|Snippets from The Times newspaper|
|Th 21 August 1873||Three vessels have recently been added to the Royal Navy, and there are at present 25 others in course of construction at the various Government yards and by private firms. The vessels just completed are the Fantome, composite screw sloop of 4 guns, 891 (727) tons, and 720 (120) horse-power engines, which has been constructed at Pembroke; two 14 gun screw corvettes, of 1,890 (1,405) tons and 2,149 (350) horse-power engines each, named the Amethyst and Modeste, both of which have been completed at Devonport. Six new vessels have just been ordered to be commenced, and the necessary preparations for their construction have in some cases been commenced. The new vessels are to include a 14 gun screw-corvette, of 1,405 tons old measurement and 350 nominal horse-power engines, to be named the Diamond, and ordered to be built at Sheerness; a 14 gun iron screw corvette, cased with wood, with a covered battery, of 3,903 tons and 5,230 indicated horse-power engines, to be constructed on No. 5 Slip at Chatham, and to be named the Euryalus; a 14 gun screw corvette, of 1,405 tons and 350 nominal horse-power engines, to be named the Sapphire, and ordered to be built at Devonport; the Temeraire, a screw iron armour-plated ship to carry eight guns, of 8,415 tons and 7,000 indicated horse-power engines, to be constructed at Chatham; and the Vesuvius, a double screw iron torpedo vessel, of 241 tons and 350 indicated horse-power engines, ordered to be built at Pembroke.|
|We 27 August 1873||The Albatross, 4, composite screw sloop, is to be launched at Chatham dockyard this afternoon.|
|Th 28 August 1873||In addition to the ships lately ordered to be constructed for Her Majesty's Navy, which appeared in The Times on Thursday last, the following are at present under construction at the various Government dockyards and by private firms:— Three composite screw sloops of 894 (727) tons and 720 (120)-horse power engines, to carry four guns each, to be named the Albatross, just launched at Chatham Dockyard; the Daring, building at Messrs. Money Wjgram and Sons', Blackwall; and the Egeria, under construction at Pembroke Dockyard. An iron steam troopship of two guns, 2,038 tons and 130-horse power engines, being built by Messrs. R. and H. Green, of Blackwall, to be named the Assistance. Two 14-gun iron screw corvettes, cased with wood, of 3,906 (2,679) tons, and 5,230 (700)-horse power engines, both being built in Portsmouth Dockyard, and to be called the Bacchante and the Boadicea; an iron screw frigate, cased with wood, of 5,696 (4,039) tons and 4,500 (l,000)-horse power engines, designed to carry 26 guns, to be named the Shah, and to be launched at Portsmouth early next month; the Flying Fish, a composite screw sloop, for four guns, of 727 (879) tons and 120 (720)-horse power engines, building at Chatham; an armour-plated turret ship, of 10,886 (5,030) tons and 7,000 (l,000)-horse power engines, to be named the Fury [renamed Dreadnought prior to launch], and designed to carry four "Woolwich Infants," 35-ton guns, being built at Pembroke Dockyard; a 14-gun iron screw corvette, of 3.451 tons and 4.750-horse power engines, to be named the Rover, and building by the Thames Shipbuilding Company, at Blackwall; a composite steam sloop for 4 guns, of 894 (727) tons, and 720 (120)-horse power engines, building by Messrs. Money Wigram and Sons, at Blackwall, to be named the Sappho; a double screw iron armour-plated ship for 12 guns, to be called the Superb, of 9,400 tuns, and 9,000-horse power engines, under construction at Chatham Dockyard; and eight double-screw iron gunboats, to carry one gun each, of 254 (245) tons, and 168 (23)-horse power engines, to be named the Ant, Cuckoo, Gadfly, Griper, Hyaena, Pincher, Tickler, and Weasel, four building at Pembroke Dockyard, and four by Messrs. Laird, of Birkenhead.|
|Fr 29 August 1873||The detached Squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Campbell, will proceed from Gibraltar for a cruise in the Mediterranean. Letters may be addressed to Barcelona, and subsequently to Palermo and Malta.|
|Fr 29 August 1873||The Albatross, 4, which was launched at Chatham on Wednesday, has been placed under the steam shears at the dockyard in order to have her boilers lifted on board.|
|Th 11 September 1873|
LAUNCH OF THE SHAH.The launch of the Shah at Portsmouth was most successfully carried out yesterday under the superintendence of Mr. Robinson, Master Shipwright and Chief Engineer of Portsmouth Dockyard, The ceremony of christening was performed by Lady M’Clintock. Among the visitors on the occasion were Admiral Tarleton,K.C.B, the Earl of Camperdown, and Mr. Lefevre, M.P., from the Admiralty; Mr. Rewsell, Superintendent of Admiralty Contracts; Admiral Sir Rodney Mundy, Admiral-Superintendent Sir Leopold M'Clintock, Viscount Templetown, Admiral Sir T. Pasley, and a large number of naval and military officers and ladies, besides some thousands of spectators. On one side of the ship was stationed the band of the Royal Marine Light Infantry, and on the other the band of the 4th King’s Own Borderers. At the bow of the ship was an exquisitely carved shield enclosing the Persian Royal Arms, with a scroll on either side in white and gold. On the stem, to correspond, two dolphins supporting the name of the ship — "Shah" — with a scroll on either ride. From the deck floated the Union Jack, the Persian Standard, the Royal Standard of England, the Admiralty flag, and the White Ensign. At a quarter-past 1 Lady M’Clintock dashed a bottle of wine against the bows, christening the ship "The Shah." Mr. Robinson, the Master Shipwright, having reported "all ready," Lady M’Clintock caused the ropes to be severed which suspended the weights. The ship hung for a short time, but hydraulic and other apparatus being employed, the ship glided gently and majestically into the water, amid cheers. The bands alternately played the Persian March, 'Rule Britannia,' and the National Anthem. Praise is due to the Master Shipwright and his staff, for the way in which all the work was carried out. There was not a single accident or mishap. The men of the yard were granted the remainder of the day as a halfholyday.
The launch of the Shah has added to the Navy an unarmoured iron screw frigate sheathed with wood. She was laid down on the 7th of March, 1870, as the Blonde, hut her name is changed in commemoration of the visit of the Shah of Persia. She is designed to carry 26 guns. The engines are to be supplied by Messrs. Ravenhill and Co., of 1,000-horse power (nominal), and will be fitted with Helsch's patent propeller. She is expected to attain great speed under steam, and, from the fineness of her bow, this expectation will no doubt be realised.
The principal dimensions are:—Length between perpendiculars, 334ft. 8in.; length of the keel for tonnage, 298ft 5in.; breadth extreme, 52ft.; breadth for tonnage, 51ft. 6in.; breadth moulded, 50ft. 4in.; depth in hold, 17ft 6½in.; burden in tons (O.M), 4,210 40-94; total weight when completed for sea, 5,700 tons ; load draught of water forward, 21ft; aft, 25ft.
She will carry about 950 tons of coals; this, at halfboiler power, would enable her to keep under steam for nine days, or, at full power, for four days, and it is expected that a speed of about 16 knots will be obtained at the Measured Mile. Her armament will be —maindeck,16 6½-ton guns on slides, two 64-pounders on common truck carriages Upper deck, two 12½-ton guns, six 64-pounders. The 12½-ton guns on the upper deck are carried one at each end of the ship; turntables are fitted from side to side. These guns are covered by the poop and forecastle, which give protection from rifle-firing, falling spars, &c., when in action. The ports are recessed, and allow a great range of fire.
The foremost gun, or bow chaser, fires from two ports of a side, and commands an arc of from 23 degrees abaft the beam to five degrees across the keel, or a total range of 118 degrees; the after gun, firing from one port of a side, has a range of from 15 degrees before the beam to 5 degrees across the keel, giving a total range of 110 degrees.
The poop is a novel feature in the construction of this ship, and the armament is considered a great improvement on that of the Inconstant, a similar ship, the heavier guns being carried on the upper deck, where they can be given the greatest possible range, and being available when main-deck guns could not be used.
She will be fitted with Forester’s steam-steering gear, steam capstans, and all the modern improvements in steam pumps and auxiliary engines for fire service.
The ship is divided, by means of water-tight bulkheads and flats, into 12 compartments; the iron plating is covered on the outside with two thicknesses of carefully selected teak planking, the inner thickness secured to the ship with iron fastenings, the outer secured to the inner thickness by metal fastenings. Great care is taken to prevent any galvanic action between the iron of the hull and the copper with which the outside sheathing will be covered. For the same reason the after-part of the keel, together with the stern and rudder-posts, are formed of gun-metal. These, together with the rudder, have all been cast in the dockyard at Portsmouth, and weigh about 50 tons.
The ship’s side, on the main deck between the guns, will be lined with paper half an inch in thickness; this is to prevent the spread of splinters, which would be caused were the sides lined in the ordinary way with wood; and it is to be observed that the work, both in wood and iron, has been admirably carried out, and will bear comparison with any yet done.
|Tu 7 October 1873||The Albatross, 4, unarmoured sloop, launched a short time back at Chatham Dockyard, was yesterday floated into No. 4 Dock, there to be brought forward for sea.|
|Ma 10 November 1873||The Flying Fish, 4, composite screw sloop, 727 (879) tons, 120 (720) horse power, was launched from the slip at Chatham Dockyard on Saturday afternoon. Built of iron and wood, the Flying Fish is sister ship to the Albatross, recently launched at Chatham, and now in dock to be brought forward for commission. These vessels were designed by the present Board of Construction at the Admiralty, of which Mr. N. Barnaby is the chief architect. Within a year or two a number of these ships have been built both at Government and private yards, but the dimensions of the Albatross and Flying Fish are larger than those of the other vessels. The dimensions of the two ships are:— Extreme length, 160 feet; extreme breadth, 31 feet 4 inches; depth in hold, 15 feet 5 inches; with a tonnage (o. m.) of 726 85-94ths. The armament of the Flying Fish will consist of four guns of heavy calibre. She will have compound engines of 720-horse power, which will be supplied by Messrs. Humphry ,Tennant and Co., of Deptford. The vessel has been rapidly built. She was not intended originally to be launched till the end of the financial year, but the Admiralty ordered that she should be completed with extra despatch. Many visitors were present at the launch. The vessel was "christened" by Miss Arbuthnott; the dog-shores were then knocked away, and the vessel left the blocks and slided into the Medway amid loud cheers. A number of the dockyard boats were in the river to keep the head of the slipway clear. A hawser was attached to the vessel to bring her up when she had gone a certain distance into the stream; when this hawser was pulled it was found that one of the small boats in attendance was immediately over it, and before it could be got clear one end of the boat was lifted up and two of its occupants were pitched into the river. The men were promptly rescued by other boats.|
|Ma 17 November 1873||The following appointments nave been made at the Admiralty:- ... Capt. H.C. St. John, to the Sylvia, commissioned; Lieut. R.F. Hoskyn and Lieut. C.F. Oldham, to the Sylvia|
|Sa 22 November 1873||The work of fitting out the Albatross, 4, unarmoured sloop, at Chatham Dockyard, is being carried on with great rapidity, and it is expected that in the coarse of a few weeks she will be ready to hoist the pennant. The Albatross is one of a new class of vessels, with a light draught, powerful machinery, and a heavy armament, which are expected to be useful for certain purposes as coast defence.|
|Sa 22 November 1873||The unarmoured screw sloop Sirius, Capt. David Miller, arrived at Spithead yesterday from Halifax and the West Indies, and after having been officially inspected and discharged her ammunition will go into Portsmouth Harbour to be dismantled and paid out of commission. The Sirius wat commissioned at Portsmouth by Capt. Miller in July, 1869.|
|Fr 5 December 1873||The Albatross, 4, composite sloop, was floated out of dock at Chatham dockyard on Wednesday. She will complete her fittings in the Medway.|
|Fr 5 December 1873||The Diana, 42, old wooden sailing vessel, was floated into dock at Chatham on Wednesday, she being one of the vessels ordered to be broken up at that yard. For many years the Diana has been in the ordinary at Chatham or Sheerness.|
|Sa 6 December 1873||Rear-Admiral G.G. Randolph, C.B., was yesterday appointed to the command of the Detached Squadron, vice Rear-Admiral Campbell, whose period of service has expired.|
|Tu 9 December 1873||Rear-Admiral G. Randolph yesterday hoisted his flag on board the St. Vincent in Portsmouth-harbour, under the usual exchange of salutes with the Port Admiral's flagship, as successor in the command of the Detached Squadron to Rear-Admiral Campbell, whose term of service with the Squadron has expired.|
|We 17 December 1873||The Albatross, 4, composite screw sloop, 894 (727) tons, 720 (120) horse power, recently built at Chatham Dockyard, was to have left Chatham yesterday to have her compasses adjusted at the Nore, and afterwards to have proceeded on her official trial trip; but her departure was postponed on account of the roughness of the weather.|
|Fr 19 December 1873||The Albatross, 4, composite sloop, recently built at Chatham Dockyard, made an official trial of her machinery yesterday at the measured mile off the Maplin Sands, the ship being under the command of Staff-Capt. Harvey. The trial gave the greatest satisfaction; the average speed attained was 11·225 knots. The indicated horse-power was about 900, the contract being for 720, The engines were supplied by Messrs. Humphrys, Tennant, and Co., of Deptford, who were represented at the trial by Mr. Robert Humphrys.|
|Th 22 January 1874||Three of the Admiralty officials — Mr. N. Barnaby, chief naval architect; Mr. F.K. Barnes, surveyor of dockyards; and Mr. J.B. Crossland, one of the constructors of the Navy — visited Chatham Dockyard yesterday. They first inspected the Albatross, 4 guns, composite iron sloop, which is nearly ready to hoist the pennant; the Rupert, which is having some alterations made in her machinery; the Raleigh, unarmoured frigate, fitting for sea; and other vessels in course of construction or fitting out at Chatham.|
The Admiralty being desirous that the Flying Fish, 4 guns, sister ship to the Albatross, shall be ready to hoist the pennant as soon as possible, every exertion is now being made at Chatham Dockyard to get her out of hand at an early date.
|We 18 February 1874||The Immortalité, Capt. M'Lyon, came in at Valetta from the coast of Spain, and the Topaze is momentarily expected|
|Ma 9 February 1874||The Albatross, 4, composite gun-vessel, has completed her fitments at Chatham Dockyard, and is now awaiting instructions from the Admiralty.|