|Abstract||The third West Mersea Regatta
The First Advertisement - from Hervey Benham and the Essex Standard
Chelmsford Chronicle 4 September 1840:
On Friday last [28 Aug 1840] the third annual Regatta took place upon the river opposite West Mersea Cottage. The day being fine, the assemblage upon the beach
was very numerous and respectable, thousands having congregated, owing to the attractions held out by the aquatic bill of fare. excellent band of
music much enlivened the scene, which comprised a great proportion of the youth, beauty, and fashion from the neighbourhood, as well as from Maldon,
Kelvedon, and Colchester. The Sailing Matches stood first upon the list, but the calmness of the weather prevented the matches coming off at the
early part of the day but the Stewards present - Sir G.H. Smyth, Bart., M.P.; the Rev. N. Forster, Vicar of Mersea; John Bawtree, Thomas White,
George Bawtree, and F. Smythies, Esqrs. assisted by Mr. S. Tillett and Mr. S. Overall, were indefatigable in their exertions to render the rest of
the aquatic sports attractive as possible.
About one o'clock, Major Anderson and a party of twenty friends, landed from the DESMOND revenue cutter from Walton, and were loudly cheered.
The river, although calm, prevented a pleasing spectacle, a great number of vessels, with colours flying, were floating upon the surface.
These were principally from Maldon, Walton, Brightlingsea, Tollesbury, St. Osyth, and Wivenhoe, and they had a very imposing effect.
Booths and stalls were erected upon the beach, which gave it the appearance of a country fair, and all was gaiety and mirth.
The sports commenced about one o'clock with
The Rowing Matches
FIRST MATCH - The first for three one-oared boats, distance about a mile, near the beach. After an excellent contest the boats arrived at the
winning place as under.-
1st. Abraham Handley, prize 10s. 6d
2nd. William Kith. 7s 6d.
3rd. James Potter, 5s.
SECOND MATCH, for three 2-oared Boats. The match was exceedingly well contested, the two first boats arrived within boat's length of each
lst. Henry Cutt, prize 10s. 6d.
2nd. S. Ennew. 7s. 6d.
3rd. James Mussett, 5s.
THIRD MATCH, for 2-oared Jolly Boats. Prize, Silver Snuff Box. This match afforded much sport, and was exceedingly well contested.
lst boat, manned by Mr H.J. May and Mr. R. Croydon.
2nd ditto. R Forster and E. P. Bawtree, Esqrs.
EXTRA PRIZES by the Committee - for four-oared galleys, belonging to the revenue service. This was
considered the best match of the day, as the boats were extremely well manned, and all the crews alike determined to carry off the first prize
of one guinea. The distance the same as in the other matches.
After a severe struggle the boats came in in the following order, first wining by not quite a length:-
1st THE RICHMOND, prize one guinea
2nd THE BRIGHTLINGSEA, 15s.
3rd THE DESMOND, 10s.
4th THE BRADWELL, 7s. 6d.
5th THE FLYING FISH, 5s
THE DUCK HUNT came after the above match, and caused much amusement. The punt was managed by Thomas Mussett, whose dexterity eluding the
pursuit of a four-oared galley for twenty minutes, created the greatest merriment, and on being declared the winner, he was loudly cheered.
He received one guinea as the prize.
These sports terminated a little after three o'clock, when a sufficient breeze was announced for the commencement of
The Sailing Matches
which took place; but the dinner hour arrived, the matches failed in the interest they would have excited if they had taken place
at the early part of the day. The Stewards with their families and friends, with about 130 ladies and gentlemen, repaired to the Colchester
Licensed Victuallers' booth, erected on the beach, which was a sumptuous cold collation, prepared by Mr. Croyden, of the White Hart Inn.
Sir G.H. Smyth, Bart. M.P. presided, supported his lady and daughter (Mrs White), Mrs. Sheppard, Major Anderson and friends,
Captains Barrett, Morgan and Newton of the Preventive Service; the Rev. W. Morgan, T. White Esq. John Bawtree, Esq. and family,
George Bawtree, Esq. P. Havens, Esq. Samuel Brown. Esq. R.W. Forster, Esq. F. Smythies, Esq. &c. &c. The Rev. N. Forster officiated as
Vice-President. Many loyal and appropriate toasts were drunk, and before party separated the result the
Sailing Matches was announced by Mr. Tillett as follows:-
Four vessels, cutter-rigged, under 14 tons burthen, started as the
And came in follows:
|1st||THE ALERT, of Maldon, Richard Solley, prize, ||£6. 6s. 0d.|
|2nd||THE GEORGE & ANN Ann, of Tollesbury, - London ||£2. 12s. 6d.|
|3rd||THE MORNING STAR, of Mersea, H.J. May||£1. 11s 6d|
|4th||THE ROVER, Mersea, J. Bullock|
|1st||THE VICTORY, Tollesbury, David Rice||£3. 3s. Od.|
|2nd||THE DART, of St. Osyth, J. Bilbrow||£1. 11s 6d.|
|3rd||THE SARAH of Wivenhoe, Wm. Barr||£0. 10s 6d.|
|4th||THE EDWARD, of Donyland, Wm. Southgate...|
The dinner party having broken up, a quadrille band was attendance and dancing commenced, which was kept up till a late hour upon the beach.
- This closed the amusements of the day, and the company separated, with pleasing reflection upon their visit to Mersea Regatta. We cannot
conclude without stating, that the accommodation afforded by Mr. Croydon, reflected great credit, the dinner and wines were very good, and the
attendance highly satisfactory.
From Chelmsford Chronicle 4 September 1840 with thanks to British Newspaper Archive
West Mersea Regatta Programme 1919