HMS Swallow (1854)
HMS Swallow (1854)

Royal NavyVessels

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NameSwallow (1854)Explanation
Launched12 June 1854   
HullWooden Length139 feet
Builders measure486 tons   
Displacement626 tons   
Fate1866 Last in commission1866
Ships bookADM 135/460   
12 June 1854Launched at Pembroke Dockyard.
18 August 1854
- 10 May 1856
Commanded (from commissioning at Portsmouth) by Commander Frederick Augustus Buchanan Craufurd, Mediterranean (and Black Sea during the Russian War)
10 May 1856
- 15 February 1859
Commanded (until paying off at Sheerness) by Commander Charles Lodowick Darley Waddilove, Mediterranean
21 November 1861
- 1 October 1866
Commanded (from commissioning at Sheerness until paying off at Sheerness) by Master commander Edward Wilds, Japan and China (surveying)
December 1866Sold for breaking up
Extracts from the Times newspaper
Th 20 September 1866The Swallow, steam sloop, nine guns, 486 tons, 60-horse power, Master Commander E. Wilds, arrived at Sheerness on Sunday morning from China. On Monday she was taken into the large basin of the dockyard, where she was yesterday morning inspected by Capt. D. M'L. Mackenzie, Capt. of the Formidable, flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir Baldwin W. Walker, K.C.B., Commander-in-Chief at the Nore, previously to being dismantled and paid out of commission. During the last four years the Swallow has been engaged on a surveying expedition to the China station. She left England in April, 1862, and arrived at Hongkong in September of the same year. During the passage from Singapore to Hongkong she experienced a heavy typhoon, during which her quarter boats were washed away, and much damage was done to the sails and rigging. The vessel left Hongkong for England on the 10th of March, 1866, surveyed the Scarborough reef from the 13th to the 18th of March, and called at Manilla, Singapore, and Batavia. In the Java sea two important dangers were discovered and their positions determined - viz., the Sharpshooter's Rock at the entrance to Gaspar Straits, and a ledge with 23ft. in it called the Swallow Rock. She passed Anjer on the 10th of May, and had a tolerably fine passage until off Point Hood, on the African coast, where for seven days a severe gale was experienced, amounting sometimes to the force of a hurricane. Considering that three vessels, one twice as large, and another three times as large as the Swallow, foundered near her, those on board had cause to congratulate themselves on escaping without damage. They were, besides, enabled to save the lives of some of the passengers of one of the foundered ships, the Stalwart. The Swallow left Simon's Bay on the 22d of July, called at St. Helena August 3, and arrived at Portland on the 12th of September. During her commission she has sailed and steamed upwards of 15,000 miles. Several harbours have been surveyed, and about 3,000 miles of coast line; besides which the ship has sounded the whole of the China and Yellow Seas. The health of the officers has been very good, but on account of the bad accommodation the seamen have suffered considerably. Nearly every seaman who left England in the ship had been invalided home before she left China, but only four deaths occurred.

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