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HMS Eclair (launched as Infernal, 1843)

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NameEclair (launched as Infernal)Explanation
Type1st class sloop   
Launched31 May 1843
HullWooden
PropulsionPaddle
Builders measure1054 tons
Displacement1379 tons
Guns6
Fate1864
Class 
Ships book
Note1844 = Eclair.
1846 = Rosamond.
1863 floating factory
Snippets concerning this vessels career
DateEvent
26 August 1844
- 16 September 1845
Commanded by Commander Walter Grimston Bucknall Estcourt, west coast Africa (until he died)
16 September 1845
- 13 November 1845
Commanded (until paying off at Sheerness) by Acting Commander Henry Cooke Harston, west coast of Africa (after the ship was struck by fever, which ultimately killed 71 of the 146 men on board)
5 November 1846
- 12 April 1850
Commanded (from commissioning at Sheerness) by Commander John Foote, Cape of Good Hope and later Mediterranean
27 October 1851
- 19 July 1852
Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth) by Commander Frederick Archibald Campbell, North America and West Indies
25 February 1854
- 19 October 1854
Commanded by Commander George Wodehouse, Baltic
20 October 1854Commanded by Commander Stephen Smith Lowther Crofton, Baltic
Extracts from the Times newspaper
DateExtract
Th 29 August 1844Woolwich, August 28. — The Black Eagle steam-vessel, Master-Commander S.B. Cook, left Woolwich yesterday for Portsmouth. The name of the vessel built under the title of the Infernal has been changed to Eclair, and she has been commissioned by Commander W.G.B. Estcourt, and the following officers have been appointed to her:—Lieutenant, P.A. Halket; master, H.D. Barney; paymaster and purser, T.R. Hallett; gunner, William Huist; boatswain, John Warren: acting carpenter, Evan Crowther; and master's assistant, John Gowan.
Th 5 September 1844 Woolwich, September 4. — The Eclair steam frigate. Commander Walter G.B. Estcourt, commissioned at Woolwich last week, and having a crew of 145 men, has been ordered to be made ready for sea with the greatest despatch, and at the early hour of 6 o'clock this morning her first lieutenant, P.A. Halket, went on board, and a great number of hands were immediately set to work to complete this fine vessel for service. The activity displayed in the dockyard to have the Eclair ready by Friday, the day named in the order, is equal to the despatch used on a former occasion in fitting out the Cyclops steamer for Ireland, when Captain T. Austin, C.B., commissioned, rigged, and made her ready to proceed to sea in the short space of 36 hours. All hands not in the secret are anxiously asking this morning — are we to have war? Our reply has been, it is not likely, the Eclair is only wanted to form one of the Royal squadron to accompany Her Majesty to Scotland, on a mission of peace to her loyal subjects in that romantic and favoured country, now about to be honoured with the presence of Her Majesty and Prince Albert a second time.
Fr 30 June 1848

Cape of Good Hope, April 21.

The President, 50, Captain Stanley, bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral Dacres, the Commander-in-Chief, sailed from Simon's-bay on the 15th for the Mauritius, taking the Rosamond steam sloop, Commander Foote, with him part of the way. The Rosamond was to go to Mozambique with despatches, and then on to the Mauritius to meet the Admiral there. The Geyser steam sloop, Commander Brown, left this on the 18th, calling off Buffalo River to land Colonel Hare, and then goes on to the Mauritius to join the Admiral; and then they all go to Tamatave to make a treaty with the Queen of Madagascar. The Brilliant, 26, Captain Watson, left this about a month since for the Mauritius, and remains there until the Admiral's arrival, and then she would go to Tamatave with him. The Eurydice, 26, Captain Anson, is to come here to refit; and the Nimrod, Commander Belgrave, on the Eurydice's arrival, will take the Bishop of the Cape to St. Helena on a visit. The Admiral still feels the loss of his son most acutely. The Mariner, 12, Commander Mathison, arrived here on the 15th, the day the Admiral left; she was 17 days from Rio, and left at anchor there the Maeander, 44, Captain the Hon. H. Keppel; the Inconstant, 36, Captain Shepphard [sic]; the Acheron steam surveying ship, Captain J.L. Stokes; and the Hydra steam sloop, Commander Skipwith; — all from England. The Maeander and Acheron are expected here hourly, as they were to leave three days after the Mariner, which has been here nearly a week. The latter leaves this on the 25th for India. All is quiet and going on prosperously in the colony. They have had a severe hurricane at the Mauritius; the damage done is considerable. The Fox, 42, Commodore Sir Henry Blackwood, is expected here every day from India, homeward bound; also the Albatross, 14, Commander Farquhar, from the coast of Africa, en route to India. The Devastation steam sloop, Commander Michell, is also daily expected here from the coast for service on this station. The Seringapatam store ship, Master Commanding Russell, is in Simon's-bay.
Sa 22 November 1851The Sprightly steam tender, Acting-Master-Commander Allen, sails to-morrow for Plymouth, taking supernumeraries for Lisbon and the West Indies, to take passage respectively in the Rosamond and Hecate steam sloops.
Ma 6 December 1852Her Majesty's paddlewheel steam-vessel Adder, Mr. James Watt in charge, arrived from Chatham yesterday at 8 30 a.m. with officers ordered to attend the court-martial on several of the officers of the Rosamond.
Sa 11 December 1852At a late hour yesterday afternoon orders were received from the Admiralty to liberate from arrest, on board the Waterloo, flag ship, Mr. John Forbes, late surgeon of the Rosamond, under orders to be tried by a court-martial, on charges preferred against him by his late commanding officer, Lieutenant Crauford, and to discharge the witnesses summoned to give evidence on the part of the prosecution. It is stated that owing to some irregularity in the proceedings of the court-martial holden on Lieutenant Godfrey Taylor, and Mr. George D. Gordon, clerk, both of the Rosamond, the sentences on those officers have been annulled.
Fr 4 November 1853The Rosamond, 6, paddle-wheel steam sloop, of 250-horse power, had her steam up on Tuesday and Wednesday in the basin to try her engines, and is now nearly ready for commission.
Ma 14 November 1853

WOOLWICH, Nov. 12.

The Rosamond, 6, pa1ddlewheel steamsloop, of 280-horse power, has taken her coals on board preparatory to proceeding to Sheerness, where she is to be stationed as an advanced war steamer at that port.
Ma 5 December 1853

WOOLWICH, Dec 3.

The Rosamond, 6, paddle-wheel steamsloop, of 280-horse power, having been refitted and made ready for sea at this port, was taken out of the basin yesterday, and proceeded immediately under the charge of Lieutenant Robertson, of the steam reserve department, for Greenhithe, where she is to have her compasses adjusted, and will leave today, if the fog will permit, for trial between the Nore and Mouse lights, On the conclusion of the trial, and, if found satisfactory, the Rosamond will be taken to Sheerness, where she is to be stationed as an advance war steamer, ready for sea at any moment she may be required.
We 7 December 1853

SHEERNESS, Dec. 4.

The Rosamond, 6, paddle-wheel steamsloop of 280-horse power, arrived here this day, in charge of (pro tem.) Lieutenant Robert Robertson, Divisional Lieutenant of the Steam Squadron of Reserve at Woolwich, and additional to the Fisgard, 42, frigate.
The Rosamond left Woolwich on Friday morning last, and proceeded down to Greenhithe, having on board Captain Lyons and several other officers studying steam. In consequence of the dense fog, the Rosamond did not get up steam until this morning at 8.15. She then proceeded on trial of speed and the testing of machinery by running between the Nore Light-vessel and the Mouse Light-vessel — a given distance well known. Mr. Robert Taplin, assistant-inspector of steam machinery at Woolwich-yard, superintended the trial. The engines were worked under the superintendence of Mr. Thomas Owen, chief engineer appointed to the Rosamond. Mr. William Barnes, Queen's pilot of Woolwich, was in attendance from Woolwich here. On her arrival here at 2.15 p.m. this day the steamtug vessel Monkey (which had been in company with her from Woolwich) went alongside and received the seamen riggers lent from Woolwich-yard, and the stokers from the Fisgard, and conveyed them up the Medway on their return to Woolwich viâ the North-Kent Railway, in consequence of the fog, which prevented the Monkey navigating up the Thames for Woolwich.
The Rosamond is placed in the steam squadron of reserve here, under the command of Commander Robert Jenner, of the Horatio, 24, screw steam guardship. On the Rosamond's trial between the Nore and the Mouse, with 10 lb. pressure on the boilers, she made 16 revolutions per minute, and averaged over 9 knots. This trial of speed and machinery is considered quite satisfactory in every respect.
We 8 March 1854Timothy Clinch, Paymaster, December 9, 1852, has taken up his commission and joined the Rosamond, 6, paddlewheel steam-sloop of 280-horse power, Commander George Wodehouse. Seamen, it appears, do not like the remembrance of the former name of this sloop — Eclair — for, up to the present time, no volunteers have come forward for her, and of the blue jackets serving on board the flag-ship Waterloo, many of whom might have had a higher rating, volunteered for her. It is the name of the ship, not the officers, to which they object. We are informed, from most undoubted authority, that the original cause of the sickness in this sloop on a former occasion has been entirely removed, and there is not the slightest ground for any apprehension of a similar calamity befalling this vessel's crow in any climate beyond that to which the crews of all other vessels are subject.
Tu 14 March 1854The Rosamond, 6 guns, paddlewheel steam sloop, Commander George Wodehouse, has this day bent sails, and is waiting sailing orders.
Ma 27 March 1854The crew of the Rosamond, 6 guns, paddlewheel steam-sloop, Commander George Wodehouse, were paid their advance yesterday.
Ma 24 April 1854The Rosamond, six guns, paddlewheel steam sloop, Commander George Wodehouse, has taken on board over 30 tons of shot of large calibre, for replenishing the stores of some of the ships in the Baltic. The Rosamond, it is reported, is to be attached to the St. George sailing ship of 120 guns, and is expected to leave in a few days.
Tu 9 May 1854

COPENHAGEN, May 2.

The French fleet has not yet made its appearance, in spite of repeated rumours and even telegraphic despatches to the contrary; but English vessels arrive here every day — for instance, the frigate Rosamond the day before yesterday.
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