Although rated by Lloyd's Register as a twin-screw schooner, the Banshee's two elongated funnels, four enormous engineroom ventilator cowls and, most of all, her ram bow were more reminiscent of a late nineteenth century colonial gunboat than a steam yacht intended for pleasure cruising. Designed for Colonel Harry MacCalmont, a wealthy American, by Cox & King and built at Leith by Ramage & Ferguson, she was registered at 993 tons gross (310 net) and ready for sea early in 1901. Constructed of steel and measuring 229 feet in length with a 29 foot beam, she was powered by two of her builder's own 6-cylinder triple expansion engines fired from a pair of Scotch boilers and carried Madder sails on her two masts. For reasons unknown, possibly her owner's death, Banshee was offered for sale in 1905 and bought by the Portuguese Government for use as a royal yacht. Renamed Amelia (III), her new career was relatively short-lived when King Carlos of Portugal was assassinated on 1st February 1908 and his successor Manoel II was forced to abdicate following a republican uprising on 5th October 1910. Amelia's last act as a yacht was to take King Manoel and the royal family to Gibraltar from whence they began their excile in England. Returning to Lisbon, Amelia was promptly renamed Cinco du Octoubro and thereafter served in the Portuguese Navy as a dispatch vessel. Modified into a gunboat in 1936 and fitted with 2-47mm guns, she ceased to be listed in Jane's Fighting Ships after 1937 and her eventual fate is unknown.
Coincidentally, an earlier yacht owned by Colonel MacCalmont - the Giralda of 1894 - later became the Spanish royal yacht. For details of another of his yachts, see lot XXX in this catalogue.