Victoria’s First Yacht

In 1860, Charles Edward Barrett-Lennard (1835-1874) circumnavigated Vancouver Island. In addition to being a Crimean War veteran, Barrett-Lennard was a keen freemason and named his cutter yacht Templar. He had the yacht transported from England aboard the ship Athelstan. His personal yacht burgee was a Scotch Knights Templar cross on a white background.

Circumnavigation of Vancouver Island

His circumnavigation of Vancouver Island was completed in the company of Captain N. Fitz Stubbs, who had also come out from England aboard Athelstan. Barrett-Lennard was in Victoria between February and August 1860, again in December through spring 1861, and again in July 1861. In 1861 he sold before returning to England after selling Templar to Robert Burnaby before returning to England. In his Travels in British Columbia, Including a Yacht Voyage Round Vancouver Island, published in 1862, he mention’s Templar’s visit to Nootka Sound where he found the Indians had preserved a tradition of the visit of white men in a King George ship many years before, and that a Chief, upon being injured while getting on board the ship, had his wound dressed by the ship’s surgeon. This occurred on board Meares’ vessel Felice, in Friendly Cove in the summer of 1788 though Barrett-Lennard confused the incident with Cook’s voyage.

Templar Channel

Templar Channel, named after the yacht Templar is in the Clayoquot Sound region of Vancouver Island’s west coast, lying between Lennard Island and Wickaninnish Island just northwest of the town of Tofino. The name was adopted 3 April 1934, as labelled on British Admiralty Chart 584.