The 1845 Experimental Squadron
The 1845 Experimental Squadron

Royal NavyFleetsExperimental squadrons1844 ◄► 1846
Royal NavyFleetsExperimental squadrons
1844 ◄► 1846

In 1845 three cruises pitted Symonds' ships of the line against earlier designs. In the first two cruises, his Queen (three-decker), Albion, Vanguard and Superb (two-deckers) were matched against Trafalgar, St. Vincent (three-deckers), Rodney and Canopus (two-deckers). The third cruise was limited to the two-deckers, but also included the brig Daring, which had taken part in the 1844 brig squadron.
In the first cruise the squadron, under the command of an ailing Rear-Admiral Hyde Parker, sailed from Portsmouth on 15 July, was at Cork from 7 to 18 September, and docked at Plymouth on 20 September. On the second cruise the squadron, now under Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Pym, sailed from Plymouth on 28 September and returned there on 10 October. On the third cruise the squadron sailed from Plymouth on 21 October and returned there on 3 December. During this third cruise it was commanded by one of the ship's Captains as Commodore (initially Moresby in Canopus, and then Willes in Vanguard, that joined later), the Admiralty apparently having no confidence in the available (and generally extremely elderly) Admirals. The Times newspaper contained reports of these cruises

Extracts from the Times newspaper
Tu 18 February 1845


The Canopus, 84, completed masting on Wednesday. She is preparing for commission, and will form one of the line of battle-ship trial squadron, of which the following ships are already ordered to form part:- The Caledonia, 120, Captain Milne, flag-ship of Admiral Sir David Milne, Commander-in-Chief at Devonport; the Albion, 90, Captain Lockyer, at that port, ready; the Vanguard, 80, Captain Willes, now fitting at that port; the Superb, 80, Captain Corry, now fitting at that port; the St. Vincent, 120, Captain Rowley, flag-ship of Admiral Sir Charles Rowley, Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth; the Rodney, 92, Captain Collier, C.B., now fitting at Portsmouth; and the Trafalgar, 120, Captain Martin, flag-ship of Vice-Admiral Sir J.C. White, Commander-in-Chief at Sheerness. The above ships will only have peace complements for the trial cruise.
Sa 22 March 1845


The Queen, 110, at Chatham, has the whole strength of the shipwrights' department employed upon her to expedite her for recommission. The Admiralty are determined that she shall not be excluded from the trial squadron. Every crotchet available to human means has been resorted to to make this ship an available three-decker,- with what success will be seen hereafter. Her magazines have been moved, her stowage altered, her fore and mainsails stepped further aft, à la Rodney, and indeed every alteration from her former majesty put in operation that could possibly tend to make her a fast-sailing and efficient three-decker. It does not appear a consideration with the Lords of Whitehall that the country at large, and the naval world in particular, is perfectly cognizant of the numerous failures made by Sir William Symonds, as developed in various large and small craft trial cruises, and are so dissatisfied with his system as to be thoroughly disgusted with the idea of any further expensive experimalism. Upon the principle, however of "fair play" we suppose their Lordships ordained that some of Sir William Symonds's vessels should perform parts in the forthcoming nautical burlesque. But to what extent does their Lordships' anxiety for "fair play" go?

Why, out of seven line-of-battle ships already in commission, and declared members of the forthcoming trial squadron, three are upon the Symondian construction, and if the Queen is added, there will be four out of the eight! Why is not some other ship of the 80-gun class put to compete with the Vanguard and Superb besides the Canopus? And after the specimen we have had of the utter failure of Sir W. Symonds's "finest three-decker," why is not some other ship of that class selected to compete with the St. Vincent (which will beat them all again); Trafalgar and Caledonia? We were inclined to believe the present Board of Admiralty meant "all fair and above board," when another trial cruise was projected; but as the matter now appears we think anything but praise is their due. The Surveyor of the Navy has had a fair and honourable trial, and has failed to prove his capabilities for the office which he has so long held; and, knowing this so well as the Lords of the Admiralty do, we are surprized they should be so regardless of their reputation as pertinaciously to persist in endeavouring to bolster up a cause so notoriously rotten. The commission of the old Hibernia at Portsmouth for service in the Mediterranean is far more creditable to the Admiralty, in a pecuniary point of view, than the advancement of the Queen for the pendant after so pitiable a failure as she has recently made.
Ma 16 June 1845


The ships at Spithead forming the experimental squadron were yesterday morning ordered to ship as much provisions and water as each can carry, stowing it only in the appointed places, not allowing any between decks or to be put into store rooms, and each ship is ordered to report what she has on board for a full war complement of men. Each ship is also further ordered to report the weight of everything in her,- as masts, rigging, stores, armament, provisions, water, ballast, &c.; also the draft of water, fore and aft, when complete. The squadron is now moored in two lines, the port division consisting of the Vanguard, 80, Canopus, 84, Rodney, 92, and Superb, 80; the starboard division, consisting of the St. Vincent, 120, Trafalgar, 120, Queen, 110, and Albion, 90. Clinometers, instruments which register the ship's rolling and pitching, are supplied to each. Rear-Admiral Parker having taken the command of the squadron, all the ships hare changed their ensigns from white (the Commander-in-chief's) to blue.
Ma 23 June 1845



On Friday evening the Earl of Haddington, accompanied by Vice-Admiral Sir W.H. Gage, a Lord of the Admiralty, and Captain the Hon. R.S. Dundas, Private Secretary to the First Lord, arrived by the South-Western Railway about half-past 9 o'clock, and crossed the harbour to the residence of Admiral Sir C. Rowley, Bart, where their Lordships remained during the night, and where they were joined yesterday by the Right Hon. H.T.L. Corry, First Secretary to their Lordships. The Admiralty flag was hoisted over the dockyard gates yesterday morning at 8 o'clock, and at 10 their Lordships embarked on board their yacht, under salutes from the Victory and St. Vincent, the two flag-ships, and proceeded out of the harbour to receive Her Majesty at Spithead.

Her Majesty and his Royal Highness Prince Albert, attended by Major-General Wemyss, Equerry in Waiting on Her Majesty; Colonel Bowles, Master of the Household; and Lady Portman, Lady in Waiting on Her Majesty; embarked on board the Royal yacht from Mede-under-Osborne, at 20 minutes part 11 o'clock a.m., and in a few minutes after, the suite having all embarked, the Royal yacht steamed towards Spithead. It hove to for a moment on its way to receive the Lords of the Admiralty. At 12 o'clock it arrived at Spithead, when the whole of the ships composing the fleet manned their yards, "dressed" in colours, and fired a Royal salute. Spithead at this time presented a most beautiful and animating appearance, the rigging of every ship being most gaily decorated, and with their crews stretched out upon the yards; while innumerable yachts of the Royal and other yacht squadrons, and swarms of crowded steamboats and shore boats, added increased liveliness to a scene already imposing.

On nearing the St. Vincent, the flag-ship of the squadron, Her Majesty, the Prince, and their suite disembarked from the yacht and entered the Royal barge, and were steered by Lord Adolphus Fitzclarence alongside the St. Vincent, the Royal barge being followed by that of the Lords of the Admiralty and those of the other officers, according to seniority.

On Her Majesty setting foot on board the St. Vincent the Royal standard was run up to the main, and the crew cheered, the band playing "God Save the Queen." Her Majesty was received on board by Rear-Admiral Hyde Parker, Captain Rowley, and the chief officers of the ship, and was conducted over the upper and main decks by Rear-Admiral Parker, who explained the use and nature of the various places and things which came under her notice. After remaining on board about a quarter of an hour, the Royal train re-embarked, and was steered alongside the Trafalgar, 120, where Her Majesty was received by Captain Martin, who had the honour of conducting his Royal mistress from the quarter-deck over the whole ship to the main, middle, and lower decks. On entering the bread-room Her Majesty asked to taste the chocolate, which she pronounced "very good." On the orlop-deck Her Majesty inspected several of the Lieutenants' cabins, and appeared particularly pleased with one belonging to Lieutenant Ewart, Gunnery Lieutenant, and which is fitted up in particularly good taste. The Royal party next visited the carpenter's and boatswain's store-rooms, remaining upon the orlop-deck about 20 minutes, the last place visited being the chronometer room.

About a quarter past 1 the Royal party arrived alongside the Albion, 90, where Her Majesty was received at the gangway by Captain Lockyer, C.B., and conducted by him to his cabin, the superb fittings of which elicited the most gratifying eulogiums from Her Majesty, who remained some minutes in the stern walk chatting familiarly with the gallant captain. From the cabin Her Majesty was conducted by Captain Lockyer over the main and lower decks, and thence ascended to the quarter-deck, where, by Her Majesty's command, all the officers had the honour of being presented. After this ceremony, the Queen expressed, in the warmest terms, to Captain Lockyer, the delight she experienced from an inspection of his truly splendid ship. But here a somewhat amusing incident occurred. Her Majesty observed inquiringly, "Have you a good ship's company, Captain Lockyer?" "I had a good ship's company," replied the gallant captain, laying strong emphasis on the word "had." "Had a good ship's company?" rejoined Her Majesty, turning to the Earl of Haddington, as if for an explanation; but, as the venerable chief of the Admiralty Board did not vouchsafe any explanation, the undaunted Lockyer concluded, "Yes, may it please your Majesty, I had a good ship's company, until it pleased their Lordships of the Admiralty to take away from me 100 of my best men."

Every object on board the Albion was arranged in the most perfect order and good taste. The companion-ladder was lined with velvet, as were the various ladders on board with velvet side-lines. The decks were as white as it is possible for wood to appear, and every feature of the internal economy of the ship in that order and regularity which most palpably betokens smart officers and wholesome discipline. Having taken leave of Captain Lockyer and the officers most graciously, Her Majesty again stepped into her barge, and at half-past 1 o'clock re-embarked on board the yacht, which was made fast by a warp to the stern of the Albion; the crews and multitude cheering most vociferously.

The signal was then made for all the captains of the fleet to repair on board, and at this extempore levee all the captains (Rowley, of the St. Vincent; Martin, of the Trafalgar ; Sir B.W. Walker, of the Queen; Lockyer, of the Albion; Collier, of the Rodney; Willes, of the Vanguard; Moresby, of the Canopus; Corry, of the Superb), except Captain Fitzgerald, of the Vernon frigate, who was too late, were presented.At about 10 minutes before 2 o'clock the Lords of the Admiralty took leave of Her Majesty and embarked on board the Black Eagle. At the same time the Royal yacht cast off from the Albion, and, proceeding round the easternmost ship, passed along the line to the westward, and quitted Spithead under another Royal salute and the cheers of the thousands assembled at 10 minutes past 2 o'clock, followed by the Royal yacht squadron and the steam-boats with their enormous living freights.

The Royal party landed again at Mede-under-Osborne at 25 minutes to 3 o'clock under salutes from West Cowes Castle, the Royal Yacht Squadron Battery, and the yachts.

The Lords of the Admiralty having disembarked from their yacht in the harbour, left for town by the half-past 5 o'clock train.

To-morrow the squadron will exercise at Spithead in presence of Her Majesty, and, should the weather prove favourable, we believe a "sham fight" will take place, but whether at Spithead or seaward of the Nab will depend on circumstances. The crews will be exercised in shifting sails, topmasts, and yards, and such other evolution as the space will permit; but should there not be a fine commanding breeze the squadron will not weigh anchor.

Sa 28 June 1845


Surely we have had quite enough of such experiments as those again to be passed over in the new experimental squadron assembled at Spithead, the object of which appears to be, a sort of sailing match between the ships built by the present Surveyor of the Navy and some other vessels of a former period, with every chance in favour of the surveyor: and that the broad question of the condition of naval science in this country is altogether lost sight of in little individual partisan opinions and jealousies. Whether we have the best possible class of ships for the public service might, we think, be easily determined by a careful digest and a well-ordered analysis of all the experimental sailings hitherto made, and the reported and other qualities of the various ships of the British navy; but an analysis of this kind, to be of any use to the country, should be placed under the direction of men accustomed to that kind of inquiry. Then how much time and money night be saved! But it is only a particular clan of men to which such an analysis can be confided; at all events, we are quite sure there is no department of the Navy-office, as constituted at present, competent to the task. However, as the squadron now assembled at Spithead begins to excite much public interest, it may be worth while to review some of the conditions under which the experiments are placed. The ships understood to be submitted for trial are, the Queen, 110, St. Vincent, 120, Trafalgar, 120, Albion, 90, Rodney, 84, Canopus, 84, Vanguard, 80, and Superb, 80. The following table shows the draught of water, load displacement, and area of sails of each of these ships; that is, the working sails, viz., courses, topsails, top-gallant sails, jib, and spanker.

 Draught of waterArea of
sail in
square feet
Load dis-
in tons
St. Vincent242525,1694,484

Now a material question arises here, viz., are these ships to be sailed at the load draught of water indicated in their construction drawing, or are they to be sailed at a light draught of water, as in the case of the former trials of the Vanguard in the Mediterranean, with only a few months' provisions on board? If the latter, then it is quite demonstrable that in light winds, or fine summer breezes, such as we may expect for the next three months, the surveyor's ships must necessarily have considerable advantage. Take for example in the above table the Rodney and Albion. Here we have only 10 tons difference in their load displacement; whilst there is nearly 2,000 square feet more canvass in the Albion's sails. Now, this is surely an imperfect experiment. Again, take the Queen and St. Vincent or Trafalgar,- here we have the Trafalgar and St. Vincent with 79 tons more load displacement, and with 2,830 square feet of canvass less in the working sails. Now, what fair deduction would arise out of such a trial as this, supposing the Queen outsailed these ships? Let us now take the Canopus and Vanguard and Superb,- here we have 177 tons more load displacement, with the same area of working sails. If we compare Rodney with Canopus, Vanguard, and Superb, we find that Rodney has 575 tons more displacement than the Canopus, and 752 more than either of the others. Here, then, Rodney has to drag 762 tons more through the water than Vanguard, and 575 tons more than Canopus, with the same area of sails. This is surely very much against the Rodney in summer winds and light weather, and it would not be very surprising if, under these circumstances, the Rodney were left behind. Now on the other supposition, viz. that these ships are to be sent to sea fully victualled and stored as men-of-war for six months, and that they are to be exposed to hard winter service in the Channel or on the French coast, similar to that experienced by our ships in former days; then these nice distinctions would not be of so much importance. Now, let them have a trial of this kind, and then we believe there will not be much difference of opinion as to the respective merits of these ships for the public service. But this kind of trial is, after all, really the only one of importance. With respect to a mere trial of sailing in fine weather, at a little draught of water, such as is usually selected for the full development of the sailing qualities of ships constructed on Sir W. Symonds's models, we cannot but think it a mere delusion, and of no value whatever in determining the great points of the question at issue. It is to be much regretted, that, in the many discussions which have hitherto arisen in the House of Commons on the navy estimates, the great question of the existing state of our naval science should have been treated in so desultory and so unsatisfactory a way. The arguments hive either assumed a form of dictation of duty to the Board of Admiralty, or an implied censure on its proceedings,- both of which would necessarily prove fatal to success with the Government.
Plymouth Times.

Ma 30 June 1845


The scene of Monday last at Spithead was repeated by the experimental squadron on Thursday, but without the presence of the Royal and illustrious personages who on the former day attended; the result, however, as regards the evolutions performed, was more satisfactory, the various crews having followed the respective evolutions made by the flag ship with a much greater degree of alacrity than on Monday; in one respect, however, the result was the same - the Trafalgar was again universally first in obeying the signal made. This is consequent upon the additional efficiency of the crew of that ship over every other ship of the squadron, the same men having been in three line of battle ships (first rate) successively, without being paid off, namely- the Camperdown, Queen, and Trafalgar, whereas the majority of the crews of the other members of the squadron are either volunteers or very "ordinary" seamen, except those of the Albion, who has if not the most efficient crew of seamen, certainly the finest body of men on board of any ship in the service. Those who so industriously endeavour to preach up the efficient state of the navy, will not relish the fact that the Queen, 110, at the time she left Chatham with 700 men upon her books, had not 30 of that number rated as able seamen! The Vulture, first-class steam-frigate, came up to Spithead about the same time with only five able seamen upon her books, and left the anchorage no better off. With such a comparative scarcity of able seamen on board the squadron how is it possible the ships can be well manoeuvred at sea, when they have so much ado to perform creditably at anchor and in smooth water? A large number of the crews of the various ships now at Spithead are men drawn from our dockyards, "general service" men, i.e. men of no service at all as seamen, being, for the most part, unaccustomed to "working" a ship. Commanders of ships have got into a bad habit of looking for fine men instead of good sailors; they forget that it was the small or moderate-sized man that worked and fought so well during the last war. A fine looking, broad-set fellow, six feet high, will now be seized with avidity by the captain of a ship fitting out, whereas the thorough practical seaman of five feet six or seven will be rejected; instances of this occur daily, not only at this, but at all our ports and rendezvous, and as long as such ridiculous caprices are allowed by the Admiralty it is useless placarding the walls with huge announcements of the wants of the navy, and it were better far to save the public money so fruitlessly expended in printing. Admiral Sir Charles Rowley has tried a more likely expedient for raising seamen by exhibiting a notice at the dockyard-gates, inviting such seamen as have recently been paid off from Her Majesty's ships, or who are about to be paid off, and who may wish to enter for any ship of the experimental squadron, to apply on board his flag ship, the Victory, where they will be received and entered, and be allowed six weeks leave of absence, their pay and time going on, and retaining their present ratings. This is a good bait, and may, perhaps, take, but we doubt it.
Ma 7 July 1845


The continuance of the Experimental Squadron at Spithead has enabled us to observe more minutely, during the past week, some particulars respecting each ship's fitness for a trial with her competitors, and we are sorry that our observations have been far from favourable to several of them. It requires no great judgment to be aware that whatever may be the merits of the officers, a ship cannot be well worked with bad seamen; and that the majority of the crews of the Experimental Squadron are bad, or very indifferent seamen, we have abundant evidence, as we find that most of them are unused and inadequate to their duties and manifold labours. We need not go farther to prove this than the Queen, the largest of the squadron, which has not, if we are rightly informed, 50 able seamen on her books; her destitution in this respect is further shown in the fact that she joined the squadron with only 25 "AB's" on her books at the time when she had 700 men entered! The increase of the complements of the various ships stated in our last has been the addition of two or three hundred "general service" men and marines to the entire squadron, which, although an augmentation in numbers, is no increase of efficiency. The navy was never so deficient in good seamen as it is at this moment; and in point of naval construction, we are as far behind perfection as when the Victory was built. How humiliating is the fact, that in 1845 we are so deficient in right principles upon shipbuilding, that squadrons are required to be sent out to decide which is the best model to construct upon, and this after millions have been expended in building ships, many of which have never been to sea, and were cut down without their capabilities ever having been tested! Now that the squadron is fully stored and victualled we shall have an opportunity of showing the draught of water fore and aft, and the height from the water of each ship's lower deck midship portsill, which we know will not be favourable to the Surveyor's ships. Of this we had an instance on Saturday - the Superb, 80, Captain Corry, has immersed her copper line two inches, and consequently has been obliged to have a batch of shipwrights put upon her to copper her above her draft(!). We expect this will be the case with one or two others, now that there is to be no shirking the question of stowage. The ships have, during the week, exercised their crews in gunnery, firing blank cartridge. Trafalgar works her guns easy and well, and her firing is smart; so is Albion's, but the others are anything but smart or regular, dockyard men and "volunteers" being unused to the work at present. We shall have no lack of reports upon the approaching trial, if the rumour be well-founded that Vice-Admiral Sir William Parker takes command of the squadron in the Hibernia (which joins to day) as far as the seat of his command in the Mediterranean; that Rear-Admiral Hyde Parker will cruise about; and that Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Owen will bring home the squadron! Should this prove to be the case we expect the adage of "too many cooks," &c, will be most amply verified. We believe the squadron will receive final orders from the Lords of the Admiralty next week, after taking Her Majesty's pleasure upon the subject.- Hampshire Advertiser

Fr 11 July 1845



Her Majesty and Prince Albert are expected to arrive here, en route to Osborn-house, on Monday next, intimation to that effect haying been received by the Admiralty authorities at this port The experimental squadron will leave on Tuesday. A portion of the squadron was paid advance wages this morning. The target practice has been continued daily, and on the whole has been good. Commodore the Earl of Yarborough intends accompanying the squadron throughout the cruise, in his yacht the Kestrel, which has shipped six months' provisions for the cruise.

Sa 12 July 1845



Nearly the whole of the squadron exercised this morning in target practice, which was very good. The effect was grand and imposing, the dark clouds which hang over the Isle of Wight serving to throw out into bolder view the effect of the firing from the shore, which drew some hundreds of persons to the ramparts to witness the spectacle. The squadron will positively sail on Tuesday next, at or as near about 1 o'clock p.m. as possible, in order to get under weigh upon the top of the flood and take the ebb tide when outside the Nab. Each ship will carry to sea five months' provisions. The additional men ordered for each ship are ready to be embarked. The Hibernia, 100, Captain Richards, will not start with the squadron, but will leave Spithead on Wednesday, the 16th. Vice-Admiral Sir William Parker, Bart, will arrive on that day, and leave the Gosport terminus of the railway direct for the ship, which will get under weigh and proceed direct for the port of the gallant admiral's command - Malta. The remainder of the squadron left unpaid yesterday were paid advance wages this day, except the St. Vincent, which will not be paid until the return of the squadron. The ships and vessels which will actually get under weigh from Spithead on Tuesday will be the St. Vincent, 120; Trafalgar, 120; Queen, 110; Rodney, 92; Albion, 90; Canopus, 84; Superb, 80; Vanguard, 80; Rattler, screw-steam sloop; the Victoria and Albert Royal yacht, and her tender the Fairy; the Admiralty yacht, the Black Eagle; the Lightning steamyacht, and Commodore the Earl of Yarborough's brigantine Kestrel, leading a dozen other yachts of the Royal squadron. Should wind and weather prove propitious the scene of getting under weigh will be one of the most imposing sights ever witnessed here. The Lords of the Admiralty will be in attendance upon Her Majesty.

Ma 14 July 1845


The squadron now at Spithead under the orders of Rear-Admiral Hyde Parker, is officially reported ready for sea, and will leave the anchorage on the trial cruise on Tuesday next, at the time stated in The Times of Saturday.

This being the last opportunity we may have for some time of mentioning in detail the experimental squadron, we will give a few particulars respecting the construction, &c., of each ship, which may be interesting to the general as well as the nautical reader.

The St. Vincent, 120, Captain Rowley, the flag-ship of Rear-Admiral Hyde Parker, Commander-in-Chief of the squadron, was built on the lines furnished by the late Sir William Rule; the Trafalgar, 120, Captain W. P. Martin, was built by Mr. Oliver Lang, Master Shipwright of Woolwich Dockyard, at that yard, in 1841; the Queen, 110, Captain Sir B. Walker, was built on the plan furnished by Sir W. Symonds, Surveyor of the Navy, at Portsmouth Dockyard, in 1839; the Rodney, 92, Captain Edward Collier, was built on the plans furnished by the late Sir Robert Seppings (Surveyor of the Navy), at Pembroke Dockyard, in 1833; the Albion, 90, Captain Nicholas Lockyer, was built on the plans of Sir William Symonds (Surveyor of the Navy), at Devonport Dockyard, in 1842; the Vanguard, 80, Captain G.W. Willes, and the Superb, 80, Captain A.L. Corry, were also built by Sir William Symonds (the former at Pembroke Dockyard in 1836, and the latter at the same yard in 1842); the Canopus, 84, Captain F. Moresby, is of French construction, and was captured at the battle of the Nile.

These are the eight ships forming the experimental squadron of 1845, which will sail from Spithead on Tuesday to try their respective qualities as models for future ships of their class. As this is professedly to be a trial of fairness we may be excused for offering a few remarks upon what appears to us a want of equity in the said trial. It will no doubt strike the reader, as it does us, as somewhat strange, and at variance with those principles of impartiality upon which a squadron of such importance should be sent out for the attainment of so great and nationally important an end, that four of the eight ships composing it are by one constructor, and two of them of the same class.

The following table, being a copy of the official return ordered to be made to the Lords of the Admiralty by the Commander-in-Chief of the squadron, on Friday last, shows in undeniable terms the capabilities of each ship of the squadron, and, as an authentic document, is highly interesting and important:-

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
Ships' namesGunsTons
No of men*Water in tonsWeeks
Draught of waterHeight of
lower deck
from water
Ft in
feet of
in sails
AftBy the
St Vincent1202,6128407055305042124 326 2½1 10½6 125,1604,484
Queen1103,1037767395225002124 2½26 41 1½6 5¾28,0004,405
Trafalgar1202,6918406815125072124 524 110 66 1½25,1694,484
Albion903,0997056554324312623 525 31 106 1½30,0094,152
Rodney922,6257056194354102123 824 91 17 4½28,1004,142
Canopus812,3576455874304042123 024 91 95 11½28,1003,567
Vanguard802,5896455773583512023 724 50 107 128,1003,390
Superb802,5896456074674282123 1125 41 56 2½28,1003,440

*On the day of sailing we believe there will be 200 more men in the squadron than are returned here.

We will merely make one remark upon this table in support of our opinion of the want of fairness in the approaching trial. It will be perceived that the Albion, two decker, of 90 guns, is of 3,099 tons burden, but her displacement is 4,152 tons, and she carries 432 tons of water, her weight of provisions being less that of the St. Vincent, 120, three decker, by 168 days' consumption for 135 men; the St. Vincent also carries 98 tons more water, and her displacement is 4,484 tons; consequently the St. Vincent has a far greater burden to carry through the water than the Albion, yet has 4,840 feet of canvass less in her sails to enable her to do it! The Surveyor's 80-gun two deckers are each of the same tonnage, yet the Vanguard can stow 109 tons more [sic] water that her "sister" (the Superb)! We could give numerous other instances in support of our opinion as above expressed, did our space permit, but we leave the above tabular document to speak for itself.

We 16 July 1845The Experimental squadron departed from Portsmouth watched by Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and the King and Queen of Belgium: St Vincent (flagship of Rear-Adm Hyde Parker, Capt. Rowley), Trafalgar (Capt. Martin), Queen (Capt. Sir Baldwin Walker), Rodney (Capt. Collier), Albion (Capt. Lockyer), Canopus (Capt. Moresby), Vanguard (Capt. Willis Willis), Superb (Capt. Corry) and Rattler (Commander Smith).
Tu 2 September 1845


We publish from authority on which we have every reason to rely, the results of the trials of sailing which have taken place between the respective ships of the experimental squadron from the time of their leaving Portsmouth. The cruising ground which was selected for this great nautical contest may be found between the parallels of 47° and 49° north latitude and the medians of 9° and 11° west longitude.

The first table which we give below, that which contains the angle subtended by the mastheads of the respective ships, as also their particular bearings at the commencement and at the conclusion of each trial, furnishes elements sufficient for those among our professional readers who may have leisure to construct their own diagrams; while the table of results affords to the uninitiated at one view the advantages that each ship had over the others. For instance, in trial No. 1 the Albion stands first; if the eye be carried along the line horizontally it will be found that the name of the Queen follows, marked 12; that is, the Albion had the advantage of the Queen by 12 fathoms. Again, the Albion beats the Rodney by 233 fathoms; the Canopus by 234; and so on. The next ship is the Queen, and it will be seen that she beats the St. Vincent by 1,690 fathoms. The mile is made up of 1,010 of these fathoms; 101 fathoms are taken as a cable's length; and 10 cables are considered a mile.

The degrees under the heading "Inclination," in the table of results, show the heel of the ships, and from them the relative stability of the vessels is ascertained:-

No. I.
JULY 19,1845.

Squadron in two columns in the order of sailing, steering W. by N., under all possible sail Wind E.S.E.; water smooth; rate of sailing from five to seven knots. Trial commenced at 7h. 45m, a.m., and signal to shorten sail and take up stations made at 5h. p.m.

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
Angles, bearings and Distances
at 9 a.m.
Angles, bearings and Distances
at 5 p.m.
Ships' NamesHeight of
main truck
°   '   ""
Distance in
°   '   ""
Distance in
Canopus1771 36 45N. 72 E.10471 51 45N. 26 W.916
Vanguard173 50 44 45N. 82 E.22220 31 45S. 75 E.3131
Superb1750 47 45N. 89 E.21000 55 45S. 84 E.1798
Rodney1760 52 45N. 84 E.19151 46 45S. 11 E.944
Trafalgar1671 32 45S. 76 E.10310 14 45S. 51 E.6487
Queen176 71 21 45S. 71 E.12380 40 45S. 22 W.2485
Albion1741 00 45S. 76 E.16411 43 45S. 15 W.961

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
Result in fathoms
Ships' NamesQueenRodneyCanopusSuperbSt VincentVanguardTrafalgar
St. Vincent-----10254711

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from line drawn at right angles to St. Vincent's course, viz. N. by E. and S. by W.

[example calculation (Excel)]

During the trial St Vincent did not set either her mainsail or her maintopmast studdingsail, and Queen and Albion steering a little to the southward of W. by N., brought the wind, which veered to the southward, more abeam, and thus enabled their staysails, &c., to draw.
No casualties of any kind occurred during the day.

No. II.
JULY 22, 1845.

Squadron in two columns in the order of sailing, steering N.W., under all sail. Wind (a light breeze) S.S.E.; water smooth; rate of sailing three knots. Trial commenced at 10 a.m., and at 3h. 80m. St. Vincent shortened sail to allow sternmost ships to close.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
Result in fathoms
Ships' NamesCanopusRodneyQueenAlbionTrafalgarSuperbVanguard
St. Vincent131513471371143617042136-
VanguardIn station------

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from line drawn at right angles to St. Vincent's course, viz., N.E. and S.W.

Not any thing of consequence occurred daring this trial.

No. III.
JULY 26, 1845.

Squadron in close order ahead of flag ship. Signal made to chase to windward under all plain sail, with royals and flying jibs. Water smooth; rate of sailing from five to five and a half knots. Wind W. by N. 1/2 N.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesCanopusSt. VincentAlbionTrafalgarRodneySuperbVanguard
St. Vincent--2311157118123832845

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N. by E. 1/2 E., and S. by W. 1/2 W.

Permission was given to tack during this trial, whenever the captains of the respective ships might deem it most advantageous; but they were prohibited from standing longer on one tack than two hours. Vanguard asked and obtained permission to trim.

No. IV.
JULY 28, 1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING ON A WIND Between Albion, Vanguard, Canopus, Rodney and Superb.

Signal made to chase to windward under double reefed topsails, topgallant sails, jib and spanker. Wind W. 1/2 N.; force of wind six; rate of sailing four to four and a half knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesCanopusVanguardRodneySuperb

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N. 1/2 E., and S 1.2 W.

The above result is taken from their bearings and distances at 1h. P.m., but the ships continued to try until 3h. P.m., the squalls in the interim being heavy, and the ships frequently invisible from the thickness of the haze. At the close, when the recall was made, Canopus and Rodney, on the starboard tack, had crossed Albion's bows on the port tack. The result as to the placing of the ships in the above table is correct, though the distances at the finish would be different.

Tu 2 September 1845

No. V.
JULY 29, 1845.

Squadron in close order; signal made to chase to windward under all plain sail, squadron occasionally carryingroyals. Wind moderate, but not steady, veering from 1 point to 1 1/2 points, considered as N.W., with a heavy swell from the northward. The St. Vincent not trying, but heading N.N.E. 1/2 E. under easy sail.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesTrafalgarCanopusRodneyAlbionVanguardSuperb

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N.E. and S.W.

Nothing particular during this trial. The Vanguard again asked and obtained permission to trim.

No. VI.
JULY 30, 1845.

Signal made to chase to windward at 3h. 15m. P.m., under courses, single reefed topsails, topgallantsails, jib, and spanker. Wind N.W. by W., with a swell from the N. Force of wind from 5 to 6. Rate of sailing 4 to 4 1/2 knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesSuperbCanopus

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N.E. by N. and S.W. by S.

During this trial Rodney and Superb shook out their first reefs. At 5h. 30m. Rodney tacked to starboard, but not being able to weather Superb, then on port tack, Superb rather than give way, tacked also, the two ships bare clearing each other. Canopus then tacked. At 6h. 10 m Rodney and Superb on starboard tack having crossed St. Vincent's bows, the recall was made.

No. VII A.
JULY 31, 1845.

Signal made for the above ships to haul to the wind on starboard tack, under double-reefed topsails, fore and main topgallant sails, jib, and spanker. Wind N.W. by W. 1/2 W. veering a point each way; force of wind from 5 to 6; rate of sailing, 6 knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesCanopusQueen
Albion 563
6½°Queen -

N.B. The distances here set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N.N.E. 1/2 E. and S.S.W. 1/2 W.

Albion had such a decided advantage over Queen, that was scarcely worth the name of a trial. At 2h, 50m. P.m., when Vanguard and Canopus were ordered to tack, the latter missed stays, and was obliged to wear; this, of course, gave Vanguard an advantage, as per table of results; but if one mile be allowed for Canopus running to leeward in wearing, Canopus would have held the first place.

No. VII B.
JULY 31, 1846.

At 1h. 35m. These ships started on the starboard tack, with the wind veering from N.W. by W. to N.W., and considered through the trial as N.W. 3/4 W. Force of wind from 5 to 6; rate of sailing 6 knots. Carrying double-reefed topsails, fore and main topgallantsails, jib and spanker.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesRodney

N.B. The distance herein set down is calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N.E. 3/4 N. and S.W. 3/4 S.

This was a very interesting trial. At 4h. 30m. Superb tacked and endeavoured to weather Rodney, but failed in the attempt, the two ships apparently very close to each other; after Superb had just passed under Rodney's stern, the latter tacked also, but Superb by this time had gained full headway and kept it to the finish.

AUGUST 2, 1845.

Signal made for the Trafalgar and Queen at 10h. 40m., and for Rodney and Superb at 11h. A.m., to chase to windward; started under courses, single-reefed topsails, topgallant sails, jib and spanker. Wind variable from N.W. by W. to W.N.W. with a swell from the N.N.W. Force of wind 6; rate of sailing 5 to 5 1/2 knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesTrafalgarSuperb
Rodney 458
4½°Superb -

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N.N.E. 1/2 E. and S.S.W. 1/2 W.

Queen during the trial set her fore and main royals and flying jib. St. Vincent not trying, under easy sail, heading N. 1/2 E. to N. by E.

No. IX.
AUGUST 5, 1845.

Signal made to chase to windward at 10 a.m., under single reefed topsails, royals, &c,; a swell from the N.W. Force of wind, 4 to 3; Rate of sailing four to four and a half knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesCanopusAlbionRodneySt. VincentTrafalgarSuperbVanguard
5¼°St. Vincent----35361493

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz.. N.E. by E. and S.W. by W.

Nothing particular occurred during this trial.

No. X.
AUGUST 6, 1845.

At 11h. 5m. A.m. signal made for squadron to steer S. by W., the wind being W. by N., the St. Vincent being the centre ship. Force of wind 4; rate of sailing 6 to 7 knots; squadron under all possible sail. Water smooth.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
Result in fathoms
Ships' NamesAlbionCanopusSt. VincentRodneyTrafalgarVanguardSuperb
St. Vincent---710165117311979

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to St Vincent's course, namely W. by N. and E. by S.

Nothing remarkable during this trial.

No. XI.
AUGUST 7, 1845.

At 10 squadron in close order; made signal to chase to windward; a moderate breeze from N.N.W. to N.N.W. 1/2 W.; water smooth; force of wind 3; rate of sailing from 3 to 4 knots; squadron under all plain sail.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesAlbionCanopusRodneyTrafalgarSt. VincentSuperbVanguard
St. Vincent-----7921852

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N. 52° E., and S. 52° W.

At 3h. 15m. P.m. Vanguard was sent to examine an English brig, and did not rejoin the squadron until after the trial was concluded. Vanguard could not have altered her place in the race, and therefore this deviation was not attended with any unfair result.

No. XII.
AUGUST 9, 1845.

At 9h. 15m. Squadron in close order, line a-head, and about 2 miles on lee quarter of flag. Wind moderate and tolerably steady, from N.N.W. to N.N.W. ½ W. Force of wind 5; rate of sailing 5, with a cross swell. At 10 squadron tacked, Albion splitting her maintopsail; squadron, except Queen, carrying main royals only; the Queen carrying all three.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesCanopusAlbionTrafalgarRodneySt. VincentSuperbVanguard
5½°St. Vincent-----273456

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, via., N. 54° E. and S. 54° W.

In the afternoon Canopus and Rodney set fore and main royals and flying jib;. At 2a. 20m. Rodney made signal that her maintopgallantmast was sprung, and about 10 minutes after St. Vincent's mainroyalyard snapped, when it was discovered that the maintopgallantmast was sprung. On these two ships being disabled, the signal was made to shorten sail, and form order of sailing.

Tu 2 September 1845

AUGUST 13, 1845.

Squadron started at 10h. 10m. a.m., except Rodney, which was obliged to shift her foretopsail-yard, losing thereby half an hour. Wind moderate, from S.E. by S.; force of wind 4; rate 4½ to 5½ knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesSuperbVanguardSt. VincentTrafalgarRodney
Vanguard  10061408 
3½°Queen  10061408 
St. Vincent  -402 
Albion    2409
 Rodney    -

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N.E. by E., and S.W. by W.

No great interest was taken in this trial; Canopus was certain of beating Superb and Vanguard, Albion was sure of Rodney, and Queen certain of her opponents. No casualty occurred.

No. XIV.
AUGUST 14, 1845.

Wind at starting, S.E. by E. ½ E.; squadron under whole topsails and royals, water smooth. Force of wind 3 to 1. Rate per hour, 4 to 1 knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesVanguardAlbionSuperbCanopusTrafalgarRodneySt. Vincent
St. Vincent-------

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., S.W. and N.E.

During this trial the wind, as the day advanced, backed round to the southward, and fell lighter and lighter. At the close the ships had but little more than steerage way. The wind has been taken at S.E., but the results of such a day's sailing, under such varying circumstances ought not to be too implicitly relied on. St. Vincent was known to have a list of two degrees to port, and it is suspected that Rodney and Canopus had about the same.

No. XV.
AUGUST 15, 1845.

Squadron at 1h. 45m p.m. ordered to make all possible sail, and to steer S. Wind from S. by W. to N. by E. during the trial. Water smooth; force of wind 4 ; rate per hour 5 to 7 knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
Result in fathoms
Ships' NamesAlbionRodneySt VincentCanopusSuperbVanguardTrafalgar
St. Vincent---21997415142003

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at light angles to St. Vincent's course, viz., E. and W.

The Vanguard did not get away until half-an-hour after the rest of the squadron, as in making sail a man fell overboard, which caused her to round-to and lower a boat The man was saved by the life-buoy. At 6h. 5m. The squadron shortened sail, except Trafalgar and Vanguard, and resumed stations.

No. XVI.
AUGUST 18, 1845.

Weather line ordered to form on the afternmost ship of the lee line, and at 10h. 45m. Signal was made to make all possible sail. Wind S.E., course S.W.; water smooth. Force of wind 4 to 5; rate of sailing, eight to nine knots, under whole topsails, port studding sails, main trysail, and staysails.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
Result in fathoms
Ships' Names                                                                                    
St. Vincent       

[table empty in original]

At 2h. 45m. P.m. it became so thick and greasy, with drizzling rain, that the squadron was barely visible. The recall was hoisted, and a gun fired to call attention to the same. Through the haze the bearings were taken, and although impossible to state the exact advantage one ship had over another, yet the placing in the above table will be found correct as to the position of the winners.

AUGUST 19, 1845.

At 9h. 50m. The lee line having previously ran a mile or so to leeward, was ordered to haul to the wind and chase north. Wind N. by. E½ E., force of wind 6, with a swell from the N.W. Vanguard and Superb carried single reefed topsails, fore and maintopgallant sails, jib, and spanker. Canopus and Rodney with two reefs in their topsails, fore and maintopgallant sails, jib, and spanker.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesSuperbRodneyCanopus

N.B.- The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind- viz., W. by N. ½ N. and E. by S. ½ S.

This was a most interesting trial until 2h. 30m. P.m., the Vanguard and Superb occupying so unusual a place. At that hour the Rodney unfortunately lost a man overboard, and in lowering her cutter, she swamped, and her crew were with difficulty saved. The man was lost. The signal was made to discontinue the chase on the accident occurring, and the lee line resumed their stations.

AUGUST 19,1845.

At 11h. 10m., a.m., the weather line as above, started and ordered to chase north. Wind N. by E.1/2 E.; force of wind 6, with a swell from the N.W., Trafalgar, Queen, and Albion, under single-reefed topsails, fore and maintopgallant sails, jib, and spanker; St. Vincent under double-reefed topsails, no topgallant sails, inner jib, and mizen.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesTrafalgarQueenSt. Vincent
St. Vincent---

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., W. by N. ½ N, and E. by S. ½ S.

Albion, during this trial, being on the port tack, had to put her helm up twice to clear Trafalgar and St. Vincent, on the opposite tack, by which unavoidable manoeuvre she lost considerably. This day was a great one for the Symonites.The recall was made at 2h. 45m., just after Rodney's accident, and when Trafalgar and Albion had crossed St. Vincent's bows.

AUGUST 22, 1845.

At 1h. 20m.; squadron made sail on a wind, then at S.W. by S., a moderate but not very steady breeze; force of wind 4; water smooth, rate of sailing six to seven knots; carrying whole topsails, royals, &c. At 1h. 25m. Squadron tacked, at which time trial is considered to have commenced.

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesRodneyAlbionTrafalgarSt. VincentCanopusVanguardSuperb
St. Vincent----16522642420

N.B. The distances herein set down, are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N. W. 1/4 N. and S.E. 1/4 S.

The wind during the trial varied from 2 to 2½ points, and the finish at 5h. 30m. was unaccompanied by anything remarkable.

Th 4 September 1845... With a full sense of the importance of steam as an accessory to the fleet, we should be sorry to learn that the British Admiralty had relaxed any portion of its zealous attention to the substance of our navy - the real wooden walls of England. The fitting out of the experimental squadron and the preparation of the advanced ships has, therefore, been hailed by the country with the greatest satisfaction. The interest felt upon this national subject is so deep and universal, that it is almost unnecessary for us more particularly to advert to the detailed reports of the sailing of the vessels in the experimental squadron, which have appeared exclusively in our columns. We shall suspend our judgment until the ships have been more fully tried, under different circumstances and in rougher seas. The experiment is still evidently incomplete. But we are glad that Sir W. SYMONDS should have been relieved by the performances of his ships in this cruise from a part of the severe and unsparing attacks made upon his system; and whatever may be the final result of the contest between the adverse parties, the nation may rest assured that a finer squadron of ships never left the ports of Britain.
Th 11 September 1845The Experimental squadron arrived at Cork. Seven line of battle ships - the St Vincent, 120; the Queen, 110; the Trafalgar, 120; the Rodney, 92; the Canopus, 84; the Superb, 84; and the Albion, 92 - were ranged from near the shore, where the St Vincent bore the Admiral's flag from her mizzen top, out to the sea side of Spike Island, where the seventh rode at anchor. Besides these great Leviathans of the deep, were the Crocodile guard-ship, the Rattler screw steamer, and the Tartarus. With the kindness so characteristic of our naval gentry, the whole fleet were thrown open for the reception of the public, and the town and harbour presented a scene more easy imagined than described.
Ma 8 September 1845


Sir, - By some strange chance I saw a copy of a certain morning paper, which shall be nameless, a few days ago. Let me assure that paper, however incredulous it may affect to be, that this was the result of the merest accident, the recurrence of which I shall be at some pains to avoid for the future.

To enter into any detailed criticism of what I then read is quite beside my purpose. It would be a waste of your space and of my time. But I will merely observe, in order to give your readers some notion of the unfairness of the paper I allude to (of its shallow silliness the world has been long convinced), that in a long article it coarsely, and without the least discrimination, abuses Sir W. Symonds's system of ship-building, and this in the face of the statement of the result of the cruise of the experimental squadron, as detailed in your columns. From that statement your readers will have perceived that one of the surveyor's ships, the Queen, beat, in almost every trial, the whole of the fleet - the two-deckers as well as the three-deckers; and this in so remarkable a manner as to stagger one's preconceived notions of the comparative sailing qualities of these two classes of ships The only other ship that gave the Queen any difficulty was the Albion, another of Sir W. Symonds'a building. These two great facts the paper in question in its blind career omits to notice, thus by its palpable partiality destroying the small force its natural feebleness might have permitted it to exert. It may be objected by a candid man that to balance what I have said in favour of the Queen and the Albion, the bad positions of the Vanguard and the Superb, both constructed by the Surveyor of the Navy, must be taken into view. This is true but it will always be borne in mind, except by the merely prejudiced or disappointed, firstly that the Vanguard proved herself the crack ship of the Mediterranean when on that station, beating even frigates on a wind, and that consequently her present inferiority is only apparent, and may be readily removed, probably, by some alteration in her trim and secondly, that the Superb has been altered by Sir W. Symonds from what she originally was to meet the views of his objectors, and he may, therefore, throw off much of the responsibility of her decided bad sailing.

What confidence, then, I would ask, can be placed in a critic who presumes to canvass questions of such deep national importance, either in the absence of all knowledge of the subject or in the spirit of the narrowest partisanship ?

I am no thick-and-thin supporter of Sir W. Symonds. His ships have many faults, but they must also be admitted to have great excellencies. Men may form different opinions as to which way the balance inclines, but the public will ever receive with distrust and suspicion the expression of wholesale and violent condemnation, unsupported - nay contradicted - by the results of recent and extensive experiments. The great subject of naval architecture demands the exercise of the most careful and impartial judgment, and the nation expects that the conclusions arrived at will be upon considerations totally irrespective of persons and of parties.

I have the honour to be your obedient servant,
Sept. 4.

We 10 September 1845


Extract of a letter from the Queen, dated Cove of Cork, Sept, 5 :- "We are just entering the Cove, Queen first, Canopus second. We made Fausenet [sic, Fastnet] rocks at daylight yesterday, in company with the Canopus, Rodney, and Albion. We had a fine reef topsail breeze, so that we four proved to the other ships that we were still the superior, the Canopus proved herself a very handy ship; we took a pilot on board yesterday, at 4.30 p.m. The Admiral (St. Vincent), Trafalgar, Vanguard, and Superb, have not arrived. The only men-of-war lying here besides us are the Crocodile and Rattler. We have not seen the Admiral since the 30th of August, when we parted company during a very thick fog in the night. We don't know how long we may stay here, for we fully expect to go on another cruise as soon as we fall in with the Admiral, who has had very bad health during the cruise, having been confined to his cabin for 27 days."

Since the above we have received further intelligence stating that the "Admiral" and the Superb arrired at Cove on Saturday, and that the Trafalgar and Vanguard were in sight outside of Spike Island.

Tu 23 September 1845The Experimental squadron arrived at Plymouth from Cork: St Vincent, Queen, Canopus, Superb, Vanguard, Albion, Rodney and Trafalgar, accompanied by the steamers Rattler and Stromboli. Admiral Parker continues ill; it is expected that tomorrow (Sunday) he will be brought ashore in his cot, and that he will afterwards proceed to Portsmouth in the steamer Rattler.
Sa 20 September 1845


Sir,- Every sailor has read your admirable remarks on the late cruise of the experimental squadron with infinite satisfaction. Nothing could be more true, nothing more just, than your animadversions upon the subject.

The British navy has indeed arrived at a lamentable state, our rivals will deem, when a squadron is obliged to be brought to in order to enable the admiral's ship to shift her maintopgallant-mast in a Royal breeze! Would it be done in chase of an enemy?

Why or wherefore these ships were kept in a fine weather latitude for six weeks, it remains for the admiral to explain.

I feel assured that this could not have bees the intention of the Admiralty, as no officer in the navy knows better than Sir George Cockburn the proper weather in which the qualities of ships should be tested, not in sailing only, but in their far more essential properties as men-of-war - the proving that they are capable of performing all those necessary duties which must be required continually when belonging to a fleet at sea.

If, as you have observed, Sir, the infirm state of Admiral Parker's health was known before he took the command of the squadron, surely that officer ought to have represented the fact to the Admiralty, and not have taken upon himself duties which he has proved himself incapable of discharging.

The Admiralty, no doubt, selected Admiral Hyde Parker from his long established reputation as an active, zealous officer, believing that his health was sufficiently good to enable him to execute the duties confided to him; and it is much to be lamented that it has been otherwise, as the cruise has, in consequence, proved next to useless.

The officer to be chosen to succeed Rear-Admiral Parker will, the country may rely, be one in every way competent to fulfil this responsible trust, and we may, therefore, now look forward with confidence to the result.

I have the honour to be, &c.,
Sept. 15.

Ma 22 September 1845


The experimental fleet, under command of Admiral Parker, arrived here from Cork this morning. The St. Vincent, Queen, Canopus, Superb, Vanguard, Albion, and Rodney, accompanied by the steamers Rattler and Stromboli, came in and anchored in the Sound about 3 o'clock. The Trafalgar did not arrive until 6. At 8 the flag-ship, the St. Vincent, saluted the Port-Admiral, Sir John West, which was duly acknowledged. At half-put 8 the Sicilian frigate Urania, 44, lying in the Sound, saluted Admiral Parker with 8 guns, which were returned by the St. Vincent. Admiral Parker continues ill; it is expected that to-morrow (Sunday) he will be brought ashore in his cot, and that he will afterwards proceed to Portsmouth in the steamer Rattler. His flag will be lowered this evening, and the next day replaced by that of Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Pym, the present Admiral-Superintendent of this dockyard. At 11 o'clock, Admiral Sir John West, under a salute, hoisted his flag, blue at the mizen, as Port Admiral, on board the Queen, for which ship and two others moorings are being laid down in Plymouth Sound, where they are to be stationed hereafter in preference to Hamoaze. The fleet have a very noble and imposing appearance, and, from their magnitude, seem to diminish the area of the Sound, and bring the breakwater much nearer the northern shore. Their approach here was anticipated by the arrival of the yacht Noran, Sir H.B. Houghton, which left Cork at the same time, and reached Plymouth on Friday evening, ten hours before the fleet.

Of the sailing qualities of these ships the most conflicting opinions are still promulgated. As a general rule, naval officers dislike the build of the Surveyor's ships, because they roll so much; and for this fault some of them condemn the construction of the Vanguard, Queen, and Albion, in no measured terms. Others, who appear disinterested, place the Queen as an "out-and-outer," at the head of the fleet for speed in sailing; the Albion second; and give the Canopus and Rodney equal claims to come next to the Albion. The last on the list is, without doubt, the Trafalgar, a ship which, though stiff in a heavy sea, has no pretensions as fast sailer. The tardiness of the Vanguard is unaccountable, as she formerly beat every thing in the Mediterranean. The sailing of the Superb has improved since her masts were raked a little at Cork. The fleet is expected to remain eight or ten days in Plymouth Sound, when they will proceed to sea, under the command of Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Pym.
Ma 22 September 1845



The Reporter brings some additional particulars of the probable movements of the fleet:-

"It is expected that the fleet will leave this harbour on Saturday, and that its destination will be Plymouth, where probably the Queen will remain as guard-ship; the other vessels of the squadron, whose sailing powers have not been sufficiently tested, proceeding after a short time upon their cruise. Since the fleet commenced their experimental voyage they have not had what seamen would term a gale of wind; but, as in the months of October and November strong winds generally prevail, a favourable opportunity will probably present itself of ascertaining the respective sailing powers of the several ships."


The Cork Examiner of yesterday thus announces the departure from Cove, on Thursday, of the experimental squadron:-

"At an early hour all intercourse with the fleet ceased, orders having been issued not to allow any boats alongside. Immediately after dinner signals were seen passing from the Admiral's ship, the St. Vincent, and shortly after the signal for sailing was given, when instantly all on board the ships was life and activity. We were considerably struck with the rapidity with which the sailing orders were obeyed, particularly on board the Albion; for scarcely had 20 minutes elapsed from the moment the signal was hoisted on board the St. Vincent than she was under weigh - she was followed by the Canopus, after which came the Queen; this stately vessel got under weigh in capital style, and made great way out of the harbour. We perceived that before the Albion had well got outside the harbour the Queen overhauled her; we were considerably struck with the superior sailing qualities of the Queen, while going out of the harbour. Next came the Trafalgar, and close in her wake followed the Superb. The former shot ahead of the latter in great style. The next in order of sailing was the Rodney, which glided beautifully out of the harbour. The seventh ship was the Admiral's, the St. Vincent. A longer period of time had elapsed between her sailing and that of the Rodney than occurred between any of the shipsthat preceded her. However, when she got under weigh her quick sailing was much admired. She had a good deal of sail set, and being nearest to shore had the longest course to run out of the harbour; her large size (she now being the only remaining three-decker) was apparently magnified. In company with the St. Vincent were the Rattler and Stromboli steamers; the former sailed, and the latter of course steamed out of the harbour. The only ship now in port was the Vanguard. For some time many were doubtful whether she would sail with the squadron, so disproportioned was the length of distance between her and the St. Vincent. She remained a considerable time without apparently showing an indication of sailing; at length her ample sheets were allowed to kiss the breeze, up went the jib, and off she went in the course taken by those which had preceded her. The fleet had scarcely passed the forts when it began to rain, accompanied by a partial fog; the ships were in consequence invisible for some time; this, however, soon passed off, and again the fleet was discerned just as they emerged into the broad blue trough of the Atlantic, steering S.E. by S. It is scarcely possible to conceive how deserted our fine harbour looks just now. The only ships at present in port are the Crocodile and Tartarus. The order for sailing was sudden and most unexpected, so much so that several officers were left behind in Cork, and will have to join their several ships at Plymouth, where the adjourned court-martial is to be held on Mr. Lee, of the Stromboli steamer."

Tu 23 September 1845


The Experimental Squadron arrived here before daylight on Saturday morning, the St. Vincent leading, attended by the Rattler and Stromboli steamers. The St. Vincent saluted the flag of Admiral Sir John West, Commander-in-Chief; and the Urania (Neapolitan frigate) saluted the flag of Rear Admiral Parker (who continues very unwell).

The Commander-in-Chief, Sir John West, struck his flag (blue at the main) on board the Sylph tender, at half-past 10 o'clock on Saturday morning, and hoisted it on board the Queen, 110 - his intended flag-ship.

Admiral Parker struck his flag, as Commander-in-Chief of the Experimental Squadron, at sunset on Saturday evening; and Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Pym took up the command, hoisting his flag (red at the mizen) on board the St. Vincent.

During the absence of Rear-Admiral Pym in command of the squadron, the duties of Superintendent of Devonport Dockyard will be conducted by Mr. Lonsdale, Master-Attendant.

The defects of the experimental squadron have been "reported," and are being repaired as expeditiously as possible, in order to get the ships to sea again without delay.

Rear Admiral Hyde Parker has left in the Rattler steam-sloop, Commander Smith, for the seat of his duties, the dockyard, Portsmouth.
We 24 September 1845


The fleet experienced some heavy weather in Plymouth Sound on Saturday afternoon, in consequence of which, on a signal given from the flag ship, the topgallant masts of the whole were lowered. This arrangement, which was executed in less than two minutes and a half, gave the ships a very sombre appearance. On Sunday their number was increased by the arrival of the bark Scylla, 16, Commander Robert Sharpe, after a rough passage of 16 days, from Halifax, with loss of a quarter boat, and other damage. On Monday, the weather being fine, all the fleet loosed sails to dry. At mid-day Admiral Sir Hyde Parker left for Portsmouth in the Rattler steamer. Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Pym then shifted his flag, as Admiral-Superintendent of the Dockyard, from the Caledonia, in Hamoaze, to the St. Vincent, red at the mizzen, as Admiral of the fleet; The new Admiral's flag will be saluted when the ships put to sea. The Port-Admiral, Sir John West, immediately after removed his flag from the Queen to the Caledonia. It is expected that Admiral Pym will join the St. Vincent on Tuesday. The fleet are moored in a very favourable position, at some distance inside the breakwater. The flag-ship lies to the eastward towards Bovisand; next her is the Rodney; then the Albion, Trafalgar, Queen, Superb, Vanguard, and the Canopus, which is anchored off the west arm of the breakwater, and is consequently nearest Cawsand-bay. The steamers Bloodhound and Jackal have been in the Sound during the day. The Albion is to be relieved of 30 tons of ballast; she snapped a chain cable when mooring on Saturday morning. The Vanguard has received from the dockyard some spare topmasts, having lost four during the late cruise. She is to be restowed, in order to regain, if possible, the good name she possessed in the Mediterranean. The stowage of the Trafalgar has been admired here for its advantages in case of an engagement.

Fr 26 September 1845



The men-of-war continue with the greatest expedition to take in provisions and water for their second cruise. The Superb has two lighters on her starboard, and one on her larboard side, depositing stores from the Royal William Victualling Yard. The defects in the shipping have been made good in less time than was anticipated; but the proposed examination of the bottoms of the Albion and Vanguard will be deferred until their return. In the hurry of departure from Cork several of the officers of the Rodney were left behind; and such is the discipline observed, that the destination and time of departure of the fleet appear to be as little known to the officers of the ships as to the most ordinary seaman on board; but there is no doubt that the fleet will remain until Saturday or Sunday, as the Court-martial on Lieutenant Leigh will not be over until that time, and Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Pym is appointed to preside. We believe there has been an endeavour to postpone the trial until Saturday; however, no delay will take place, as the Court will meet to-morrow (Thursday) at 10. Commander J.M. Potbury, Flag-Lieutenant to the Admiral Superintendent of the Dockyard, accompanies that gallant officer in his new command.

Ma 29 September 1845



The ships forming the experimental squadron were expected to have completed their refit, and been reported ready for sea again on Friday morning. Vanguard's defects were greater and more numerous than any other ship; she has had her weights shifted, her tanks taken out of the after hold, and 270 tons of water stowed in the main hold. The Superb's trim has been similarly changed. The Albion has had 30 tons of ballast taken out and sent ashore for the alleged purpose of raising her centre of gravity, thereby rendering, if possible, her motion easier, although we are inclined to think an addition to her ballast, instead of a diminution of it, would have been more likely to effect the consummation so devoutly to be wished. The Rodney has had but few defects to make good, and we believe the old Canopus none at all. On Friday morning the squadron sent up topgallant and royal yards, and rove their studdingsail gear all ready for starting. We are informed the squadron will communicate weekly with this port, but we are inclined to doubt the report.

The following tables show the time occupied by the various ships of the squadron in performing the only manoeuvres of importance during the last cruise:-

Shifting Topsailyards on the 11th of August, 1845.

Ships' NamesTime with Fore
Time with Main
Time with Mizen
St. Vincent365666
Vanguard59Spare one

Shifting Topgallantmasts on the 21th of August, 1845, with Royals set.

Ships' NamesTime with Fore
Time with Main
Time with Mizen
St. Vincent655771

Second time of shifting Topgallantmasts on the 21th of August, 1845; the time of each being taken from the time the signal was hauled down to the time the royals were hoisted.

Ships' NamesTime with Fore
Time with Main
Time with Mizen
St. Vincent344337

It will clearly be seen by the above which ship has the smartest crew. That the Trafalgar should have such a crew is not surprising, considering the men have been well drilled by their present captain in three first-rates in succession- the Camperdown, Queen, and Trafalgar. Of the ships last commissioned the Vanguard is smartest. The other ships have nearly all new crews, at present unaccustomed (except Albion's) to the duties of seamen, the vessels not having been in commission more than eight months; their tardiness is therefore, excusable.

Tu 30 September 1845


The Superb, 80, Captain Corry, which arrived yesterday from Plymouth, has come to be fresh coppered and recaulked and retrimmed, prior to rejoining the experimental squadron, which sailed yesteray morning on their winter cruise.
Sa 4 October 1845


The Superb, 80, Captain Corry, was undocked to-day. She has had about 600 hands employed upon her. Her copper was entirely stripped off, and her bottom partially recaulked, not for any leakage, but for "nothing," as her bottom was very sound and clean, as was her copper, She has been entirely newly coppered. What all this expense has been incurred about (upwards of 1,000l) we believe even her gallant and efficient captain does not know. It is a freak of the Navy-office, we presume. One circumstance, however, connected with this ship, reflects the very highest credit upon the artizans employed upon her; the entire process of stripping the copper off the bottom, re-caulking, and recoppering the vessel with new metal, only occupied a space of time not exceeding 18 hours.
Fr 10 October 1845


The Superb, 80, Captain Corry, having reshipped her ammunition, and stores, &c., got under way from Spithead yesterday afternoon, but on getting outside the Nab a squall threatened, when she put up her helm and ran back to the anchorage at Spithead. She sailed this morning with despatches and letters for the experimental squadron.
Ma 13 October 1845


The experimental squadron, under command of Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Pym, Red at the mizen, entered Plymouth Sound on Friday night, and dropped anchor in the following order:- The Rodney, 92, Captain Collier, off the eastern arm of the breakwater, towards Staddon-heights; the flag-ship, the St. Vincent, 120, Captain Rowley, next; then the Albion, 92, Captain. N. Lockyer; the.Canopus, 84, Captain Moresby; the Queen, 110, Captain Sir Baldwin Walker; the Trafalgar, 120, Captain Martin; the Vanguard, 80, Captain Willis; and the brig Daring, 12, Commander Matson, which two last vessels lay off the western arm of the breakwater, towards Mount Edgcumbe. The Heroine l0-gun brig, is also in the Sound.During the second trip, which commenced Sunday, the 28th ult., the fleet have not experienced any weather sufficiently severe to test their sailing qualities under such circumstances. The same conflicting opinions as to their several qualities are still entertained by officers from different ships; but the following remarks are from a good practical and disinterested authority. The Queen, 110, is the best three-decked ship under almost any circumstances the only exception being in very heavy weather when she is beaten by the Trafalgar, 120. The Queen is always ahead when going free, and it is stated that the highest authority in the fleet speaks of her in the best terms. The Trafalgar, 120, is much improved since last in harbour; in very heavy weather she takes the lead, and during the last trip has thus been twice at the head of the fleet. The Rodney, 92, is superior to any of the two-deckers, and occasionally beats the whole squadron, except the Queen when going free. She is a good foul weather ship. The Albion, 92, which had 50 tons of ballast taken out of her when in Plymouth Sound about a fortnight since, has thereby damaged her sailing qualities, and has thus lost the relative position she previously held in the fleet. The Canopus, 84, still holds her place, and the Vanguard, 80, has this trip done better than in the former. The Daring brig, 12, is, from her small, tonnage and canvass, always left behind, except when on a wind under storm stay sails, in which case she drifts less, and is consequently ahead, followed by the Rodney, Queen, Albion, and the rest.

Tu 14 October 1845


We have been favoured by the same correspondent to whom we were indebted for the very full and correct information we published of the first trial cruise, with a similar report of the events and results of the cruise which terminated at Plymouth on Saturday last.

The arrangement of the tables is the same as in the former report.

The first table, which contains the angle subtended by the mastheads of the respective ships, as also their particular bearings at the commencement and at the conclusion of each trial, furnishes elements sufficient for those among our professional readers who may have leisure to construct their own diagrams; while the table of results affords to the uninitiated at one view the advantages that each ship had over the others. For instance, in trial No. 1 the Rodney stands first; if the eye be carried along the line horizontally it will be found that the name of the Vanguard follows, marked 441; that is, the Rodney had the advantage of the Vanguard by 441 fathoms. Again, the Rodney beats the Canopus by 502 fathoms; and the Vanguard beats the Canopus by 121 fathoms.

The mile is made up of 1,010 of these fathoms; 101 fathoms are taken as a cable's length; and 10 cables are considered a mile.

The degrees under the heading "Inclination," in the table of results, show the heel of the ships, and from them the relative stability of the vessels is ascertained :-.

No. I.
OCTOBER 2, 1845.
(Wind considered as S.S.W.)

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
Inclination at
8h. 50m. A.m.
Ships' NamesVanguardCanopus 
Rodney441562Distances herein set down are
calculated from a a line drawn
at right angles to the wind

At 6 h. 20 m. a.m. the squadron was much scattered, and signal was made to Vanguard, Canopus, and Rodney, to regain their stations. Rodney was rather slack, and her memory was refreshed by another signal to look out on the Admiral's weatherbow. At 8h. 30m., however, neither of the three ships were in their stations, and the Admiral appearing determined on saving the day, started them at 8h. 40m. A.m. The trial to be by the wind, then at S.S.W., blowing 5. Bearings and distances already given. The sail carried was as under:-
Rodney- Double-reefed topsails, topgallantsails, courses, jib, and spanker.
Vanguard- Double-reefed topsails, topgallantsails, courses, jib, and spanker.
Canopus- Double-reefed topsails, topgallantsails, courses, jib and spanker; and foretopmast-staysail.
At 1h. 20m. The trial terminated, there being every appearance of an approaching gale; the glass falling, sea rising, and the clouds wearing a threatening aspect. Topgallant yards were sent on deck, courses reefed, fore and mizen topsails close-reefed, and three reefs taken in the maintopsail, thus making snug for the night.

No. II.
OCTOBER 3, 1845.
Trial of sailing on a wind.
Forenoon Trial, No. 1.-(Wind considered at W. ½ N.)

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
Inclination at
8h. 50m. A.m.
Ships' NamesAlbionQueenTrafalgarCanopusRodneySt. VincentVanguard
Not madeDaring4080419146585092543355135969
St. Vincent-------

No. II.
OCTOBER 3, 1845.
Trial of sailing on a wind.
Afternoon Trial, No. 2.-(Wind considered at W.N.W.)

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
InclinationShips' NamesRodneyAlbionVanguardQueenSt. Vincent
None taken
for the
St. Vincent-----

Distances herein set down, are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind.

At daylight signal was made to prepare to try rate of sailing, the wind at W. ½ N., the force of wind good 8, and a full proportion of sea up about three points on the bow. At 8 30 a.m. signal was made to make all possible sail, but whether the point of sailing was to be by the wind or free, was not signalized. This omission, so far as Canopus was concerned, rendered the trial almost useless. The ships, generally speaking, started pretty much under the same sail - namely, single-reefed courses, close-reefed fore and mizen, and treble-reefed main topsails, inner jib and mizen instead of spanker, topgallant yards on deck, and masts housed. Preventer braces and relieving tackles were rove and hooked. St. Vincent was ordered to be kept S. by W., and Canopus very properly followed the Admiral's motions; the rest of the squadron, however, kept close to the wind. For an hour things continued in this way, when St. Vincent was hauled to the wind, and Canopus followed her leader. At 11 a.m. signal was made to Queen, Trafalgar, and Albion to close round Rodney, and try their rate of sailing. At this time the angles were taken, and gave the result as marked under "Forenoon Trial." Now, when it is considered that for an hour Canopus was running free, and that the trial only lasted 2 1/4 hours, where would Canopus have been had she kept close to the wind at starting? Justice requires that she should have a better place. At 1 o'clock p.m. St. Vincent, Queen Trafalgar, Albion, Rodney, and Vanguard were pretty close together, the five latter to windward of the Admiral, when a beautiful start took place, the sail carried by each ship being one reef of topsails more than at the start in the forenoon. The wind was at W.N.W., and still considered to be a good 8, the sea about the same. The reason of Canopus not being in this race arose from the circumstance of her not having been recalled, while Vanguard, carrying away her weather maintopsail sheet, and taking an hour and a half to get her maintopsail set again, found herself just in the midst of the starting squadron. This trial continued till 3 p.m., when the result was as before stated. Here it will be necessary to state that during the first trial Queen got her hammocks down, without having asked permission, and that when Trafalgar found she was to have a second trial, she asked permission to do the same. Can it be that to this change the great difference is owing as to her position at the end of the second race? Of the three-deck ships, Trafalgar appeared to pitch heaviest. Of the two-deck ships, Rodney and Canopus appeared to be the easiest. I do not think cither of the ships could have fought her lower deck guns.

No. III.
OCTOBER 7, 1845.
Trial of sailing on a wind.
(Wind considered at N.W. ¼ W.)

[table of bearings omitted]

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
Inclination at
10 45 a.m.
Ships' NamesVanguardCanopusAlbionTrafalgarQueen

Distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind.

At daylight this morning Queen, Trafalgar, Canopus, Albion, and Rodney were discovered far to windward, say front 4 to 6 miles, and Vanguard as far to leeward of the flag-ship. It had continued to blow heavy during the night, and to assign a cause for the relative position of the ships, it is necessary to state, that the ships seen to windward were all under a close reefed maintopsail, which it is not too much to presume had been carried by them throughout the night, and that Vanguard to leeward when first seen, was under the same sail as the flag-ship - namely, all topsails and courses furled, forestay and maintopsail only set. Vanguard, even with this explanation, does not make a very good figure in the account. At 7h. A.m. signal was made to prepare to try rate of sailing; and, extraordinary as it may appear, it was not until past 10 o'clock that the ships got in anything like a position to start. Signal after signal was made to get them to the starting-place, although Vanguard, the ship they were ordered to close, was so much to leeward. At 10h. 10m. A.m. (the Admiral's patience being apparently exhausted), the signal was made to be off, the wind blowing then from N. W. by N., force of wind 7, sail carried generally being double-reefed topsails, whole courses, inner jib and mizen. Just before starting Queen carried away the slings of her mainyard, so taking 20 minutes to get that all right again, between the first signal and start there were 3 hours. In this trial Queen and Trafalgar, Rodney and Albion, and Canopus and Vanguard, may be taken as matched, although all are included in the general result. Queen and Trafalgar had topgallant masts on deck, Rodney and Albion had theirs fidded, Canopus and Vanguard with topgallant masts housed. Now, here was a medley, and for angles the topmast cross trees were taken, deducting 43 feet from the respective mast-heads. The wind gradually fell from 7 to 5, veering a point or more to the westward. Queen and Trafalgar, after shaking out all reefs, found themselves bothered about their topgallant masts, but fid them they must, and Queen led the way, lowering one topsail at a time. Trafalgar followed the example, but although generally the smartest ship in the squadron at manoeuvring, Trafalgar was unreasonably long in this. The result was as above given; both ships had their hammocks down.

No. IV.
OCTOBER 8, 1845.
Trial of sailing on a wind.
(Wind considered as N. 51° 36' W.)

[table of bearings omitted]

Inclination at
9h. 55m. a.m.
Ships' NamesCanopusQueenVanguard

A trial of four ships only, wind variable, from N.W. by W. to N.W. half N. Force of wind from 6 to 5. The lee division with Queen to try against each other; the sail generally carried was double-reefed topsails, whole courses, fore and main topgallant sails, jib and double-reefed spanker. The swell on the bow rather considerable. No great interest was excited as to this trial, for 2 and 3 to 1 were offered before starting as to the ships coming in as they did. Rodney, however, managed to get rid of a fore topgallant yard, and Canopus of a jib. Not anything else occurred of greater moment.

We 15 October 1845

PLYMOUTH, Oct. 13.

Her Majesty's ship Vanguard, 80, Captain Willis, hoisted the blue peter yesterday afternoon, fired a gun before sunset, and started at daylight this morning for Portsmouth, where she will be docked. At 10 o'clock in the forenoon, wind S.S.E., fresh breeze, she was still in sight. Her captain of marines, surgeon, several officers, and about 120 of her hands were left behind - so unexpected was her departure.

The Albion, 90, Captain N. Lockyer, which had 30 tons of ballast taken out of her when last here, is to have that quantity restored, with an additional amount.

It is rumoured that the three-deckers will not go to sea again for the purpose of testing their relative sailing qualities, but that the next trial will be confined to the Rodney, Canopus, Albion, and Superb.

The report of Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Pym was forwarded to the Admiralty on Saturday last.


The Vanguard, 80, Captain Willes, arrived at Spithead this morning from Plymouth. She saluted the flag of Admiral Sir Charles Ogle, the Commander-in-Chief, with 17 guns. She is, it is said, to be docked and examined as the Superb has been.
We 15 October 1845


The following have been forwarded to us as copies of Mr. Corry's letter to the Surveyor of the Navy, and Sir S. Pym's report of the performances of the several ships of the experimental squadron in the last trial cruise :-

"Admiralty, Oct. 13, 1845.
"To the Surveyor of the Navy,
"Sir,- Herewith you will receive a copy of a letter from Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Pym, dated the 10th inst., reporting the return of the experimental squadron of line-of-battle ships to Plymouth, and the result of their trial.
"By command of their Lordships,

"'St Vincent, in Plymouth-sound, Oct. 10, 1845.
"'Sir,- I have the honour to forward to you, for the information of my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, the diagrams of the trials of sailing of Her Majesty's squadron under my command, and other documents mentioned in the enclosed schedule. In addition to which, a good trial was commenced on the 1st inst. by the Queen, Canopus, Albion, and Vanguard, in chase of the Daring, under all plain sail, and part topmast and topgallant studding-sails; but the fog, which came on three hours after, prevented angles being taken to ascertain the exact result. The Queen, however, gained on her.
"'You will be pleased to acquaint their Lordships that we have had some splendid trials with as heavy a press of sail as could well be carried. One beginning with close-reefed topsails and reefed courses, topgallant masts struck; the next under treble-reefed topsails, and another under double-reefed topsails; and all these against a heavy head sea.
"'In the latter on the 7th inst., the day after the heaviest gale, the Rodney beat the whole fleet.
"'Nothing could be more easy in all the trials than the Queen and Albion, who never appeared to strain, anything; indeed, all the squadron proved themselves such fine ships as to be incapable of being distressed by press of sail, except the St. Vincent.
"'Being perfectly satisfied with the result of the trials, that the Queen is the best ship, the Albion andRodney next, Canopus and Vanguard much alike Trafalgar weatherly, but slow; St. Vincent leewardy and crank; and as the weather appeared to set in fine, and not deeming that any further trial would benefit the service, I therefore bore up on the 9th inst. for this anchorage, which I reached with the squadron under my command this day, at 7 15 p.m.
"'I beg to remark, for their Lordships' information, that all the captains deserve the greatest credit for the seamanlike manner in which they made sail, blowing in the way it did, on the above-mentioned occasions.
"'I have, &c.,
"'S. PYM, Rear-Admiral.
"'To the Right Hon. Henry T.L. Corry, M.P.'"

Sa 18 October 1845


There appears to be a disinclination on the part of some of the commanders to report the defects which occurred during the last cruise. This system deters them from applying at the dockyard for new spars and other stores of an important description, but where an exchange is permitted, such as the delivery of new canvass for canvass very little worn, less hesitation is observed, as these exchanges do not tell against the character of the ship. It is understood that the Albion, after the next trip, will go to Sheerness, there to have the same alterations made as the Queen, viz., the gripe of the bow altered, and the stern-post altered and widened, On board the Albion, on one occasion, during the last cruise, so much did she roll, that the decanters were jerked out of the stand while on the cabin table. In one of the trials, the Rodney lost her foretopgallantyard; and such was the activity on board, that the spar was set again, and the ship thus retained the lead of the fleet. Commander Matson, of the Daring, has a week's leave of absence; it is not, therefore, provable that this brig will go out again with the squadron.

The seamen generally belonging to the fleet do not like the amount of duty requisite in carrying out the experiments. One hundred and twenty odd, officers and men, were left or stayed behind the Vanguard, when she sailed for Portsmouth on Monday. Forty hands belonging to the Rodney deserted from that ship on the eve of her departure for her second cruise. They have just been captured, and conveyed on board. Yesterday there was a disturbance on board the Albion during the absence of Captain N. Lockyer. The signal flag,- ''No liberty", for the men, was flying, notwithstanding which, some applied for leave, which was of course refused by the officer in command. This refusal induced restiveness on the part of the crew, and, in consequence, some 10 or more were put in irons. The men belonging to the whole fleet complain of restricted "liberty."
Ma 20 October 1845The fleet continues in the Sound, and there is no indication of an immediate movement. The present state of affairs in the River Plate

[where an Anglo-French fleet had intervened to prevent an Argentine conquest of Uruguay] and at the island, of Madagascar [where another Anglo-French force had attacked the capital, Tamatava, after the Queen, Ranavalona, had anounced that all foreigners there must be naturalised] may induce the Admiralty to alter their intention in the disposal of the ships, and, at the least, prevent their being sent to any distant cruising-ground.

This afternoon Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Pym, G.C.B., the Admiral of the Fleet, in company with Sir John West, Port-Admiral, in the Sylph cutter, visited Her Majesty's ship Rodney, 92, Captain Collier.

A spirit of discontent prevails on board the ships, in consequence of the restrictions placed on the liberty of the men. The disaffection thus produced is reported to have been manifested by various acts on board the flag-ship, St. Vincent, 120, Captain R.F. Rowley; the Trafalgar, 120, Captain Martin, and the Albion, 92, Captain Lockyer. To give specific particulars on this subject is very difficult. The officers and men belonging to all the ships are chary of imparting information as to their sailing qualities; or interior economy, under general circumstances; but in the present case, when a question of discipline is raised,, the few who come ashore from the disaffected ships are still more cautious.

The disaffection of the crew of the St. Vincent is of a very minor character. On board the Trafalgar it is stated that insubordination has manifested itself in the partial destruction of some of her sails, by cutting them. But it is on board the Albion that the most unfortunate irregularities have occurred. It appears that on Tuesday last, the 14th instant, one of the watches had permission to go ashore, but did not return on the Wednesday within the limited time. In consequence of their remaining ashore Commander Chambers, the officer in command, would not permit a second watch to leave the ship, such permission being contrary to general orders. The men urged their suit upon Commander Chambers after his dinner hour; and the commanding officer being thus importuned, gave a peremptory denial. At nightfall the men were, as usual, ordered to their hammocks; some refused compliance, and commenced throwing their pipkins and other earthen utensils at each other, and, it is said, at the officers. In consequence of this breach of discipline they were piped up and down during the night, and in the morning ordered "hammock drill." They, however, threw their hammocks on the deck, and ten were immediately placed in irons. It is further reported, that during the week the rigging of the Albion has been cut, and the breeching of some of her guns loosed. The men in confinement will be tried, by court-martial, and in all probability transported. Captain Lockyer is greatly esteemed by his crew; Commander Chambers, whether deservedly or otherwise, is not regarded so favourably. There is little doubt that the conduct of the men has been reprehensible, but whether the prevention of their going ashore, or receiving their wives aboard, and the suppression of their smoking and other privileges (at a period when the duty of the fleet is of a heavy character), are punishments of too severe a description, is a subject for consideration.
Th 23 October 1845This morning, at 10 o'clock, Her Majesty's ship Canopus, 84, Captain Moresby, C.B. (17th June, 1814), Commodore; the Albion, 92, Captain N. Lockyer; Rodney, 92, Captain Collier; and Superb, 80, Captain Corry, got under way in Plymouth Sound, and proceeded outside the. Breakwater, where they lay to for some time. These ships were subsequently joined by the brig Daring, 12, Commander H.J. Matson, and the Rattler steamer, and about 1 o'clock the whole fleet proceeded down Channel with a spanking breeze from the north, the wind having veered to that point from north-west in the morning. They carry the red ensign, which signifies that they are under the especial orders of the Lords of the Admiralty.
We 22 October 1845The two deckers, Canopus, 84, Captain Moresby, C. B., Albion, 92, Captain N. Lockyer, Rodney, 92, Captain Collier, and Superb, 80, Captain Corry, will shortly go to sea for a six weeks' cruise, and will most likely visit the Mediterranean. Captain Moresby, of the Canopus, is appointed Commodore.
Th 23 October 1845


This morning, at 10 o'clock, Her Majesty's ship Canopus, 84, Captain Moresby, C.B., (17th June, 1814), Commodore; the Albion, 92, Captain N. Lockyer; Rodney, 92, Captain Collier; and Superb, 80, Captain Corry, got under way in Plymouth Sound, and proceeded outside the. Breakwater, where they lay to for some time. These ships were subsequently joined by the brig Daring, 12, Commander H.J. Matson, and the Rattler steamer, and about 1 o'clock the whole fleet proceeded down Channel with a spanking breeze from the north, the wind having veered to that point from north-west in the morning. They carry the red ensign, which signifies that they are under the especial orders of the Lords of the Admiralty.

The only ship now left in Plymouth which belonged to the the fine fleet composing the Experimental Squadron, is her Majesty's ship the Queen, 110, Captain Sir Baldwin Walker. She has discharged her gunpowder, and is now quietly moored in the Sound, bearing the flag of Sir John West, the gallant Port Admiral of this harbour.
Ma 27 October 1845


It is currently reported here that the squadron of two deckers, under the command of Commodore Moresby, in the Canopus, has gone to Tangier direct.
Sa 1 November 1845Her Majesty's steamer Rattler, Commander Schomberg [sic], arrived at Plymouth this morning. She left this port on the 21st inst. With the cruisers, and brings dispatches from Commodore Moresby, and only waits to receive stores and letters, when she will immediately return to the fleet. It is said that in this trial the Superb, 80, Captain Corry, has proved the fastest sailing ship; the Canopus, 84, Captain Moresby, C.B., second; then the Rodney, 92, Captain Collier; and the Albion, 92, Captain M. Lockyer, last, excepting in light winds.


The following is the copy of a letter from an officer.

"Superb, Oct. 27. Lat. 47.40., Long. 9.50.

"It is with the greatest pleasure I can now give you a pleasing account of the performances of the Superb, and send a brief account of three days' trial we have had. She is eight inches by the stern ; ship very easy.
"Captain Cory is much pleased with the ship, and makes but little doubt we shall continue the superiority we have hitherto shown.
"The Rattler will leave to-morrow for England, but we suppose this will be the last communication to her.
"Believe me, yours, very truly-"

First Day, Oct. 21. - A trial of four hours, 1.15 to 5.15 p.m. Distance run, 36 miles; rate of going, 9 knots; wind a-beam; steady for all the ships; course, W. by S.; wind, N. by E. Should have beaten Canopus more had we not been ordered to pass to leeward of her.

Beat in yards1,4002,1002,6003,400

Second Trial, Oct. 23.- A trial of seven hours, 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. Distance run, 74 miles; rate of going, 10.4; excess of speed, 11.4; wind, four points on the quarter to two points abaft the beam; course, W. and W. by S.; royals and all port studding sails; three ships carried away foretopmast studding sail boom.

Beat in yards1,4001,9003 miles5 miles

Oct. 22.- Rattler towed Superb to windward at the rate of 4.2 for two hours; squadron going 5.4 by the wind.

Oct. 24.- Rattler towed Rodney to windward at the rate of 3.2; Superb going 5.2, by the wind. Same day she towed the Albion when less wind at the rate of 4.2.

Oct. 25.- Third trial of sailing by the wind, six hours, 9.15 a.m. to 3.15 p.m.; rate of going, 6 to 9 knots; wind steady, at E.N.E.. Canopus in tow of Rattler, at the rate of 2.6 in wind's eye; all plain sail set; water smooth.

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
Beat in yards
to windward.
3,4004,100In tow of Rattler
Looking out
to windward
Inclination 3 to 5½Inclination 5 to 7Inclination 3 to 4½  
Ma 3 November 1845


The Vanguard, 80, Captain Willes, sailed this morning from Spithead to join the experimental squadron; on finding which, Captain Willes will hoist a broad pendant as Commodore (being senior officer), and take the command. The Vanguard's draught of water in her new trim is 23 feet 8 inches fore, and 24 feet aft. She has 12 weeks' salt provisions and 16 weeks of every other kind on board; 362 tuns of water, 128 tons of shot and shell, and 38 tons of powder; being a total weight of 1,564 tons, 300 tons lighter than in her old trim.
Fr 21 November 1845


Extract of a letter from Her Majesty's ship Superb :-

"At Sea.

"Oct 27.- Wind southerly. Long swell from northward.

 Extreme rolling.
Rodney7 to port9 to starboard
Albion13 -15 -
Superb10 -9 -

"Oct. 29.- Wind S.W. by S. One point before the beam, Swell from the S.E. Course, S.E., all plain sail set. Rate of sailing, 5 to 6 knots.

Superb beatCanopus1,200 yards
-Albion4,520 yards
-Rodney4,860 yards
"Between 1h. 50m. and 2h. 50m. p.m.
"Superb gained on Canopus 2,300 yards.

"Nov. 3.
Superb beatCanopus1,115 yards
-Rodney1,300 yards
-Albion3,650 yards

"The latter ship rolls most fearfully.

"We stay out another month, and then to Plymouth to be laid up for the winter there or at Portsmouth; but the fleet should have month and month about in the winter, and a month at sea and 14 days in harbour in the summer, and then, and not otherwise, you will have an efficient fleet; for four months in a vagabond English outport demoralizes all things, animate and inanimate."

Fr 5 December 1845


The experimental squadron, with the red ensign of the Lords of the Admiralty, under the command of Commodore Willis [should be Willes], came into Plymouth Sound between 12 and 1 o'clock to-day.

In the Channel it is blowing a heavy gale from the westward, and the ships were under close-reefed topsails. The Vanguard, 80, Captain Willis, entered the harbour first; then the Albion, 90, Captain N. Lockyer; the Rodney, 90, Captain Collier; the Canopus, 84, Captain Moresby, C.B.; and, last, the Superb, 80, Captain Corry. These ships, with the Queen, 110, Sir B. Walker, and the President, 50 (bound to the Cape), give a very imposing appearance to the Sound, where also still remain at anchor the Russian man-of-war Ingermanland, 80, Captain Moffitt, and the corvette Vaarschafsky, 30, Captain Glassenap.
Th 28 May 1846Sir Charles Napier has obtained a return, which was yesterday made public, giving an account of the weights, draught of water, &c., of the Experimental Squadron on the second and third cruize. Viscount Ingestre has recently procured a return respecting the Experimental Squadron on the three cruizes. The present document shows the weights, draught of water, &c., of the squadron on the second and third cruize, similar to the return of the first cruize; the greatest inclination of each ship when carrying sail, and the greatest number of degrees each ship rolled, and the number of spars sprang and carried away during the cruizes; their defects on returning into port, and the expense of making the defects good. The expense of making good the defects of the ship St. Vincent was 126l. 12s. 2d., and 4l. Some defects in the same ship are not yet taken in hand. The defects in the ship Trafalgar amounted to 104l. 7s. 1d. and 143l. 18s. 10d.; to the Queen, 80l. 14s. 9d. and 67l. 15s. 8d.; to the Albion, 251l. 19s. 5d., 20l. 11s., and 518l. 2s. 8d.; to the Rodney, 236l. 19s. 11d., 28l. 5s. 8d., and 947l. 18s. 2d.; to the Vanguard, 411l. 19s. 10d., 2,006l. 15s. 7d., and 483l. 7s. 3d.; to the Superb, 54l. 19s. 7d., 1,253l. 19s. 7d., 70l. 14s. 11d., and 1,101l. 9s. 3d.; to the Canopus, 127l. 1s. 6d., 30l .7s. 11d., and 936l. 10s. 4d.; to the Daring 18s. 6d. and 402l. 16s. 7d.: and to the Rattler, 227l. 5s., 44l. 2s. 2d., and 1,600l. 15s. The return extends to 13 pages.
Th 28 May 1846


The long looked for report of Rear-Admiral Hyde Parker (accompanied by reports from the captains of the respective ships), upon the performances of the various ships under his command, comprising the experimental squadron of 1845, has at length been printed and published. The surprise and discomfiture of the detractors of the Surveyor of the Navy must necessarily be great on perusing this report, inasmuch as it establishes the complete success of his ships.

Placing that faith in the document before us which as a Parliamentary return it is entitled to, we find Admiral Parker's report agrees with all the succeeding ones in awarding the palm to the Surveyor's ships. Knowing as we do the antipathy Rear-Admiral Parker was supposed to entertain for the productions of Sir William Symonds, we are not surprised at the report being unaccompanied by any "opinion" from the gallant Commander-in-Chief; but we regret the circumstance, as it compels us to take the report merely as we find it; consequently we can only give the result of the trials of sailing or speed, without reference to the other essential qualities of a ship as an efficient man of war; but as all the trials were copiously reported in The Times in the very figures used in the return, and some nine months before the returns appeared, we shall only now touch upon that part of the document before us having reference to the trials which took place under the superintendence of Rear-Admiral Parker, the report of which has been hitherto withheld. In a word, then, the Queen is declared to have been the best of the three-deckers, and the Albion and Canopus the best of the two-deckers, in the 16 trials which took place under Rear-Admiral Parker's command.

We subjoin a selection from the reports of the respective captains of the ships upon their qualifications:-

The Trafalgar, 120, Captain Martin. - "She carries her lower deck ports longer open than any other ship in the squadron, except the Rodney, and her rolling and pitching being less than theirs, her capability of effectively using all her batteries is proportionally increased. Being extremely weatherly, having great power of using her lower deck guns, being very easy, and consequently having little wear and tear, good stowage, and ample room on her decks, are the Trafalgar's good points. I believe her defects would be corrected in a very great degree if her masts were placed further aft."

The St. Vincent, 120, Captain Rowley. - "The St. Vincent is decidedly a leeward ship in comparison with the rest of the squadron. She rolls deep, but easily, and does not jerk or strain anything. I should say she rolled during the late trial quite equal to the Albion and Canopus, In very light airs before the wind, the St. Vincent would run away from the whole squadron, - except the Queen. My opinion of the Trafalgar is, that she is very weatherly ship, and particularly in bad weather, but the other ships all fore-reached her. The Queen always appeared to me to be a remarkably fine man-of-war on all points. In all moderate weather, whether on a wind, going free, or before the wind, she has no competitor, the Albion being the next ship to her. With the Queen, Albion, Rodney, and Canopus, the St. Vincent had no chance. In strong breezes and a heavy head sea the Queen also proved herself a very fine ship, standing up remarkably well under a heavy press of sail, and appearing to pitch easily. The Queen is certainly much stiffer under a press of sail than the Trafalgar or any of the squadron, the Albion excepted. The Albion's superiority over the other two-decked ships, and particularly the Rodney, a ship of her own class, consists chiefly in her being much stiffer under a heavy press of sail. In strong breezes on a wind, I did not perceive much difference between them, except on one occasion, when the sea was right ahead, the Rodney beat the whole squadron and appeared much easier than the Albion. In moderate weather and smooth water the Albion is the fastest ship, and off the wind will always beat the Rodney. Before the wind and in a heavy swell, the Rodney would fight her lower-deck guns better, and with more safety, than the Albion. The Vanguard was certainly very much improved from what she was during the preceding cruize, and, considering how very light she was, surprisingly stiff under a press of canvass. I could not perceive much difference between her and Canopus on a wind, but off the wind Canopus was certainly the fastest ship, although she appeared much more crank under a press of canvass than the other ships, heeling more with two reefs in her topsails than the Queen and Vanguard with one. She is not so weatherly as either the Albion or Rodney, but fore-reaches considerably. Under easy sail I should say she was steadier than any of the other two-decked ships. I have only to add that I have come to this conclusion upon the relative merits of the several ships after the most careful and attentive watching during the late cruise."

The Queen, 110, Captain Sir B. Walker. - "I consider the Queen to be a most magnificent man-of-war, in every respect superior to the St. Vincent or Trafalgar, or any ship I ever served in; she is fast, and had on the whole a decided advantage in sailing over every other ship of the squadron. She is very stiff, very weatherly, rolls and pitches very easily and without straining; she steers and works remarkably well; her spacious decks are well adapted for working the guns, as well as for the comfort and health of the officers and crew. She can stow under hatches seven months' provisions of all species for her war complement, and would, if the hold was properly stowed, carry at least 550 tuns of water, and, in my humble opinion, she is the finest ship in the world."

The Albion, 90, Captain Lockyer. - "I beg leave to state that the Albion's behaviour during the late trial cruise proved herself to be a good seaboat during the heavy gales; when under a close-reefed maintopsail, foretopsail, and maintrysail, her motion was remarkably easy in the heavy sea that was then running, and I am fully persuaded no ship could behave better. In comparison with other ships which were all near us at times, I consider her behaviour equally as good as any of them, and they all appeared to roll equally as deep, though I think she rolls rather quicker than the St. Vincent, Queen, Trafalgar, or Rodney; this perhaps is owing to the want of ballast. Her pitching motion is remarkably easy, and apparently less than other ships. With respect to the other ships of the squadron, I consider the Queen to be by far superior of her class, on all points, either in fine or bad weather. The Trafalgar is rather a more weatherly ship in bad weather; but no sailer either on or off the wind. The Canopus is equally as quick in her motion as the Albion in a sea-way; she is also crank, as is the Rodney, which is a great advantage the Albion possesses over every ship in the squadron."

The Canopus, 84, Captain Moresby. - "In keeping station in order of sailing under easy or moderate sail, the Canopus had much the superiority. In reference to the whole squadron combined, the St. Vincent, in blowing weather or in strong breezes, showed a great leeward propensity; the Queen, as compared with the last cruise, fell into a doubtful comparison with Rodney, Albion, and Canopus. The Trafalgar maintained her extraordinary weatherly qualities, with want of speed. The Albion, I thought, did not do as well as the first cruise. The stability of the Queen, Albion, and Vanguard, as compared with the St. Vincent, Canopus, Rodney, and Trafalgar, was very apparent. In chasing by the wind in such weather as we encountered during the late cruise, my opinion is that an admiral, having his flag on board the Queen, would have found Rodney his leading ship, Canopus next, then Albion, Vanguard, and St. Vincent, Trafalgar hanging to windward, and picked up on crossing tacks."

The Rodney, 92, Captain Collier. - "In the trials by the wind during the last cruise, all of which were in good breezes, always with a considerable swell, and sometimes against a head sea, the Rodney had the advantage of the whole squadron on the 3d, with the Queen, Albion, Trafalgar, and Vanguard, against a head sea; the Rodney weathered considerably on the Queen and Vanguard, and also on Albion and Trafalgar, but not so much. On the 6th a gale from the north-west came on about sunset, and under a close-reefed maintopsail, fore-staysail, and main-trysail, the Rodney in 12 hours weathered 15 or 16 miles on St. Vincent and Vanguard, and considerably on all the rest of the squadron, but less than any on Trafalgar. The Canopus, from her place in the line, has generally been nearest us. I consider her, under the weather spoken, the next best ship to the Rodney; the Trafalgar, although weatherly, is not so much so as the Rodney, and slower, I consider the Queen the fastest ship both by and off the wind in fine weather."

The Vanguard, 80, Captain Willes. - "Queen, perfect in all points. Albion, the same, except she appears to have a quick rolling motion in a moderate swell, and to roll deep in heavy weather and before the wind. Rodney, a fine bold man of war; carries her ports well, even with a large quantity of provisions, and water on board. Sails well, is generally weatherly, stands well up to her canvas, and is remarkable for her easy motion in a head sea, bat is slow in stays. The Canopus, fast when it does not over-blow, is apparently not so stiff under canvas as other ships of the squadron; does not stay well in a heavy sea, but still a fine man-of-war. Trafalgar, stiff and weatherly, but by no means fast; requires a strong wind to make her keep company well with the other ships, and appears to pitch much. The St. Vincent sails well in light winds and smooth water, is leewardly and crank when it blows hard, but apparently very easy. The Vanguard, a noble man-of-war, carrying her lower deck guns a good height out of the water; stows well, considering her magazine occupies the principal part of the main hold; is best calculated for heavy weight, and which is required lower down. I consider her superior and faster than any ship in the experimental squadron. She sails better the last cruise than the first in consequence of raking the main and mizen-masts much aft, and borrowing weights from their proper places to counteract the loss of ballast from the lower part of the hold. I feel confident, that if properly stowed and ballasted, in sailing and working she would be equal, if not superior, to any ship of the squadron."

The Superb, 80, Captain Correy. - "In the trials which have taken place 'off the wind,' the Superb, on each occasion, beat all the squadron," &c.

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