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William Loney RN - Background

Home-Loney-Background-The Royal Navy Browse mid-Victorian RN vessels: A; B; C; D; E - F; G - H; I - L; M; N - P; Q - R; S; T - U; V - Z; ??

NameMelpomeneExplanation
TypeFrigate   
Launched8 August 1857 Converted to screwon the stocks
HullWooden Length237 feet
PropulsionScrew Men580
Builders measure2861 tons   
Displacement3829 tons   
Guns51   
Fate1875 Last in commission1863
Class  Class (as screw)Emerald
Ships book   
Career
DateEvent
8 August 1857Launched at Pembroke Dockyard.
2 June 1859
- 20 March 1863
Commanded (from commissioning at Portsmouth until paying off at Portsmouth) by Captain Charles Joseph Frederick Ewart, Channel squadron, then (August 1860) Mediterranean, then (January 1862) North America and West Indies
Extracts from the Times newspaper
DateExtract
We 12 May 1858The Melpomene, 51, is being expedited for immediate commission at Portsmouth. The men are employed in the mast-house from 6 in the morning until 8 at night in getting her masts and yards ready. She is believed to be intended for one of the squadron to be commissioned immediately at Portsmouth to form a portion of the Channel fleet, which we are informed is to be got together without further delay.
Tu 26 July 1859His Royal Highness the Prince Consort, accompanied by Prince Alfred and Prince Arthur, arrived in the Royal yacht Victoria and Albert at noon yesterday on a visit of inspection to the extensive defensive and other important works in connexion with the new harbour at Portland. A portion of the Channel fleet, consisting of the Royal Albert, Agamemnon, James Watt, Algiers, and Emerald, which had shortly before left the harbour for Spithead, saluted the Royal party on passing. On the yacht rounding the extremity of the outer breakwater the ships at anchor - Aboukir, Blenheim, Topaze, Melpomene - also saluted. Their Royal Highnesses, on landing, were received by Mr. Coode, engineer-in-chief, and Mr. Leather, contractor for the breakwater, who conducted them over the works now in progress. After the inspection the Royal party returned on board the Victoria and Albert, which immediately left the harbour for Osborne.
We 24 August 1859At half-past 6 o'clock on Saturday evening Her Majesty's ship Nile steamed out of Cork harbour with the intention of joining the Channel squadron at Spithead. It is thought likely that she will henceforth form portion of the squadron, and that the Hawke will continue for some time longer to hold the post of guardship in Queenstown.
The screw steam despatch vessel Flying Fish, 6, Commander C. Hope, arrived at Plymouth on Monday, from the Channel fleet. The screw steamship Caesar, 90, Capt. T.H. Mason, got up steam on Monday morning, and in the afternoon left Plymouth Sound to join the Channel fleet, which, it is said, will cruise as far west as Ushant.
The scrow steamships Aboukir, 91, the Topaz, 51, and the Melpomene, 51, left Portland harbour on Sunday, to join the Channel fleet, which was cruising a few miles from the harbour. The Edgar, 91, the Impérieuse, 51, and the Blenheim, 60, remain in port.
Th 8 September 1859THE CHANNEL FLEET.- Torbay has been again honoured during the past week with a visit from the Channel fleet. On Wednesday the Melpomene, 51, Capt. Ewart; Diadem, 32, Capt. W. Moorsom, C.B.; and the screw despatch gunboat Flying Fish, 6, Commander Hope, arrived in the bay from the westward. On inquiry it was learnt that a day or two before the fleet encountered a very heavy westerly gale in the chops of the Channel, in which the Diadem sprang her mainyard, and that with the vessels above-named she was detached from the squadron and ordered to rendezvous at Torbay. Early on Friday morning they were rejoined by the remainder of the fleet. The vessels were discerned in the offing standing in for the bay in splendid order. They consisted of the Royal Albert, 121, Capt. E.B. Rice, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Fremantle, K.C.B.; the James Watt, 91, Capt. E. Codd; the Algiers, 91, Capt. G.W.D. O'Callaghan; the Caesar, 90, Capt. T.H. Mason; the Agamemnon, 91, Capt. T. Hope; the Aboukir, 91, Capt. F. Schomberg; the Nile, 91, Capt. A.P.E. Wilmot; the Hero, 91, Capt. G.W. Seymour, C.B.; the Emerald, 51, Capt. A. Cumming; the Topaz, 51, Capt. the Hon. W.S. Spencer; and the Imperieuse, 50, Capt. John J.B.E. Frere. At noon the whole of the ships had come to an anchor about midbay. It was a noble sight to the spectator ashore to witness these magnificent specimens of naval architecture taking up their respective positions. Thousands of persons were, as on the last occasion, attracted to the quays, and the bay has been every day studded with boats and steamers conveying excursionists around the vessels. By the kindness of the commanders the ships were again, subject to necessary regulations, thrown open to the public, and during the whole of the specified hours an immense number of visitors have availed themselves of the privilege. The Diadem and the Flying Fish got under way on Saturday morning and proceeded to Plymouth, but the rest still remain at anchor.
Ma 12 September 1859The Channel fleet was off Plymouth on Saturday afternoon. At half-past 3 o'clock they were under steam only 3½ miles south of the Mewstone coming from the eastward, and led by the Royal Albert; they then edged in towards the Breakwater, under jibs and spankers only; wind, N. by W. The ships afterwards paid off towards the south, and at 5 o'clock were four or five miles east of the Eddystone, under steam only, apparently going down Channel. The fleet consisted of the flagship, the Royal Albert, 121, Rear. Admiral Sir Charles Freemantle; the Algiers, 91, Capt. George W.D. O'Callaghan; the James Watt, 91, Capt. Edward Codd; Caesar, 90, Capt. Thomas H. Mason; Hero, 91, Capt George H. Seymour; Mersey, 40, Capt. Henry Caldwell, C.B.; Nile, 90, Capt. Arthur P.E. Wilmot, C.B.; Aboukir, 90, Capt. Charles F. Schomberg; Agamemnon, 91, Capt. Thomas Hope; Topaze, 51, Capt. Hon. W.S. Spencer; Emerald, 51, Capt. Arthur Cumming; Flying Fish, 6, Commander Charles W. Hope; and Melpomene, 50, Capt. Charles J.F. Ewart.
Sa 17 September 1859The Channel fleet entered Plymouth Sound yesterday (Friday). It consists of the flagship Royal Albert, 121, Rear-Admiral Sir C. Fremantle; the Hero, 91, Captain Sir G.J. Brooke; the Algiers, 91, Captain O'Callaghan; the Agamemnon, 91, Capt. Wilson [this would seem to be an error, Thomas Hope was captain at this time]; the Caesar, 90, Capt. Mason; the Emerald, 50, Capt. Cumming; the James Watt, 91, Capt. E. Codd; the Aboukir, 90, Capt. Schomberg; and the Topazee, 50, Capt. Spencer. The ships hove in sight about 9 a.m.; the Admiral entered at 11; the last ship at 2 p.m.; the flagship parted her bower cable in the Sound; the Melpomene and the Mersey parted company from the rest of the fleet at sea.
Ma 19 September 1859The screw steam-frigate Melpomene, 50, Capt. Ewart, rejoined the Channel fleet in Plymouth Sound on Sunday morning.
Ma 3 October 1859None of the ships belonging to the Channel fleet have left Plymouth during the last week, and there is no present prospect of a combined movement by Admiral Fremantle, who is Commander-in-Chief of the port daring the temporary absence of Vice-Admiral Sir Barrington Reynolds, K.C.B. In the meantime indications which would pass unnoticed under other circumstances, are now observed with interest both on board and on shore; the officers know, if possible, less than the townsmen. The flag ship, Royal Albert, 121, Capt. B. Rice, went from the Sound on Wednesday into Hamoaze, and, with all her armament on board, was placed in dock at Devonport. The copper was stripped off near the aperture of her shaft, and that part of the ship was caulked and recoppered; her bends were also caulked. She was undocked on Saturday. The corners of her fans will probably be reduced. Her crew of 1,000 men are considered good. Some of them are absent on leave until the 7th inst. Strong gales from the southward, accompanied by heavy rains, have recently prevailed, and have compelled the fleet in the Sound to strike top-gallant-masts and make all snug. The state of the weather has most likely prevented the departure of the screw steamship Caesar, 90, Capt. Thomas H. Mason; for some days the davits have been ready to get up her anchors, and she has been otherwise prepared. The blue Peter was flying on Saturday, and 10 or 12 officers and about 60 men, for various ships in the Mediterranean, have embarked. The officers of the Caesar are requesting to have their letters addressed in the first instance to Gibraltar. According to present information she will remain two years on the station; she was commissioned in June, 1853. The Caesar sailed yesterday (Sunday) morning, at 10 o'clock, It will be recollected that, some 10 days since, the Lords of the Admiralty issued orders to prepare for foreign service the James Watt, 91, Capt. Edward Codd, and the Agamemnon, 91, Capt. Thomas Hope. These ships continue ready. The James Watt is bound for the Mediterranean, and has received stores for the Orion and other ships there. The destination of the Agamemnon is uncertain; it is not thought now that she will follow the James Watt; some of her officers have just received leave of absence for a week. The Nile, 90, Capt. A.B. Wilmot, C.B, has a good crew of 850 men, many of whom are from Liverpool; about five months since she supplied 80 to the Doris, and shortly after, 90 to the Algiers. It is expected that the Nile will return to Queenstown, where her crew will probably be reduced to 350. The screw steam frigate Emerald, 50, Capt. Arthur Cumming has a crew of 550, which is less than her complement; it is supposed that she will winter at Sheerness. The Mersey, 40, Capt. Caldwell, C.B., has a complement of 560, chiefly "young fellows," who hope to be paid down at Portsmouth, and to pass the winter there. No preparations for sea are making on board the Diadem, 32, Capt. William Moorsom, C.B. The screw steam gun-vessel Flying Fish, 6, Commander Hope, went outside the harbour on Thursday to try her machinery, which has been recently repaired at Keyham steam yard. The Aboukir, Hero, Melpomene, Topaze, and Virago, complete the Channel fleet. Very few men have volunteerd for the expedition to China.
Ma 10 October 1859Yesterday (Sunday) there were in Plymouth Sound ships of war belonging to five different nations, a circumstance said to be unprecedented.- The English ships of the line Aboukir, Algiers, Donegal, Hero, and Nile; frigates Diadem, Emerald, Melpomene, Mersey, and Topaze; corvette Pearl; the Dutch frigate Admiral Koopman, and sloops Vesuvius and Rainier; the Russian sloop Razboynik; the Brazilian corvette Bahiana; and the Turkish line-of-battle ship Shadie. In all 17 pennants. The whole of the ships, with the exception of the Brazilian corvette, have steam power.
Th 13 October 1859The following screw steamships, forming part of the Channel fleet, in Plymouth Sound, were ordered on Tuesday to prepare for sea immediately: viz., the Donegal, 101, Capt. William F. Glanville; the Emerald, 50, Capt. Arthur Cumming; the Melpomene, 50, Capt. Charles J.F. Ewart; the Mersey, 40, Capt. Henry Caldwell, C.B.; the Algiers, 91, Capt, George W.D. O'Callaghan; the Hero, 81, Capt. George H. Seymour; and the Aboukir, 90, Capt. Charles S. Schomberg. The Nile and Melpomene will probably go to the West Indies, and the Hero to Vancouver's Island.
The screw steam corvette Pearl, 21, Capt. Borlase, C.B., left Plymouth on Monday night for China. As she passed through the Sound her crew was cheered most lustily by the crews of the Channel fleet.
Sa 15 October 1859At 8 a.m. on Thursday Rear Admiral Elliott hoisted his flag (blue at the mizen) on board the screw steamship Hero, 90, Capt. Seymour, in Plymouth Sound, and took command of the fleet. His flag was saluted by the Dutch and Brazilian ships of war in the Sound. At noon the Aboukir, Capt. Schomberg, tripped her anchor and was followed in succession by the Hero, 90, Capt. Seymour; Algiers, 91, Capt. G. O'Callaghan; Trafalgar, 91, Capt. Fanshawe; and Donegal, 101, Capt. G. Glanville, under steam, and by the Mersey, 40, Capt. H. Caldwell, C.B,; Melpomene, 60, Capt. Ewart; and Emerald, 51, Capt. A, Cumming, under canvas. The last ship left at 5 p.m. One report states that the squadron will cruise ten days and return to Plymouth, another that they will rendezvous at Queenstown.
Th 20 October 1859The following ships of the Channel fleet arrived in Cork Harbour on Saturday:- Donegal, 101, screw steamer; Aboukir, 90, screw steamer; Hero, 91, screw steamer; Trafalgar, 120; Algiers, 91, screw steamer; Emerald, 51, screw steamer; Melpomene, 50, screw steamer; and Mersey, 40 screw steamer.
Sa 12 November 1859The Algiers, 91, screw, Capt. George D. O'Callaghan, arrived at Spithead from Portland yesterday.
The ships remaining in Portland Harbour are:- the Royal Albert, 131; the Hero, 91; the Aboukir, 91; the Mars, 81; the Blenheim, 61; the Mersey, 40; the Emerald, 51; and the Melpomene, 51.
The screw steamshlp Trafalgar, 91, from Portland, arrived in Plymouth Sound yesterday morning.
Th 23 February 1860The screw steam frigate Diadem, 32, Capt. James H. Cockburn, arrived at Portland on Tuesday from Portsmouth. A portion of the Channel fleet is expected to leave that harbour in a few days for the Tagus. The vessels now in port are the Royal Albert, 121; Edgar, 91; Queen, 91; Algiers, 91: Donegal, 101; Hero, 91; Trafalgar, 91; Melpomene, 51; Mersey, 40; Diadem, 32; Blenheim, 60; Mutine, 17; Greyhound, 17; Biter, 2; and the Partridge, 2.
Fr 24 February 1860We learn by electric telegraph that the Channel fleet, consisting of the Royal Albert, Edgar, Donegal, Algiers, Trafalgar, Queen, Mersey, Melpomene, and Diadem, left Portland at noon yesterday, under sail, for Lisbon.
We 4 April 1860A portion of the Channel Fleet, consisting of the screw steamships Royal Albert, 121, Capt. Henry J. Lacon, bearing the flag of Admiral Sir Charles Fremantle, K.C.B.; the Donegal, 101, Capt. Henry Broadhead; the Aboukir, 90, Capt. Charles F. Schomberg; and the screw steam-frigate Melpomene, 51, Capt. Charles J.F. Ewart, hove in sight at Plymouth about 6 o'clock yesterday (Tuesday) morning, with the wind from the westward, a smart breeze. They came in from sea under their three topsails, and on reaching the west end of the breakwater took in all canvas, and proceeded under steam to the anchorage ground, the flagship taking her position well to the westward. At 8 o'clock the flag of Port Admiral Sir Barrington Reynolds, K.C.B., was honoured by a salute, which was acknowledged by the Impregnable, 104, Capt. Stewart, in Hamoaze. This portion of the Channel fleet left Lisbon on Friday, March the 23d, in company with the screw steamships Edgar, 91, Capt. James E. Katon; Algiers, 91, Capt. George W.D. O'Callaghan; Queen, 86, Capt. Charles F. Hillyar; Mars, 80, Capt. James N. Strange; and the screw steam-frigate Mersey, 40, Capt. Henry Caldwell, C.B. The Edgar carried away her main topsailyard on Sunday morning, when crossing the Bay of Biscay. The Edgar and Mersey have lost a man each overboard. On Monday night, off the Lizard, the Edgar, Algiers, Queen, Mars, and Mersey parted company, and proceeded up Channel for Portsmouth. Very fine weather was experienced at first, but within the last four days strong gales from west-north-west have prevailed, with extraordinary heavy seas. All the ships are reported leaky; the Royal Albert will require a thorough caulking. Two Dutch ships of war were in the Tagus.
Ma 21 April 1862Letters have been recently received at Plymouth from the screw steam frigate Termagant, 25, Capt. Robert Hall. The vessel was then at Panama, where the weather was found very oppressive by the officers and crew. She is usually stationed at Coibai, the climate of which is cooler, frequent communication is made between the island and the isthmus. The frigate has on board, for distribution among the Pacific squadron, 135 volunteers, chiefly from among the crew of the Conqueror. The screw steam frigate Melpomene, 51, Capt. J.F. Ewart, one of the North American and West Indian fleet, landed them near Chagres, whence they were conveyed to the shores of the Pacific by train. At the first station four of the seamen deserted, under the impression that there were mines in the immediate vicinity where they could find employment. The paddlewheel steam sloop Devastation, 6, Commander John D. M'Crea, from the southern division of the Pacific squadron, with 100 supernumeraries for ships in the northern division, was daily expected. If there was sufficient accommodation she would receive the Conqueror's volunteers from the Termagant, and convey them to the screw steam frigate Bacchante, 51, Capt. Donald M'L. Mackenzie, flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Maitland, K.C.B., which was probably at Acapulco.
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