Stephanotis: The Story of an Edwardian Steam Yacht and Her Owners


You can view these resources on a smartphone if you wish but you need a tablet, laptop or workstation to do justice to much of the content.

This is the first comprehensive history of the beautiful 1903 steam yacht Stephanotis and her owners. In her latter years she was a training ship based at the King Edward VII Nautical College in Stepney (King Ted's) under her later name Wendorian.

There is information here about the vessel herself, but most of my effort has been spent in discovering her various owners and researching their lives. I was particularly interested in why her owners had purchased her, what use they made of her, and where they got the money to purchase such an expensive toy. It has taken several years to track them all down and in the course of my research I have explored the lives of grocers and brewers, sugar refiners and cotton manufacturers, a revolting foreign Duke who spent most of his life killing animals, a P.G. Wodehouse 'drone' whose saving grace was to serve his country in WW1, an organiser of Commonwealth Games, a surgeon who lost his life in WW2 and a collector of cars whose sister was a rodeo performer. It has been quite astonishing!

You are welcome to use the menu to find your way around, but I suggest you simply follow the links at the foot of each page to work your way through the story. From the menu you can provide feedback, view the visitors book, use search facilities and access other research resources I have created.

I hope you will find the story of Stephanotis interesting.

Brian Watson
14 November 2020

What's New?

  • 14 November 2020: Additional information about the accommodation during the vessel's time at King Edward VII Nautical College