The Victorian Royal Navy
The Victorian Royal Navy
The officers, ships, fleets and campaigns of the Royal Navy between 1840 and 1880, the slave trade on the West and East African coasts, the 1841 Niger expedition, the Crimean War victory naval review, and much more...
The Royal Navy
The loss of ships
as reported in The Times
- The loss of HMS Lizard sunk in a collision on 24 July 1843
- The loss of HMS Osprey on the New Zealand coast on 11 March 1846
- The loss of HMS Orpheus on the bar of Manukau harbour, on the west coast of New Zealand, on 7 February 1863
- The loss of HMS Lively during a storm off the Dutch coast on 23 December 1863
- The loss of HMS Racehorse off Chefoo, China on 4 November 1864
- The loss of HMS Bombay accidentally burnt off Montevideo on 14 December 1864
- The loss of HMS Polyphemus on the coast of Denmark on 25 January 1866
- The loss of HMS Osprey on the South African coast on 30 May 1867
- The loss of HMS Ferret during a storm in Dover harbour on Easter Monday 1869
- The loss of HMS Trinculo sunk in a collision on 5 September 1870
- The loss of HMS Captain with nearly 500 lives after capsizing in a storm on 7 September 1870
- The loss of HMS Megaera, beached on St Paul's Island in the Indian Ocean in 1871, and the accounts and illustrations in the Illustrated London News, an eyewitness account from Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, the description from the journal kept by the vessel's Surgeon, William Hogarth Adam, and the Report of the Royal Commission appointed to investigate the case.
- The loss of HMS Eurydice; this 26 gun frigate, in which Edward Loney served in 1855, was later converted to a training-ship for ordinary seamen, and foundered with the loss of more than 350 lives in a squall off the Isle of Wight on 24 March 1878
- The surrender of Libau (modern Liepaja) in the Baltic on 17 May 1854 to Captains Astley Cooper Key and Arthur Cumming, later Captain of HMS Glasgow when William Loney served in that ship
- Captain Kynaston's hook: In 1857 Captain Augustus Frederick Kynaston patented "an improved slip or disengaging hook" to facilitate rapid and safe lowering of ships' boats
- The drowning of Captain Boyd during rescue work on 9 February 1861 during a storm in Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire), Ireland; reports from The Times newspaper
- The Trent affair: the seizure of two Confederate diplomats from a British mail vessel could have led to war between the Northern states and Britain during the American Civil War; reports from the Times
- Captain McKillop's flexible cofferdam: In 1863 Captain Henry Frederick McKillop invented a "flexible cofferdam" to enable cleaning of the hull of iron ships in the water
The Naval Surgeon
The tasks of the surgeon (from: "The Naval Officer's Manual, for Every Grade in Her Majesty's Ships", 2nd edition. London. 1848: sold by Parker, Furnivall & Parker and W. Blackburns, and written by Captain W.N. Glascock, R.N.)
Entry requirements (as printed in the Lancet - changes from previous versions shown in red): (1844, 1845)
Instructions for Medical Officers from the 1861 'Queen's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions'.
The Statistical Report of the Health of the Navy for the Year 1864.
Admiralty circulars concerning the medical officers of the Royal Navy.
The organisation of the Medical Department of the Royal Navy, from the Napoleonic wars to the present day.
The Medical Officers of the Royal Navy in 1840 (from the Navy List for January of that year)
A comparison of the careers of the 40 Assistant Surgeons joining the Royal Navy in 1839.
The struggle to improve conditions for Assistant Surgeons; letters and editorials from the Lancet (1846, 1847, 1848, 1849)
- The suicide of Assistant Surgeon Thomas Hart of HMS Conway, 1847.
- The Royal Naval Hospital, Green Mountain, Ascension Island.
- The Royal Naval Hospital, Hong Kong.
The West African Squadron and slave trade
- British legislation concerning the slave trade (inclusion of full texts in progress)
- The legal and diplomatic background to the seizure of foreign vessels by the Royal Navy, including texts of treaties and related documents (Instructions for Ships of War employed to prevent the illicit Traffic in Slaves, Regulations for the Mixed Commissions, &c) and milestone events per country
- Instructions for the guidance of Her Majesty's Naval Officers employed in the Suppression of the Slave Trade (1844 edition).
- 1846 regulations for the distribution of the proceeds of prizes captured at sea.
- The commanders and ships of the West African Station, 1808-1870 (incomplete - under development)
- The divisions of the West African Station and the ships appointed to each division on the 30th of April 1846 [on which date William Loney was serving in Pantaloon].
- Annual reports concerning the Mixed Courts at Sierra Leone from the British Commissioners (1839, 1840, 1841, 1842, 1843, 1844, 1845, 1846, 1847, 1848)
- Denman's destruction of the barracoons at the Gallinas River in November 1840
- Commodore Jones' destruction of the barracoons at Dombocorro and elsewhere in February 1845:
- "Reports of Proceedings" from Commodore Jones, officer commanding the West African squadron (5th April 1845, 23rd April 1845, 12th June 1845)
- A list of some 280 vessels seized or destroyed by ships of the West African Squadron in the period 1838-1845, with details of name and type of ship, date seized, location seized, seizing vessel and commander, number of slaves onboard, court where tried, and verdict
- A list of 17 vessels seized or destroyed by ships of the West African Squadron in which William Loney was serving
- Court reports concerning the vessels seized by navy cruisers when William Loney was on board:
- Eliza Davidson seized by Wanderer, 4 April 1840 (2 slaves on board); Advocate Generals opinion
- São Paolo de Loando seized by Wanderer, 3 June 1840
- Maria Rosaria seized by Wanderer, 9 June 1840
- Republicano seized by Wanderer, 14 August 1840 (case withdrawn; condemned earlier after being seized by Fantôme)
- Firmé seized by Dolphin, 30 May 1841 (armed resistance offered)
- Nova Fortuna seized by Dolphin, 6 June 1841 (contested case)
- Josefa seized by Amphitrite, 8 september 1848 (taken to Vice-Admiralty court)
- 1843 Leters Patent concerning, and Instructions to, the Governor of Her Majesty’s Settlement in the River Gambia
The 1841 Niger expedition
In 1841 a British expedition ascended the River Niger in three specially built iron paddle ships - Albert, Wilberforce and Soudan - to make anti-slavery treaties with the Chiefs along the river. One third of the white participants died of fever. The "invalids" were evacuated from the river mouth to Ascension by Dolphin
, in which William Loney was serving as Assistant Surgeon. As revealed by an Admiralty abstract
of Loneys services, the survivors presented him with a sword and an epaulette as a mark of thanks.
- Prospectus of the Society for the Extinction of the Slave Trade and the Civilization of Africa.
- "A Narrative of the Expedition sent by Her Majesty's Government to the River Niger in 1841", Captain William Allen, R.N. and Thomas R.H. Thompson, M.D., Surgeon, R.N. (London, 1848) - the (almost) complete text of this officially sanctioned account of the expedition, written by the Commander and one of the Assistant Surgeons of Wilberforce.
- "Medical History of the Expedition to the River Niger during the years 1841-2", James Ormiston M'William, Surgeon, R.N. (London, 1843) - the text of this account of the expedition, written by the senior Surgeon of the expedition.
- "Narrative of the Niger Expedition, 1841-1842", a descrition of the expedition "compiled from Official Documents" from Henry Colburn's "United Service Magazine".
- Parliamentary Papers relative to the Expedition to the River Niger (1843  48).
- T.R.H. Thompson's letter to the Lancet on the value of Quinine in African Remittent Fever.
- Reports, letters and leading articles from The Times newspaper.
The Zanzibar slave trade
The texts of original documents in this section are derived from (the IUP reprints of) British Parliamentary Papers concerning the Slave Trade.
- People: biographic details on selected persons, other than Royal Navy sea officers, mentioned in this website.
- Naval snippets from The Times newspaper from between 1834 and 1888.
- The Original School of Anatomy, Medicine & Surgery. History of this private medical school in Peter Street, Dublin, from which William Loney received a certificate in 1847 stating that he "performed with his own hand the several surgical operations on the dead subject under our superintendence and to our perfect satisfaction" (a 1850 list of properties in Peter Street).
- Medical notices from Henry Shaw's 1850 "Dublin Pictorial Guide & Directory".
- The wreck of the transport Charlotte on 20 September 1854, described in The Times newspaper. Lieutenant Henry George Simpson was carried as a supernumerary on the books of HMS Hydra - in which William Loney was also serving - whilst performing surveying service on the South African coast. When Hydra herself was snug at her moorings in Simons Bay Simpson was involved in the greatest maritime disaster to strike Algoa Bay.
- J. Tuckers drawing of HMS Emerald in a gale of wind in the North Atlantic Oct. 1861.
- The 1871 solar eclipse expedition, described in the Illustrated London News. HMS Glasgow, in which William Loney was serving, conveyed members of the expedition from Galle, Ceylon, to the observing site near Baypore, on the west coast of India.
- Visit by the Queen mother of the Netherlands to England in 1857.
- The statue of Queen Victoria in Bombay.
- The equestrian statue of Lord Mayo in Calcutta.
- A key to the "Naval and Military Intelligence" columns of The Times newspaper for the periode 1840 to 1894
- British parliamentary timeline (1828-1900)
- Books: books and articles that have been useful in the construction of this site.
- Links: links to other sites of related interest.
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