship; 6.11.93 at Colchester. AB

Abiathar Wilkin b.1868 Rowhedge, Essex. [Royal Naval Volunteer] Reserve Number; 2061A. Last served on VALKYRIE. Discharged from last Ship; 6.11.93. AB

Robert Leavett b.1862 Tollesbury, Essex. Last served on VALKYRIE. Discharged from last Ship; 6.11.93. AB

Wallace Allen b.1873 Rowhedge, Essex. Last served on J R HIND of London. Discharged from last Ship; 16.2.94 at London. AB

Ed Roper b.1869 Rowhedge, Essex. Last served on CITY OF BRUSSELS of London. Discharged from last Ship; 18.1.94 at London. AB

Ed Percival b.1867 Rowhedge, Essex. [Royal Naval Volunteer] Reserve Number; 2973A. Last served on VALKYRIE. Discharged from last Ship; 6.11.93 at Colchester. AB

Wm Wadley b.1871 Rowhedge, Essex. [Royal Naval Volunteer] Reserve Number; 4006G. Last served on WALTON of London. Discharged from last Ship; 26.2.94 at London. AB

Herbert Springett b.1869 Rowhedge, Essex. [Royal Naval Volunteer] Reserve Number; 2410A. Last served on WALTON of London. Discharged from last Ship; 26.2.94 at London. AB

Herbert Pullen b.1863 Wivenhoe, Essex. Last served on FORTH of London. Discharged from last Ship; 15.1.94 at London. AB

Wm Hy Cook b.1860 Rowhedge, Essex. Last served on MARY NIXON of Newcastle. Discharged from last Ship; 5.3.94 at London. AB

Chas J L Crosby b.1873 Rowhedge, Essex. Last served on LUCINA of Colchester. Discharged from last Ship; 15.10.93 at Rowhedge. AB

John Clark b.1862 Wivenhoe, Essex. Last served on VALFRYIA. Discharged from last Ship; 31.3.94 at B’t’sea. AB

Thomas Hood b.1867 Wivenhoe, Essex. Last served on BITTERN of London. Discharged from last Ship; 19.3.94 at London. AB

Fred. Rose b.1870 Burnham, Essex. Last served on VALKYRIE. Discharged from last Ship; 6.11.93 at Colchester. Carpenter

Arthur Wade b.1857 Rowhedge, Essex. Last served on VALKYRIE. Discharged from last Ship; 6.11.93 at Colchester. Cook.

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Friday 13 April 1894 - “TO SAIL THE VALKYRIE HOME - Capt. Cranfield Arrives with His Crew from Scotland - Capt. William Cranfield and his jolly crew arrived on the steamship Majestic yesterday morning. He brought twenty men with him, and they are to take Lord Dunraven’s yacht, the Valkyrie, back to England in a few weeks.

Mr. H. Maitland Kersey, who is Lord Dunraven’s representative here, met the Captain and crew on the White Star Line dock and had the tug Lewis Pulver ready to take all hands to the Valkyrie in Tebo’s yard at South Brooklyn. The baggage of the men and some sails for the Valkyrie were put on the tug by 11 o’clock, and with Lord Dunraven’s yellow and blue colors flying she steamed down the bay, and by 11:30 o’clock the men were climbing on the decks of the Valkyrie. A crowd of yacht skippers and friends of Capt. Cranfield and the men were on hand to receive them, and gave them a rousing good welcome.

Capt. Cranfield was rather surprised at the changes that have been made in the yacht. Her interior has been fitted up during the Winter and she now has very commodious quarters. Forward there is a roomy forecastle and gallery, aft is a large saloon extending the full width of the yacht.  On the starboard side there is a stateroom for the owner, with a bathroom attached, and on the port side are two more staterooms.

This morning the Valkyrie is to be towed to the Erie Basin and her spars will be shipped at once. She is to be yawl rigged, and will be got ready for her ocean voyage as soon as possible. Capt. Cranfield thought she would be able to leave by the end of this month.

Capt. Cranfield chatted to a reporter for The New York Times about the future movements of the yacht. He said he expected to sail her against the other eighty-five footers in the English regattas.

“Do you think Lord Dunraven was disappointed at not having any races here, Captain?” asked the reporter.

“I know he was,” Capt. Cranfield replied, and by the emphatic way he spoke he showed he meant every word he said. ”If those talked-of races had been arranged, I think we might have given a better account of ourselves than we did last year.”

“Do you mean that the Valkyrie would beat the Vigilant?”

“I will not say that, but with an increased sail area and with other changes that were suggested by last year’s races I think the Valkyrie would be a much faster boat than when she sailed for the America’s Cup against the Vigilant.

When told that there was a likelihood of meeting the Vigilant in English waters, as she might be purchased and taken over by Mr. James Gordon Bennett, Capt. Cranfield became very much interested, and said he sincerely hoped that the Vigilant would cross the ocean, as there would be some fine sport then, and you just watch the result,” said the Captain significantly, “if the Valkyrie and the Vigilant meet in the English Channel.”

“What do you think of an ocean race between the two yachts?”

“Oh! an ocean race really shows nothing. Such races are all luck. The yachts get separated at the start and get entirely different winds all the way. A twenty-mile thrash to windward and back is the best test of a yacht. As far as I am concerned, however, I should like a race across the ocean, because it would make what would otherwise be a long, tedious voyage much shorter and full of interest. I do not think Lord Dunraven would favor it, though, because, as I said before, it is no test of the abilities of the yachts.”

Capt. Cranfield said the yachting outlook on the other side was good. There will be racing in the big cutter class between the Britannia, the Valkyrie, the Satanita, and probably the Calluna, with the Meteor in some races. There will be racing in the forty-rater class, and lots of sport with the twenty-raters.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES – 4 May 1894 - VALYKRIE SAILS FOR HOME - Her Skipper Hopes to Turn the Tables on the Vigilant This Season - “Lord Dunraven’s cutter, the Valkyrie, is now on the ocean heading for home. She started before 10 o’clock yesterday morning. The tug Pulver, her tender during the cup races last Fall, towed her out of the basin and as far as Sandy Hook.

Capt. Cranfield and his crew of jolly tars were sorry to leave the many friends they had made in this country, but at the same time they were anxious to get back to England and get the yacht in shape for the yachting season, which they expect will be a very good one.

A crowd of yacht skippers and sailors gathered on the docks of the Erie Basin and at the end of Tebo’s long dock and cheered the famous English cutter as she was towed out.

The Valkyrie, in spite of her yawl rig, was easily recognized on her trip down the bay. Lord Dunraven’s yellow and blue signal snapped at the main and the British yacht ensign flew from the mizzenmast. Tugs and steam vessels of all descriptions greeted her with screeching whistles, and each time the ensign was dipped in acknowledgement.

On her way down the bay her mainsail was hoisted and all sail got ready for her long trip. Her topmast was housed, and she will cross under easy sail. Capt. Cranfield expects to make the trip in about twenty days.

H. Maitland Kersey, D. Wadsworth Ritchie, and Capt. Haddock were on board the Valkyrie on her trip down the bay, and on the Pulver were several more yachtsmen. At the Hook Mr. Kersey and his friends got on the tug. The hawser was cast off. Three screeches were given by the Pulver’s whistle, and all on the tug cheered and waved their hats. The men on the Valkyrie lined up and gave one of their famous cheers, and then the Valkyrie was off.

Before leaving, Capt. Cranfield said he hoped the Vigilant would race in English waters this season, and he thought the tables might be turned on her. Mr. Kersey said he thought that Lord Dunraven would be very willing to arrange a series of races with Mr. Gould if Mr. Gould wanted to race.”

NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Friday 1 June 1894 - “ARRIVAL OF THE VALKYRIE AT GOUROCK - THE VOYAGE PLEASANT TO MID-OCEAN - ADVERSE WINDS THE REST OF THE WAY - GLASGOW, May 31 - Lord Dunraven’s yacht Valkyrie, from New-York, arrived at Gourock, on the Firth of Clyde, this morning. The Captain of the Valkyrie stated that he had a fine westerly breeze at the beginning of the passage, which carried him to mid-ocean. For a week the Valkyrie covered 200 miles a day. On May 6 she covered 247 miles. After this the wind changed and blew adversely until the coast of Ireland was sighted. From this point until her arrival at Gourock she lost time equal to two days. The Captain expressed his conviction that the Valkyrie or the Britannia could defeat the Vigilant in British waters, owing to their deeper draught.

The Valkyrie’s Captain added: ”The waves often swept the vessel from stem to stern, and the man who was steering had to be lashed to the helm. When the wind veered it was a tedious job to beat up in the teeth of the breeze; our progress was then very slow. On one day we logged only forty miles. I was not satisfied in any way with the races for the America’s Cup. This season the Valkyrie will have a larger sail area and more hands, and her qualities will be better tested in matches with the Vigilant.”

The record of the Valkyrie’s daily runs agrees in all essentials with the Captain’s statement. The 247-mile run, however, was made on May 9, instead of May 6. Beginning with May 4, the record is 85, 60, 140, 236, 232, 247, 234, 220, 223, 112, 113, 121, 40, 107, 184, 102, 103, 101, 80, 148, 192, 121, 67, 88, 62, 52, and 60.”


The racing season of 1894


Amount of Fee; £1:7:0. Executed in 2 Folios for Yacht

G.R. & R.O. Received 2 JUL. 94

Name of Yacht; VALKYRIE

Official Number; 102581

Port of Registry; Glasgow

Port No. And Date of Register; 37/1893

Registered Tonnage; 106.55

Name of Owner; Earl of Dunraven

Address of Owner; Dunraven Castle, Glamorganshire

[Handwritten insertions are in italics]

The several persons whose names are hereto subscribed, and whose descriptions are contained below, and of whom – all – are engaged as Sailors, hereby agree to serve on board the said Yacht, in the several capacities expressed against their respective names, until the said Yacht shall be paid off. On a voyage of pleasure. Cruising on the coasts of the United Kingdom and the coast of France. Voyage not to exceed six months. The crew will be sent home at the expense of the owner.

And the said Crew agree to conduct themselves in an orderly, faithful, honest and sober manner, and to be at all times diligent in their respective duties, and to be obedient to the lawful commands of the said Master, or of any person who shall lawfully succeed him, and of their Superior Officers, in everything relating to the said Yacht, and the stores thereof, whether on board, in boats, or on shore: in consideration of which Services to be duly performed, the said Master hereby agrees to pay to the said Crew as Wages the sums against their names respectively expressed. And it is hereby agreed, That any Embezzlement, or wilful or negligent destruction of any part of the Yacht’s Stores, shall be made good to the Owner out of the Wages of the person guilty of the same: And if any person enters himself as qualified for a duty which he proves incompetent to perform, his Wages shall be reduced in proportion to his incompetency: And it is also agreed, That the Regulations authorized by the Board of Trade, which in the paper annexed hereto are numbered. And it is also agreed that Regulations numbered 1, 2, 3 & 4. are adopted by the parties hereto, and shall be considered embodied in this Agreement: And it is also agreed That if any member of the Crew considers himself to be aggrieved by any breach of the Agreement or otherwise, he shall represent the same to the Master or Officer in charge of the Yacht in a quiet and orderly manner, who shall thereupon take such steps as the case may require: And it is also agreed, That any Man guilty of misconduct shall be liable to be discharged by the Master at any port in Great Britain or Ireland. That the voyage shall be considered as terminated when the said Yacht is paid off. Every A.B. who conducts himself to the satisfaction of the Master, will receive Three shillings per week conduct money, when discharged. Cash & liberty during the cruise will be granted at the discretion of the master. The uniform clothing supplied to crew is to be considered the property of the owner of the Yacht until the end of the cruise, any member of the crew being discharged for misconduct or leaving the Yacht before the end of the cruise shall return their uniforms to the master. Anchor watch to be kept at all times & places from 6 pm to 6 am.

Scale of Provisions to be allowed and served out to the Crew during the Voyage, in addition to the daily issue of Lime and Lemon Juice and Sugar, or other anti-scorbutics in any case required by 30th and 31st Vict., c.124, s.4. - Crew to find their own Provisions.

In Witness whereof, the said parties have subscribed their Names hereto, on the days against their respective Signatures mentioned.

Signed by W W Cranfield, Master, on the 29th day of June 1894.


Each crewman signed his name. All signed the Agreement on 29/6/94 at Gourock. All crew “on pay from 23.6.94 at once”




W W Cranfield age 38, b. Rowhedge, Essex. Last served on Cont’d. Master. Pay not stated

William Taylor age 27, b. Rowhedge, Essex. Last served on Cont’d. Mate. Wages per week; £2. 5.0

Alfred Allen age 27, b. Rowhedge, Essex. Last served on Cont’d. 2 Mate. Wages per week; £1.10.0

William Brown age 32, b. Rowhedge, Essex. [Royal Naval Volunteer’s] Reserve Number; 881B. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

Herbert Springett age 24, b. Rowhedge, Essex. [Royal Naval Volunteer’s] Reserve Number; 2410A. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

A Potter age 30, b. Tollesbury. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

A Wilkin age 26, b. Rowhedge. [Royal Naval Volunteer’s] Reserve Number; 2061A. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

Herbert Pullen age 32, b. Wivenhoe. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

William Henry Cook age 34, b. Rowhedge. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

John Clark age 32, b. Wivenhoe. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

Robert Leavett age 32, b. Tollesbury. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

Edward Percival age 27, b. Rowhedge. [Royal Naval Volunteer’s] Reserve Number; 2793a (sic). Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

Robert Potter age 31, b. Tollesbury. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

William Wadley age 23, b. Rowhedge. [Royal Naval Volunteer’s] Reserve Number; 4006G. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

Walter Theobald age 29, b. Rowhedge. [Royal Naval Volunteer’s] Reserve Number; 1942A. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

Wallace Allen age 21, b. Rowhedge. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

Ed Roper age 25, b. Rowhedge. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

C. Crosby age 21, b. Rowhedge. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

Thomas Hood age 26, b. Wivenhoe. Last served on Cont’d. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

Harry Parker age 39, b. Rowhedge. Last served on L’ ESPERANCE. Discharged from last Ship; 25/6/94 at Cowes. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

Daniel Lever age 38, b. Old Heath. Last served on L’ ESPERANCE. Discharged from last Ship; 25/6/94 at Cowes. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

George Cranfield age 28, b. Rowhedge. Last served on L’ ESPERANCE. Discharged from last Ship; 25/6/94 at Cowes. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

John W Haste age 24, b. Pinmill, Suffolk. Last served on L’ ESPERANCE. Discharged from last Ship; 25/6/94 at Cowes. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

Harris Wilkinson age 20, b. Tollesbury. Last served on MYRTLE. Discharged from last Ship; 30/11/93 at Cowes. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

William Lewis age 38, b. Tollesbury. Last served on EMMA AMELIA. Discharged from last Ship; 23/6/93 at Tollesbury. AB. Wages per week; £1.6 –

Fred. Rose age 24, b. Burnham, Essex. Last served on Cont’d. Carpenter. Wages per week; £1.8.0

William Bewen age 38, b. Rowhedge. Last served on L’ ESPERANCE. Discharged from last Ship; 25/6/94 at Cowes. Chf Cook. Wages per week; £2.5.0

A. Wade age 37, b. Rowhedge. Last served on Cont’d. 2nd Cook. Wages per week; £1.10.0.



No.  Capacity        Address

1.  Master – Yarana House, Rowhedge, Essex (William Wadley Cranfield)

2.  Mate – Milton Cottage, Rowhedge (William Taylor)

3.  Mate – Albion St, Rowhedge (Alfred Allen)

4.  AB – New Cut, Rowhedge (William Brown)

5.  AB – Accasia (sic) Cottage, Rowhedge (Herbert Springett)

6.  AB – New Road, Tollesbury, Essex (Adam Potter)

7.  AB – Rowhedge (Abiatha Wilkin)

8.  AB – West Wivenhoe (Herbert Pullen)

9.  AB – New Cut, Rowhedge, Essex (William Henry Cook)

10.AB – 1 Williams Walk, Colchester (John Clark)

1.  AB – East Tollesbury, Essex (Robert Leavett)

2.  AB – Brook St, Wivenhoe (Edward Percival)

3.  AB – Cleveland, New Road, Tollesbury (Robert Potter)

4.  AB – Albion St, Rowhedge (William Wadley)

5.  AB – Church St, Rowhedge (Walter Theobald)

6.  AB – Church St, Rowhedge (Wallace Allen)

7.  AB – Chapel St, Rowhedge (Edward Roper)

8.  AB – Head St, Rowhedge (Charles Crosby)

9.  AB – Olive Place, Rowhedge (Thomas Hood)

20.AB – Church St, Rowhedge (Harry Parker)

1.  AB – Old Heath, Near Colchester (Daniel Lever)

2.  AB – 8 High St, Rowhedge, Essex (George Cranfield)

3.  AB – Pinmill, Near Ipswich (John W. Haste)

4.  AB – Tollesbury (Harris Wilkinson)

5.  AB – East Terrace, Tollesbury (William Lewis)

6.  Carpt – Margery Cottage, Rowhedge (Fred Rose)

7.  Chf Cook – Elgin St, Rowhedge (William Bewen)

8.  2 Cook – Church St, Rowhedge, Essex (Arthur Wade)

              “The Yacht Valkyrie sunk at Hunters Quay. River Clyde. Wrecked Vessel.”


G.R. & R.O. Received 16 JUL. 94

Name of Ship; Yacht “VALKYRIE”

Official Number; 102581

Port of Registry; Glasgow

Registered Tonnage; Blank

Registered Managing Owner; Earl Dunraven

Address; Glamorgan

Name of Master; W.W. Cranfield

No. of Certificate; -

Address; Yarana House, Rowhedge, Essex

First Port of Departure; Gourock

Date of Departure; 29.6.94

Final Port of Destination in the United Kingdom; (Gourock crossed out) Hunters Quay, River Clyde

Date of Arrival; “Arrival” crossed out and replaced with “Loss”, but box not completed


All crew information is the same as that given in the Agreement, with the exception of;


Date, Place, and Cause of Death, or leaving this Ship;

W W Cranfield – 5.7.94 Hunters Quay. Vessel lost

Wm Taylor – 5.7.94 Hunters Quay. Vessel lost by collision

Alfred Allen – ditto

William Brown – 7.7.94 Hunters Quay, River Clyde. “got crushed in collision with yacht Satanitta (sic) & died in Dunnoon  Hospital

Herbert Springett – 5.7.94 Hunters Quay, River Clyde. Vessel lost by collision

Rest of crew – ditto


Remarks; “The master states that the crew are all being kept on pay. The balance of wages of William Brown Deceased, will be paid to the father by the master”.


Report of Character; All men received “V.G.” for Ability and Conduct


Particulars relating to wages and effects of seamen and apprentices deceased during the voyage –

Name of Deceased.... “William Brown. W.& E. Rendered & Balance of wages is shown. £2.12.0 paid to deceased’s father. Rect.  attached to W & E.1”


Particulars of Effects (if any) delivered to Superintendent, as per Account in Form W and E.1.- “The Effects of this man were lost with vessel & the wages due and more will be paid to his father”


Received at the Port of Gourock the 13th day of July 1894.

I declare the above Account to be true. Signed W W Cranfield. Master.


On the reverse of the Crew List

Date of Death; 7.7.94

Christian and Surname of Deceased; William Brown

Sex; Male

Rank, Profession, or Occupation; AB Seaman

Nationality and last Place of Abode; Rowhedge, Essex. British

Cause of Death; Jammed between “Valkyrie” & “Hebe” when in collision with “Satanita”

Port and Country at which Death was reported; Gourock Scotland

Title of Officer to whom reported; The Supt Gourock.

Valkyrie II - Races in 1894


Wednesday 4 July 1894 - YACHTING - ROYAL LARGS YACHT CLUB REGATTA. 1. Britannia (winner) 3h.28m.53s; 2.Valkyrie (second prize) 3h.30m.31s.. Satanita also competed.

Thursday 5 July 1894 - YACHTING - ROYAL WESTERN CLYDE YACHT CLUB REGATTA . 1.Britannia (winner) 4h.10m.35s; 2.Valkyrie 4h.17m.53s.

THE TIMES - Friday 6 July 1894 - THE VALKYRIE SUNK - “There was an eventful and intensely exciting day’s racing on the Clyde yesterday, a regrettable accident in the sinking of the Valkyrie marking the outset...The morning opened as cheerless as well could be, a strong southerly wind driving rain and gloom before it - in fact, so dirty was the weather that until nearly noon objects were  obscured at a distance of half a mile. Excitement naturally ran high when it was found that the Vigilant was ready to oppose the Britannia, Valkyrie, and Satanita, and between the guns all the vessels were tearing about, manoeuvring for a good position for a start. Vigilant and Britannia were outside in clear water, but Valkyrie came reaching out of Holy Loch on the starboard tack among the yachts at anchor, and was in a high weather berth when Satanita came flying in on the port tack with the wind abaft the beam, evidently intending to stay on Valkyrie’s weather quarter. A small craft with four hands in it got right across her course, however, and she luffed to clear, but shaved so close that her quarter sea washed one hand out. Afterwards, unfortunately, the helmsman could not keep the vessel away, and with a tremendous head of speed on she smashed into Valkyrie’s port beam between the rigging and the runners. Her stem went through Valkyrie’s covering board and on for about 6ft. into her deck. There was a gaping hole in Satanita’s port bow some 10ft. in length, the lower part being about a foot above the water-line. The impact forced Valkyrie right round, but the vessels lay locked together for a time, and when the way was off were blown helplessly along. A number of Valkyrie’s hands clambered on to Satanita, but probably 15 were overboard. There was plenty of help at hand. The owner, the designer (Mr. G.L. Watson), Mr. Langriche, Lady Algernon Gordon Lennox and another lady, and the rest of the crew were taken off, as Valkyrie was found to be sinking. Valkyrie eventually blew broadside on against the steam yacht Vanduara, and smashed the latter’s steam launch and bulwarks. By that time Satanita, with bowsprit broken short off, had blown clear. Nine minutes after the collision the Valkyrie suddenly took a strong list to port, and almost simultaneously her stern rose in the air and she went down head first in 16 fathoms of water. Just as the hull of the unfortunate Valkyrie disappeared, the topmast, with Lord Dunraven’s colours aloft, broke short off. When the vessel had settled on the bottom a portion of the masthead was still showing. Satanita had to be trimmed aft to keep the hole in her bow clear of the water, and she was towed to Greenock for repairs. The occurrence naturally cast a gloom over the regatta, and Lord Dunraven came in for very general sympathy. There were a good many valuables on board, and a diver will be sent down as soon as possible. One of the Valkyrie’s crew, William Brown, of Wivenhoe, had one of his legs broken and received other very serious injuries. The doctors at Dunoon Hospital regard it as a very serious case......The unfortunate collision between Satanita and Valkyrie occurred 35sec. before the start..... As soon as the news of the sinking of the Valkyrie became known at the Royal Cork Yacht Club the following telegram was despatched to the Earl of Dunraven: - “Regret exceedingly to hear disaster to Valkyrie. Members beg to convey their sympathy. - C.M. Harvey, Secretary, R.C.Y.C.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - 6 July 1894 - YACHTING DISASTER ON THE CLYDE - THE VALKYRIE SUNK IN COLLISION. NARROW ESCAPE OF LORD DUNRAVEN - One of the chief events of the Clyde yachting fortnight was yesterday marred by a serious accident, resulting in the loss of the yacht Valkyrie, two steam launches, damage to two other craft, and serious injuries to a member of the Valkyrie’s crew. The Muir Memorial Cup was to be sailed for, and the yachts entered were the American Vigilant, her unsuccessful rival, Lord Dunraven’s Valkyrie, the Prince of Wales’s Britannia, and Mr. Clarke’s Satanita. A crowd of spectators gathered to see the start. Rarely has the anchorage at Holy Loch, on the Clyde, presented such a spectacle as it did yesterday morning. At half-past nine o’clock the four great yachts were sailing about Hunter’s Quay, the American cutter being the furthest out in the channel, the Britannia holding her out of sight, the Valkyrie making starboard tacks inshore, and the Satanita bowling along to get into position, she being on the port tack. Just as the Satanita came up the Valkyrie was endeavouring to pass between the Hebe and the Vandura. The Satanita attempted to pass around the Valkyrie’s quarter. This she failed to do, and the yachts collided with a loud crash. The steam launches of the Hebe and Satanita were smashed, and Mr. Clarke’s yacht lost about six yards of her starboard side above the waterline, while the Valkyrie was cut amidships down to the water’s edge and commenced to settle down. The crew took refuge in the steam launches and small boats in the vicinity, and within three minutes the Valkyrie had disappeared bow first, her decks bursting with a loud report. Though Lord Dunraven and others on board the Valkyrie were unable to say how the accident occurred it was thought the Satanita collided with her in endeavouring to avoid a boat which got in her way. The Valkyrie was cut right through the cabin and rigging, and the cabin instantly filled with water. She quickly settled down, and sank in fourteen fathoms of water. Though yachtsmen attribute the disaster to the boat referred to, it is clear the starting point was much too closely crowded by craft of all kinds. One of the Valkyrie’s crew, named Brown, was so severely injured that he is unlikely to recover. In addition to Lord Dunraven and other yachtsmen, Lord and Lady Lennox were aboard the Valkyrie at the time of the disaster. There is a general agreement that nobody on the Satanita or the Valkyrie was to blame for the collision, and Mr. Clarke, the owner of the Satanita, firmly held this opinion. He described the mishap as one of the saddest incidents of his life. Lord Dunraven’s yacht has been unfortunate. In her first race she broke her bowsprit, and in the Cinque Port race she was delayed and badly beaten through collision. In the Royal Ulster match, she had to stop to recover a man who fell overboard, and for the Queen’s Cup she suffered defeat by the German Emperor’s yacht through taking the wrong side of the finishing buoy.”



THE NEW YORK TIMES – 6 July 1894 - THE YACHT VALKYRIE SUNK - RUN DOWN IN THE CLYDE BY THE SATANITA - Narrow Escape of Lord Dunraven and His Guests from Drowning - An Accident Which Marred the Pleasure of the Mudhook Regatta - Due to the Fact that Too Many Boats Were Crowding the Course - The Crew of the Valkyrie All Saved - GLASGOW. July 5. - “People from all parts of the United Kingdom gathered along the banks of the Clyde to-day to witness the races of the Mudhook Regatta, the excitement and interest in which events were greater than have hitherto been known... The Valkyrie has on board Burns of the Mohican, as an extra man, which made her total crew forty-six. The Britannia carried forty-seven men, including sixteen of the crew of the Iverna, and the Satanita had a crew of fifty.

The sail areas of the Valkyrie and Vigilant seemed almost identical... When the start was made in the Clyde this morning, the Britannia was the first to cross the starting line, the Vigilant following a minute later. The Valkyrie and the Satanita were meanwhile endeavouring to get into position, and in the course of their manoeuvres attempted to put about. In doing so the Satanita’s bow struck the Valkyrie on the port side, abaft the rigging, and nearly cut her in two. The Valkyrie immediately began to fill, and in five minutes after she was struck sank in twenty five fathoms of water. The Satanita’s bows were badly stove, and it is not regarded as probable that she will be able to take part in a race for a month to come.

As soon as the boats came into collision, a number of vessels near by hurried to the assistance of the crew of the Valkyrie. Lord Dunraven and one of the Valkyrie’s crew were rescued by the steam yacht Hebe, and the steam yacht Vanduara attached lines to the sinking yacht and saved the rest of the crew. It was found that only one of the crew was injured. The unfortunate man was a seaman named Brown, one of whose legs was broken. Brown was one of the crew of the Valkyrie when the vessel was contesting for the America’s Cup in the United States. The crew lost everything they had except what they wore.

The collision was due to the Satanita’s being jammed by a number of steam yachts at the starting point, leaving her cramped for room.

Yachtsmen and spectators concur that the collision was solely due to a small boat getting in the way of the Satanita, and that there was altogether too great a crowd of steamers and other craft on the water. Capt. Cranfield of the Valkyrie persists that the Satanita was on the wrong tack. He says that the loss on personal effects to himself and the crew amounts to about £700.

Lord Dunraven narrowly escaped being struck by the Satanita’s bowsprit at the time of the collision. His brother-in-law, Mr. Lanridge, who was aboard the Valkyrie, was rescued by the Vanduara. The latter lost ten feet of her rails, and her launch was smashed to pieces.

Owing to the suddenness of the accident to the Valkyrie, neither Lord Dunraven nor any of his friends is able to tell how it occurred. The Satanita cut through the Valkyrie to the cabin, which filled long before the yacht went down. The sunken yacht now lies in fourteen fathoms of water on a fishing bank. The gaff of her mainsail is visible. A buoy is being anchored at the spot to mark her position.

Ten feet of the Vanduara’s rail was carried away when the Valkyrie collided with her.

In an interview with a representative of the United Press, at Hunter’s Quay, A.D. Clarke, the owner of the Satanita, who was steering that boat when the accident occurred, said: “The collision took place three minutes before the starting gun was fired. We were manoeuvring for position. I saw that a collision was becoming inevitable, and shouted to Capt. Diaper to abandon all rules and avert a smash, if possible. The Satanita was running with her rails in the water, at a speed of 12 knots. I tried to luff, as the Valkyrie was keeping straight on, but a small rowboat got in the way and prevented my doing so. As it was, the main sheet of the Satanita almost swamped the rowboat.”

“The Valkyrie was struck hard aft of the mainmast, and her rigging showered down upon her deck. Before we cleared her, the Valkyrie’s topmast came down. After we got away from her, the Valkyrie ran her bow into the steam yacht Vanduara, cutting that boat’s deck as easily as though it were a bit of cheese.”

Capt. Cranfield says the Valkyrie is damaged beyond repair. Before she went down she reared on her head, and as she sank her deck burst with a report which sounded like thunder. The Satanita is not making any water, but her forward plate is badly stove. Everybody agrees that if the collision had not occurred the start would have been the prettiest ever seen in any race on the Clyde.


George L. Watson, the designer of the Valkyrie, was on board the yacht when she was struck by the Satanita. Speaking of the accident, he said, in an interview to-day:

“I was standing beside Lord Dunraven, who was steering the Valkyrie. At gunfire the Valkyrie was reaching down on the starboard tack in order to take the line. The Satanita, which had come up on the port tack, was too soon, and was obliged to hold on before putting about for the start. In luffing to clear a sailboat which was in her way, the Satanita ran into us, striking the Valkyrie amidships, and cutting into her about six feet.”

“The two yachts were locked together for a short while. The Satanita’s bowsprit and topmast were carried away almost immediately on the yachts separating.. The Valkyrie then began to sink. Lord and Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox were sitting at the stern of the Valkyrie at the time of the accident. They were greatly alarmed, but Lord Dunraven remained cool and reassured them. A number of small boats put off from the other yachts in the harbour and took off Lord and Lady Lennox, Lord Dunraven and myself before the Valkyrie disappeared from view, which she did in about three minutes after the collision.”

Mr. Watson’s version of the rescue of Lord Dunraven differs from other accounts, according to which he was taken on board the Hebe. So quickly did the accident happen that no one seems to be perfectly clear as to what actually did occur. Lord Dunraven himself has positively declined to discuss the affair.  Both he and Mr. Watson feel the loss of the Valkyrie keenly.

Before coming here to race the Yankee sloop the Valkyrie sailed in five races. In the first of these she was leading the Prince of Wales’s Britannia, and when near the finish line lost her bowsprit and was beaten. The critics at the time of her first appearance were somewhat disappointed in her performance. It was believed that she would prove about an even match for the Prince of Wales’s racer, and that both would be about fifteen minutes faster than the crack Iverna. This opinion was strengthened when, at the regatta of the Royal Thames Yacht Club, the Britannia beat the Valkyrie by a small margin after a long luffing match, but the Iverna finished first on time allowance.

From this time on the Valkyrie improved in form, and a higher estimation as to her abilities was created. At the races of the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, from Southend to Harwich, she beat the Satanita by about ten minutes, the Britannia by twelve minutes, the Calluna by sixteen minutes, and the Iverna by thirty-one minutes. The Britannia had allowed her one minute. In the second race of the club’s regatta, she beat the Britannia by a minute and left the Iverna nearly one-half an hour behind. A few days later she defeated the Britannia by two minutes.

These performances satisfied the critics across the water that she was about two minutes faster than the Britannia, and on the strength of that, she was sent here to contest for the cup won by the old America away back in the fifties. On her way across she weathered some strong Atlantic gales, and for a time it was feared that she had met with an accident. But she reached here early one September morning safe and sound, proving that she was a great sea-going boat.”

THE YACHTING WORLD - Vol. I., 20 April 1894 to 12 October 1894 - 13 July - p.252 - “LOSS OF “VALKYRIE” - SUNK AT THE START - A SEAMAN CRUSHED - On Thursday, July 5th, as the big ships were manoeuvring to cross the line at Hunter’s Quay, preparatory to the start for the Muir Challenge Cup, Satanita crashed into Valkyrie. Our correspondent was an eye-witness of the collision, and has also had interviews with gentlemen who were on board both boats.... 

DEATH OF THE INJURED YACHTSMAN - The remains of the yachtsman, William Brown, of Colchester, who succumbed to his injuries on Saturday morning, were conveyed south the same night, leaving Dunoon pier per the Lord of the Isles. His body was enclosed in a beautiful coffin of polished oak, and as it lay on the pier, awaiting the arrival of the steamer, surrounded by a number of the poor fellow’s comrades, conspicuous amongst whom was the commanding figure of Captain Cranfield, the large crowd of people silently looked on. At a distance from the small group who surrounded the coffin was Captain Brown, deceased’s father, who had arrived from Colchester that day, and who appeared to be bowed down with grief over the sad calamity which had bereft him of his son. The remains were taken south by Captain Brown and two yachtsmen belonging to the same place. Mr. M’Naughton, Deputy-fiscal, who arrived from Inveraray on Friday night for the purpose of investigating the affair, took the dying man’s deposition, and was on Saturday joined by Mr. M’Lullich, Procurator-fiscal for the county, who, along with Dr. Roxburgh, held a post mortem examination. The Procurator-fiscal at Greenock has been instructed to take a precognition of the crew of Satanita, who are at present located there. Lord Dunraven, Captain Cranfield, and several of Valkyrie’s crew have been examined by the Fiscal at Dunoon.

INTERVIEW WITH VALKYRIE’S SKIPPER - A representative of the North British Daily Mail succeeded in obtaining a very interesting interview with Captain Cranfield. He found him at the Blythwood Hotel. Here is what is reported to have passed:-

“A minute, Captain.”

“All right. I know, you want to hear what I’ve to say about the disaster. I’ll give you a minute. Hold a bit,” and he looked over his shoulder to the mate, who was waiting at the door. “Well, sir, I never was in a mishap like this before, and hope to God I never will again. At the outset I may say that I and my crew left the scene of the disaster in the afternoon, and came on to Glasgow, where my crew were fitted out with new clothes at Mr. Paisley’s. They are going on to their homes in England to-night. Two of the men have been left to look after the wants of the man Brown, who was hurt. Poor fellow, the injury to his leg is such that it will require to be amputated.”

“But about the collision?”

Satanita came down on the port tack. We in Valkyrie could not help ourselves. Had all gone right Valkyrie would have been the first boat to cross the line, and she would have done well: I know she would. I saw it stated in the newspapers that the alterations made on Valkyrie had made her 15 minutes slower. That’s all bosh. I saw from the very moment that Satanita was bearing down on us a collision was inevitable, and the thought which flashed through my mind, as I jumped to the tiller to do what I could to save the ship, was that our boat was not merely going to be cut down and sink, but that lives were going to be lost.

“Sir, it is marvellous that lives were not lost! We shoved along-side Hebe. When Satanita crashed into us, the steward and two of the cooks were below, the last two washing up, for we had all had breakfast and were dressed in our oilskins ready to uphold the credit of Britain in the race. The fellows who were below rushed up. One of the crew descended to get something, but on his return his cap was floating in water, the main cabin being full.

“Lord Dunraven, who kept remarkably cool, had been carrying out my instructions, but the moment I grasped the tiller it was every man save himself. Two of the crew - brave fellows indeed - caught Lady Lennox - and by the way, she acted like a heroine - and lifted her into a boat which came alongside. There was a bit of a panic, but not much. All the crew of Valkyrie are swimmers - an unusual thing with all yachting crews - and the most of them took to the water. They were all picked up.

Valkyrie is insured through Mr. Watson. And, by the way, he was beside the tiller, too, but where he went I don’t know. I, too, left the boat when I saw it was hopeless that she could float; but thinking that I might after all do something to save her, I jumped back. However, before one had time to speculate she heeled over. I saved myself again, and, to my horror, I saw the ship that I had taken across the stormy Atlantic go down in a sea that a small boat could have lived in. I cannot praise too highly the men who rendered us assistance from other boats. We were a good way out, and while it was fortunate that the boats were there to rescue us, still the accident has proved that in racing the competing vessels should have more scope, and not be hampered with looking out for the doings of other boats than those they are competing against.

“I must say, on reflection, that I don’t think I was particularly excited, although we were all more or less so. I reiterate the chances of Valkyrie were never better for a victory than they were this day. Satanita has received such damage that she will not be able to race during the Clyde Fortnight anyway. As to the crack American boat, she was at the other end of the line. She was reaching in at the time of the collision, and was quite a quarter of a mile away. The hole Satanita knocked in Valkyrie would be as big as that window, and you can realise for yourself the nature of the disaster when the crash was fair in our middle. Satanita’s bow went right into our main cabin. Valkyrie lies in at least 20 fathoms of water, and I don’t see how divers can work at her, for I understand they can’t do anything under 60ft.

“ I don’t know what is the value of the belongings I and the crew have lost. Anyway £60 won’t pay me for everything of mine that’s down. In a word Valkyrie was not responsible for the disaster; that’s one thing sure. There was a crew of 37 of Valkyrie, and they were, indeed, a sorry spectacle when they came ashore. Though wet to the skin, half-a-dozen of them looked to Brown, the injured man. they carried him away shoulder high.

“ Lord Dunraven is not saying much about the accident. He is, as I already hinted, keeping remarkably cool. He is the guest of Mr. John Henderson. The mate and I go back to Hunter’s Quay to-morrow, where we are to see his lordship. The most of the crew by this time are off to their homes. Now,” and looking at his watch, “I’ve given you more than a minute. Goodnight!”

AN ENQUIRY WILL FOLLOW - A question has been raised as to whether a public investigation will take place into the circumstances attending the sinking of Valkyrie. We learn that the usual course followed in regard to such occurrences is that a report is sent by the Receiver of Wrecks to the Board of Trade. This document will be considered by the nautical advisers of the Board, and if in their opinion the circumstances demand investigation, an inquiry will be ordered by their solicitor, Mr. C.D. Donald, the local representative of the Board.

A rather delicate complication is brought into the case by the fact that, while the four great yachts were registered, and ought, therefore, to have been in charge of their captains, they were, as a matter of fact, put in charge of amateur steersmen. This state of matters was due, of course, to the terms of the race. But the Board of Trade do not, as we understand, recognise any such club rules in the case of registered yachts, and if an enquiry be held the respective captains will be put upon their trials for their certificates. At first sight this may seem rather hard, but if it were otherwise - if captains of registered vessels were to be allowed to hand them over to the management of irresponsible amateurs - it would inevitably lead to the greatest dangers and abuses.

RAISING OF VALKYRIE - Valkyrie is being raised. On Tuesday pontoons were placed in position, and she will probably be docked this week. She is less damaged than we believed. She is insured for £8,000, and the Glasgow underwriters have undertaken to lift her.”

Following a court case Satanita was found to be responsible for the collision and the owner liable for damages.

ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 17 November 1894 - “IN MEMORIAM- The death of Mr. Brown, from injuries sustained in the collision between the yachts Valkyrie and Satanita in the Clyde will be fresh in the recollection of our readers. As a mark of respect for the memory of the deceased the owner of the Valkyrie (Lord Dunraven) has just caused a handsome marble memorial to be placed over his grave in East Donyland Churchyard. A marble memorial has also been placed over the remains of Mr. Walter W. Roper, late of H.R.H the Prince of Wales’s yacht Britannia who with a comrade was drowned whilst attempting to reach the yacht in a small boat on a stormy night.”

[The story of the drowning of Walter Roper & James Simons, the Mate of the Britannia, on 25 August 1894 at Portland, was told in many local papers in that area and also in The Times].


Pub; Hodder & Stoughton, 1922. p.43,44,45.

"In 1892 I built Valkyrie II, and raced her the following year. In the same year Britannia, almost a sister ship, and by the same designer, was launched for the Prince of Wales, and she was my principal and most dangerous antagonist. That rivalry occasioned the only disagreement I ever had with the Prince of Wales."

"I forget exactly what the disagreement was about. I think that little Carter who sailed Britannia, presuming a bit upon the obvious fact that no one would like to run down the Prince of Wales, forced me about when I was on the starboard tack. All that my skipper, Bill Cranfield, said about it was, "Well, I am sorry for that. I am afraid I cannot ask the Prince of Wales to tea the next time he comes to our village."

"But to return to Cranfield. "Our village" (Rowhedge) was in the eyes of the inhabitants thereof a unique institution. These East-country men from Brightlingsea, Rowhedge, and thereabouts, are, to my mind, the smartest yacht sailors in creation, and, as a crew, give little or no trouble - quiet, steady men; but insular to an extreme. Not to be able to talk English was to Cranfield (my skipper) equivalent to congenital idiocy. "Would you mind coming on deck a minute?" he would call down the skylight to me in some Mediterranean port. "Here's a feller a-hollering and shouting- I cannot understand a word he says." He had no opinion of French yacht sailors, or of French bread, which as a fact is far better than ours. "There they sits all day," he would say, "at their caffs a-drinking sour wine; and, as to their bread, why there's nothing to it!"

Lying in Civita Vecchia I sent the crew up to Rome in watches. They were not in the very least impressed. I asked Cranfield what he thought about St.Peter's. "Oh well, it is very large and fine," he said, and after a pause, "but there's a little old church in our village they do tell me..." And "What do you think of the Coliseum?" - "Very big, but it's been let get awfully out of repair. Now close to our village there is..." A steady, reliable race of men, very slow to move, but in an emergency quick as lightning. During a long spell in the Mediterranean no one except the caterer ever wanted to go ashore, except once at Mentone, when they all asked for leave, put their best kit on, on top of their working clothes, and, in a boiling hot sun, walked solemnly to the cemetery, stood in silence round the grave of a pal from "our village" buried there long ago, and as solemnly walked down to the ship again. I loved them for it."



"Valkyrie II had to give up racing early in the autumn of 1893 to get her jury rig fitted to cross the Atlantic to race for the America Cup that autumn.

When I got to New York I found my crew in a condition of physical demoralisation. They were unaccustomed to the climate. The weather was very hot, and New York can be about as hot as a place I know. The people were very hospitable; and New York was not dry in those days. Being thorough Britons, and not feeling very well, they naturally deemed more beer and more beef to be indicated, and adopted that method of cure. It did not answer, and I had to put them on a severe diet. That, and a course of Valkyrie cocktails, did them a world of good. Valkyrie cocktails were of a nauseous black-dose description, concocted in large cans, and served out daily."

"Valkyrie II did not win the Cup. She returned to the Clyde in the spring of 1894, and raced at home that year. She was sunk by Satanita at Hunter's Quay on the Clyde in July. I was at the helm steering close-hauled on the starboard tack; Satanita was on a broad reach, and under a press of sail would not bear up to pass astern of me, and charged right into me about midships. The impact was terrific; Satanita had her bows stove in, but her overhang forward saved her, and she floated. Valkyrie II had a huge hole torn in her, and sank in about four minutes. Most fortunately, the collision occurred at the start, close to a number of vessels, and plenty of help was available; and the spars all held. Nothing came down from aloft. Most of the crew jumped overboard. The ladies were unceremoniously thrown down below when collision was inevitable, and pulled up again and got safely into boats. Valkyrie II was forced end on into a steam-yacht, and I and one or two others got on board her over our bowsprit. One of my hands, poor chap, had his thigh badly crushed, and died in hospital. It was a dreary, drizzling, cold day, and, of course, we lost everything except what we stood up in, and were a rather miserable crowd; but Mr.Henderson (the builder) and his good wife took every care of us, and, well- Scotch hospitality is proverbial. The most indignant man in my crowd was my steward. "I was in my pantry," he said, "just cleaning up, when in comes this here vessel right into my pantry." He had a pretty close call too, for the doors were jammed. We were not used in those days to collisions and sinkings."

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