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HMS Orontes (1862)

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NameOrontesExplanation
TypeTroopship   
Launched22 November 1862
HullIron
PropulsionScrew
Builders measure2812 tons
Displacement4857 tons
Guns3
Fate1893
Class 
Ships bookADM 135/340
Note1876 lengthened 5600 disp
Snippets concerning this vessels career
DateEvent
20 April 1863
- 3 January 1867
Commanded (until paying off) by Captain Henry William Hire, flagship of Phipps Hornby, particular service
4 January 1867Commanded by Captain Henry Phelps
23 March 1870Commanded by Captain John Laisné Perry
21 March 1879Commanded by Captain Richard George Kinahan
Extracts from the Times newspaper
DateExtract
We 9 April 1862The Board of Admiralty, composed of the Duke of Somerset, Vice-Admiral the Hon. Sir F.W. Grey, K.C.B., Capt. Charles Frederick, Capt. the Hon. J.R. Drummond, C.B., and Rear-Admiral Lord Clarence Paget, C.B., the Secretary, went yesterday morning to witness some experimeats with large guns at Shoeburyness.
In addition to the iron frigate Achilles, 50, 6,079 tons, 1,250-horse power, building at Chatham dockyard, the following squadron of iron vessels are now under construction by private firms for the Admiralty, several of which are in a very advanced state - viz., the Agincourt, 50, 6,621 tons, 1,250-horse power, building at Birkenhead; the Northumberland, 50, 6,621 tons, 1,250-horse power, and the Valiant, 32, 4,063 tons, 800-horse power, building at Millwall; the Minotaur, 50, 6,621 tons, 1,250-horse power, and the Orontes, 3, 2,812 tons, 500-horse power, building at Blackwall; and the Hector, 32, 4,063 tons, 800-horse power, building at Glasgow. The following iron-plated frigates are now building at the several Royal dockyards, the whole of which are intended to be afloat during the present year - viz., the Caledonia, 50, 4,045 tons, 800-horse power, at Woolwich; the Ocean, 50, 4,045 tons, 1,000-horse power, at Devonport; the Prince Consort, 50, 4,045 tons, 1,000-horse power, at Pembroke; the Royal Oak, 50, 3,716 tons, 1,000-horse power, at Chatham; and the Royal Alfred, 50, 3,716 tons, 800-horse power, at Portsmouth. in addition to the above there are no fewer than 31 line-of-battle ships and other screw steamers now on the stocks at the several dockyards, most of which are admirably adapted for conversion into shield ships, on Captain Coles's principle. Of these the Bulwark, 91 [laid down in 1859, suspended in 1861 and finally cancelled in 1873], at Chatham; the Repulse, 91, at Woolwich; the Robust, 91 [laid down in 1859, suspended in 1861 and finally cancelled in 1872], at Devonport; and the Zealous, 91, at Pembroke, are all in a very advanced state, requiring only a comparatively small outlay to plate them with iron. There are also three first-class 51-gun figates also building - viz., the Belvidera [laid down in 1860 and cancelled in 1864] at Chatham, the Tweed [laid down 1860 and cancelled in 1864] at Pembroke, and the Dryad at Portsmouth, - which are admirably adapted for conversion into armour-plated ships. They would not require the removal of any decks, as would be the case with line-of-battle ships, but would only have to be lengthened and strengthened to enable them to bear the increased weight which would be placed on them. Of the other vessels in progress several are intended to carry 22 guns and upwards. If completed as iron-cased steamers they would be larger and of greater tonnage than either the Monitor or Merrimac. The whole of the hands have been removed from the wooden ships building at the several dockyards, and are now employed on the iron-cased frigates under construction, five of which will be afloat by the end of the present year.
Ma 6 April 1863An Alleged Confederate “Ironclad”. - Some interest was created in Liverpool on Saturday by an allegation that a new "iron-clad" steamer had been trying her engines, and departed from the Mersey in course of the forenoon’s tide. From the outcry which has recently been made in relation to war steamers having been supplied to the Confederate Government, the allegation referred to excited considerable remark. Investigation, however, showed that the "suspicious craft” was perfectly legitimate in all respects. She proved to be the troopship Orontes recently built for our own Government by Messrs. Laird Brothers, at Birkenhead, which was launched in November last. This vessel, by dint of great exertion, has been completed in her external fittings, and was wanted to proceed at once to Devonport. Her engines, by Watt and Co., are of 500-horse power, and have been put on board, and the vessel is in all respects ready for the reception of troops, and for the conveyance of these she will no doubt be immediately put in commission. She has been inspected by Mr. Luke and several officers of Her Majesty’s navy, and gentlemen interested in such matters, and has been pronounced by them first class, and no doubt will prove that ships built by contract are not in any respect inferior to those built in the Royal dockyards. The Orontes is the first Government troopship and the largest vessel ever built upon the Mersey. She is 300ft. in length between perpendiculars; is 44ft. 7in. in extreme breadth; is 32ft. deep in the hold, and her register measurement is 2,811 tons. The lines of the vessel are exceedingly fine, and in general symmetry and aspect she bears a great resemblance to the superb screw steam troopship Himalaya, although not quite so large. She has a very handsome figure-head, designed and executed by Messrs. Allan and Clotworthy, of Liverpool. As has been already stated, the Orontes has been built as a troopship, the successful working of the Himalaya in the transport service having convinced the Government that troops can be carried much more satisfactorily in vessels built for the purpose than in casual transports. Under this conviction, besides the Orontes, another vessel of a similar class is now in course of being built in London. The capacious ship Orontes, which has been built under special Government superintendence and inspection, will carry from 1,100 to 1,200 troops with the greatest comfort, besides her own full complement of officers and crew. The ventilation of the ship and also her lighting are in all respects most perfect, as her ’tween decks are lighted and ventilated by a series of large side ports and skylights on deck. Her crew will have ample accommodation in a large forecastle, which extends aft to the foremast; and the health and comfort of all on board are secured by the great height between decks, that being from 8ft. to 9ft. clear.
Th 9 April 1863The iron screw steam troop ship Orontes, 3, built for the Government by Messrs. Laird, Brothers, of Birkenhead, has been formally delivered up by their agent, Capt. Henderson, to Commander Brown, R.N., the Master Attendant at the Devonport dockyard. She has been called "iron-clad," but, like the Himalaya, is constructed entirely of iron. The plates from the keel to the wales average three-quarters of an inch thick; at the wales they are double, and above them about ?ths. Her lower masts are stepped and with 300 tons of coal, her draught is 18 feet. When fully equipped for sea it will be about 20 feet. The Orontes left Birkenhead at 1215 pm. on Saturday, and arrived at Plymouth at 630 p.m. on Monday. From Birkenhead to the Land's-end a strong contrary gale, with a heavy sea, was encountered. The sea caused her to pitch a little, but, although so light, the Orontes did not roll much, and in all other respects behaved well, whether under steam only, or when aided by her fore and aft canvass, after rounding the Land's-end. Her equipments will be completed by the dockyard authorities forthwith.
Sa 11 April 1863

Iron v. Wood.

The following correspondence has passed between Messrs. Laird of Birkenhead and the Admiralty.

"To Admiral Robinson, R.N. Controller of the Navy.
" Sir,- In the statement relating to iron and wood, and the relative cost of these materials in the construction of ships for Her Majesty's Navy, signed by you and ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, on the 3d of March, 1863, we have observed with regret the following assertion, - 'That among other difficulties which present themselves are, -1st, the general slovenliness of the work performed by iron shipbuilders, rendering the presence of an Admiralty inspector necessary on the premises wherever the contract ships are building, and leading to many difficulties between the contractors and the Admiralty; and 2d, the great temptations that beset the contractor, owing to the cost and difficulty of procuring good iron, to use an inferior and cheaper article.' We believe that a statement of this nature, proceeding as it does from so high an authority, tends very seriously to injure the credit of the contractors in this country, and also to shake the confidence which foreign Governments and foreign mercantile houses have hitherto reposed in the good faith and skill of the shipbuilders and engineers of this country. Among some three hundred vessels built by our firm in the last 32 years for service, in different parts of the world, we have completed by contract more than 40 vessels for Her Majesty's navy, and between 30 and 40 for the Hon. East India Company; and have now in course of construction the Orontes, a troopship of 2,850 tons, and the Agincourt, an iron-cased ship of 6,750 tons. We know that the work executed by us under the contracts for these vessels has invariably been satisfactory. We were told in a letter from the Admiralty, dated the 7th of November, 1862, relating to the progress made with the Agincourt, 'That they have great satisfaction in stating that they have received from the overseer and inspecting officer of this department assurances that the work has been admirably performed, and that all your arrangements manifest a desire to push on the work and execute it in the most perfect manner.' We therefore beg that you will inform us if it is your intention to attribute to us a system of carrying on work and executing contracts which is open to such grave charges as are enumerated in the paragraphs we have quoted. There is so great a difference of opinion between the contractors and the Government as to the cause of the delays that have taken place in completing the ships already built, or in the progress made with the ships in course of construction, that we do not intend to enter upon this question now; but we feel that some explanation is due to us on the points named, affecting as they do, not only our past but present engagements with Her Majesty's Government and other parties.
"We are Sir, your obedient servants,
"LAIRD BROTHERS.
"Birkenhead Ironworks, Birkenhead, March 13."

"To Messrs. Laird Brothers, Birkenhead.
"Gentlemen,- My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty having had under their consideration your letter of the 13th inst., addressed to the Controller of the Navy, in regard to 'the statement laid before Parliament relating to iron and wood, and the relative cost of these materials in the construction of ships for Her Majesty's navy,' I am commanded by their Lordships to acquaint you that the objections therein urged to the construction of Her Majesty's ships in merchant yards, as compared with the Royal dockyards, are of a general nature, and were in no way intended to injure the shipbuilding firms employed by the Admiralty but rather to show, from the results of experience, the difficulties which obtain in exercising control over the work, and a due supervision of materials and workmanship when ships are built in private yards. My Lords desire me to observe that the work you have hitherto performed on the Agincourt and Orontes is reported to be of excellent quality throughout; and they have every reason to believe that, although you will be very much longer in completing these ships than the time specified in the contracts, the quality of the work will be unexceptionally good.- I am, gentlemen, your obedient servant,
"W.G. Romaine."
Ma 20 April 1863The iron screw steam transport Orontes, 3, recently built for the Admiralty by Messrs. Laird, Brothers, of Birkenhead, was taken outside Plymouth breakwater on Thursday to test her engines and machinery. The trial under the supervision of Capt. Astley C. Key, C.B., and Mr. A. Dinnen, inspector of machinery from the guardship of steam reserve Indus, in Hamoaze; Mr. James Steil, R.N., assistant to the chief engineer at Keyham steamyard; and Mr. James Edwards, assistant-master shipwright of Devonport Dockyard. Mr. Schoales represented the manufacturers of the machinery, Messrs. Watt and Co., of London-street, city. The weather was very fine. The Orontes, which is built entirely of iron, and has her lower mast stepped, has a burden of 2,812 tons, and draws 17ft. 11in. aft and 17ft 3in forward. The engines, direct acting, are of 500-horse power nominal, but were worked up to 2,020-horse power; cylinders horizontal; diameter, 31in.; stroke 36in. The screw shaft is about 110ft. long by 13in. diameter The screw is Griffith's shifting; diameter, 18 feet; pitch, 25ft. The mean speed obtained from six runs was 13·292 knots, which, when it is recollected that the ship has been in the water since the beginning of December, and that her bottom cannot consequently be clean, is considered very fair. The maximum number of revolutions is 63 per minute; the mean number of revolutions at full power 61½; the pressure is 251b. to the square inch. There were no indications of hot bearings or of priming. The engines of the Orontes are similar to those of the Prince Regent, Sanspareil, and Barrosa, by the same manufacturers. This transport has accommodation for 1,150 troops. The trial under steam appears to confirm the anticipations of her good qualities for speed expressed when she was launched on the 22d of November last at Birkenhead. She will probably be put in commission at an early period.
Ma 1 June 1863Her Majesty's ships of war, now at Spithead consist of the Black Prince, 40 guns, screw iron frigate, Capt. Wainwright; Defence, 18 guns, screw iron frigate, Capt. Phillimore; Racoon, 20 guns, screw woodlen corvette, Capt. Count Gleichen, and Orontes, screw iron troopship, Capt. Hire.
Tu 2 June 1863The Orontes, screw iron troopship, Capt. Hire, went into Portsmouth harbour yesterday, and berthed alongside the dockyard, before being placed in dock to clean and afterwards coat her bottom with some protective composition. She possesses great carrying powers for her tonnage (2,812), and is said to be a Government copy of the Himalaya, with the exception of being 641 tons less burden and some 40 feet or so shorter.
Ma 29 June 1863The Orontes, screw troopship, Captain H.W. Hire, will embark at Portsmouth the 92d Regiment (Gordon Highlanders), for conveyance to Edinburgh, and take on from the Firth of Forth the 25th Regiment to Madras. On her return to England the Orontes will undergo considerable alterations in her internal fittings, similar to those now being carried out in the screw troopship Tamar, which will enable her to carry a larger number of troops than she does at present. These alterations will give her ample accommodation for carrying a regiment at its full strength in a similar manner to the Himalaya.
Ma 6 July 1863The Orontes, screw troopship, Capt. H.W. Hire, will be inspected by the military authorities at Portsmouth on the 8th inst., take on board luggage on the 9th, and embarking the 92d (Gordon Highlanders) Regiment, under the command of Col. Lockhart, early on the morning of the 10th, will sail at 2 p.m. the same day for Leith. On arriving at Leith the 92d will be disembarked and the 2d battalion of the 25th Foot taken on board, with which the Orontes will return to Portsmouth, the 25th being ordered into quarters at Gosport, to prepare for embarcation for Madras. There are no other orders beyond these mentioned for the Orontes' further services at present. Some reports send her to the Ionian Islands and others to Japan, but it is not improbable that she will have a poop built on her quarter-deck and her present saloon on the main-deck added to her troop accommodation, previous to proceeding on any lengthened foreign service.
Ma 13 July 1863The 92d Regiment (Gordon Highlanders), under the command of Lieut.-Col. Archibald Inglis Lockhart, C.B., embarked at Portsmouth on Friday morning, on board Her Majesty's screw troopship Orontes, Capt. H.N. Hire, for conveyance to Edinburgh.
Th 6 August 1863The inspection of the [Portsmouth] dockyard by the Board will take place this morning. Yesterday Rear-Admiral Robinson visited the Orontes, screw troopship, the Hector, iron frigate, and the Racoon, corvette.
We 12 August 1863The Orontes troopship, Captain W.H. Hire, went out of Portsmouth harbour yesterday morning, and proceeded to the measured mile in Stokes Bay, to make her official trial of speed, under the supervision of Captain H. Broadhead, of Her Majesty's ship Asia, and commanding the steam reserve at Portsmouth, Mr. Murdock, chief inspector of machinery afloat, and Mr. Ward. Mr. Langdon, who represented the firm of Messrs. J. Watt and Co., the makers of the engines, was also on board. On coming out of the harbour a schooner yacht, with a string of boats astern, was anchored in mid-channel, so that the greatest care had to be exercised by the pilot to prevent this new and valuable ship from getting ashore or running the schooner down. She made six runs at full speed, with steam pressure at 221b., vacuum 22in., and 60 revolutions of engines, giving an average of 12·352 knots; and at half-boiler power, with steam pressure at 25lb., vacuum 25in., and 46·5 revolutions of engines, giving an average speed of 9·755 knots. She then made the circle, with helm a-port, at full power, in 9min. 24sec., and at half-power, with helm a-port, in 11min. 1sec.; and with helm astarboard at full power, the circle was made in 9min., and at half-power in 9min. 28sec. The half-circle was made, with full power and helm a-port, 9min. 26sec., and at half-power, 4min. 45sec.; and with helm astarboard, full power, 9min. 17sec.; half-power, 4min. 41sec. Her draught of water was - forward, 21ft, 6in.; aft, 22ft. 6in. The trial was considered very satisfactory. The Orontes returned into harbour about 2 p.m. to complete her fitting out, prior to further service.
Th 13 August 1863The Orontes troopship, Capt. H.W. Hire, is under orders to proceed to Gibraltar on or about Saturday next, to be employed in removing troops to and from Malta. This will occupy her until about the middle of September. She will take out a few supernumeraries, to be distributed among the ships on that station.
Fr 14 August 1863A detachment of the 1st division of the Depôt Brigade, Royal Artillery, in the Chatham district, numbering 40 non-commissioned officers and gunners, will leave headquarters this morning and proceed to Portsmouth, under the command of Lieutenant Parry, and embark on board the iron screw troopship Orontes, 500-horse power, for conveyance to Gibraltar. Detachments have also been placed under orders to embark for British North America, to augment the Royal Artillery stationed in Canada, Nova Scotia, and Bermuda.
Tu 18 August 1863The troop ship Orontes, Capt. H.W. Hire, from the eastward, arrived in Plymouth Sound, yesterday (Monday) morning, en route for the Mediterranean.
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.
We 2 September 1863The screw steam troop ship Orontes, having been repaired at Devonport, embarked seamen, marines, and marine artillery on Monday, and yesterday morning left Plymouth Sound for Gibraltar, Malta, and the Mediterranean.
Sa 19 September 1863The following is the letter of our Malta Correspondent, dated Valetta, Sept.14 -,
"Her Majesty's iron screw troopship Orontes, 2, Capt. W. Hire, arrived last night from England and Gibraltar, having on board from the latter place the 2d battalion 7th Regiment, consisting of 25 officers, 832 men. 73 women, 6 ladies, and 97 children under the command of Major R. Hibbert. She also had on board Assist.-Adjt.-Gen. Maude, Capt. Clarke, R.A., Dr. Clarke, R.A., Capt. Durnford, R.E., and 10 naval officers supernumeraries for the fleet. The regiment will disembark today and relieve the 4th battalion Rifle Brigade, which is to embark in the Orontes on Tuesday or Wednesday for Gibraltar. Her Majesty's iron paddlewheel sloop Trident, 3, Commander C.J. Balfour, arrived to-day from Gibraltar to be employed in victualling the fleet. Her Majesty's screw corvette Cossack, 20, W.R. Rolland, arrived at the Piraeus, from Malta, on the 26th ult., and was to leave on the 1st inst. for Beyrout, to relieve the Chanticleer, 17, Commander C. Stirling. Her Majesty's ship Marlborough, 121 (bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral R. Smart, K.H.), Capt. the Hon. F. Egerton; the Trafalgar, 70, Capt. T. Mason; the Meeanee, 60, Capt. G. Wodehouse; and the Icarus, 11, Commander N. Salmon, V.C., which last arrived on the 29th ult., were anchored in Phalerum Bay. The Cossack remained in Phalerum Bay till the 29th, when she went into the Piraeus, and took up her berth alongside the Orlando, 46. Capt. G.G. Randolph, the only other English ship there. The French ship Magicienne, and two other French war vessels, one Turk, one Greek, and one Italian, were also lying in the Piraeus. The Austrian frigate Novara and another Austrian vessel left early in the morning of the 1st. inst., soon after the arrival of the mail. The English frigate Magicienne, 16, Capt. W. Armytage, called in at Phalerum Bay, on the 28th ult., to communicate with the Admiral, and the Surprise, 4, Commander C.M. Seymour, left for Patras the same day. A court-martial was held on board the Cossack on the 1st, to try a private of Marines for striking a sergeant. The prisoner was found guilty, and sentenced to penal servitude for five years. Her Majesty's ship Queen, 74, Capt. C.F. Hillyar, leaves after the arrival of the mail from Marseilles. due to-night, for Athens, with stores and provisions, and 20,000l. in specie, for the use of the fleet.
Ma 28 September 1863We have received the following letter from our Malta correspondent, dated Valetta, Sept. 22.:-
"The 7th Royal Welsh Fusiliers disembarked from Her Majesty's troopship Orontes on the afternoon of the 14th inst., and now occupy barracks on the other side of the great harbour. On the 16th the Orontes went round into the Marsamascetto harbour, and brought up alongside the Lazaretto Buildings to embark the 4thBattalion Rifle Brigade, which was effected on the following day, and she steamed off soon afterwards on her return to Gibraltar to bring the 2d Battalion 5th Regiment, which is to relieve the 2d Battalion 15th Regiment here, the latter regiment having been ordered to Gibraltar to take the place of the 8th Regiment. She will then make a third trip, bring here from Gibraltar the 100th Canadian Regiment, and return with the 23d Royal Welch Fusiliers from that garrison. The arrangements of the Orontes as a troopship have created some disappointment. The accommodation for the soldiers, or troop deck, as regards height and ventilation. is excellent. The women, also, have a separate compartment and likewise a sick bay for themselves. But the officers' quarters on the lower deck are very badly ventilated, and in a long voyage, or in bad weather, would scarcely be tolerable. It seems curious that naval and military officers cannot mess in one saloon, as much valuable space is taken up in this ship by separate saloons for the officers of the two services. The Orontes is a fine vessel, but the arrangements as to space are certainly deficient. I understand that she has been commissioned for only three months, and that she will afterwards be taken into dock in England, refitted, and a poop added.
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."
Th 29 October 1863We have received the following from our Malta correspondent, dated Valetta, Oct. 24.:-
Her Majesty's iron screw troopship Orontes, Capt. W. Hire, has made another and third trip to Malta, from Gibraltar, which she performed in three days and a few hours, bringing with her this time the 100th (Prince of Wales's) Royal Canadians. She arrived here on the 17th inst., and the same day the regiment disembarked and took up their quarters in Fort Ricasoli, lately vacated by the 15th Foot. The following is the strength of the 100th Regiment, as disembarked from this ship:.- Major W. Campbell, Mayor H. Cook; Capts. H.G. Browne, T.W.W. Smythe, J. Lee, R.L. Bayliff, J. Lamb, and H.E. Davidson ; Lieuts. F.W. Benwell, H.W. Lawrell, C.A. Bolton, R.B. Dowling, G.U. Prior, and J.B. Kersteman; Ensigns W. Ritchie, W. Hudson. J.C. Shirley, G.D. La Touche, D.S.D. Johnstone, G.P. Lawry, and J.C. Jackson ; Surgeon J.S. Chartres, Assist.-Surgeon J.T. Donaldson, and Quartermaster W. Smith; 806 non-commissioned officers and men, 62 women, and 104 children; Mrs. Browne, Mrs. Chartres, Mrs. Smythe, Mrs. Lee, Mrs. Lamb, and Mrs. Smith. Col. Hallewell, Deputy Quartermaster-General, who left by the Orontes, also returned by her. The 23d Royal Welsh Fusiliers embarked to-day on board this vessel for Gibraltar, and on her arrival there she will have completed the service of transporting to Gibraltar and bringing to Malta regiments comprising in all about 6,500 persons, without, hitherto, a single casualty, and within the short period of not more than seven weeks.
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.
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