HMS Desperate (1849)
HMS Desperate (1849)

The Royal Navy

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NameDesperate (1849)Explanation
Launched23 April 1849   
HullWooden Length192 feet
PropulsionScrew Men170
Builders measure1038 tons   
Displacement1663 tons   
Fate1865 Last in commission1863
Class  Class (as screw)Conflict
Ships bookADM 135/129   
23 April 1849Launched at Pembroke Dockyard (or 1849.05.23?)
12 April 1852Commanded by ?. Stephens, accompanying (as far as the ice) Edward Belcher's expedition in search of Sir John Franklin's ill-fated 1845 North-West Passage expedition
18 December 1852
- 29 March 1854
Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth) by Captain William Wylly Chambers, accompanying (as far as Cape Farewell) Edward Augustus Inglefield (Phoenix), bringing supplies to Sir Edward Belcher's expedition at Beechey Island, Barrow Strait, then (October 1853) Lisbon
29 March 1854
- 5 January 1855
Commanded by Captain Edwin Claton Tennyson D'Eyncourt, the Baltic during the Russian War
6 January 1855
- 10 May 1856
Commanded by Commander Richard Dunning White, the Baltic during the Russian War
10 May 1856
- 11 November 1857
Commanded by Commander George Melville Jackson, Mediterranean
11 November 1857
- 1 January 1859
Commanded (until paying off at Plymouth) by Commander Robert George Craigie, Mediterranean
19 October 1860
- 24 November 1862
Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth) by Commander John Francis Ross, Devonport, then off Mexico, occupying Vera Cruz, the Mexicans having postponed the payment of indemnities to persons who had suffered in recent revolutions.
31 July 1862
- 7 November 1863
Commanded by Commander Arthur Thomas Thrupp, North America and West Indies
August 1865Broken up at Devonport.
Extracts from the Times newspaper
(various)this gets replaced
Sa 14 May 1853Phoenix left Woolwich about half-past 5 o'clock a.m. today, having Mr. Taplin, second-assistant to the chief engineer, on board, to report on her speed and working of the engines when tried with all her stores on board and complete in every respect for her intended voyage. On arriving at the measured mile at Sea Reach the time was taken, and on the average of four runs, two down and two up, her speed was found to be 7 2-10 knots per hour, the engines working very satisfactorily. The Phoenix returned to Greenhithe, and was brought up at moorings at that station to have her compasses adjusted.
The Diligence storeship left Woolwich shortly after 4 o'clock a.m. to-day, towed by the Monkey, and will be brought up and remain at the Nore until the whole of the vessels of the Arctic squadron leave the river on their enterprising expedition.
The Desperate screw steam-sloop, Captain William W. Chambers, left Woolwich this afternoon for Greenhithe, where she will remain until the Phoenix has had her compasses adjusted, and some experiments made in taking distances; and when these are completed the Desperate will take the Phoenix in tow as far as the Orkney Islands, in order that the latter vessel may husband her coals, and enter the Arctic regions under the most favourable circumstances.
Th 19 May 1853

18 May 1853

The Phoenix had her compasses adjusted yesterday, and, having completed her magnetical and astronomical observations at Greenhithe, left that station at half-past 4 o'clock a.m. to-day.
The Diligence store ship, Lieutenant-Commander Elliott, with stores for the Arctic expedition, left Greenhithe in about an hour after the Phoenix, and was towed by the Desperate steam sloop, Captain Chambers.
The Breadalbane will join the other vessels of the squadron at the Nore, and she will be towed by the Barracouta steam sloop to Stromness.
Tu 28 June 1853The Desperate, 8 guns, screw steamsloop, Captain William W. Chambers, made her number on demand at 8.30 p.m., yesterday, at 9 p.m. anchored at the Great Nore, and at 8 a.m. this day came into Sheerness harbour from the Arctic expedition. The Desperate left the Phoenix, 8 guns, screw steamsloop, Commander Edward A. Inglefield, and the Diligence transport, within about 15 miles of Cape Farewell, on the 19th inst. It being a dead calm at the time, the Desperate communicated with the Phoenix and Diligence through the day, receiving all letters and official despatches from them. She brings home three sick seamen from the Phoenix. On parting company, the Phoenix took the Diligence in tow, and loud and many were the hearty cheers given by each, until sound was distanced. About seven days previous to their parting company with the Phoenix and Diligence, the squadron fell in with a very heavy gale of wind, when the paddlewheel steamsloop Barracouta, Commander George Parker, with the Breadalbane in tow, parted company from the Phoenix, Desperate, and Diligence, and was not seen again either on the outward or homeward passage of the Desperate. The squadron fall in with a great number of icebergs of considerable altitude, and were for several days previous making their head way through immense masses of floating field-ice. With the exception of the three seamen sent home by the Desperate, the health of the officers and seamen on board the Phoenix and Diligence was excellent, and the parting company proved them in high spirits. There were a number of whales seen, all of which were old fish, and extremely large. The Desperate came home under canvas, in consequence of having exhausted her fuel within about 12 hours' consumption.
Th 13 September 1860The following ships and gunboats in the first-class steam reserve could be got ready for the pendant at a short notice:- The Windsor Castle, 100; the Revenge, 91; the Orlando, 60; the Forth, 12; the Seahorse, 12; the Merlin, 6; and the Hyena, the Gleaner, the Nightingale, the Steady, the Spider, the Delight, the Goldfinch, the Charon, and the Lark. The following, in Keyham steam yard, are in a forward state:- The Howe, 121; the Gibraltar, 101; the Brunswick, 80; the Phoebe, 51; the Narcissus, 51; the Jason, 21; and the Desperate, 8.
We 9 January 1861The Edgar, 91, screw, Capt. James Katon, flagship of Rear-Admiral J.E. Erskine, left Portsmouth harbour yesterday morning, and took up a berth to the eastward of the ships at Spithead. The ships now anchored at Spithead, in addition to the Edgar, comprise the Algiers, 91, screw, Capt. G.D. O'Callaghan; the Trafalgar, 91, screw, Capt. Fanshawe; the Immortalité, 51, screw, Capt. G. Hancock; the Diadem, 32, screw, Capt. G. Cockburn; the Cossack, 20, screw, Capt. R. Moorman; the Desperate, 7, screw, Commander Ross; and the Triton, 3, paddle, Lieut-Commander R. Burton; the whole representing a force of 477 guns, and 4,410-horse power, nominal.
The screw steamship Centurion, 80, Capt. H.D. Rogers, C.B., which left Lisbon on the 30th of December, arrived in Plymouth Sound yesterday morning. She started from the Tagus under steam, with a southerly wind, which continued until the 4th inst., when she was taken aback with east and south-east winds. On Sunday it changed to southwest, and so continued until 8.30 a.m. on Monday, when baffling winds were experienced, and at 2 30 p.m. steam was got up and continued until she reached the Sound. The weather was moderate and fine all the passage home. The Centurion brings only 10 invalids, who were taken from Lisbon hospital, where they were left by the Channel Fleet; she was ordered to go up Hamoaze yesterday afternoon to make good defects; her crew will be paid down and granted leave of absence. The screw steamship St. Jean d'Acre, 101, Capt. the Hon. C. Elliott, which arrived December 29, was left in the Tagus. The Centurion spoke January 4, at 4 p.m. the ship Phoenix, homeward bound.
Ma 14 January 1861Rear-Admiral J.E. Erskine's division of the Channel fleet, consisting of the Edgar, 91, screw, Capt. James Katon; Algiers, 91, screw, Capt. G.D. O'Callaghan; Trafalgar, 90, screw, Capt. E.G. Fanshawe; and the Diadem, 32, screw, Capt. E.G. Fanshawe [should be J.H. Cockburn], left Spithead at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday, under steam, and, passing out by the Bembridge lightvessel, proceeded down Channel, their ultimate destination, being stated to be Lisbon.
The Immortalité, 51, screw, Capt G. Hancock, and the Desperate, 7, screw, Commander Ross, remain at Spithead.
The St. George, 90, screw, Capt. the Hon. F. Egerton, left Spithead at 10 a.m. yesterday for Plymouth, where his Royal Highness Prince Alfred will embark prior to the ship sailing for North, America and the West Indies. Prior to the ship leaving Spithead Col. the Hon. H. Byng embarked onboard, and proceeded round to Plymouth in her.

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