|Launched (Sail)||1 July 1848||Converted to screw||23 November 1855|
|Builders measure||2576 tons||Builders measure (as screw)||2576 tons|
|Displacement||3482 tons||Displacement (as screw)||3482 tons|
|Guns||80||Guns (as screw)||80|
|Fate||1929||Last in commission||1863|
|Class||Class (as screw)||Majestic|
|Ships book||ADM 135/300|
|Snippets concerning career prior to conversion|
|1 July 1848||Launched as 2nd rate sailing ship at Chatham Dockyard.|
|Career as unarmoured wooden screw vessel|
|23 November 1855||Undocked as screw at Chatham Dockyard.|
|20 June 1859|
- 7 February 1863
|Commanded (from commissioning at Sheerness until paying off at Sheerness) by Captain James Newburgh Strange, Channel squadron, then (October 1860), the Mediterranean|
|17 August 1869||Lent as training ship, Woodhaven, Fife (Captain B.A. Wake, captain-superintendent)|
|10 June 1929||Sold to Thomas W. Ward of Sheffield for breaking up at Inverkeithing|
|Extracts from the Times newspaper|
|We 2 November 1859||The screw line-of-battle ship Royal Albert, 121, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Fremantle, the screw steam frigates Mersey, 40, and the Emerald, 51, arrived at Portland on Sunday from Plymouth. The Mars, 80, and the Blenheim, 60, arrived from the westward on Monday.|
|Sa 12 November 1859||The Algiers, 91, screw, Capt. George D. O'Callaghan, arrived at Spithead from Portland yesterday.|
The ships remaining in Portland Harbour are:- the Royal Albert, 131; the Hero, 91; the Aboukir, 91; the Mars, 81; the Blenheim, 61; the Mersey, 40; the Emerald, 51; and the Melpomene, 51.
The screw steamshlp Trafalgar, 91, from Portland, arrived in Plymouth Sound yesterday morning.
|We 7 December 1859||The screw line-of-battle ship Algiers, 91, rejoined the Channel Fleet at Portland on Sunday. The vessels now at anchor there are the Royal Albert, 131 (flag ship); Hero, 91; Aboukir, 91; Algiers, 91; Trafalgar, 91; Mars, 80; Mersey, 40; Diadem, 32; Blenheim, 60; Donegal, 101; Partridge, 6; and the Biter, 2.|
|Th 19 January 1860||The screw line-of-battle ships in Portland harbour are the Edgar, 91, flagship of Rear-Admiral Erskine, second in command of the Channel fleet; Donegal, 101; Hero, 91; Algiers, 91; Trafalgar, 91; Aboukir, 91; and the Mars, 80. The screw frigate Diadem, 32; the screw corvette Mutine, 18; and the gunboats Flying Fish, 6; and the Partridge, 2. The paddlewheel steam frigate Prometheus, 6, and the Coastguard ship Blenheim are also at anchor. The Royal Albert, 121, is daily expected from Plymouth.|
|We 7 March 1860||The Mars, 80, screw, Capt. Strange, sailed from Spithead at daylight yesterday to join the Channel fleet. A number of her crew are reported absent. The Flying Fish screw despatch vessel, Commander Charles W. Hope, also sailed from Spithead yesterday for the same destination.|
|We 4 April 1860||A portion of the Channel Fleet, consisting of the screw steamships Royal Albert, 121, Capt. Henry J. Lacon, bearing the flag of Admiral Sir Charles Fremantle, K.C.B.; the Donegal, 101, Capt. Henry Broadhead; the Aboukir, 90, Capt. Charles F. Schomberg; and the screw steam-frigate Melpomene, 51, Capt. Charles J.F. Ewart, hove in sight at Plymouth about 6 o'clock yesterday (Tuesday) morning, with the wind from the westward, a smart breeze. They came in from sea under their three topsails, and on reaching the west end of the breakwater took in all canvas, and proceeded under steam to the anchorage ground, the flagship taking her position well to the westward. At 8 o'clock the flag of Port Admiral Sir Barrington Reynolds, K.C.B., was honoured by a salute, which was acknowledged by the Impregnable, 104, Capt. Stewart, in Hamoaze. This portion of the Channel fleet left Lisbon on Friday, March the 23d, in company with the screw steamships Edgar, 91, Capt. James E. Katon; Algiers, 91, Capt. George W.D. O'Callaghan; Queen, 86, Capt. Charles F. Hillyar; Mars, 80, Capt. James N. Strange; and the screw steam-frigate Mersey, 40, Capt. Henry Caldwell, C.B. The Edgar carried away her main topsailyard on Sunday morning, when crossing the Bay of Biscay. The Edgar and Mersey have lost a man each overboard. On Monday night, off the Lizard, the Edgar, Algiers, Queen, Mars, and Mersey parted company, and proceeded up Channel for Portsmouth. Very fine weather was experienced at first, but within the last four days strong gales from west-north-west have prevailed, with extraordinary heavy seas. All the ships are reported leaky; the Royal Albert will require a thorough caulking. Two Dutch ships of war were in the Tagus.|
|Th 5 April 1860||The Second Division of the Channel fleet, comprising the Edgar, 91, screw, Capt. James E. Katon, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral of the Blue John E. Erskine; the Queen, 86, screw, Capt. C.F. Hillyar; the Algiers, 91, screw, Capt. G.W.D. O'Callaghan; the Mars, 80, screw, Capt. J.N. Strange; and the Mersey, 40, screw, Capt. H. Caldwell, C.B., steamed into Spithead from the Channel yesterday morning by the eastern entrance in the order named. The Edgar having anchored, each succeeding ship steamed to the westward of the flagship, and, rounding to, proceeded to their respective positions. The Queen took up the eastern berth of the line, a-head of the Edgar. To the westward of the Edgar the Algiers anchored, and the Mars took up the western berth. The four liners are thus moored in a line from south-east to north-west. The Mersey frigate brought up in deeper water on the outside of the line. Soon after the ships came in sight the customary salutes were exchanged between the Edgar, flagship of Rear-Admiral Erskine, and the Victory, flagship of the Commander-in-Chief, Vice-Admiral Bruce. The Sprightly and Pigmy steam tenders were despatched from the harbour to Spithead on the fleet's arrival.|
Sails were unbent on Tuesday on board that portion of the Channel squadron which arrived in Plymouth Sound the same day from Lisbon, and measures are in progress for their immediate refitment. Those ships previously in the Sound sent up topgallantmasts and yards, and loosed sails to dry. The Conqueror, 101, Capt. Sotheby, steamed into Hamoaze and brought up off Keyham; she was appointed to go into dock yesterday (Wednesday).
|We 11 April 1860||The portion of the Channel fleet anchored at Spithead, under the command of Rear-Admiral John E. Erskine, and consisting of the Edgar, the Algiers, the Queen, the Mars, and the Mersey, has been inspected by the officials of the steam and shipwright departments, and their report of defects of the different ships, and the repairs recommended to be carried out, has been forwarded to the Admiralty. The whole of the five vessels, as we before stated, are in need of repairs to both hull and machinery. The Mersey's required repairs in the last-named department are likely to prove of a very extensive character, and necessarily involve a large outlay before she can be again pronounced fit for foreign service. The Queen's repairs have been taken in hand by the Steam Factory Department. The Algiers, it is expected, will proceed to Keyham, where she will be placed in dock to repair the defects in her stern, &c. It is rumoured that the Duke of Wellington, 131, screw, in the first-class steam reserve in Portsmouth harbour, will be commissioned to receive the flag of the Admiral commanding the Channel Fleet, the Royal Albert's defects requiring remedy. The Duke may be pronounced fit for 18 months, or, perhaps, two years' service, if worked carefully and no accident occurring; but at the end of that time she would require new boilers and very extensive repairs to both hull and engines. As she is not in a sufficiently healthy condition of hull, boilers, and engines, to be sent on a foreign station for a three years' cruise, it is very probable that the rumour concerning her may be verified, and that she may carry Admiral Fremantle's flag in the Channel Fleet.|
|Fr 25 May 1860||The Channel fleet, consisting of the Conqueror, 101; the Donegal, 101; the Algiers, 91, the Aboukir, 91; the Trafalgar, 91; the Centurion, 80; the Mars, 80; and the Diadem, 32, left Portland harbour on Wednesday afternoon for a cruise in the Channel. The Blenheim, 60, is the only ship of war now at Portland.|
|Ma 25 June 1860||The Channel squadron, after an anchorage of 15 days in St. Margaret's Hope, Firth of Forth, left its moorings on Saturday afternoon, and under canvass, with auxiliary steam power, proceeded down the Firth and stood out to sea. The squadron, in passing the narrow straits at Queensferry, proceeded in single line, the leading ships being the Royal Albert, 121, flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir C. Fremantle, the Mersey, 40-gun frigate, the Edgar, 91, flagship of Rear-Admiral Erskine, and the Donegal, 101, followed by seven other ships of the line and the Diadem frigate. The Greyhound corvette, 17, accompanied the Royal Albert as a tender. On passing Inchkeith, and getting into the outer bay of the Firth, the fleet formed in two lines, and stood out south-west in the direction of St. Abb's Head; the Royal Albert, the Donegal, the Aboukir, the Conqueror, and the Centurion, with the Greyhound forming the south line, and the Edgar, the Trafalgar, the Algiers, the Mars, the Diadem, and the Mersey, the north line. A number of steamers convoyed the fleet down the Firth, The public enthusiasm excited by the visit o£ the Channel squadron in the Forth can scarcely fall to give a stimulus to the service in the south-east of Scotland, where for many years a fleet of war-ships had not been seen; and great disappointment is felt that the fleet has not been able to make the tour of the north of Scotland and Ireland, as was anticipated. It was expected that the squadron would reach Yarmouth-roads yesterday afternoon.|
|Ma 2 July 1860||On Saturday the Channel fleet arrived In Yarmouth Roads. The squadron, which has been engaged in target practice in the North Sea during the past week, consists of the Royal Albert, 120; Conqueror, 101; Donegal, 101; Algiers, 91; Edgar, 91; Aboukir, 91; Trafalgar, 91; Centurion, 80; Mars, 80; Mersey, 40; Diadem, 32; Ariadne, 26; and Flying Fish, 6. The fleet is not expected to remain in Yarmouth Roads more than three or four days, as it is to take part in a naval review before the departure of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales for Canada.|
|Tu 11 September 1860|
REVIEW OF THE CHANNEL FLEET.
The fleet, having all got under way by about 8 a.m., stood out to sea from Milford Haven, and, having made an offing of about seven miles, the Osborne, which had previously joined, with the Lords of the Admiralty on board, made the signal for the fleet to form a double line. They accordingly broke into two divisions; the starboard one, consisting of the Royal Albert, 121; the Donegal, 101; the Conqueror, 101; the Mars, 80, and the Trafalgar, 91, was led by Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Fremantle, K.C.B., in the Royal Albert. The port division, under Rear-Admiral Erskine, in the Edgar, 91, which was leading, comprised also the Algiers, 91; the Aboukir, 91; the Centurion, 80; the Mersey, 40; and the Diadem, 32. This manoeuvre having been executed with great precision, the Osborne signalled for the fleet to make sail under easy canvass, followed by an order from the Admiral to bank up the fires. Having stood on thus for some time, the two divisions tacked in succession to the starboard, after which the order was given to form a single line of battle. This was effected by the starboard division standing on its course, and the port one tacking until they came into line, when they followed in the wake of their predecessors, an interval of two cables' length separating each ship. The concluding and most exciting manoeuvre of the day was then made by the whole getting orders to make all sail that could be done with safety, and running before the wind. Studdingsail booms were then run out, and every inch of canvass both alow and aloft that would draw was set. The order was then given to make for the nearest port, on which the fleet bore up for Milford Haven. The Osborne then steamed up to the Admiral's ship, and Rear-Admiral Pelham, C.B., hailed Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Fremantle, K.C.B., and expressed, on the part of his Grace the Duke of Somerset and the rest of the Lords, the extreme satisfaction they all felt, not only in the appearance of the fleet, but also in the admirable precision with which all the manoeuvres had that day been performed, and we believe Capt. Ramsay, C.B., the superintendent of Pembroke Dockyard, was commissioned to convey the above opinion in writing to the Admiral of the fleet. The Osborne then parted company, - the Royal Albert giving the Lords of the Admiralty a salute of 19 guns, which the Osborne acknowledged by dipping her ensign, after which she stood to the southward, it being their Lordships' intention to inspect some important works in progress at the Scilly Isles, and afterwards proceed to Devonport to inspect the dockyard at that place. Nothing could be more favourable than the weather; it was slightly hazy up to 8 o'clock a.m., when it cleared up, and a fine fresh breeze came from the north-east, which lasted up to 3 o'clock p.m., when it died away. The whole of the signalling was done by bunting, and not by Ward's new system, as was generally supposed that it would be, and the brilliant flags had a very pretty effect as rapidly repeated by every third ship. As the fleet entered the harbour the Admiral made the signal for all the ships to take up their old berths, and by 6 o'clock p.m., all were in their original positions.
The Lords of the Admiralty previous to leaving Pembroke-dock granted the employés the usual half-holyday for Saturday.
|Th 13 September 1860||Pursuant to orders received on Sunday last, the Channel fleet, consisting of the Royal Albert, 121, Capt. H.J. Lacon, flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Fremantle, K.C.B., commanding the Fleet; the Conqueror, 101, Capt. Edward S. Sotheby, C.B.; the Donegal, 101, Capt. Henry Broadhead; the Edgar, 91, Capt. James E. Katon, flagship of Rear-Admiral John E. Erskine; the Mars, 80, Capt. James F. Strange; the Trafalgar, 91, Capt. Edward G. Fanshawe; the Algiers, 91, Capt. George W.D, O'Callaghan; the Centurion, 80, Capt. Henry D. Rogers, C.B.; the Aboukir, 91, Capt. Douglas Curry; the Mersey, 40, Capt. Henry Caldwell, C.B.; and the Diadem, 32, Capt. James H. Cockburn, got steam up by daybreak on Tuesday last, and sailed from Milford Haven at about 10 o'clock a.m. They are bound for a cruise of three weeks or a month, and it is supposed will go round the Western Islands, after which they are to rendezvous at Torbay, previous to going into winter quarters. Mr Ward is on board the Admiral's ship with his new system of ocean telegraphs, which are to be thoroughly tried during the cruise. The fleet has been in Milford Haven for more than three weeks, and the conduct of the men has been most exemplary. The civil authorities have not had to interfere except in one or two exceptional cases of drunkenness, together with a few cases of the not very heinous crime of overstaying leave. Rumour has it that three or four vessels of the fleet are to winter at Milford. A more secure berth could not be found in any case.|