|Launched (Sail)||2 May 1844||Converted to screw||12 November 1855|
|Builders measure||2580 tons||Builders measure (as screw)||2580 tons|
|Displacement||Displacement (as screw)||3482 tons|
|Guns||80||Guns (as screw)||80|
|Fate||1870||Last in commission||1861|
|Class||Class (as screw)||Majestic|
|Ships book||ADM 135/83|
|Snippets concerning career prior to conversion|
|2 May 1844||Launched as 3rd rate sailing ship at Pembroke Dockyard.|
|Career as unarmoured wooden screw vessel|
|12 November 1855||Completed as screw at Devonport Dockyard.|
|10 January 1856||Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth) by Captain Woodford John Williams, Mediterranean|
- 28 June 1858
|Commanded by Captain Edward Gennys Fanshawe, Mediterranean (until Fanshawe was invalided)|
|28 June 1858|
- 10 March 1859
|Commanded by Captain George Nathaniel Broke, Mediterranean|
|10 March 1859|
- 7 December 1859
|Commanded (until paying off at Plymouth) by Captain George Edwin Patey, Mediterranean|
|8 December 1859|
- 28 January 1860
|Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth) by Captain George Edwin Patey, Plymouth|
|(4 January 1860)|
- 30 November 1861
|Commanded (until paying off at Plymouth) by Captain Henry Downing Rogers, Channel squadron|
|19 March 1870||Sold to W. Lethbridge for breaking up.|
|Extracts from the Times newspaper|
|We 28 September 1859||The following is the distribution of the Mediterranean fleet at Malta:- Screw steamships of the Line.- The Marlborough, 131 (flagship of Vice-Admiral Fanshawe), on her way to Gibraltar, left Malta on the 15th of September; the Hannibal, 91 (flagship of Rear-Admiral Mundy), coast of Sicily; the Conqueror, 101, Gibraltar; the St. Jean d'Acre, 101, coast of Sicily; the Orion, 91, Gibraltar; the Princess Royal, 91, Gibraltar; the Renown, 91, Malta; the Victor Emmanuel, 91, Gibraltar; the Exmouth, 90, Naples; the London, 90, coast of Sicily; the Brunswick, 80, coast of Sicily; the Centurion, 80, Gibraltar; and the Cressy, 80, left Malta on the 5th of September. Steam Frigates.- The Euryalus, 51, Piraeus of Athens; the Liffey, 51, Piraeus of Athens; the Doris, 32, left Malta on the 13th of September; and the Terrible, 21, Naples. Steam Corvettes.- The Racoon, 22, Corfu; the Cadmus, 21, Malta; and the Vulture, 6, Morocco coast. Steam Sloops.- The Gannet, 11, Piraeus of Athens; the Argus, 6, Malta; the Intrepid, 6, Constantinople; the Recruit, 6, Malta; the Scourge, 6, Malta; the Assurance, 4, left Malta on the 31st of August; the Coquette, 4, Marseilles; the Lapwing, 4, Gibraltar; the Osprey, 4, Corfu; the Vigilant, 4, Venice; and the Wanderer, 4, Candia. Steam Gunboats.- The Growler, Gibraltar; and the Quail, Gibraltar. Steam Despatch-vessels.- The Banshee, 2, Malta; and the Caradoc, 2, Malta. Steam-tender.- The Boxer, 2, Malta. Steam Surveying-vessels.- The Medina, 4, Candia ; and the Tartarus, 4, Candia. Receiving-ship.- The Hibernia (flag of Rear-Admiral Codrington), Malta. Depot-ship.- The Africa, Gibraltar. Tugs.- The Hearty, Malta; and the Redpole, 2, Gibraltar. Sailing Gunboats.- The Azof, 2, Malta; and the Kertch, 2, Malta.|
|Ma 28 November 1859|
MALAGA, Nov. 17.The following details are from the Gibraltar Chronicle:-
"Three of Her Majesty's steamships that have been in our bay since the 24th of September will take their departure to-day for England. These ships are the Edgar, 91, bearing Rear-Admiral Erskine's flag, belonging to the Channel fleet; the Conqueror, 101, Captain Clifford; and the Centurion, 80, Captain Patey. The two latter having put in their time on the Mediterranean station will, we hear, be paid off on their arrival at Portsmouth.
" 1 o'clock.- The above ships have just left the bay."
|Fr 25 May 1860||The Channel fleet, consisting of the Conqueror, 101; the Donegal, 101; the Algiers, 91, the Aboukir, 91; the Trafalgar, 91; the Centurion, 80; the Mars, 80; and the Diadem, 32, left Portland harbour on Wednesday afternoon for a cruise in the Channel. The Blenheim, 60, is the only ship of war now at Portland.|
|Ma 25 June 1860||The Channel squadron, after an anchorage of 15 days in St. Margaret's Hope, Firth of Forth, left its moorings on Saturday afternoon, and under canvass, with auxiliary steam power, proceeded down the Firth and stood out to sea. The squadron, in passing the narrow straits at Queensferry, proceeded in single line, the leading ships being the Royal Albert, 121, flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir C. Fremantle, the Mersey, 40-gun frigate, the Edgar, 91, flagship of Rear-Admiral Erskine, and the Donegal, 101, followed by seven other ships of the line and the Diadem frigate. The Greyhound corvette, 17, accompanied the Royal Albert as a tender. On passing Inchkeith, and getting into the outer bay of the Firth, the fleet formed in two lines, and stood out south-west in the direction of St. Abb's Head; the Royal Albert, the Donegal, the Aboukir, the Conqueror, and the Centurion, with the Greyhound forming the south line, and the Edgar, the Trafalgar, the Algiers, the Mars, the Diadem, and the Mersey, the north line. A number of steamers convoyed the fleet down the Firth, The public enthusiasm excited by the visit o£ the Channel squadron in the Forth can scarcely fall to give a stimulus to the service in the south-east of Scotland, where for many years a fleet of war-ships had not been seen; and great disappointment is felt that the fleet has not been able to make the tour of the north of Scotland and Ireland, as was anticipated. It was expected that the squadron would reach Yarmouth-roads yesterday afternoon.|
|Ma 2 July 1860||On Saturday the Channel fleet arrived In Yarmouth Roads. The squadron, which has been engaged in target practice in the North Sea during the past week, consists of the Royal Albert, 120; Conqueror, 101; Donegal, 101; Algiers, 91; Edgar, 91; Aboukir, 91; Trafalgar, 91; Centurion, 80; Mars, 80; Mersey, 40; Diadem, 32; Ariadne, 26; and Flying Fish, 6. The fleet is not expected to remain in Yarmouth Roads more than three or four days, as it is to take part in a naval review before the departure of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales for Canada.|
|Tu 10 July 1860|
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES.
PLYMOUTH, MONDAY AFTERNOON.
Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Fremantle's Channel squadron, consisting of the flagship Royal Albert, 121, Captain Henry J. Lacon; the Donegal, 101, Captain Henry Broadhead; the Aboukir, 90, Captain Douglas Curry; the Greyhound, 17, Commander Francis W. Sullivan; the Conqueror, 101, Captain Edward S. Sotheby, C.B.; the Trafalgar, 90, Captain Edward G. Fanshawe ; the Centurion, 80, Captain Henry G. Rogers, C.B.; the Edgar, 91, Captain James E. Katon; the Algiers, 91, Captain George W.D. O'Callaghan; the Mersey, 40, Captain Henry Caldwell, C.B.; and the Diadem, 32, Captain James H. Cockburn, under canvas only, with a smart breeze a little to the southward of east, hove in sight from Mount Wise at half-past 8 o'clock this morning in two lines. They then formed one line, and stood in for the port. At half-past 10 o'clock the ships wore in succession, and went away to the westward. Shortly after they came in sight more to the southward. Their funnels are up ready for use. The only ship likely to enter the Sound is the Diadem, which is said to be short of fuel. The Earl of Mount-Edgcumbe, in his steam yacht, near the Royal William Victualling-yard, is waiting the approach of the Prince of Wales. The Hero continues inside the Breakwater ready for sea, and arrangements are made for the expected departure of his Royal Highness to-morrow (Tuesday) morning. Her escort, the Ariadne, will probably take the Osborne in tow. The Flying Fish has gone on to Newfoundland.
(BY ELECTRIC AND INTERNATIONAL TELEGRAPH.)
PLYMOUTH, MONDAY EVENING.
Sir Charles Fremantle's squadron, which arrived off the port this morning, formed two lines, ranging about north and south, in the afternoon to receive the Royal yacht, which hove in sight at 7 o'clock, and was saluted by the Impregnable and other ships in Hamoaze. On rounding the west-end of the Breakwater the yardarms of the Hero, St. George, Emerald, and Ariadne, in the Sound, were manned, and the three last-named and the Plymouth Citadel saluted. At half-past 8, when the Prince left the yacht to join the Hero, the Emerald and the Citadel repeated the compliment. The weather is extremely fine, and thousands of the inhabitants were assembled on the heights.
|Tu 11 September 1860|
REVIEW OF THE CHANNEL FLEET.
The fleet, having all got under way by about 8 a.m., stood out to sea from Milford Haven, and, having made an offing of about seven miles, the Osborne, which had previously joined, with the Lords of the Admiralty on board, made the signal for the fleet to form a double line. They accordingly broke into two divisions; the starboard one, consisting of the Royal Albert, 121; the Donegal, 101; the Conqueror, 101; the Mars, 80, and the Trafalgar, 91, was led by Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Fremantle, K.C.B., in the Royal Albert. The port division, under Rear-Admiral Erskine, in the Edgar, 91, which was leading, comprised also the Algiers, 91; the Aboukir, 91; the Centurion, 80; the Mersey, 40; and the Diadem, 32. This manoeuvre having been executed with great precision, the Osborne signalled for the fleet to make sail under easy canvass, followed by an order from the Admiral to bank up the fires. Having stood on thus for some time, the two divisions tacked in succession to the starboard, after which the order was given to form a single line of battle. This was effected by the starboard division standing on its course, and the port one tacking until they came into line, when they followed in the wake of their predecessors, an interval of two cables' length separating each ship. The concluding and most exciting manoeuvre of the day was then made by the whole getting orders to make all sail that could be done with safety, and running before the wind. Studdingsail booms were then run out, and every inch of canvass both alow and aloft that would draw was set. The order was then given to make for the nearest port, on which the fleet bore up for Milford Haven. The Osborne then steamed up to the Admiral's ship, and Rear-Admiral Pelham, C.B., hailed Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Fremantle, K.C.B., and expressed, on the part of his Grace the Duke of Somerset and the rest of the Lords, the extreme satisfaction they all felt, not only in the appearance of the fleet, but also in the admirable precision with which all the manoeuvres had that day been performed, and we believe Capt. Ramsay, C.B., the superintendent of Pembroke Dockyard, was commissioned to convey the above opinion in writing to the Admiral of the fleet. The Osborne then parted company, - the Royal Albert giving the Lords of the Admiralty a salute of 19 guns, which the Osborne acknowledged by dipping her ensign, after which she stood to the southward, it being their Lordships' intention to inspect some important works in progress at the Scilly Isles, and afterwards proceed to Devonport to inspect the dockyard at that place. Nothing could be more favourable than the weather; it was slightly hazy up to 8 o'clock a.m., when it cleared up, and a fine fresh breeze came from the north-east, which lasted up to 3 o'clock p.m., when it died away. The whole of the signalling was done by bunting, and not by Ward's new system, as was generally supposed that it would be, and the brilliant flags had a very pretty effect as rapidly repeated by every third ship. As the fleet entered the harbour the Admiral made the signal for all the ships to take up their old berths, and by 6 o'clock p.m., all were in their original positions.
The Lords of the Admiralty previous to leaving Pembroke-dock granted the employés the usual half-holyday for Saturday.
|Th 13 September 1860||Pursuant to orders received on Sunday last, the Channel fleet, consisting of the Royal Albert, 121, Capt. H.J. Lacon, flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Fremantle, K.C.B., commanding the Fleet; the Conqueror, 101, Capt. Edward S. Sotheby, C.B.; the Donegal, 101, Capt. Henry Broadhead; the Edgar, 91, Capt. James E. Katon, flagship of Rear-Admiral John E. Erskine; the Mars, 80, Capt. James F. Strange; the Trafalgar, 91, Capt. Edward G. Fanshawe; the Algiers, 91, Capt. George W.D, O'Callaghan; the Centurion, 80, Capt. Henry D. Rogers, C.B.; the Aboukir, 91, Capt. Douglas Curry; the Mersey, 40, Capt. Henry Caldwell, C.B.; and the Diadem, 32, Capt. James H. Cockburn, got steam up by daybreak on Tuesday last, and sailed from Milford Haven at about 10 o'clock a.m. They are bound for a cruise of three weeks or a month, and it is supposed will go round the Western Islands, after which they are to rendezvous at Torbay, previous to going into winter quarters. Mr Ward is on board the Admiral's ship with his new system of ocean telegraphs, which are to be thoroughly tried during the cruise. The fleet has been in Milford Haven for more than three weeks, and the conduct of the men has been most exemplary. The civil authorities have not had to interfere except in one or two exceptional cases of drunkenness, together with a few cases of the not very heinous crime of overstaying leave. Rumour has it that three or four vessels of the fleet are to winter at Milford. A more secure berth could not be found in any case.|
|Fr 5 October 1860||It is expected that the screw steamship Aboukir, 90, Captain Douglas Curry, which arrived in Plymouth Sound on Wednesday with the Royal Albert, the Conqueror, and the Centurion, will have to go up Hamoaze to be repaired. During the recent cruise the fleet has been engaged in the usual routine of naval evolutions, and the discipline of the ships has been fully tested. Under canvas only the Edgar is said to be the best. The Conqueror has been repeatedly complimented by Admiral Freemantle for her smart appearance and efficiency. Complaint is made that the Commercial Code of signals which has been recently introduced, and is of great value, appears to receive no proper attention from the merchant vessels met by the ships of the fleet. During the cruise Ward's night signals have been tested, and have proved very valuable. Admiral Bethune's signals were also tried; they are useful only at short distances.|
The officers of the Steam Reserve Department of Woolwich Dockyard yesterday went down to Greenhithe for the purpose of accompanying Her Majesty's screw steam gunvessel Landrail, 5, Commander Wilson [should probably be Martin], down the measured mile, on a trial of her new engines, supplied by Mr. Humphreys, of Deptford. The trial having been perfectly satisfactory, the Landrail proceeded on her way to Portsmouth to join the Channel Squadron, and will ultimately proceed to the West Indies.
|Sa 6 October 1860||It is not expected that that portion of the Channel fleet at Plymouth will continue long in the Sound. The crews will most likely be paid down, and granted leave of absence; some have already obtained leave. All the ships are refitting. The Conqueror is completing with coal. The Centurion is receiving provisions, apparently for another cruise. On Tuesday night the watch on board the Conqueror observed flames in the midship part of the lower deck of the Centurion, which was lying near, and sent assistance immediately. By the time they arrived the fire had been discovered on board, the first to give the alarm being a seaman, who at the time was sleeping in his hammock. The flames were promptly subdued, but the firebell was kept ringing all night. The fire occurred close to the boilers, and one of the ship's beams is considerably burnt. The cause is unknown, but it is supposed to have arisen from a naked candle having been placed in contact with some clothes hung to dry.|
|Sa 20 October 1860||Vice-Admiral of the Blue Sir Charles Howe Fremantle, K.C.B., in command of the Channel squadron, is expected to return with the fleet to Portland to-morrow (Wednesday). The following is a list of the ships, guns, horse-power, and tons' burden, together with the names of the officers and number of men composing the fleet: - Vice-Admiral Sir C. H. Fremantle, K.C.B., Commander; Rear-Admiral J.B. Erskine, Second in Command; Rear-Admiral R.F. Stopford, Captain of the Fleet:-
|Tu 6 November 1860||That portion of the Channel squadron stationed at Plymouth are reefing studding-sail gear, and making other preparations for proceeding to Lisbon. It is reported that the flagship Royal Albert may sail to-day.|
The Centurion, 80, Capt. H.D. Rogers, received her powder on Friday afternoon.
On Monday morning the riggers of the Devonport dock-yard were admitted before the usual hour, for the purpose of unmooring the screw steamship Aboukir, 90, Capt. Douglas Curry, which will then be taken from Hamoaze into the Sound; she received her powder when in the inner harbour. The despatch of these ships to the Tagus was unexpected at Plymouth.
The Emerald, 51, screw, Capt. Arthur Cumming, sailed from Spithead early on Sunday morning for Plymouth Sound and Lisbon.
|We 7 November 1860||Rear-Admiral Robert F. Stopford's port division of the Channel squadron, in Plymouth Sound, received orders on Monday evening to prepare for sailing yesterday (Tuesday) morning for Lisbon; and the ships were supplied by Mr. W.F. Collier, the Portuguese Vice-Consul, with bills of health for that city,- a course not frequently observed. They consist of the flagship Royal Albert, 12l, Capt. Henry D. Lacon, Conqueror, 101, Capt. E.S. Sotheby, C.B.; Donegal, 101, Capt. Henry Broadhead; Aboukir, 90, Capt. Douglas Curry; Centurion, 80, Capt. H.D. Rogers, C.B.; and Emerald, 51, Capt. Arthur Cumming. At an early hour yesterday (Tuesday) morning, they picked up their small bower anchors, and at 11 o'clock fires were lighted under the boilers of the Royal Albert and Aboukir. At 1 p.m. the ships were detained for despatches. At 2 the Conqueror, Centurion, and Donegal left the Sound under canvas, and the Royal Albert and Aboukir under steam. They would soon put out their fires, as the wind continues strong from the eastward. The Emerald hauled down her blue-peter at 11, and will not sail with the rest, but remain at Plymouth for the stragglers, of whom there are about 200 on shore without leave.|
|Fr 21 December 1860||The flagship Royal Albert, 121, Capt. Henry Lacon; the Conqueror, 101, Capt. Edward S. Sotheby, C.B.; the Donegal, 101, Capt. Henry Broadhead; the Aboukir, 90, Capt. Douglas Curry; and the Emerald, 51, Capt. Arthur Cumming, which left Lisbon on the 10th inst., entered Plymouth Sound yesterday. They were under canvas until Monday, when steam was got up, in order to arrive by the time appointed. Fine weather was experienced until Wednesday evening, when a heavy squall carried away the Emerald's mainyard close off in the slings. The Centurion, 80, Capt. Henry B. Rogers, C.B., will remain up the Tagus until the arrival from Gibraltar of the St. Jean d'Acre, 101, Capt. Thomas P. Thomson, which she will supply with provisions, and then join the Channel squadron at Plymouth. The crews are all healthy.|
|Ma 24 December 1860||The screw steamship Aboukir, 90, Capt. Douglas Curry and the screw steam frigate Emerald, 51, Capt. Arthur Cumming, went on Saturday afternoon from Plymouth Sound into Hamoaze.|
The mainmast of the screw steamship Royal Albert, 121, at Devonport, is decayed. Her sails were sent to the Devonport Dockyard on Saturday. The crew are paid down, and granted 21 days' absence on leave. It is probable the crews of the Centurion, Donegal, Aboukir, and the Emerald will also be paid down, and that they will be provided with passages to the home ports.
|We 9 January 1861||The Edgar, 91, screw, Capt. James Katon, flagship of Rear-Admiral J.E. Erskine, left Portsmouth harbour yesterday morning, and took up a berth to the eastward of the ships at Spithead. The ships now anchored at Spithead, in addition to the Edgar, comprise the Algiers, 91, screw, Capt. G.D. O'Callaghan; the Trafalgar, 91, screw, Capt. Fanshawe; the Immortalité, 51, screw, Capt. G. Hancock; the Diadem, 32, screw, Capt. G. Cockburn; the Cossack, 20, screw, Capt. R. Moorman; the Desperate, 7, screw, Commander Ross; and the Triton, 3, paddle, Lieut-Commander R. Burton; the whole representing a force of 477 guns, and 4,410-horse power, nominal.|
The screw steamship Centurion, 80, Capt. H.D. Rogers, C.B., which left Lisbon on the 30th of December, arrived in Plymouth Sound yesterday morning. She started from the Tagus under steam, with a southerly wind, which continued until the 4th inst., when she was taken aback with east and south-east winds. On Sunday it changed to southwest, and so continued until 8.30 a.m. on Monday, when baffling winds were experienced, and at 2 30 p.m. steam was got up and continued until she reached the Sound. The weather was moderate and fine all the passage home. The Centurion brings only 10 invalids, who were taken from Lisbon hospital, where they were left by the Channel Fleet; she was ordered to go up Hamoaze yesterday afternoon to make good defects; her crew will be paid down and granted leave of absence. The screw steamship St. Jean d'Acre, 101, Capt. the Hon. C. Elliott, which arrived December 29, was left in the Tagus. The Centurion spoke January 4, at 4 p.m. the ship Phoenix, homeward bound.
|Th 11 April 1861||The screw steamship Centurion, 80. Capt. H.D. Rogers, C.B., the Aboukir, 90, Capt. Douglas Curry, and the Hero, 91, Capt. Alfred P. Ryder, were appointed to leave Hamoaze yesterday afternoon, and go into Plymouth Sound. The Donegal, 101, Capt. Henry Broadhead, will probably follow to-day, and the Conqueror, 101. Capt. Edward S. Sotheby, to-morrow. The ships belonging to the Plymouth division of the Channel Fleet have sent up their lower yards and topmasts. Nearly all arrived at Plymouth on the 20th of December last.|
|Fr 19 April 1861||It appears that the Princess Royal, 91, grounded on the Winter Shoal in Plymouth Sound on Tuesday afternoon, not in endeavouring to go to the westward, but to the northward of that shoal. She should, therefore, have gone nearer to the Citadel before attempting to make for Hamoaze, or else her jib should not have been hoisted. A very few fathoms would have taken her clear of danger. Her rise on the rock was rather understated in The Times of yesterday; instead of one to four feet, it should have been three to five feet - competent authorities say five feet. The diver examined the bottom on Wednesday and brought op a piece of her fore foot, about two feet six inches long; he stated that there are several feet gone. The gunboat Weser having been removed, the Princess Royal is now in No. 3 dock at Keyham Steamyard. However much this accident is to be regretted, it has been the means of bringing under special observation the very efficient condition of that portion of the Channel fleet now at anchor in the Sound. It consists of five screw steamships - viz., the Donegal, 101, Capt. Henry Broadhead, inside the western portion of the breakwater; the Aboukir, 90, Capt. Charles F.A. Shadwell, inside the Camber; the Conqueror, 101, Capt. Edward S. Sotheby, inside both; and the Hero, 91, Capt. Alfred P. Ryder, and the Centurion, 80, Capt. Henry D. Rogers, C.B., yet further in. The officers on duty on board all the ships were apparently watching the Princess Royal. Boats were manned simultaneously. Between the striking of the ship on the rock and the starting of a pinnace from the Donegal with a stream anchor and all appurtenances only four minutes and a half elapsed. Equal activity was manifested by Commander Brown, Master Attendant, and the executive of the Devonport Dockyard, in the despatch of steam tenders and launches. On Wednesday again a boat belonging to the Aboukir was upset in the Sound, but the crew were promptly rescued by assistance from the ships just enumerated.|
|Ma 22 April 1861||When the starboard division of the Channel fleet left Plymouth Sound on Friday afternoon the Hero, 91, took the lead under topsails, topgallant sails, and royals, with. jib and flying jib. She was followed by the Centurion, 80, Aboukir, 90, and the Conqueror, 101, which had her studding sails on. the port side. The senior ship, the Donegal, 101, Capt. Henry Broadband, was under all plain sail; wind, easterly. Port Admiral Sir Houston Stewart and party witnessed the departure of the ships from the steam tender Avon, in the Sound. They are gone to relieve the homeward bound, and are expected again at Plymouth in the course of a week or 16 days.|
|Th 2 May 1861||The screw steamship. Princess Royal, 91, Capt. Charles Fellowes, flag of Rear-Admiral Robert Smart, K.H., in command of the Channel Squadron, was put out of commission at Devonport on Tuesday, the 30th ult., and on Wednesday the screw steamship Revenge, 91, was commissioned to take her place. The crew will be paid wages and granted leave of absence probably on Saturday. The Revenge was removed yesterday morning from No. 3 Dock in Keyham steamyard, and moored in the basin. The gunboats Trinculo and Gleaner were placed in the dock immediately afterwards.|
|Sa 18 May 1861||The division of the Channel fleet which anchored in St. Helen's Roads, from Portland, on Thursday evening, weighed anchor yesterday morning, the Donegal and Hero proceeding under canvas to Spithead, where they anchored, joining Rear-Admiral Erskine's division lying at that anchorage. The three remaining ships - the Conqueror, Aboukir, and Centurion, stood out to sea, also under canvas, bound for Plymouth Sound.|
|Sa 22 June 1861||The Plymouth division of the Channel fleet, under the command of Rear-Admiral Stuart [should be Smart], consisting of the Revenge (flagship), Aboukir, Conqueror, and Centurion, with the steam tender Porpoise, cast anchor in Leith Heads on Thursday morning shortly after midnight. The division had been nearly three days at the mouth of the Firth of Forth, off the Isle of May, cruising about in expectation of meeting the Spithead division (Admiral Erskine's), consisting of the Edgar (flag), Donegal, Trafalgar, and Hero. Up to Wednesday evening the latter division had not been seen, and Admiral Smart gave the signal to proceed up the Firth. While cruising of the Isle of May the ships' crews were busily exercised in artillery and rifle practice at targets moored for the purpose. All Thursday the Plymouth division lay off the Island Of Inchkeith in Leith Roads, and at noon the several ships fired a royal salute in honour of Her Majesty's accession. In the afternoon the ships were ordered to get up steam for the purpose, it was understood, of proceeding up the Firth to St. Margaret's Hope, where both divisions of the Fleet lay for about a fortnight last summer.|
|Th 27 June 1861||Rear-Admiral Erskine's division of the Channel Fleet, consisting of the Edgar, the Hero, and the Trafalgar, joined Admiral Smart's division, composed of the Revenge, the Aboukir, the Conqueror, and the Centurion, in Leith Roads on Saturday evening. It was expected that they should leave that anchorage early on Wednesday morning to proceed northward by the Moray and Pentland Firths, and subsequentlv visit the north of Ireland, and also, it is said, the Clyde.|
|Ma 29 July 1861||The Channel Fleet are now anchored in the waters of Loughswilly. On Wednesday they sailed majestically up the Lough on the tide in the form of a crescent. The Londonderry Sentinel gives a graphic description of the scene, which I abridge:-|
"No sight could be more beautiful. Crowds collected from many points to witness the magnificent spectacle. These seven wooden walls of old England now displayed their graceful lines, their beautiful symmetry, and gayest bunting to the admiration of hundreds, while the waters of the Lough, as if proud of their freight, reflected their spire-like masts, their thousand flags and streamers, and their stately outlines in the glassy waves beneath. Now the ships are off Dunree Fort, on which the red cross of England unfurls its folds to the wind. As each man-of-war passes a salute is fired, and in the intervals the martial strains of the well-trained bands on board each vessel are borne to the shore. The scene was of the most thrilling description, and its interest was not lessened by the fact that this exhibition of the 'pride, pomp, and circumstance' of the maritime greatness of our country was unattended by the more direful accompaniments of 'glorious war.'
"At half-past 4 the fleet were off Buncrana, having arrived in the following order:-
"The Revenge, 91 guns, 800-horse power, Captain Charles Fellows, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Smart, senior Admiral of the fleet. The Edgar, 91 guns, 600-horse power, Captain Mends, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Erskine (white), second in command. The Conqueror, 101 guns, 200-horse power, Captain Southby, C.B., and Aide-de-Camp to the Queen, The Aboukir, 91 guns, 403-horse power, Captain Shadwell, C.B. The Hero, 91 guns, 600-horse power, Captain Ryder. The Trafalgar, 90 guns, 500-horse power, Captain Dixon. The Centurion, 80 guns, 400-horse power, Captain Rogers, C.B. The Porpoise gunboat, commanded by Lieutenant-Commander John Brasier Creagh, Knight of the Legion of Honour.
"As night set in the shores of tough Swilly were brilliantly lit up with bonfires. The glare brought out the ships into fine relief, affording a spectacle easy to be enjoyed, but difficult to describe. All the inhabitants of Buncrana likewise illuminated their dwellings, and on every side great enthusiasm was witnessed. It was most gratifying to see the cordial reception given by the people of Ennishowen to the fleet, and both officers and men feel much pleased and complimented at the reception they have met with. Perhaps in no other place since they have left Spithead have they received such a hearty welcome, and the short experience had of the members of the fleet gives reason to believe that it will be richly deserved.
"Some idea may be formed of the might and majesty of England's navy, from the fact that these seven vessels carry 636 guns, with crews amounting in number to 6,250 men, being more than the entire population of Strabane The entire horse-power is nominally 4,200, but is equal to double these figures. Three vessels properly belonging to this portion of the fleet are absent on other service - namely, the Donegal, the Diadem, and the Emerald."
This spectacle will produce a profound and lasting impression on the peasantry of Donegal, and the fame of it will spread throughout all the mountains and glens of the west.
|Th 8 August 1861||The screw steam-ships Revenge, 89, Capt. Charles Fellowes, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Robert Smart, K.H.; Conqueror, 99, Capt. Edward S. Sotheby, C.B.; Aboukir, 86, Capt. Charles P. Shadwell; and Centurion, 80, Capt. Henry D. Rogers, C.B., of the Channel Squadron, arrived in Plymouth Sound yesterday afternoon.|
|We 9 October 1861||Rear Admiral Erskine's division of the Channel fleet, consisting of the Edgar, 89 screw (flagship), Capt. George P. Mends; the Hero, 89, screw, Capt. A.P. Ryder; and the Trafalgar, 86, screw, Capt. J.B. Dickson, arrived at Spithead yesterday morning under steam, and brought up in line on reaching the anchorage. The Edgar discharged her powder and shell yesterday at Spithead, preparatory to going into harbour.|
The starboard division of the Channel fleet, under Admiral Smart, which left Ireland eight days previously, and arrived at Plymouth yesterday morning (as reported in our second edition), parted company on Saturday evening with the port division, consisting of the Hero, the Edgar, and the Trafalgar, which are bound for Spithead. They entered the Sound in the following order:- The screw steamship Revenge, 89, Capt. Charles Fellowes, flag of Rear-Admiral Robert Smart, K.H., white at the mizen; the Centurion, 80, Capt. Henry D. Rogers, C.B.; the Conqueror, 99, Capt. Edward S. Sotheby, C.B.; and the Aboukir, 86, Capt. Charles F. A. Shadwell, C.B.
|Th 10 October 1861||The damage sustained by the Channel Fleet during the late severe storm is estimated at 10,000 l. The Conqueror, Centurion, and Aboukir lost all their quarter boats. The Aboukir rolled excessively. The Hero lost her mainyard. The Trafalgar suffered severely. The Conqueror also lost her three topsails; indeed, so much canvas was blown away that when Admiral Stuart [should be Smart] signalled some of the ships to hoist certain sails, the reply given was "that they had none." It is reported at Plymouth that the Centurion and Aboukir are to be sent to the West Indies. The Revenge was removed yesterday from Plymouth Sound into Hamoaze to be repaired. The Conqueror, Centurion, and Aboukir will follow.|