HMS Narcissus (1859)
HMS Narcissus (1859)

Royal NavyVessels

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NameNarcissus (1859)Explanation
Launched26 October 1859   
HullWooden Length228 feet
PropulsionScrew Men540
Builders measure2665 tons   
Displacement3548 tons   
Fate1883 Last in commission1878
Ships book   
26 October 1859Launched at Devonport Dockyard.
20 December 1860Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth) by Captain Richard Hawkins Risk, flagship of Rear-Admiral Baldwin Wake Walker, Cape of Good Hope
27 June 1861
- 6 August 1864
Commanded (until paying off at Plymouth) by Joseph Grant Bickford, flagship of Baldwin Wake Walker, Cape of Good Hope
3 April 1865
- 18 May 1866
Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth) by Captain Colin Andrew Campbell, flagship of Rear-Admiral Charles Gilbert John Brydone Elliot, south east coast of America
18 May 1866
- 17 July 1869
Commanded (until paying off at Plymouth) by Captain John Crawford Wilson, flagship of Rear-Admiral George Ramsay, South Ameirca
1 December 1870
- 22 May 1877
Commanded (until paying off at Plymouth) by Captain William Codrington, flagship of the Flying squadron
9 October 1872
- 4 July 1874
Commanded by Captain John Ommanney Hopkins, 1873 Flying squadron, flagship of Frederick Archibald Campbell; then Sir George Granville Randolph
26 May 1874
- 30 July 1874
Commanded by Acting captain Compton Edward Domvile, 1873 detached squadron
28 July 1874
- 22 June 1875
Commanded (until paying off at Plymouth) by Captain Nathaniel Bowden-Smith, 1875 Flying squadron, flagship of Rowley Lambert
9 June 1875
- 22 May 1877
Commanded (until paying off at Plymouth) by Captain Charles Thomas Montague Douglas Scott, 1875 Flying squadron, flagship of Sir George Granville Randolph, then Rowley Lambert
20 July 1877
- 8 May 1878
Commanded (from commissioning until paying off) by Captain Henry Duncan Grant, Coast Guard, Greenock
17 February 1883Sold to Castle for breaking up at Charlton.
Extracts from the Times newspaper
We 18 August 1858Sir John Pakington and the other Lords of the Admiralty left the Diadem in Hamoaze at 10 o'clock on Monday morning, and proceeded to the office of the Admiral-Superintendent, Sir Thomas Pasley, in Devonport Dockyard. From 11 to half-past 1 was occupied in mustering the artisans, who were relieved from duty for the remainder of the day. The gunboat Redwing was in attendance to convey their Lordships to the breakwater in Plymouth Sound, but in consequence of the unsettled state of the weather their inspection on Monday was confined entirely to the dockyard. In building slip No. 1 is the screw steam vessel Pantaloon, 10, in frame. No. 2 is vacant. In No. 3 is the Narcissus, 50-gun screw. She was designed for a sailing vessel, and was nearly built in slip No. 2, when it was determined to lengthen and convert her into a steamer. She was therefore, about 12 months since, taken down in pieces, and rebuilt in the present slip, which is larger. In No. 4 is the Java, 20, screw [name unknown; presumed cancelled], just begun framing. In No. 5 slip is the Donegal, 101, screw, seven-eighths built. She will be launched towards the close of September. In dock No. 1 is the Cumberland, 70 guns, docked on the 12th inst., having been ashore, and carried off her false keel in South America. In No. 2 dock is the Liberian schooner Lark, 2, which has been eight years on service on the coast of Africa for survey. As her repairs will cost over 2,000£., and she will then be but an old ship, it is supposed that the Admiralty rather than incur that expense will present the Liberian Government with another vessel. In No. 3 is the sixth-rate sailing ship Creole, 26, forwarding for commission. No. 4 contains the Gannet, 11, screw, preparing for the steam reserve; and No. 5 the second-rate sailing ship Lion, 80, altering to a screw. In the basin is the Topaz, 50, screw, preparing for the steam reserve. Alongside the dockyard are the Aboukir, 90, screw, and the St. Jean d'Acre, 101, screw, both preparing for the steam reserve. The latter will replace the Orion. The Lords of the Admiralty dined in tha evening with Admiral Superintendent Sir John [should be: Thomas] Pasley, after which they patronized a ball at St. George's-hall, Stonehouse, in support of the funds of the Naval and Military Orphan Asylum at Stoke. The official dinner will be given at Bates's Royal Hotel, Plymouth, this (Wednesday) evening, and the levee held in Devonport dockyard to-morrow morning.
Th 13 September 1860The following ships and gunboats in the first-class steam reserve could be got ready for the pendant at a short notice:- The Windsor Castle, 100; the Revenge, 91; the Orlando, 60; the Forth, 12; the Seahorse, 12; the Merlin, 6; and the Hyena, the Gleaner, the Nightingale, the Steady, the Spider, the Delight, the Goldfinch, the Charon, and the Lark. The following, in Keyham steam yard, are in a forward state:- The Howe, 121; the Gibraltar, 101; the Brunswick, 80; the Phoebe, 51; the Narcissus, 51; the Jason, 21; and the Desperate, 8.
Fr 1 August 1862The Union Steam Company's mail steamship Briton, Commander John Boxer, has arrived. She left Table Bay, June 20… Her Majesty's screw steam fngate Euryalus, flag of Admiral Cuper, was at Simon's Bay. The Narcissus has left for the Mozambique Channel. The Gorgon was appointed to leave in an few days for the Mauritius and Madagascar.
Sa 12 November 1864The following is the list of the vessels of the Royal navy which will be armed, and are now being armed, with the new description of 300-pounder and other guns in course of issue. The figures after each vessel specify the number of guns of the description mentioned she will carry. To mount the 12-ton 300-pounders:- Bellerophon, 10; Royal Sovereign, 5; Minotaur, 4; Scorpion, 4; Wiveren, 4; Prince Albert, 4; Agincourt, 4; and Northumberland, 4. To be armed with the 6½-ton guns:- The Achilles, 20; Black Prince, 20; Warrior, 20; Lord Warden, 20; Lord Clyde, 20; Royal Oak, 20; Prince Consort, 20; Royal Alfred, 20; Caledonia, 20; Ocean, 20; Minotaur, 18 ; Agincourt, 18; Valiant, 16; Zealous, 16; Hector, 16; Defence, 10; Resistance, 10; Endymion, 6; Mersey, 4; Orlando, 4, Pallas, 4; Favourite, 4; Research, 4; Enterprise, 4; Amazon, 2; Viper, 2; and Vixen, 2. To mount the 64-pounder muzzle-loader:- The Bristol, 12; Melpomene, 12; Liverpool, 12; Severn, 12; Arethusa, 12; Phoebe, 12;. Shannon, 12; Octavia, 12; Constance, 12; Sutlej, 12; Undaunted, 12; Impérieuse, 12; Aurora, 12; Leander, 12; Bacchante, 12; Emerald, 12; Phaeton, 12: Narcissus, 12; Forte, 12; Euryalus, 12; Topaz, 12; Newcastle, 12; Liffey, 12; Immortalité, 12; Glasgow, 12; Clio, 8, North Star, 8 [laid down 1860, cancelled 1865]; Racoon, 8; Challenge[r], 8; and Menai, 8 [laid down 1860, cancelled 1864]. The following will be supplied with the 64-pounder breech-loaders:- The Scout, 8; Rattlesnake, 8; Cadmus, 8; Scylla, 8; Barossa, 8; Jason, 8; Charybdis, 8; Wolverine, 8; Pylades, 8; Orestes, 8; Pearl, 8; Pelorus, 8; Satellite, 8; Acheron, 4 [laid down 1861, cancelled 1863]; Shearwater, 4; Valorous, 4; Furious, 4; Bittern, 4 [laid down 1861, cancelled 1863]; Magicienne, 4; and Columbine, 4. A supply of the 6½-ton smooth-bore 100-pounder wrought iron guns has already been received at Chatham, and it is understood that the first supply of the 300-pounder rifled 12-ton Armstrong gun may shortly be expected at the Ordnance wharf.
Th 5 January 1871The Flying Squadron, comprising the screw frigates Narcissus, 28, Capt. W. Codrington, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Beauchamp Seymour, C. B., Admiral in command of the squadron, and the Immortalité, 28, Capt. F.W. Sullivan, C.B.; and the screw corvettes Cadmus, 17, Capt. W.H. Whyte, and Volage, 8, Capt. M. Seymour, sailed from Plymouth Sound yesterday for Lisbon, Madeira, Barbadoes, and several other of the British West India Islands, including Jamaica, whence the squadron, probably calling at Havannah, will proceed to Bermuda, where the Pylades, 17, screw corvette, Capt. C.W.V. Buckley, V.C., is expected to join. The cruise will occupy four or five months, but a great deal of latitude is allowed to Admiral Seymour, both as to ports of call and the duration of the visit. The Commander-in-Chief at Devonport, Admiral Sir Henry Codrington, K.C.B., accompanied by Rear-Admiral W. Houston Stewart, C.B., went out in the steam tender Princess Alice to view the departure of the squadron, which left Plymouth with a fine easterly breeze.
Ma 1 May 1871The following is a brief account of the proceedings of Rear-Admiral Beauchamp Seymour's Flying Squadron since the last communication from the ships. Our letters are dated the 9th inst. [i.e. 9th April] from Jamaica : -"We remained a fortnight at Barbados, during which time the Governor and the town gave two balls in our honour, both being most successful. At Trinidad we stayed ten days, and from there have visited the islands of Grenada, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia, leaving the latter on the 30th, and arriving here yesterday. From St. Vincent to St. Lucia the squadron had a trial of rate of sailing. Getting all into one line when we had got an offing of the former island, the Admiral made the signal, 'Race to Castries, St. Lucia.' which was a dead heat [sic: should presumably be "dead beat"]. We started at 6 p.m. on the 27th and arrived in the following order on the 28th :- Volage, 12 50 p.m.; Narcissus, 2 50 p.m.; Pylades, 5 35 p.m.; Immortalité, 7 50 p.m.; Cadmus, 10 p.m. So the Volage has proved herself the best ship in sailing to windward, for she also beat the fleet in a two hours' trial we had between Grenada and St. Vincent. We met the Eclipse at St. Vincent on the 25th taking the Governor of Barbadoes round the islands. She was to return from there. The ships in port here are Myrmidon, Sphinx, Lapwing, and Britomart. We remain till the 20th, leaving for Havannah and Bermuda."- Army and Navy Gazette.
Ma 26 June 1871A Press despatch of the 1st of June from Halifax, Nova Scotia, is to the following effect:- "The remaining vessels of the Flying Squadron - Narcissus, Immortalité and Pylades - arrived to-day from Bermuda [I assume this means that Cadmus, Volage and Inconstant had already arrived]. The squadron will remain until the 17th, and then leave for a three year cruise to the West Indies, South America, China, Australia, and home. The squadron is commanded by Rear-Admiral Seymour. There are now eight warships and gunboats at this station".
Ma 14 August 1871The Helicon, paddle despatch vessel, Commander H.E. Crozier, from Vigo on the 6th inst., arrival in Plymouth Sound on Saturday morning, with letters, despatches, and a few supernumeraries. On leaving Vigo she proceeded to the rendezvous off Ushant, which she reached at 7 p.m. on the 8th inst., the Reserve Squadron arriving there at 1.45 p.m. on the 9th, the Prince Consort at 10.5 p.m. on the 10th, and the Mediterranean and Flying Squadron at noon on the 11th; and the Helicon left at 10.20 the same night for Plymouth. The combined squadrons, consisting of 23 ships, under the supreme command of Vice-Admiral Sir Hasting R Yelverton, C.B., were to cruise between 20 miles off Ushant and Ireland until the 14th inst.; the rendezvous after that would be 20 miles south of Cape Clear until the 21st or 22d inst. The fleet includes the following ships:- First, the combined Mediterranean and Channel squadrons, comprising the Lord Warden (flagship of Vice-Admiral Yelverton), Prince Consort, Monarch, Hercules, Northumberland, Defence, Caledonia, and Warrior; letters for these ships should be sent to Queenstown before the 17th or 18th inst. Second, the Detached Squadron, consisting of the Narcissus (flagship of Rear-Admiral Beauchamp Seymour, C.B.), Cadmus, Topaze, Immortalité, Volage, and Inconstant; letters for these ships should be sent to Portland before the 15th or 16th inst. Third, the Reserve Squadron, under Commodore G.O. Willes, C.B., including the Achilles, Black Prince, Resistance, Invincible, Repulse, Hector, Valiant, Vanguard, and Penelope; letters for these ships should be sent to Queenstown before the 17th or l8th inst.
We 4 October 1871On Monday five vessels of the Flying Squadron proceeded up the Firth of Forth and anchored at St. Margaret's Hope. The squadron left Bergen on Thursday. The vessels in the Firth of Forth are the following:- The Narcissus, 35, steam frigate (bearing the flag of Admiral Seymour, C.B.), Capt. William Codrington; the Immortalité, 28, steam frigate, Capt. F.W. Sullivan; the Inconstant, 16, steam frigate, Capt. C. Waddilove; the Volage, 8, steam iron corvette, Capt. M. Culme-Seymour; and the Cadmus, 16, steam corvette, Capt. W.H. Whyte.
Tu 10 October 1871The Narcissus, Inconstant, Immortalité, Cadmus and Volage, belonging to the Flying Squadron left St Margarets Hope, Firth of Forth, on Saturday for Plymouth. The vessels were expected at Yarmouth and Sheerness on their way.
Th 12 October 1871The detached squadron of unarmoured screw frigates under the command of Rear-Admiral F. Beauchamp B. Seymour, C.B., comprising the Narcissus, 28 guns, 2,665 tons, 400-horse power, Capt. W. Codrington, carrying the flag of the Admiral commanding; the Immortalité, 28 guns, 3,959 tons, 600-horse power, Capt. Francis W. Sullivan C.B,; the Inconstant, 16 guns, 4,066 tons, 1,000-horse power, Capt. Charles Waddilove; the Volage, 8 guns, 2,322 tons, 600-horse power, Capt. Michael Culme Seymour; and the Cadmus, 17 guns, 1,466 tons, 400-horse power, Capt. W.H. Whyte, anchored at Spithead yesterday morning, as briefly reported in our Second Edition of yesterday, on the return from the last portion of the cruise of the squadron in the North Sea, and await orders. The squadron left Queensferry, on the coast of Scotland, about 2 p.m. on Saturday, and carried fair winds nearly all the distance round to Spithead. The cruise of the squadron has been in all respects a pre-eminently satisfactory one. A very gratifying feature in connexion with the cruise is that not one case of desertion has occurred throughout the squadron.
Sa 14 October 1871The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, Captain W. Codrington, flagship of Rear-Admiral F. Beauchamp Seymour, C.B., commanding the Detached Squadron, and the Cadmus, 17, screw corvette, Capt. H.W. Whyte, arrived in Plymouth yesterday from Portsmouth and will be taken into the harbour at Devonport to make good defects.
Ma 30 October 1871Rear-Admiral F. Beauchamp P. Seymour, C.B., commanding the detached squadron, has re-hoisted his flag on board the Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, at Devonport, and, with the Cadmus, 17, screw corvette, Capt. W.H. Whyte, will sail with the other ships of the squadron (now at Portsmouth), about the 8th or 10th proximo, for Rio and the Cape of Good Hope.
Th 9 November 1871The Cadmus, 17, screw corvette, Capt. Whyte, has been taken out of dock at Devonport, where she has had her bottom stripped, thoroughly re-caulked and re-coppered.
The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, Capt. W. Codrington, flagship of Rear-Admiral F. Beauchamp Seymour, C.B., commanding the detached squadron, was taken into dock at Devonport yesterday, to have the bottom cleaned and valves examined, after which Mr. Froude will make experiments with both ships to ascertain the extent to which they roll, in order to compare the results with those of similar trials of other ships.
Ma 13 November 1871The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, Capt. W. Codrington, flagship of Rear-Admiral F. Beauchamp Seymour, C.B., commanding the Detached Squadron, sailed from Plymouth Sound on Saturday night for Portland; and the Cadmus, 17, screw corvette, Capt. Whyte, was expected to leave the Sound last night for the same port.
Tu 14 November 1871Her Majesty's ship Narcissus, 35, Captain William Codrington, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Beauchamp Seymour, C.B., arrived in Portland roads on Sunday afternoon, from the westward, and was saluted by Her Majesty's ship Achilles. It is stated that the other ships of war forming the flying squadron may be shortly expected, and after a short stay in the roads will proceed for a 14 months' cruise.
Ma 19 February 1872Rear-Admiral Beauchamp Seymour, C.B., arrived at Rio Janeiro January 8 with his flying squadron, consisting of the Narcissus, Inconstant, Immortalité, Topaze, Cadmus, and Volage. The Immortalité was detached on January 11 to look for the ship White Rose off Cape Frio; she returned on January 13. Admiral Seymour intended to leave with his squadron on January 18 for the Cape and Bombay. There is a report, however, that the Foreign Office has expressed a desire that the ships should return to Europe earlier than was originally intended.- Army and Navy Gazette.
Fr 22 March 1872Advices from the Cape of Good Hope, by the mail steamer Syria, report the arrival at Simon's Bay on the 14th of February of the Detached Squadron, under command of Rear-Admiral Seymour, C.B., from Rio Janeiro, which port was left on the 18th of January. The vessels comprising the squadron were the Narcissus (flag), Captain Codrington; the Topaze, Capt. Oldfield; the Immortalité, Capt. Graham; the Inconstant, Capt. Waddilove; the Cadmus, Capt. Whyte, and the Volage, Capt. C. Seymour. The squadron left Portland on November 19, 1871, and reached Vigo on the 24th of that month. Here the squadron was put in quarantine in consequence of two cases of smallpox having occurred on board the flagship. Through this quarantine the Narcissus left Vigo on November 27 for Lisbon, the squadron remaining behind with the Inconstant in command. The Narcissus returned on the same day, not being able to steam against the head wind prevailing, and on the 29th the fleet sailed for Lisbon. The flagship parted company the same day, steaming ahead, and arrived at Lisbon on the 2d of December - the fleet on the 3d. At Lisbon the Narcissus sent the cases to hospital, and the whole fleet received pratique. The Squadron remained at Lisbon till December 7, at which date it took its departure and made an excellent passage to Madeira, which was reached at 9 a.m. on Sunday, the 10th. It left this island on the following day. At Rio the weather was intensely hot, and the port was left on the 18th of January. The squadron arrived eventually at Simon's Bay on the 14th of February. During the cruise there were, of course, manoeuvres, gun exercise, and other drills, which kept all hands hard at work. Cape Town had been visited by a large number of the sailors of the fleet, and their conduct had been most exemplary. The Inconstant was sent round to Table Bay as a guardship, arriving there on the l6th ult., and it was considered probable that some of the other ships would visit the port before proceeding to Bombay.
Sa 28 September 1872The Detached Squadron, comprising the following ships, arrived off the Eddystone, under canvas, yesterday morning, and parted company, the two first-named ships making for Plymouth Sound, where they anchored at 9.30 a.m., and exchanged salutes with the Royal Adelaide, flagship of the Commander-in-Chief at Devonport. The other three ships proceeded up Channel for Portsmouth. The screw frigates Narcissus, 28, Capt. W. Codrington, flagship of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell; the Topaze, 31, Capt. R.B. Oldfield; the Immortalité, 28, Capt. W. Graham; the Inconstant, 16, Capt. C. Waddilove, and the screw corvette Volage, 8, Capt. M. C. Seymour. The squadron, under command of Rear-Admiral Beauchamp Seymour, C.B., left Portland on Nov. 19, 1871, and arrived at and sailed from the following ports on the dates specified:- Vigo, Nov. 24, 29; Lisbon, Dec. 2, 7; Madeira, 10, 11; Rio Janeiro, Jan. 8, 18, 1872; Cape of Good Hope, Feb. 14, 27; Bombay, April 22 and May 6; Mauritius, June 5, 20; Cape of Good Hope, July 7, 27; St. Helena, Aug. 8, 13; Ascension, Aug. 17, 20; the Azores, Sept. 13, 16. The total distance traversed by the ships is 29,414 miles, accomplished almost entirely under sail. The general health of the crews has been good. The cruise from the Cape to Bombay was very tedious, owing to the prevalence of light winds and calms the whole way. The squadron steamed from the equator to Bombay, the ships towing each other alternately, the Inconstant and Volage doing most of the work. Steam was used for one day in crossing the equator, going out and coming home, and advantage was taken of it to exercise the squadron in steam tactics. The route of the squadron was to go round India, but on arrival at Bombay the ships were ordered home round the Cape, Rear-Admiral Seymour giving up command at Bombay to go to Aden, en route for England, on his appointment as a Lord of the Admiralty. The command of the squadron then devolved on Capt. Waddilove, of the Inconstant, who took charge, as senior officer, until arrival at the Cape, where Rear-Admiral Campbell joined, and the ships met the Russian squadron with the Grand Duke Alexis, who gave an entertainment on board his ship, the Svetland, and the Flying Squadron gave a ball at Simon's Bay.
Ma 30 September 1872The eastern division of the Detached Squadron, consisting of the unarmoured screw frigates Immortalité, Capt. W. Graham; the Inconstant, Capt C. Waddilove; and the Volage, Capt. M. C. Seymour, arrived and anchored at Spithead on Saturday morning.
The Narcissus, 28, Capt. W. Codrington, bearing the flag of Rear Admiral F.A. Cambell and the Topaze, 31, Capt. R.B. Oldfield, moved from Plymouth Sound into the harbour at Devonport on Saturday, preparatory to being paid off, all standing, and recommissioned.
Sa 5 October 1872The wood-built unarmoured frigates Narcissus and Topaze are to be paid off at Devonport on the 8th inst., and the Narcissus will be recommissioned next day by Capt. J.O. Hopkins.
We 9 October 1872The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, Capt. W. Codrington and the Topaze, 31, screw frigate, Capt. R.B. Oldfield were paid off at Devonport yesterday, and the Salamander, paddle sloop, Staff Commander Youel, sailed in the evening with the men paid off from their ships for Portsmouth and Sheerness.
Th 10 October 1872The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, flagship of the detached squadron, was commissioned at Devonport yesterday by Capt. J.O. Hopkins, and the Topaze, 31, screw frigate, was also commissioned by Lieut. W.H. Richardson for a Capt. whose appointment is not yet announced.
Tu 15 October 1872The unarmoured screw frigate, Immortalité, 28 guns, 3,084 tons displacement, 2,391 indicated horse-power, was commissioned at Portsmouth yesterday by Capt. Lyons for service with the detached squadron now being formed at Portsmouth and Devonport for another cruise, under Rear Admiral Campbell's command.
Capt. W.H. Edye is appointed to the command of the Doris frigate, which is to be commissioned at Devonport tomorrow with a complement of 490 officers and men for particular service, presumably to join the detached squadron. The frigates Narcissus and Topaze of that squadron, now in dock at Devonport, are ordered to be ready by the 2d of November.
Tu 22 October 1872The date named for the completion of repairs to the screw frigates Narcissus and Topaze (of the Detached Squadron) at Devonport is extended to the 25th proximo.
We 20 November 1872The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, Capt. J.O. Hopkins, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, commanding the new detached squadron moved from the harbour at Devonport into Plymouth Sound on Thursday, and the Topaze, 31, screw frigate, Capt. E. Hardinge, did the same yesterday. Both ships exchanged the customary salutes with the Royal Adelaide, flagship of the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral the Hon. Sir Henry Keppel, K.C.B., and made a short run to try their machinery previous to anchoring.
We 4 December 1872The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, Capt. J.O. Hopkins, flagship of Rear Admiral F.A. Campbell, commanding the detached squadron, and the Topaz, 31, screw frigate, Capt. E. Hardinge, will be inspected in Plymouth Sound on Friday by the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral the Hon. Sir Henry Keppel, K.C.B., and will sail on Saturday, weather permitting, for the rendezvous of the squadron at Portland.
Tu 10 December 1872Her Majesty's frigate, Immortalité, 28, Capt. Algernon M'L. Lyon, arrived in Portland harbour on Sunday morning. The Narcissus, 28, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Frederick Cambell, and the Topaze, 31, Capt. Hardinge, are also expected.
Th 12 December 1872The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, Capt. J.O. Hopkins, flagship of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, commanding the Detached Squadron, and the Topaze, 31, screw frigate, Capt. E. Hardinge, sailed from Plymouth Sound yesterday for the rendezvous of the squadron in Portland Road.
Fr 20 December 1872Shortly before 12 o'clock on Wednesday morning the Flying Squadron, which for the past fortnight have been rendezvousing inside Portland breakwater, left for a short cruise. The vessels consisted of the Narcissus, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Frederick Campbell, the Immortalité, the Doris, the Topaze, the Valorous, and the Aurora. They proceeded under steam to the westward. It is expected the fleet will return either on Sunday or Monday.
Sa 21 December 1872The detached squadron, comprising the following ships, put into Plymouth Sound yesterday for shelter from the southerly gale blowing in the Channel :- The wood-built unarmoured screw frigates Narcissus, 28, Capt. J.O. Hopkins, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, commanding-in-chief the squadron; the Aurora, 23, Capt. Sholto Douglas; the Immortalité, 23, Capt. W. Graham; the Doris, 24, Capt. W.H. Edye, and the Topaze, 31, Capt. E. Hardinge; the Narcissus has started her cutwater and the Aurora her bowsprit, which, with other defects, will necessitate their going into the harbour at Devonport to repair.
Tu 24 December 1872The screw frigates Topaze, 31, Capt. Hardinge, and Doris, 24, Capt. W.H. Edye, proceeded from Plymouth Sound to the westward yesterday morning, to relieve homeward bound vessels.
The screw frigate Aurora, 28, Capt. Sholto Douglas, moved from the Sound into the harbour at Devonport yesterday, to have defects remedied; the two other ships of the detached squadron, the Narcissus, flagship of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, and the Immortalité, remain in Plymouth Sound.
Tu 24 December 1872


Sir,- Allow me to correct the paragraph concerning the movements of the "Detached Squadron" under the command of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, which appeared in The Times of the 20th inst. - viz., "the vessels consisted of the Narcissus, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral F. Campbell; the Immortalité, the Doris, the Topaze, the Valorous, and the Aurora. They proceeded under steam to the westward."
The squadron, which consisted only of the Narcissus (flag), the Immortalité, the Topaze, the Aurora, and the Doris, left Portland Roads at noon on Wednesday, the 18th. inst., under sail alone, proceeded to the westward, and put into Plymouth Sound at noon to-day through stress of weather, no steam having been used by any of the squadron during the cruise.
I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,
Sa 4 January 1873The Channel squadron was riding out a heavy westerly gale at Funchal, Madeira, on Christmas-day, when at 4 a.m., the Northumberland broke from her anchor. A ground anchor was promptly let go, but it failed to bring her up, and she fell across the bows of the Hercules, carrying away her bowsprit, jibboom, and foretopgallant-mast. The Northumberland, having lost her after funnel and received from the prow of the Hercules serious damage to her bottom from 12 to 18 feet below the waterline - a hole being made about five feet by two feet in a second two compartments filled with water - left Madeira on the 26th of December for Gibraltar, accompanied by the Hercules and the Minotaur. The Agincourt, the Bellerophon, and the Sultan were left at Funchal to await the arrival of the mail, under the presidency of Capt. Charles Fellowes, C.B., commanding the Steam Reserve, with Captains J.O. Hopkins (Narcissus) and W.H Edye (Doris) as member.
Sa 18 January 1873The unarmoured screw frigate Endymion, Capt. Maddan, sailed from Spithead about 3p.m. yesterday, for the present anchorage of the Detached Squadron in Vigo Bay. The frigate left Spithead under all plain sail, with a light breeze from about west-north-west.
The Doris, 24 screw frigate, Capt. W.H. Edye, will sail from Plymouth Sound for Vigo on Monday morning, and will take a mail for the Narcissus, Topaze, and Aurora.
Th 23 January 1873Letters for the ships of the Detached Squadron, Narcissus, Topaze, Endymion, Doris, and Aurora, may be sent to Madeira by mail of the 25th. inst., after that date to Barbadoes until further notice.
Ma 3 February 1873The ships of the Detached Squadron having been delayed by bad weather, letters for the Narcissus, Topaze, Aurora, Doris, and Endymion should be sent by mail of the 5th. inst. to Madeira, instead of Barbadoes.
We 26 February 1873Private letters received at Woolwich from Vigo report the arrival at that port of the Flying Squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, consisting of the Narcissus, 28, flagship, Capt. J.O. Hopkins; the Aurora, 23, Capt. S. Douglas ; the Doris, 24, Capt. W.H. Edye; the Endymion, 22, Capt. E. Maddon; the Topaze, 31, Capt. E. Hardinge. The passage from Plymouth was very boisterous, the whole of the ships of the squadron having encountered tremendous weather in the Bay of Biscay, the hurricane lasting from the forenoon of the 18th to the 27th ult. The Aurora, the Narcissus, and the Topaze each lost a man overboard, The Aurora was battened down for three days, leaking much from her continued labouring, and the Topaze encountered such a succession of tremendous seas as rendered it doubtful whether she would be able to recover herself. The whole of the vessels sailed for Barbadoes on the 6th inst, where they will be joined by the Immortalité, 28, Capt A.M'L. Lyons.
Tu 1 April 1873The Flying Squadron, under command of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, arrived at Barbadoes on the 4th of March, 10 days from Madeira and 26 days from Vigo. The squadron left Madeira with a north-east wind and had a pleasant run down the Trades, which were met with on the 25th of February. Typhoid fever has broken out on board the Narcissus and Doris, the flagship having several serious cases, besides about 50 men on the sick list suffering from boils and ulcers. The military medical authorities at Barbadoes declining to take the fever patients into their hospital, Admiral Campbell sent the Doris with her own sick and with 14 others from the Narcissus to Bermuda. The fever is attributed to the water taken on board at Vigo, although it was tested previously and pronounced perfectly good. The sailing qualities of the ships as tested during the cruise place them in the following order of merit:- Aurora, Narcissus, Topaze, Doris, and Endymion. The squadron will leave Barbadoes on the 14th. of March for Trinidad, en route for Port Royal.
Fr 15 May 1874

30 April 1874

The Flying Squadron, consisting of the Narcissus, 28 (bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral G.G. Randolph, C.B.), Capt. S. Adeane: the Doris, 24, Capt. W.H. Edye; the Endymion, 22, Capt. E. Madden; the Immortalité, 28, Capt. Mac L. Lyons; and the Topaze, 28, Capt. E. Hardinge, returned from their cruize in the Levant on the 30th ult., and took up their moorings in the Grand Harbour, Valetta, in fine style, at half-past 4 p.m., entering port under sail with a strong breeze from the eastward. The three first-mentioned vessels came direct from Rhodes, after a passage of ten days, and the two latter from Suda Bay (Island of Crete) in six days. The squadron, except the Doris, will leave on Thursday, 7 May, for Palermo, Cagliari, Port Mahon, Gibraltar, and England. The Doris will follow about Monday, 11 May, after having a new bowsprit fitted.
Th 15 October 1874An intimation arrived at Chatham Dockyard yesterday of what will be the movements of the detached squadron, which will be under the command of Rear-Admiral Randolph, and will consist of the following ships:- The Narcissus, the Immortalité, the Topaze, the Newcastle, the Raleigh, and the Doris. The ships are ordered to assemble at Gibraltar on the 25th of October, excepting the Doris, which is to join the squadron at Madeira. The whole will leave Madeira on the 20th of November, and arrive at St. Vincent on the 29th of November; leave St. Vincent on the 3d of December, and arrive at Montevideo on the 2d of January, 1875; leave Montevideo on the 20th of January, and arrive at the Falkland Islands on the 30th of January; leave the Falkland Islands on the 13th of February, and arrive at the Cape of Good Hope on the 9th of March. The squadron will leave the Cape of Good Hope on the 30th of March, and arrive at St. Helena on the 11th of April; leave St. Helena on the 17th of April, and arrive at Ascension on the 22d of April, leaving Ascension on the 26th of April, and returning to Gibraltar on the 3d of June.
Ma 2 November 1874

26 October 1874

The detached squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Randolph, C.B., consisting of the Narcissus, Immortalité and Raleigh, arrived at Gibraltar - Army and Navy Gazette
Th 26 November 1874The following particulars in reference to the cruise of the Detached Squadron under the command of Rear-Admiral G.G. Randolph have just been published. The vessels composing the squadron are the screw frigate Narcissus, 28, Capt. N. Bowden-Smith, the flagship; the screw frigate Doris, 24, Capt. The Hon. G.R. Fremantle, C.B.; the screw frigate Immortalité, 28, Capt, F.A. Hume; the Newcastle, 28, screw frigate. Capt, R.G. Douglas; the iron screw frigate Raleigh, 22, Capt. George Tryon, C.B.; and the screw frigate Topaze, 28, Capt. Arthur T. Thrupp. The squadron first visited Madeira, where they remained until the 21st ult., proceeding thence to St. Vincent, where they were timed to arrive on the 29th inst. They will remain there until the 3d of December, when they will proceed to Montevideo, which they will reach about the 2d of January, 1875. After remaining there until the 20th of that month, the squadron will go to the Falkland Islands, where they will arrive in ten days. They will stay there about 13 days, when they will leave for the Cape of Good Hope, where they are expected to arrive about the 9th of March. The squadron will leave the Cape on the 30th of March for St. Helena, which port they will make on the 11th of April. They will remain there till the 17th, thence proceeding to Ascension, where they are to arrive on the 23d of April. They will leave for Gibraltar on the 26th of April, reaching the Rock on the 3d of June next, and leaving again for England after a short stay. Letters to meet the squadron at the various places of call should be posted in time to leave London by the following mails:- For Montevideo, December 1 and 15; Falkland Islands, December 19; Cape of Good Hope; January 25, February 5 and 15; St. Helena, March 15; and Gibraltar, May 26.
Tu 7 December 1875The Flying Squadron, consisting of the Narcissus (flagship), Immortalité, Raleigh, Doris, and Newcastle, is expected to remain on the East India station until March next, and will accompany the Prince of Wales in his Indian sea tour to Colombo, Trincomalee, Madras, and Calcutta. During the whole of this period the Squadron will remain temporarily under the command of Vice-Admiral Macdonald, the Commander-in-Chief of the East India station. It is three years since the Flying Squadron visited India.
Tu 8 February 1876The following vessels of the Detached Squadron will leave Bombay in a few days for Hongkong, calling at Singapore for orders :- The Narcissus, the Immortalité, the Newcastle, and the Topaze.
Tu 15 February 1876

14 February 1876

Detached Squadron.- Narcissus, Flag of Rear-Admiral Lambert, Immortalité, Topaze, and Newcastle will sail forenoon of the 14th inst. from Bombay for Singapore.
Tu 23 May 1876

7 April 1876

The Detached Squadron (Narcissus, Newcastle, Topaze, and Immortalité) arrived at Hongkong on the 7th of April from Singapore. Rear-Admiral Lambert landed on Saturday at the Murray Pier, where a guard of honour, with the band of the 28th Regiment, was stationed to receive him. The Royal Artillery fired a salute of 11 guns on his leaving his flagship.
Fr 14 April 1876

9 April 1876

Detached Squadron at Hongkong.- Narcissus, Immortalité, Newcastle, Topaze, arrived at Hongkong.
Tu 3 October 1876

12 August 1876

Her Majesty's ship Topaze left Wosung this morning for the North with stores for the Detached Squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Lambert, consisting of Her Majesty's ship Narcissus (flag), Newcastle, and Immortalité, at this date about 140 miles from Chefoo, where they proceeded from Nagasaki on the 2d August. The unsettled state of affairs in China has prolonged the stay of the Detached Squadron, and it is not expected they will move south before the end of September or beginning of October. The Audacious, flagship of Vice-Admiral Ryder, Commander-in-Chief of the China Station, it at Chefoo. The despatch boat Vigilant, with Sir Thomas Wade, the British Minister at Pekin, and Vice-Admiral Ryder, left here on the 8th for Chefoo, where it is expected there will be an interview with Li Hung Ching, Commander-in-Chief of the Pechili Provinces. The Thistle is at Ohefoo, and the Mosquito has left here for Chefoo to act as despatch vessel between the Commander-in-Chief and the Detached Squadron. The Charybdis is senior officer's ship here.
Ma 11 December 1876

31 October 1876

The Detached Squadron, under Rear-Admiral Lambert in the Narcissus, with the Immortalité, Topaze, and Newcastle, left Woosung, Shanghai today, for Hongkong on the way to England.
Tu 26 December 1876

16 November 1876

Our Hongkong Correspondent writes:- Her Majesty's ships of war in harbour are the Newcastle, Immortalité, Topaze, Fly, Growler, and Nassau. The Narcissus went round to Aberdeen on the 13th inst., and was successfully docked in the Hongkong and Whampoa Company's dock there on the afternoon of the 14th inst. The Topaze arrived from Nagasaki on the 13th inst. It is not probable the detached squadron will leave here before the first week in December.
Th 4 January 1877

30 November 1876

Our Hongkong correspondent writes: - The Detached Squadron, consisting of the Narcissus, Newcastle, Immortalité, and Topaze, are to leave here for Singapore on the 5th of December, there to await orders.
Fr 11 May 1877The Plymouth correspondent of the Press Association telegraphed last night the arrival in the Sound, to "await orders," of the Narcissus, the Immortalité, the Topaze, and the Newcastle, the four ships forming the Detached Squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Rowley Lambert, C.B.
We 23 May 1877The Narcissus and the Topaze, ships of the detached squadron recently returned, were paid off, all standing, at Devonport yesterday, and the crews granted the usual leave.
We 23 May 1877The Immortalité, 28, Acting Capt. Noel, which, with the Newcastle, 31, Capt. Douglas, arrived at Portsmouth a few days ago on the termination of the cruise of the Detached Squadron, was paid off, all standing, on Monday morning.
The Immortalité was commissioned at Portsmouth on the 14th of October, 1872, by Capt. Algernon M'L. Lyons, and on the 8th of December arrived at Portland, the rendezvous of Admiral Campbell's squadron. A few days later, the squadron, which consisted of the Narcissus (flagship), Immortalité, Aurora, Endymion, and Doris, anchored at Plymouth. After a short stay, the Immortalité was despatched to the Irish Channel in search of a derelict, the Margaret Pollock, which Captain Lyons succeeded in finding. Owing, however, to a continuance of heavy gales, he was unable to keep in company with her, and as his ship had started a serious leak it was deemed advisable to return to port, and she accordingly put back to Portsmouth on the 6th of January, 1873. The necessary repairs took more than a month to complete. In the meantime Admiral Campbell left with the other ships of the squadron for Madeira and the West Indies, the Immortalité joining company with them at Barbadoes on the l1th of March. The squadron then proceeded to Trinidad, thence to Jamaica, touching at several ports in the Windward Islands and at St. Domingo, and onward to Halifax, where orders reached them to proceed to Gibraltar, which port they reached on August 8, 1873. The squadron was then employed for some months on the coast of Spain in consequence of certain difficulties arising out of the Civil War in that country, and more particularly on account of the Intransigentes, who, having possessed themselves of several Spanish men-of-war, were behaving in a somewhat novel and irregular manner. The squadron cruised about from port to port, sometimes singly and sometimes in company, the officers taking the opportunity offered by their stay at Malaga to visit Granada, Seville, and Cordova. On the 17th of November the Immortalité was detached on a cruise to the coast of Morocco, as the bearer of the usual congratulations to the new Emperor on his accession to the Throne; and having first called at Tangier to embark the Moorish Minister, Seyd Mahomed Bargash, family, and suite, she proceeded to Rabat, where the Emperor was residing with a large following of motley, but picturesque, troops. Capt. Lyons and some of his officers were presented to the Emperor. After this incident the squadron was ordered to Malta, and, after refitting, cruised on the station until June, when it returned to Gibraltar, having visited Corfu, Athens, Smyrna, Candia, Palermo, Sardinia, and other places. The Doris was then ordered to Halifax, but the remainder of the ships returned to England, where they were paid down and new captains and several officers appointed, Rear-Admiral Randolph being placed in command. On the 20th of September, l874, the squadron, which now consisted of the Narcissus, Immortalité, Topaze, Newcastle, Raleigh, and Doris, the Immortalité being commanded by Capt. Hume, again left England, and, after touching at various places, arrived at the Cape of Good Hope on the 3d of April, 1875, where they remained a mouth to refit. The vessels returned to Gibraltar by St. Helena, Ascension, and St. Vincent, and shortly afterwards received orders to repair to Bombay to await the arrival of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales; Rear-Admiral Rowley Lambert, C.B., being at the same time appointed to the command. The squadron arrived at Bombay on the 6th of September, after a tedious passage of 91 days, and one week at the Cape, which was not more than sufficient for the performance of all necessary duties. Everybody in the squadron had opportunities of visiting famous places, seeing wonderful sights, and receiving Indian hospitality. After a considerable stay at Bombay the squadron visited Colombo, Trincomalee, and Calcutta, and then returned to Bombay. The orders were out, and the ships were to have sailed in a week for the Suez Canal, when, owing to Chinese troubles, a telegram arrived in time to arrest their return and to despatch four ships - the Narcissus, Immortalité, Topaze, and Newcastle - to Singapore and Hongkong, where they arrived on the 7th of April, 1876. The squadron remained in Chinese waters during the negotiations between the two Governments, and visited Shanghai, Amoy, Japan, Chefoo, and Talien. When at Chefoo Admiral Lambert hoisted his flag on board the Immortalité, and proceeded to the Taku Forts, at the mouth, of the Peiho River. Here the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Ryder, and Staff, accompanied by Sir Thomas Wade and Admiral Lambert and Staff, proceeded up the river in the Vigilant and Mosquito to Tientsin, and thence to Pekin. Several officers of the Immortalité also visited Pekin and the great wall of China. Affairs having by this time been satisfactorily settled by diplomatic means, the squadron returned to Hongkong in November, 1876, and, having refitted, proceeded home, via the Mauritius, Cape of Good Hope, St. Helena, Ascension, and St. Vincent, arriving at Plymouth on the 11th inst.
In the first year of her commission the Immortalité sailed over 12,309 miles, and was 109 days at sea; in the second; 10,309 miles and 106 days; in the third, 32,423 miles and 228 days; in the fourth, 14,491 miles and 134 days; and in the fifth, 16,824 miles and 120 days. During the whole commission, therefore, she had sailed over 86,356 miles, and been 897 days at sea, and 975 days in harbour, including 175 days fitting out, docking for repairs on her return from the Irish Channel, paying down and fitting out the second time at Portsmouth. In the five years she was 111 times in port, and visited 76 different ports, of which 69 were foreign and colonial. The following are the names of the officers who have served in the Immortalité the whole of her commission, from October, 1872 :- Commander Alan B. Thomas, Lieut. of Marines T.K. Byam, Chaplain, the Rev. A. Nicholls, B.A.; Paymaster, W. Warburton; Sub-Lieuts. J. W. Litle and Montgomerie; Surgeons C.G. Wodsworth and I.H. Anderson; Engineer, G.F. Greaves; boatswain, John Mahoney; acting Sub-Lieut. Haswell, and Navigating Sub-Lieut. Scott. Fleet Surg. J.C. Ingles served from the 4th of February, 1873. The Immortalité will be paid off into the 4th Division of the Steam Reserve, and, as her hull is sadly out of repair, she will not probably be again called upon for service at sea.

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