ID: REG_1840_001

TitleWest Mersea Regatta 28 August 1840
AbstractOn 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 other
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
3rd THE DESMOND, 10s.
4th THE BRADWELL, 7s. 6d.

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:

1stTHE ALERT, of Maldon, Richard Solley, prize, £6. 6s. 0d.
2ndTHE GEORGE & ANN Ann, of Tollesbury, - London   £2. 12s. 6d.
3rdTHE MORNING STAR, of Mersea, H.J. May£1. 11s 6d
4thTHE ROVER, Mersea, J. Bullock


1stTHE VICTORY, Tollesbury, David Rice£3. 3s. Od.
2ndTHE DART, of St. Osyth, J. Bilbrow£1. 11s 6d.
3rdTHE SARAH of Wivenhoe, Wm. Barr£0. 10s 6d.
4thTHE 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

Published4 September 1840
SourceMersea Museum