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HMS Malacca (1853)

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NameMalaccaExplanation
TypeSloop (1862: Corvette)   
Launched9 April 1853 Converted to screwon the stocks
HullWooden Length192 feet
PropulsionScrew Men 
Builders measure1034 tons   
Displacement1758 tons   
Guns17   
Fate1869 Last in commission1869
Class    
Ships bookADM 135/298   
Career
DateEvent
9 April 1853Launched at Moulmain, Burma.
7 May 1853Commissioned.
16 May 1853
- 28 September 1853
Commanded by Lieutenant commander John Adolphus Pope Price, sailed from Moulmain (where she was launched) to Chatham to receive her engines
19 June 1854
- 16 June 1857
Commanded (from commissioning at Chatham until paying off at Sheerness) by Captain Arthur Farquhar, Mediterranean then (November 1855) North America and West indies
3 September 1861
- 8 December 1863
Commanded (from commissioning at Sheerness until paying off at Portsmouth) by Captain Gerard John Napier, Mediterranean (returning early after Lieutenant George J. Armitage was dismissed by Court-martial and then bought a charge of conspiracy against witnesses)
10 November 1865
- 9 September 1869
Commanded (from commissioning at Portsmouth until paying off at Portsmouth) by Captain Radulphus Bryce Oldfield, Pacific
June 1869Sold to E. Bates for breaking up
1870Resold to Japanese navy as Tsukuba.
1906Broken up.
Extracts from the Times newspaper
DateExtract
Fr 28 August 1863The following are Her Majesty's ships at present in Malta harbour:- The Hibernia, receiving ship (bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral H.T. Austin, C.B.), the Phoebe, 35, the Malacca, 17, the Cossack, 20, the Medina, surveying vessel, the Foxhound, 4, the Psyche, 2, and the Growler and the Boxer, tenders. The 4th battalion Rifle Brigade, 2d battalion 15th Regiment, and 1st battalion 23d Royal Welsh Fusiliers, are under orders to leave for Gibraltar, and will be replaced here by the 2d battalion 7th, 2d battalion 8th, and 100th Regiments. Her Majesty's iron troopship Orontes, Capt. Hire, will effect these changes of troops. She is expected about the 25th or 26th inst. with the 7d Regiment and will return to Gibraltar with the Rifles. She will then embark the 8th and 100th successively, returning-to Gibraltar with the 15th and 23d, in their numerical order.
Fr 16 October 1863We have received the following letter from our Malta correspondent, dated Valetta, October 10:-
"Letters from the fleet in Greek waters give the following news:- The latest date is the 3d inst. The country continues in a tranquil state, the arrival of the new King being looked forward to with feelings of pleasing expectation and deep interest. Her Majesty's ship Revenge, 73 (bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Yelverton, C.B.), which is to escort the young King from a port in France to his new dominions, does not leave Malta for Toulon until Monday next, the 12th inst. Her orders are to be at Toulon by the 15th, and the King is not expected there till the 22d or 23d. It is reported that the Orlando, 46, Capt. G.G. Randolph, which left the Piraeus on the 25th ult. for Corfu, and the West Coast of Greece, will form part of the escort squadron. The following ships of war are at present at the Piraeus:- English.- Marlborough, 121, Capt. C. Fellowes (bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral Smart, K.H.); Trafalgar, 70, Capt. T. Mason; the Queen, 74, Capt. F. Hillyar; the St. George, 84, Capt. the Hon. F. Egerton (in Salamis Bay); and the Boxer, 2, gunboat, Lieut.-Commander F.S.D. Broughton, tender to the Marlborough. French.- The Magicienne, 23, screw frigate, bearing the flag of the Rear-Admiral commanding; the Tangier, 4, and the Mouette, 4, paddlewheel steamers. Austrian.- The Dandolo, 22, screw corvette; and the Wall, 4, screw gunboat. Italian.- The Tancrede, 4, paddlewheel steamer. Turkish.- The Broussa, 22, screw corvette. Greek.- The Athens, 6, paddlewheel steamer, and a screw gunboat. The English paddlewheel frigate Magicienne, 16, Capt. W. Armytage, sailed from the Piraeus on the 1st inst. for Nauplia and Patras. The Pelican, 17, screw corvette, Acting-Commander Bogle, was expected at Athens about the 10th inst. from Beyrout. She was to return and winter on the coast of Syria. The Liffey, 35, screw frigate, Capt. G. Parker, was also to winter on some part of that station. The Cossack, 22, Capt. W.R. Rolland, and the Icarus, 11, Commander N. Salmon, V. C.. are at present there. Report says that the Marlborough will shortly return to Malta. The Admiral intends, however, to remain at the Piraeus, and hoist his flag on board the Queen. The three men who perpetrated the cowardly murder of a marine belonging to Her Majesty's gunboat Foxhound some months since are about to be brought to trial before the Criminal Court of Athens, the decision of which will be final. The Trident, 3, iron paddlewheel sloop, Commander C.J. Balfour, arrived at the Piraeus on the 25th ult. from Malta with a mail and despatches, and returned on the 6th inst., bringing despatches and letters from the squadron; also three naval cadets and an assistant-clerk for the Meeanee, and two naval cadets for the Phoebe. She steamed from the Piraeus to Kalamata, where she communicated with the Wanderer, 4, gunboat, Commander M.C. Seymour, and performed the remaining portion of the voyage to Malta, with the exception of the last 12 hours, under sail, acquitting herself better than was expected. The Liffey was expected at Kalamata on the 11th inst. The Foxhound, 4, gunboat, Commander W.H. Anderson, left Malta on the 1st inst. for the Piraeus, and the Meeanee, 60, Capt. G. Wodehouse, quitted port on the 8th for the same destination, both taking mails and despatches for the squadron. The following mail will probably be conveyed by the Trident. The Caradoc, despatch-vessel, Lieut.-Commander E. Wilkinson, is at Constantinople; the Weser, 6, Commander A.H.J. Johnstone, and the Cockatrice, 2, Lieut.- Commander Gillson, are on the Danube station; and the Procris, gunboat. Lieut.-Commander the Hon. J.B. Vivian, is at Gibraltar. There are at present in Malta harbour the receiving ship Hibernia (bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral H.T. Austen, C.B.), Commander R.B. Harvey; the Revenge, 73 (bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral H. R. Yelverton, C.B). Capt. the Hon. F.A. Foley; the Chanticleer, 17, Commander C. Sterling (lately arrived from Syria); the Medina, surveying vessel, Capt. T.A.B. Spratt, C.B. (awaiting her relief the Hydra, 6, paddle-sloop, from England); the Trident, 3, Commander C.J. Balfour; the Psyche, despatch-vessel, Lieut.-Commander Sterne, and the Growler, tender to the Medina (arrived on the 2d inst. from Sicily). The Revenge, having got ashore on the mud at Navarino, was on arrival here admitted into dock for examination. No damage was discovered but what a few sheets of copper will make good. The Phoebe has also been into dock to have her bottom cleaned and examined. Her broken engine is being repaired here, and it will he necessary to cast a new cylinder. It is not expected she will be ready for sea again in much less than three months. Her Majesty's iron screw transport Orontes, 2, Capt. W.H. Hire, which brought here on Wednesday evening, the 30th ult., the 2d Battalion 8th Regiment, under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Woods, from Gibraltar, left on return to Gibraltar on Monday, the 5th inst., with the 2d battalion 15th Regiment, under the command of Major Fulton, from this garrison, to replace the former regiment at Gibraltar. She will return with the 100th (Royal Canadian) Regiment, and take away from this the 23d (Royal Welsh) Fusiliers. which have been for some time under order to proceed to Gibraltar in exchange for the 100th. The 8th Regiment is now quartered in Verdala Barracks, on the other aide of the harbour. ... A Prussian steam corvette, the Preussischer Adler, Commodore G. Klatt, and two gunboats, the Basilisk, Lieut. H. Schan, and the Blitz, Lieut. M'Lean, have lately arrived in the Mediterranean from the Baltic, and touched here on their way to the Levant. They left on Sunday and Monday last for Athens, where the Blitz is to remain until further orders. The Preussischer Adler and the Basilisk will go on, the former to be stationed at Constantinople, and the latter on the Danube. They are likely to remain in these waters for two or three years. The Malacca, 17, screw corvette, Capt. G J. Napier, came in this morning in five days from Missolonghi. She is on her way home, having been ordered to England in consequence of legal proceedings having been taken by one of her former officers (Lieut. Armitage) who was dismissed the service by court-martial, and who has brought a charge of conspiracy against certain persons belonging to this ship, who gave evidence in the case. Deputy-Commissary-General Horne arrived to-night by the Euxine from China on his way home. He remains a week at Malta."
Ma 9 November 1863The Orontes, screw iron troopship, Capt. W.H. Hire, arrived at Spithead, late on Friday evening, from Malta and Gibraltar, with the following freight on board:- Saloon Passengers.-Dr. Kelly, R.N., from Malta Hospital; Lieut. Calder, R.N., from Her Majesty's ship Phoebe; Mr. Inuis, naval cadet, Her Majesty's ship Liffey; Capt. Leadbetter, 25th Regiment, in charge of military invalids; Lieut. Skinner, 8th Regiment (2d battalion); Dr. Annersley, Inspector-General of Hospitals, Mrs. Annersley and family, Capt. Fitzroy Somerset, R.E., Capt. Ridout, R.A., Capt. Squirl, 2d Regiment; Dr. Sinclair, R.A, and Assist.-Surgeon Graves, R.A. in medical charge of invalids; Mr. Sinclair and family, Mrs. Capt. Barnett and child, Mrs. Spratt and family, Mrs. Hibbert and servant. Her troop and naval list comprised:- 124 military invalids, 59 time-expired men, 10 military prisoners, 7 insane soldiers, 22 soldiers' wives and 38 children, from various regiments, and 130 naval invalids from the Mediterranean fleet. The military invalids were transferred from the ship on Saturday to Netley Hospital, and the time expired men, women, and children, insane men and prisoners, to the depôts of their regiments, &c. The naval invalids were transferred to Her Majesty's ship Victory, and the Royal and Naval Hospital at Haslar. Two warders and 32 convicts (the latter are tickets of leave), who also came from Gibraltar in the ship, were transferred to the convict prison at Portsea. Some 700 tons of old stores and a large quantity of condemned powder has been sent to England in the ship from Malta and Gibraltar. The Orontes sailed from Malta on the 31st ult., leaving at anchor there Her Majesty's ships Hydra, Procris, and Redpole. The Malacca, 20, screw, sailed from the Rock for England on the 29th ult. The Gibraltar, screw, liner, Capt. Prevost, sailed for Malta on the 31st ult. The Racoon, 20, screw, Captain Count Gleichen, was lying at Malaga. At Malta there was great dullness of trade, and consequent grumbling ashore, owing to the lengthened absence of the fleet at the Piraeus. Since leaving England the Orontes has done very efficient service in the Mediterranean in the exchange of regiments between Malta and Gibraltar, and in the performance of which duty the conduct and attention to the wants of their military passengers of Capt. Hire and his officers are spoken of in very high terms. It is, however, stated that although the Orontes was designed and constructed for an improved Himalaya, she is, in fact, very far from being even the equal of that vessel. Her machinery is of insufficient power, and she can with difficulty average 10 knots. Her steering power is also defective, her wheel requiring considerable alterations. At present it takes six men in ordinary weather to steer her. She is an excellent sea boat and remarkably easy in rough weather. Her immediate requirements (to make her approach the Himalaya in comfort to her passengers and in speed) are, a poop on the upper deck, and the present cabin space on the main deck added to the troop berthing; some alterations to her machinery, and additional boiler space. It will take about three weeks to make good her ordinary defects.
Sa 18 March 1865Yesterday morning, in accordance with previously understood arrangements, the majority of the members of the Board of Admiralty arrived at Portsmouth from London, and embarking on board the Royal Sovereign turret ship, at Spithead, took a short cruise in the Channel, south of the Isle of Wight, accompanied by Her Majesty's ships then lying at Spithead, and witnessed some evolutions under steam and gunnery. The fleet at Spithead, which consisted of the Achilles, Black Prince, and Defence iron-clad broadside-gun frigates, the Royal Sovereign iron-cased turret ship, and the Liverpool, latest improved class of wooden screw frigate, had steam up and cables hove in shortly after 9 a.m., in readiness for their Lordships' arrival. The wind was moderate from S.S.E., with the barometer steady at 30·3. At half past 10 the Fire Queen steam yacht was seen from on board the ships of the fleet to be coming from between the points of Portsmouth harbour to Spithead with the flag of Admiral Sir Michael Seymour, G.C.B, the Naval Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth, flying from her main, and very shortly the party on board of her were transferred from the Fire Queen to the Royal Sovereign, consisting of Admirals Sir Frederick Grey, Drummond, Eden, Frederick, and Fanshawe; with Mr. Romaine, C.B., and Capt. Hall, R.N., secretary to the Duke of Somerset (from the Admiralty); accompanied by Admirals Sir Michael Seymour, G.C.B., Sydney Colpoys Dacres, C.B., and George Elliot, Capts. Caldwell, C.B., Preedy, C.B., F. Scott, C.B. and Aide-de-Camp to the Queen, and a number of other naval officers out of uniform, and also by Capt. Pigeaud, Naval Attaché to the Imperial French Embassy in London. Capt. Astley C. Key, C.B., of Her Majesty's ship Excellent, received the members of the Admiralty and the officers by whom they were accompanied on the deck of the Royal Sovereign, as her commander pro tem. The anchors of the fleet were soon afterwards weighed, and the ships steamed slowly out by the eastern channel as they secured their anchors, the Royal Sovereign leading, as the flagship of the Admiral commanding; the four-masted Achilles came next, the Black Prince third, the Defence fourth, and the Liverpool last. The Lords of the Admiralty present had, therefore, for their immediate personal observation under steam three distinct classes of our broadside gun ironclads, our most powerful turret ship, and the latest improved model of the 34-gun wooden frigate. The ships continued on their course, with the steam tender yachts Fire Queen and Sprightly in attendance on the port beam of the line, until 20 minutes past noon; when the headland of Dunnose opened out well on the starboard beam of the fleet, and the course was changed from S. and by W. to W, so as to bring the wind and sea abeam and get as much roll as was possible out of the turret ship while working her turrets and guns. There was found, however, to be neither wind nor sea enough to effect her, placed as she was, in the slightest degree, and the direction of the course was therefore again changed by signal to W. and by S. to some distance further off the land. There the breeze freshened a little, with a somewhat heavier sea. The Royal Sovereign's speed was slowed, her crew beat to quarters, turrets were manned, upper deck bulwarks thrown down, and other preparations made for action, and all being ready the turrets were turned by that portion of the crew at the winch handles below, and the guns sighted and laid in various directions to exhibit the turrets' capabilities of revolving and the time occupied in laying the guns in various directions. There was nothing new or particularly interesting in any of these proceedings, excepting the fact that the work necessarily took a longer time in each instance than it did on similar occasions of trial when the ship was in commission under Capt. Osborn's command. This was owing to the fact that the greater part of the men yesterday (who had been lent from the Excellent) had never before been engaged in working turrets and their guns. While the Royal Sovereign was lying thus the four broadside ships steamed past and close alongside her in line, and it was evident that had they been in reality approaching the ship in this manner as enemies every ship would have been sunk by the guns of the turret ship before they could have brought their broadside guns to bear upon her deck or turrets. The Achilles was a strong illustration in point, as she steamed up for the Royal Sovereign's port quarter with only eight guns in battery on either side of her hull, the foremost guns being on a line with her forward funnel. It was also remarkable that all the ironclads exhibited a greater lateral motion, or "roll" than the Royal Sovereign under full steam, and that while the Defence plunged her bows into the water and threw a wave up to her hawsepipes the Liverpool rode with greater ease than any of the others. There was a want of both wind and sea to test satisfactorily, as a matter of comparison, the working of the different ships' guns in a roll of a seaway, for no roll to speak of existed, and preparations were therefore made for target firing, the Royal Sovereign commencing from her three foremost turrets at 1,800 yards' range, with 150lb. round shot and 40lb. charges of powder, firing to starboard; and then with circling round the target and firing from the same guns at short range. Guns, turrets, and fittings worked with ease, and the concussion felt on the ship's upper deck was generally allowed to be less than the concussion ordinarily felt on a ship's main gun deck from the firing of ordinary 68 or 100 pounders. The Lords of the Admiralty present and the officers accompanying them were on the ship's upper deck during the time of the firing, some being on the platform round the funnel casing, and others walking the deck itself on the leeward side from the fire. The practice from the turret ship having been brought to a conclusion signal was made to the fleet to close on the Admiral and open fire from their port batteries on the target at 600 yards as they steamed past. The Royal Sovereign led off with two shots from her foremost turret guns, and was followed by the Achilles from her 9·22-inch or 100-pounder smooth bore coil built guns, and the other ships by their mixed batteries as they came up. The effect was magnificent, and the Lords of the Admiralty saw much to suggest reflection in the brilliant scene before them. There was a costly squadron of five ships, each perhaps superior as a ship to all others of the same class in foreign navies, and yet only one of these carried guns that would even under the most favourable circumstances pierce any one of the other's sides. If, however, the naval display of yesterday was intended to settle any of the disputes in the contest of "turret versus broadside ships' batteries," an old partly plated hulk or target would have afforded more satisfactory results. The target fired at was a small "pole" target, sent afloat with a flag on the top of the pole, and it is remarkable that it was not hit in any instance by the fire of the fleet. After the firing had been brought to a conclusion the fleet returned to Spithead in the order they left, and again anchored there. The Lords of the Admiralty, on leaving the Royal Sovereign, took the opportunity of visiting the other ships as they came to an anchor. On returning to Portsmouth their Lordships visited the Malacca and other ships in the harbour, and afterwards dined at Hirst's Portland Hotel, Southsea.
The Royal Sovereign is ordered to undergo an ordeal of some 12 or 14 days' experimental work outside the Isle of Wight under the direction of Capt. A. C. Key, C.B., of Her Majesty's ship Excellent, when her gunnery capabilities will be fully and practically developed under every possible condition. As on this officer's report must depend in a great measure the matured opinion of the Admiralty respecting the turret principle, it is satisfactory to hear it remarked on all sides that the conduct of such an important matter could not have been placed in more able or impartial hands.
A. patented compass, the invention of Commander Arthur, of Her Majesty's ship Excellent, was tried on board the Royal Sovereign during the cruise, and attracted much attention from several of the Lords and the officers on board. It is for registering a ship's course at sea on lined and prepared paper, working on a cylinder by clockwork, the direction of the ship's head being taken and marked by an indicator pencil every two minutes and a half. It can be placed in any part of the ship where there is no local attraction, and does not require being placed with the ship's compass.
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