The Royal London Yacht Club, although not having such an interesting history as the older metropolitan organization, the Royal Thames, came into existence very similarly —that is, it sprang from a club which was devoted to small-boat sailing, and many of its earlier matches were sailed above bridges. The organization out of which the club was formed was known as the Arundel Yacht Club, and was one of the many kindred societies which have flourished at different periods on the banks of the Thames. When the sizes of yachts increased, and it was no longer possible to indulge in racing in the neighbourhood of Battersea, a move was made to Erith.
The title was altered to the London Yacht Club in October, 1845. In the following year it obtained permission to use the arms of the City of London in its burgee, and an Admiralty warrant was granted to the club on October 17, 1849. Shortly prior to that date, the Queen Dowager Adelaide had consented to become patroness of the club—the last yacht club destined to receive that honour from Her Majesty.The club for many years had quarters in Savile Row, but has quite recently moved into the premises of the Blenheim Club, whose house it now shares. It opened a branch at Cowes, so that it holds regattas both on the Thames and in the Solent. For many seasons the Royal London has been in the habit of opening the Cowes Week with a series of races for all the most important yachts, and this has often proved the fullest day’s racing of the whole week. With a number of members of the Cowes section resident in the Isle of Wight, it takes its full share of the local racing of the Solent.
The burgee of the Royal London is familiar in all European ports, and, as far back as 1852, the Vice-Commodore, Mr. Bartlett, carried off a prize presented by the Imperial Yacht Club of St. Petersburg at the Cronstad Regatta.The club has always been keenly alive to the interests of the sport, in all its branches; and in each of the last two years has offered prizes for a race from Cowes to the Clyde, in the endeavour to attract the big yachts to the Northern regattas.The course for its regatta on the Thames is the same as that set by the other clubs ; and, in agreement with the Royal Thames, the Lower Hope, Mouse and Gravesend course has been reverted to this year, after a few seasons’ trial of that off Southend. H.R.H. the Prince of Wales is patron of the club.