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HMS Pylades (1854)

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NamePyladesExplanation
TypeCorvette   
Launched23 November 1854   
HullWooden Length193 feet
PropulsionScrew Men 
Builders measure1278 tons   
Displacement1991 tons   
Guns21   
Fate1875 Last in commission1873
Class    
Ships book   
Career
DateEvent
23 November 1854Launched at Sheerness Dockyard.
5 January 1855
- 18 November 1856
Commanded (from commissioning at Sheerness until paying off at Sheerness) by Captain Edwin Claton Tennyson D'Eyncourt, the Baltic during the Russian War
16 July 1857
- 30 July 1861
Commanded (from commissioning at Sheerness until paying off at Chatham) by Captain Michael De Courcy, East Indies and China, then Pacific
2 December 1862
- 3 September 1866
Commanded (from commissioning at Chatham until paying off at Chatham) by Captain Arthur William Acland Hood, North America and West Indies
4 December 1867
- July 1870
Commanded (from commissioning at Sheerness until paying off at Gibraltar) by Captain Cecil William Buckley, Pacific
20 July 1871
- 20 August 1873
Commanded (from commissioning at Gibraltar) by Captain Augustus Chetham Strode, south east coast of America
20 August 1873
- 31 December 1873
Commanded (until paying off at Sheerness) by Acting Captain Arthur Richard Wright, returning from the south east coast of America
23 January 1875Sold to Castle for breaking up at Charlton.
Extracts from the Times newspaper
DateExtract
We 31 December 1856The following ships and vessels are now in port at Sheerness, in harbour, fitting-basin, and in docks, viz.:- The Edinburgh, 60 guns, Captain Edward P. Halsted; the Waterloo, 120 guns, Captain Lord Frederick Kerr, flagship; the Formidable, 84 guns, Captain-Superintendent John Jervis Tucker; the Royal George, 102 guns; the Terrible, 21 guns; the new screw steam corvette Scylla. 21 guns; the Argus, 6 guns; the Eurotas, 12 guns, screw mortar-ship; the Hydra, 6 guns; the Terror, 14 guns, floating battery; the Horatio, 12 guns; the Russell, 60 guns; the Hawke, 60 guns, Captain James Willcox, C.B., &c.; the Phoenix, 6 guns.; the Renard, 6 guns; the Foxhound, 6 guns; the Pylades, 21 guns; the Trusty, 14 guns, floating battery; the new screw steam frigate Emerald, 51 guns; the Hermes, 6 guns, Commander William E.A. Gordon; the Lizard steamvessel, Lieutenant-Commander Thomas B. Christopher; the Myrtle steamvessel, Master-Commander William S. Bourchier; the African steamvessel, Second Master-Commander R. Harvey; the Fearless steamvessel; the Wildfire steam tender to Waterloo, Master-Commander George Brockman; the Melampus, 42 guns, Captain L. Heath, C. B., &c. The gunboats Louisa, Magnet, Erne, Mayflower, Ruby, Sandfly, Carnation, Spanker, Pelter, Fly, Hasty, Cochin, Julia, Dwarf, Fidget, Griper, Mastiff, Mistletoe, Traveller, Spey, Surly, Herring, Sepoy, Bullfrog, Tickler, Manly, Thistle, and the new screw steam despatch gunboat Nimrod. The new ship Meeanee, 80 guns, is in No. 2 dry dock, being altered to receive screw steam machinery.
Tu 4 February 1862Yesterday a party of 60 additional shipwrights, including a portion of the hands removed from the Rattlesnake, 21, screw corvette, completed, and the Pylades, 21, screw, under repair in the fourth dock at Chatham, were placed on the iron-cased steam frigate Royal Oak, 51, building under No. 7 shed, in order to expedite the construction of that vessel, which it is intended shall be completed and ready for launching by the first spring tide in the month of September next. A number of the shipwrights now employed on the iron frigate Defence, 18, will he attached to the Royal Oak on their leaving that ship during the present week. The number of hands now employed on the Royal Oak is nearly 400, including apprentices and labourers. By direction of the Admiralty a powerful travelling crane is in course of erection at the side shed adjoining that under which the frigate is building, in order to facilitate the removal of the heavy beams and timbers used in her construction. The erection of the traveller has been placed in the hands of a London firm, the iron tramways on which the crane will work having been already fixed. Considering the great weights which the traveller will be required to lift, it is to be hoped that care will be taken to have the supports thoroughly tested before the work is completed and handed ever to the Admiralty, the opinion of practical men being that greater strength ought to have been secured.
Although the construction of the iron ship Achilles, 50, 6,079 tons, 1,250-hose power, building at Chatham, has been seriously retarded owing to the difficulty experienced by the Admiralty in procuring iron of the quality required, considerable progress has been made in the work, and already about one-half of her massive ribs, answering to the timbers in an ordinary vessel, have been forged and successfully fixed in their place without accident. The difficulty experienced by the Admiralty in obtaining adequate supplies of iron is still felt in as great force as ever, and, instead of the Achilles being completed within two years from the time in which she was commenced, as was originally expected, at least treble that period will elapse before she will even be afloat, if she continues to progress only at her present rate. There are not more than about 100 workmen engaged on her, including those in the factory department, and yet it was estimated that at least 1,000 hands would be constantly required to complete her in the prescribed period of two years. The chief difficulty appears to be in obtaining adequate supplies of plate iron, the establishment being overstocked with angle iron. Negotiations are, however, now pending with several eminent firms, and it is believed that in a very short time sufficient supplies of first-class iron will be sent in to the dockyard. During yesterday and Saturday a number of the massive armour-plates were landed at the dockyard, although these will not be required to be used for several months to come. Each plate weighs slightly over four tons, is about 15 feet in length by about 3 feet in width, and of an uniform thickness of 4½ inches. The whole are manufactured of rolled iron, at the Parkgate Ironworks, Yorkshire, where powerful machinery has been erected for the purpose.
Yesterday a party of shipwrights were despatched from Chatham dockyard to Shoeburyness, to be employed in erecting a target faced with iron armour-plates fastened together without bolting, on the principle recommended by Mr. Scott Russell. The armour-plates, which are of the same thickness as those for the Achilles and Royal Oak, have been prepared at Chatham dockyard, where the target has been put together, the plates being of different sizes, with the edges prepared according to Mr. Russell's directions. The experiments with the elongated Armstrong shot upon this target, and their effect on the iron plates, are looked forward to with some interest, as, should the Admiralty decide on adopting the plan recommended by Mr. Scott Russell, the whole of the armour-plates for the iron ships building will require to be altered.
Fr 4 April 1862No instructions have yet been received from the Admiralty for suspending the works connected with the Royal Oak, 50, armour-plated frigate, under construction at Chatham, and it is therefore probable that the plan proposed for completing the squadron of armour-plated frigates building at the several dockyards as cupola ships, on Captain Coles's principle, has been abandoned, and that the Royal Oak and the other vessels of her class will be completed simply as armour-plated ships, according to the original plan. In the meantime every effort is being made by the dockyard officials to have the Royal Oak completed and afloat during the present summer. To accomplish this every hand, with the exception of some 50 or 60 shipwrights and caulkers at work on the Racoon, 22, and the Pylades, 21, is employed on her, and from the energy which is just now being displayed little more than four months will see the first of the new description of wooden armour-covered ships afloat. By special direction of the Admiralty all the hands in the dockyard have been withdrawn from the wooden ships and placed on the two iron vessels, the Achilles and Royal Oak, which together have upwards of 1,000 shipwrights and mechanics employed on them, in addition to the hands at work in the factory and smithy preparing the materials to be used. The exterior of the Royal Oak is now completely planked in readiness to receive her armour-plates, which will be laid on a solid backing of teak and oak of 29 inches in thickness. Adjoining the slip, an extensive building is in course of erection for the reception of the machinery to be used in preparing the iron slabs in which the vessel will be encased. Unlike the Achilles, the Resistance, the Defence, and other iron vessels of that class, which are provided with projecting stems, for running down vessels, the Royal Oak and the other armour-plated ships, are almost square-built, each being constructed with what is termed a "tumble-home" stem, projecting in the slightest possible manner from the bow of the ship, thus doing away altogether with the supposition of these frigates being used as steam rams. In order to obtain additional strength for the stern-post, the screw-well usually found on board screw steamers will be partially abolished in the Royal Oak and the sister ship Royal Alfred, building at Portsmouth.
Th 8 January 1863The Pylades, 21, screw corvette, Capt. A.W.A. Hood, arrived at Spithead yesterday morning from the eastward, and on anchoring exchanged the usual salutes with the Victory, flagship of the Commander-in-Chief at the port. It is expected that the Pylades will relieve the Emerald off Osborne, to enable the latter to prepare for her experimental screw trials.
Sa 12 November 1864The following is the list of the vessels of the Royal navy which will be armed, and are now being armed, with the new description of 300-pounder and other guns in course of issue. The figures after each vessel specify the number of guns of the description mentioned she will carry. To mount the 12-ton 300-pounders:- Bellerophon, 10; Royal Sovereign, 5; Minotaur, 4; Scorpion, 4; Wiveren, 4; Prince Albert, 4; Agincourt, 4; and Northumberland, 4. To be armed with the 6½-ton guns:- The Achilles, 20; Black Prince, 20; Warrior, 20; Lord Warden, 20; Lord Clyde, 20; Royal Oak, 20; Prince Consort, 20; Royal Alfred, 20; Caledonia, 20; Ocean, 20; Minotaur, 18 ; Agincourt, 18; Valiant, 16; Zealous, 16; Hector, 16; Defence, 10; Resistance, 10; Endymion, 6; Mersey, 4; Orlando, 4, Pallas, 4; Favourite, 4; Research, 4; Enterprise, 4; Amazon, 2; Viper, 2; and Vixen, 2. To mount the 64-pounder muzzle-loader:- The Bristol, 12; Melpomene, 12; Liverpool, 12; Severn, 12; Arethusa, 12; Phoebe, 12;. Shannon, 12; Octavia, 12; Constance, 12; Sutlej, 12; Undaunted, 12; Impérieuse, 12; Aurora, 12; Leander, 12; Bacchante, 12; Emerald, 12; Phaeton, 12: Narcissus, 12; Forte, 12; Euryalus, 12; Topaz, 12; Newcastle, 12; Liffey, 12; Immortalité, 12; Glasgow, 12; Clio, 8, North Star, 8 [laid down 1860, cancelled 1865]; Racoon, 8; Challenge[r], 8; and Menai, 8 [laid down 1860, cancelled 1864]. The following will be supplied with the 64-pounder breech-loaders:- The Scout, 8; Rattlesnake, 8; Cadmus, 8; Scylla, 8; Barossa, 8; Jason, 8; Charybdis, 8; Wolverine, 8; Pylades, 8; Orestes, 8; Pearl, 8; Pelorus, 8; Satellite, 8; Acheron, 4 [laid down 1861, cancelled 1863]; Shearwater, 4; Valorous, 4; Furious, 4; Bittern, 4 [laid down 1861, cancelled 1863]; Magicienne, 4; and Columbine, 4. A supply of the 6½-ton smooth-bore 100-pounder wrought iron guns has already been received at Chatham, and it is understood that the first supply of the 300-pounder rifled 12-ton Armstrong gun may shortly be expected at the Ordnance wharf.
Th 5 January 1871The Flying Squadron, comprising the screw frigates Narcissus, 28, Capt. W. Codrington, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Beauchamp Seymour, C. B., Admiral in command of the squadron, and the Immortalité, 28, Capt. F.W. Sullivan, C.B.; and the screw corvettes Cadmus, 17, Capt. W.H. Whyte, and Volage, 8, Capt. M. Seymour, sailed from Plymouth Sound yesterday for Lisbon, Madeira, Barbadoes, and several other of the British West India Islands, including Jamaica, whence the squadron, probably calling at Havannah, will proceed to Bermuda, where the Pylades, 17, screw corvette, Capt. C.W.V. Buckley, V.C., is expected to join. The cruise will occupy four or five months, but a great deal of latitude is allowed to Admiral Seymour, both as to ports of call and the duration of the visit. The Commander-in-Chief at Devonport, Admiral Sir Henry Codrington, K.C.B., accompanied by Rear-Admiral W. Houston Stewart, C.B., went out in the steam tender Princess Alice to view the departure of the squadron, which left Plymouth with a fine easterly breeze.
Ma 1 May 1871The following is a brief account of the proceedings of Rear-Admiral Beauchamp Seymour's Flying Squadron since the last communication from the ships. Our letters are dated the 9th inst. [i.e. 9th April] from Jamaica : -"We remained a fortnight at Barbados, during which time the Governor and the town gave two balls in our honour, both being most successful. At Trinidad we stayed ten days, and from there have visited the islands of Grenada, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia, leaving the latter on the 30th, and arriving here yesterday. From St. Vincent to St. Lucia the squadron had a trial of rate of sailing. Getting all into one line when we had got an offing of the former island, the Admiral made the signal, 'Race to Castries, St. Lucia.' which was a dead heat [sic: should presumably be "dead beat"]. We started at 6 p.m. on the 27th and arrived in the following order on the 28th :- Volage, 12 50 p.m.; Narcissus, 2 50 p.m.; Pylades, 5 35 p.m.; Immortalité, 7 50 p.m.; Cadmus, 10 p.m. So the Volage has proved herself the best ship in sailing to windward, for she also beat the fleet in a two hours' trial we had between Grenada and St. Vincent. We met the Eclipse at St. Vincent on the 25th taking the Governor of Barbadoes round the islands. She was to return from there. The ships in port here are Myrmidon, Sphinx, Lapwing, and Britomart. We remain till the 20th, leaving for Havannah and Bermuda."- Army and Navy Gazette.
Ma 26 June 1871A Press despatch of the 1st of June from Halifax, Nova Scotia, is to the following effect:- "The remaining vessels of the Flying Squadron - Narcissus, Immortalité and Pylades - arrived to-day from Bermuda [I assume this means that Cadmus, Volage and Inconstant had already arrived]. The squadron will remain until the 17th, and then leave for a three year cruise to the West Indies, South America, China, Australia, and home. The squadron is commanded by Rear-Admiral Seymour. There are now eight warships and gunboats at this station".
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