HMS Espoir (1860)
HMS Espoir (1860)

Royal NavyVessels

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NameEspoir (1860)Explanation
Launched7 January 1860
Builders measure428 tons
Displacement570 tons
Ships bookADM 135/160
Note1869 = YC.19, dredger
Snippets concerning this vessels career
21 August 1860
- 24 April 1864
Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth until paying off at Plymouth) by Commander Sholto Douglas, west coast of Africa
1 November 1864
- 24 December 1867
Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth until paying off at Sheerness) by Commander Mountford Stephen Loviele Peile, west coast of Africa, senior officer on Bight of Benin division
Extracts from the Times newspaper
Ma 18 April 1864The screw steam gun-vessel Espoir, 5, Commander S. Douglas, from Sierra Leone February 4th, Goree, February 20th, Cape Verd Islands March 6th, and the Western Islands April 4th, arrived on Saturday morning in Plymouth Sound. When she left the station the Rattlesnake was at Sierra Leone, the Zebra at Cape Coast, the Speedwell, the Snake, and the Pandora in the Bights, and the Investigator at Lagos. The Espoir spoke on the 11th of April, in lat. 48 24 N., long. 15 40 W. the brig Eaglet, steering west; 14th, lat. 49 39 N., long. 11 17 W., the bark Juno, outward bound, and lat. 49 32 N., long. 11 40 W., a large steamer steering west. Off Fayal she encountered a heavy gale from the eastward, but sustained no damage.

The Espoir was commissioned at Devonport by Commander Sholto Douglas August 21,1860, and left England on September the 27th. On the coast she was first engaged up the River Gambia in settling native disputes. She then conveyed a portion of the troops wrecked in the Perseverance from Navy Island to Sierra Leone. During the passage fever broke out, and on arrival three-fourths of the ship's company were on the sick list; she therefore proceeded to the Bananas to recruit. On the 19th of November, 1860, off Gallinas River, she captured a Spanish brig, and subsequently, near Ascension, the bark Clara Windsor, with 750 slaves. The Espoir was occupied until July, 1861, in suppressing the slave trade. She was then engaged in escorting the Sunbeam up the Niger to Onitsha, and while performing this duty she fired at and burnt the village of Kpetema, and bad two men killed in the action. She then cruized on the North coast until May, 1862, when she was ordered to the south, where she captured, July the 22d, off Corigo, the bark Traviata; in October, 1862, the Dutch bark Jane or Fleet Eagle; in November,1862, the Portuguese launch E, with 1200l for the purchase of slaves; and in August, 1863, the brig Haidee, with 590 slaves. For the remainder of the commission she was employed in visiting the forts on the coast with Major Clarke, R.E., who has come home a passenger in her. During her commission she has lost Lieut. Stephenson and Mr. Teppett, gunner, by fever, and Mr. Hersee, assistant engineer, by consumption; including the above she has lost 11 by death. The total amount of her prize money will amount to 10,000l. The Espoir will to-day discharge powder and ammunition, and after inspection will proceed from the Sound into Hamoaze to be dismantled. Her crew will be paid off at Devonport.
Sa 14 December 1867The screw steam gun vessel Espoir, 5, from Ascension November 3, arrived in Plymouth Sound on Thursday night, as already reported in The Times, She experienced very fine weather to the Western Isles, and afterwards strong north-east winds. On the 9th inst. they increased to a gale, during which one of the quarter boats was lost. The Espoir spoke November 11, lat. 5 17 W., long. 24 34 W., the Dutch ship Ardville, outward bound; and on the 15th, lat. 10 39 N, long. 27 35 W., the American brigantine D.C. Soule, from Baltimore for Buenos Ayres, On the 10th, lat. 48 13 W., long. 10 42 W passed the side of a ship, supposed to have been wrecked ashore and then washed off to sea; apparently it had not been long in the water. The Espoir left at Ascension the iron screw steam storeship Dromedary, Staff Commander John H. Allard, and the Flora, 40; one death from yellow fever had occurred on board the Flora. The screw steam sloop Greyhound, 5, Capt. Charles Stirling, from St. Helena, was daily expected at Ascension. Commodore Hornby, in the Bristol, 31, Capt. Somerset, and the screw steam sloop Vestal, 4, Commander Brett, were in the River Congo, Several Kroomen attacked by smallpox had died on board the Vestal, while she was being purified her crew were housed ashore. The screw steam, gun vessel Lee, 5, Commander Charles W. Andrew (senior officer), the Ranger, Landrail, Vindictive, and Assurance were in the Bights of Benin, The Dart, Mullet, and Pioneer were on the south coast, and the Oberon and Antelope at the Cape. The position of the screw steam corvette Rattlesnake, 19, Capt. William M. Dowell, C.B., was not known. The Espoir will be inspected to-day, after which she will go into Hamoaze to be dismantled and paid off.
We 18 December 1867Her Majesty's screw gun vessel Espoir, 5, 80-horse power (nominal), Capt. Mountford S.L. Peile, arrived at the Nore yesterday from the West Coast of Africa, last from Ascension, which she left on the 3d ult., on the completion of her term of commission, extending over rather more than three years. After saluting the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir Baldwin Wake Walker, K.C.B., which was returned from the Formidable, flagship, the Espoir, steamed into the harbour to be dismantled, preparatory to being paid out of commission. During the time the Espoir has been in commission. she has been employed almost entirely in cruising up and down the western coast of Africa, or watching after Portugese slavers. She was very successful in preventing the slave traffic From the length of time the Espoir has been in commission and the nature of the climate of the African coast there has been much sickness among the officers and crew, only three of the former who left England with the vessel returning with her. The Espoir will be at once inspected by the Vice Admiral Commanding-in-Chief, after which she will be dismantled by the crew in order to be paid off before Christmas, to enable the officers and crew to spend that day with their friends.
Th 19 December 1867The Espoir, 5, screw gun vessel, 42 tons, 80-horse power, Commander Mountford S.L. Peile, which arrived at Sheerness on Monday from the West Coast of Africa, was inspected on Tuesday by Vice-Admiral Sir B. W. Walker, K.C.B., and is now discharging stores and being dismantled with all despatch, as it is intended to pay off the vessel on the 21th inst. The Espoir was commissioned in 1864.
We 25 December 1867The screw gun-vessel Espoir, 5, 80-horse power, Capt. Mountford S.L. Peile, recently returned to England from the West Coast of Africa, having been stripped and dismantled, was yesterday put out of commission and paid off into the third division of the Steam Reserve in the Medway, under the superintendence of the officials belonging to the dockyard and Steam Reserve, the continuous service men belonging to the crew being granted the customary period of absence. The Espoir has been in commission rather more than three years, Capt. (then Commander) Peile having hoisted his pennant at her mainmast on the 1st of November, 1864. During the time the Espoir has been in commission she has been employed exclusively on the West African Coast, and was very successful in putting down the slave trade which is carried on along the Gold and Slave Coast, principally by vessels sailing under the Portuguese flag. From the length of time the Espoir has been, in commission she has lost several of her crew, chiefly from sickness and from being invalided home. Of the officers who originally sailed from England in the Espoir only two besides the captain returned with her - viz., Mr. John Lambert, assist.-surg., and Mr. Arthur M. Wade, assist,-paymaster in charge.

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