Henry Warington Smyth Baden-Powell

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About Henry Warington Smyth Baden-Powell


Henry Warington Smyth Baden-Powell KC (3 February 1847 – 24 April 1921), known as Warington within the family, was Robert Baden-Powell's oldest brother. He was also the brother of Agnes Baden-Powell, George Baden-Powell, and Baden Baden-Powell, the son of Baden Powell, the uncle of Peter Baden-Powell, 2nd Baron Baden-Powell and Betty Clay, and the great-uncle of Robert Baden-Powell, 3rd Baron Baden-Powell and Michael Baden-Powell.

He was educated at St Paul's College where he graduated in 1857. Early in his career he qualified as a Master Mariner and was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve. Interest in small boats led him to a fascination with canoes. In 1871, at the age of 24, he paddled and sailed a canoe on a cruise around the Baltic Sea that included stops in Germany, Denmark and Sweden as described in his book, Canoe Travelling, published in 1871. He was called to the Bar in Trinity term 1876 being admitted as a Barrister of the Inner Temple and later was admitted to the Admiralty Bar and became a member of several important organizations focused on the sea. He was appointed a King's Counsel (K.C.) 24 December 1897. In 1913 he married Cicely Farmer, the author.

He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society (F.R.G.S.). He also held membership in The Shipwrights' Company, the Associate of the Institute of Naval Architects Council, the Yacht Racing Association and the Athenaeum Club.

Sea Scouts

Robert Baden-Powell asked his brother Warington to head up the first specialized branch of The Boy Scouts Association. Warington wrote Sea Scouting and Seamanship for Boys in 1910. The Boy Scouts Association officially organized its Sea Scouts in England in 1912.

Canoe sailing

Warington Baden-Powell was an early member and promoter of the Royal Canoe Club which he had joined in 1874. He developed the canoe as a specialised sailing vessel, and by the latter 1870s sailing canoes were taking part in organised racing, and providing keen amateur sport at reasonable cost at a time when yachting was an activity for the wealthy.

The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition mentions him in the 'Canoe' entry:

W. Baden Powell modified the type of the "Rob Roy" in the "Nautilus", intended only for sailing. From this time the two kinds of pleasure canoe—paddling and sailing—parted company, and developed each on its own lines; the sailing canoe soon (1882) had a deck seat and tiller, a smaller and smaller cockpit, and a larger and larger sail area, with the consequent necessary air and water-tight bulkheads in the hull.

— Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, vol 5

His 1871 book about canoeing is also referenced at the end of the entry.

Published works

Canoe Travelling: Log of a Cruise on the Baltic, and Practical Hints on Building and Fitting Canoes (London: Smith, Elder, 1871)

Sea Scouting and Seamanship for Boys (Glasgow: Brown, Son & Ferguson, 1910)

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Henry Warington Smyth Baden-Powell's Timeline

February 3, 1847
April 24, 1921
Age 74