Yachts of the Cumberland Society racing on the Thames, circa 1815
Yacht racing began in an organized fashion on the Thames in the mid-18th century. The Duke of Cumberland founded the Cumberland Fleet for Thames racing in 1775. This was the ancestor of the Royal Thames Yacht Club and used a version of the white ensign without the large cross of St George. This painting is therefore an early depiction of this activity for the leisured. The Thames has been portrayed in a rural context with a country estate in the distance to the left.
- Image reference: BHC1196
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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