Lord Hatherton and the Royal Yacht

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Hatherton Journal, 12th May, 1855, Portsmouth


We visited the new Royal Yacht. While workmen have been urged night and day to expedite vessels for the Baltic and the Black Seas and letters are coming down to the admirals here telling them the French are getting before us in screw vessels of war, Her Gracious Majesty is building a yacht which is to cost as much as a first rate Line of Battle ship and on which 300 men are now employed, that it may be ready for Her Majesty in June.


I felt indignant at the sight and find mine is the general sentiment of all who see it. Yet nothing is said about it. The old yacht, itself new, was one day passed by a line of battleships. Sir James Graham, the First Lord, being on board Her Majesty’s yacht, said that it must not be and accordingly a new yacht is ordered to be laid down which can go 16 knots, which is 7 more than the old one accomplished. And this considered an object even in the stress of our present conflict with Russia.


September 21st, 1855

[Lord Hatherton is visiting his son, at Aldershot with the Staffordshire Militia. He sees about 10,000 soldiers present and vast expenditure on a wooden palace for the Queen and stabling for 40 of her horses]


"Verily, what Brougham said to me in an allusion to the shameful expenditure of money and labour on the new royal yacht has truth in it,

'These things are allowed to be done because the wives and daughters of Radical members are invited to balls at Buckingham Palace and their husbands are thus silenced'".

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