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s.y. VANADIS  

An unlucky yacht!

YACHTING WORLD  - 26 April 1895 – “The fine steam yacht Vanadis, belonging to Mr. O’Hagan, has returned to the Colne after a winter cruise in the Mediterranean, and is lying in a mud berth at Rowhedge. This is the first time for years that her crew have returned home without any loss by death.”


Owner - Jameson Alers Hankey


Name of Ship: VANADIS

Official Number: 81637

Port of Registry: London

Registered Tonnage: 136

Owner: James A. Hankey

Address: 109 Leadenhall Street, London (Vic. Docks)

“From London to Marseilles and any ports or places in the Mediterranean Sea or Black Sea, to and fro for any period not exceeding Six Months and back to a final Port of discharge in the United Kingdom.”

“Each member of the crew to find their own provisions for the voyage.”


All men on board 7 December 1880 at London

Alphonso (sic) LAY, born 1842, last served in VANADIS 1880, Mate

Percival LAY, born 1854, ex CONCORD of Colchester1880, 2nd Mate

Thomas COOK, born 1840, ex MEDORA of Colchester 1880, Boatswain

John TURFF, born 1856, ex unreadable of Poole 1880, 2nd Steward

B. BIRCH, born 1840, first vessel, Carpenter

John BARRETT, born 1841, ex ROSE BELL of Colchester, Coxswain

Seth COOK, born 1847, ex FRANCISCO of Southampton, A.B.

Fred DYER, born 1854, ex INDUSTRY of Colchester, A.B.

Thomas JAY, born 1848 Wivenhoe, ex SHEILA of Gosport, A.B.



EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS - Saturday 27 March 1880 - “LAUNCH AT LEITH - There was launched from the shipbuilding yard of Messrs. Ramage & Ferguson, Leith, this afternoon, a finely-modelled steam yacht of 300 tons measurement, the property of Messrs. Hankey & McIver, of London and Liverpool. She will have compound engines of 60 horse-power, a steam windlass, and also steam steering gear. The ceremony of naming the vessel the “Vanadis,” as she left the ways, was gracefully performed by Miss. C. Williamson, Edinburgh.”


SHIELDS DAILY GAZETTE - Wednesday 19 May 1880 - “SHIPPING - TELEGRAMS - The screw-yacht Vanadis, belonging to Mr. Hankey, from the Tyne for the Thames, has put into Harwich with bunker coals on fire; discharging into lighter.”


HAMPSHIRE TELEGRAPH - Saturday 19 June 1880 - “RYDE - ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT CLUB - Arrivals June 11th, Vanadis, screw steamer, J. Hankey, Erith.”


HAMPSHIRE TELEGRAPH - Saturday 16 October 1880 - “GOSPORT - YACHTING NOTES - Sailed 11th, Vanadis, s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey.”


HAMPSHIRE TELEGRAPH - Saturday 6 November 1880 - “GOSPORT - YACHTING NOTES - Sailed, Vanadis, aux. s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey, for the Mediterranean.”


GLASGOW HERALD - 28 December 1880 - “SHIPBUILDING AT LEITH DURING 1880 - During the year which is drawing to a close 18 vessels of an aggregate tonnage of 6361 tons were put into the water from the various shipbuilding yards at Leith.... steam yacht Vanadis, 304 tons Y.M. and 60 H.P., for Messrs J.A. Hankey and C MacIver....”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 2 February 1881 - “MEDITERRANEAN YACHTING - The Field of Saturday gave a list of the yachts which have proceeded to the Mediterranean this season.... Vanadis, s.s., 350, Mr. J. Alers Hankey....”


THE STAR, GUERNSEY - Saturday 3 September 1881 - “YACHT ARRIVALS DURING THE MONTH OF AUGUST - Vanadis, s.s., 139 tons (sic), G. McIver.”


HAMPSHIRE TELEGRAPH - Saturday 19 November 1881 - “GOSPORT - YACHTING NOTES AND NEWS, PORTSMOUTH AND GOSPORT - On Friday last the Vanadis, aux. s.s., which has been hired by Mr. Meux, from Messrs. Hankey and McIver, for a cruise in the Mediterranean, left for her destination.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - Saturday 26 November 1881 - “Mr. H.B. Meux has hired the steam yacht Vanadis for a Mediterranean cruise; and she is fitting out at Gosport. Mr. and Mrs. Meux gave a tenants’ and servants’ ball last week at Dauntsey Lodge in honour of their arrival from Scotland. Dancing and singing commenced after a “champagne supper,” and continued till five o’clock.”



1881 Census of Persons on Ships or Vessels, RG11/1183, No ED, folio 135, pg _8, FHL 1341289

Vessel: VANADIS (Yacht), at Ryde, Isle of Wight

Jameson Alers HANKEY, Mar, 45, Shipowner & Owner & Master of the above yacht, born Clapham, Surrey

Alphonso LAY, Mar, 38, 1st Mate, born Rowhedge, Essex

Percival LAY, Mar, 30, 2nd Mate, born Rowhedge, Essex

Thomas COOK, Mar, 50, Boatswain, born Rowhedge, Essex

James CAMPBELL, Mar, 43, 1st Engineer, born Newcastle, Northumberland

James FARLEY, UnM, 26, Leading Fireman, born Liverpool, Lancashire

Thomas WARREN, UnM, 29, Fireman, born Wexford, Wexford, Ireland

William MUNSON, Mar, 45, Steward, born Wyvenhoe, Essex

John Isiah TURFF, UnM, 24, Under Steward, born Rowhedge, Essex

John SCHIBRA, Wid, 47, Cook, born Corfu

John BARRETT, Mar, 39, A.B. able bodied seaman, born Colchester, Essex

Barnabas BIRCH, Mar, 41, Carpenter, born Rowhedge, Essex

Frederick DYER, Mar, 30, Able Seaman, born Polstead, Suffolk

Thomas JAY, Mar, 31, Able Seaman, born Wyvenhoe, Essex

Edward ANDREWS, UnM, 24, Able Seaman, born Brightlingsea, Essex

Seth COOK, Mar, 32, Able Seaman, born Wyvenhoe, Essex

Adelaide Matilda A. (Hon’ble) LYONS, 59, born City of Dublin, Ireland, widow, passenger

Edith Madelaine Alers HANKEY, age 20, born London, passenger

Beatrice Lilian Alers HANKEY, age 17, passenger

Algernon Alers HANKEY, age 19, born Bromley, Kent, passenger

Lionel Alers HANKEY, age 14, born Bromley, Kent, passenger

Ernest Knightley LITTLE, age 20, born Mitcham, Surrey, passenger

Sydney Flower JACKSON, age 24, born Clapham, Surrey, passenger

The Master signed the return.



THE STAR, GUERNSEY - Tuesday 4 July 1882 - “YACHT ARRIVALS - For the week ending June 30th, 1882 - Vanadis, s.s., 333, C. McIver, Esq.”


ESSEX STANDARD – Saturday 22 July 1882 - (A long article, not taken in full) County Court 15 July 1882-“Mr Alfonso Lay, yacht captain of East Donyland was complained against for having, on the 7th July, at East Donyland, committed a trespass in the daytime in search of conies, upon land the property of Mrs. Havens and over which Major Tyssen Holroyd has the right of shooting.” Case was dismissed.


CHESHIRE OBSERVER - Saturday 23 December 1882 - “H.R.H. THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH IN CHESHIRE - The Duke of Edinburgh and suite, attended by a squadron of the Queen’s Bays and accompanied by the Mayor of Liverpool, proceeded on Saturday morning to Egremont, where his Royal Highness opened the Home for Aged Mariners. Upon the arrival of his Royal Highness at the institution he was received with a royal salute of rockets.... The road outside the park gates was lined on either side with a guard of honour consisting of 100 rank and file of the 1st Cheshire Rifle Volunteers.... 117 members of the 1st Cheshire Engineer Volunteers.... and the Artillery Volunteers.... Upon entering the park in which the Homes are situate, the Royal party drove down the lines of the “Indefatigable” boys and the seamen belonging to the National, the White Star, and the Cunard lines of steamers - a remarkably fine-looking body of men -  to the pavilion, where a guard of honour, formed of the Royal Naval Reserve, of which his Royal Highness is Admiral-Superintendent, presented arms, the band playing the National Anthem. The Naval Reserve, consisting of 80 men, were under the command of Lieutenant Charles MacIver, jun., and the other officers in charge were Lieutenants H. MacIver, J. MacNab, A. Talbot, F. Archer, and W.H. Smith. The band belonged to Mr. MacIver’s steam yacht Vanadis....”


ESSEX STANDARD - Saturday 30 June 1883 - “YACHTING - The latest reports from Brightlingsea respecting the movements of well-known yachts and yachtsmen is as follows:- .... Arrived - Vanadis, Mr. J. Hanker, from Leith.... Sailed - June 16, Vanadis, Mr. J.A. Hankey, for Erith....”


LIVERPOOL MERCURY - Monday 28 January 1884 - “THE ROYAL VISIT TO LIVERPOOL - On Saturday, his Royal Highness the Duke of Albany paid a visit to Liverpool, for the purpose, as our readers are aware, of distributing the certificates and rewards of the Liverpool Council of Education to the successful scholars at the various elementary schools in the city.... No attempt was made at decoration in the streets, but many of the citizens displayed flags from their windows, and the Royal Standard was hoisted at all the public buildings. In front of the Town Hall a guard of honour, consisting of two companies of the Royal Naval Reserve, was drawn up. The officers present were Lieutenant Harry McIver (in command), Lieutenant Charles McIver, jun., Captain McNab, and Captain Talbot. The band from Messrs. MacIver’s steam yacht Vanadis was also in attendance, and played the National Anthem as the royal party drove up. A large crowd had assembled in the neighbourhood of the Town Hall, and a carriageway was kept in the middle of the streets which converge at this point by means of barricades....”


ISLE OF WIGHT OBSERVER - Saturday 12 April 1884 - “The following yachts have been cruising off Cowes during the week: Vanadis....”


HAMPSHIRE TELEGRAPH - Saturday 9 August 1884 - “GOSPORT - YACHTING NOTES AND NEWS - Gosport - Sailed, Vanadis, s.s., Mr. Hankey.”


SHIELDS DAILY GAZETTE - Thursday 21 August 1884 - “Sir George Elliot, Bart., M.P., Mr. G.W. Elliot, M.P., Col. King Harman, M.P., and a distinguished party left Whitby on Tuesday evening in Sir George’s splendid steam yacht, the Vanadis, for the Tyne to be present on the occasion of the Prince of Wales’s visit to Newcastle.”

Presumably he hired the Vanadis as there was only one steam yacht of that name registered in this country.


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 6 September 1884 - “SOUTHAMPTON YACHTING NEWS - Among the yachts now on the station are the following:- .... Vanadis, s.s., Sir George Elliott, M.P.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 25 October 1884 - “THE ISLE OF WIGHT - COWES. ROYAL YACHT SQUADRON INTELLIGENCE - Arrivals: Oct. 18. Vanadis, s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey, from the Westward. Departures: Oct. 20. Vanadis, s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey, for the Eastward.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 3 January 1885 - “THE ISLE OF WIGHT - COWES. ROYAL YACHT SQUADRON INTELLIGENCE - Arrivals: Dec. 25. Vanadis, s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey, from Southampton. Departures: Dec 25. Vanadis, s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey, for the Westward.”


HAMPSHIRE TELEGRAPH - Saturday 17 January 1885 - “GOSPORT - YACHTING - The steam yacht Vanadis, 350 tons, Mr. J.A. Hankey, called in here on Tuesday, and sailed again on Wednesday for Gibraltar.”


WESTERN DAILY PRESS - Thursday 21 May 1885 - “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE - Homeward bound:- For Bristol - From Oran, passed Gibraltar May 15th, Vanadis s.s.”


THE STAR, GUERNSEY - Tuesday 2 June 1885 - SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE - ST. PETER PORT. ARRIVALS - May 31: Vanadis (y), J.A. Hankey, Esq.” Also - “SAILINGS - June 1: Vanadis (y), J.A. Hankey, Esq., pleasuring.”


THE STAR, GUERNSEY - Saturday 6 June 1885 - “ARRIVAL OF YACHTS - For the week ending June 5th, 1885 - Vanadis, 333 tons, J.A. Hankey.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 3 October 1885 - “THE ISLE OF WIGHT - COWES. ROYAL YACHT SQUADRON INTELLIGENCE - Arrivals: Sept. 26. Vanadis, s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey, from the Westward. Arrivals: Sept. 28. Vanadis, s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey.” No departures mentioned.




HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 17 October 1885 - ISLE OF WIGHT - COWES - Departures: Oct. 11. Vanadis, s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey, for Southampton.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 7 November 1885 - “SOUTHAMPTON YACHTING NEWS - Among the yachts now on the station are the following:- Vanadis, s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 21 November 1885 - “THE ISLE OF WIGHT - COWES. YACHTING INTELLIGENCE - Arrivals: Nov. 16. Vanadis, s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey, from Southampton.... Departures: Nov 16. Vanadis, s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey, for the Eastward.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 28 November 1885 - “THE ISLE OF WIGHT - COWES. YACHTING INTELLIGENCE - Arrivals: Nov. 21. Vanadis, s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey, from the Westward.... Departures: Nov 21. Vanadis, s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey, for the Eastward.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 24 July 1886 - “THE ISLE OF WIGHT - COWES. YACHTING INTELLIGENCE - Arrivals: July 18. Vanadis, s.s., Mr. J.A. Hankey, from the Eastward.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 28 May 1887 - “NOTES ON PASSING EVENTS - .... I was in the Royal Victoria Dock, London, the other day, and noticed..... the steam yachts Caterina, Fire Queen, Matador, and Vanadis, all well-known at Southampton.”


GLASGOW HERALD - Thursday 23 February 1888 - “SAILINGS FROM FOREIGN PORTS - ....Vanadis (British yacht), left Algiers, Feb. 22.”


GLASGOW HERALD - Thursday 8 March 1888 - “SAILINGS FROM FOREIGN PORTS - Vanadis (British yacht), for Palermo - left Messina, March 6.”


THE STANDARD - Friday 9 March 1888 - “FOREIGN ARRIVALS - Palermo, March 7 - Vanadis (British yacht).


THE STANDARD - Tuesday 15 May 1888 - “FOREIGN ARRIVALS - Marseilles, May 14 - Vanadis (British yacht).


THE MORNING POST - Monday 21 May 1888 - “FOREIGN SAILINGS - Marseilles, May 19, Vanadis (British yacht), La Ciolat.”


THE MORNING POST - Thursday 31 May 1888 - “FOREIGN ARRIVALS - Gibraltar, May 29 or 30 (unreadable), Vanadis (British yacht).


SHIELDS DAILY GAZETTE - Friday 13 September 1889 - “ARRIVALS, SHIELDS - Thursday. Vanadis s.s.,  yacht, sea.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 9 November 1889 - “SOUTHAMPTON - The yachts now on the station are the following:- .... Vanadis, s.s.”


SHIELDS DAILY GAZETTE - Monday 30 June 1890 - “On Saturday, the steam yacht Vanadis, belonging to London, arrived in the Tyne from Sheerness, with a party of ladies and gentlemen on board. The vessel, which is owned by Mr. J.A. Hankey, of London, is bound for Leith.” Also - “SAILINGS, Saturday:- Vanadis s.s., Yacht Sea.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 30 August 1890 - HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - “SOUTHAMPTON YACHTING NEWS - Among the yachts now on the station are the following:- Vanadis, s.s.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 6 September 1890 - “SOUTHAMPTON YACHTING NEWS - Among the yachts now on the station are the following:- Vanadis, s.s.”


DEVON AND EXETER DAILY GAZETTE - Monday 22 September 1890 - “The Salcombe shipping returns for the week are:- Yachting - Vanadis, s.s., 136, J.A. Hankey, from Dartmouth.”


THE TIMES - Monday 2 March 1891 - States that Vanadis is in “foreign waters”.


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD  - Saturday 30 May 1891 - “WYVENHOE - The Vanadis, recently arrived home from her Mediterranean cruise, has now gone into dry dock to refit.”

Edward TAYLOR 01.png

Photo of Edward Taylor, 2nd Mate of the Vanadis, kindly provided by his great grandson Graham Taylor.

Edward was born at Rowhedge in 1860, the son of Daniel & Jane Taylor.  He died on board Vanadis on February 18th 1892, aged 32, of “Heart’s failure due to a fever” and was buried at the cemetery in Mentone.


Name of Ship: (Yt.) S.S. VANADIS

Official Number: 81637

Port of Registry: London

Registered Tonnage: 136

Owner: Henry Osborne O’Hagan

Address: 3 Tokenhouse Yard Buildings, City

Master: Alfonso Lay, East Donyland

Date of Commencement of Half-year: 1st Jan. 1891 - 30 of June 1891

“This yacht was cruizing (sic) for pleasure in the Mediterranean from January 1st until April 23rd. Since then she has been cruizing off the Norwegian Coasts until 30th of June 1891.”

Alphonso (sic) LAY, born 1841 East Donyland, Last served in “This vessel” 1890, joined this ship: continued, Master, remain

William BROWN, 1838 East Donyland, Violette of Calais, joined this ship 1/9/90 at East Donyland, Mate, certificate number 32611, remain

Edward TAYLOR, 1860 East Donyland, this vessel, continued, 2nd Mate no certificate, remain

David HILLYARD, 1845 Stanway Essex, this vessel, AB, remain

Frederick ORMAN, 1870 Brightlingsea, this vessel, AB and Carpenter, remain

Robert SIMONS, 1869 East Donyland, this vessel, AB, remain

Oscar LAY, 1869 East Donyland, Reindeer of London, joined this ship: 1/9/90 at East Donyland, AB, remain

Herbert BURCH, 1868 Sittingbourne Kent, this vessel, joined this ship: 1/9/90 at East Donyland, AB, remain

Alphonso LAY (Junr.), 1871 East Donyland, this vessel, joined this ship: 1/9/90 at East Donyland, AB, remain

Jave SCARFF, 1870 East Donyland, this vessel, joined this ship: 1/9/90 at East Donyland, AB, remain

Joseph WILLIS, 1855 Wivenhoe, this vessel, joined this ship: 1/9/90 at East Donyland, 2nd Steward, remain

Albert TOMS, 1861 Portland Dorset, this vessel, joined this ship: 1/9/90 at East Donyland, Steward, remain

Christopher CHARLTON, 1866 North Shields, this vessel, continued, Engineer, certificate number: 24779, remain

Edward JONES, 1859 Anglesey, this vessel, continued, 2nd Engineer, no certificate, remain

Hezekiah WADE, 1866 East Donyland, this vessel, continued, Fireman, remain

Frank SELBY, 1864 Tarlton Gloucester, this vessel, continued, Fireman, remain

William BROWN, 1855 Wivenhoe, this vessel, continued, Chief Cook

None have a Royal Naval Volunteer’s Certificate.

Received at Brightlingsea 30th November 1891

Signed: Alphonso Lay, Master


CREW LIST for the second half of 1891 gives the same names and details, except that “This yacht has been cruizing for pleasure off the Norwegian Coasts from June 30th 1891 until Oct. 3rd - since the latter period she has been cruizing off the Coasts of the United Kingdom and is now going out from the Colne on a Mediterranean Cruize on the 30th of Nov. 1891.”


ABERDEEN JOURNAL - Monday 4 January 1892 - “CASUALTIES (From Lloyd’s - Saturday) - The yacht Vanadis arrived at Algiers with connecting rod broken or out of order; is repairing.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - Saturday 13 February 1892 - “The Vanadis, s.s., and Zoriade, schooner, both from Nice, arrived at Marseilles on Wednesday.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - Saturday 20 February 1892 - “The Vanadis, s.s., left Genoa on the 17th instant for Mentone.”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD  - Saturday 14 May 1892 - “WYVENHOE - YACHTING - The following yachts have left:- s.y. Saumarez (for Bristol), St. Kilda, Elfreda. The Vanadis steam yacht has gone into dock.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - Saturday 9 July 1892 - “YACHTING - The Vanadis, s.s., from St. Petersburg, arrived at Stockholm on the 1st instant.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - Saturday 3 September 1892 - “SOUTHAMPTON YACHTING NEWS - Among the recent arrivals are.... Vanadis, s.s.”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD  - Saturday 12 November 1892 - “THE VANADIS - This beautiful steam yacht has been fitted out at Wyvenhoe for a winter cruise in the Mediterranean. The work has been in the hands of a London firm, who, among other alterations, have installed the electric light throughout the vessel. The Vanadis dropped down the Colne on Saturday, Nov, 5. and will probably sail for the Mediterranean on Sunday.”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 18 February 1893 - “RESCUE BY ROWHEDGE SEAMEN - Four seamen from Rowhedge named Alphonso Lay, Robert Simons, Alfred Scarff, and Wm. Percival, all on board the steam yacht Vanadis, have made a gallant rescue of five Turkish sailors in the foreign port of Sevedo, where the Vanadis was anchored. During a squall one day last month, the crew of the Vanadis saw a sailing vessel upset and rowed to the scene of the mishap in spite of the rough seas. They succeeded in rescuing the men and bringing them to the yacht, where brandy was given them by Mr. H. O'Hagan, the owner, who also rewarded the brave rescuers.”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD  - Saturday 29 April 1893 - “YACHTING - The steam yacht Vanadis, 300 tons, arrived at Wyvenhoe last week, after having been on a cruise in the Mediterranean. “


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD  - Saturday 29 July 1893 - “EAST DONYLAND - The Rev. H.E. Lufkin, Rector of the parish, having lately had a severe illness, from the effects of which he is still suffering, it was hardly to be expected that he would be able to bear the fatigue of having the Church Sunday School treat at the Rectory as usual. Capt. A. Lay, of the yacht Vanadis, therefore determined to take the matter in hand. Mr. O’Hagan, the owner of the yacht, and his brother at once started Capt. Lay with very handsome donations, soon considerably augmented by Mr. Bayard Brown (yacht Valfreyia), and Capt. Lay himself. Several friends in the village and in Colchester also contributed, with the result that Capt. Lay then decided to include the National School and the Chapel Sunday School, thus making it a village treat. On the morning of Wednesday, July 26, most of the children rose in their wildest state of excitement, but about 9 a.m. down came the rain, accompanied by thunder at intervals, which completely put the damper on everybody, but about mid-day the clouds began to break and the sun peeped through, which at once cheered the drooping spirits, as all knew that the rain would soon soak away in the light soil of the district. The appointed spot was the beautiful grounds of Donyland Hall, kindly placed at Capt. Lay’s disposal by Mr. A. Robinson the tenant, and Messrs. Havens the owners. Capt. Lay and his crew had made the grounds look exceedingly gay with a great number of splendid flags, and had also staked out a large ring for races and other sports, and erected a band stand, and after the rain ceased they at once, with bricks and planks, arranged for the seating of the children.

Shortly after 2 p.m. the procession, headed by the Wyvenhoe Brass Band under the leadership of Mr. Lax, started from the National School and wended their way to the Hall, where they at once began to amuse themselves with cricket, swings, racing, &c. At 4 p.m. the children (about 500) sat down to a bountiful tea supplied by Mr. T.W. Pitt, of Rowhedge, after which the teachers and choirs, with some friends (above 100), sat down to tea at tables arranged on the lawn in front of the Hall. Mr. E.P. Harris kindly acted as treasurer, but it took him till dusk to clear out the contents of his bag in races, tugs of war, jumping, &c. A large number of toys were also distributed to all the little children. On the proposition of Capt. Thomas Ennew cheers were given for Mr. O’Hagan and other friends, also musical honours for Capt. Lay, after which the National Anthem brought the proceedings to a close, and the company left the grounds led by the inspiriting strains of the band. The goods remaining from the bazaar of last year were sold on the ground by Mrs. and Miss. Daniel, Miss. Green, the Misses. Lufkin, the Misses. Robinson, &c., their tent being completely cleared out early in the evening. All agreed in saying that this was the best treat ever given.”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD  - Saturday 7 October 1893 - “WYVENHOE AND ROWHEDGE REGATTA - .... ROWING MATCH for Yachts’ Gigs - 1st, Euphrosyne, [owner] Mr. Ryrie; 2nd, Vanadis, H. Osborn O’Hagan; 3rd, Elfrida, Theodore Pymm.”


THE TIMES - Tuesday 26 December 1893 - Vanadis is in “foreign waters”.


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD  - Saturday 10 February 1894 - “ROWHEDGE - THE YACHT VANADIS - Mr. Alphonso Lay, of Rowhedge, captain of the steam yacht Vanadis, writes to us from Corfu to say there is no truth in the report recently published by a contemporary as to the yacht having gone ashore in the Mediterranean, near Marseilles, and lying with her aft cabin half-filled with water.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - Wednesday 18 April 1894 - “YACHTING - “The Vanadis, s.s., Mr. O’Hagan, from Gibraltar, for Cowes, arrived at Dartmouth on Saturday.”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD  - Saturday 28 April 1894 - “RETURN OF THE VANADIS - The steam yacht Vanadis, 333 tons, Captain Alfonso Lay commander, owned by Mr. Henry Osborn O’Hagan, arrived in the Colne on Saturday last, after a cruise of 22 weeks in the Mediterranean. This vessel is the well-known Vanadis which was reported as being on the rocks at Marseilles with her cabins under water last Christmas, which was quite untrue, as she was at that time at Barcelona with her owner and a large party of friends on board. On Monday Captain Lay brought his ship safely to her old moorings at Wyvenhoe, and was met by his many friends, who welcomed him and his crew home again. In the evening at 8.30 the Captain gave the inhabitants of Wyvenhoe, Rowhedge, and Fingringhoe an exhibition of his electric search light, with which the yacht is fitted. It is a very powerful one, being 30,000 candle power. It was distinctly seen as far as the Camp, Colchester, and for many miles around. At Fingringhoe the good inhabitants were much alarmed when it flashed over the village, and, many remembering the tenth anniversary of the earthquake, thought something much worse had happened. The yacht goes into Forrestt’s and Sons’, Ltd., dry dock to refit next tides.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - Saturday 10 November 1894 - THE ISLE OF WIGHT - COWES - YACHTING INTELLIGENCE - Nov. 7.- Vanadis, s.s., Mr. H. Osborne O’Hagan, from Eastward to Westward.”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - 10 November 1894 - “WYVENHOE - Mr. O’Hagan’s fine steam yacht Vanadis, 333 tons, and of which Capt. Lay is master, has gone into the dock, and is being scraped and re-coated, as well as having sundry repairs done.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - Saturday 22 December 1894 - “The Vanadis, s.s., arrived at Trieste on Tuesday.”


NEW YORK TIMES - 7 February 1895 - “The following yachts will be seen off Cannes..... Vanadis, 333 tons, H. Osborn O’Hagan.”


YACHTING WORLD  - 26 April 1895 – “The fine steam yacht Vanadis, belonging to Mr. O’Hagan, has returned to the Colne after a winter cruise in the Mediterranean, and is lying in a mud berth at Rowhedge. This is the first time for years that her crew have returned home without any loss by death.”

ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD  - Saturday 27 April 1895 - “ROWHEDGE - YACHTING NEWS - The fine steam yacht Vanadis belonging to Mr. H. O’Hagan, has returned to the Colne after a winter cruise in the Mediterranean, and is lying in a mud berth at Rowhedge.”


HASTINGS AND ST. LEONARDS OBSERVER - Saturday 13 July 1895 - “YACHT-HIRING DISPUTE - Last week, in the Court of Appeal, an appeal by Mr. Hankey against an order made by Mr. Justice Wills and Mr. Justice Wright was heard before the Master of the Rolls and Lords Justices Kay and Smith.- The plaintiff was Mr. Jameson Alers Hankey, of 105, Marina, St. Leonards-on-Sea, who agreed to lend his yacht Vanadis to a Mr. Whitehouse, of New York, for six weeks, for £750. The yacht was stranded and disabled while cruising along the coast of Norway, the accident happening when the vessel had been three weeks in the hands of Mr. Whitehouse. It was stated that under the agreement between the parties there was a reference to a Mr. King, of the London Yacht Agency, who found that Mr. Whitehouse was entitled to a rebate of £375 on the agreed hiring price. The Divisional Court upheld this award.- The Master of the Rolls said an arbitrator had been called in, and as there was no ground made out of interfering with his award, the appeal would be dismissed with costs.- Lords Justices Kay and Smith concurred.”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD  - Saturday 9 November 1895 - “WYVENHOE - The fine steam yacht, Vanadis, belonging to Mr. O’Hagan, after being overhauled and fitted out for her coming cruise, went out of dry dock on Monday.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - Saturday 14 December 1895 - “SOUTHAMPTON YACHTING NEWS -  The Vanadis, s.s., arrived at Marseilles on the 10th instant.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - Saturday 28 December 1895 - “SOUTHAMPTON YACHTING NEWS -  The Vanadis, s.s., arrived at Nice on the 23rd instant, and proceed for Monaco.”


THE TIMES - Tuesday 14 January 1896 - Vanadis is in the Mediterranean.


GLASGOW HERALD - Friday 10 April 1896 - “PASSED FOREIGN SIGNAL STATIONS - Vanadis (yacht), passed Finisterre (by telegraph).


GLASGOW HERALD - Wednesday 15 April 1896 - “PORTLAND - ARRIVED - Vanadis (steam yacht), Gibraltar for Colchester.”


THE GLASGOW HERALD - 15 July 1896 mentions Mr. A.B. Walker and HIS steam yacht Vanadis.... did he charter her?


YACHTING  WORLD -  27 November 1896 - Capt. Lay of Vanadis was fined £5 for refusing to take a qualified pilot at Dover.


GLASGOW HERALD - Saturday 9 January -  1897 - “ARRIVALS AT FOREIGN PORTS - Vanadis (steam yacht), at Malta, Jan. 8.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - Saturday 20 February 1897 - “SOUTHAMPTON YACHTING NEWS -  The Vanadis, s.s., arrived at Marseilles on Wednesday.”


YACHTING  WORLD - 30 April 1897 - “The s.y. Vanadis, which was expected to arrive in the Colne by Easter has reached Plymouth safely, and will sail for Wivenhoe in the course of a few days.”


YACHTING  WORLD - 14 May 1897 - “Wivenhoe - The s.y. Vanadis is going to have new decks, and a complete overhaul of her machinery.”


YACHTING  WORLD - 16 November 1897 - “Southampton - The Vanadis, s.y., 333 tons, Colonel O’Hagan, which arrived here from Brightlingsea, has left for Constantinople, calling at Gibraltar for orders. She has a crew of eighteen, and is under the command of Captain H. Laws, of Rowhedge, formerly of Southampton.”


PALL MALL GAZETTE - Saturday 27 November 1897 - “Colonel O’Hagan’s steam yacht Vanadis has left Gibraltar for Constantinople.”


THE TIMES - 3 January 1898 - “YACHTING - The number of yachts which up to the close of last year sailed from British yachting stations on winter cruises in foreign waters is decidedly below the average, and, including the vessels at the present time fitting out, there will not be such a large number as usual in the Mediterranean. Among the yachts which have already left may be named....Vanadis, s.s., 333 tons, Mr. H. Osborne O’Hagan.”

Fedora, skippered by Capt. Turner Barnard, and Theodore Pim’s Rosabelle were also here.





Official Number: 81637

Owner: Henry Osborne O’Hagan

“On a voyage to Mediterranean”

Voyage commenced: 8.11.1897 Brightlingsea

Voyage terminated: 27.4.1898 Brightlingsea

Master: Henry Joseph Laws, 42, of Rowhedge, ex Xantho of London, wages “Agreement”

Isaac Rice, 35, Tollesbury, 1st Mate, ex Asterope of Cowes, wages per week £3.4s

S. Lewis, 40, Tollesbury, 2nd Mate and Carpenter, ex Cuhona of Cowes, £1.15s

William Bullock, 31, of West Mersea, AB, ex Albion of Portsmouth, £1.6s

Alfonso Lay, 25, Rowhedge, AB, continued, £1.6s

W. White, 22, Brightlingsea, AB, ex Varuna of Colchester, £1.6s

A. Scarff, 26, Rowhedge, AB, ex Caress (racing yacht) of Glasgow, £1.6s

A. J. Jay, 20, Rowhedge, AB, ex Thelma of Cowes, £1.6s

G. Austin, 33, Guernsey, AB, ex Oberon of Cowes, £1.6s

E. Jones, 39, Wyvenhoe, 1st Engineer, continued, £3.14s

H. Wade, 29, Wyvenhoe, 2nd Engineer, ex Danitza of Colchester, £2.14s

J. Bull, 47, Brightlingsea, Fireman, ex Chrysalis of Colchester, £1.10s

J. Bell, 32, Elmstead, Fireman, ex Path-Finder of Colchester, £1.10s

J. Willis, 42, Wyvenhoe, 1st Steward, continued, £2.14s

A. Brown, 28, Wyvenhoe, 2nd Steward, ex Abona of Bristol, £2.4s

C. Bird, 26, Wyvenhoe, 3rd Steward, ex Luna (racing yacht) of Cowes, £1.10

Wm. J. Brown, 42, Wyvenhoe, 1st Cook, continued, £2.14s

Alfred Gibbs, 31, Southsea, 2nd Cook, ex H.M.S. Australia, £1.10s

The following men went to the steam yacht Normania...

Vessel: NORMANIA       

Dates: 27/6/1898 to 10/9/1898

Official number: 87431 

List type: A3

Ownership: CAMPER & NICHOLSON        

Registered: PORTSMOUTH, 1/1884

Tonnage: 287 net

Archives: Portsmouth History Centre.

Local crewmen:

Henry LAWS, 43, b. Gosport, Master, last on Vanadis 1898

Isaac RICE, 36, b. Essex, Mate, last on Vanadis 1898

J. BELL, 33, b. Essex, Fireman, last on Vanadis 1898

Joseph WILLIS, 41, b. Wivenhoe, 1st Steward, last on Vanadis 1898

Wm. BROWN, 42, b. Wivenhoe, Chief Cook, last on Vanadis 1898

PALL MALL GAZETTE - Thursday 17 November 1898 - “A YACHT THAT CAUSED A SCARE - A curious story, says the Exchange Telegraph Company, is published in certain of the Paris Chauvinist organs to the effect that an English yacht, the Vanadis, has been reported to the French authorities as in sight of St. Malo. According to the reports the personages on board are engaged in making important hydrographical observations. It is likewise stated that the yacht is accompanied by the English torpedo-boat 165, belonging to the Channel Squadron, and that the Maritime authorities are most reticent in giving information on the incident. This rumour is all the more amusing because the only occupants of the yacht are Frenchmen. The Vanadis has been chartered by Mdme. Andre, who has a party of French friends on board. The itinerary followed by the yacht so far has been Constantinople, Dieppe, Havre, St. Malo.”


PALL MALL GAZETTE - Friday 2 December 1898 - “YACHTING - The steam yacht Vanadis, which has been under charter to M. Bouriatto, of Paris, has returned from the French coast and is awaiting further orders.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - Saturday 7 January 1899 - “SOUTHAMPTON YACHTING NEWS -  The Vanadis, s.s., has left here for Gosport.”


PORTSMOUTH EVENING NEWS - Saturday 15 July 1899 - “YACHTING - GOSPORT NOTES - The steam yacht Vanadis, 333 tons, has also been brought into the tier from Haslar. She is to undergo extensive repairs, and will be fitted with a new boiler and a new deck.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - Saturday 20 January 1900 - “YACHTING - The Vanadis, s.s., Mr. R.E. Wemyss, had her compasses adjusted at Portsmouth on Tuesday by Mr. Fred Smith, of Southampton, and she has since sailed for the Cape of Good Hope.”


HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - Saturday 17 March 1900 - “YACHTING - The Vanadis, s.s., from Southampton, arrived at Alexandria on March 8th, and cleared for Port Said.”


EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS -  Wednesday 6 February 1901 - “Lord Wemyss’ steam yacht Vanadis, of the Royal Yacht Squadron, has arrived in Granton after an extensive cruise along the East African Coast.”


WESTERN TIMES - Saturday 20 April 1901 - “LOCAL NEWS - Admiral Bainbridge, owner of the ss. Matador has purchased the fine steam yacht Vanadis, which is about to be brought round to Dartmouth from Leith....”


ABERDEEN JOURNAL - Wednesday 14 August 1901 - “THE LATE REAR-ADMIRAL BAINBRIDGE - The remains of the late Rear-Admiral J.H. Bainbridge, who died of apoplexy at Bergen on Saturday, arrived at Aberdeen Harbour on Monday on board his yacht, the Vanadis (Captain Knox), from Bergen. The body was sent south to Plymouth in the afternoon by the 1.10 West Coast train.”

Maybe he was chartering Vanadis from Lord Wemyss?


DUNDEE COURIER - Friday 4 October 1901 - “ACTION AGAINST A FIFE LAIRD - A COALING SCENE AT POMPA BAY - Sheriff Armour at Cupar yesterday (Thursday) closed the record and fixed a diet [meeting or hearing of a Scottish court] for hearing in the action concluding for £58. 10s. at the instance of the Nyassa Company, Limited, Lisbon, against Mr. R.G. Erskine Wemyss of Wemyss Castle.

Pursuers state in their condescendence they are a Company holding a charter from the Portuguese Government to administer and develop districts in Mozambique, East Africa, and the defender is the owner of the steam yacht Vanadis. On or about 18th December, 1900, while the steam yacht Vanadis was lying at Port Amelia, Pompa Bay, East Africa, pursuers supplied her with eighteen tons of best Welsh steam coal at 65s. per ton, which made due to the pursuers the sum of £58.10s.

Defender explains that the pursuers’ agent at Pompa Bay represented to the captain of the Vanadis that he had stored at Port Amelia  a quantity of Welsh steam coal suitable for the yacht, and thereby induced the captain to go to Port Amelia which was out of his course, and several days were lost. The coal, instead of being stored, was scattered about the beach, and the yacht’s crew had to pick it up piece by piece, whereby additional time was wasted. The coal was of  very inferior quality, and harmful to the yacht’s engines and machinery. The pursuers’ agent at Pompa Bay was informed of this at the time, and warned that the coal would not be paid for, but that, on the contrary, a claim of damages might arise against himself and his Company on account of the time lost through his misrepresentation.

The yacht, having gone so far out of her way, used up all the coals she had on board, and was forced to take the coal at Pompa Bay, though almost useless for her engines, in order to return, this, as he was told, being in the nature of a quid pro quo for pursuers’ agents’ conduct. For pursuers, Mr. R.O. Pagan, W.S., Cupar; for defender, Mr. G.W. Bruce, Leven.”


EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS - Thursday 24 October 1901 - “ACTION AGAINST MR. WEMYSS OF WEMYSS CASTLE - The action at the instance of the Myassa (sic) Company, Limited, Lisbon, against Randolph Gordon Erskine Wemyss, of Wemyss Castle, Fife, in which the pursuer sought payment of £58. 10s. for coals supplied to the defender’s yacht Vanadis, has been settled by the defender paying the principal sum sued for, with interest and expenses. Decree of absolvitor was pronounced at Cupar to-day.”


PORTSMOUTH EVENING NEWS - Wednesday 6 November 1901 - “NAVAL & MILITARY - THE FLEET - REAR-ADMIRAL JOHN HUGH BAINBRIDGE, of Elford Leigh, Plympton, Devon, and of Frankfield, Cork, who died on board his yacht Vanadis, at Bergen, on August 10th last, aged 56 years, left £122,753. 17s. 7d. net, £149,159. 18s. 10d. gross.”


In 1908 an American multi-millionaire  sportsman, Mr. C.K.G. Billings, had a luxury steam yacht built on the Clyde.... called Vanadis.  So popular were British-built steam yachts that the American government  brought in a special tax to try and deter Americans from having them built abroad..... Herreshoff’s yards at Rhode Island (builders of the America’s Cup defenders Defender and Columbia) closed due to lack of orders, a hint that Americans were getting more for their dollars over here.... and better craftsmanship.


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD – Saturday 5 December 1908 - “EAST DONYLAND - LOCAL FOOTBALLERS IN NEW YORK - A match was played in New York on Saturday, Nov. 14, between the officers and crew of the s.y. Liberty and the officers and crew of the s.y. Vanadis. The Chief Officer of each yacht captained their respective teams; both sides were confident of winning. The match was played on the Hoboken recreation ground, before a good crowd of supporters. It proved to be a very fast and exciting game, each goal being visited in turn. At half-time the score was a blank. On restarting both sides worked their very hardest to obtain a goal, but both goalkeepers were alert, and no player could find the net until seven minutes from time, when Cottle scored the only goal of the match for the s.y. Liberty. Cottle is brother to the back playing for Bristol City. The game ended with the score unaltered, Liberty 1, Vanadis nil. Most of the Vanadis crew are Colne boys. C.J. Carter was referee.”


The registry of the first Vanadis was not closed until 1925 so the last article could refer to either vessel.

Memento of the cruise to South Africa in 1900 - signatures of the owner and guests
s.y. Vanadis 1906.jpg

s.y. Vanadis 1906

Frederick Norman Barnard born Rowhedge 11 October 1877 was on Vanadis…..


National Archives: BT-377-7-33492

Royal Naval Reserve


Character: Ability & Competence – Very Good (all entries)

VANADIS 81637, yachting, A.B., 8.2.09 – 22.10.09 Soton

VANADIS 81637, yachting, A.B., 14.3.11 Soton – expected return 6.11. Discharged 7.10.11 Soton

VANADIS 81637, yachting, A.B., 4.4.12 Soton – expected return 9.12. Discharged 15.6.12 Soton. Barnard granted leave under Art. 145

VANADIS 81637, yachting, A.B., 30.7.12 Soton

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