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Home-Loney-Background-The Royal Navy-Experimental squadrons 1845 (1/3) - 1845 (3/3)


Extracts from the Times newspaper
DateExtract
Tu 2 September 1845

THE EXPERIMENTAL SQUADRON.

We publish from authority on which we have every reason to rely, the results of the trials of sailing which have taken place between the respective ships of the experimental squadron from the time of their leaving Portsmouth. The cruising ground which was selected for this great nautical contest may be found between the parallels of 47 and 49 north latitude and the medians of 9 and 11 west longitude.

The first table which we give below, that which contains the angle subtended by the mastheads of the respective ships, as also their particular bearings at the commencement and at the conclusion of each trial, furnishes elements sufficient for those among our professional readers who may have leisure to construct their own diagrams; while the table of results affords to the uninitiated at one view the advantages that each ship had over the others. For instance, in trial No. 1 the Albion stands first; if the eye be carried along the line horizontally it will be found that the name of the Queen follows, marked 12; that is, the Albion had the advantage of the Queen by 12 fathoms. Again, the Albion beats the Rodney by 233 fathoms; the Canopus by 234; and so on. The next ship is the Queen, and it will be seen that she beats the St. Vincent by 1,690 fathoms. The mile is made up of 1,010 of these fathoms; 101 fathoms are taken as a cable's length; and 10 cables are considered a mile.

The degrees under the heading "Inclination," in the table of results, show the heel of the ships, and from them the relative stability of the vessels is ascertained:-

No. I.
JULY 19,1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING WITH THE WIND SEVEN POINTS ABAFT THE BEAM.

Squadron in two columns in the order of sailing, steering W. by N., under all possible sail Wind E.S.E.; water smooth; rate of sailing from five to seven knots. Trial commenced at 7h. 45m, a.m., and signal to shorten sail and take up stations made at 5h. P.m.

Angles, bearings and Distances
at 9 a.m.
Angles, bearings and Distances
at 5 p.m.
Ships' NamesHeight of
main truck
  Angle
subtended
   '   ""
Bearing
Distance in
fathoms
  Angle
subtended
   '   ""
Bearing
Distance in
fathoms
Canopus1771 36 45N. 72 E.10471 51 45N. 26 W.916
Vanguard173 50 44 45N. 82 E.22220 31 45S. 75 E.3131
Superb1750 47 45N. 89 E.21000 55 45S. 84 E.1798
Rodney1760 52 45N. 84 E.19151 46 45S. 11 E.944
Trafalgar1671 32 45S. 76 E.10310 14 45S. 51 E.6487
Queen176 71 21 45S. 71 E.12380 40 45S. 22 W.2485
Albion1741 00 45S. 76 E.16411 43 45S. 15 W.961

Result in fathoms
Ships' NamesQueenRodneyCanopusSuperbSt VincentVanguardTrafalgar
Albion122332341440170227276413
Queen-2212221428169027156401
Rodney--11207146924946180
Canopus---1206146824936179
Superb----26212874973
St. Vincent-----10254711
Vanguard------3686
Trafalgar-------

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from line drawn at right angles to St. Vincent's course, viz. N. by E. and S. by W.

[example calculation (Excel)]

REMARKS.
During the trial St Vincent did not set either her mainsail or her maintopmast studdingsail, and Queen and Albion steering a little to the southward of W. by N., brought the wind, which veered to the southward, more abeam, and thus enabled their staysails, &c., to draw.
No casualties of any kind occurred during the day.

No. II.
JULY 22, 1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING WITH THE WIND SIX POINTS ABAFT THE BEAM.

Squadron in two columns in the order of sailing, steering N.W., under all sail. Wind (a light breeze) S.S.E.; water smooth; rate of sailing three knots. Trial commenced at 10 a.m., and at 3h. 80m. St. Vincent shortened sail to allow sternmost ships to close.

[table of bearings omitted]

Result in fathoms
Ships' NamesCanopusRodneyQueenAlbionTrafalgarSuperbVanguard
St. Vincent131513471371143617042136-
Canopus-3256121389821-
Rodney--2489357789-
Queen---65333765-
Albion----268700-
Trafalgar-----432-
Superb-------
VanguardIn station------

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from line drawn at right angles to St. Vincent's course, viz., N.E. and S.W.

REMARKS.
Not any thing of consequence occurred daring this trial.

No. III.
JULY 26, 1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING ON A WIND.

Squadron in close order ahead of flag ship. Signal made to chase to windward under all plain sail, with royals and flying jibs. Water smooth; rate of sailing from five to five and a half knots. Wind W. by N. 1/2 N.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesCanopusSt. VincentAlbionTrafalgarRodneySuperbVanguard
4Queen1234197122023128315243544816
4Canopus-7379681894191831203582
4St. Vincent--2311157118123832845
2Albion---92695021522614
5Trafalgar----2412261688
3Rodney-----12021664
3Superb------462
3Vanguard-------

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N. by E. 1/2 E., and S. by W. 1/2 W.

REMARKS.
Permission was given to tack during this trial, whenever the captains of the respective ships might deem it most advantageous; but they were prohibited from standing longer on one tack than two hours. Vanguard asked and obtained permission to trim.

No. IV.
JULY 28, 1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING ON A WIND Between Albion, Vanguard, Canopus, Rodney and Superb.

Signal made to chase to windward under double reefed topsails, topgallant sails, jib and spanker. Wind W. 1/2 N.; force of wind six; rate of sailing four to four and a half knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesCanopusVanguardRodneySuperb
None
taken
Albion593747351449
Canopus-3156761390
Vanguard--3611075
Rodney---714
Superb----

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N. 1/2 E., and S 1.2 W.

REMARKS.
The above result is taken from their bearings and distances at 1h. P.m., but the ships continued to try until 3h. P.m., the squalls in the interim being heavy, and the ships frequently invisible from the thickness of the haze. At the close, when the recall was made, Canopus and Rodney, on the starboard tack, had crossed Albion's bows on the port tack. The result as to the placing of the ships in the above table is correct, though the distances at the finish would be different.

Tu 2 September 1845
(continued)

No. V.
JULY 29, 1845.
TRIAL OP SAILING ON A WIND.

Squadron in close order; signal made to chase to windward under all plain sail, squadron occasionally carryingroyals. Wind moderate, but not steady, veering from 1 point to 1 1/2 points, considered as N.W., with a heavy swell from the northward. The St. Vincent not trying, but heading N.N.E. 1/2 E. under easy sail.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesTrafalgarCanopusRodneyAlbionVanguardSuperb
None
taken
Queen14648563398912592345
Trafalgar-33948784311132199
Canopus--1485047741860
Rodney---3566261712
Albion----2701356
Vanguard-----1086
Superb------

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N.E. and S.W.

REMARKS.
Nothing particular during this trial. The Vanguard again asked and obtained permission to trim.

No. VI.
JULY 30, 1845.
TRIAL OP SAILING ON A WIND BETWEEN CANOPUS, RODNEY, AND SUPERB.

Signal made to chase to windward at 3h. 15m. P.m., under courses, single reefed topsails, topgallantsails, jib, and spanker. Wind N.W. by W., with a swell from the N. Force of wind from 5 to 6. Rate of sailing 4 to 4 1/2 knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesSuperbCanopus
8Rodney368486
6Superb-118
7Canopus--

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N.E. by N. and S.W. by S.

REMARKS.
During this trial Rodney and Superb shook out their first reefs. At 5h. 30m. Rodney tacked to starboard, but not being able to weather Superb, then on port tack, Superb rather than give way, tacked also, the two ships bare clearing each other. Canopus then tacked. At 6h. 10 m Rodney and Superb on starboard tack having crossed St. Vincent's bows, the recall was made.

No. VII A.
JULY 31, 1845.
TRIAL OP SAILING ON A WIND BETWEEN CANOPUS AND VANGUARD, AND BETWEEN QUEEN AND ALBION.

Signal made for the above ships to haul to the wind on starboard tack, under double-reefed topsails, fore and main topgallant sails, jib, and spanker. Wind N.W. by W. 1/2 W. veering a point each way; force of wind from 5 to 6; rate of sailing, 6 knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesCanopusQueen
8Vanguard187 
8Canopus- 
5Albion 563
6Queen -

N.B. The distances here set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N.N.E. 1/2 E. and S.S.W. 1/2 W.

REMARKS.
Albion had such a decided advantage over Queen, that was scarcely worth the name of a trial. At 2h, 50m. P.m., when Vanguard and Canopus were ordered to tack, the latter missed stays, and was obliged to wear; this, of course, gave Vanguard an advantage, as per table of results; but if one mile be allowed for Canopus running to leeward in wearing, Canopus would have held the first place.

No. VII B.
JULY 31, 1846.
TRIAL OF SAILING ON A WIND BETWEEN THE RODNEY AND SUPERB.

At 1h. 35m. These ships started on the starboard tack, with the wind veering from N.W. by W. to N.W., and considered through the trial as N.W. 3/4 W. Force of wind from 5 to 6; rate of sailing 6 knots. Carrying double-reefed topsails, fore and main topgallantsails, jib and spanker.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesRodney
8Rodney270
6Superb-

N.B. The distance herein set down is calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N.E. 3/4 N. and S.W. 3/4 S.

REMARKS.
This was a very interesting trial. At 4h. 30m. Superb tacked and endeavoured to weather Rodney, but failed in the attempt, the two ships apparently very close to each other; after Superb had just passed under Rodney's stern, the latter tacked also, but Superb by this time had gained full headway and kept it to the finish.

No. VIII.
AUGUST 2, 1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING ON A WIND BETWEEN TRAFALGAR AND QUEEN AND BETWEEN RODNEY AND SUPERB.

Signal made for the Trafalgar and Queen at 10h. 40m., and for Rodney and Superb at 11h. A.m., to chase to windward; started under courses, single-reefed topsails, topgallant sails, jib and spanker. Wind variable from N.W. by W. to W.N.W. with a swell from the N.N.W. Force of wind 6; rate of sailing 5 to 5 1/2 knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesTrafalgarSuperb
6Queen635 
7Trafalgar- 
5Rodney 458
4Superb -

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N.N.E. 1/2 E. and S.S.W. 1/2 W.

REMARKS.
Queen during the trial set her fore and main royals and flying jib. St. Vincent not trying, under easy sail, heading N. 1/2 E. to N. by E.

No. IX.
AUGUST 5, 1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING ON A WIND.

Signal made to chase to windward at 10 a.m., under single reefed topsails, royals, &c,; a swell from the N.W. Force of wind, 4 to 3; Rate of sailing four to four and a half knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesCanopusAlbionRodneySt. VincentTrafalgarSuperbVanguard
4Queen16573412451323135816841816
4Canopus-56910801158119315191651
3Albion--5115896249501082
4Rodney---78113439571
5St. Vincent----35361493
5Trafalgar-----326458
3Superb------132
4Vanguard-------

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz.. N.E. by E. and S.W. by W.

REMARKS.
Nothing particular occurred during this trial.

No. X.
AUGUST 6, 1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING WITH THE WIND ABEAM.

At 11h. 5m. A.m. signal made for squadron to steer S. by W., the wind being W. by N., the St. Vincent being the centre ship. Force of wind 4; rate of sailing 6 to 7 knots; squadron under all possible sail. Water smooth.

[table of bearings omitted]

Result in fathoms
Ships' NamesAlbionCanopusSt. VincentRodneyTrafalgarVanguardSuperb
Queen1886450249655675661666966944
Albion-261630793789473048105058
Canopus--4631173211421942442
St. Vincent---710165117311979
Rodney----94110211269
Trafalgar-----80328
Vanguard------248
Superb-------

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to St Vincent's course, namely W. by N. and E. by S.

REMARKS.
Nothing remarkable during this trial.

No. XI.
AUGUST 7, 1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING ON A WIND.

At 10 squadron in close order; made signal to chase to windward; a moderate breeze from N.N.W. to N.N.W. 1/2 W.; water smooth; force of wind 3; rate of sailing from 3 to 4 knots; squadron under all plain sail.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesAlbionCanopusRodneyTrafalgarSt. VincentSuperbVanguard
None
taken
Queen6158378621254149922913351
Albion-22224763988416762736
Canopus--2541766214542514
Rodney---39263714292489
Trafalgar----24510372097
St. Vincent-----7921852
Superb------1060
Vanguard-------

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N. 52 E., and S. 52 W.

REMARKS.
At 3h. 15m. P.m. Vanguard was sent to examine an English brig, and did not rejoin the squadron until after the trial was concluded. Vanguard could not have altered her place in the race, and therefore this deviation was not attended with any unfair result.

No. XII.
AUGUST 9, 1845.
TRIAL OP SAILING ON A WIND.

At 9h. 15m. Squadron in close order, line a-head, and about 2 miles on lee quarter of flag. Wind moderate and tolerably steady, from N.N.W. to N.N.W. W. Force of wind 5; rate of sailing 5, with a cross swell. At 10 squadron tacked, Albion splitting her maintopsail; squadron, except Queen, carrying main royals only; the Queen carrying all three.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesCanopusAlbionTrafalgarRodneySt. VincentSuperbVanguard
3Queen6797099111174155718302013
5Canopus-3023249587811511334
4Albion--20246584811211304
4Trafalgar---2636469191102
6Rodney----383656839
5St. Vincent-----273456
4Superb------183
3Vanguard-------

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, via., N. 54 E. and S. 54 W.

REMARKS.
In the afternoon Canopus and Rodney set fore and main royals and flying jib;. At 2a. 20m. Rodney made signal that her maintopgallantmast was sprung, and about 10 minutes after St. Vincent's mainroyalyard snapped, when it was discovered that the maintopgallantmast was sprung. On these two ships being disabled, the signal was made to shorten sail, and form order of sailing.

Tu 2 September 1845
(continued)

No. XIII.
AUGUST 13, 1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING ON A WIND BETWEEN VANGUARD, CANOPUS, AND SUPERB; BETWEEN TRAFALGAR, QUEEN, ANDST. VINCENT; AND BETWEEN ALBION AND RODNEY.

Squadron started at 10h. 10m. A.m., except Rodney, which was obliged to shift her foretopsail-yard, losing thereby half an hour. Wind moderate, from S.E. by S.; force of wind 4; rate 4 to 5 knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesSuperbVanguardSt. VincentTrafalgarRodney
4Canopus38814697   
2Superb-816   
2Vanguard  10061408 
3Queen  10061408 
6St. Vincent  -402 
5Trafalgar     
3Albion    2409
 Rodney    -

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N.E. by E., and S.W. by W.

REMARKS.
No great interest was taken in this trial; Canopus was certain of beating Superb and Vanguard, Albion was sure of Rodney, and Queen certain of her opponents. No casualty occurred.

No. XIV.
AUGUST 14, 1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING ON A WIND, BETWEEN VANGUARD, CANOPUS, AND SUPERB; BETWEEN TRAFALGAR, QUEEN, ANDST. VINCENT; AND BETWEEN ALBION AND RODNEY.

Wind at starting, S.E. by E. E.; squadron under whole topsails and royals, water smooth. Force of wind 3 to 1.Rate per hour, 4 to 1 knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesVanguardAlbionSuperbCanopusTrafalgarRodneySt. Vincent
2Queen1833217522272373245224853125
1Vanguard-3423945406196521292
1Albion--52198277318950
2Superb---146225258808
3Canopus----79112752
2Trafalgar-----33673
3Rodney------640
5St. Vincent-------

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., S.W. and N.E.

REMARKS.
During this trial the wind, as the day advanced, backed round to the southward, and fell lighter and lighter. At the close the ships had but little more than steerage way. The wind has been taken at S.E., but the results of such a day's sailing, under such varying circumstances ought not to be too implicitly relied on. St. Vincent was known to have a list of two degrees to port, and it is suspected that Rodney and Canopus had about the same.

No. XV.
AUGUST 15, 1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING WITH THE WIND SEVEN POINTS ABAFT THE BEAM.

Squadron at 1h. 45m p.m. ordered to make all possible sail, and to steer S. Wind from S. by W. to N. by E. during the trial. Water smooth; force of wind 4 ; rate per hour 5 to 7 knots.

[table of bearings omitted]

Result in fathoms
Ships' NamesAlbionRodneySt VincentCanopusSuperbVanguardTrafalgar
Queen339601712931168622262715
Albion-262373592134718872376
Rodney--111330108516252114
St. Vincent---21997415142003
Canopus----75512951784
Superb-----5401029
Vanguard------489
Trafalgar-------

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at light angles to St. Vincent's course, viz., E. and W.

REMARKS.
The Vanguard did not get away until half-an-hour after the rest of the squadron, as in making sail a man fell overboard, which caused her to round-to and lower a boat The man was saved by the life-buoy. At 6h. 5m. The squadron shortened sail, except Trafalgar and Vanguard, and resumed stations.

No. XVI.
AUGUST 18, 1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING WITH THE WIND ABEAM.

Weather line ordered to form on the afternmost ship of the lee line, and at 10h. 45m. Signal was made to make all possible sail. Wind S.E., course S.W.; water smooth. Force of wind 4 to 5; rate of sailing, eight to nine knots, under whole topsails, port studding sails, main trysail, and staysails.

[table of bearings omitted]

Result in fathoms
Ships' Names                                                                                    
Queen       
Albion       
St. Vincent       
Rodney       
Superb       
Vanguard       
Canopus       
Trafalgar       

[table empty in original]

REMARKS.
At 2h. 45m. P.m. it became so thick and greasy, with drizzling rain, that the squadron was barely visible. The recall was hoisted, and a gun fired to call attention to the same. Through the haze the bearings were taken, and although impossible to state the exact advantage one ship had over another, yet the placing in the above table will be found correct as to the position of the winners.

No. XVII
AUGUST 19, 1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING ON A WIND BETWEEN VANGUARD, CANOPUS, RODNEY AND SUPERB.

At 9h. 50m. The lee line having previously ran a mile or so to leeward, was ordered to haul to the wind and chase north. Wind N. by. E E., force of wind 6, with a swell from the N.W. Vanguard and Superb carried single reefed topsails, fore and maintopgallant sails, jib, and spanker. Canopus and Rodney with two reefs in their topsails, fore and maintopgallant sails, jib, and spanker.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesSuperbRodneyCanopus
6Vanguard3930641
4Superb-327838
7Rodney--311
9Canopus---

N.B.- The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind- viz., W. by N. N. and E. by S. S.

REMARKS.
This was a most interesting trial until 2h. 30m. P.m., the Vanguard and Superb occupying so unusual a place. At that hour the Rodney unfortunately lost a man overboard, and in lowering her cutter, she swamped, and her crew were with difficulty saved. The man was lost. The signal was made to discontinue the chase on the accident occurring, and the lee line resumed their stations.

No. XVII B.
AUGUST 19,1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING ON A WIND BETWEEN ST. VINCENT, TRAFALGAR, QUEEN, AND ALBION.

At 11h. 10m., a.m., the weather line as above, started and ordered to chase north. Wind N. by E.1/2 E.; force of wind 6, with a swell from the N.W., Trafalgar, Queen, and Albion, under single-reefed topsails, fore and maintopgallant sails, jib, and spanker; St. Vincent under double-reefed topsails, no topgallant sails, inner jib, and mizen.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesTrafalgarQueenSt. Vincent
4Albion5428372413
7Trafalgar-2951871
6Queen--1576
7St. Vincent---

N.B. The distances herein set down are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., W. by N. N, and E. by S. S.

REMARKS.
Albion, during this trial, being on the port tack, had to put her helm up twice to clear Trafalgar and St. Vincent, on the opposite tack, by which unavoidable manoeuvre she lost considerably. This day was a great one for the Symonites.The recall was made at 2h. 45m., just after Rodney's accident, and when Trafalgar and Albion had crossed St. Vincent's bows.

No. XVIII.
AUGUST 22, 1845.
TRIAL OF SAILING ON A WIND.

At 1h. 20m.; squadron made sail on a wind, then at S.W. by S., a moderate but not very steady breeze; force of wind 4; water smooth, rate of sailing six to seven knots; carrying whole topsails, royals, &c. At 1h. 25m. Squadron tacked, at which time trial is considered to have commenced.

[table of bearings omitted]

 Result in fathoms
InclinationShips' NamesRodneyAlbionTrafalgarSt. VincentCanopusVanguardSuperb
3Queen1774180718681892205741564312
8Rodney-339411828323822538
3Albion--618525023492505
6Trafalgar---2418922882444
7St. Vincent----16522642420
8Canopus-----20992255
3Vanguard------156
3Superb-------

N.B. The distances herein set down, are calculated from a line drawn at right angles to the wind, viz., N. W. 1/4 N. and S.E. 1/4 S.

REMARKS.
The wind during the trial varied from 2 to 2 points, and the finish at 5h. 30m. was unaccompanied by anything remarkable.

Th 4 September 1845... With a full sense of the importance of steam as an accessory to the fleet, we should be sorry to learn that the British Admiralty had relaxed any portion of its zealous attention to the substance of our navy - the real wooden walls of England. The fitting out of the experimental squadron and the preparation of the advanced ships has, therefore, been hailed by the country with the greatest satisfaction. The interest felt upon this national subject is so deep and universal, that it is almost unnecessary for us more particularly to advert to the detailed reports of the sailing of the vessels in the experimental squadron, which have appeared exclusively in our columns. We shall suspend our judgment until the ships have been more fully tried, under different circumstances and in rougher seas. The experiment is still evidently incomplete. But we are glad that Sir W. SYMONDS should have been relieved by the performances of his ships in this cruise from a part of the severe and unsparing attacks made upon his system; and whatever may be the final result of the contest between the adverse parties, the nation may rest assured that a finer squadron of ships never left the ports of Britain.
Th 11 September 1845

7 September 1845

The Experimental squadron arrived at Cork. Seven line of battle ships - the St Vincent, 120; the Queen, 110; the Trafalgar, 120; the Rodney, 92; the Canopus, 84; the Superb, 84; and the Albion, 92 - were ranged from near the shore, where the St Vincent bore the Admiral's flag from her mizzen top, out to the sea side of Spike Island, where the seventh rode at anchor. Besides these great Leviathans of the deep, were the Crocodile guard-ship, the Rattler screw steamer, and the Tartarus. With the kindness so characteristic of our naval gentry, the whole fleet were thrown open for the reception of the public, and the town and harbour presented a scene more easy imagined than described.
Ma 8 September 1845

TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.

Sir, - By some strange chance I saw a copy of a certain morning paper, which shall be nameless, a few days ago. Let me assure that paper, however incredulous it may affect to be, that this was the result of the merest accident, the recurrence of which I shall be at some pains to avoid for the future.

To enter into any detailed criticism of what I then read is quite beside my purpose. It would be a waste of your space and of my time. But I will merely observe, in order to give your readers some notion of the unfairness of the paper I allude to (of its shallow silliness the world has been long convinced), that in a long article it coarsely, and without the least discrimination, abuses Sir W. Symonds's system of ship-building, and this in the face of the statement of the result of the cruise of the experimental squadron, as detailed in your columns. From that statement your readers will have perceived that one of the surveyor's ships, the Queen, beat, in almost every trial, the whole of the fleet - the two-deckers as well as the three-deckers; and this in so remarkable a manner as to stagger one's preconceived notions of the comparative sailing qualities of these two classes of ships The only other ship that gave the Queen any difficulty was the Albion, another of Sir W. Symonds'a building. These two great facts the paper in question in its blind career omits to notice, thus by its palpable partiality destroying the small force its natural feebleness might have permitted it to exert. It may be objected by a candid man that to balance what I have said in favour of the Queen and the Albion, the bad positions of the Vanguard and the Superb, both constructed by the Surveyor of the Navy, must be taken into view. This is true but it will always be borne in mind, except by the merely prejudiced or disappointed, firstly that the Vanguard proved herself the crack ship of the Mediterranean when on that station, beating even frigates on a wind, and that consequently her present inferiority is only apparent, and may be readily removed, probably, by some alteration in her trim and secondly, that the Superb has been altered by Sir W. Symonds from what she originally was to meet the views of his objectors, and he may, therefore, throw off much of the responsibility of her decided bad sailing.

What confidence, then, I would ask, can be placed in a critic who presumes to canvass questions of such deep national importance, either in the absence of all knowledge of the subject or in the spirit of the narrowest partisanship ?

I am no thick-and-thin supporter of Sir W. Symonds. His ships have many faults, but they must also be admitted to have great excellencies. Men may form different opinions as to which way the balance inclines, but the public will ever receive with distrust and suspicion the expression of wholesale and violent condemnation, unsupported - nay contradicted - by the results of recent and extensive experiments. The great subject of naval architecture demands the exercise of the most careful and impartial judgment, and the nation expects that the conclusions arrived at will be upon considerations totally irrespective of persons and of parties.

I have the honour to be your obedient servant,
Sept. 4.
C.

We 10 September 1845

9 September 1845

THE EXPERIMENTAL SQUADRON.

Extract of a letter from the Queen, dated Cove of Cork, Sept, 5 :- "We are just entering the Cove, Queen first, Canopus second. We made Fausenet [sic, Fastnet] rocks at daylight yesterday, in company with the Canopus, Rodney, and Albion. We had a fine reef topsail breeze, so that we four proved to the other ships that we were still the superior, the Canopus proved herself a very handy ship; we took a pilot on board yesterday, at 4.30 p.m. The Admiral (St. Vincent), Trafalgar, Vanguard, and Superb, have not arrived. The only men-of-war lying here besides us are the Crocodile and Rattler. We have not seen the Admiral since the 30th of August, when we parted company during a very thick fog in the night. We don't know how long we may stay here, for we fully expect to go on another cruise as soon as we fall in with the Admiral, who has had very bad health during the cruise, having been confined to his cabin for 27 days."

Since the above we have received further intelligence stating that the "Admiral" and the Superb arrired at Cove on Saturday, and that the Trafalgar and Vanguard were in sight outside of Spike Island.

Tu 23 September 1845

20 September 1845

The Experimental squadron arrived at Plymouth from Cork: St Vincent, Queen, Canopus, Superb, Vanguard, Albion, Rodney and Trafalgar, accompanied by the steamers Rattler and Stromboli. Admiral Parker continues ill; it is expected that tomorrow (Sunday) he will be brought ashore in his cot, and that he will afterwards proceed to Portsmouth in the steamer Rattler.
Sa 20 September 1845

TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.

Sir,- Every sailor has read your admirable remarks on the late cruise of the experimental squadron with infinite satisfaction. Nothing could be more true, nothing more just, than your animadversions upon the subject.

The British navy has indeed arrived at a lamentable state, our rivals will deem, when a squadron is obliged to be brought to in order to enable the admiral's ship to shift her maintopgallant-mast in a Royal breeze! Would it be done in chase of an enemy?

Why or wherefore these ships were kept in a fine weather latitude for six weeks, it remains for the admiral to explain.

I feel assured that this could not have bees the intention of the Admiralty, as no officer in the navy knows better than Sir George Cockburn the proper weather in which the qualities of ships should be tested, not in sailing only, but in their far more essential properties as men-of-war - the proving that they are capable of performing all those necessary duties which must be required continually when belonging to a fleet at sea.

If, as you have observed, Sir, the infirm state of Admiral Parker's health was known before he took the command of the squadron, surely that officer ought to have represented the fact to the Admiralty, and not have taken upon himself duties which he has proved himself incapable of discharging.

The Admiralty, no doubt, selected Admiral Hyde Parker from his long established reputation as an active, zealous officer, believing that his health was sufficiently good to enable him to execute the duties confided to him; and it is much to be lamented that it has been otherwise, as the cruise has, in consequence, proved next to useless.

The officer to be chosen to succeed Rear-Admiral Parker will, the country may rely, be one in every way competent to fulfil this responsible trust, and we may, therefore, now look forward with confidence to the result.

I have the honour to be, &c.,
Sept. 15.
A SAILOR.

Ma 22 September 1845

20 September 1845

PLYMOUTH

The experimental fleet, under command of Admiral Parker, arrived here from Cork this morning. The St. Vincent, Queen, Canopus, Superb, Vanguard, Albion, and Rodney, accompanied by the steamers Rattler and Stromboli, came in and anchored in the Sound about 3 o'clock. The Trafalgar did not arrive until 6. At 8 the flag-ship, the St. Vincent, saluted the Port-Admiral, Sir John West, which was duly acknowledged. At half-put 8 the Sicilian frigate Urania, 44, lying in the Sound, saluted Admiral Parker with 8 guns, which were returned by the St. Vincent. Admiral Parker continues ill; it is expected that to-morrow (Sunday) he will be brought ashore in his cot, and that he will afterwards proceed to Portsmouth in the steamer Rattler. His flag will be lowered this evening, and the next day replaced by that of Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Pym, the present Admiral-Superintendent of this dockyard. At 11 o'clock, Admiral Sir John West, under a salute, hoisted his flag, blue at the mizen, as Port Admiral, on board the Queen, for which ship and two others moorings are being laid down in Plymouth Sound, where they are to be stationed hereafter in preference to Hamoaze. The fleet have a very noble and imposing appearance, and, from their magnitude, seem to diminish the area of the Sound, and bring the breakwater much nearer the northern shore. Their approach here was anticipated by the arrival of the yacht Noran, Sir H.B. Houghton, which left Cork at the same time, and reached Plymouth on Friday evening, ten hours before the fleet.

Of the sailing qualities of these ships the most conflicting opinions are still promulgated. As a general rule, naval officers dislike the build of the Surveyor's ships, because they roll so much; and for this fault some of them condemn the construction of the Vanguard, Queen, and Albion, in no measured terms. Others, who appear disinterested, place the Queen as an "out-and-outer," at the head of the fleet for speed in sailing; the Albion second; and give the Canopus and Rodney equal claims to come next to the Albion. The last on the list is, without doubt, the Trafalgar, a ship which, though stiff in a heavy sea, has no pretensions as fast sailer. The tardiness of the Vanguard is unaccountable, as she formerly beat every thing in the Mediterranean. The sailing of the Superb has improved since her masts were raked a little at Cork. The fleet is expected to remain eight or ten days in Plymouth Sound, when they will proceed to sea, under the command of Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Pym.

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