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HMS Dauntless (1847)

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Launched5 January 1847   
HullWooden Length210 feet
PropulsionScrew Men 
Builders measure1453 tons   
Displacement2520 tons   
Fate1885 Last in commission1869
Ships bookADM 135/122   
5 January 1847Launched at Portsmouth Dockyard.
7 August 1850
- 19 May 1853
Commanded (from commissioning at Portsmouth until paying off at Portsmouth) by Captain Edward Pellew Halstead, particular service, then North America and West Indies
28 December 1853
- 13 March 1857
Commanded (from commissioning at Portsmouth until paying off at Portsmouth) by Captain Alfred Phillipps Ryder, Channel, then (1854) the Baltic and the Black Sea during the Russian War, then the Mediterranean
10 June 1859
- 12 August 1859
Commanded (from commissioning at Portsmouth) by Captain William Edmonstone, Portsmouth
12 August 1859
- 23 August 1859
Commanded by Captain John Borlase, Portsmouth
23 August 1859
- January 1861
Commanded by Captain Leopold George Heath, Coast Guard, Southampton water (ship's log) Tenders: Argus, Active and Mermaid
1 January 1861
- 13 June 1862
Commanded by Captain James Willcox, Coast Guard, Southampton water
13 June 1862
- 13 July 1862
Commanded by Captain Sherard Osborn, Coast Guard, Southampton Water
14 July 1862
- 1 April 1864
Commanded by Captain John Bourmaster Dickson, Coast Guard, Southampton Water (replaced by Irresistible)
June 1864
- 30 September 1865
Commanded by Captain James Newburgh Strange, Coast Guard, the Humber
(30 September 1865)
- 19 November 1868
Commanded by Captain Edward Pelham Brenton Von Donop, Coast Guard, the Humber
19 November 1868
- 31 December 1869
Commanded by Captain Charles Codrington Forsyth, Coast Guard, the Humber
(1870)Tender to Wyvern, River Humber.
1 May 1885Sold.
Extracts from the Times newspaper
Su 12 October 1845

10 October 1845

The Dauntless, a steam-frigate of 36 guns, on the design of Mr Fincham [John Fincham, Master Shipwright at Portsmouth], is laid down on one of the new building slips at Portsmouth. The keel and floor timbers are laid.
Sa 25 October 1845

24 October 1845

The Dauntless and Arrogant steam-frigates on the plans respectively of Mr. White, of Cowes, and Mr. Fincham, master shipyard of Portsmouth dockyard, are proceeding rapidly. About one-third of their frame timbers are up.
Sa 22 November 1845

21 November 1845

The Dauntless steam-frigate, of 1,454 tons, to mount 36 guns, building on the plan of Mr. Fincham, master-shipwright of Portsmouth dockyard, is in frame as far aft as the beginning of the after dead-work. She will work with a screw-propeller, is being built on one of the new slips, and rapidly progressing in construction.
The Arrogant, another steam-frigate, of 1,800 tons, to mount 46 guns, building on the slip which adjoins the above, on the design of Mr. White, of Cowes, is in a similar state of forwardness to the Dauntless.
Some anxiety is manifested by the dockyard officers in charge of these two fine vessels on account of the apparently slow progress which is made in the work. The men appear not to be properly skilled in to the methods used in Government yards, being mostly all strangers and hired men. The shortness of the days also impedes the work. The Arrogant is only to have steam as an auxiliary, being ordered to be masted and rigged as a regular sailing frigate. The Dauntless, on the contrary, will be exclusively a steam-frigate, and have masts and yards of a lighter character, such as steamers of war usually carry.
Ma 22 December 1845

21 December 1845

The Arrogant and Dauntless steam-frigates are progressing with all possible despatch in construction at Portsmouth. An accident occurred on Friday to one of the artizans employed, upon the former ship. In ramming in a plank the man had hold of the rope fastened round the end, which unfortunately slipped; in stooping down to pick it up, the rammer caught his arm upon the elbow-joint and literally smashed it flat, Amputation was immediately performed, and the sufferer is doing well. We believe the poor fellow was one of the newly hired hands for six months, in which case he will have no compensation for his loss.
We 4 February 1846

3 February 1846

The Dauntless and Arrogant frigates, on the designs respectively of Mr. White, of Cowes, and Mr. Fincham, master shipwright of Portsmouth, are progressing very rapidly towards readiness for launching; their timbering is finished, and their ceiling arid planking neatly so. The Dauntless (Mr. Fincham's design) is intended to be strictly a steam frigate, but the Arrogant will only have steam as an auxiliary to work a screw. The Arrogant appears to be in the most forward state of the two, and presents a boldness of outline very much admired by all who have seen her since she has been planked. She presents a very handsome-looking model, and is expected to prove a perfect man-of-war, but this remains to be seen.
Sa 27 June 1846

25 June 1846

State of the ships at Portsmouth:
The Dauntless steam-frigate, to be propelled with a screw driven by engines of 550-horse power; armament variously stated from 28 to 36 guns. This vessel is in a very forward state, the whole of her outside planking, from the garboard streak to the gunwale, being completed, her stern and quarter galleries finished, and the knee of her head on. She will be a very formidable vessel, if her tonnage is great enough for her armament.
We 28 October 1846The Dauntless steam-frigate, built after the design of Mr John Fincham, the talented master shipwright of Portsmouth dock, is cradled and nearly ready for launching. The papers, however, which have announced her probable début on or about the 9th proximo are in error, as the tides will then be neaped. If she is not launched by the 5th, she must wait until the 19th.
Sa 7 November 1846No orders have yet been received for launching the Dauntless steam frigate. She is cradled, and can be prepared for launching in a few hours, but it cannot take place now for nearly a fortnight, on account of the tides. The other steam frigate (the Arrogant) is also in a very forward state.
Sa 14 November 1846

13 November 1846

The Dauntless, screw steam-frigate, is nearly ready for launching, some extra work about the cavity for her propeller being all that requires to be done.
The Arrogant steam-frigate is also in a very forward state, but not so much advanced as the Dauntless, the latter being cradled.
We 6 January 1847

5 January 1847


The Dauntless steam frigate, upon the screw principle, designed and built by Mr. John Fincham, master shipwright of this dockyard, was launched this afternoon, in the presence of some thousands of spectators ashore and afloat, notwithstanding the very forbidding state of the weather, no launch having taken place at this establishment for eight years past.

The following are the dimensions of the Dauntless:-

Length between the perpendiculars2100
Length of keel for tonnage182
Extreme breadth399
Breadth for tonnage393
Breadth moulded387
Depth in hold260
Height of main deck62
Burden in tons, 1,496 60-94ths.

Intended Armament.
Main deck12 32 pounders56 cwt. each.
6 68 "65 "
Spar deck4 84 "85 "
2 68 "95 "
Total 24

She will be fitted with engines by Napier, of 580 horsepower; her screw propeller will measure 14 feet 9 inches in diameter. The engines are intended to be of 84 inches diameter, with a stroke of 4 feet, to be placed horizontally in the vessel, like a locomotive, so that the highest point of any portion of the machinery will be 4 feet 6 inches below the water line. Her main deck is a flush. The centre of gravity of the weight of the engines may be taken at or near the centre of the screw shaft, which is between 8 and 9 feet below the surface of the water; whereas in most vessels on the paddle system the centre of gravity of the weight is at or near tho centre of the paddle shaft, which, in many cases, is at from 12 to 15 feet above the water line.

Her draught of water when afloat was - forward, 8 feet; aft, 10 feet 3 inches. She had 30 tons of ballast on board, and about 3¼ tons of metal cast knee at the aperture for the screw. She is fitted on a plan to raise the screw up a trunk, flrst suggested and patented by Captain George Smith, R.N., in 1838. She was immediately taken into the basin ready for masting. Her keel was laid down in April, 1845.
Sa 8 December 1849

Portsmouth, Dec. 6.

In Port and Fitting

In the Harbour. - The Victory and Illustrious flag-ships, the Excellent gunnery ship; the Blenheim steam-guard-ship; the Eurydice, stripping to pay off; the Contest, fitting out; the Rolla apprentices' brig, laying up for the winter; the Fairy and Elfin, and Portsmouth yachts; the Flamer packet from Holyhead, and the Echo tug.
In Dock. - The Britannia, 120; the Dauntless, 24; the Fantome, 16; the Lily, 16; the Fox, 42; the Devastation, and the Birkenhead steam frigates.
In the Basin. - The Princess Charlotte, 104; the Actaeon, 26; and the Sprightly and the Bee steam-vessels.
In the Steam Basin, - The Ajax, 60; the Penelope, 22; the Sidon, 26; the Victoria and Albert royal yacht; the Urgent , the Pike, the Asp, and the Blazer.
Building. - The Royal Frederick, 120;[subsequently cancelled later and completed as Frederick William] the Prince of Wales, 120; the Princess Royal, 90; the Argus, and the Furious steam sloops.

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