Cox & King

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Cox & King were a British firm based in London in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They also had offices and later a shipyard in Wivenhoe, Essex.[1]. Among their many activities relating to ships such as yacht brokers, auctioneers, builders, etc., they were especially known for their design of luxury steam and motor yachts.

Cox & King's first naval architect, Joseph Edwin Wilkins, who worked for the firm for some 15 years (he left in 1908), designed many of the firm's best known yachts such as Iolanda, Gunilda, Rosabelle, Venetia, Surf, etc.[2].[3].

Upon his departure, Francis Gordon Pratt, the son of Gustavus Pratt (one of the original owners along with Sidney Depree), took over the design of motor yachts, fast launches and racing motor boats. He raced a number of the latter (especially the Tyreless series) in such places as Monte Carlo as well as in the United States (Harmsworth Cup).

The demand for luxury yachts after World War I was greatly reduced, and the financial crisis of the late 1920s and early 1930s, in addition to various lawsuits, led to the closure of the firm. The last Cox & King entry in Lloyd's was in 1939.

In 1913, Cox & King published a catalogue of their yachts and motor boats.[4]


  1. Collins, J.& Dodds, J. (2009). River Colne Shipbuilders: A Portrait of Shipbuilding, 1786-1988. Wivenhoe, Essex: Jardine Press. 
  2. Hofman, E. (1970). The Steam Yachts: An Era of Elegance. Tuckahoe, N.Y.: John de Graff. 
  3. MacTaggart, R. (2001). The Golden Century: Classic Motor Yachts, 1830-1930. New York, N.Y.: W.W.Norton. 
  4. "The 1913 Cox & King Catalogue". Retrieved 9 October 2009. 

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