Our Screw Steam Navy
Our Screw Steam Navy


The Royal Navy Sailing ◄► Paddle

'Theseus, late R.N.' on Our Screw Steam Navy in Colburn's United Service Magazine and Naval and Milatary Journal for 1858


OUR SCREW STEAM NAVY
By Theseus, late R.N.

[1858, part III, pages 237-246]

During the last few years a great change has been effected in our ships of war. All the theories of naval architects of the old school have been exploded, and all the models of captured French frigates have been laid aside as useless. Sir William Symonds and Sir R. Seppings were the first to show, by building the "Queen" and "Calcutta," that England could turn out naval architects of first-rate genius, as well as other countries. That England now possessed screw ships of war far superior to any belonging to either France or America, is acknowledged by naval officers of both those nations.

The last fourteen years, however, may be ranked as the most important era in the annals of naval architecture, as it has witnessed the introduction of propulsion by means of the screw propeller. This has necessitated a consequent alteration of plans. Ships are now built of a larger size, of a greater length, but of a smaller corresponding breadth. The present surveyor of the navy, Sir Baldwin Wake Walker, has had the chief management in effecting these various alterations, and has, at the same time, introduced various improvements in the building of ships. Popular opinion gives Sir B. Walker great credit for his careful supervision, but whether some of his improvements are exactly in the right direction, is a very fair subject of discussion.

In building such ships as the "Renown" and "Orion," there can be no doubt Sir B. Walker has added splendid and useful ships to the navy; but when, in attempting to imitate our Transatlantic cousins he designed the "Orlando," "Mersey," and "Diadem," it is greatly to be feared he committed a great blunder, and that those ships will prove, on trial, to be as unsuccessful as their prototypes, the Yankee screw frigates, "Merrimac" "Minnesota," &c.

The Americans have never yet built a paddle-wheel or screw-frigate which has realised the expectations of its builders, while, as before stated, England possesses many most perfect specimens of screw-ships. With this knowledge it does seem very strange that the Board of Admiralty should have allowed Sir B. Walker to stray out of a successful track, into imitating the blunders of Yankee shipbuilders. The errors more particularly committed can be better shown when speaking of the ships individually, and will therefore be deferred to those opportunities.

As one way of pointing out the extensive alteration in the navy, it may be interesting to show the different composition of the channel squadron in 1846 and 1858. The ships forming the channel squadron are always supposed to be the elite of their class, and the channel or experimental squadron of 1846 is chosen for comparison, as it contained only one screw-ship, the screw propeller being then, under a trial, which led to its extensive application throughout the navy.

CHANNEL SQUADRON IN 1846.
St. Vincentguns
120
sailing 3-deckerCom. Sir Francis Collier.
Capt. John Shepherd.
Queen110do. Com. Sir Gordon Bremer.
Capt. Sir H. Leeke.
Trafalgar120do.Capt. J.N. Nott.
Albion90sailing 2-decker" N. Lockyer.
Rodney92do." E. Collier.
Canopus84do." F. Moresby.
Superb80do." A.L. Corry.
Vanguard80do." G.W. Willes.
Constance50sailing frigate" Sir B.W. Walker.
Raleigh50do." Sir T. Herbert.
Spartan26do." T.M. Symonds.
Eurydice26do." G. Elliott.
Brilliant22do." R.B. Watson.
Terrible21paddle-wheel steam frigate" W. Ramsay.
Retribution6do." S. Lushington.
Avenger6paddle-wheel steam corvette" W.J. Williams.
Gladiator6do." J. Robb.
Scourge6do.Com. J.C. Caffin.
Rattler9screw steam sloop" H. Smith.

This squadron was therefore composed of 8 sailing line of battle ships, 5 sailing frigates, 2 paddle-wheel steam frigates, 3 paddle-wheel steam corvettes, and 1 screw steam sloop. Total, 19 ships, carrying 1,004 guns.

CHANNEL SQUADRON IN 1858.
Royal Albertguns
121
screw 3-decker 500 H.P.Rear-Ad. Sir C. Fremantle.
Capt. E.B. Rice.
Caesar90screw 2-decker 400 do." C. Frederick.
Orion91" 600 do." E.C. D'Eyncourt.
Renown91" 800 do." A. Forbes.
Victor Emanuel91" 600 do." J. Wilcox.
Brunswick80" screw frigate 400 do." E. Ommaney.
Euryalus51" 400 do." J.W. Tarleton.
Diadem34" 800 do." W. Moorsom.
Racoon22screw corvette 400 do." J.A. Paynter.

All these, it will be seen, are screw ships, viz., 6 screw line of battle ships, 2 screw frigates, and 1 screw corvette. Total 9 ships, carrying 671 guns.

The Rattler was the first screw steamer built for the navy, and after proving the superiority of the screw propeller over the paddlewheel in a series of trials with the Alecto paddle-wheel steam sloop, was employed on the coast of Africa and China stations. On her return from China, her timbers being found very rotten, she was broken up at Woolwich, having served about twelve years in commission. A small screw steamer, called the Dwarf, built of iron, of about 160 tons, and 90 horse power, was employed about the same time (1844) as the Rattler, to determine by experiments the uses of the screw propeller. So successful were the trials of the Rattler and the Dwarf, that since the year 1847 all the new ships ordered to be built for the navy have been designed as screw-ships. This year (1858) has witnessed the order for the conversion into screw-ships of the last three sailing ships building, viz., the Royal Frederick [renamed Frederick William prior to launch], Windsor Castle, and Narcissus. The Barracouta, launched in 1851, is the last paddle-wheel steamer built for the navy, and it is very probable that a few years more will witness the extinction of sailing ships and paddle-wheel steamers from the navy list.

Screw Steam Line of Battle-Ships.— The term line of battle-ship will be here used according to its old designation, that is, to include only three deckers and two-deckers, but it is extremely probable if any more engagements take place between fleets at sea, that our new heavy ordnance screw frigates, will be admitted into the line of battle, their size and armament rendering them a match for any of the small screw two-deckers.

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 In com-
mission
for ac-
tive ser-
vice.
In com-
mission
for har-
bour
service.
In ordi-
nary.
Building
or
converting.
Ordered
to be
built.
   Total.   
Three-deckers24410
Two-deckers9131214351
Total11131618361
 

By this abstract it will be seen that we have 24 screw steam liners in commission, and in case of a war have 16 more to add to them, so that 40 screw ships would soon be ready to compose the different English fleets.

Screw Steam Three-Deckers.— Though only ten in number, these ships may be divided into several classes, according to their size and armament.

1st Class.—
• The Howe and the Victoria. Both these ships are now building — the first at Pembroke, and the other at Portsmouth. They are designed to carry 121 guns, none of less calibre than a 68-pounder, will be about 4600 tons, about 300 feet long, and 62 feet in breadth. Their engines will be of 1000 nominal horse power. They will be launched most probably in 1859.

2nd Class.—
Duke of Wellington, 131 guns, 3759 tons, 278 feet in length, 60 feet in breadth. Built at Pembroke in 1852. First designed as a sailing ship by Symonds, and afterwards lengthened and converted into a screw-ship by Walker. Fitted with engines of 700 horse power by Napier of Glasgow. This ship wras first called the Windsor Castle. She sails very fast, and steams 10 knots an hour. Weight of broadside 2360 lbs. Station, First-class steam reserve at Portsmouth.
Marlborough, 131 guns, 4000 tons, 283 feet in length, 61 feet in breadth. Built at Portsmouth 1855. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 800 horse power, by Maudsley. Complement 1,100 men. Station, flag ship of Vice-Admiral A. Fanshawe, in the Mediterranean. Captain Lord F.H. Kerr. Commissioned February, 1858.
Prince of Wales, to carry 131 guns, is now building at Portsmouth, and will be of the same size and dimensions as the Marlborough.
Royal Albert, 121 guns, 3462 tons, 270 feet in length, 60 feet in breadth. Built at Woolwich in 1854. Plan, first designed as a sailing ship by Lang, and altered into a screw ship by Walker. Fitted with engines of 500 horse power by Penn. Complement 1050 men. Station, flag ship of Rear-Admiral Sir C.H. Fremantle, commanding the channel squadron. Captain E.B. Rice. Commissioned August 1858.
Royal Sovereign, 131 guns, 3,760 tons, built at Portsmouth, 1857. Is of the same dimensions, and built after the same plan as the Duke of Wellington. Fitted with engines of 800 horse power. Station, fitting for the first-class steam reserve at Portsmouth.

3rd class.—
• Royal Frederick, 3099 tons. This ship has been built as a sailing ship, at Portsmouth, but never launched [renamed Frederick William prior to launch]. She is now ordered to be adapted for the screw propeller, and will then carry 101 guns. This ship is of the same proportions as the Windsor Castle.
Royal George, 102 guns, 2616 tons. Built as a sailing ship at Chatham, 1827. Plan after Caledonia. Converted into a screw ship at Chatham, 1853, on the plan of Lord John Hay. Had her poop removed in 1855. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power. Is a dull sailing ship, and steams 8 knots an hour. Station, first-class Steam Reserve at Sheerness.
Windsor Castle, 101 guns, 3099 tons, 246 feet in length, 60 feet in breadth. Built at Pembroke, 1858. First designed as a sailing ship by Symonds, but afterwards altered to a screw ship by Walker. This ship was formerly called the Victoria. Station, is having her engines fitted at Devonport.
Remarks. Of what use are these large three-deckers? They serve as capital accommodation ships for commanders-in-chief and their staff, and their heavy weight of broadside would doubtless be of service in a general action at sea. These large ships are very much disliked by good seamen on account of the heaviness of their spars. The Marlborough is the finest three-decker at present afloat. The Royal George has proved a failure, mostly on account of her rolling propensities, and would therefore be doubtless improved, if, like the other sailing three-deckers now converting, she was to have her upper-deck removed. The Windsor Castle will also most probably be found top-heavy. There has been a great deal said lately about the comparative merits of the English and French flag-ships, the Royal Albert and Bretagne, that met at Cherbourg, but it appears on investigation that the French ship is many hundred tons larger, carries 10 guns more, and is also manned by 200 men more than the English ship. The Bretagne is also fitted with engines of double the horse power of those belonging to the Royal Albert. Taking all these facts into consideration, and supposing the two ships manned by seamen of equal valour and determination, there is every reason to suppose, if a conflict took place, that the Bretagne would come off victorious. Mr. Lindsay's arguments to the contrary, are therefore to be looked upon as erroneous. Supposing, however, that these two ships manned by their present crews were to meet in battle, every Englishman firmly believes the Royal Albert would tow the Bretagne into Spithead, but that result would be obtained solely by the superior pluck and bravery of the British sailors. The Marlborough, Duke of Wellington, and Royal Sovereign are, however, as large as the Bretagne, and are in every respect much finer ships.

Screw Steam Two-Deckers.— These ships may for the sake of easier representation be divided into six classes.

1st. Class.—
Conqueror, 101 guns, 3283 tons. Built at Devonport 1855. Plan, Walker. Is a very fine ship, and both sails and steams fast. Is fitted with engines of 800 horse power. Complement 970 men. Station, Mediterranean. Captain H.R. Yelverton. Commissioned December, 1855.
St. Jean D'Acre, 101 guns, 3200 tons. Built at Devonport 1853. Plan, Walker. Is fitted with engines of 600 horse power. Is a fine ship, but does not sail or steam so fast as was expected. Station, first-class steam reserve at Devonport.
• The Donegal and the Gibraltar building at Devonport, and the Duncan building at Portsmouth are all intended to carry 101 guns. Plan, Walker, on improved lines of the Conqueror. They are each to be fitted with engines of 800 horse power. The Donegal is nearly ready for launch, but the others were only lately commenced.

2nd Class.—
Agamemnon, 91 guns, 3074 tons, 265 feet in length, and 55 feet in breadth. Built at Woolwich 1852. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 600 horse power. She is the first line-of-battle-ship built that was designed as a screw-ship. Sails and steams remarkably well. Has lately been fitted to carry the Atlantic Telegraph Cable, and requires a thorough overhaul and refit. Station, Portsmouth Steam Reserve.
Algiers, 91 guns, 3165 tons, 260 feet in length, and 55 feet in breadth. Built at Devonport, 1854. Plan, first designed as a sailing-vessel by Symonds, but afterwards lengthened and converted into a screw-ship by Walker. Fitted in 1857 with new engines of 600 horse power. Station, First-class Steam Reserve at Portsmouth.
Exmouth, 91 guns, 3108 tons. Built at Devonport, 1854. Is of the same dimensions and built after the same designs as the Algiers. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power. Complement, 450 men. Station, Guardship of the Steam Reserve at Devonport. Captain Robert S. Robinson. Commissioned February 1858.
Hannibal, 91 guns, 3136 tons. Built at Deptford 1854. Plan, the same as Algiers. Fitted with engines of 450 horse power. Complement, 450 men. Station, Guardship of the Steam Reserve at Portsmouth. Captain G.T. Gordon. Commissioned February, 1858.
Hero, 91 guns, 3148 tons, 264 feet in length, and 55 feet in breadth. Built at Chatham 1858. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 600 horse power. Has not yet been commissioned. Station, Sheerness Steam Reserve.
James Watt, 91 guns, 3083 tons, 265 feet in length, and 55 feet breadth. Built at Pembroke 1853. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 600 horse power, by Boulton and Watt. These engines proved, during her last commission, very defective. This ship was formerly called the Audacious. Station, Steam Reserve at Devonport.
Orion, 91 guns, 3281 tons, 275 feet in length, and 56 feet in breadth. Built at Chatham 1854. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 600 horse power, by Maudsley. Is a very splendid ship, and was the fastest sailing ship in the Baltic Fleet. Steams 12½ knots an hour. Complement, 860 men. Captain E.C.T. D'Eyncourt. Commissioned June 1858. Station, Channel Squadron.
Princess Royal, 91 guns, 3129 tons. Built at Portsmouth 1853. Plan, the same as the Algiers. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power, by Maudsley. Complement, 860 men. Captain T. Baillie. Commissioned July 1856. Station, Mediterranean.
Renown, 91 guns, 3317 tons, 280 feet in length, and 56 feet in breadth. Built at Chatham 1857. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 800 horse power, by Maudsley. Is the largest and finest two-decker in the navy. Complement, 860 men. Captain A. Forbes. Commissioned November 1857. Station, Channel Squadron.
Victor Emanuel, 91 guns, 3290 tons. Built at Pembroke 1855. Plan, Walker, after the Orion. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power, by Maudsley. This ship was formerly called the Repulse. Complement, 860 men. Captain James Willcox. Commissioned July 1858. Station, Channel Squadron.
• The Atlas and the Hood building at Chatham, the Edgar building at Woolwich, and the Defiance and the Revenge building at Pembroke, are all intended to carry 91 guns, and are building on the designs of the Renown and Orion.
• The following ships, to carry 91 guns, are ordered to be built, viz., the Anson at Woolwich, the Bulwark at Chatham, and the Zealous at Pembroke.

3rd Class.—
Aboukir, 90 guns, 2627 tons, 230 feet in length, and 54 feet in breadth. Built as a sailing ship at Devonport 1848. Plan, Symonds. Converted into a screw ship by Walker 1858. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power. Station, Steam Reserve at Devonport.
Caesar, 90 guns, 2761 tons. Built at Pembroke 1853. Plan, first designed as a sailing ship by Messrs. Chatfield, Creuze, and Read, but afterwards altered to a screw ship by Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power, by Maudsley. She is a fine wall-sided ship with a magnificent stern, and sails fast. Complement, 850 men. Captain C. Frederick. Commissioned June 1858. Station, Channel Squadron.
Nile, 90 guns, 2599 tons. Built as a sailing ship at Devonport 1839. Plan, Seppings. Converted into a screw ship at Devonport 1854, by Walker. Fitted with engines of 500 horse power. Compliment, 350 men. Station, Flagship at Queenstown. Captain Henry Chads. Commissioned March 1858.
• The following old sailing three-deckers have been ordered to be cut down and converted into 90 gun screw two-deckers, viz., Neptune, 2705 tons, at Portsmouth; Queen, 3083 tons, at Sheeness; St. George, 2719 tons, and Royal William, 2698 tons, at Devonport; and Trafalgar, 2694 tons, at Chatham.

4th Class.—
Brunswick, 80 guns, 2484 tons, 210 feet in length, and 55 feet in breadth. Built at Pembroke 1855. Plan, First designed as a sailing ship by Symonds, but afterwards altered to a screw ship by Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power. Complement, 750 men. Captain Erasmus Ommaney. Commissioned December 1855. Station, Channel squadron.
Centurion, 80 guns, 2590 tons. Built at Pembroke 1844, as a sailing ship. Plan, Symonds. Converted into a screw ship at Devonport 1855 by Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power. Complement, 750 men. Captain Sir G.N. Broke. Comissioned January 1856. Station, Mediterranean.
Colossus, 80 guns, 2589 tons. Built as a sailing ship at Pembroke 1848. Plan, Symonds. Converted into a screw ship at Portsmouth 1854 by Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power. Station, first class steam reserve at Sheerness.
Cressy, 80 guns, 2537 tons. Built at Chatham 1853. Plan, first designed as a sailing ship by Messrs. Chatfield, Creuze, and Read, but afterwards altered to a screw ship by Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power. Is a fast sailing ship. Complement, 420 men. Captain E.P. Halsted. Commissioned March 1858. Station, Guardship of the steam reserve at Sheerness.
Goliath, 80 guns, 2599 tons, 220 feet in length, and 57 feet in breadth. Built as a sailing ship at Chatham 1842. Plan, Symonds. Converted into a screw ship at Chatham 1857 by Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power. Station, Sheerness steam reserve.
Irresistible, 80 guns, is building at Chatham. Is of the same size, and after the same designs as the Majestic.
Lion, 80 guns, 2588 tons. Built as a sailing ship at Pembroke 1848. Plan, Symonds. Converted into a screw ship at Devonport 1858 by Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power. Station, steam reserve at Devonport.
Majestic, 80 guns, 2566 tons, 220 feet in length, and 54 feet in breadth. Built at Chatham 1853. Plan, designed as a sailing ship by Symonds, but afterwards altered to a screw ship by Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power. Station, Sheerness steam reserve.
Mars, 80 guns, 2576 tons. Built as a sailing ship at Chatham 1848. Plan, Symonds. Converted into a screw ship at Chatham 1856 by Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power. Station, Sheerness steam reserve.
Meeanee, 80 guns, 2600 tons. Built of teak as a sailing ship at Bombay 1849. Plan, Symonds. Converted into a screw ship at Sheerness 1858, by Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power. Station, Sheerness steam reserve. This ship was formerly called the Madras.

5th Class.—
Sans Pareil, 70 guns, 2334 tons, 200 feet long, and 52 feet beam. Built at Devonport 1851. Plan.— This ship was originally designed for an 84 gun sailing ship after the old Sans Pareil, but was altered into a screw ship by Walker. She was the first screw line of battle-ship built, and was for some time a failure, but having 10 of her guns taken away, and her engines being replaced with new machinery of 400 horse power, she is now found a serviceable vessel. Complement, 670 men. Captain Rochfort Maguire. Commissioned April 1855. Station, China.

6th Class.— Screw blockships.
Ajax, 60, 1761 tons, 176 feet long, 49 feet beam. Built as a sailing 74 gun ship at Blackwall 1809. Plan. Surveyors of the navy. Converted into a screw block ship, and fitted with a new bow by White, at Cowes, 1847. Fitted with engines of 450 horse power, by Maudsley. Is a dull sailing ship, and slow steamer. Complement, 328 men. Captain J. McNeil Boyd. Commissioned February 1858. Station, Coast Guard instruction ship at Kingstown.
Blenheim, 60 guns, 1747 tons, 181 feet long, and 49 feet beam. Built as a sailing 74 gun ship at Deptford 1813. Plan.— Surveyors of the navy. Converted into a screw block ship at Sheerness 1846, by Symonds. Fitted with engines of 450 horse power, by Seaward. Is a slow sailing and steam ship. Complement, 328 men. Captain Francis Scott. Commissioned February 1858. Station, Coast Guard ship at Portland.
Cornwallis, 60 guns, 1809 tons, 184 feet long, and 50 feet beam. Built of teak as a 74-gun sailing ship at Bombay. Converted into a screw block ship at Devonport 1855, by Walker. Fitted with high pressure engines of 200 horse power. Is a dull sailing and steam ship. Complement, 328 men. Captain George G. Randolph. Commissioned December 1855. Station, Coast Guard ship at Hull.
Edinburgh, 60 guns, 1772 tons, 180 feet long, and 49 feet beam. Built as a 74-gun sailing ship at Rotherhithe 1811. Converted into a screw block ship at Portsmouth 1849 by Lord John Hay. Fitted with engines of 450 horse power. Is the most serviceable of the block ships. Complement, 328 men. Captain Honorable Swynfen T. Carnegie. Commissioned March 1858. Station, Coast Guard ship at Leith.
Hastings, 60 guns, 1763 tons, 182 feet long, and 49 feet beam. Built of teak as a 74-gun sailing ship at Calcutta, 1818. Converted into a screw block ship at Portsmouth 1855, by Walker. Fitted with high pressure engines of 200 horse power. Complement, 328 men. Captain W.R. Mends. Commissioned April 1857. Station, Coast Guard instruction ship at Liverpool.
Hawke, 60 guns, 1754 tons, 182 feet long, and 49 feet beam. Built as a 74 gun sailing ship at Woolwich 1820. Plan.— Reduced Christian VII. Converted into a screw block ship at Chatham 1855, by Walker. Fitted with high pressure engines of 200 horse power. Complement, 328 men. Captain W. Crispin. Commissioned December 1856. Station, Coast Guard instruction ship at Queenstown.
Hogue, 60 guns, 1750 tons, 184 feet long, and 48 feet beam. Built as a 74-gun sailing ship at Deptford 1811. Converted into a screw block ship at Blackwall 1847, by Symonds. Fitted with engines of 450 horse power, by Seaward. Is a good sailing ship, and steams well for a block ship. Complement, 328 men. Captain J. Moore. Commissioned March 1858. Station, Coast Guard instruction ship in the Clyde.
Pembroke, 60 guns, 1758 tons, 182 feet long, and 49 feet beam. Built as a 74-gun sailing ship at Blackwall 1812. Converted into a screw block ship at Portsmouth 1855, by Walker. Fitted with high pressure engines of 200 horse power. Complement 328 men. Captain E.P. Charlewood. Commissioned March 1858. Station, Coast Guard instruction ship at Harwich.
Russel, 60 guns, 1751 tons, 182 feet long, and 49 feet beam. Built as a 74-gun sailing ship at Deptford 1822. Converted into a screw block ship at Sheerness 1855, by Walker. Fitted with high-pressure engines of 200 horse power. Complement, 328 men. Captain H.A. Storey. Commissioned February 1858. Station, Coast Guard instruction ship at Falmouth.

Remarks.— The Conqueror, Renown, Orion, and Victor Emanuel are the finest of our screw two-deckers; they are all fast sailing ships, and steam 11½ knots an hour. The ships included in the first four classes, carrying from 80 to 100 guns each, are very good ships of which to compose fleets, but, owing to their large size and great draught of water, they cannot be employed in harassing the enemy's coast and destroying forts. During the late Russian war the Agamemnon and the Sans Pareil were the only large screw ships that were brought into action at the bombardment of Sebastopol. The small screw block ships were found the most serviceable in the Baltic; their small draught of water enabled their being taken up to Bomarsund, and also to engage the forts at Sweaborg, while our fine screw two-deckers, and even our fine 50-gun screw frigates were found too large for these services. Experience should, therefore, have taught us, that while gradually increasing the number of our large two-deckers, of which, to form fleets to meet the enemy at sea or blockade his fleet in harbour, we ought at the same time to have built smaller two-deckers, improving on the construction of the old block ships, so as to make them sail and steam fast, and also to be of a light draught of water. These small ships would, in any future war, be found of infinite service in backing up our gunboats while attacking forts, &c. At present the new screw frigates building are nearly double the size of the old block ships, and will consequently draw a great deal more water. The real fact seems to be, that Sir B. Walker, while increasing the size of our ships, augmenting their weight of metal, and fitting them with engines of enormous horse power, has forgotten that these improvements will only be found useful if the enemy is met at sea, and that if he chooses to stop in port, as will most likely be the case in future wars unless the combatants are very evenly matched, all these improvements will only add to the difficulty of getting at him. Sir B. Walker has overlooked the great value of a light draught of water, which is almost as essential as speed and a heavy armament. The new 22-gun screw corvettes draw nearly as much water as the old block ships, and they are certainly not fit ships to engage a heavily armed fort. The following abstract will be found pretty accurate in showing the draught of water in screw ships:—

Screw three-deckers, as Duke of Wellington,draw from 34 to 36 feet
Screw two-deckers, as Renown, &c." 32 " 35 "
Ditto as Brunswick" 28 " 32 "
Screw block ships, as Blenheim" 21 " 23 "
Screw frigates, as Orlando" 30 " 32 "
Ditto as Euryalus" 23 " 26 "
Ditto as Arrogant" 19 " 22 "
Ditto as Dauntless" 17 " 20 "
Screw Corvettes, as Highflyer" 17 " 20 "

The conversion of the 80-gun sailing ships, as Colossus, into screw ships, has succeeded so well that it is hoped Sir B. Walker will complete the task by converting the Collingwood, Superb, and Vanguard. Their conversion will be much more economical than building new ships.

[1858, part III; pages 349-358]

Screw Steam Frigates and Corvettes.— These ships carry from 15 guns up to 51 guns. The frigates have their principal battery on the main deck, whilst the corvettes carry all their guns on the upper deck. These vessels are always commanded by captains.

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 In Com. for
Active Ser.
In Com. for
Harbour Ser.
In Ordinary.Building.Ordered
to be built.
   Total   
Screw Frigates61135126
Screw Corvettes10094225
Total161229351
 

Screw Steam Frigates.— These ships will be divided into four classes.

1st Class— Heavy Ordance Screw Frigates.
Diadem, 32 guns, 2479 tons, 240 feet in length, and 48 feet beam. Built at Pembroke, 1856. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 800 horse-power, by Maudslay. Has Griffiths' screw propeller. Average speed 12½ knots an hour. Draws 22 feet of water. Armament as follows: Main deck, 20 10-inch shell guns of 87 cwt. Upper deck, 10 32-pounders of 53 cwt., and 2 68-pounder pivot guns of 95 cwt. Complement, 470 men. Captain, William Moorsom. Commissioned, Aug., 1857. Station, Channel Squadron.
Doris, 32 guns. Of exactly similar dimensions to the Diadem. Built at Pembroke, 1857. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 800 horse-power. Station, First-class Steam Reserve at Devonport.
Mersey, 40 guns, 3726 tons, 336 feet in length, and 52 feet beam. Built at Chatham, 1858. Plan, Walker. Is being fitted with engines of 1000 horse-power, by Maudslay. This ship is reported to carry 40 guns, all 68-poundera of 95 cwt. Station, fitting for Commission at Portsmouth.
Orlando, 50 guns, 3700 tons, 330 feet in length, and 52 feet beam. Built at Pembroke, 1858. Plan, Walker. Is fitted with engines of 1000 horse-power, by Mandalay. It is not known what armament this ship will carry, as, when first designed, it was stated to be 36 guns, whateas the Navy List has now altered it to 50 guns. Station fitting for Commission at Devonport.
• The Ariadne, now building at Deptford, it is stated, will carry 32 guns, have engines of 800 horse-power, and the same armament as the Diadem.
• The Galatea is now building at Woolwich. Her dimensions, &c., are reported to be as follows: 3204 tons, 280 feet in length, and 50 feet beam. Depth of hold, 19 feet. To carry 26 guns, all 68-pounders. To oe fitted with engines of 800 horse-power. Both these vessels are designed by Sir B. Walker.

2nd Class—
Chesapeake, 51 guns, 2384 tons, 218 feet in length, and 50 feet beam. Built at Chatham, 1855. Plan, Walker. Is fitted with engines of 400 horse-power. Steams 10½ knots an hour. Complement, 550 men. Commodore, Harry E. Edgell. Commissioned July, 1857. Station, East Indies.
• Emerald, 51 guns, 2913 tons, 237 feet in length, and 53½ feet beam. Built at Deptford, 1856. Plan, originally designed as a 60-gun sailing frigate, but afterwards lengthened 32 feet, and converted into a screw ship by Walker. Fitted with engines of 600 horsepower. Average speed 13 knots. Has not yet been in commission, but is a very fine ship. Station, First-Class Steam Reserve at Sheerness.
• Euryalus, 51 guns, 2371 tons, 218 feet in length, and 50 feet beam. Built at Chatham, 1853. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power. Is one of our crack frigates, and both sails and steams very fast. Complement, 550 men. Captain, J.W. Tarleton. Commissioned February, 1858. Station, Channel Squadron. This ship has been commissioned and fitted expressly for the use of H.R.H. Prince Alfred, who is appointed to her as naval cadet. On his joining, she will proceed to the Mediterranean, and. afterwards round the world.
• Forte, 51 guns, 2355 tons, 212 feet in length, and 50 feet beam. Built at Deptford, 1858. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power, by Maudslay. Station, Sheerness Steam Reserve.
• Immortalité, 51 guns, 2860 tons, 235 feet in length, and 53 feet beam. Built at Pembroke, 1858. Plan, Walker, as Emerald. Is to be fitted with engines of 600 horse-power. Station, is ordered to be taken round from Pembroke to Portsmouth, to be fitted for commission.
• Impérieuse, 51 guns, 2357 tons, 212 feet in length, and 50 feet beam. Built at Deptford, 1852. Plan, first designed as a 60-gun sailing frigate, but afterwards converted into a screw frigate by Walker. Fitted with engines of 350 horse-power by Penn. Is a favourite ship, and sails and steams well. Station, First-class Steam Reserve at Portsmouth.
• Liffey, 51 guns, 2658 tons, 237 feet in length, and 50 feet beam. Built at Devonport, 1856. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 600 horse-power. Station, First Class Steam Reserve at Devonport.
• Melpomene, 51 guns, 2857 tons, 237 feet in length, and 53 feet beam. Built at Pembroke, 1857. Plan, Walker, as Emerald. Fitted with engines of 600 horse-power. Station, Portsmouth Steam Reserve.
• Shannon, 51 guns, 2667 tons, 235 feet in length, and 50 feet beam. Built at Portsmouth, 1855. Plan, Walker, fitted with engines of 600 horse-power by Maudslay. Sails and steams fast. Complement, 570 men. Captain F. Marten (acting), commissioned September, 1856. Station, is ordered home from the East Indies. The crew of this ship, whilst forming part of the Naval Brigade in India under their late Captain, the lamented Sir William Peel, have added greatly to the laurels of the old Shannon.
• Topaze, 51 guns, 2651 tons, 237 feet in length, and 50 feet beam. Built at Devonport, 1858. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 600 horse-power by Maudslay. Station, Devonport Steam Reserve.

The following 51 gun screw frigates are now building:—
• The Aurora, at Pembroke, as Euryalus, and to have engines of 400 horse-power. Nearly finished.
• The Bacchante, at Portsmouth, as Shannon, and to have engines of 600 horse-power. Ready to launch.
• The Narcissus, at Devonport, as Emerald. Half finished.
• The Undaunted, screw frigate, to carry 51 guns, is ordered to be built at Chatham.

3rd Class—
Arrogant, 47 guns, 1872 tons, 200 feet in length, and 45 feet 9 inches beam. Depth of hold 29½ feet. Built at Portsmouth, 1848. Plan, Fincham. Fitted with engines of 360 horsepower by Penn. Average speed 8 knots an hour. Armament— Main-deck 12 8-inch guns and 18 32-pounders, upper deck 16 32-pounders, and 1 68-pounder pivot gun. Complement, 328 men. Captain Leopold G. Heath. Commissioned, March, 1858. Station, Coast Guard Instruction Ship at Southampton.

4th Class—
Amphion, 36 guns, 1474 tons, 177 feet in length, and 43 feet beam. Built at Woolwich, 1846. Plan, originally designed as a sailing frigate, like the Castor by Seppings, but afterwards fitted with White's bow, and converted into a screw frigate by Symonds. Is fitted with Count Rosen's engines of 300 horse-power, by Miller and Ravenhill. Average speed 7 knots an hour. Sails very well. Station, refitting at Chatham.
Curacoa, 31 guns, 1569 tons, 210 feet in length, and 42 feet beam. Built at Pembroke, 1854. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 300 horse-power. Sails fast, and steams 10½ knots an hour. Complement, 350 mon. Captain, Thomas H. Mason. Commissioned, November, 1857. Station, Mediterranean.
Dauntless, 31 guns, 1569 tons, 218 feet in length, and 40 feet beam. Built at Portsmouth, 1848. Plan, Fincham. Fitted with engines of 580 horse-power, by Napier. Is a fast sailing ship, and steams 10½ knots an hour. Station, First-Class Steam Reserve at Portsmouth.
Termagant, 25 guns, 1547 tons, 210 feet in length, and 40½ feet beam; depth of hold, 25 feet; built at Deptford, 1848. Plan, White. Fitted with engines of 310 horse-power, by Seaward and Capel. Armament.— Main deck, 18 32-pounders; upper deck, 6 8-inch guns and 1 68-pounder pivot gun. During her first commission she had engines of 620 horse-power, and attained an average speed of 9½ knots an hour; but these being found too heavy for her, they were reduced to one half. Station, Portsmouth Steam Reserve.
Tribune, 31 guns, 1570 tons. Built at Sheerness, 1853. Plan, first designed as a 28-gun sailing frigate, by Symonds, and afterwards converted into a screw frigate, by Walker. Fitted with engines of 300 horse-power. Sails and steams fast. Complement, 350 men. Captain, Geoffrey T.P. Hornby. Commissioned, June, 1856. Station, is ordered from China to the Pacific.

Remarks.— The first-class or heavy ordnance screw frigates were built to compete with the celebrated American screw frigates, and it may therefore be interesting, for the sake of comparison, to note the dimensions, &c., of some of these latter.
U.S. Screw Frigate "Roanoke."
317 feet in length.
54 feet in breadth.
40 feet depth of hold.
5000 tons (American.)
Armt.— Gun-deck, 24 9-in. guns.   
Spar-deck, 16 8-in. guns.
2 10-in. piv.guns.
Total 42 guns.
U.S. Screw Frigate "Niagara."
375 feet in length.
56½ feet in breadth.
32½ feet depth of hold.
5200 tons (American.)
Armt.— 12 11-inch Dahlgren guns.
These ships and others of the same class are the first screw steam frigates built by the Americans, and in imitating them Sir B. Walker has gone back at least ten years; as these ships are in fact only the "Conflict" and the "Desperate" on a larger scale.

The chief superiority of these ships lies in their being able, by their enormous horse-power, to keep at long range distance from an enemy, and pummel him by means of their heavy guns. Now it was a maxim of Lord Nelson, that a captain could never do wrong to lay his ship alongside the enemy, and get to close quarters aa soon as possible; and this was founded on his knowledge of the superior pluck and bravery of the English over the French sailors. That this superiority still continues, most of the officers who served ia the Baltic and Black Sea fleets will doubtless testify to; and the above maxim should hold good at the present time, as well as half-a-century ago.

In fighting at long range we thus give up an advantage, and put the enemy's crew more on an equality with our own. During ths late war there were but few instances when the long range firing from a ship answered satisfactorily. It is all very well to begin an action with heavy guns, but to end successfully it must be quickly followed up by the discharge of a powerful broadside at close quarters. A ship of large tonnage should carry such an armament as to overpower a ship of smaller size. Now the "Mersey" and "Orlando" are nearly equal in size to the "Duke of Wellington," screw 3-decker, and 400 tons larger than the "Renown," 91, screw 2-decker; but a captain of one of the above frigates would hardly venture on a close action with either of these line-of-battle ships, if belonging to an enemy. At long range, the frigates might possibly annoy the line-of-battle ships, but they could not hope to bring the fight to a successful issue. As regards the American screw frigates, the late Sir W. Peel is reported to have said that, in case of an action, he had no doubt the present "Shannon" would give as good an account of the "Merrimac," as the old "Shannon" did of the "Chesapeake." The inutility of building such large frigates is well shown in the case of the U.S. screw frigate, "Minnesota," which lately went to China, and was found to draw so much water that she could not approach near enough to the land to overawe the Celestials, The aid of steam ought to be given to an English vessel of war, for the purpose of bringing an enemy of equal size to action, and only to avoid close quarters in case of great superiority on the part of the enemy. The second class of screw frigates are all very fine ships, and seem to possess all the attributes required of a frigate except a light draught of water. Some of these ships, as the "Emerald," "Shannon," &c., are quite a match for any of the smaller line-of-battle ships. Of the third class, the " Arrogant" has already proved herself a most useful ship, as, during the late Russian war, her name was mentioned the most frequently in the Gazette, The "Amphion" was also most actively employed in the Baltic, and the "Curaçoa," "Dauntless," and "Tribune" were of great service in the Black Sea. One would suppose that whatever little experience may have been gained during the late war, that the Admiralty would still have taken advantage of it. But it is quite the contrary. For while the "Imperieuse" and "Euryalus" were not engaged actively with the enemy more than once or twice, the "Arrogant" and "Amphion" were constantly getting under fire. Since the war, the Admiralty have ordered several screw frigates to be built, all larger than the "Euryalus," and not one that could take the place of the "Arrogant," or "Amphion," if required. Any casual reader will doubtless be astonished to see the total number of screw line-of-battle ships at 61, whilst the total number of screw frigates is only 26. The former having only to protect the shores of England and the Mediterranean, whilst the latter have in addition, to defend our colonies and our trade in all parts of the world. It is high time that this mania for building large ships should be put a stop to, and that we should build some small useful screw frigates, as the "Tribune" and "Arrogant," instead. Sir B. Walker ought also to endeavour to convert some of our new sailing frigates — as the "Constance," "Indefatigable," "Leander," "Nankin," "Octavia," "Phaeton," "Phoebe," and "Sutlej," into screw ships, as they have only been built a few years, and will never again be commissioned as sailing ships.

Screw Steam Corvettes.— These vessels may be divided into 3 classes.

1st Class—
Challenger, 22 guns, 1465 tons, 200 feet in length, and 42 feet beam. Built at Woolwich, 1858. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power. Station, Sheerness Steam Reserve.
Clio, 22 guns, 1471 tons, 200 feet in length, and 40 feet beam. Built at Sheerness, 1858. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power. Station, Sheerness Steam Reserve.
Racoon, 22 guns, 1462 tons, 200 feet in length, and 42 feet beam. Built at Chatham, 1857. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power. Armament.— Gun-deck, 20 68-pounders, Spardeck, 2 68-pounders, of 95 cwt. pivot guns. Sails very badly, and steams 10 knots an hour. Complement, 260 men. Captain, James Aylmer Paynter. Commissioned, November, 1857. Station, Channel Squadron.

The following screw-corvettes are building:—
• The Barrossa, at Woolwich. Just commenced.
• The Charybdis, at Chatham. Ready to launch.
• The Jason, at Devonport. Just commenced.
• The Orpheus, at Chatham. Half finished.

• The Stork, screw corvette, is ordered to be built at Sheerness, and the Wolverene, screw corvette, is ordered to be built at Woolwich.

2nd Class—
Cadmus, 21 guns, 1461 tons. Built at Chatham, 1856. Plan, Walker, as Pearl. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power. Has not yet been commissioned. Station, fitting for commission at Chatham.
Cossack, 21 guns, 1388 tons. Built at Northfleet, 1854. Plan, Pitcher. This vessel being built for the Russian Government, was seized at the commencement of the late war, and bought into the Navy. Is fitted with engines of 250 horse-power. Station, Third Class Steam Reserve, at Sheerness.
Esk, 21 guns, 1154 tons. Built at Millwall, by Scott Russell, 1854. Plan, Walker, as Highflyer. Fitted with engines of 250 horse-power, by Scott Russell. Complement, 240 men. Captain, Sir Robert Le M. Mc'Clure, Kt. Commissioned, March, 1856. Station, China.
Highflyer, 21 guns, 1153 tons, 192 feet in length, and 36 feet beam. Depth of hold, 22½ feet. Built at Blackwall, 1851. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 250 horse-power, by Maudslay. Complement, 240 men. Captain, C.F.A. Shadwell. Commissioned, August, 1856. Station, China.
Pearl, 21 guns, 1461 tons, 200 feet in length, and 40 feet beam. Built at Woolwich, 1855. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power. Steams 11½ knots an hour. Complement, 260 men. Captain, Edward Southwell Sotheby, C.B. Commissioned, December, 1855. Station, East Indies.
Pelorus, 21 guns, 1473 tons. Built at Devonport, 1857. Plan, Walker, as Pearl. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power. Complement, 260 men. Captain Frederick Beauchamp Paget Seymour. Commissioned, July, 1857. Station, East Indies.
Pylades, 21 guns, 1282 tons, 198 feet in length, and 88 feet beam. Built at Sheerness, 1854. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 350 horse-power, by Penn. Draught of Water, aft 19 feet, and forward 17 feet. Stows, water 45 tons, salt provisions for 7 months, and bread for 3 months. Armament.— Upper deck, 20 8-inch guns, of 56 cwt., and 9 feet long, and 1 68-pounder of 95 cwt., and 10 feet long pivot gun. Complement, Officers, 29, Petty Officers, 39, Seamen, 112, Boys, 31, and Marines 29. Total 240 men. Captain Michael De Courcey. Commissioned July, 1857. Station, is refitting at Calcutta, previous to proceeding to the Pacific.
Satellite, 21 guns, 1465 tons. Built at Devonport, 1855. Plan, Walker, as Pearl. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power. Complement, 260 men. Captain, James C. Prevost. Commissioned, September, 1856. Station, off Vancouver's Island, in the Pacific.
Scout, 21 guns, 1462 tons. Built at Woolwich, 1856. Plan, Walker, as Pearl. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power. Never in commission. Station, First Class Steam Reserve at Sheerness.
Scylla, 21 guns, 1460 tons. Built at Sheerness, 1856. Plan Walker, as Pearl. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power. Not yet commissioned. Station, Sheerness Steam Reserve.
Tartar, 21 guns, 1889 tons. Built at Northfleet, 1854. Plan, Pitcher. Fitted with engines of 250 horse-power. Seized in 1854, like the Cossack. Complement, 240 men. Captain, Hugh Dunlop. Commissioned, October, 1854. Station, West Indies.

3rd class—
Archer, 15 guns, 970 tons, 180 feet in length, and 33 feet beam. Built at Deptford, 1849. Plan, Lord John Hay. Fitted with engines of 200 horse power by Miller and Ravenhill. Sails well, and steams eight knots an hour. Complement 175 men. Captain, John Sanderson. Commissioned, May 1858. Station, West Coast of Africa.
Encounter, 15 guns, 953 tons, 190 feet in length, and 32 feet beam. Depth of hold 20 feet 10 inches. Built at Pembroke, 1846. Plan, Fincham. Fitted with engines of 360 horse power by Penn. This has been a very successful vessel, sails very fast, and steams ten and a half knots an hour. Draught of water 12½ feet. Station, refitting at Devonport.
Malacca, 17 guns, 1062 tons. Built of teak at Moulmein, 1853. Plan, Ladd. Fitted with high pressure engines of 200 horse power. This vessel sails well, but can only steam 7 knots an hour. Station, Third Class Steam Reserve at Sheerness.
Miranda, 15 guns, 1062 tons, 196 feet in length, and 34 feet beam. Built at Sheerness, 1851. Plan, Fincham. Fitted with engines of 250 horse power by Napier. Sails wells, and steams 10½ knots an hour. Station, refitting at Sheerness.
Niger, 15 guns, 1072 tons, 194 feet in length, and 34 feet beam. Built at Woolwich, 1848. Plan, Lang. Fitted with engines of 400 horse power by Maudslay. Sails and steams well. Complement 175 men. Captain, Peter Cracroft. Commissioned, May, 1856. Station, China.

Remarks.— The Archer, Encounter, and Niger, were the first screw steam corvettes built, and these being found to answer well, most especially the Encounter, it was determined by the Admiralty to improve upon them, and the Highflyer was ordered to be built by Mare, of Blackwall. The Highflyer was tried in the channel squadron against the Dauntless screw frigate, and notwithstanding she sailed worse and steamed slower than the Dauntless, yet the Highflyer was considered the most serviceable vessel, and several corvettes were ordered to be built on her lines, whilst two frigates previously ordered to be built after the Dauntless were erased from the navy list. The Esk, Pylades, and Pearl, screw corvettes, then successively made their appearance, and were said to be improvements on the Highflyer. Towards the conclusion of the Russian war, however, representations were made to the Admiralty by the captains of some of the above corvettes, that in case of close action they feared the guns of those ships would be disabled by the falling of the spars. Here was an alarming oversight, and forthwith out came an order to build four new screw corvettes, each to be fitted with a spar deck, which was to be so strengthened at each end as to bear the weight of a 68-pounder pivot gun. One of these, what may be termed "Abortion frigates," called the Racoon, was ordered to be built post-haste, and made her first appearance in the channel squadron of this year. The Racoon is now found to be top-heavy, to be a regular slow coach under sail, and to steam only 10 knots an hour, whilst the Pearl, of which she was supposed to be an improvement, steams 11½ knots an hour. This was a horrible failure, and more especially so since three other corvettes have been built on the same lines, and will doubtless prove as unsuccessful. What was the cause of this failure? Oh! doubtless, the Racoon was too short and too broad, so new designs were prepared for a screw corvette, which was to be 25 feet longer, 2 feet less beam, and 160 tons larger, and the Orpheus is being rapidly built at Chatham. Sir B. Walker is, however, afraid that the Orpheus is hardly long enough, and so gets another order from the Admiralty to build the Barrossa screw corvette at Woolwich, which is to be 50 feet longer than the Racoon. Now this mode of ship building is more after the extravagant Symondite days, when every amateur was permitted to try his hand at building ships of war, and which Sir B. Walker put an end to on his becoming Surveyor of the Navy. Small screw frigates would prove much more efficient, would steam as fast and sail better than these large screw corvettes, which have all proved bad sailing vessels. Doubtless, the accommodation for the officers is much better in the corvettes, but there are more important considerations than comfort to be thought of in building a ship of war. The Miranda, Encounter, and Niger, have proved to be of great service in the White Sea, Sea of Azoff, and in the Canton River, as their light draught of water permitted them to go where the larger corvettes could not. This ought to be a recommendation to the Admiralty to build some more vessels on their lines.

Screw Steam Mortar Ships and Floating Batteries.— These vessels were all altered or constructed to meet the requirements of the late Russian war, but none of them have as yet been actively engaged. They are commanded by captains, when in commission.

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 In Com. for
Active Ser.
In Com. for
Harbour Ser.
In Ordinary.Building.Ordered to
be built.
   Total.   
Screw Mortar Ships004004
Screw Floating Batteries017008
Total01110113
 

Screw Mortar Ships.— These vessels were originally built as 44-gun sailing frigates, but were converted by Sir B. Walker into screw ships, and fitted to carry two large mortars, and from 8 to 12 guns each.
Eurotas, 12 guns, 1168 tons. Built at Chatham, 1829. Converted into a screw mortar ship at Sheerness, 1855. Plan, after French frigate President. Fitted with high pressure engines of 200 horse-power. Station, Sheerness.
Forth, 12 guns, 1228 tons. Built at Pembroke, 1833. Converted into a screw mortar ship at Devonport, 1855. Plan, after President, French frigate. Fitted with high pressure engines of 200 horse-power. Station, Devonport.
Horatio, 8 guns, 1090 tons, 154 feet in length, and 40 feet beam. Built at Bursledon, 1807. Plan, after Lively, frigate. Converted into a screw ship at Chatham, 1851, by Lord John Hay. Lengthened and fitted as a mortar ship at Sheerness, 1855, by Walker. Fitted with engines of 250 horse-power, by Seaward and Capel. Sails and steams badly. Has very bad accommodation for her crew. Station, Third Class Steam Reserve at Sheerness.
Seahorse, 12 guns, 1212 tons. Built at Pembroke, 1830. Converted into a screw mortar ship at Devonport, 1855. Plan, after President, French frigate. Fitted with high pressure engines of 200 horse-power. Station, Devonport.

Remarks.— It reflects a great disgrace on the Admiralty that the above vessels are the only steam mortar ships at present belonging to the navy. These old frigates were never built to carry such a heavy armament, and their accommodation below is almost unbearable whilst the ship is under steam. At the commencement of the late war, the navy did not contain a single mortar vessel, and the Admiralty contented themselves with fitting four old sailing frigates as screw mortar ships, and in building upwards of 100 sailing mortar boats. France, on the contrary, set to, and constructed some very serviceable screw mortar vessels, which proved of much more use at Sweaborg than our sailing tubs. It is high time that England should follow the French example, and build some new screw mortar vessels, or else, at the beginning of our next war, we shall be as unprepared as in 1854.

Screw Steam Floating Batteries.— These may be divided into two classes.

1st Class—
Ætna, 16 guns, 2000 tons, 186 feet in length, 48½ feet beam, and 18½ feet depth of hold. Built at Chatham, 1856. Plan, Walker. Fitted with high pressure engines of 200 horse-power. This ship is framed and plated like an iron ship, then six inches of teak, and outside of all, plates of iron four inches thick. She is spoon bowed, and her bottom is nearly flat. Draught of water, 9 feet. Has not yet been commissioned. Station, Steam Reserve at Chatham.
Erebus, 16 guns, 2000 tons. Built at Glasgow, by Napier, 1856. Plan, Walker, as Ætna. Fitted with high pressure engines of 200 horse-power. Station, Portsmouth Steam Reserve.
Terror, 16 guns, 2000 tons. Built at Newcastle, by Messrs. Palmer, 1856. Plan, Walker, as Ætna. Fitted with high pressure engines of 200 horse-power. Complement, 75 men. Captain, Frederick Hutton. Commissioned, May, 1857. Station, Bermuda.
Thunderbolt, 16 guns, 2000 tons. Built at Millwall, by Messrs. Samuda, 1856. Plan, Walker, as Ætna. Fitted with high pressure engines of 200 horse power. Station, Steam Reserve at Chatham.

2nd Class—
Glatton, 14 guns, 1469 tons, 172 feet in length, 44 feet beam, and 14 feet depth of hold. Built at Blackwall, 1855. Plan, Walker. Fitted with high pressure engines of 150 horse-power. Draught of water, 8 feet. Station, Portsmouth Steam Reserve.
Meteor, 14 guns, 1470 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1855. Plan, Walker, as Glatton. Fitted with high pressure engines of 150 horse-power. Station, Portsmouth Steam Reserve.
Thunder, 14 guns, 1470 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1855. Plan, Walker, as Glatton. Fitted with high pressure engines of 150 horse-power. Station, Steam Reserve at Chatham.
Trusty, 14 guns, 1468 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1855. Plan, Walker, as Glatton. Fitted with high pressure engines of 150 horse-power. Station, Steam Reserve at Chatham.

Remarks.— These batteries have not yet been tried in action to prove their utility. Recent experiments have rather shown that the iron plates will not always offer resistance to heavy shot. Experienced naval officers seem to think that they will be more useful in defending our ports, than in attacking the fortifications of an enemy. Their speed is only 4 knots an hour.

[1858, part III, pages 564-574]

Screw Steam Sloops and Schooners.— These kind of vessels are not nearly so numerous as might be expected, considering their great usefulness and efficiency. This may, however, be somewhat accounted for by the large number of small Paddle-wheel Steamers, but as these latter become unserviceable they will be replaced by Screw Steam Vessels.

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 In Commision
for
Active Service.
In Commis-
sion for
Harbour
Service.
In
Ordinary.
Building.Ordered
to be
built.
   Total   
Screw Sloops1466329
Screw Schooners134
Total1467633
 

Screw Steam Sloops.— These ships are usually commanded by Commanders, but when required for "particular service," Captains, have sometimes been appointed to command them.
Such is now the case with the Plumper, commanded by Captain Richards, engaged in surveying the disputed Oregon territory. It will be useful to separate these vessels into five classes.

1st Class.— Heavy Ordnance Screw Sloops.
Conflict, 8 guns, 1038 tons, 192½ feet in length, and 34 feet beam. Built at Pembroke, 1846. Plan, Symonds. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power, by Seaward and Capel. Steams 10 knots an hour. Complement, 165 men. Commander, Richard W. Courtenay. Commissioned, August, 1857. Station, West Coast of Africa.
Desperate, 8 guns, 1111 tons, 196 feet in length, and 34 feet beam. Built at Pembroke, 1849. Plan, Symonds. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power, by Maudslay. Steams fast. Armament, six eight inch guns, and two long 68 pounder pivot guns. Complement, 165 men. Commander, Robert George Craigie. Commissioned, January, 1855. Station, Mediterranean.

2nd. Class.—
Alert, 17 guns, 752 tons, 188 feet in length, and 32 feet beam. Built at Pembroke, 1856. Plan, Walker, as Hornet. Fitted with engines of 100 horse-power. Sails well, and steams 8 knots an hour. Complement, 165 men. Commander, William A. R. Pearse. Commissioned, November, 1857. Station, Pacific.
Brisk, 15 guns, 1074 tons, 193 feet in length, and 35 feet beam. Built at Woolwich, 1851. Plan, Committee of Reference. Is fitted with engines of 250 horse-power, by Scott and Sinclair. Sails and Steams well. Station, first class Steam Reserve at Devonport.
Cruiser, 17 guns, 750 tons. Built at Deptford, 1852. Plan, Lord John Hay. Fitted with engines of 60 horse-power. Sails fast, but only steams 5 knots an hour. Complement, 165 men. Commander, John Bythesea. Commissioned, August, 1856. Station, China.
Falcon, 17 guns, 747 tons. Built at Pembroke, 1854. Plan, Walker, as Hornet. Is fitted with engines of 100 horse-power. Sails fast. Station, first-class Steam Reserve at Portsmouth.
Fawn, 17 guns, 751 tons. Built at Deptford, 1856. Plan, Walker, as Hornet. Is fitted with engines of 100 horse-power. Station, fitting for commission at Sheerness.
Harrier, 17 guns, 745 tons. Built at Pembroke, 1854. Plan, Walker, as Hornet. Is fitted with engines of 100 horse-power. Sails well, and steams 8 knots an hour. Complement, 165 men Commander, Sir Malcolm McGregor. Commissioned, August, 1854. Station, S. E. Coast of America.
Hornet, 17 guns, 751 tons, 186 feet in length, and 32 feet beam Built at Deptford, 1851. Plan, Walker. Is fitted with engines of 100 horse-power. Has been found a very useful vessel during the late Chinese war. Complement, 165 men. Commander, The Right Hon. Richard James, Viscount Gilford. Commissioned, May, 1854. Station, Is ordered home from China.
Wasp, 13 guns, 970 tons, 180 feet in length, and 34 feet beam. Built at Deptford, 1850. Plan, Lord John Hay. Is fitted with engines of 100 horse-power, by Miller and Ravenhill. Complement, 165 men. Commander, Frederick H. Stirling. Commissioned, July, 1856. Station, S. E. Coast of America.

The following Screw Sloops, to carry 17 guns, and to be fitted with engines of 200 horse-power, are now building:
Camelion, at Deptford; nearly finished.
Greyhound, at Pembroke; half finished.
Mutine, at Deptford; half finished.
Pelican, at Pembroke; nearly finished.
Rinaldo, at Portsmouth; half finished.

The following Screw Steam Sloops are ordered to be built:—
Perseus, 17 guns, at Pembroke.
Reindeer, 17 guns, at Chatham.
Shearwater, 17 guns, at Pembroke.

3rd Class.—
Phoenix, 6 guns, 809 tons, 175 feet in length, and 32 feet beam. Built as a Paddle-wheel Steamer at Chatham, 1832. Plan, Seppings. Converted into a screw steam-sloop, 1844, by Symonds. Is fitted with engines of 260 horse-power, by Penn. This vessel is unfit for further service on account of her awful rolling propensities. Station, Third Class Steam Reserve at Sheerness.

4th Class.—
Cordelia, 11 guns, 580 tons, 151 feet in length, and 29 feet beam. Depth of hold, 16 feet. Built at Pembroke, 1856. Plan, Walker. Is fitted with engines of 150 horse-power. Sails and steams fast. Complement, 120 men. Commander, Charles E. H. Vernon. Commissioned, April, 1857. Station, Coast of Australia.
Gannet, 11 guns, 577 tons. Built at Pembroke, 1857. Plan, Walker, as Cordelia. Is fitted with engines of 150 horse-power. Has not yet been Commissioned. Station, First Class Steam Reserve, at Devonport.
Icarus, 11 guns, 579 tons. Built at Deptford, 1858. Plan, Walker, as Cordelia. Is fitted with engines of 150 horse-power, by Rennie. Station, Woolwich.
Plumper, 11 guns, 484 tons, 140 feet in length, and 27½ feet beam. Built at Portsmouth, 1848. Plan, Fincham. Is fitted with engines of 60 horse-power, by Miller and Ravenhill. Sails well, but only steams 6 knots an hour. Complement, 110 men. Captain, George Henry Richards. Commissioned, December, 1856. Station, Surveying the Coast of British Columbia.
Racer, 11 guns, 580 tons. Built at Deptford, 1858. Plan, Walker, as Cordelia. Is fitted with engines of 150 horse-power, by Humphreys and Dyke. Sails and steams fast. Complement, 120 men. Commander, Hon. Thomas A. Pakenham. Commissioned, June, 1858. Station, Mediterranean.

The following Screw Sloop, to carry 11 guns, is now building:—
Pantaloon, at Devonport; half finished.

5th Class.—
Ariel, 9 guns, 486 tons. Built at Pembroke, 1854. Plan, Walker, as Curlew. Is fitted with engines of 60 horse-power. Complement, 98 men. Commander, Charles Bromley. Commissioned, January, 1855. Station, Mediterranean.
Curlew, 9 guns, 485 tons, 145 feet in length, and 27 feet beam. Built at Deptford, 1854. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 60 horse-power. Complement, 98 men. Commander, William Horton. Commissioned, August, 1854. Station, Ordered Home from the Mediterranean.
Lyra, 9 guns, 489 tons. Built at Deptford, 1857. Plan, Walker, as Curlew. Fitted with engines of 60 horse-power, by Rennie. Sails well, and steams 7 knots an hour. Complement, 98 men. Commander, Radulphus Bryce Oldfield. Commissioned, November, 1857. Station, Cape of Good Hope.
Swallow, 9 guns, 486 tons. Built at Pembroke, 1854. Plan, Walker, as Curlew. Fitted with engines of 60 horse-power. Complement, 98 men. Commander, Charles L. Waddilove. Commissioned, August, 1854. Station, Mediterranean.

Screw Steam Schooners.— This class of steamers has only lately been introduced into the navy. The Navy List contains the name of only one that is building.
Ranger, to carry 8 guns, have engines of 60 horse-power, building at Deptford. It is reported, however, that the Admiralty have ordered three other vessels of this class to be built, viz.:—
Espoir, and Nimble, to be built at Pembroke.
Peterel, to be built at Deptford.

Remarks.—The Conflict and Desperate were built as improvements upon the Rattler, screw sloop, under the supposition that their heavier armament and greater horse power would make them, more efficient. The result was contrary to the designer's expectations; for whilst the Rattler proved herself very useful in capturing slavers, and Chinese pirates, the other two ships have been found, difficult to manage under sail, and to draw too much water for efficient coast blockade. No ship of the same size has been built on the lines of the Desperate, but the Americans have built ships four times the size, but on an enlarged plan of the Desperate, and we have imitated their example.

The Screw Sloops of the second class are certainly very efficient ships.

The Harrier and Falcon in the Baltic, and the Hornet and Cruiser in the China Seas, have been most efficient in annoying the enemy's Coast, and destroying pirates, &c. The number of this class of Screw Sloops ought to be largely increased, as they will have to supersede all the old Sailing Sloops. The Phoenix ought to be broken up, as unfit for further service. The fourth and fifth classes contain, also, most useful vessels. The Ariel and Swallow are reported to be overmasted. The Curlew and Swallow proved very efficient in the Sea of Azoff. The Screw Steam Schooners, lately ordered to be built, are said to be especially designed for service on the coast of Africa. It is to be hoped that special attention has been paid to the accommodation of the crews of these vessels, as the health of our own sailors is of more importance than the capture of a few slavers.

Screw Steam Gun-Vessels and Gun-Boats.— The large majority of these vessels were built during the late Russian war; and the few that were actively employed were found to be of great use. In the late Chinese war they also proved to be very efficient in attacking forts, and ascending rivers.

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 In Com.
for
Act. Ser.
In Com.
for
Harb. Ser.
In Ordinary.Building.Ordered
to be
built.
   Total   
Screw Gun-Vessels161530
Screw Gun-Boats2627107160
Total4127122190
 

Screw Steam Gun-Vessels.— These may be conveniently divided into five classes.

1st Class.—
Flying-Fish, 6 guns, 850 tons, 200 feet in length, and 30 feet beam. Depth of hold 15 feet. Built at Pembroke, 1855. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 350 horse-power. Armament, 2 68-pounder pivot guns, and 4 32-pounders. Draws 9 feet of Water. Station, First-class Steam Reserve at Portsmouth.
Intrepid, 6 guns, 850 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1855. Plan, Walker, as Flying-Fish. Fitted with engines of 350 horse-power. Station, First-class Steam Reserve, at Devonport.
Nimrod, 6 guns, 850 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1856. Plan, Walker, as Flying-Fish. Fitted with engines of 180 horse-power. Complement, 120 men. Commander G.P. Mends. Commissioned, March, 1857. Station, China,
Pioneer, 6 guns. 850 tons. Built at Pembroke, 1855. Plan, Walker, as Flying-Fish. Fitted with engines of 350 horse-power. Station, Portsmouth Steam Reserve.
Roebuck, 6 guns, 850 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1856. Plan, Walker, as Flying-Fish. Fitted with engines of 180 horse-power. Sails well, and steams 9 knots an hour. Complement, 120 men. Commander, Edwin C. Symons (acting). Commissioned, July, 1857. Station, Red Sea.
Victor, 6 guns, 850 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1855. Plan, Walker, as Flying-Fish. Fitted with engines of 350 horse-power. Steams 10½ knots an hour. Station, Steam Reserve at Sheerness.

2nd Class.—
Alacrity, 4 guns, 670 tons, 180 feet in length, and 28 feet beam. Depth of hold 14 feet. Built at Blackwell by Mare, 1856. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Armament, 2 68-pounder pivot guns, and. 2 32-pounders. Draught of water 8 feet. Station, Sheerness Steam Reserve.
Assurance, 4 guns, 673 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1856. Plan, Walker, as Alacrity. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Complement, 95 men. Commander, Charles M. Aynsley. Commissioned, July, 1857. Station, East Indies.
Coquette, 4 guns, 670 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1855. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Steams 11 knots an hour. Complement, 95 men. Commander, Hon. Fitzgerald A. Foley. Commissioned, December, 1855. Station, Mediterranean.
Cormorant, 4 guns, 670 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1856. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Complement, 95 men. Commander, Armine Wodehouse. Commissioned, March, 1857. Station, China.
Foxhound, 4 guns, 670 tons. Built at Blackwall,1856. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Station, Steam Reserve at Sheerness.
Lapwing, 4 guns, 670 tons. Built at Cowes, by White, 1856. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Complement, 95 men. Commander, Montague F. O'Reilly. Commissioned November 1857. Station, Mediterranean.
Mohawk, 4 guns, 670 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1855. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Complement, 95 men. Commander, Patrick C.C. M‘Dougall. Commissioned, July, 1857. Station, East Indies.
Osprey, 4 guns, 670 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1856. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Complement, 95 men. Commander H.J. Blomfield. Commissioned, March 1856. Station, Mediterranean.
Renard, 4 guns, 670 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1856. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Station, Steam Reserve, at Sheerness.
Ringdove, 4 guns, 670 tons. Built at Cowee by White, 1658. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Station, Steam Reserve at Portsmouth.
Sparrowhawk, 4 guns, 670 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1856. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Complement, 95 men. Commander, John Clarke Byng. Commissioned July, 1857. Station, East Indies.
Surprise, 4 guns, 670 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1856. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Complement, 95 men. Commander, Right Hon. Lord Edward Henry Cecil. Commissioned, March, 1857. Station, ordered from China to the Cape of Good Hope.
Vigilant, 4 guns, 670 tons. Built at Blackwall by Mare, 1856. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Complement, 95 men. Commander, William Armytage. Commissioned, March, 1856. Station, Mediterranean.
Wanderer, 4 guns, 670 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1855. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Complement, 95 men. Commander, Mark Robert Pechell. Commissioned, December, 1855. Station, Mediterranean.

3rd Class.—
Rifleman, 8 guns, 486 tons, 150 feet in length, and 26 feet beam. Built at Portsmouth, 1846. Plan, Fincham. Fitted with engines of 100 horse-power by Miller and Ravenhill. Station, refitting at Woolwich.
Sharpshooter, 8 guns, 505 tons, 151 feet in length, and 26 feet beam. Built of iron at Blackwall by Mare, 1846. Plan, Fincham. Fitted wuth engines of 202 horse-power by Miller and Ravenhill. Complement, 70 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Charles Gibbons. Commissioned, November, 1857. Station, West Coast of Africa.

4th Class.—
Arrow, 4 guns, 475 tons, 165 feet in length, and 26 feet beam. Built at Blackwall by Mare, 1854. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 160 horse-power by Humphreys. Armament, 2 68-pounder pivot guns, and 2 12-pounder howitzers. Draught of water, 8 feet. Station, Steam Reserve at Devonport.
Beagle, 4 guns, 475 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1854. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 160 horse-power by Humphreys. Station, First Class Steam Reserve at Portsmouth.
Lynx, 4 guns, 475 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1854. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 160 horse-power. Complement, 65 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Henry Berkeley. Commissioned, November, 1857. Station, Cape of Good Hope.
Snake, 4 guns, 475 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1854. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 160 horse-power by Penn. Station, First Class Steam Reserve at Sheerness
Viper, 4 guns, 475 tons. Built at Blackwall, 1854. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Complement, 65 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Austin B. Hodgkinson. Commissioned November, 1857. Station, West Coast of Africa.
Wrangler, 4 guns, 475 tons- Built at Blackwall, by Green, 1854. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power by Maudslay. Station, Steam Reserve at Sheemess.

5th Class.—
Minx, 3 guns, 303 tons, 131 feet in length, and 22 feet beam. Built at Blackwall of iron, 1416. Plan, Fairbairn. Was fitted at first with engines of 100 horse-power, but these were subsequently changed for high-pressure engines of 100 horse-power. She has never proved an efficient steam vessel. Station, Woolwich.
Teazer, 2 guns, 296 tons, 130 feet in length, and 21½ feet beam. Built at Chatham, 1846. Plan, Symonds. Fitted with engines of 40 horse-power by Miller. Sails well, and steams 6 knots an hour. She has been principally employed on the West Coast of Africa. Station, Refitting at Woolwich.

Remarks.— The screw steam gun vessels of the first, second, and fourth classes carry very heavy ordnance, and were built to meet the requirements of the late war. Those of the first and second classes were not actively engaged in the Russian war, but some of them as the Nimrod, Cormorant, and Surprise were usefully employed in the operations on the Coast of China. It seems to be a general opinion among naval officers, that the engines of these vessels are too large and heavy, and by reducing them to one half, their efficiency would be increased. This has certainly been found to answer as regards the Nimrod and Roebuck. A short time ago, the Coquette, Osprey, and the Wanderer were stated to be infected with the dry rot, owing to the haste with which they were built. The Rifleman, Sharpshooter, Minx, and Teazer were designed, along with numerous others, soon after the adoption of the screw propeller into the Royal Navy, and three of them have been in almost constant commission. Sir B. Walker, on his becoming Surveyor of the Navy scratched out all their sister vessels from the Navy List, and built only large screw steamers. This was the cause of their being so great a deficiency of small steamers, when required at the commencement of the late war. Sir B. Walker comprehends the building of only large and magnificent screw steam ships, so it will not be surprising to learn, that we have not any new screw steam gun vessels or gun boats now building, or ordered to be built. Our wise surveyor thinks we have quite enough to commence a new war with, and if more are required, why private shipbuilders can construct them, as the stocks in our naval dockyards are not intended for such puny craft. The vessels of the fourth, or Arrow class, are very uncomfortable ships, as they roll tremendously.

Screw Steam Gun-Boats.— These useful little vessels may be divided into five classes.

1st Class— Comprises six Screw Gunboats, each of 256 tons, 120 feet in length, and 21 feet beam. They were all built at Northfleet in 1857. Plan, Walker. Each is fitted with high-pressure engines of 80 horse-power. They are rigged as top-sail schooners. Draught of water, 7 feet. Armament, 1 68-pounder pivot gun, 1 32-pounder pivot gun, and 2 12-pounder brass howitzers.

Algerine, 4 guns. Complement, 40 men. Lieutenant and Commander, William Arthur. Commissioned, March, 1857. Station, China.
Jaseur, 4 guns. Complement, 40 men. Lieutenant and Commander, John Binney Scott. Commissioned, July, 1857. Station, West Indies.
Jasper, 4 guns. Complement, 40 men. Lieutenant and Commander, William Henry Pym. Commissioned, July, 1857. Station, West Indies.
Lee, 4 guns. Complement, 40 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Hon. F. O'Brien Fitzmaurice. Commissioned, March, 1857. Station, China.
Leven, 4 guns, Complement, 40 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Joseph S. Hudson. Commissioned, April, 1857. Station, China.
Slaney, 4 guns. Complement, 40 men. Lieutenant and Commander, H.N. Knox. Commissioned, April, 1857. Station, China.

2nd Class includes —116 Screw Gunboats, each of 232 tons, 106 feet in length, 22 feet beam, and 8 feet depth of hold. Draught of water 6½ feet. They were mostly constructed by private ship-builders in 1855 and 1856. Plan, Walker. They are all fitted with high pressure-engines of 60 horse-power. Armament, 1 68-pounder pivot gun and 2 24-pounder brass howitzers.

The following Gun-boats (36) of this class, are in commission—
Banterer, 3 guns. Complement, 39 men. Lieutenant and Commander, John Jenkins. Commissioned, March, 1857. Station, China.
Biter, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander, James Blair Grove, Station, Tender to Blenheim, Portland Roads.
Boxer, 3 guns. Complement, 39 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Samuel P. Townsend. Commissioned, May, 1855. Station, Mediterranean.
Bullfinch, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander, John William James. Station, Tender to Illustrious, Portsmouth.
Bustard, 3 guns. Complement, 39 men. Lieutenant and Commander, F.W. Hallowes. Commissioned, September, 1856. Station, China.
Dapper, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Alfred Eaton. Station, Tender to Hastings, at Liverpool.
Dove, 3 guns. Complement, 39 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Charles J. Bullock. Commissioned, October, 1856. Station, Tender to Actaeon, Surveying Cochin China.
Erne, 3 guns. Complement 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander, -------------. Station, Tender to Edinburgh, at Leith.
Firm, 3 guns. Complement, 39 men. Lieutenant and Commander, W. Boulton Commisioned, March, 1857. Station, China.
Forester, 3 guns. Complement, 39 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Arthur J. Innes. Commissioned, February, 1856. Station, China.
Goshawk, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander, -------------. Station, Tender to Hogue, at Greenock.
Growler, 3 guns. Complement, 39 men, Lieutenant and Commander, Henry E. Crozier. Commissioned, May, 1858. Station Mediterranean.
Haughty, 3 guns. Complement, 39 men. Lieutenant and Commander, -------------. Commissioned, February, 1856. Station, China.
Hind, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander, ------------. Station, Tender to Russell at Falmouth.
Insolent, 3 guns. Lent to the Board of Trade. Station, Ceylon.
Lark, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander, ------------. Station, Tender to Exmouth, at Devonport.
Leveret, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Annesley T. Denham. Station, Tender to Arrogant, at Southampton.
Lively, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Station, Tender to Porcupine, Coast of Scotland.
Louisa, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Thomas W. Oliver. Station, Tender to Edinburgh, at Leith.
Magnet, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Edward S. Meara. Station, Tender to Pembroke, at Harwich.
Magpie, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander, W.C.S. Sulivan. Station, Tender to Hawke, at Queenstown,
Opossum, 3 guns. Complement, 39 men. Lieutenant and Commander, William Henry Jones. Commissioned, February, 1856. Station, China.
Plover, 3 guns. Complement 39 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Robert J. Wynniatt. Commissioned, November, 1855. Station, China.
Quail, 3 guns. Complement, 39 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Noel Osborne. Commissioned, May, 1858. Station, Mediterranean.
Redwing, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Station, Tender to Cambridge at Devonport.
Sandfly, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Henry Moore. Station, Tender to Cornwallis, at Hull.
Seagull, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lientenant and Commander, William Chimmo. Station, Tender to Porcupine, Coast of Scotland.
Shamrock, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Master and Commander, William B. Calver. Commissioned, April, 1858. Station, Surveying the Coast of Ireland.
Skipjack, 3 guns. Complement, 39 men. Lieutenant and Commander, John Murray. Commissioned, August, 1857. Station, Channel Squadron.
Snap, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander, William F. Johnstone. Station, Tender to Hogue, at Greenock.
Spanker, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Alfred J. Chatfield. Station, Tender to Cornwallis, at Hull.
Starling, 3 guns. Complement, 39 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Arthur J. Villiers. Commissioned, September, 1856. Station, China.
Staunch, 3 guns. Complement, 39 men. Commander, Leveson Wildman. Commissioned, February, 1856. Station, China.
Stork, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Station, Tender to Excellent, at Portsmouth.
Traveller, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Station, Tender to Hannibal, at Portsmouth.
Violet, 3 guns. Complement, 30 men. Lieutenant and Commander William K. Bush. Station, Tender to Eagle, at Milford Haven.

The remaining Screw Gunboats (80) of this class are placed in ordinary, belonging to the steam reserves at Portsmouth, Devonport, and Sheerness. Albacore, Amelia, Beacon, Beaver, Blazer, Bouncer, Brave, Brazen, Bullfrog, Camel, Carnation, Caroline, Charger, Charon, Cherokee, Clinker, Cochin, Cockchafer, Confounder, Cracker, Crocus, Delight, Earnest, Escort, Fancy, Fervent, Flamer, Fly, Foam, Forward, Goldfinch, Grappler, Grasshopper, Grinder, Griper, Hardy, Hasty, Havock, Herring, Highlander, Hyaena, Jackdaw, Julia, Mackerel, Manly, Mastiff, Mayflower, Mistletoe, Nightingale, Parthian, Partridge, Peacock, Pheasant, Pickle, Porpoise, PrimRose, Procris, Prompt, Rainbow, Raven, Redbreast, Ripple, Rocket, Rose, Savage, Sepoy, Sheldrake, Skylark, Spey, Surly, Swan, Swinger, Thistle, Thrasher, Tickler, Tilbury, Wave, Weasel, Whiting, and Wolf.

3rd Class contains only six Screw Gun-boats. These were the first small screw gun boats constructed, and are each of 220 tons, 100 feet in length, and 22 feet beam. Built in private dockyards, January, 1855. Plan, Walker. Each is fitted with high-pressure engines of 60 horse-power. Armament, 1 68-pounder -pivot-gun, and 2 12-pounder brass howitzers. Draught of water, 6½ feet.

In Commission.—
Badger, 3 guns. Complement, 25 men. Lieutenant and Commander, J.F.G. Grant. Station, Tender to Ajax, at Kingstown.
Ruby, 3 guns. Complement, 25 men. Lieutenant and Commander, R.J. Stotherd. Station, Tender to Cornwallis, at Hull.
Snapper, 3 guns. Station, Tender to Excellent, at Portsmouth.

In ordinary, belonging to the Steam Reserves at Portsmouth, Devonport. or Sheernes.—
Gleaner, Pelter, and Pincher.

4th Class includes twelve Screw Gun boats, each of 220 tons, 104 feet in length, and 22 feet beam. Built at private dockyards in 1856. Plan, Walker. Each is fitted with high-pressure engines of 40 horse-power. Draught of water, 5½ feet. Armament, 2 32-pounder pivot guns, and 2 12-pounder brass howitzers.

In Commission:—
Clown, 4 guns. Complement, 35 men. Lieutenant and Commander William F. Lee. Commmissioned March, 1857. Station, ----
Drake, 4 guns. Complement, 35 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Charles J. Balfour. Commissioned, March, 1857. Station, China.
Janus, 4 guns. Complement, 35 men. Lieutenant and Commander, Henry P. Knevitt. Commissioned, March, 1857. Station, China.
Kestrel, 4 guns. Complement, 35 men. Lieutenant and Commander, William Hector Rason. Commissioned, March, 1857. Station, China.
Watchful, 4 guns. Complement, 35 men. Lieutenant and Commander, James Hawkins Whitshed. Commissioned, March, 1837. Station, China.
Woodcock, 4 guns. Complement, 35 men. Lieutenant and Commander, E.J. Pollard. Commissioned, March, 1S57. Station, China.

In ordinary, belonging to the Steam Reserve at Portsmouth,
Fenella, Garnet, Handy, Hunter, Ready, and Thrush.

5th Class contains Twenty Screw gun-boats. Each is of 212 tons, 100 feet in length, 21½ feet beam, and 6 ½ feet depth of hold. Built in private dockyards, 1856. Plan, Walker. Each is fitted with 1 high-pressure engines of 20 horse-power. Draught of water, 4½ feet. Armament, 1 32-pounder pivot gun, and 2 12-pounder brass howitzers.

In commission.—
Nettle, 3 guns. Complement, 32 men. LieutenantAnt and Commander, Hugh McNeil Dyer. Station, Tender to Terror, at Bermuda.
Onyx, 3 guns. Station, Tender to Terror, at Bermuda.

In ordinary, belonging to the steam reserves at the home ports.—
Angler, Ant, Blossom, Cheerful, Chub, Daisy, Decoy, Dwarf, Fidget, Flirt, Gadfly, Garland, Gnat, Midge, Pert, Pet, Rambler, and Tiny.

Remarks.—These screw gunboats have proved of great use in the Baltic, Black Sea, Sea of Azolf, and Canton River. They are found excellent sea boats if well managed, as some have crossed the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean quite alone. Forty of the screw gun-boats in ordinary are laid up at Haslar under sheds, in order to season their timbers. Some of these gun-boats are attached as tenders to the Coast Guard Instruction ships, and serve to initiate the officers and men into the handling of these small craft. The engines of these vessels soon get out of order, and they are constantly requiring new boilers.

[1859, part I, pages 17-21]

Screw Steam Store and Troop Ships, Yachts, &c.— This is the last division of screw steam ships to be enumerated, and has been kept to the last on account of its being the non-combatant portion.

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 In Com.
for
Act Ser.
In Com.
for
Harb. Ser.
In Ord.Building.Ordered
to be
Built
   Total   
Screw Troop Ships729
Screw Store Ships347
Screw Hospital Ships
Screw Yachts11
Total1016  17
 

Screw Steam Troop Ships. There are nine of these vessels.

Adventure, 6 guns, 2,749 tons. Built of iron, at Birkenhead, by Laird, 1855. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power. This ship was formerly called the Resolute. Complement 165 men. Commander, Edward Lacy. Commissioned, April, 1857. Station, China.
Assistance, 6 guns, 2,749 tons. Built of iron, at Birkenhead, by Laird, 1855. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power. Has accommodation for about 600 soldiers. Complement, 165 men. Commander, William A. G. Heath. Commissioned, April, 1857. Station, China.
Fox, 4 guns, 1,080 tons. Built as a 42 gun sailing frigate at Portsmouth, 1829. Plan, after Leda. Converted into a screw transport 1857 by Walker. Fitted with engines of 200 horse-power. Station, Portsmouth Steam Reserve.
Himalaya, 6 guns, 3,700 tons, 330 feet in length, 43 feet beam, and 33 feet depth in hold. Built of iron, at Blackwall, by Mare, 1853. Fitted with engines of 700 horse-power. Purchased from the Peninsular and Oriental Company, 1854. Has recently been fitted to accommodate 1,000 soldiers. Steams 14 knots an hour. Complement, 180 men. Commander, John Seccombe. Commissioned, March, 1857. Station, Mediterranean.
Megaera, 6 guns, 1,395 tons, 207 feet in length, and 37 feet beam. Built of iron, at Blackwall, by Fairbairn, 1849. Plan, Symonds. Fitted with engines of 350 horse-power, by Rennie. Complement, 160 men. Commander, George T. M. Purvis. Commissioned, December, 1856. Station, East Indies.
Perseverance, 6 guns, 2,760 tons. Built of iron, at Blackwall, by Mare, 1358. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 360 horsepower. Steam, 10 knots an hour. Complement, 165 men. Commander, Edward Roche Power. Commissioned, July, 1858. Station, Mediterranean.
Simoom, 6 guns, 1,980 tons, 246 feet in length, and 41 feet beam. Built of iron, at Glasgow, by Napier, 1849. Plan, Symonds. Fitted with engines of 350 horse-power by Boulton and Watt. Complement, 165 men. Commander, J. M. Cooke. Commissioned,December, 1856. Station, East Indies.
Urgent, 6 guns, 2,750 tons. Built of iron at Blackwall by Mare, 1855. Plan, Walker. Fitted with engines of 400 horse-power. Complement, 165 men. Commander, J.W.D. Macdonald. Commissioned, October, 1857. Station, Mediterranean.
Vulcan, 6 guns, 1,764 tons, 220 feet in length, and 40 feet beam. Built of iron at Blackwall by Mare, 1849. Plan, Symonds. Is now being fitted with new engines of 400 horse-power by Maudslay. Station, Portsmouth Steam Reserve.
Remarks.— The Himalaya is the finest screw transport, but the Adventure, Assistance, Perseverance, and Urgent, are also very fine ships, and great improvements upon the old Simoom, Megaera, and Vulcan. The Admiralty must have been suffering under some extraordinary delusion, when they sanctioned the conversion of the old Fox into a screw transport, as her size, height between decks, bad sailing qualities, will quite prevent her ever becoming an efficient troop-ship. The Admiralty have been frequently advised to increase the number of our screw-transports, and the experience of the last few years would certainly warrant ther doing so. If the expense of building new screw-transports is too great, why could they not purchase some of the fine screw merchant ships which are now being disposed of very cheap? They could soon be fitted as troop-ships, and would add greatly to the efficiency of our Transport service.

Screw Steam Store Ships.— These vessels may be divided info three classes, according to their several uses.

1st Class. Screw Store Ships.—
Buffalo, 2 guns, 620 tons. Built of iron, at Blackwall, 1856. Fitted with engines of 60 horse-power. Complement, 60 men. Master Commander, R.T. Saunders. Station, West Coast of Africa.
Hesper, 2 guns, 750 tons. Built of iron at Blackwall, 1856. Fitted with engines of 120 horse-power. Complement, 65 men. Master Commander, W.H. Fawckner. Commissioned, March, 1857. Station, China.
Industry, 2 guns, 646 tons. Built of iron at Black wall, 1854. Fitted with engines of 80 horse-power. Complement, 60 men. Master Commander, G.J. Hodges. Commissioned, January. 1857. Home Station.
Supply, 2 guns, 646 tons. Built of iron at Blackwall, 1854. Fitted with engines of 80 horse-power. Station, Refitting at Woolwich.

2nd Class. Screw Floating Factory.—
Chasseur, 1 gun, 650 tons.. Built of iron at Blackwall, 1855. Station, Steam Reserve at Sheerness.

3rd Class. Screw Tank Vessels.—
• Water-rail. Station, Malta.
Wye, 750 tons, 100 horse-power. Station, Chatham.

Remarks.— These screw store ships are very efficient, and ought to be increased in number. It would seem advisable also, to construct 3 or 4 new screw floating factories as no fleet of steam ships will in future be thought complete unless one of these factories accompany it.

Screw Steam Yacht.
Fairy, 312 tons, 144½ feet in length, 21 feet beam, and 10 feet depth in hold. Built of iron at Blackwall, by Ditchburn, 1845. Fitted with engines of 128 horse-power, by Penn. Steams 13 knots an hour. Commander, His Serene Highness, Prince of Leiningen. Station, Tender to the Victoria and Albert, Royal Yacht, at Portsmouth.
The only other screw steam yacht, the Emperor, built for the navy, has lately been presented to the Emperor of Japan.

Screw Steam Hospital Ships.— At present the navy does not contain ships of this description, but it is greatly to be desired that the attention of the Admiralty should be speedily directed to the importance of having screw hospital ships attached to our fleets. During the late war, the Belleisle, old sailing 72 gun ship, was fitted as an hospital ship; but owing to her not possessing steam power, she was not permitted to accompany the fleet through the intricate navigation of the Gulf of Finland, and was stationed at Faro Sound. In case a general action had ensued with the Russian fleet, the Belleisle would not have been at hand with her efficient staff of surgeons, to render the needful assistance to the wounded. Some of our fine old sailing two-deckers, as the Albion, London, and Rodney, might easily be altered to receive screw steam engines of 300 or 400 horse-power, and be fitted up as Hospital ships, under the immediate superintendence of a Medical Inspector, so that ventilation and other essentials required in a sick ward might be properly attended to. The sick patients would not then be in a constant dread of the ship running ashore, as was frequently the case with the Belleisle whenever she got under weigh. If fever, small-pox, or other infectious diseases broke out on board one of the ships, the sick might be immediately transferred to the Hospital ship, and so not only prevent the contagion spreading, but also enable the fighting ship to be kept in an efficient state. The accommodation allotted to the sick in some of our screw frigates and corvettes is very bad. The fore troop deck of a corvette is always a close, ill-ventilated place, and yet that is the only spot a sick man is allowed to hang his hammock in. The screw Hospital ships would also afford better instruction for the acting assistant surgeons than the naval hospitals at home, which mostly contain only chronic cases. At the commencement of the Baltic campaign, in 1855, the Duke of Wellington and the Arrogant were rendered inefficient for three weeks, owing to the small-pox breaking out on board of them. Hospital tents were erected on shore at Faro, to which all the patients were sent, and the vessels fumigated. Had the Belleisle accompanied the fleet from Spithead, instead of joining it a month afterwards, the small-pox might have been arrested at its commencement, and many valuable lives saved.
Again, during the summer of the same campaign whilst the fleet was stationed off Cronstradt, numerous gun-boat expeditions were sent along the coast to annoy the Russians, and on one of these occasions a marine belonging to the Pylades was severely wounded, and had his fore-arm amputated. The man went on very well for three days, while on board of his own ship, but as he was maimed for life, the Admiral ordered him to be transferred to a steam frigate for a passage to the Hospital ship. Owing to the careless way his cot was hoisted on board of the steam frigate, the man got severely shaken, inflammation set in, he became delirious at night, and having no attendant to watch him, he got out of his cot, struck his stump against a gun, tore off the dressings and ligatures, and lost so much blood before the haemorrhage could be arrested, that he died in a few hours. Had the Belleisle been with the fleet, this man might have been at once transferred to a sick ward and had proper attendance, instead of being left to the mercies of a strange crew.

In the course of the late Crimean war, several screw merchant steamers were fitted up as temporary hospital ships to convey the sick and wounded from Balaklava to Scutari. But how constant were the complaints of the overcrowding of these vessels, of the want of sufficient surgeons, and of proper nurses to take charge of the sick and wounded? How much better it would have been, had the Navy then possessed some efficient screw hospital ships. What a comfortable thing it would have been for our sick and wounded soldiers to be transferred to clean beds, in a well ventilated ward of a hospital ship, to have constant medical attendance, and to be furnished with all the little comforts, administered by kind female nurses, which greatly aid the restoration to health. Surely, when our sailors and soldiers risk their lives to fight their country’s battles, and endure great hardships and suffering, they are at least entitled to receive every kind of attention when they are sick or wounded.

Of course to produce the most efficient screw hospital ships, new ships ought to be constructed on purpose, but as that would be very expensive, it is proposed to convert our old sailing two-deckers, as before stated.

Sir John Liddell and Dr. Alexander would do well to state their opinion of these suggestions to the Government.

Concluding Remarks. — The whole of the screw steam ships belonging to the Royal Navy have now been enumerated, and their present condition pointed out. This has been done with the view of eliciting an opinion as to whether the navy is in a fit state to commence another war, whether our screw steam ships are of the proper size and are likely to prove efficient, and whether some improvements could not be suggested.

It is almost universally allowed that in any future naval war, sailing ships would be found rather a hindrance than an assistance in the prosecution of active operations. We ought, therefore, to lay down a rule, "that for the future no sailing ships are to be commissioned."

The present Board of Admiralty, since their accession to office in March last, have kept to this rule; and they would act still more prudent if they determined to supersede all the sailing ships now in commission by screw steamers. If one of our sailing two-deckers (as the Calcutta, Ganges, &c., now serving as flag ships on foreign stations) was to meet an enemy's steam frigate, she would undoubtedly suffer severe loss, if not be ultimately captured by her smaller but more active adversary. Our naval forces on foreign stations should consist of efficient screw ships, so that in case of war breaking out, we should not be obliged to send them large reinforcements, in order to protect our colonies and our trade. The Australian station will afford an example of what is meant. The English Naval Force consists of a 26 gun sailing frigate, a screw steam sloop of 11 guns, and a surveying ship of 8 guns. A sailing 12 gun brig is also ordered to that station. The French Naval Force at New Caledonia, consists of two large steam frigates, three smaller steamers, and three or four sailing vessels. If war was to break out suddenly with France, what chance would the English ships have to protect our valuable Australian trade against the overwhelming force of French ships? It is also conceded that screw steam ships are far superior to paddle-wheel steamers for the purposes of war. If this be true, why has the Admiralty sanctioned the rebuilding of the Terrible and Prometheus paddle-wheel steamers at an estimate of more than half their first cost? The latter was built 20 years ago as a steam packet, and has not proved a particularly efficient vessel. Other ships with not half her defects have been broken up at once. The paddle-wheel steamers generally are not worth reconstructing.

Although it is of the greatest importance to keep up a force of efficient screw ships on our foreign stations, it is also most essential that we should maintain a powerful screw fleet in commission to form a channel squadron, and keep ready a number of screw ships fit for immediate service at our principal home ports. The channel squadron should consist of six screw line of battle ships, and four screw frigates. It would also be as well if every screw steamer that is commissioned, was attached to the channel squadron for three or four months to get the crew into proper training before proceeding upon foreign service. This would always give a small addition as a reserve force, without any extra expense. The first class steam reserves at Portsmouth, Devonport, and Sheerness, should contain at least two screw line of battle ships, two screw frigates, one screw transport, and four smaller screw vessels; all the vessels to be ready for immediate commission. These ships might be quickly manned from the guard ships, gunnery ships, &c., and would prove of great assistance on an emergency.

Many other suggestions have been made whilst enumerating the different classes of screw steam ships, and many others of minor importance might be made if space and time permitted. The foregoing details of our screw ships will doubtless prove interesting. It is also hoped that they will furnish Members of Parliament with facts, so that they may successfully interrogate the Lords of the Admiralty as to the present state and management of the Royal Navy.

P.S. Since the commencement of these papers, the following changes have taken place among our screw steam ships. Donegal 101 guns, has been launched at Devonport; Edgar, 91 guns, has been launched at Woolwich; Liffey, 51, screw frigate, has been commissioned by Captain G.W. Preedy. The Caesar, 91 guns, and Diadem, 32 guns, have gone to the West Indies. The London, sailing two-decker, of the same dimensions as the Nile, has been converted into a screw steam ship of 90 guns, at Devonport. The Immortalité, 51 guns, screw frigate, has not yet been launched at Pembroke.


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