Aries was built for Sir James Ramsden - who designed her himself - by the Barrow Shipbuilding Company at Barrow-in-Furness in 1880. A magnificent iron schooner, she was registered at 186½ tons gross (107¼ net) and measured 145 feet in length with a 20 foot beam. Completed early in 1881, Sir James was delighted with her but, within ten years, had tired of her and she was put up for sale. Subsequently passing into the ownership of the 10th Duke of Leeds, one of the most distinguished yachtsmen of his day and later Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron, Aries became a familiar sight at Cowes throughout the 1890s and the golden summers of the Edwardian era. Still flying the Leeds' colours when War was declared in August 1914, Aries was immediately offered to the Admiralty and, armed with 2-3pounders, was accepted into service as an Auxiliary Patrol Yacht on 12th September. The fifty-three year old Duke skippered her himself for almost a year but shortly after he was transferred to another command, Aries was sunk by a mine on 31st October 1915 whilst patrolling near the South Goodwin Lightship with the loss of five officers and seventeen men.