National Archive Kew Material Related to the Club

A great deal of historical data is held by the National Archive at Kew relating to the application to use the title ‘Royal’ between 1925 and 1938.

The material extracted here,  is organised in the following folders and files:

Original files

Kew’s documents were downloaded as 335 individual single pages and are in the folder ‘Original files’.  The filenames are Kew’s but for our purposes, they can be referred to by the last 3 digits.
The yellow lever arch binder contains hard copies of each original document with the Archive File Database index and this document.

Assembled Material

This folder contains 93 PDF documents. Each is formed of one or more pages from the original files into a single document.  The document name is descriptive of the contents and the date and contains  3 digit numbers indicating the original files material it is based on.  Where there are two three digit references, those references gave the first and last in the page sequence.

Archive File Database

This Excel spreadsheet lists each of the documents in the Assembled Material folder and the page ranges in the Original Files folder. In the yellow lever arch binder containing the hard copies, this document is shown in two forms: one sorted by the Assembled Material document name and one sorted by the 3 digit Original File reference number.

The file document ‘Archive Original Notes with links’ is a narrative summary of the Kew material.  It was sent to the Club in about 2010 by a researcher with an interest in the history of yacht clubs.  It has been edited to include hyperlinks to the original material paper accessible within the text.

Apart from the correspondence and file notes, the Kew material also contains some other areas of interest, summarised below.

Members list 1938

Commodore: Hon Mrs Cecil Brownlow

Vice Commodore: Colonel HC Guest MP

Rear Commodore: Major W H Hall

Executive Committee: 10 members.  2 women, 7 Senior military

Sailing Committee: 11 members. 2 non-military including Potter.

House Committee: 4 members, all military.


Note:- The membership list contains these titles: Admiral (7); Viscountess; Colonel (7); Lady (4); Viscount; Captain (12); Knight (2); General (2); Commodore; Air Commodore; Commander; Countess.
Members included T. O. M. Sopwith, founder of Sopwith Aviation which became Hawker Siddeley and challenged twice for the America’s Cup.

The book lists his yachts as M.Y. Philante 1629 tons, Endeavour II, 228 tons, Blue Marlin 34 tons.
Of the 410 full members, 159 had local addresses.

Race Program 1938

This document shows the racing events for the Regattas on July 22 and August 12,13,15 and 16.
All the races had entry fees and prize money.  Entry fees (paid only by non-members) range from £2 for the 12 Metre to 5/- for the smaller classes. Prize money ranges from £20 for a first in the 12 Metre to £2 for the smaller classes. Second prizes are about half that of the first prize.
To see those amounts in present day values, multiply by 70.  The first prize of the 12 Metre class would be about £1.500 and £140 for the smaller classes.
Racing Fixtures 1938
Races were run on Saturday mornings from mid-May to mid-September.  The program gives the name of the Race Officer, which includes the Commodore.


Accounts 31 December 1937

Present value
Bar takings

People who played a role in the Royal title application
Major Cyril H. Potter, O.B.E
Born 16 November 1877, Eton, Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1895-99, 10th Hussars 1899-1905, South African War medal (four clasps), Capt. King’s Royal Rifles 1909-12, 10th Hussars ADC to Maj-General, Assistant Military Secretary to Cavalry Corps, Mentioned in Dispatches three times, Croix de Chevalier 5th class, Legion d’Honneur.  Contested 3 Parliamentary Elections 1906, 1910.  HM Corps of Gentlemen 1919.  Recreations; yachting, shooting, cricket.  Clubs: Orleans, Turf, Bucks, MCC, RYS, Solent, Royal Victoria, Lymington. 

Owned Blakes, Lymington, now Ferry House in Undershore Road. In the 1938 List of Members, his address is Playford Hall, Ipswich, a Grade 2 listed building dating back to 1590. Playford Hall was the home to other ‘colourful‘ characters:  Jonathan Aitken (now Rev) for one. Potter also cites an address at 38 Throgmorton Street which is now a shop.
Honourable Mrs Cecil (Angela) Brownlow
Not easy to track her down on the internet but the name appears connected to the Marquess if Exeter.
Sir William Joynson-Hicks, 1st Viscount Brentford, 
PC, PC (NI), DL (23 June 1865 – 8 June 1932), known as Sir William Joynson-Hicks, Bt, from 1919 to 1929 and popularly known as Jix, was an English solicitor and Conservative Party politician.  Home Secretary 1924-1929.  Known for a ‘reactionary’ attitude to public morality, penal reform and widening the franchise to younger women.
British Conservative politician and barrister who attained high office in the early 20th century, in particular as Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain. He was a skilled orator, noted for his staunch opposition to Irish nationalism, his wit, pugnacious views, and hard living and drinking. He is perhaps best remembered today as Winston Churchill’s greatest personal and political friend until Birkenhead’s death aged 58 from pneumonia caused by cirrhosis of the liver.
Frederick Edward Grey Ponsonby, 1st Baron Sysonby
British soldier and courtier.  The Ponsonby family has played a leading role in British life for two centuries. His father was Sir Henry Ponsonby who was Private Secretary to Queen Victoria. His grandfather, Frederick was badly wounded at the Battle of Waterloo,. Lady Caroline Ponsonby, better under her married name of Lady Caroline Lamb, was the wife of the future Prime Minister Lord Melbourne and lover of the poet Lord Byron.
John Edward Bernard Seely, Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire 1st Baron Mottistone
British Army general and politician. Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) from 1900 to 1904 and a Liberal MP from 1904 to 1922 and from 1923 to 1924. He was Secretary of State for War for the two years prior to the First World War, before being forced to resign as a result of the Curragh Incident. As General Jack Seely, he led one of the last great cavalry charges in history at the Battle of Moreuil Wood on his war horse Warrior in March 1918. Seely was a great friend of Winston Churchill and the only former cabinet minister to go to the front in 1914 and still be there four years later.
Lord Albemarle (8th Earl Albermarle)
Served in the Conservative administrations of Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin as a Lord-in-waiting (government whip in the House of Lords) between 1922 and 1924.
Lieutenant-Colonel Christian Henry Charles Guest
Liberal Party politician and soldier.  Related to Churchill.
John Lawrence Baird of Urie, 1st Viscount Stonehaven, 1st Baron Stonehaven, 2nd Baronet, 3rd of Ury
British politician who served as the eighth Governor-General of Australia, in office from 1925 to 1930. He had previously been a government minister under David Lloyd George, Bonar Law, and Stanley Baldwin.
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John Gilmour, 2nd Baronet
Junior Lord of the Treasury in 1921–1922, Scottish Unionist Whip from 1919 to 1922 and in 1924.
Appointed as Secretary for Scotland in 1924, and became the first Secretary of State for Scotland when the post was upgraded in 1926. A member of the Orange Order joining the Pollokshaws Lodge, LOL172, in June 1910. 
Major Alexander Henry Louis Hardinge, 2nd Baron Hardinge of Penshurst
Private secretary to King Edward VIII during the abdication crisis.
Admiral Sir Lionel Halsey
Distinguished naval career, ADC to the King in 1914 then on the Prince of Wales’ (later Edward VIII) staff.  Resigned on principle during the abdication crisis.
Major Sir Philip Hunloke
Said here to be chairman of the YRA, which is presumably an ancestor body of the RYA.  He was a Groom in Waiting to George V, Edward VIII and George VI, Commodore of the Royal Thames Yacht Club and won a Bronze sailing an 8 metre in the 1908 Olympic Games.  Related to King William IV.