ID: WW01_521 / Winifred Hone

TitleCaptain Edward Sycamore - Winifred Hone memoirs
AbstractEssex has bred many famous ship's masters since the 15th century, most of them notorious for annexation and exploitation which apparently was necessary in order to build up the might of England. The ship master who used to visit us at Mersea that I know was Captain Edward Sycamore of Brightlingsea. He went to sea for the pleasure he got and also gave to his owners. He was master of Sir Thomas Lipton's SHAMROCK II. Sir Thomas Lipton possessed a great streak of sentimentality and when SHAMROCK II was broken up he had a ring made for every member of the crew from the phosphor bronze keelbolt. Bob South, a local land mark, wears one I know, left to him by his father Robert South who was one of the crew to receive one, being mastheadman aboard SHAMROCK II. Among the famous yachts he captained were CORSAIR, VENDETTA, KARINA and ISABELL ALEXANDRA.

Captain Sycamore started his life yachting at the bottom and by his iron nerve, great skill and perseverance he had raised himself to become the recognised first yacht skipper in the world. Owners queued up for his service, among them Lord Dunraven, Sir Thomas Lipton owner of SHAMROCK 1,2,3,4., the Duke d'Abruzzi and Admiral Montague. Captain Sycamore had the sea in his blood and without present day amenities and navigational aids it didn't make any difference whether it was a question of running before the wind or going into the wind, tacking or sailing against the wind, he knew how to get the best out of his sails. With his experience and tremendous knowledge he had the satisfaction of winning many famous trophies. This he did because of the tremendous pleasure he got and gave to his owners. He always wore his cap at the right angle and in his tie a sapphire and diamond pin presented to him at Kiel by his Majesty Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. Several English racing yachts were at Kiel for the Regatta when war broke out, but some mysterious hand helped them get back to England. The Kaiser was a very famous yachtsman himself and owned the steel schooner METEOR and Captain Sycamore always thought he was the unknown influence.

AuthorWinifred Hone
SourceMersea Museum / Wendy Brady
Related Images:
 Captain Edward Sycamore  JLMQJL35
ImageID:   JLMQJL35
Title: Captain Edward Sycamore
Source:John Leather Collection