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William Loney RN - Background  

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Economies made by William Ewert Gladstone's 1868 cabinet led First Lord of the Admiralty Hugh Culling Eardley Childers to reduce the number of ships on foreign stations. These reductions were compensated by the formation of successive "Flying Squadrons" (or "Detached Squadrons") of unarmoured screw ships which undertook extended world-wide cruises for training (and flag waving) under the command of a Rear Admiral. These squadrons were never directly involved in hostilities, although their movements were sometimes influenced by political or military considerations: the need to contol Spanish "Intransigentes" who had taken over several Spanish warships during the civil war in that country after the abdication of King Amadeus in 1873; supporting Thomas F. Wade, the British minister in China, who persuaded the Chinese to sign the Che-fu Convention in September 1876, allowing - among other things - several additional ports to be opened to foreign trade after tension on the Yunnan-Burmese border following the murder of a British interpreter; and the first Boer War in 1881.

Both the log of HMS Glasgow, and William Loney's Medical Journal record meeting Frederick Beauchamp Paget Seymour's Flying Squadron at Bombay on 26 April 1872.

The following Flying or Detached Squadrons were formed during this period (the Times newspaper gives extensive information on the activities of these Squadrons):

Rear AdmiralShips and captainsRoute and dates
Geoffrey Thomas Phipps HornbyPlymouth (19 Jun 1869) - Funchal (1 - 2 July) - Bahia (2 - 4 Aug) - Rio de Janeiro (16 - 25 Aug) - Montevideo (6 - 12 Sep) - Cape of Good Hope (3 - 16 Oct) - Melbourne (26 Nov - 7 Dec) - Sydney (12 - 26 Dec) - Hobart (2 - 10 Jan 1870) - Lyttleton (19 - 22 Jan) - Wellington (24 - 27 Jan) - Auckland (2 - 9 Feb) - Yokohama (6 - 14 Apr) - Yedo (Tokyo; 14 -17 Apr) - Yokohama (17 - 19 Apr) - Esquimalt (15 - 28 May) - Honolulu (16 - 23 Jun) - Valparaiso (14 - 28 Aug) - Bahia (6 - 9 Oct) - Plymouth (15 Nov 1870)

[see also: Colin Jones, "Ruling the waves", Warship 1997-1998, pp 9 -15 and A Midshipman's Diary by Marcus McCauslandExternal link with many unique period photographs and other illustrations - highly recommended]
Frederick Beauchamp Paget SeymourPlymouth (4 Jan 1871) - Barbadoes ( ... - 4 Mar) - Trinidad - Granada - St Vincent - St Lucia (28 - 30 Mar) - Jamaica (8 - Apr) - Havana ( -2 May) - Bermuda - Halifax (1 - 17 Jun) - Gibraltar - Portland (13 Aug) - Copenhagen (23 - 27 Aug) - Carlscrone (1 - 4 Sep) - Christiania (9 - 14 Sep) - Trontheim - Bergen (25 - 27 Sep) - Kirkwall - Firth of Forth (4 - 7 Oct) - Spithead (11 Oct 1871)
Frederick Beauchamp Paget Seymour to Bombay;
Frederick Archibald Campbell from the Cape
Portland (19 Nov 1871) - Vigo (24 - 29 Nov) - Lisbon (3 - 7 Dec) - Madeira (10 - 11 Dec) - Rio de Janeiro (8 - 18 Jan) - Cape of Good Hope (14 - 27 Feb) - Bombay ( 22 Apr - 6 May) - Mauritius (5 - 20 Jun) - Cape of Good Hope (7 - 27 Jul) - St Helena (8 - 13 Aug) - Ascension (17 - 20 Aug) - Azores (13 - 16 Sep) - Plymouth (27 Sep 1872)
Frederick Archibald Campbell; then Sir George Granville RandolphPortland (8 Dec 1872) - Vigo (6 Feb 1873) - Madeira (... - 22 Feb) - Barbadoes (4 - 11 Mar) - Trinidad - Windward Islands - St Domingo - Jamaica - Bermuda - Halifax (7 - 19 Jul) - Gibraltar (8 Aug) - cruising off Spain (civil war) - Malta (6 Feb 1874) - Corfu - Athens - Smyrna - Candia (Crete) - Malta (30 Apr - ...) - Palermo - Sardinia - Port Mahon - Gibraltar - Plymouth (4 Jul 1874)
Sir George Granville Randolph to Gibraltar; then (Jun 1875) Rowley LambertGibraltar (.. Oct 1874) - Madeira (.. - 21 Oct) - St Vincent - Montevideo - Falkland Islands (30 Jan - ... 1875) - Cape of Good Hope (3 Apr - ...) - St Helena (... - 14 Apr) - Ascension - St Vincent (23 - ... May) - Gibraltar (20 Jun - 15 Jul) - Cape of Good Hope - Bombay (22 Oct - ...; escorting visit to India by the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII) - Colombo - Trincomalee - Calcutta - Bombay (14 Feb 1876) - Singapore (31 Oct) - Hong Kong (7 Apr - ... 1876; tension with China) - Shanghai - Amoy - Japan - Chefoo - Talien - Hong Kong (...Nov - 5 Dec) - Singapore (... - 27 Dec) - Mauritius - Cape of Good Hope - St Helena - Ascension (... - 1 Apr) - St Vincent (15 - 19 Apr) - Plymouth (11 May 1877)
Richard James, 4th Earl of Clanwilliam, then Sir Francis Sullivan from Hong KongSpithead (17 Oct 1880) - Vigo (24 - 31 Oct) - Madeira (6 - 10 Nov) - St Vincent (... - 20 Nov) - Montevideo (22 Dec - 9 Jan 1881) - Falkland Islands (24 - 25 Jan) - Cape of Good Hope (16 Feb - 9 Apr; 1st Boer war) - Melbourne (22 May) - Adelaide (... - 9 Jul) - Sydney (14 Jul - 9 Aug) - Brisbane (16 - 20 Aug) - Fiji (3 - 10 Sep) - Yokohama (21 Oct - 1 Nov) - Kobe (4-12 Nov) - Shimonoseki (14 - 16 Nov) - Shanghai (23 Nov - ..) - Amoy (15 - .. Dec) - Hong Kong (20 Dec - 11 Feb 1882) - Singapore (... - 2 Mar) - Anjer, Java (6 - 8 Mar) - Capetown (... - 16 May) - St Vincent (20 - 22 June) -Spithead (10 Oct 1882)


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