HMS Fantome (1839)
HMS Fantome (1839)

Royal NavyVessels

Browse RN vessels: A; B; C; D; E - F; G - H; I - L; M; N - P; Q - R; S; T - U; V - Z; ??
NameFantome (1839)Explanation
Type2nd class brig   
Launched30 May 1839
Builders measure483 tons
Ships book
Snippets concerning this vessels career
28 October 1839Commanded (from commissioning at Chatham) by Commander Edward Harris Butterfield, Cape of Good Hope, then west coast of Africa
18 December 1841
- 20 October 1843
Commanded (until paying off at Chatmam) by Commander Philip George Haymes, South America
14 December 1844
- 4 June 1846
Commanded by Commander Frederick William Erskine Nicolson, Mediterranean
4 June 1846
- 20 April 1848
Commanded (until paying off at Portsmouth) by Commander Thomas Philip Le Hardy, Mediterranean
10 December 1850Commanded (from commissioning at Portsmouth) by Commander John Henn Gennys, Australia
2 November 1853Commanded by Lieutenant mmander) Arthur George Fitzroy, Australia
Extracts from the Times newspaper
Ma 5 November 1849

Portsmouth, Nov. 4.

The Fantome and Lily, 16's, were brought from their moorings yesterday morning, to be docked and refitted for further service.
Sa 8 December 1849

Portsmouth, Dec. 6.

In Port and Fitting

In the Harbour. - The Victory and Illustrious flag-ships, the Excellent gunnery ship; the Blenheim steam-guard-ship; the Eurydice, stripping to pay off; the Contest, fitting out; the Rolla apprentices' brig, laying up for the winter; the Fairy and Elfin, and Portsmouth yachts; the Flamer packet from Holyhead, and the Echo tug.
In Dock. - The Britannia, 120; the Dauntless, 24; the Fantome, 16; the Lily, 16; the Fox, 42; the Devastation, and the Birkenhead steam frigates.
In the Basin. - The Princess Charlotte, 104; the Actaeon, 26; and the Sprightly and the Bee steam-vessels.
In the Steam Basin, - The Ajax, 60; the Penelope, 22; the Sidon, 26; the Victoria and Albert royal yacht; the Urgent , the Pike, the Asp, and the Blazer.
Building. - The Royal Frederick, 120 [subsequently cancelled and later completed as Frederick William]; the Prince of Wales, 120; the Princess Royal, 90; the Argus, and the Furious steam sloops.
Sa 9 March 1850

Portsmouth, Friday.

In Port and Fitting

In Harbour. - The Victory, Illustrious, Blenheim, Excellent, Rolla, Fairy, Fanny, and Echo.
In Dock. - The St Vincent, Winchester, Fox, Fantome, and Penelope.
In the Basin. - The Lily.
In the Steam-Basin. - The Blazer, Birkenhead, Pike, Asp, Flamer, Comet, Elfin, Victoria and Albert, Hecate, and Termagant.
Th 28 March 1850

Portsmouth, Wednesday

The Fantome, 14, was undocked last evening, and taken unde the shears ready for masting, ans she is to be fitted and rigged for commission.
Sa 20 April 1850In Harbour. - The Victory, Excellent, Illustrious, Blenheim, Fanny, and Portsmouth tenders, the Echo tug, and the Locust steam-vessel.
In Dock. - The St Vincent, Winchester, Fox, Penelope, Rapid, and Electra.
In the Basin. - The Niger, Devastation, Fantome, Griffon, and Fairy.
In the Steam Basin. - Termagant, Hecate, Victoria and Albert, Bulldog, Blazer, Flamer, Pike, Asp, and Elfin.
Th 7 November 1850The Fantome, 12, has been brought down from the ordinary and taken into the basin to be masted. She will be commissioned in a few days, to carry the December mail to the coast of Africa.
We 13 November 1850The Fantome, 16, is being rapidly rigged by the dockyard riggers, for commission and service on the New Zealand station.
Fr 13 December 1850

Portsmouth, Thursday.

The Fantome, 12, has been put in commission this day at this port, by Commander G. Gennys (1844).
Ma 6 January 1851The Fantome, 12, Commander Gennys, will drop out to Sithead to-morrow, and proceed to Devonport to receive her advance.
Tu 7 January 1851The Fantome, 12, Commander Gennys, was towed out to Spithead this morning. She sails to-morrow for Devonport, to ship the mails for the coast of Africa.
Fr 10 January 1851The Fantome, 12, Commander Gennys, put back to St Helen's-roads this morning, through stress of weather.
We 15 January 1851The Fantome, 12, Commander Gennys, put back to Spithead to-day, having been unable to make headway against the foul and strong winds which have been blowing for some days past.
Fr 17 January 1851The Fantome, 12, Commander Gennys, remains at Spithead, weatherbound.
Ma 20 January 1851

Portsmouth, Jan. 19.

The Fantome, 12, Commander Gennys, sailed from Spithead for Plymouth and New Zealand yesterday morning.
Sa 25 January 1851

Plymouth, Thursday

A party of caulkers was sent on Tuesday on board the Fantome, 12, Commander J.H. Gennys, in the Sound.
We 26 February 1851

Plymouth, Tuesday

The crews of the Calliope and Fantome are to be paid wages on Thursday.
We 5 March 1851

Plymouth, Monday

Her Majesty's frigate Calliope, 26, Captain Sir J. Everard Home, and the brig Fantome, 12, Commander John H. Gennys, sailed yesterday for New Zealand.
Ma 31 March 1851The Fantome, 12 Commander Gennys, and the Calliope, 26, Captain Sir Everard Home, arrived at Madeira on the 11th inst., and the Pandora, 6, on the 15th.
Ma 17 November 1851By letters from New Zealand we learn that the Calliope, 26, Captain Sir J.E. Home, C.B., arrived at Sydney on the 20th of July, and, the Fantome, 12, Commander Gennys, on the 25th of the same month, from Hobart Town and England. The Pandora, 6, Commander Drury, arrived at Sydney on the 21st of July from the Cape of Good Hope. All remained quiet at Sidney on the 14th of August. The Acheron steam sloop, Captain John Lort Stokes, has been paid off on station, and Captain Stokes and Commander Richards ae coming home passengers in the Havannah; the Acheron having served four years on the station. The engineers have been left in her until further orders from the Admiralty, until the receipt of which by the Commodore she would act as a tender to the Governor of New Zealand. The Fly, 14, Commander Oliver, was daily expected from the New Zealand station at Rio, on her way to England, on the 15th ult. The Havannah, 26, Captain Erskine, is bringing home a freight of about 4,000l. in gold from the Bathurst diggings on Government account, and a very rare bird, called the "kiwi," for Professor Owen,[presumably Richard OwenExternal link] intended, we believe, for the Zoological Society. This bird will be the first of its species ever brought to England alive, should success attend its transmigration; and it is probable Captain Stokes may bring home in the Havannah some very extraordinary specimens of parrots, which he has obtained in New Zealand, called the "kakapo." The Bishop of Lyttelton tried this summer to bring one of this species to England alive for the Zoological Society but failed. Should Captain Stokes succeed, it is hoped he will present one to the Society.
Ma 14 June 1852

Portsmouth, Sunday, June 13.

Yesterday evening the merchant ship Vimiera, Captain Neatby, passed this port for London from Sydney, an sent in mails by a pilot boat to the 10th of March and passengers. … Her Majesty's ships Calliope, Captain Sir James E. Home, C.B.; Fantome, 16, Commander Gennys; and Pandora, 4, Commander Drury, were at New Zealand on the 10th of March; the Bramble, tender to the Calliope, at Hobart Town; and the Acheron steam sloop was laid up at Sydney.
We 12 January 1853

Plymouth, Tuesday.

The Royal Australian Mail Steamship Company's steampacket Australian, Captain Hoseason, R.N. arrived in the Sound at 10 o’clock this morning. ... The bottom of the Australian is covered with weeds, grass, and shellfish, but for which she would have made the voyage in less time. We believe her copper has not been examined in dock since she left England. Some of her passengers complain of the bad condition of the so-called preserved provisions; but they all speak highly of the ship and of her commander, Captain Hoseason, R.N., and the chief officer, Mr. M’Cullom.
The commander, officers, boatswain, and boys, went out and returned in the Australian, but all the seamen and all the firemen (14 or 15), except one, ran from her. At Sydney she received six men from Her Majesty's ship Fantome, but left short-handed. None joined her at Melbourne or Adelaide, but at King George's Sound she engaged two Frenchmen, who landed at the Cape; at the Mauritius four Englishmen entered; at the Cape, five men and a boy; and, at St. Vincent's, three men. Wages from Sydney were 10l. per month; Mauritius, 3l. She is eight or 10 short now. AU lands behaved exceedingly well on the passage home.
Fr 11 March 1853The Sydney Empire, of the 6th of December, contains the destressing intelligence that a boat belonging to Her Majesty's brig Fantome had been upset at Porinia, in Cook's Straits, and the surgeon and five of the crew of the brig drowned.
Tu 21 February 1854


On the 1st of November, at Sydney, 1853, Sir James Everard Home, Bart., C.B., Captain of H.M.S. Calliope, and senior officer on that station. He was buried with military honours, and his funeral was attended by the Governor and chief officers of the civil departments, the officers and crews of the Calliope, Fantome, and Torch, and the military officers and regiments stationed there.
Sa 14 October 1854

Southampton, Oct. 13.

The General Screw Steam Shipping Company's steamship Queen of the South, Captain W.H. Norman, arrived here at noon to-day from Australia, having left Sydney on the 15th and Melbourne on the 22d of July. ... Her Majesty's ship Calliope was at Sydney; the Electra and Fantome at Port Phillip. The General Screw Company’s steamer Croesus was at Sydney undergoing repairs, and would, it was expected, leave for Southampton about the 15th of August.
Ma 20 November 1854

Plymouth, Saturday.

The Ballarat, from Port Phillip, off this port on Friday, was 87 days on the passage home, and 84 on the passage out. The Red Jacket, which arrived on the 19th of October at Liverpool, was 69½ out and 73½ home. The Lightning was 78 out and 63 home. The two latter vessels are American-built. The Ballarat, which belongs to Messrs. W.O. Young and Co., of London, was only half-laden, and would in all probability have made a much quicker passage home if she had had 100 additional tons of cargo or ballast. She sailed from Port Phillip August 23, rounded Cape Horn very closely September 27, crossed the line October 18, and reached soundings November 15. During the last fortnight she has experienced very light winds.
Her Majesty's sloop Fantome, 12, Commander A.G. Fitzroy [Fitsroy was lieutenant in Calliope, but had been acting commander of Fantome since 2 november 1853], fired on the Lightning the morning of her departure. It is stated that the Lightning had, contrary to regulation, hoisted the St. George's ensign, and when rebuked by an officer from the Fantome, the officer in charge of the clipper had exhibited incivility of conduct. Six men belonging to the Lightning joined the Fantome, which appears to have given umbrage to her commander. The Melbourne Argus gives the following account of the affair: -
"Her Majesty's ship Fantome has been completely successful in her late gallant attack on the Lightning, that celebrated clipper having surrendered without firing a gun. It appears that shortly after 4 o'clock on Sunday morning the crew of the Lightning were turned out to get everything ready for proceeding to sea, and at about 6 o’clock they commenced 'heaving short' the anchor, when every one on board was suddenly startled by the booming of a gun, and then a second, and on looking towards Her Majesty's ship Fantome it was perceived that the shots proceeded from her. A splash was seen within a few feet of the ship, on the port bow, and then another, and it was then made apparent that the officers of Her Majesty's ship Fantome had actually fired a couple of cannon-shot before the merchant-ship. Captain Forbes was on deck at the time, and anxiously looked for a boat from Her Majesty's ship Fantome to explain the meaning o! such warlike attitude. The boat was not long in making its appearance, when the officer in charge demanded that the wages of the six men who had volunteered from the Lightning into Her Majesty's service should be immediately paid. Captain Forbes replied that he had made arrangements with the consignees to settle this and every other claim against the ship; but this explanation not being sufficiently explanatory to the man-of-war, Captain Forbes signed bills on his owners for the amount, and was then allowed to proceed in peace."
Tu 8 May 1855Her Majesty's sloop Lily, 12, Commander Sanderson, arrived at Spithead yesterday morning from the China and Australian stations, last from the Brazils. She was detached from the China squadron and left Singapore on the 18th of November, 1854, arrived at Port Phillip December 29, left on the 23d of January, arrived at Rio on the 10th of March last, and left on the 17th for Spithead. She brought golddust from Australia to the amount of 40,000l. sterling, on merchants' account. She met with strong westerly gales and in latitude 58·46 S. longitude 161·8 W. fell In with large icebergs, and was running among them for a fortnight; on coming upon them the barometer was observed to fall a great deal, accompanied by heavy snow-storms. She passed the Exodus, of Liverpool, about 300 miles S.W. of the Lizard, on the 28th ult., with loss of topmasts. When she left the Australian station Her Majesty's ships Calliope and Acheron were at Sydney, and the Fantome and Electra at Melbourne; the marines and seamen of the Electra had been landed on several occasions to act with the military in the late disturbances. The Electra had been to King's Island to rescue the crew of two merchant vessels wrecked there, and had saved 20,000l. in specie. The Lily has been five years and three months in commission, during which time she has circumnavigated the globe. She brought home Lieutenant Davis, on promotion from the Electra; Lieutenant Brock, on promotion from the Lily; Mr Howarth, mate, from the Electra; Mr. Tucker, clerk, from the Fantome; and Mr. Douglas, mate, from the Styx, to join the Bulldog.
Ma 11 June 1855The Calliope, 26, Captain Fitzgerald, which arrived at Plymouth on Friday, left England on the 2d of March, 1851, and reached Sydney on the 20th of July. She then entered upon a service of civilization, by visiting, with one or two exceptions, every port in the islands of New Zealand, and, after calling at Hobart Town, performed the next year a similar duty among the Feejee Isles, including the penal settlement of Norfolk Island, and then returned to Sydney. Captain Sir Everard Home, who put her in commission, and whose loss was felt by all hands, died November 3,1853, from a complaint which was increased by devotion to his profession. While in Australia the Calliope lost several of her crew, who were replaced in the colony, but from her detachment of Marines, commanded by Lieutenant Leslie, only one deserted. This frigate's passage from Australia to Cape Horn presents some remarkable features, especially at the present moment, when a knowledge of the shortest and most free route is so valuable. She left Melbourne February 27, and was off Cape Horn March 30. Her commander endeavoured to preserve the parallel of 50 degrees S. Hail fell on the 24th of March, in lat. 51 6, long. 98 14 W.; hail and snow on the 28th, in lat. 55, long. 76. Off the Horn they were in 50 S. In this passage they experienced no check; strong breezes prevailed occasionally, but no inconvenience from sea or wind, and there would have been no difficulty in heaving to, if necessary, at anytime. Excepting four days, an observation was taken regularly. Winds chiefly from the westward, varying from S.W. to N.N.W.; force, 7 to 8; and four days only reached 10 or 11 weather generally overcast and cloudy. The lowest latitude, 56 10 S., was made on the evening of the 28th of March. Lowest thermometer, 31°, was felt after passing the Horn, and when near the Falkland Islands, lieutenant D'Arcy, of the surveying vessel Herald, 8. Captain Denham, on promotion, and Mr. Chevalier, from Rio Janeiro, came home passengers in the Calliope. Her freight from Melbourne is 7,500 oz. of gold, and not 70,500 oz., as telegraphed on Friday.
The frigate Juno, 26, Captain S.G. Fremantle, arrived at Sydney on the 30th of January, and, in consequence of the appearance of smallpox, was put under quarantine, but relieved again previous to the departure of the Calliope, on the 7th of February. The sloop Fantome, 12, Commander John H. Gennys, left Melbourne on the 22d of February for New Zealand. The Calliope has been towed up Hamoaze, where she is to be dismantled and put out of commission. Her crew will be paid down and transferred to the Sanspareil and other ships.
We 2 January 1856Her Majesty's sloop Fantome, 12, Commander H. Gennys, from Melbourne Feb. 4, was off Plymouth yesterday afternoon, and landed a passenger. She experienced baffling winds in Bass's Straits, rounded Cape Horn on March 2, and stopped six days at Rio Janeiro. Her only freight consists of 4,000 ounces of golddust.
Th 5 June 1856Her Majesty's sloop Fantome, 14, Commander J.H. Gennys, arrived at Spithead yesterday evening from the Australian station. She sailed from Port Phillip on the 4th of February and Rio on the 10th of April. She left Her Majesty's ship Electra at Port Phillip. The Fantome's passage has been a very long one. She has brought no news, but 20,000oz. of gold on freight, and lieutenant Moller, of the 46th Regiment. She signalled the bark Berkshire on the 20th ult. off the Western Islands.
Sa 7 June 1856The gold brought by her Majesty's ship Fantome, amounting to 84,000l., was delivered at the Bank to-day.

Valid HTML 5.0