Maritime History of the Great Lakes
'Ripple' Ripples: Schooner Days MCXVI (1196)
Toronto Telegram (Toronto, ON), 4 Dec 1954
Full Text
'Ripple' Ripples
Schooner Days MCXVI (1196)

by C. H. J. Snider

NOT yet are we through with the good ship Ripple, although the schooner yacht of that name, predecessor of the more famous Oriole, finished her long drawn out Manitoulin cruise of 1868 in this column only the other Saturday.

That Ripple was a forty-foot schooner, first owned by the dashing young Blakes, whom even the old timers now remember only as the Hon. Edward Blake, Q.C., Premier of Ontario, 1871, and the Hon. Samuel Hume Blake, Q.C., Vice-Chancellor of Ontario, 1872-1881. Both sailed as boys in the Rivet in 1860, in the famous race which produced the Prince of Wales Cup. The Hon. Sam told Schooner Days forty years afterwards: "It was a damp cold wet race, young man, and be sure you spell the first adjective with a 'P' at the end and not an 'N'".

The Ripple herself won the Prince of Wales Cup for the Blake boys six years after the Rivet's triumph. She was later the property of Wm. Cooper Campbell, one of the first owners (along with the late Sir William Mulock) of the original schooner Oriole. The Ripple was broken up in 1870 after a very short life, but her name has reappeared in the RCYC fleet from time to time.

RCYC records attribute the Prince of Wales Cup twice to the Blakes' Ripple, both in 1866 and 1867.

The record for the last year is in dispute, for the Thomas Jaffray Robertson family, long resident in Newmarket, possess a silver medal, inscribed on one side "Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Prince of Wales Champion Cup" and on the ether: "Won by yacht DART, T. J. Robertson, Esqre., owner, Sept., 1867." This Thomas Jaffray Robertson was the son of the founder and first commodore of the club.

It is too late now, probably, to attempt to disentangle the record, but the Prince of Wales Cup, the club's most ancient trophy, can only be won by one yacht at a time, and it is only sailed for once a year. Revised time-allowance, or a disqualification after the finish, may explain. The discrepancy is mentioned in the second volume of the Annals of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, now on the press, and any further light will be welcomed. These "Annals," by the way, both Vol. I and Vol. II., are "musts" for every sailor's Christmas ditty-bag.

LOOKING into the first minute book of the present RCYC only this week, Schooner Days noticed this evidence of the acumen of the future Hon. Edward Blake, Queen's Counsel when he was 20. He was born Oct. 13, 1833.

"Received from Mr. Ettrick (club secretary-treasurer) the sum of eleven pounds being the amount of the second class prize in the Toronto Regatta on October 15th, 1853."


Young Edward Blake's yacht then was Storm Queen—shorter than the present popular dragons, being 25 feet long and 8 feet beam, and "measuring just under 6 tons, old style. She was distinguished by a blue burgee with a white maltese cross, her racing flag. Her measurement put her at the bottom of the first class, which was composed of yachts over 5 tons, the top limit for the second class. It was allowable to enter for both Classes, by paying two entrance fees of 5 shillings each. The winner took both the cash prize and the entrance fees of the class.

Young Blake entered Storm Queen for both classes.

He was beaten b
larger yacht, in t
but won in the second
gave him, on his in
10 shillings, or $2,
currency prize money
from the entrance fees.
All that Mr. Hayes got, although he beat him in the first class, was the entrance fees of that class, totaling £11 or $44 was a lot of money in those days, It still is - until you get it.

Snider, C. H. J.
Media Type
Item Type
The final part of the column was ripped.
Date of Publication
4 Dec 1954
Language of Item
Richard Palmer
Creative Commons licence
by [more details]
Copyright Statement
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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'Ripple' Ripples: Schooner Days MCXVI (1196)