HMS Archer (1849)
HMS Archer (1849)

Royal NavyVessels

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NameArcher (1849)Explanation
TypeSloop (1862: Corvette)   
Launched27 March 1849   
HullWooden Length186 feet
PropulsionScrew Men170
Builders measure971 tons   
Displacement1337 tons   
Fate1866 Last in commission1866
Ships bookADM 135/20   
27 March 1849Launched at Deptford Dockyard.
2 April 1850
- 15 November 1853
Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth until paying off at Woolwich) by Commander James Newburgh Strange, west coast of Africa, then Leith (fishery protection)
25 February 1854
- 11 June 1857
Commanded (from commissioning at Woolwich until paying off at Woolwich) by Captain Edmund Heathcote, the Baltic during the Russian War, then North America and West Indies
17 May 1858
- 27 June 1859
Commanded (from commissioning at Woolwich) by Captain John Sanderson, west coast of Africa (until de died)
17 August 1859
- 4 April 1860
Commanded by Commander Richard William Courtenay, west coast of Africa (until invalided)
4 April 1860
- 5 October 1861
Commanded (until paying off at Woolwich) by Captain Frederick Augustus Buchanan Craufurd, west coast of Africa
30 March 1863
- 11 April 1864
Commanded (from commissioning at Woolwich) by Captain John Bythesea, west coast of Africa (until invalided)
11 April 1864
- 30 January 1866
Commanded (until paying off at Woolwich) by Captain Francis Marten, west coast of Africa
15 March 1866Arrived at Castle, Charlton for breaking up.
Extracts from the Times newspaper
Tu 27 March 1849

26 March 1849

The Archer, 4 guns, steam-vessel, built at Deptford Dockyard, is to be launched tomorrow, Tuesday, March 27.
We 28 March 1849

Deptford, March 27.

Launch of the Archer, steam vessel.

The keel of the Archer was laid down at Deptford Dockyard on the 18th of October, 1847, and the vessel was built under the superintendence of Mr. Willcox, master shipwright, from a plan by Captain Lord John Hay, one of the Lords of the Admiralty. She was originally intended to have engines of 250-horse power, but subsequent experiments having shown that vessels fitted with screw propellers have attained a considerable proportionate speed with engines of less power, it has been decided that she is to be fitted with the engines, of 202-horse power, taken out of the Rifleman steam vessel. The change of the engines gives her a greater space in the hold by 18ft. than could have been attained with the original engines of 250-horse power, and they are now to be fitted to the Horatio, at Chatham. The less weight of the engines of the Rifleman will enable the Archer to carry a greater armament, and instead of one 68-pounder of 95 cwt. and 10ft. long, one 10 inch gun, 85 cwt. 9ft. 4in. long, and two 32-pounder guns of 25 cwt, 6ft. long, she is to mount two 68-pounders of 87 cwt., and twelve 32-pounders of 42 cwt., and may be used as a troop-ship, having every convenience for the accommodation of 400 troops in addition to her crew. The preparations for the launch having been completed, and the tide being nearly high water at half-past 3 o'clock p.m. to-day, that hour was appointed, and a great concourse of spectators were admitted to witness the ceremony. Captain Sir John Hill, superintendent of the Dockyard; Mr. Wilcox, master shipwright; Commander Willcox, Mr. Alderman Sidney, and a number of ladies and gentlemen assembled on the platform constructed at the bows of the vessel, at a quarter past 3 o'clock, and a bottle of wine having been opened, Mrs Sidney, wife of Mr. Alderman Sidney, drank success to the Archer, and then broke the bottle on the bows of the vessel. In a few minutes after the Archer glided into her future element, cheered by the assembled spectators. The Monkey then took her in tow to take her to Woolwich to be fitted with her engines.

The following are the dimensions of the Archer:-

 Ft. in.
Length of tonnage186 4½
Length of keel for tonnage162 7¾
Breadth extreme33 10½
Breadth for tonnage36 6½
Breadth moulded32 10½
Depth in hold18 11
Burden in tons, old973 22-94
Burden in tons, new706 69
Th 29 March 1849The Archer steam-vessel, when fitted with the engines of the Rifleman and a screw propeller, is to be commissioned at this port [Woolwich].
Th 6 September 1849

5 September 1849

The Archer steam-sloop was taken out of the basin [Woolwich] yesterday, preparatory to being tried down the river, after completing taking on board the requisite quantity of ballast. It is expected the trail will take place in the early part of next week.
Tu 18 September 1849

17 September 1849

The Firebrand, the Styx, and the Archer steam-vessels have been ordered to be brought forward at this port [Woolwich] for commission, and riggers have commenced today to put up the rigging of the Firebrand, that vessel being in an advanced state.
We 19 September 1849

18 September 1849

The Archer, steam-vessel, went down the river on an experimental trial on Saturday, having on board a number of naval officers studying at the factory and several other gentlemen connected with the steam department. The vessel is of 973 tons burden, and fitted with the engines of 200 horsepower taken out of the Rifleman, a vessel of only 484 horse-power. The diameter of the screw used in the Rifleman was 8 feet, with a pitch of 8 feet, and in that vessel the engines made 46 to 48 revolutions per minute, but the greatest number they made in the Archer, with a screw of 12 feet 6 inches, was 23.3 per minute on Saturday, and when the vessel was tried again, after having 12 inches taken off the diameter of the screw, it was 23.95 revolutions per minute. The average speed attained by the Archer in three runs, twice down and once up the measured mile in Long Reach, was 6.391 knots per hour, and the average of six runs yesterday was 6.151 knots per hour, the vessel drawing 13 feet 3 inches forward, and 14 feet 10 inches aft.
We 26 September 1849

25 September 1849

The Archer steam sloop is to have her screw propeller reduced from 11 feet 6 inches, it present diameter, to 10 feet in diameter, and she will be again tried down the river in the latter part of the present of early in the ensuing week.
Fr 28 September 1849

27 September 1849

The Archer steam sloop went don the river this morning at an early hour to try her screw propeller, and its being reduced to 10 feet in diameter, and the average of four runs up and down the measured mile gave a speed of fully 7 knots per hour, a considerable advance over her previous trials.
Tu 2 October 1849

1 October 1849

The Archer steam-sloop is ordered to be made ready for another trial down the river on Wednesday. She will be taken out of the basin to-morrow, and the Terrible and Inflexible taken in.
Tu 20 November 1849

19 November 1849

It has hitherto been usual to fit screw-propellers in the rough shape in which they are cast, simply filing and smoothing the narrow edge of the blade; but one of the machines in the factory has been fitted in such a manner as to plane the whole of one side of the blades, and on its being tried in the factory to-day for the first time on a screw propeller 9 feet in diameter, cast of brass, for the Archer, it appears to perform the work in great perfection. The difficulty of obtaining a motion which would suit itself to the curve of the blade of a screw-propeller must be evident to every one who has witnessed its form, and yet it has been perfectly accomplished in this instance.
Fr 14 December 1849

13 December 1849

The Samson steam frigate arrived yesterday even from Devonport, and her seamen riggers have been transferred to the Archer steam sloop, under orders to proceed down the river to-morrow morning to have the new brass screw propeller, recently turned by machinery at the factory, tested during two days' runs between the Nore and Mouse lights.
The Archer, after the trials, will proceed to Devonport, to remain there ready for commission.
Sa 15 December 1849

14 December 1849

The Archer steam-sloop left Woolwich this morning, under the charge of Mr. J.E. Mills, Assistant-Master-Attendant at Devonport, and having on board Mr. Humphreys, chief engineer, and Mr. Trickett, chief engineer of Woolwich Dockyard. She is to try her iron screw to-day, between the Nore and Mouse lights, and her brass metal screw to-morrow.
Th 27 December 1849

24 December 1849

Her Majesty's steamer Archer arrived [Plymouth] yesterday from Woolwich.
Su 7 April 1850

6 April 1850

Commander James M. Strange (1842) commissioned the Archer steamer on Thursday. She is to have a complement of 150 men, and will take the mails to the coast of Africa.
Th 2 May 1850

30 April 1850

The screw steam-ship Archer, 4, Commander Strange, went from Hamoaze yesterday into the Sound, round which she steamed to try her engines, and brought up in Barnpool to have her compasses adjusted. She is to be paid wages today, and to sail on Thursday, with mails for Madeira, Cape Verds, Sierra Leone, and Ascension.
Ma 20 September 1852

19 September 1852

The Barracouta, 6, paddle steam-sloop, captain the Hon. S.T. Carnegie, arrived at Spithead at 9 o'clock last night from Madeira and Lisbon. She left eh former place on the 8th inst., and the latter on Tuesday last… The Archer screw steam-sloop was the only British man-of-war at Lisbon, Rear-Admiral Corry's squadron having sailed on Sunday, the 5th.
Sa 29 January 1853

27 January 1853

The Archer, 14, screw steam sloop, Commander James N. Strange, leaves here [Sheerness] to-morrow for Leith.
We 18 May 1853

17 May 1853

The Barracouta, 6, paddlewheel steam-sloop, Commander George Parker, has taken in an extra quantity of coals from the coal depot Fortitude at Sheerness, and is now riding at the Nore waiting the arrival, of Captain Inglefield's expedition from Woolwich, which she will accompany to the ice.
The Archer, 14, screw steam-sloop, Commander J.N. Strange, has left Sheerness for Woolwich for a survey being held on her machinery and boilers, in order to ascertain her seaworthy state for accompanying Captain Inglefield's expedition to the ice with the Barracouta. The Archer's boilers are reported to be in a very defective state at present, and it is expected she will be paid off at Woolwich.
The seamen volunteers from different ships composing the Channel squadron, who have volunteered for service in Phoenix, have arrived at Sheerness, and were sent on board the Barracouta yesterday at the Nore. These seamen will complete the full complement required for the Phoenix.
We 9 November 1853

8 November 1853

The Archer screw steam sloop, Commander James N. Strange, arrived at Woolwich yesterday afternoon from Leith, where she was engaged in protecting the Scottish fisheries, and has commenced shipping in the basin to-day, preparatory to being paid off.
We 3 June 1857The Archer, 14, Captain Heathcote, left Spithead yesterday for the eastward to be paid off. She sailed from Greytown April the 15th, and Port Royal the 27th, and had an excellent run from that station, with strong westerly winds. She brought home six naval invalids from the West India squadron.
Th 11 June 1857Her Majesty's 13-gun screw-ship Archer, 202-horse power, Captain Edmund Heathcote, late from the North America and West India stations, was yesterday dismantled at Woolwich in preparation for being paid off to-day. Commodore Shepherd, on his inspection of the vessel, expressing himself highly satisfied with the arrangements of the ship, as well as the discipline and neat appearance of the crew. The only loss experienced on board the Archer during her nine months stay at Greytown was that of two boys, the vessel being, moreover, in an exceedingly healthy condition during the whole time she was on the West India station. She was employed for two years in the Baltic, where she was fortunate in capturing a number of prizes. Captain Heathcote, having served his full time afloat, now retires on half-pay to await his flag.
Ma 23 September 1861The Archer, 13, screw, Commander Frederick A.B. Crauford, arrived at Spithead yesterday, from the coast of Africa, and received orders to proceed on to Woolwich, where she will dismantle and pay off her crew. She sailed from Ascension on the 21st of August, arriving at Fayal on the 13th of September, where she called to coal, and sailed thence on the following day. The passage home was attended with fine weather until the vessel made the English Channel, when she fell in with strong south-west winds. During the first portion of the voyage the weather was exceedingly hot. The officers and men on board are all healthy. She brought home a few invalids, who were landed at Portsmouth yesterday.
Th 26 September 1861Her Majesty's screw steam corvette Archer, 13, Capt. Craufurd, from the West Coast of Africa, arrived at Greenhithe yesterday, and discharged her powder. She will proceed this morning to Woolwich to be stripped and paid off. The Archer was commissioned at Woolwich in May, 1858, for the African station, soon after her return from North America and the West Indies, in command of Capt. Edmund Heathcote. Having undergone but slight repairs since 1853, she will now require a thorough overhaul.
Ma 7 October 1861Her Majesty's screw steam corvette Archer, 13, Capt. Craufurd, from the West Coast of Africa, having been dismantled at Woolwich, was on Saturday paid off. The ceremony, at all times an attractive one to a certain class of traders, was on Saturday one of more than ordinary interest. The seamen had no sooner got outside the dockyard gates with their well-filled packs and purses than they were eagerly set upon, and in a few hours it was stated that some had been stripped to the last shilling. 3,000l. that morning received from the Admiralty for distribution as prize money, and 5,000l. as arrears of pay, making a total of 8.000l., were paid to the ship's company in the course of a couple of hours.
Fr 20 February 1863The Archer, 13, screw corvette, 973 tons and 202-horse power, in progress at Woolwich, will be ready for commission on the 10th of March. Her station is stated to be the west coast of Africa, where she will he employed in the prevention of the slave traffic, reported to be on the increase. The Archer will relieve the 16-gun corvette Brisk, Capt. Luce, ordered home.
We 10 January 1866The screw corvette Archer, 13, Capt. Marten, which, in consequence of sickness, was compelled to leave her station on the West Coast of Africa for Ascension, arrived in Plymouth Sound yesterday with the quarantine flag flying. At the island an assistant-surgeon and eight seamen died. The Archer left on the 9th of December, and during the passage the second master, Mr. T. Turner, and three seamen died. There is no sickness on board now.
We 17 January 1866Her Majesty's 13-gun screw-corvette Archer, Capt. Francis Marten, from the West Coast of Africa, having lost 20 of the ship's company between the 8th of October and the 20th of December, arrived at the Royal Arsenal buoy yesterday, and discharged her powder, shot, and guns, and the whole of her war stores, under orders to proceed to the dockyard to be dismantled and paid out of commission. She was commenced at Deptford in 1854, on the declaration of war with Russia, and has been in her present commission since the 28th of March, 1863. It is feared, from what is known of the condition of her hull, that she will be unfit for further service, and that she will be condemned to be broken up.
We 24 January 1866The decision of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty relative to the disposal of Her Majesty’s 20-gun screw corvette Tartar, in dock at Woolwich, was yesterday made known. It is — "That, taking into consideration the large amount of expenditure necessary for repairs to put the Tartar into serviceable condition, according to the official report after the departmental survey of the injuries to the ship, their Lordships have ordered that her hull shall be made watertight, in order to convey her to Messrs. Castle and Beech's yard at Charlton to be broken up." The steam corvette Archer, ordered to be paid out of commission on Tuesday next, at Woolwich, is ordered to be opened out, so as to ascertain by investigation and inspection of her timbers if any cause can be discovered in decay or rot to account for the fatal outbreak of disease already detailed in The Times.

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