HMS Virago (1842)
HMS Virago (1842)

Royal NavyVessels

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NameVirago (1842)Explanation
Type1st class sloop   
Launched25 July 1842
Builders measure1059 tons
Displacement1669 tons
Ships bookADM 135/498
Snippets concerning this vessels career
25 May 1843
- 18 May 1846
Commanded by Commander George Graham Otway, Mediterranean
20 May 1846
- 16 November 1847
Commanded (until paying off at Woolwich) by Commander John Lunn, Mediterranean
5 August 1851
- 1853
Commanded by Commander William Houston Stewart, Pacific (recapturing the Chilean colony of Punta Arenas in the Strait of Magellan from revolutionaries)
5 April 1853Commanded by Commander Edward Marshall, Pacific (including 1854 Anglo-French squadron during the Russian War)
(1854)Commanded by Commander James Charles Prevost, on the west coast of Canada. Gold discoveries in the Queen Charlotte Islands led Prevost to produce surveys of harbours in the Islands, adjacent coastal channels, and the Port Simpson area
6 May 1856Commanded by Commander Henry Vachell Haggard, south-east coast of America
15 March 1858Commanded by Commander Montagu Buccleuch Dunn, Devonport
31 July 1861
- January 1865
Commanded (from commissioning at Sheerness) by Commander William George Hope Johnstone, Channel squadron, then (August 1863) West Indies
1 December 1866
- 4 April 1870
Commanded by Commander Henry Maynard Bingham, Australia
25 August 1869Commanded by Commander Elibank Harley Murray, Australia
(16 October 1870)
- 25 November 1871
Commanded by Commander Henry Stair Sandys, Australia
Extracts from the Times newspaper
Fr 5 January 1866The paddle-wheel steamer Virago, 6, 300-horse power, attached to the Chatham, steam reserve, is undergone most extensive repairs to both hull and machinery in No. 1 dock, in order that she may be brought forward for commission. Her machinery has been removed into the factory for a thorough overhaul and repair, and her boilers have been taken out. The nature of the repairs ordered to be carried out will detain her in dock for some months.
Fr 22 June 1866The Virago, paddlewheel sloop, 1,059 tons, 220-horse power, having had her hull and decks altered and repaired, was yesterday floated into the large basin from No. 1 dock in Sheerness dockyard, where she will be completed as quickly as possible for commission.
Th 23 August 1866The Virago, 6, paddle wheel sloop, 2,059 tons, 220-horsepower, is rapidly completing in the large basin of the dockyard. She is just now under the steam-masting shears receiving her masts on board. It is stated she is intended for the West Coast of Africa.
Fr 31 August 1866The paddle-wheel steam sloop Virago, 6, 220-horse power, having undergone some heavy repairs to fit her for service with the first division of the Chatham steam reserve, in readiness for commission, commenced the shipment of her coals in the steam basin yesterday, preparatory to making a preliminary trial of her engines. The direct-acting engines formerly constructed for the Virago by Messrs. Bolton and Watt have been removed since the steamer has been under repair at Sheerness yard, and in their place has been fitted the machinery lately belonging to the Rhadamanthus. During the time the Virago has been in the shipwrights' hands — a period of several months — she has undergone some very extensive repairs, and has been almost rebuilt. She is intended for immediate commission, for service, it is understood, on the West Coast of Africa.
Th 6 September 1866The War Department transport Bomarsund, Mr. Spicer, master in charge, left the Ordnance-wharf, Chatham, yesterday, with the armament for the paddle-wheel steamer Virago, 6, 1,059 tons, 220-horse power (nominal), fitting for the first division of the steam reserve, consisting of one 110-pounder, and three 12-pounder Armstrong rifled guns, and one 10-inch and four 32-pounder smooth-bore cast iron guns, with platforms, carriages, and fittings complete. The Virago, since she has been in the shipwrights' and engineers' hands, has been almost rebuilt, and is now one of the strongest vessels of her class, additional stanchions and knees having been introduced in her frame to enable her to carry the heavy guns which will compose her armament. Her original machinery and engines have been taken out, and the engines lately belonging to the paddle wheel steamer Rhadamanthus fitted in their stead. The Virago is now ready for being commissioned, it being intended, it is understood, to dispatch her to the West Coast of Africa
Fr 21 September 1866The Virago, 6, paddle-wheel sloop, 1,059 tons, 220-horse power, which has for some time past been under the hands of the factory and shipwright departments in Sheerness dockyard, was on Wednesday taken to the measured mile off Maplin Sands for the official trial of her machinery. She was in charge of Capt. G.W. Preedy, C.B., of the Sheerness Steam Reserve; Commander [Charles J] Polkinghorne, of the Cumberland; Mr. W. W. Williamson, inspector of machinery afloat; Mr. G. Blaxlaud, chief engineer in Sheerness dockyard; and Mr. J.H. Treliving, chief engineer of the ship, being likewise present. Six runs were made on the measured mile, giving an average of 8·646 knots per hour, with a maximum of 23·5, and a mean of 22 revolutions of the engine per minute. The load on the safety valve was 18lb., the pressure of steam in the boilers 17·916lb.; vacuum condensers, 24·895in.; the draught of water forward, 13ft. 3in., and aft, 15ft. 2in. Two runs were made at half-boiler power, giving an average of 7·076 knots per hour with a maximum of 16·5 and a minimum of 15·75 revolutions of the engines per minute. The ship is propelled by ordinary paddle, wheels 20ft. 10in. in diameter. The engines are by Messrs. Maudslay and Co., of London. The state of the sea was smooth, the wind blowing with a force of four from S.W. The vessel was fully rigged, having all her armament on board and 250 tons of coal. The trial was considered satisfactory.
We 26 September 1866The paddlewheel steamer Virago, 6, 220-horse power, fitting for commission, has been admitted into the steam basin at Sheerness, where she is being completed for sea.
Sa 1 December 1866At an early hour yesterday morning the War Department transports Marlborough and Bomarsund hauled off from the Ordnance-wharf, Chatham, and dropped down to Upnor Castle, where they commenced the shipment of supplies of powder, shot, and shell for the paddlewheel steamer Virago, 6, 1,059 tons, 220-horse power, Mr. Herbert D. Walker, master, in charge, which, in accordance with a telegram received from the Admiralty on Thursday night, is to be immediately got ready to proceed to Ireland. The Virago has recently undergone a very extensive repair, and has been supplied with an improved description of engines, and, having proved herself one of the best of her class of side-wheel steamers, she is well adapted for cruising service. As she is not commissioned, she will be manned by the officers and men attached to the steam reserve in the Medway.
Ma 3 December 1866A detachment of the Royal Marines Light Infantry will leave head-quarters, Chatham, this morning, for service on board the paddlewheel steamer Virago, 6, 220-horse power, which is being rapidly brought forward for special service in Ireland.
Tu 4 December 1866The paddlewheel steamer Virago, 6, 1,059 tons, 220-horse power (nominal), lately attached to the third-class steam reserve in the Medway, has been commissioned by Commander Henry M. Bingham (February 19, 1862), late of the Formidable, flag-ship of Vice-Admiral Sir Baldwin W. Walker, Commander-In-Chief at the Nore, and her officers, appointed, nearly the whole of whom had joined and taken up their commissions yesterday afternoon. Her A.B.'s and ordinary seamen arrived on Saturday from the Fisgard, 42, at Woolwich, and the other receiving ships at the various ports, and her seamen gunners from the Excellent. Her Royal Marines were sent on board yesterday from the Chatham division. Workmen are employed on the Virago night and day, in order that she may be ready for being despatched to the west coast of Ireland, and should she be completed in time she will leave the Nore today, proceeding direct to Queenstown to await further orders.
Sa 8 December 1866The Virago, 6, 220-horse power, Commander H. M. Bingham, having been inspected by Vice-Admiral Sir Baldwin W. Walker, Bart., K.C.B., Naval Commander-in-Chief, left the Nore for the West Coast of Ireland on Thursday evening, calling in at Spithead on her way down Channel, She proceeds to Queenstown, where the will receive her final instructions.
Ma 10 December 1866The Virago, 6, paddle sloop, arrived at Spithead yesterday morning from the Nore, en route for the coast of Ireland.
Tu 11 December 1866The Wivern, 4, screw, turret sloop, Capt. Hugh Burgoyne, V.C., has been placed in the Warrior dock at Portsmouth yard, where her valves have been examined, hull cleaned below the water, and a renewed coating of the Hay composition given her at the water line. This morning she will be again undocked, and in readiness to sail and join the Irish Coast squadron.
The Virago, 6, paddle sloop, Commander Bingham, sailed from Spithead yesterday morning for Queenstown, Ireland.
Her Majesty’s screw troopship Orontes, Capt H.W. Hire, sailed from Portsmouth at 1p.m. yesterday for Queenstown, Ireland, with the 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment on board, under the command of Col. J.G.R. Aplin. The regiment arrived at Portsmouth by special train on the London and South-Western Railway, from Farnham and Aldershott.
Fr 1 February 1867The Virago, 6, paddlewheel sloop, 1,059 tons, 220-horse power, Commander Henry M. Bingham, arrived in Sheerness harbour on Wednesday morning, and was anchored off the west shore. The Virago has only been in commission about two months, being ordered for particular service on the west coast of Ireland. While there she encountered a severe gale, which broke the main shaft connecting her paddles and indicted other injuries. She has now returned for the purpose of making good the damage, and it is probable the crew will be temporarily turned over to another ship.
Th 14 February 1867The Virago, 6, paddle-wheel sloop, 1,059 tons, 220-horse power, Commander Henry M. Bingham, lately returned to Sheerness from the West Coast of Ireland, has been brought into the basin, where a number of hands from the factory will be immediately set to work to fit a new main shaft to her paddle-wheels, in lieu of that broken in a heavy gale which she encountered during her short commission on the Irish coast.
Ma 11 March 1867On Saturday morning a court-martial assembled on board Her Majesty's ship Formidable, flagship of Vice-admiral Sir Baldwin W. Walker, K.C.B., commander-in-chief at Sheerness, to try Mr. Charles Gribble, assist.-paymaster on board the Formidable, for service in the Naval Barracks, on the charge of being drunk and incapable of performing his duty on the 2d of March. Capt. D. M’L. Mackenzie, of Her Majesty's ship Formidable, presided. Various witnesses deposed to seeing the prisoner drunk about 10 o'clock on the morning of the 2d inst. He put in a written defence, denying be was incapable of doing his duty, and certificates of character were read extending over a period of 12 years' service. The Court found him guilty, and sentenced him to be dismissed the service. Another Court, composed of the same members, was held on Charles Whitelock, sub.-lieut. of Her Majesty’s ship Virago, for being drunk on board that vessel on the 26th of February. The prisoner pleaded "Guilty," alleging in extenuation of the offence that he had but just come out of the hospital, and that, having been a total abstainer for two years previously, the little drink he took overcame him. Commander Bingham, the prisoner's superior officer, stated that he had always done his duty in a most officer-like manner, and to his entire satisfaction. Certificates of character extending over ten years' service were read. The prisoner was sentenced to lose one year’s seniority, to be dismissed the Virago, and to be severely reprimanded.
Tu 30 April 1867Her Majesty's paddle wheel steam sloop Virago, 6, Commander H. M. Bingham, from Portsmouth for Australia, which was off the Start, Plymouth, all well, at 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon, broke down her starboard engine subsequently, and at 5 yesterday morning was in a disabled condition outside the Breakwater. She has been brought into the harbour by the tugboat Trusty.
Th 2 May 1867The paddlewheel steam sloop Virago, 6, Commander Bingham, bound to China, is now in Keyham Steamyard, having defects made good.
Fr 24 May 1867The paddle wheel steamsloop Virago, 6, Commander Henry M. Bingham, in Plymouth Sound, embarked supernumeraries on Tuesday, and will sail for Australia as soon as some slight repairs to her machinery are completed.
Fr 23 August 1867



On the evening of Sunday, the 14th inst., a telegram from Capo Frio announced to the port authorities of Rio Janeiro that Her Britannic Majesty's ship Galatea had passed that Cape. Next morning a frigate was seen off the bar of the mouth of the harbour of the Brazilian capital, but until about 2 o'clock p.m. there she lay motionless, and those who were anxiously watching her movements were left to conjecture that the delay in her progress was caused by the natural desire on the part of her Royal commander to wait the setting in of the afternoon breeze from the sea in order that the Galatea might enter the magnificent harbour of Rio under full sail. But if this was the object of the sailor Prince it was not destined to be realized, for the breeze of that afternoon was so slight as not to admit of the frigate carrying sail. So soon as this became apparent steam was got up on board of the vessel, which then slowly passed the renowned rock called the "Sugar-loaf," and, with the Royal Standard of England flying from the mainmast, proceeded to take up her post in the portion of the harbour assigned to the English squadron.

No sooner had the Galatea dropped her anchor than she became the mark for a flight of boats, which were immediately directed towards her; and while a Royal salute was being fired from the shore batteries and from the English, French, Spanish, and American flagships, Prince Alfred was waited upon by Mr. Thornton, Her Britannic Majesty's Minister, accompanied by his secretaries, Mr. Watson and the Hon. Mr. Le Poer Trench; by the English Admiral commanding on the South Atlantic station, Rear Admiral Ramsay, C.B., and his staff, as well as by the several officers commanding Her Majesty's ships now here — Captains Ingram, Mayne, C.B., Lefroy, &c., by the English Consul, and by the Admirals in command of the American, French, and Spanish squadrons, accompanied by their respective Staff officers. Later in the afternoon the Prince was visited by his Royal Highness the Cormte d'Eu, son of the Duke of Nemours, and husband to the heiress apparent of Brazil.

The Emperor had placed his town Palace at the disposal of his Royal Highness, but he elected to remain on board during his stay in preference to going there or to the English Legation. That evening the Prince proceeded first to the English Legation and then returned the visit that had been paid to him by the Comte d'Eu.

On the following morning his Royal Highness landed in state for the purpose of proceeding to the Imperial Palace of Saô Cristovaô. Nothing can be imagined that would exceed in beauty the appearance which the harbour of Rio Janeiro presented on that morning. The atmosphere was sufficiently clear to reveal on the opposite side of the bay the peaks of the Organ Mountains, and it was like a scene in fairy land as the Prince's barge swept across the water, followed in its course by the barges of all the vessels of the English squadron, which at present consist of six vessels besides the Galatea — the Narcissus, the Egmont, the Nassau, the Chanticleer, the Virago, and the Spiteful. All the men-of-war of the various squadrons in the harbour had their yards manned and were "dressed," and each flagship saluted with 21 guns as the Royal standard passed.

The Prince, attended by his equerries and by the members of the British Legation, then proceeded to the Palace of Saô Cristovaô, where he had a lengthened interview with the Emperor and Empress, after his return from which he received a deputation from the British residents of Rio Janeiro.

The visit of the Galatea to Brazil has also its sombre side. On the evening of the 16th occurred the death, from typhus fever, of one of the midshipmen of that vessel, the Hon. Mr. Willoughby, whose remains were the next afternoon followed to the English cemetery by his commanding officer, the Duke of Edinburgh. On the 18th the Emperor of Brazil dined on board the Galatea, and remained till a late hour, and on the following evening the Emperor and Empress, the Princess Imperial, the Comte d'Eu, and the Duke of Edinburgh honoured with their presence a ball given at the English Legation. The grounds had been beautifully illuminated for the occasion, and as the Duke of Edinburgh attended by Lord Newry and Mr. Watson, drove up the avenue in an open carriage belonging to the English Minister, his Royal Highness was recognized by the crowds of on-lookers, whose enthusiasm could scarcely be kept within bounds by the cavalry with which the road was lined. Seven hundred persons had been invited to the ball, and, to judge by the appearance of the rooms, that number at least were present. Their Imperial Majesties opened the ball respectively with Mr. and Mrs. Thornton, and remained at the Legation until nearly 3 o'clock in the morning. No better proof could be adduced of the sincere regard they bear to our estimable Minister, and of the complete success with which his management of affairs has been attended in obliterating every vestige of the general ill-feeling which undoubtedly existed in Brazil towards England, and which for so long a period caused a suspension of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It may be mentioned that, before this, only on one occasion has the Brazilian Emperor during his 40 years' reign honoured with his presence the house of an English representative, and that 30 years ago, when he visited Mr. Hamilton Hamilton. It may be mentioned, also, that His Imperial Majesty presented to the Duke of Edinburgh the insignia of the highest Brazilian order of knighthood — the "Southern Cross."

On the day following that of the ball at the English Legation, Prince Alfred dined at the palace of Saô Cristovaô, those invited to meet him being the Brazilian Admiral Tamandaré, Mr. Thornton and his secretaries, and the foreign Admirals on the station, as well as Captains Ingram, Mayne, and Wilson, R.N.

On the next day the Prince was the guest of the Comte and the Comtesse d'Eu, to whose Palace there were also invited on the occasion the British Minister and Mrs. Thornton and Admiral Ramsay, C.B., which latter gentleman's table the Duke of Edinburgh honoured by his presence on the day following. On the same evening the Duke of Edinburgh, as well as the Emperor and Empress of Brazil, was present at a ball given to his Royal Highness by the English merchants of Rio Janeiro. This fête, for which the sum of 1,500l, sterling was in a few hours subscribed, was well worthy the distinguished personages whose presence graced it. The ball-room of the Casino of the Brazilian capital yields in size and beauty to perhaps no public ball-room in the world, with the exception of that of the Hôtel de Ville, in Paris, and it may, I think, be asserted that until yesterday the walls of that ball-room never re-echoed the stirring sounds of the Scotch bagpipes. Farquharson, the piper of the Duke of Edinburgh, was permitted to attend, and at the request of the northern portion of the English residents and his Royal Highness, took an enthusiastic share in the performance of two Highland reels.

None of those who this morning witnessed the Duke of Edinburgh's departure from Rio Janeiro could fail to see the difference between those observances prescribed for the sailing of persons of rank and the most hearty leave-taking which preceded the departure of the Duke of Edinburgh from Rio Janeiro. At an early hour Mr. Thornton and his secretaries, and Admiral Ramsay and his staff were on board the Galatea for breakfast, and when, previously to her weighing anchor, their boats had left the ship, the stillness which till then had that morning reigned in the harbour was first broken by the sound of music from the Galatea, the band of which vessel played "The Garb of Old Gaul. " This was the signal for which the flagships waited to pour forth their sonorous thunders, the smoke hiding for the moment the Frenchmen, English, Brazilians. Americans, and Spaniards, who manned the yards of the "dressed" vessels belonging to the fleets of their respective nations.

So far the courtesy due to Royalty was observed. What followed was a personal tribute to Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. By signal or by previous arrangements the strains of the English National Anthem, coming simultaneously from the various flagships, suddenly ceased to reverberate; there was a moment's pause, when, loud through the air, awakening the echoes of the hills surrounding this land-locked bay, there arose a deafening, prolonged, and repeated cheer from the concurrent throats of Brazilians, Frenchmen. Americans, Spaniards, and Englishmen. It was a cheer the thorough heartiness of which could not he misunderstood — a cheer which, from thousands of tongues, said to its Royal object, "May all good attend you!"

After this interruption the playing of God Save the Queen was renewed, and when it had ceased the Galatea signalled the word "Farewell" as she slowly steamed onwards on her way towards the Cape of Good Hope.

We 23 October 1867The paddle-wheel steam sloop Virago, 6, Commander Henry M. Bingham, left Simon's-bay on September 6 for Australia.
Ma 9 August 1869

Wellington, June 11.

The Governor is expected to return to Wellington from Auckland to-morrow. Her Majesty’s steamships Challenger and Blanche are in harbour, and the Virago on the coast.
Th 26 August 1869Commander E.H. Murray was yesterday appointed to Her Majesty's ship Virago, vice Bingham, superseded.
Ma 4 October 1869



I need scarcely say that it is with no satisfaction that I find myself a true prophet; that the rebellion, which during the past few months I have declared to be seething under the comparative quiet which the winter so frequently produces, has now assumed phases which excite the greatest anxiety in those who intelligently watch the current of events. Happily there are no massacres, no murders, not even any fighting to record; but events have occurred the tendency of which none of us can clearly see. All that any of us can say is that it seems to be in the direction of continued insecurity, the prevention of that restoration of confidence which is at the root of all progress, and the possible, — indeed, probable, forcing us, in one way or other, into further strife and the continued ruinous expenditure for the defence of our settlements which that strife necessitates.

I need not again describe at length the attitude which the King party External linkhas assumed. Consisting of an apparently armed isolation, it has without doubt been the source whence the rebellion has been encouraged, if not originated. For some reason it has been content to bide its own time patiently, and that reason is, in all probability, the expected desertion of the colony by the Imperial troops. As I shall have to allude to this when I narrate what has occurred in Parliament, I need only here say that it is a recognized fact to this motive we have owed the peaceful attitude of the King party itself. Its large fighting force (to which that of Te KootiExternal link and Tito Kowaru dwindles into insignificance by comparison) has been restrained, not by any fear of us nor by the Imperial troops they see, but by the power of which they know those troops are the symbol, and against which they so unavailingly contended in the Waikato. Te Kooti, who had been driven back into the fastnesses of the interior, recently found his way to Tokangamutu, where the King lives. He had with him only about 300 followers, including some women and children; a friendly and not a war party. On his way thither he demanded of the various tribes through whom he passed that their mere pounamus (greenstone clubs) and other highly-prized symbol of chieftainship should be given to him or destroyed. He succeeded in obtaining some, and when he reached Tokangamutu made a similar demand on the chiefs of Waikato, perhaps the proudest and noblest of the Maori race, although now partly refugees among the Ngati Maniapoto. He further demanded that his own form of fanaticism should be recognized; in other words, claiming to be both King and Priest. His pretensions appear to have been admitted by the younger men, and had they been able to overawe their chiefs, there can be little doubt but that a fiercely savage raid on the out-districts of the Auckland province — the townships of Alexandra, Cambridge, Hamilton — would have been about the first intimation we should have received of his accession. The news of his proposals and the encouragement which young Waikato gave to them caused us considerable alarm. Subsequent events have in some measure lessened it. The Waikato chiefs refused Te Kooti's demands, would not permit him to see the King, and ordered him out of the district. This "ordering" sounds well, but it really convoys little meaning. We hear that he left for Taupo, but we also hear that he has only gone ten miles off, and that the seeds of disunion he sowed between the old and young men of Waikato are already beginning to bear fruit. Whether he has quarrelled with the Waikatos; whether Rewi, the great Ngati Maniapoto chief, is in friendly companionship with him, or only shepherding him; whether a rumoured gathering in his support is a fact, are all items which may or may not be true. This, however, is certain, that To Kooti has given himself out as a second Jehu, with a career before him similar to that recorded in the 9th and 10th chapters of the Second Book of Kings. Meanwhile a small supply of arms and ammunition have been intercepted by us, and volunteer and militia parties organized and sent to the support of the outlying settlements. Tauranga and other east coast districts have had warnings of immediate attacks, inducing Her Majesty’s ship Virago to lighten and take up a better position in defence of that township, while all the preparations to prevent surprise elsewhere which it is possible to make have been made without a moment's delay. Tito Kowaru, too, has not been slow in taking a leaf out of Te Kooti's book, and is also journeying Kingwards; but of his doings we have heard nothing particular. Although writing at the end of a mail month, I am able largely to sift fact from fiction; yet I wish it to be understood that the news which we have now and then received has been of a character which has tried our resources to the utmost. In proof of this I need only mention that Te Kooti's central position between Tokangamutu and Taupo enables him to threaten Waikato, Tauranga, Opotiki, Poverty Bay, Napier, and other places; while Taranaki is always in a chronic state of excitement caused by the neighbourhood of Wetere and Tito Kowaru. This is the state of the island to-day, and yet when I last wrote, four weeks ago, I was obliged to make a sort of half apology for believing in the reality of a fire which was then producing no smoke. I may conclude my native notes by saying that 96 of the rebels who surrendered a month or two ago are now hulked in this harbour, awaiting an early trial.

Tu 28 December 1869

Wellington, Nov 1.

… The Blanche is still here at anchor, and the Virago, being no longer needed on the east coast, has sailed for Sydney.
Ma 18 April 1870Her Majesty's ship Virago sailed from Wellington harbour with the last detachments of the 18th Regiment on the 22d of January, the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the colony. About 200 men obtained their discharge and have remained behind as settlers in New Zealand.
Th 29 September 1870

Wellington, Aug 4.

… Her Majesty's ship Blanche arrived to-day from the Auckland Islands, but found no traces of the MataokaExternal link or her crew. The Challenger arrived last week from Sydney with Commodore Lambert, and will await in Wellington the arrival of the Clio with his successor in command of the station. The Virago and Rosario are also lying in this harbour.
We 5 April 1871

Wellington, Feb. 3.

… Her Majesty's ships Clio and Virago are now lying in Wellington. The former leaves for the south to-morrow with the Governor and suite.
Tu 25 July 1871The following vessels of war are now on their passage home for the purpose of being put out of commission and their crew paid off: - The Forte, 24, 2,364 tons, 400-horse power, Capt. H. Fairfax, flagship of Rear-Admiral J.H. Cockburn, commanding the East India squadron, and the Nymph, 4, 1,084 tons, 300-horse power, Commander R. Adams, from the East Indies; the Charybdis, 17, 1,506 tons, 400-horse power, Capt. A.M'L. Lyons, from the Pacific; the Virago, 6, 1,053 tons, 200-horse power, paddlewheel steamer, Commander H.S. Sandys, from Australia; the Jaseur, 5, 427 tons, 80-horse power, Commander C.F. Hotham, and the Lee, 5, 431 tons, 80-horse power, Commander C. S. Fitton, from the Mediterranean; and the Vestal, 4, 1,081 tons, 300-horse power, Commander W.R. Kennedy, and the Myrmidon, 4, 695 tons, 200-horse power, Commander H.L. Holder, for North America and the West Indies. The Dryad, 4, 1,086 tons, 300-horse power, Commander G. Parsons, is to be paid off and re-commissioned at Bombay, and the Rapid, 3, 672 tons, 150-horse power, Commander the Hon. F.L. Wood, at Malta.
Sa 9 September 1871The following ships have been ordered home from the undermentioned stations to be paid out of commission: — Chanticleer, 7, screw sloop, Commander W.W.S. Bridges from the Pacific; this vessel was commissioned at Woolwich by the before-named officer in March, 1867, and left England on the 26th of May following; she was at Callao by last accounts. Forte, 24, screw frigate, Capt. Henry Fairfax, with the flag of Rear-Admiral J. H. Cockburn, from the East Indies; she was commissioned at Sheerness by Capt. J.H.T. Alexander, C.B., on the 21st of August, 1868, and left England on the 1st of October following; she was in the Persian Gulf by last accounts. Icarus, 3, screw sloop, Commander Lord Charles F.M.D. Scott, from China; this vessel, which left England on the 30th of March, 1866, was recommissioned on the China station in June, 1869; she was at Singapore by last accounts. Myrmidon, 4, screw gunvessel, Commander Henry L. Holder, from the North American and West India station; she was commissioned at Chatham in October, I867, by Commander H.B. Johnstone, and by last accounts was at Antigua. Virago, 6, paddle sloop, Commander H.S. Sandys, from Australia; she was commissioned at Sheerness in December, 1866, and left England June 7, 1867.
Fr 17 November 1871The Virago, 6, paddle sloop, 1,059 tons, 220-horse power, Commander Henry L. Sandys, having completed her term of service on the Australian station, has arrived at Sheerness to be paid off and put out of commission, and her guns, shot, &c., have been transferred to the gun-wharf at Chatham.
The Myrmidon, 4 guns, screw, 693 tons, 200-horse power, Commander Henry L. Holder, arrived at Spithead yesterday afternoon from the West Coast of Africa. She awaited orders as to the port for her dismantling and paying out of commission.
Ma 20 November 1871The Virago, 6, paddle sloop, 1,059 tons 230-horse power, Commander H.S. Sandys, from the Australian station and the Speedwell, 5, screw gun vessel, 428 tons 80-horse power, Commander J. Parry, from the south-east coast of America, have each been taken into the great basin at Sheerness for the purpose of being dismantled and paid out of commission, after which they will be placed in the fourth division of the Steam Reserve.
Tu 28 November 1871The Virago, 6, paddle sloop, 1,059 tons, 220-horse power, Commander Henry Sandys, having returned stores and been dismantled, was paid out of commission on Saturday in the Great Basin at Sheerness, and the officers and crew granted the usual six weeks' leave.

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