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-  Skippers William Cranfield sen. & William Cranfield jnr....
   not to be confused with William Wadley Cranfield!

THE YACHTING WORLD - 26 November 1897

Designed and built by E.P. Harris of East Donyland

THE YACHTING WORLD - 26 November 1897 - “YACHTING CELEBRITIES - MR. JUSTICE CHANNELL - ROYAL THAMES YACHT CLUB - Mr. Arthur Moseley Channell (by the time these lines appear in print he will have received the honour of a knighthood) is the only surviving son of the late Sir W.F. Channell, Baron of the Exchequer.

He was born in 1838, became a barrister of the Inner Temple in 1863, and a Queen’s counsel in 1885, and served as Recorder of Rochester from 1888.

As regards yachting, our newest judge became exceedingly fond of the sport when quite a small boy. His uncle, Mr. Richard Moseley, was the owner of a 42-ton cutter, and in this craft Mr. Channell, as a youth, did a good deal of sailing. The uncle, however, died while Mr. Channell was at Harrow, and from about 1856 until twenty years later little or no yachting fell in his way, thought rowing and boat sailing took up a good deal of time.

In 1876 Mr. Channell hired a yacht for part of the season, at the end of which he was lent the old Xanthe by his friend Mr. J.C. Carton, ultimately purchasing the boat and using her regularly till the middle of 1890. She was an old 15-tonner built at Exmouth in 1867, and when new was a very successful craft in the West country for several seasons, and up till the last was a very fast boat in smooth water and light winds.

In 1890 Mr. Channell bought his present boat, also called the Xanthe, and which is illustrated on another page. She was built by Harris, of Rowhedge, to the order of a gentleman who was unable to use her. She is a snugly rigged cutter, 28 tons Thames measurement, 42ft. on the waterline, and has a sail area of under 2,200ft. She is very fast in a good breeze. In each of his boats Mr. Channell has done a good deal of cruising, generally spending the early part of the season on the East Coast and Thames Estuary, and the latter part on the Devon and Cornwall coast with Dartmouth as a headquarters.

The present Xanthe has been steered by her owner in seven handicaps, four firsts and one second prize being the result. Those won during the past season included the Vice-commodore’s cup at Fowey, and a first at Falmouth Royal regatta, while the previous season the Xanthe also won at Fowey, and was second in the London Sailing Club handicap from Burnham to Harwich. Ever since 1876 Mr. Channell has had the same two Rowhedge men with him as a crew.

Mr. Channell is well known to most yachtsmen frequenting the Colne, not only because he has his boat fitted out there, but also by reason of his having been engaged as a barrister in the oyster-fishing cases and others relating to the river, which have been before the Courts recently. Mr. Channell is a member of some half-dozen yacht clubs, including the Royal Dart, the Royal Harwich, and the London Sailing Club.”


Very little of Xanthe's racing history was reported in the newspapers....



THE HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 1 August 1891 - Xanthe recorded as being at Southampton with other yachts, many with Colne crews.


THE WESTERN TIMES - Saturday 27 August 1892 - “DARTMOUTH REGATTA - The yacht racing in connection with this regatta was brought off yesterday outside the harbour, under the auspices of the Royal Dart Yacht Club.... During the morning the wind varied in force and direction, but after noon it settled in the west-south-west, and carried the yachts round at full speed. The Committee boat was moored in the Range opposite the entrance to the harbour, and the various events were started from this point. For the first three classes the course was to the Skerries buoy off Start Point to a mark boat eastward and back to the Committee vessel, distance about ten miles. The smaller craft went over a shortened course.... PRIZES of £15 and £5, presented by Mr. A.M. Singer, handicap, for yachts between 9 and 30 tons rating. Starters:- Marigold, cutter, 22 rating, Owner R.W. Martin; Xanthe, cutter, 15 rating, A.M. Channell; Dis, cutter, 10 rating, A.B. Sparkes.

Marigold allowed Xanthe 10mins and Dis 13mins. The start was made by the trio at 11 o’clock, with little wind, the Dis leading to windward, and Xanthe second. Dis had the best of the run down to the Skerries, while Xanthe fell third. With only a light breeze the progress was somewhat slow, but when running for the eastern mark the wind increased in force, and the first round concluded in the following order:-

Dis 2h.3m.2s.; Marigold 2h.4m.6s.; Xanthe 2h.8m.6s.

In the next round, with a freshening wind, Marigold went to the front and gained several minutes on Dis, the times being:-

Marigold 3h.33m.58s.; Dis 3h.37m.47s.; Xanthe 3h.41m.8s.

The freshening breeze appeared to be all in favour of Marigold, the times being:-

Marigold 4h.51m.51s.; Dis 5h.2m.37s.; Xanthe 5h.4m.47s.

Dis took the first and Marigold second."


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 1 April 1893 - “ROWHEDGE - YACHTING ITEMS - .... Mr. Harris is also busy on the cutter Norman, and the 28-ton cutter Xanthe.”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 22 April 1893 - “EAST DONYLAND - YACHTING - At Mr. Houston’s the following yachts are fitting out:- Xanthe, 28 tons, Mr. Channell, Q.C....”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 13 May 1893 - “ROWHEDGE - .... the Xanthe, Mr. Channell, Q.C., started for a cruise on Saturday morning....”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 10 June 1893 - Xanthe was present at the annual regatta of the Royal Harwich Yacht Club. Valkyrie II (Capt. William Wadley Cranfield) beat the Prince of Wales’s Britannia (Capt. John Carter) in the big race.


THE CORNISHMAN - 7 September 1893 - Xanthe is recorded as having called in at Penzance.


THE MORNING POST - 3 September 1894 - “YACHTING - The racing, or rather the drifting, at Dartmouth on Saturday was of about the same kind as on Friday, but fortunately with better management the races were all decided....” Xanthe entered the handicap match for yachts exceeding two tons and not exceeding 20 tons but was not among the prize-winners.


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 8 June 1895 - “THE PRINCE OF WALES AT HARWICH - JUBILEE REGATTA OF THE ROYAL HARWICH YACHT CLUB - The Jubilee Regatta of the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, which was formed in 1843 with the object of encouraging yacht racing, was held on Whit-Monday, and for a day or two previous, as well as on the regatta day proper and on the following day, the fine harbour was the scene of a grand yachting festival, there being a very large gathering of crack racing and other craft.... Glorious weather favoured yacht Sunday this year at Harwich, and in the brilliant sunlight the harbour, filled with craft, from the Heir-Apparent’s beautiful Britannia to the unpretentious little una [type of boat], presented a scene delightful to the nautical eye. The town was filled with visitors, either interested in the regatta or trippers by the G.E.R. Company’s boats, which brought down a considerable number during the day.... The yachts in the harbour on Sunday evening included the following racing craft:- Britannia, Ailsa, Isolde, Carina, Caress, Luna, Audrey, Stephanie [etc]..... Xanthe.... “

Xanthe was not among the prizewinners


IPSWICH JOURNAL - Saturday 6 June 1896 - “HARWICH YACHT CLUB - .... An ocean handicap match was arranged by the London Sailing Club from Burnham to Felixstowe Pier. Snowbird took the first prize, Xanthe (Mr. A.M. Channell, Q.C.) the second....”


THE WEST BRITON AND CORNWALL ADVERTISER - 19 August 1897 - “PORT OF FALMOUTH REGATTA - The success of this popular event on Friday was seriously marred by rain, which kept away many hundreds of visitors from the town. Entries for the various events were unusually numerous, and some of the races were very keenly contested.... Handicap for yachts of five tons and under 30 tons, T.M. First, £10; second, £5; third, £2.10s.- The course was four times round St. Just buoy, a buoy outside St. Anthony’s Lighthouse, and the committee boat, a distance of about 25 miles. The entries were:- Spinaway, cutter, W.H. Lean, Falmouth, 11 rating; Xanthe, cutter, A. Channing (sic), Q.C., London, 28; Grig, cutter, C. Anderson, Plymouth, 20; Mabel, cutter, W.S. Kelly, 13; Fleur-de-Lys, cutter, C.H. Eddie, 26. All started except the Mabel, which did not come to the port. A capital start was effected, the Xanthe leading. Unfortunately the Fleur-de-Lys carried away her bobstay on the second round. The yachts under full sail were a fine sight. Xanthe and Fleur-de-Lys were scratch, allowing Spinaway five minutes, and Grig 20 minutes. As will be seen from the times there was a close contest between the Xanthe and Spinaway.

Xanthe 1st rd. 11h.34m.37s. 2nd rd. 12h.36m.24s. 3rd rd. 1h.43m.0s. 4th rd. 2h.44m.33s.

Spinaway 1st rd. 11h.36m.5s. 2nd rd. 12h.47m.38s. 3rd rd. 1h.52m.28s. 4th rd. 3h.1m.50s.

Grig 1st rd. 11h.45m.30s. 2nd rd. 1h.4m.8s. 3rd rd. 2h.20m.32s. 4th rd. 3h.47m.46s.


THE STANDARD - Tuesday 30 May 1899 - “YACHTING - ROYAL HARWICH YACHT CLUB REGATTA - This regatta was opened yesterday in beautiful weather, and with an excellent jib topsail breeze from the north-east. The course was an excellent one for testing the sailing on all points....” Xanthe entered in the handicap race for yachts exceeding ten but not exceeding 40 tons Thames measurement but placed last.


ROYAL CORNWALL GAZETTE - 24 August 1899 - “FOWEY YACHT CLUB REGATTA - Although the weather was beautifully fine for this regatta at Fowey last week, there was not a good sailing breeze, but a light, fluky air which veered from south to south-east and back to south-west. Whilst this did not allow of fast sailing, and in several instances left the leaders nearly becalmed while boats half-an-hour or more behind caught  the wind and came up hand over hand, the conditions necessitated a most careful look-out being kept for a passing breeze. Those most alert in this direction were successful. At the start of the racing, made at ten o’clock, there was a reach on either leg of the course, but the changes of the breeze altered this afterwards. All the yachts carried every stitch of canvas possible, and coming back from the western mark in the second round spinnakers were boomed out for the run. On account of the lightness of the breeze the principal racers were stopped at the end of the second round. A very pretty sight was witnessed when the big boats were finishing. These, six or eight belonging to other classes, were nearly becalmed a couple of yards from the line. They were all in a bunch, and with full canvas crowded on. During the afternoon the members of the Yacht Club were “At Home” to a large and fashionable attendance. The band and the pipers of the Highland Light Infantry played selections.... Handicap for cruisers above 20 tons, Thames measurement, sailed under Y.R.A. rules, in cruising trim, for the Commodore’s Cup, presented by Mr. E. Atkinson. Course, to a mark three miles south of the harbour, thence three miles westwards, and thence back to the committee-boat off the harbour. Three times round; distance about 27 miles. Entries:- Moonbeam, cutter, 40; Zwerver, cutter, 29; Javelin, ketch, 50; Xanthe, cutter, 28. Handicap:- Javelin and Moonbeam allows Xanthe 18 minutes and Zwerver 25 minutes. The latter did not start. Times:-

1st round - Moonbeam 12h.25m.48s.; Javelin 12h.38m.25s.; Xanthe 1h.8m.17s.

2nd round - (second divided) Moonbeam and Javelin 3h.14m.50s. (winner) Xanthe 3h.14m.42s.”

The Hon. Sir A.M. Channell also presented the prize for the “Xanthe” handicap race for cruisers not exceeding 10 tons Thames measurement as he had done the year before.


THE HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER - 5 May 1900 - “YACHTING - The Thames and East Coast Cruiser Racing Class, which was started with a view to abolishing anomalies in yacht handicapping, has not been the success it at one time promised to be. Leading yacht clubs are giving the movement a very scanty support, and all through the season less than a dozen races will be sailed.” Xanthe included in the list of participating yachts.


ROYAL CORNWALL GAZETTE - 30 August 1900 - “FEOCK AND LOE REGATTA - This popular event took place off Loe beach on Friday, and proved highly successful, especially the sailing classes. There was a moderate breeze from W.N.W., and the weather was everything that could be desired. The Perranwell Rechabite brass band was in attendance.... [Race for] Yachts’ dingheys, not exceeding 14ft.- 1. Kittiwake, C. Thomas; 2. Xanthe, Sir A.M. Channell; 3. Geisha, Long.”


THE WEST BRITON - 21 August 1902 - “ROYAL CORNWALL YACHT CLUB REGATTA - A SUCCESSFUL DAY - On Friday the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club regatta took place at Falmouth in fine weather, though a stronger breeze would have been welcomed. There was a light wind at the commencement, and this, fortunately, kept up throughout the day.... Handicap for bona fide cruising yachts exceeding 20 and not exceeding 60 tons, T.M. First prize, 25 guineas, presented by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales; 2nd, 10 guineas. Entries:- Corona, yawl, 22 tons, J.S. Cockerton, and Xanthe, cutter, 28 tons, Sir Justice Channell. Course - Around the St. Just buoy thence around buoy outside lighthouse, back to the harbour around mark-boat, five times round, passing all marks on the starboard hand. Xanthe allowed Corona 20 minutes. Corona took the lead at the start in a light wind from south east, Xanthe being about a minute behind. They made a broad reach for the first mark. Xanthe overhauled her opponent a little. In the beat to the St. Just  buoy in the second round Corona gained considerably on the Xanthe, and on passing the outer mark was ten minutes ahead of her. In the third round Corona still kept up her lead, winning easily. Owing to the light wind, the yachts were stopped at the end of the third round. Times:- Corona 4h.27m.25s. Xanthe 4h.39m.35s.”


EVENING TELEGRAPH (Angus) -  4 August 1913 - “JUDGE’S HOLIDAYS - ....Mr. Justice Channell is a devotee of yachting, and his cutter Xanthe is well known at Falmouth....”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 1 August 1914 - "ROWHEDGE - DEATH OF CAPT. W. CRANFIELD - The sad news has reached here of the sudden death of Capt. W. Cranfield, skipper of Mr. Justice Channell's yacht Xanthe, lying at Falmouth. It appears that deceased was taken suddenly ill on board the yacht and was conveyed to hospital, where he died soon after his admittance." The Essex County Telegraph states that he had an apoplectic fit.

Coincidentally he died in the same week as Capt. William Wadley Cranfield, skipper of the Valkyries.


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 8 August 1914 - "ROWHEDGE - FUNERAL - The remains of the late Capt. W. Cranfield, whose death we recorded last week, of High Street, Rowhedge, were interred on Monday afternoon at East Donyland."


Presumably William Cranfield senior and junior were both skippers of Mr. Justice Channell's Xanthe. Their fishing smack was named after her.




Port of Colchester

XANTHE of Colchester. 1.1.85 – 30.6.85

Fishing Number; 103CK. Registered Tonnage; 13

Managing Owner: William Cranfield of Rowhedge

Master William Cranfield Sen. of Rowhedge. No Certificate

“Fishing off the Coast of Essex”

All – Born Essex, no Royal Naval Volunteer’s Certificate

William Cranfield born 1815. Same Ship – Continued. Master. Remaining

Alfred Cranfield born 1843. Same Ship – Continued. AB. Discharged 3.85 at Rowhedge

William Cranfield born 1846. AB. Discharged 3.85 at Rowhedge

Robert Simons born 1841. Last served on PAUL of Colchester. Year of Service in last Ship; 1885. Joined this Ship; 3.85 at Rowhedge. AB. Discharged 4.85 at Rowhedge

Robert Simons born 1869. Last served on “None”. Joined this Ship; 3.85 at Rowhedge. Lad. Discharged 4.85 at Rowhedge

Reuben Howlen born 1825. Last served on ALICE of Colchester 1885. Joined this Ship; 4.85 at Rowhedge. AB. Remaining

Received at Colchester 27 July 1885. Signed William X Cranfield his Mark. Witness; H. Holmes.

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