The steam yacht Cysne II

The Government Chief Chemist’s yacht.

John Collins (Nottage Maritime Institute)

The Cysne II was a 71 gross ton  steel steam yacht with a schooner rig.  87tons Thames Measurement. 108.9’oa, 87.9’x15.05’x8.6′. Engine room 21.8′.  A. G. Mumford & Co. Ltd of Colchester supplied her with a compound  engine with cylinders measuring 11″ and 22″bore and 16″stroke which delivered 140 indicated horse power. One boiler made by Davey Paxman also of Colchester.  She was completed in May 1906 by Forrestt & Co. Ltd as yard number 538 for Thomas Edward Thorpe who was the principle chemist of the Government Laboratory in London, and registered at Colchester. (ON 117949).   She does not seem to have been requisitioned for the Royal Navy during the first World War.  In Decamber 1918 she was sold to Charles Henry Robert Baldwin of Gothenburg, but still registered at Colchester, but in August 1919 she was sold to a Swedish owner and renamed Aradne.  Sold in again in 1922 to a Southampton owner and given back her old name of Cysne II.

In February 1940 she was requisitioned for the Royal Navy as a harbour defence patrol craft.  In November 1940 she became an accommodation ship, and was returned to her owner in 1943.

This page was added on 31/03/2015.

Comments about this page

  • Thanks for sharing! Very interesttng to discover Nathaniel Potter’s gravestone, one of Karin’s early ancestors. Our ancestors included Longest Brothers Shipbuilders of Beaufort, NC., shrimp fishermen, and navy seamen. One of the Longest Bros., James, was lost at sea in a storm. His brother, Bryant, my great, great- grandfather died in yellow fever epidemic and I found his grave along with infant son under the large tree in a Beaufort Cemetery, St. Paul’s, I believe. His wife Anna Hatradge Potter (Hattie) was on the church’s Widows Role and rec’d some church assistance after being left penniless. Her two daughters (one of which was my great grandmother Agnes Dudley Longest Anderson who raised my mother Gertrude and her sister Edith in Philadelphia) were each to inherit a home on Front St. (one being on a corner), in the town of Beaufort, NC but unfortunately so-called friend Lawyer Bell absconded with the inheritance after advising the widow he was going (to NY I believe) to invest it. She was made to go into the courthouse and pour out the contents of her trunk and was left only a widow’s dower. Hattie’s sister or cousin, Sarah, was married to Gov. Dudley, which resulted in my great-grandmother Agnes being born in the Governor’s mansion in Wilmington, NC., which has since burned down. During the Civil War her father was ordered to become a Confederate blockade runner on Cape fear River. They eventually had to surrender by tying a white sheet on the boat. Their furniture which had been put in storage in a warehouse, was soon to be found demolished by the Union soldiers. The family had owned slaves and upon their release some of the small boys had died as they were unable to look after themselves. One time my great grandmother was outdoors playing with her chickens when a soldier came along and stole one. Although a small child, she went into the army camp and looked up the commanding officer and told him one of his men stole her chicken. The officer asked if she could point him out. When she assured him she could, he ordered the company to line up and she pointed him out. The soldier was made an example of and ordered to pay the little girl $100.00.Of particular interest to me was the architectural interior of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Beaufort which appeared to be designed as a ship; the ceiling looking like the hull of a ship with fine rounded railings as would be found in a ship, led me to wonder if the Longest Bros. were involved in the building of the church since it is across the street from the Longest House and the family were members according to church records. Although I have not researched a family connection, I found it iineresttng to read in the historical records that a young lady named Sallie Potter pinned notes to her petticoats, delivering messages to the Union Officers at the town water pump. Beaufort was captured and occupied by the Union, a town which seemingly had northern sentiments. My great grandmother Agnes, a young girl at that time, married a Union soldier, Joseph Hemphil Anderson, a cook, and moved with him to Philadelphia, following which she had a very difficult life as she wrote in a letter. She also wrote that her mother had died of breast cancer. Phyllis Godshall

    By Bicycle (18/02/2016)

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