HMS Ranger (1859)
HMS Ranger (1859)

Royal NavyVessels

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NameRanger (1859)Explanation
Launched26 November 1859
Builders measure428 tons
Displacement570 tons
Ships bookADM 135/386
Snippets concerning this vessels career
16 April 1860
- 10 November 1863
Commanded (from commissioning at Woolwich until paying off at Woolwich) by Commander Henry Rushworth Wratislaw, west coast of Africa
27 February 1864
- 17 May 1865
Commanded (from commissioning at Woolwich) by Commander William Elrington Gordon, west coast of Africa (until invalided)
4 May 1865
- 4 September 1865
Commanded by Acting Commander Henry Stair Sandys, west coast of Africa
19 May 1865
- 10 August 1866
Commanded by Commander Charles Gudgeon Nelson, west coast of Africa (until invalided)
10 August 1866
- 24 January 1868
Commanded (until paying off at Woolwich) by Commander William Alfred Cambier, west coast of Africa
Extracts from the Times newspaper
Sa 25 May 1850The Ranger, 5, screw schooner, Commander Wratislaw, arrived at Spithead yesterday from Woolwich, on her way to the coast of Africa.
Fr 3 February 1860Her Majesty's screw steam schooner Ranger, 5, launched from Deptford yard, and fitted by Messrs. Rennie with a couple of 80-horse engines, is ordered to proceed to Woolwich this morning and enter into trial of her machinery at the measured mile.
We 8 February 1860The screw steam schooner Ranger, launched at Deptford, and fitted by Messrs. Rennie and Co. with a couple of 80-horse-power engines (nominal), yesterday proceeded down the measured mile from Woolwich, the engines working smoothly without any vibration at 90 revolutions per minute, working up to nearly 400 indicated horse-power. The speed was not taken in consequence of her not being coppered and the launching cleets not being removed.
Fr 6 April 1860Rear-Admiral Sir Baldwin Wake Walker, Bart., K.C.B. Controller-General of the Navy, yesterday visited Woolwich dockyard, and, accompanied by the Commodore Superintendent and the heads of departments, inspected the new screw steam-schooner Ranger, completed for service and about to be commissioned for the west coast of Africa.
Sa 14 April 1860Vice-Admiral the Hon. Sir Richard Dundas, one of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and Rear-Admiral Sir Baldwin Walker, Controller of the Navy, yesterday visited Woolwich Dockyard, and made an inspection of the armament and fittings of the new screw steam schooner Ranger, in readiness for the pennant. The Ranger is the first of that class of ships, and is fitted on a peculiar method adapted for warm climates, so as to insure the greatest amount of air and ventilation. After their Lordships' inspection of the Ranger, having been joined by Capt. the Hon. A. Cochrane, they proceeded to the factory, and examined the new improved ships' boiler manufactured from the designs of the Earl of Dundonald. They afterwards went on board the steam corvette Bristol, in a forward state of construction, visited the rigging loft, rope walk, and various parts of the yard, and finally repaired to the testing-house, and witnessed a trial of the superiority of Mr. Lennox's new metal blocks for ships' rigging, which were tested against the old Admiralty wooden blocks hitherto In use. A 4½-inch rope was used in the trial, and the strain having arrived at 25¾ tons, the Admiralty block gave way, while the metal one on being examined appeared to have suffered no injury. Their lordships thereupon terminated their visit and returned to London.
Sa 21 April 1860Commander Henry R. Wratislaw yesterday took up his commission and hoisted his pendant at Woolwich on board the new pattern screw schooner Ranger, fitting for the West Coast of Africa. The majority of the officers are appointed and have joined the commander at Woolwich; and the crew, many of whom were previously known to the commander, are rapidly entering at the appointed rendezvous, the Ship Hotel. The Ranger is expected to sail about the middle of next month.
Th 3 May 1860The Hon. Robert Dundas, Storekeeper-General of the Navy, and Capt. Charles Eden, C.B., one of the Lords of the Admiralty, paid an official visit yesterday to Woolwich dockyard, and inspected the new arrangements for transmitting the factory stores ordered to he annexed to the storekeeper's department, and put into operation on the 1st of April, the commencement of the present financial year. They were accompanied by Commodore Drummond and the principal officers of the yard. The visit was likewise extended to a minute inspection of the model screw steam schooner Ranger, Commander Wratislaw, in a forward state for sea, when some new internal arrangements were suggested and ordered to he adopted for the convenience and accommodation of the officers and the freer ventilation of the berths. They likewise visited the paddlewheel steam sloop Hecate, ordered to he brought forward for commission and which is being fitted with a small poop deck, to be used as a chart room, in order to facilitate the surveying duties for which she is about to be despatched, in the Pacific.
Th 17 May 1860Mr. Hall, instructor of novices, Her Majesty's receiving ship Fisgard, Woolwich, and staff of engineers, officers, and assistants from the factory, yesterday left Woolwich for Greenhithe, in readiness to embark at an early hour this morning on board the model screw steam schooner Ranger, on a trial of her machinery for the information of the Board of Admiralty. The Ranger will proceed experimentally as far as the Mouse, for the satisfaction of the engineers, and continue her voyage to Portsmouth, during which time her sea-going qualities are ordered to be registered with precision.
Sa 19 May 1860The Ranger, 5, screw schooner, Commander Wratislaw, arrived at Spithead yesterday from Woolwich, on her way to the coast of Africa.
Tu 12 June 1860The Ranger screw-steam gun-vessel, Commander Wratislaw, arrived at Spithead on Saturday from a cruise, and not the "Wrangler," as incorrectly reported yesterday.
We 27 June 1860The Ranger, 5, screw. Commander H.R. Wratislaw, got up steam yesterday at Spithead, and proceeded to the trial ground in Stokes Bay, in charge of Commander Thorpe, of Her Majesty's ship Asia, to test her speed at the measured mile. Five runs were made, the average of which gave the ship a speed of nine knots; revolutions of engines, maximum, 99; draught of water - forward 10 feet 6 Inches, aft 12 feet; force of wind during the trial about 4. The Ranger is one of the newly-constructed three-masted screw schooners, armed with a heavy pivot gun and four 24-pounder howitzers, and is fitted with 80-horse (nominal) engines by Messrs. Rennie. Her destination is the West Coast of Africa.
We 4 July 1860The Ranger, 5, screw gunvessel, Commander H. R. Wratislaw, sailed from Spithead yesterday, at 11.30 a.m., for the West Coast of Africa, taking a mail for Sierra Leone.
Th 29 October 1863The Ranger, 6-gun screw sloop, Commander Henry R. Wratislaw, arrived at Spithead at a late hour on Tuesday evening from the West Coast of Africa. She sailed from Cape Coast Castle on the 21st of August, and from Ascension on the 9th of September. At Cape Coast Castle she left the flagship of the Commodore, the Rattlesnake; and at Ascension the Archer, 13-gun screw corvette, Captain John Bythesea, V.C. The Ranger brought to England a few naval invalids from ships serving on the station, who were transferred yesterday to Her Majesty's ship Victory. She has received orders to proceed round to Woolwich to dismantle and pay out of commission, and is expected to sail from Spithead this morning. Her boilers are in a very defective condition.
Tu 3 November 1863Her Majesty's screw gun-vessel Ranger, 6, Commander Henry R. Wratislaw, from the West Coast of Africa, yesterday returned to Woolwich to be paid out of commission. Immediately after being paid off the Ranger will be entered for repairs, and will be placed in the first division of the steam reserve for recommission. During her last commission, three and a-half years, she captured two full slavers, which will entitle the officers and crew to good prize money. She will be inspected at her moorings this morning in the river, when the crew will be mustered for exercise.
Th 5 November 1863Her Majesty's gun vessel Ranger, Commander Wratislaw, from the West Coast of Africa, has commenced stripping and returning stores at Woolwich, and is ordered to pay out of commission on Tuesday next. Her boilers, it has been ascertained, are most defective, in consequence of which on her arrival in the Downs the vessel had to beat up to Gravesend under sail. The Ranger did considerable service off Cape Coast Castle in assisting to suppress the insurrection among the Ashantees, for which purpose Commander Wratislaw despatched a gunner and 27 of his crew on shore to aid the authorities. The ship has been exceedingly healthy during the whole of the commission, the only deaths which have taken place being those of Mr. Somerville and Mr. Warren, the assist.-paymaster and the second master.
We 11 November 1863Her Majesty's gunboat Ranger, Commander Wratislaw, from the West Coast of Africa, was yesterday paid out of commission at Woolwich. In addition to their arrears of pay, the officers and crew received a large amount of prize money, the latter sum, including remittances, exceeding 7,000l. The commander's share amounted to 800l. The continuous service men have been granted 42 days' leave. Preparations were commenced on board yesterday for removing the boilers from the Ranger, in order to commence the repairs without delay, with a view to her being commissioned as early as possible. Commander Wratislaw served under the late Sir William Peel in the Naval Brigade in India, and was honourably mentioned in the Admiralty despatch at the time of his commission as commander - viz., March, 1858.
Sa 14 December 1867The screw steam gun vessel Espoir, 5, from Ascension November 3, arrived in Plymouth Sound on Thursday night, as already reported in The Times, She experienced very fine weather to the Western Isles, and afterwards strong north-east winds. On the 9th inst. they increased to a gale, during which one of the quarter boats was lost. The Espoir spoke November 11, lat. 5 17 W., long. 24 34 W., the Dutch ship Ardville, outward bound; and on the 15th, lat. 10 39 N, long. 27 35 W., the American brigantine D.C. Soule, from Baltimore for Buenos Ayres, On the 10th, lat. 48 13 W., long. 10 42 W passed the side of a ship, supposed to have been wrecked ashore and then washed off to sea; apparently it had not been long in the water. The Espoir left at Ascension the iron screw steam storeship Dromedary, Staff Commander John H. Allard, and the Flora, 40; one death from yellow fever had occurred on board the Flora. The screw steam sloop Greyhound, 5, Capt. Charles Stirling, from St. Helena, was daily expected at Ascension. Commodore Hornby, in the Bristol, 31, Capt. Somerset, and the screw steam sloop Vestal, 4, Commander Brett, were in the River Congo, Several Kroomen attacked by smallpox had died on board the Vestal, while she was being purified her crew were housed ashore. The screw steam, gun vessel Lee, 5, Commander Charles W. Andrew (senior officer), the Ranger, Landrail, Vindictive, and Assurance were in the Bights of Benin, The Dart, Mullet, and Pioneer were on the south coast, and the Oberon and Antelope at the Cape. The position of the screw steam corvette Rattlesnake, 19, Capt. William M. Dowell, C.B., was not known. The Espoir will be inspected to-day, after which she will go into Hamoaze to be dismantled and paid off.
Ma 13 January 1868The Ranger, 5, screw gun vessel, Commander W.A. Cambier, just arrived in England from the Coast of Africa went into Portsmouth harbour from Spithead on Saturday, to take in a supply of coal, and afterwards sailed for the Nore to dismantle and pay out of commission at Sheemess.

We regret to learn that Commander Charles G. Nelson, now commanding the Castor, Royal Naval Reserve Drill ship at North Shields, who commissioned the Ranger and commanded her through the first part of her service on the West Coast of Africa until invalided home, after successive and persistent attacks of coast fever, is stall suffering very much in health from the effects of his old sickness caught in the Ranger.
Sa 25 January 1868Her Majesty's 5-gun screw vessel Ranger, Commander William A. Cambier, from the West Coast of Africa, was yesterday paid oat of commission at Woolwich, and the whole of the continuous service men left on leave of absence. The complement consisted of 60 men and boys, all told, some of whom were paid arrears of back pay, amounting to 70l. And 80l. Each. They were met at the dockyard gates by the usual crowd of hangers-on attendant on such occasions, by whom they are so frequently defrauded. Some of the men, however, took the wholesome advice of their officers, and forwarded large amounts through the paymaster to their homes.

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