Reply To: Royal Yacht William and Mary 1694.

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Effie Moneypenny

    Hello Laurence,

    Thank you for drawing my attention to the recent sale of this beautiful drawing. I have been aware of this print for some time but had not noticed that one had come up for sale.

    I can confirm that it almost certainly a depiction of the Royal yacht William and Mary of 1694 and cannot be either Isabella nor Fubbs, each of which have several distinctive features which differentiate them from this yacht. Identification based on the number of guns is problematic, particularly if ports are relied on, since many of these were ‘false’ or temporarily blocked up with decorated ‘tampions’. Furthermore I am reliably informed by Frank Fox that the actual issue of guns does not always tally with the establishment during this period. The yacht masting is of an earlier 17th century form which you will be able to see if you carefully follow the run of the masts when comparing this image with the Sutherland image you have referred to.

    There are very few known images of this vessel and this is one of the most complete. Unfortunately it is not known what level of authenticity can be accepted from a Bastion drawing. Others do not exhibit a similar reliable degree of authenticity.

    Regarding the Isabella identification I can refer you to a recent MM paper: Moneypenny, K. and D. P. Bucur, ‘The Royal Yacht Isabella of 1683: Identification and principal dimensions’. Mariner’s Mirror 102:4, (2016), 400-416

    Best wishes

    Effie Moneypenny
    Stuart Yacht Research Group