HMS Hotspur (1870)
HMS Hotspur (1870)

Royal NavyVessels

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NameHotspur (1870)Explanation
TypeIronclad ram   
Launched19 March 1870
Builders measure 
Displacement4331 tons
Ships bookADM 135/241
Snippets concerning this vessels career
14 November 1871
- 23 May 1872
Commanded by Captain Lord John Hay, Devonport
20 November 1877
- 22 April 1878
Commanded by Captain St George Caulfield D'Arcy-Irvine, Mediterranean
30 April 1885
- 7 August 1885
Commanded by Captain Francis Durrant, Channel squadron
1 September 1888Commanded by Captain Thomas Harvey Royse, ship of First reserve, Coast Guard and Drill Ship of Naval Reserves, Harwich
Extracts from the Times newspaper
Tu 25 July 1871It has now been ascertained that the completion of the Glatton, 2, iron armour-plated turret ship, at Chatham, will have to be delayed till October in consequence of the large amount of work yet to be done. When completed, the Glutton will, in company with the Hotspur, 2, iron-plated ram, proceed on an experimental cruise, under the command of Capt. Lord John Hay, M.P., who has been appointed to the command of both vessels, in order that he may ascertain the relative qualities of the two. The Glatton, if completed by October, will be about six months behind the time at first fixed.
We 15 November 1871The Hotspur, 3, double screw iron armour-plated, ram, was commissioned at Devonport yesterday by Capt. Lord John Hay, C.B. The ship will move into Plymouth Sound on Thursday, and will be inspected by the Commander-in-Chief on Friday, and will probably leave on Saturday for an experimental cruise. The Gibraltar, screw ship, is coming into the north basin at Keyham to have her engines and boilers taken out, and to be fitted as a training ship for boys at Belfast.
Tu 28 November 1871The Hotspur, 3, double screw, iron armour-plated ram, Capt. Lord John Hay, C.B., left Plymouth Sound last evening for Portland.
Fr 1 December 1871Galvanic action, and to some considerable extent we are given to understand, has taken effect upon the outside of the hull of the twin screw turret-ship Glatton at the aftermost part, under the quarters, and in the vicinity of the stern-post. The protecting composition covering the iron there has, apparently, chafed through by warps used in moving the ship. The iron plating of the ship's hull being thus laid bare a powerful battery was at once formed by the immediate vicinity of the metal twin screws, which, in the still water in which the vessel has recently been lying at Chatham, has written its story in unmistakable characters upon the ship's plating, and furnishes another and most instructive lesson upon galvanic influences on the iron ships of Her Majesty's Navy. The Glatton is not expected to be ready for undocking on the day fixed, the 8th inst., for her trial cruise with the Hotspur. The work will not be completed till a few days later.
Sa 2 December 1871


As sensational reports have appeared elsewhere of "the Hotspur in a gale," it is right to mention that, according to trustworthy accounts which we have received, the Hotspur behaved exceedingly well in the north-east gale of Monday. A correspondent writes to us from Plymouth:-
"She was purposely placed across the sea to test her rolling powers under that condition, aa she had never before been exposed to such a heavy sea, and it was, therefore, an excellent opportunity to try the ship. When placed with her beam to the very heavy sea which was running, the greatest roll was only from 12 deg. to port to 20 deg. to starboard (leeward). She had previously never rolled more than from 9 to 16 deg., and although she could not, on account of her low bow, be driven at any great speed against a head sea, yet she proved to be a remarkably good sea boat. Lord John Hay put back to Plymouth Sound not from any apprehension of danger, but, having satisfied himself as to the seaworthiness of his ship, he thought it useless to burn coals unnecessarily in steaming up Channel in the teeth of a gale of wind, when there was no necessity for an immediate passage."
Ma 18 December 1871The Glatton, 2, double screw armour plated turret-ship, 2,700 tons, Capt. Lord John Hay, C.B., was on Saturday floated out of No. 1 dock at the Chatham dockyard extension, and proceeded under steam, accompanied by two steam tugs, to Sheerness, whence she will proceed early this week to the measured mile off the Maplin Sands to test her speed. During the time the vessel has been in dock not only has her bottom been thoroughly cleansed from the accumulation made during the months she was lying in the Medway to be completed, but several of her bottom plates have been repaired, and the copper pipes from her double bottom have been taken out and tinned; she has also had her exterior repainted. After the trial of her engines she will leave Sheerness to join the Hotspur, 3, armour-plated ram, for a trial cruise, both ships being under the command of Capt. Lord John Hay.
Tu 26 December 1871The Glatton, 2, armour-plated turret-ship, Capt. Lord John Hay, C.B., is not likely to have her trial cruise with the Hotspur for some little time yet. After the trial of her engines at the measured mile off the Maplin Sands she returned to Chatham, and was placed at her old moorings off the Dockyard in order to have some additional machinery provided for her turret — an operation expected to occupy a considerable time.
Ma 1 January 1872The Hotspur, 3, double screw, iron armour-plated ram, Capt. Lord John Hay, C.B., has removed from Plymouth Sound into the harbour at Devonport to have double training gear fitted to her 25-ton gun.
Ma 29 January 1872The Hotspur, 3, double screw, iron armour-plated ram, Capt. Lord John Hay, C.B., while proceeding from the harbour at Devonport into Plymouth Sound on Friday was run into by the British and Irish Company's steamer Lady Wodehouse, which had just left Millbay on her voyage to Falmouth and Dublin. The Hotspur was struck on the port quarter, two of her boats sustained damage, and the hinges of two ports were knocked away. She returned to the harbour on Saturday to make good defects.
Th 15 February 1872Another mishap has befallen the Hotspur, 3, double-screw iron armour-plated ram, Capt. Lord J. Hay, C.B. The damage sustained by that ship through collision with the steamer Lady Wodehouse having been repaired at Devonport, it was intended to move the Hotspur into Plymouth Sound, preparatory to her leaving for a cruise in the Irish Channel, but on getting up steam yesterday morning, a loud report was heard in the engine room, and it was found that the port condenser had split from top to bottom, the accident being supposed to be caused by unequal expansion. It will take a month to repair the defect.
Fr 15 March 1872The Hotspur, 3, double screw iron armour-plated ram, Capt. Lord John Hay, C.B., on completion of repairs to her port condenser, steamed from the harbour at Devonport into the offing at Plymouth yesterday morning, when, after a most satisfactory trial of her machinery, she anchored in the Sound. She will sail to-day for a cruise in the Irish Channel.
Tu 21 May 1872The Hotspur, 3, double screw iron armour-plated ram, arrived in Plymouth Sound on Sunday evening from Pembroke under command of Rear-Admiral Lord John Hay, C.B., who will give up charge to Capt. H.D. Hickley, of the Tamar, on that officer's arrival borne from Gibraltar in a few days.

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