Lord Yarborough was the first Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes and although the date of his appointment is variously quoted as 1822 or 1825, his influence on the growth and development of the R.Y.S. as England's premier yacht club cannot be overestimated. Born in 1780, he was one of the squadron's founding fathers and built his most famous yacht, the full-rigged 351-ton Falcon, in 1824. The pride of the squadron's fleet for twelve years until he replaced her with the smaller cutter Kestrel, Yarborough remained Commodore until his untimely death in 1845.
Commander Charles Edmund Tennant entered the Royal Navy in August 1824, passed his examination (as Lieutenant) in 1830 and obtained his first commission in April 1832. After serving in various ships in the East Indies and afterwards off South America, he joined the 74-gun Cornwallis as Flag-Lieutenant to Vice-Admiral Sir William Parker whom he accompanied to China where the so-called 'Opium War' was still in progress. During the campaign, Tennant distinguished himself on several occasions and was also mentioned in the despatches of General Sir Hugh Gough 'for his spirited behaviour' in an attack on an enemy entrenched camp. In recognition of his services in China, he was promoted Commander in September 1842 but did not serve at sea again.