The Nahlin at Argostoli in 2016
The Nahlin at Argostoli in 2016

A recent holiday to Cephalonia revealed the impressive, classic yacht Nahlin, at anchor in the bright sunshine off the port of Argostoli.

I had a recollection that the ship had been connected with the abdication of King Edward VIII in the 1930s, and, also perhaps the decline of the British monarchy. Research showed, that, this was in fact the case.

Lady Yule

Lady Annie Henrietta Yule, a wealthy British heiress, ordered Nahlin in 1929. The name Nahlin when translated from the native North American language means “fleet of foot.” The vessel carries a figurehead below her bowsprit representing a native North American in full-feathered head-dress.

Lady Annie Henrietta Yule was born in Calcutta, India in 1874, her parents being businessman Andrew Yule and his wife Emma Porter. She had one younger brother.

Andrew Yule arrived in Calcutta from Scotland in 1863 and by 1875 was well established with considerable business interests in jute, tea, cotton, coal and insurance.

The Yule Group is still in existence, and primarily owned by the Indian Government, with its headquarters being in Kolkata (Calcutta) India. The operations cover, tea, electronics, engineering, lubricants, printing and digital communications. The firm employs about 16,500 personnel worldwide.

Lady Yule married her cousin, David Yule, and following her return to England lived in Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire, although her husband spent most of his time in India with his business interests.

At her home in Hertfordshire, Lady Yule kept a menagerie of animals including a seal, penguins and wallabies. She progressed into the breeding of Arabian horses, and her stables, Hanstead Stud, became internationally renowned in their own right. She also founded one of the first dedicated veterinary hospitals and several animal sanctuaries in the UK and abroad.

Her husband died in 1928 and she inherited a substantial sum of money. Reports vary between £9 million and £15 million, both enormous sums in those days, and she was known as one of the richest women in the United Kingdom.

In 1934 Lady Yule, formed the British National film Company along with J. Arthur Rank and John Cornfield. They also owned the Pinewood Film Studios and were seen as pioneers of the British Film Industry.

Lady Yule died on the 25th July 1950, by which time her fortune had diminished to ‘a mere’ $1.6 million.

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