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HMS Spiteful (1842)

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Type1st class sloop   
Launched24 March 1842
Builders measure1054 tons
Displacement1379 tons
Ships book
Snippets concerning this vessels career
14 December 1842
- October 1846
Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth) by Commander William Maitland, East Indies (until he died)
29 October 1846
- 30 July 1847
Commanded (until paying off at Woolwich) by Commander William Legge George Hoste, East Indies
4 October 1849
- 3 June 1851
Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth) by Commander Thomas Carmichael, Mediterranean (superceded at his own request)
12 July 1854Commanded (from commissioning at Woolwich) by Commander Augustus Frederick Kynaston, the Baltic during the Russian War, being severely wounded during the first attack on Sebastopol on 17th October 1854
19 January 1855
- 23 May 1857
Commanded (until paying off at Woolwich) by Commander Francis Henry Shortt, Mediterranean
30 August 1860
- 14 March 1863
Commanded (from commissioning at Woolwich until paying off at Woolwich) by Commander William Charles Fahie Wilson, Portsmouth, then (February 1861) North America and West Indies
1 November 1865
- 15 January 1867
Commanded (from commissioning at Woolwich) by Commander Archibald Douglas William Fletcher, south-east coast of America (until Fletcher was invalided)
8 March 1867
- 24 December 1868
Commanded by Commander Benjamin Langlois Lefroy, south-east coast of America, then 1868 Abyssinian expedition (a punitive expedition against the Emperor of Ethiopia, Tewodros II, who had written to the British Government requesting their help in his wars with his neighbours. When he received no answer to his letter, he took offence and made a number of British officials and missionaries his prisoners).
Extracts from the Times newspaper
We 21 July 1847The Spiteful steam-sloop, Captain Sir William Hoste, Bart., arrived at Spithead last evening, about 6 o'clock, from the East India and China station. Her dates are, Bombay, March 6; Point de Galle, April 5; Cape of Good Hope, May 29; St. Helena, June 9; and Ascension, June 19. The President, 50, flag of Rear-Admiral [James Richard] Dacres, the Rosamond steam-sloop, Commander Foote, and the Iris, 26, Captain Munday, were in Simon's Bay when she left, the latter to proceed two days after for England. The Belle Poule, 60, flag of Rear-Admiral Des Fossée, was at St. Helena, en route to Brest. The Penelope steam-frigate, Captain Giffard, bearing the broad pendant of Commodore Sir Charles Hotham, K.C.B.; and the Mariner, 12; Commander Mathison, were at Ascension, which island was very healthy, water very scarce, but turtle plentiful. The coals at the depôt at Ascension (ashore) had ignited while the Spiteful lay there, and created great consternation; they were nearly all consumed before the fire was extinguished. Lieutenant Mends, on promotion from the Fox, Captain Priestly, of the 25th Regiment, from the Cape, Lieutenant Spencer Pickard, from the Fox, and Mr. Hutton, nephew of Captain Hutton, Governor of Ascension, have come home in the Spiteful, by whom, we learn that the Agincourt, 72, flag of Rear-Admiral Sir T. Cochrane, was to sail from Penang two or three days after the departure of the Iris. The Spiteful has been in commission four years and seven months, and was first commanded by Commander Maitland, who recently died on the station. She has had two acting commanders besides Captain Sir W. Hoste, Bart., who has brought her home. She sailed in company with the Fox, 42, from Bombay, and kept company with her under canvas to Goa, parting company at Cannanore, on the 18th of March. From the latter place she went to Colombo and Trincomalee. The Sapphire troopship was at the latter place when she left, where, also, the Petrel, 16, was daily expected. The Spiteful has been much employed in carrying troops, in disembarking and embarking whom her paddle-box boats have been of the most eminent service. She was employed in the expedition against the pirates of Borneo in July last. She left the Cape with 230 tons of coats in her bunkers, and took in 100 tons at Ascension. She made the passage to Plymouth in 50 days, a strong head wind blowing the last five; she steamed (exclusively) for 31 days, with a constant succession of light winds. The following shows how cheaply a steamer may be navigated with judicious management and scientific application of the means at disposal in making passages of great distance:-
Total amount of coal expended. 361 tons.
Total cost of vessel, 597l. 0s. 6½d.
Total cost of coals, 570l. 2s.
Total number of miles run, 4,378.
Ditto oil and tallow, 26l. 18s. 6½d.
Under steam; 746 hours.
Average distance, with one ton, 13 miles 9-10ths.
Average expenditure per day, 10 tons 9 cwt.
Cost per day, 19l. 4s. 1d.
This was with one boiler and three fires, and the constant use of the expansive gear, and reflects very great credit upon the perseverance and economy of Sir W. Hoste, as well as proving to the maritime world generally, how far but little means, when properly applied, will take a steamer. The Spiteful is. in admirable order and condition, so far as discipline and accessories imply; but her machinery and boilers, of course, require repair. She is a Surveyor vessel, but monstrously under powered, being of 1,050 tons, but of only 280 horse power. She will proceed to Woolwich to be paid off after replenishing fuel. The Hindustan, which arrived also yesterday at Southampton; reported the Spiteful at Ascension on the 29th of June, together with the Penelope and Iris. The latter may have been there, but the Spiteful left the Hindustan at that island, not vice versâ._
Fr 23 July 1847We were slightly in error yesterday with regard to the quantity of coals consumed by the Spiteful in her passage from the Cape to Plymouth. We stated the total quantity to be 361 tons 1 cwt. It should have been 326 tons 1 cwt. Thus the journey has been performed even more economically than we at first stated.
Th 12 March 1863Her Majesty's paddle-wheel steamsloop Spiteful, Commander William C.F. Wilson, from the West Indies, has returned stores at Woolwich, and is ordered to pay off on Saturday next. During the prevalence of yellow fever, which attacked the crew of the Spiteful in 1861, soon after her arrival in the Havannah, no less than 50 men, including 6 officers, died, and several men were invalided and sent home. Commander Wilson was in hospital at Nassau, and was for a considerable time incapacitated from duty. During his illness the command of the ship devolved on the first-lieut, James N. Croke, who, although he had scarcely recovered himself from a severe attack of the malady, assumed the entire charge. Out of the number of officers who left England in 1860, when the Spiteful was commissioned at Woolwich, only four have returned, including the commander and first-lieutenant - the former bearing evident indications of the shattering effects of the attack. The Spiteful has latterly been employed at Halifax, and was last year engaged in quelling the disturbances on shore in Newfoundland. She is now sent home on account of her boilers being defective. Before leaving for England she was carefully inspected by Admiral Milne, who expressed his satisfaction with the state of the ship, and forwarded a report to that effect to the Board of Admiralty. On her arrival at Woolwich she was again inspected by the senior officer commanding, and the men were put through a thorough course of exercise in the rigging and under arms. In consideration of the satisfactory reports their Lordships, contrary to the usual custom on paying off, ordered the ship's company three days leave, and, it is satisfactory to add, all returned to the ship sober and in good plight, with the exception of one man sent to the Infirmary. The officers report that on their voyage home Clifford's lowering gear, with which the Spiteful's boats are fitted, was called into operation to rescue a man who had fallen overboard. The poor fellow was unable to swim, and had already disappeared, when the boat was manned and lowered, and in three minutes the drowning man was again on board and safe. The steam tug Kite, relieved by the Spitfire, sailed from Bermuda seven days before the Spiteful, but, as she performed the passage under sail, she is not expected to arrive in England before the end of the present month.
Tu 7 November 1865Commander Archibald D.W. Fletcher, who commanded, the Triton in the Black Sea, and was subsequently employed in the Coastguard and the packet service, yesterday joined and took up the command of Her Majesty's 6-gun paddle sloop Spiteful, commissioned at Woolwich for the Brazilian station. The Spiteful was yesterday docked for survey and examination of defects. The whole of her officers have been appointed, and the crew selected from the continuous service men berthed on board the flagship Fisgard. Unless, as it is feared, some of her timbers may require removal, she will draw her stores and proceed to sea without delay.
Sa 9 December 1865Her Majesty's 6-gun paddle-sloop Spiteful, recently commissioned at Woolwich by Commander Archibald D.W. Fletcher for service on the Brazilian coast, again returned to Woolwich yesterday from Portsmouth, having been found unfit for foreign service. On her arrival at Woolwich she proceeded to the powder-buoy off the Royal Arsenal and discharged her war stores, preparatory to being redocked and undergoing a thorough survey. Before sailing from Woolwich, it was stated in The Times that it was feared the Spiteful would be detained beyond the time appointed for her departure in consequence of a rumour that some of her lower timbers were rotten, and that she would require considerable repairs before proceeding to sea. A survey was ordered by the Admiralty accordingly, and the ship was pronounced in proper condition for the voyage. The nature of her defects will be ascertained forthwith. She was repaired throughout at Deptford yard, at an expenditure of, it is stated, some 10,000l., and subsequently fitted out at Woolwich, whence she took her departure a few days ago. She has been in. the shipwrights' hands at Portsmouth since Monday last, but the work is not completed.
Fr 15 December 1865Her Majesty's paddle-wheel steam sloop Spiteful, Commander A.W.D. Fletcher, ordered back to Woolwich from Portsmouth, at the suggestion of the Shipwright Department there, in consequence of a long list of defects sent in by the ship's carpenter, has undergone the process of caulking, and having been surveyed throughout by Mr, J.B.C. Crossland, Assistant-Constructor of the Navy, and a party of officials from the Board of Admiralty, has been pronounced seaworthy. The ship is, consequently, again ordered to sail for her destination. She left her moorings yesterday alongside the Hebe hulk, and went down to the coal brig, under orders to leave Woolwich to-day for Plymouth on her way to Brazil, to relieve and take up her station there. Commodore Hugh Dunlop, C.B., superintendent of the dockyard at Woolwich, yesterday received a communication from Admiral Robinson, Controller of the Navy, informing him that, in justice to the departmental officials of the yard, he had much pleasure in acquainting him that he was fully satisfied with the result of the official survey of the ship, and he fully exonerated them from the imputation of negligence which had been imputed to them with reference to the Spiteful.

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