HMS Perseverance (1854)
HMS Perseverance (1854)

Royal NavyVessels

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NamePerseverance (1854)Explanation
Launched11 July 1854
Builders measure1967 tons
Ships book
Noteex-Russian Sobraon, purchased on stocks.
1860.10.21 wrecked in Cape Verde Islands
Snippets concerning this vessels career
23 November 1854
- 6 February 1855
Commanded by Commander William John Samuel Pullen, Woolwich
9 June 1855
- 21 November 1855
Manned and operated by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company as a troopship, commanded by Captain Henry Harris
28 November 1855
- 26 February 1856
Commanded (from commissioning at Portsmouth) by Commander John Hay Crang, particular service (until superseded for getting the vessel aground on Portland Bill)
27 February 1856
- 30 September 1857
Commanded by Commander John Wallace Douglas McDonnald, particular service
21 July 1858
- 21 October 1860
Commanded (from commissioning) by Commander Edward Roche Power, particular service (until wrecked in Cape Verde Islands, but all saved)
Extracts from the Times newspaper
We 14 June 1854The new steam iron ship Perseverance, purchased by the Government for a troopship, is ordered to be fitted. Her sails, masts, spars, and rigging are in hand at Sheerness. This ship is 40 feet longer on her keel than the Royal Albert.
Sa 15 July 1854On Thursday the iron steamvessel seized, while building for the Emperor of Russia, on behalf of the Crown, having been completed, was launched from the building-yard, Bew-creek, Blackwall. She was christened the Perseverance, by Miss. Collier, daughter of Admiral Collier, and is to be brought forward immediately for Her Majesty's service.
Th 27 July 1854Three troopships for service in the Baltic, to be named the Urgent, Perseverance, and Transit, built for Government, are now ready for launching in the port of London.
Tu 21 November 1854The Perseverance, screw steamship, is to be taken down to Woolwich to-day to be made ready for sea.
We 29 November 1854Commander William J.S. Pullen took up his commission on Monday, and hoisted his pendant on board the Perseverance iron screw troop ship, in dock at Woolwich on his appointment to the command of that vessel, and has now commenced entering petty officers, able seamen, and stokers.
We 6 December 1854The Perseverance, iron screw steam transport ship, Commander Pullen, has had her masts put in with the greatest despatch under the sheers at Woolwich Dockyard. She was taken out of dock on Monday at high water for that purpose, and was redocked yesterday at high water after her masts were put in.
Th 14 December 1854On Tuesday morning a large number of volunteers for ships stationed in the Black Sea, the screw steam corvettes Esk, Curlew, and Tartar, and for the steam troopship Perseverance, fitting out for the Mediterranean at Woolwich, Chatham, and Portsmouth, were draughted from Her Majesty's ship Crocodile, receiving-ship, off the Tower, to the abovementioned ports.
Ma 22 January 1855On Saturday afternoon the Perseverance iron screw steamer at Woolwich met with an accident in the east dock by which she was thrown over on her beam-ends. The Perseverance was built by Messrs. C.J. Mare and Co. An order was issued that she should be masted and rigged at Woolwich, and the masts were consequently sent up from Sheerness, and, on their being put in under the shears, she was taken into the east dock to be completed for sea. On letting the water into the dock as the tide rose on Saturday afternoon, for the purpose of taking her out to be placed alongside the coal depôt ship to take on board 400 tons of coals, she was scarcely floated and the shores taken away when she gave three or four sways from side to side and turned completely over on her beam-ends in the dock, the foremast resting on the roof of the chapel over the sawmills, knocking down between 20 and 30 feet of the parapet, but assisting to break her fall. The fall of the foremast on the roof of the chapel broke it, and the mainyard and fore-yard were both broken, but with scarcely any other injury. It was a fortunate circumstance that she turned over in the dock, as there were about 150 persons on board at the time, several of them at work in the cabin. As it was, a number were thrown into the water, and three persons injured, but no bones were broken. The Perseverance has had her ringing all stripped and her fore, main, and mizen topmasts taken down, relays of workmen and of the crews of the Fisgard and of the steam vessels at Woolwich being at work all day yesterday upon her. She has her engines, of 300-horse power, on board, and the funnel is within 12 or 15 degrees of being in a horizontal line. The engines have been examined and have sustained no injury. The seamen and riggers have commenced laying large cables under the Perseverance, and other preparations are in progress to raise her, which it is expected will be a task of no ordinary difficulty.
Fr 26 January 1855Commander W.J.S. Pullen, at present in command of the Perseverance, at Woolwich, is appointed to commission and command the Falcon, 17, screw steamship at Portsmouth.
Ma 29 January 1855A Committee of Master Shipwrights;- consisting of Mr Francis J. Laire, Master Shipwright of Chatham Dockyard, Mr. R. Abethell, Master Shipwright of Portsmouth Dockyard, and Mr. Henry Chatfield, Master Shipwright of Deptford Dockyard - assembled on Saturday last at the offices of Commodore John Shepherd in Woolwich Dockyard, for the purpose of inquiring. into the cause of the Perseverance iron screw steamship upsetting in the East Dock on Saturday, the 20th inst.
Fr 2 February 1855The Perseverance screw steam troopship will be paid down tomorrow at Woolwich, and the crew turned over to the Falcon, 17, screw steam sloop at Portsmouth.
Tu 10 April 1855The Lords of the Admiralty have notified to the Rev. J.O. Conolly, chaplain of the dockyard, Woolwich, that they have voted 300 l. for the improvement of the dockyard chapel, and to repair the damage done on the west side when the Perseverance fell upon it. The expense of the latter will not be much, and there will consequently be a considerable sum for the improvement of the chapel.
Ma 14 May 1855The African steamvessel, R. Harvey, master, left Sheerness yesterday at 1 p.m, for Woolwich to tow the Perseverance steam-transport down to be masted, rigged, and fitted for immediate transport service.
We 16 May 1855The Perseverance was taken out of dock on Monday, and made a satisfactory run to Sheerness. Her speed exceeded 11 knots, the engines working very smoothly.
Th 17 May 1855The Perseverance, iron screw steam storeship, was taken into the fitting-basin at Sheerness yesterday. Her present heavy masts are to be taken out of her, in lieu of which she is to receive lower masts of the 5th class, with yards, topmasts, &c., adapted for vessels of the 6th, 7th, and 8th classes. By this arrangement her masts, spars, yards, &c., aloft will be considerably under one-half the weight of her former masts, &c. Her rate of speed on her passage from Woolwich, after rounding the Nore, was nothing under 17 knots into harbour. When this ship is rigged, officered, and manned, she is to be placed at the disposal of the Oriental Screw Steamship Company for immediate service as a transport.
Ma 4 June 1855The new screw steam transport Perseverance is all taunt; her lower and topmast rigging is being ratlined down; she is taking in her coal in the fitting-basin, Sheerness.
Tu 5 June 1855The Perseverance iron screw steam storeship, 360-horse power, was tested yesterday in the fitting-basin at Sheerness, under the superintendence of Captain John J. Tucker to prove her efficiency to carry troops, stores, &c., under her present outfit of masts, spars, &c, She has had 300 tons of iron ballast stowed in her hold, and a quantity of iron ballast berthed on the upper desk, in midships and on each side. The trial proved highly satisfactory.
We 6 June 1855Orders were received at Sheerness yesterday to supply immediately to the new screw steam transport Perseverance mess kits of every description from the victualling stores, as the troops are daily expected for embarcation.
Sa 9 June 1855The Perseverance screw steam storeship, Captain Henry Harris, is ordered to proceed on a trial trip of her machinery on Monday next, preparatory to her being delivered over to the Oriental Steampacket Company. She is now receiving her stores at Sheerness, having taken in her complement of coals. She is to be put out of the fitting-basin this day's tide.
Ma 11 June 1855The Perseverance new screw steam storeship, Captain Henry Harris, proceeded on a trial trip of her machinery on Saturday. She left her moorings at Sheerness, at 8 a.m., and was tried running up and down between the Nore light-vessel and the Mouse light-vessel. Her average speed was 12½ knots per hour, taken by positive distance run against time. Her engines making 61 revolutions, with a pressure of steam of 14 lb. on the square inch, everything worked very satisfactorily and smooth. She was also tried under canvass, and is reported under her reduced masts and spars to be all that can be desired. She has been surveyed by the authorities, and reported fully capable of accommodating 800 troops, in addition to her complement of officers and crew, leaving ample cabin accommodation.
Ma 18 June 1855A telegraphic order has reached Sheerness for the Peninsular and Oriental Company's transport Perseverance, Captain Henry Harris, to take her troops on board to-day. Previous to her embarking them she is to be inspected by the Captain-Superintendent, the Master-Attendant, the Master-Shipwright, and the Civil Engineer of the yard. The Alban paddle-wheel steamvessel, Lieutenant-Commander W.E. Fisher, left Sheerness yesterday morning for Shoebury, to convey artillery from the barracks there, who are to embark on board the Perseverance. The artillery in garrison at Sheerness are under orders to embark to-day.
Fr 31 August 1855The Perseverance screw steam transport, Captain Harris, hauled out of the steam basin ready for service again yesterday.
Th 6 September 1855The Perseverance steam troopship, Captain Harris, left Spithead on Tuesday afternoon for the East.
Ma 10 September 1855The steamship Perseverance, with the 94th. Regiment, was off Plymouth at 5 o'clock on Friday morning, bound to the Mediterranean.
Tu 2 October 1855At 12 15 p.m. yesterday the screw steam troopship Perseverance, Commander Harris, arrived at Sheerness from Havre and Plymouth. She left Havre on Friday last, where she embarked 95 Russians, 15 women, and 5 children, prisoners of war taken at Bomarsund. She arrived at Plymouth on Saturday, where she embarked 10 officers, 1 civilian (the Governor of the Aland Islands), 2 wives of Russian officers, 296 men, and 34 women and children, all prisoners of war taken at Bomarsund. She has a lieutenant's guard of Marines, consisting of 1 sergeant, 2 corporals, and 25 Marines, under command of Lieutenant Dalby. She proceeded immediately to the floating coal depot at Saltpan Beach, and after coaling will receive the prisoners from the Devonshire. She will then proceed direct for Liboa [Libau], where they are all to be landed in exchange for English and French prisoners. She will leave Sheerness to-day.
We 3 October 1855The Perseverance, screw steam troopship, Commander Harris, completed her coaling yesterday, and steamed down to harbour moorings to receive her Russian prisoners from the Devonshire.
Ma 22 October 1855The screw steam troopship Perseverance, Captain Harris, arrived at Spithead on Saturday morning from the westward. She left Portsmouth on the 25th ult. for Havre de Grace, where she embarked about 200 Russian prisoners (officers and men); she then proceeded to Plymouth, and embarked a similar number there; thence proceeding to Sheerness, where she took in a like number. She conveyed the whole to Libau, in the Baltic, where, on arrival, she sent in a flag of truce, which was acknowledged by a military officer putting off in a boat. Communications having been thus opened, the prisoners were sent ashore in boats. They evinced the kindest feeling and gratitude towards the officers and crew of the ship, and cheered them on quitting her. The returns for the liberation of a corresponding number of English and French prisoners of war are to be sent by the Russian Government to Odessa. The Perseverance left Libau for Elainore, where she replenished her stock of coal, and proceeded to Heligoland, where she embarked 350 of the British German Legion, whom she landed at Folkestone on Friday morning, and then made for Spithead, where she arrived on Saturday morning, and remained at anchor yesterday.
Fr 26 October 1855The steam transport Perseverance, Captain Harris, will take on board the 4th Middlesex Militia at Portsmouth on the 20st inst., for Ireland, and returns with the Armagh Militia, to replace the Middlesex in garrison at Portsmouth.
Ma 29 October 1855The steam transport Perseverance, No. 7, Captain Harris, embarked the baggage of the 4th Middlesex: Militia on Saturday at Portsmouth Dockyard, and will embark the regiment this morning for Malta.
Tu 30 October 1855The steam-transport Perseverance, No.7, Captain Harris, embarked at Portsmouth yesterday morning, for Armagh, 3 field-officers, 9 captains, 11 subalterns. 4 staff, 40 sergeants, 12 drummers, 31 corporals, 696 privates, 49 women, 67 children, and four horses of the 4th Middlesex Militia, with whom she proceeded at noon for Queenstown.
Fr 9 November 1855The Armagh Militia arrived in Cork on Tuesday from the Curragh, and are to embark on board Her Majesty's screw steamship Perseverance, Captain Harris, for conveyance to Plymouth.
Sa 10 November 1855The Perseverance screw steam transport, No. 7, Captain Harris, arrived at Spithead yesterday from Queenstown with the Armagh Regiment of Militia, whom she went into harbour to land at the dockyard, whence they were escorted by the staff of the garrison and the bands of the 80th Foot and South Lincoln Militia to the quarters lately vacated by the 4th Middlesex Militia, in Clarence Barracks, Portsmouth.
Fr 23 November 1855The Perseverance, steam transport No. 7, Captain Haines [should be: Harris], was ordered yesterday to be turned over by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (who have been working her since her outfit) to the Admiralty, as she will henceforth be a naval transport, commanded by Commander Crang and a man-of-war crew and complement of officers.
Th 29 November 1855The iron steam troopship Perseverance was commissioned yesterday at Portsmouth, and taken into the naval service, by Commander Crang and officers.
Fr 22 February 1856The finding of the Court-martial which sat on board Her Majesty's ship Victory on Tuesday, for the trial of Commander Crang and Mr. Green, the master of Her Majesty's steam sloop Perseverance, for getting that vessel aground on Portland Bill on the 7th inst., was "that the charge had been proved, and that both officers be severely reprimanded, and admonished to be more careful in future."
We 5 March 1856The steam troopship Vulcan, Commander Bowyear, R.N., was taken out of dock at Portsmouth yesterday, after refit; and the Perseverance steam troopship, Commander R.J.J. M'Donnald, was taken in to be examined, after being ashore off Portland lately, (for which Commander Crang and Mr. Green, the master, were lately tried by court-martial and severely reprimanded - a punishment deemed so light by the Lords of the Admiralty that they have summarily superseded them since).
Tu 29 July 1856The following military, and naval news is derived from letters of our Malta correspondent to the 23d inst.:-
"The steam-transport Perseverance on leaving her moorings, at Coradino, on the morning of the 21st of July, to take her departure for England, with 410 invalids from the East, ran on Isola Point, where, notwithstanding the united power of the Dragon, Magicienne, Shearwater, and Argo steamers to extricate her, she continued hard and fast on the departure of the mail at noon, on the 23d; and, although the rock is said to be very even, it is much feared that she will have suffered serious damage. All the troops, stores, fuel, ballast, &c., have been landed, but, as yet, without moving her in the least."
We 30 July 1856The following letter, dated Malta, July 25, is from our own correspondent:-
"Her Majesty's screw steam-transport Perseverance (whose disaster was mentioned under this head in The Times of yesterday) was got off the Isola, or Senglea point Rocks on the afternoon of the 23d, through the exertions of Mr. Mainprise, the master attendant, and Mr. Ladd, the master shipwright o£ Malta, dockyard. Divers have examined the vessel, and, finding no damage, she is taking in again her provisions, water, and stores, and as soon as the troops are re-embarked she will leave for England."
Ma 22 September 1856The steam troopship Perseverance, Commander Mdonald, R.N., at Portsmouth, has just been supplied with a pair of lifeboats upon the collapsing principle, invented by the Rev. E.L. [Edward Lyon]Berthon, M.A. of Fareham [1813-1899], to which a third boat his been added by the inventor for the purpose of proving more perfectly the advantages of a system by which an almost unlimited amount of lifeboat accommodation may be furnished to all ships carrying many persons. This invention has been undergoing a variety of tests for some years, and now appears to be so perfect as to promise to produce a most desirable improvement in those very important appendages of a ship, her boats.
Sa 11 April 1857A court of inquiry on the commander, master, and officer of the watch [of the Transit, which had been holed, apparently after grounding on het own anchor] was held yesterday by Admiral-Superintendent Martin at his office, but which, being a closed court, we cannot report. It is expected, however, to be merely preliminary to an open court-martial, when all the facts will be laid before the public. It is a singular but discreditable fact that the whole family to which the Transit belongs- the Urgent, Perseverance, Assistance, &c. - never put to sea since they were admitted into the fleet without some disaster. The peculiar manner in which the Perseverance made her débût in the service - by "turning turtle" in Woolwich basin - our naval readers doubtless remember.
Sa 6 March 1858The Royal Sovereign, 131, Imp?rieuse, 51, Melpomene, 51, Termagant, 24, and Perseverance troop-ship, are all in the steam basin at Portsmouth preparing for service. The Duke of Wellington, 131, Captain Eyres. C.B.; Victory, 104, Captain Seymour, C.B. ; Blenheim, 60, Captain F. Scott, C.B.; and the Sidon, 22, Sphynx, 6, and Fire Queen steam yacht, are all in dock fitting out and refitting.
Ma 18 April 1859A court of inquiry was held on Thursday and Friday at Devonport, Captain Woodford J. Williams chairman, for the purpose of ascertaining the circumstances under which the bark Ava was ran down on Monday last, the 11th inst. off the Lizard, by the steam troopship Perseverance, Commander E.R. Power. The finding of the Court has not been promulgated. The Perseverance was supplied on Friday with, a figure-head and bowsprit, and it was hoped that she would leave yesterday (Sunday) for Milford, Queenstown, and the Cape of Good Hope.
Tu 19 April 1859The iron screw steam transport Perseverance, 2, Commander Edward R. Power, left Plymouth on Sunday afternoon for Pembroke and Queenstown. In relation to the inquiry last week at Devonport before Captain Woodford J. Williams, it has transpired that at the time of the collision, 10 o'clock on Monday night, the 11th inst., the bark Ava, with coal, was under all plain canvass on the port tack, with her head towards the land. She is said to have been previously seen for a quarter of an hour by the look-out on board the Perseverance, who reported accordingly. The officer of the watch went forward, saw her, returned aft, and gave the orders "ease her" and "stop her," but too late. The Perseverance was going full ten knots and had not lost much of her way. Very little noise was made on deck, to prevent unnecessary alarm to the 200 troops below. Providentially there was no sea on, or both ships might have gone down. The Ava was struck on the starboard gangway, and her main stay and rigging were caught in the steamer's bowsprit, which held on for about ten minutes, when the spar broke and the bark went down.. Meanwhile the steamer's two foremost quarter boats, which ate fitted with. Clifford's lowering apparatus, were quickly disengaged. The starboard boat soon got alongside the sinking bark, and took out all the crew, a dog, and some bags of clothing belonging to the men. It is said that the distance from the quarter-deck of the Perseverance to her bow prevents very prompt action, in case of such an emergency; that the great length of the ship precludes her from turning her head quickly, or what is termed "answering her helm;" and that the extreme brightness of the night might have deceived the officer of the watch in calculating the distance of the Ava when first seen.
Th 22 December 1859The Perseverance, screw troopship, Commander E.R. Power, at Portsmouth, is ordered to complete defects and prepare for further service. This vessel during the last 16 months has gone over 32,000 nautic miles; has embarked and conveyed to their destinations four entire regiments, five complements of detachments, besides smaller numbers; also between 600 and 700 invalids and supernumeraries, and 800 tons of stores.
We 4 January 1860A court-martial assembled yesterday morning on. board Her Majesty's ship Victory, in Portsmouth harbour, for the trial of Lieut. T.W. Simeon, of Her Majesty's ship Perseverance, on the following charge:-
"For that he, the said lieut. T.W. Simeon, a lieutenant in full pay on board Her Majesty's ship Perseverance, did, on or about the 2d of November, 1859, on board the said ship, act in a manner unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, in falsely stating to Mr. W.T. Wilson, surgeon of the said ship, that a claim which Mr. Watkins, the landlord of the Commercial Hotel, Portsea, then had upon the said Lieut. Simeon was a claim upon him by a creditor in London, from whom ha had not expected so sudden a call, as the debt was of recent date, which statement he at the time knew was false, but upon the faith of which statement the said W. T. Wilson consented to become responsible on behalf of the said Lieut. Simeon in respect or account of such claim."
The Court was composed of Capt. George T. Gordon (second In command of Her Majesty's ships and vessels at Portsmouth), President; Capts. R. Harris, A. Farquhar, R.S. Hewlett, C.B., C.F. Hillyar, and C.J.F. Ewart; with Mr. W.F. Hellyar, Deputy-Judge-Advocate. Mr. Hoskins, solicitor, of Gosport, acted as the prisoner's "friend." The Court, having heard the evidence for the prosecution and defence, found the charge against the prisoner "Not proved."
Ma 7 May 1860On Friday morning a court-martial assembled on board Her Majesty's ship Victory, in Portsmouth harbour, to try Lieut. Thomas Simeon, of Her Majesty's ship Perseverance, on the following charges:- 1. For having, on or about the 16th of February, 1860, been guilty of neglect of duty, while officer of the watch at sea, by playing at quoits on the lee side of the poop, and for having been guilty of falsehood or gross prevarication by saying that he was not playing at quoits. 2. For having, on or about the 19th of February, been off deck in his watch to the neglect of his duty, and in disobedience of the special orders of Commander Power, his commanding officer. 3. That on or about the 19th of February he was guilty of falsehood in telling Commander Power that he had not shut the commander's cabin door, when he had done so. The members of the Court comprised:- Rear-Admiral Hon. G. Grey, President; Captains, R. Harris, R.S. Hewlett, C.B., T. Wilson, J.U. Strange, R. Coote, J. Katon, E.W. Vansittart, D.M. Mackenzie, and Mr. W.J. Hellyar, Deputy Judge Advocate. The defence was read by the prisoner's friend, Mr. Hoskins, In which the attention. o£ the Court was called to the fact of his having been recently tried and acquitted on charges preferred against him by Commander Power, and he emphatically denied having been guilty of any act of falsehood in his replies to Commander Power. The defence was of some length, and at its conclusion a number of certificates of service were handed in by the prisoner, and read by the Deputy Judge Advocate. The prisoner called no witnesses. The sentence of the Court was read by the Deputy Judge Advocate, to the effect that the Court, after maturely and deliberately weighing the evidence for the prosecution and defence, and also what the prisoner had to say in his defence, found that the first charge had been partly proved, inasmuch as the prisoner had been guilty of neglecting his duty in throwing quoits when officer of the watch; but the Court acquitted him of any intentional falsehood or prevarication. The second charge was proved, and the third charge not proved. The sentence of the Court was that the prisoner be dismissed Her Majesty's ship Perseverance, and be place at the bottom of the Lieutenants' list.
Ma 13 August 1860At Madeira, the cochineal and sugar-cane plantations were looking well, but the vines were almost extinct. Her Majesty's steamship Perseverance had left for Barbadoes on the 1st inst.
Fr 23 November 1860The Peninsular and Oriental Company's steamer Tagus, Captain W.B. Hall, arrived at Southampton at 6 a.m. yesterday, with mails of the 17th inst. from Lisbon, and the 18th from Oporto and Vigo, in charge of Lieutenant Hamilton, R.N., Admiralty agent. ... On the 12th inst. the Portuguese steamer Africa arrived in the river Tagus with 13 officers and 97 of the crew of Her Majesty's late screw steamship Perseverance, which was lost off the island of Mayo on the 21st of October, at 4 20 a.m., while transporting 700 soldiers of the 2d West India Regiment; all on board saved. Five of the officers came home in the Tagus - viz., Dr. Wilson, surgeon ; Mr. Hinvest, second master; Mr. Cook, chief engineer; Mr. Rothery, second engineer; and Mr. Bartley, third engineer.
Sa 1 December 1860


Lisbon, Nov. 30.

The Royal Mail Company's steamship Tyne, with the above mail, has arrived, and will leave to-morrow for Southampton.
She brings 3,841 l. in specie, and 107 passengers, 60 of whom are the shipwrecked crew of the Perseverance.

Fr 7 December 1860The Geyser, 6, paddle, Commander G.M. Jackson, arrived at Spithead yesterday morning from Lisbon, with the remaining officers and crew of Her Majesty's screw troopship Perseverance, wrecked on the 24th of October last on a reef of rocks off the north-west end of Mayo, Cape Verde. The Geyser had an exceedingly rough passage out from the Channel to Lisbon, where she arrived on the 29th ult. Having received on board the officers and men of the Perseverance, she sailed again for England on the following day, the 30th ult. During the whole passage home she experienced a continued succession of very heavy gales from all points of the compass. She arrived in Plymouth Sound on Wednesday morning, and received orders to proceed on to Portsmouth. The Perseverance's officers and men wil l be transhipped to Her Majesty's ship Victory, on board which ship it is expected a Court-martial will be held for the trial of Commander Power and his officers for the loss of their ship. The division of the Channel fleet which had proceeded to Lisbon from England was lying in the Tagus at the time of the Geyser's sailing, but was to leave for Plymouth South on the 6th inst.
Sa 8 December 1860The officers and crew, lately belonging to Her Majesty's screw steamer Perseverance, and arrived at Spithead in the Geyser, from Lisbon, were transferred, at Spithead yesterday, to the Pigmy steam tender, and conveyed on board Her Majesty's ship Victory, where the officers and crew have to report themselves in readiness for the court-martial which will be held to inquire into the circumstances of the loss of their ship.
Th 13 December 1860Her Majesty's ship Industry reached Sierra Leone on the 20th of November, with troops from the wreck of Her Majesty's ship Perseverance.
Ma 17 December 1860According to present arrangements the court-martial for the trial of the commander and officers of Her Majesty's steamer Perseverance for the recent loss of that vessel will take place on board Her Majesty's steamer Victory to-morrow.
Fr 21 December 1860The naval court-martial which assembled on board Her Majesty's ship Victory in Portsmouth harbour on Tuesday last for the trial of Commander Power and Mr. M'Farlane the commander and master of Her Majesty's ship Perseverance, wrecked on a reef of rocks off the north-west port of Mayo, Cape Verde, concluded their sittings yesterday. The evidence for the prosecution closed on Wednesday evening, and the defence of the prisoners was appointed to take place yesterday morning. The Court opened at 10 a.m., and the written defence of Commander Power which was first taken, was read by the chaplain of the ship. The document was somewhat lengthy. In it Captain Power recapitulated and reviewed several points of the evidence. He referred to the rules and regulations of the ship, together with his own special orders in the event of the ship being at any time in a position of doubt or difficulty, and to the reason the watch was intrusted to a warrant officer, a man who had always conducted himself extremely well, and who had been appointed to the ship for this special duty by the Admiralty, in compliance with an application to that effect from him. The rate of speed the ship was going at the time she went ashore was well known, and had been accurately calculated, and the loss of the ship could only be accounted for by the strong current existing, of which but little was known, and which was afterwards found to be always extremely variable and irregular in its movements. The compasses were tried at St. Vincent's by cross-bearings. The deep-sea and hand-leads were not used, owing to the bold nature of the coast, as they would no sooner speak of danger than the ship would be upon it, Mr. M'Farlane, the master, had always displayed the greatest zeal and caution in his duties. In conclusion, Commander Power stated the conduct of all, officers and men, in landing the troops, and throughout the whole of the operations consequent on the loss of the ship, was everything that could be wished for. He had served 24 years at sea, six of which had been as commander. At the time of the occurrence he was suffering from illness, and had suffered much, since. He concluded by leaving his case in the hands of the Court, and called no witnesses. Mr. M'Farlane read his defence to the Court, which, like Commander Power's, was very lengthy, and reviewed the evidence given by the witnesses at some length. He respectfully submitted that the course the ship steered on the occasion of her loss was such as without any set would have carried her 11 miles to the north of Mayo, and 16 miles to the southward of the Laton Rocks, and that he should not have been justified in steering a more northerly course on account of those rocks, and the chances of a northerly current. He had no reason to anticipate a set of currents to the southward, having on former occasions experienced the contrary; the sailing directions were also silent on the subject, From the assumed position of the ship at 11 p.m., and the rate of steaming, it was not presumed that she was so near the land, not expecting to be within 12 miles at daylight, and, even if the ship had been steered direct for the land, she ought at daylight to have been 12 miles distant. The master of the bark Kingfisher, the master of the schooner (a coasting: vessel) which conveyed some of the troops to St. Vlncent', and the captain of the port of Porto Praya, a Portuguese naval officer, all stated in their testimony, which had been laid before the Court, that the currents in the vicinity of Mayo were exceedingly variable in their strength and irregular in their set. Two foreign men-of-war had been recently lost (within two years) near the same spot as the Perseverance, but no details had been published. Two days after the wreck it was proved by the bark Kingfisher's anchoring that the current was then setting in a contrary direction to what it did on the day of the wreck, and strongly. Star observations were frequently taken, but in those latitudes were of little use, owing to the hazy state of the horizon. In conclusion, Mr. M'Farlane said that he three days after the wreck navigated a bark to the river Gambia with troops, without the aid of charts or directions; that on his arrival at Sierra Leone he was struck down with fever, and had suffered severely; in fact, he had only come out of Haslar Hospital to answer the present charge. Certificates of the highest possible character for qualities as an officer, a navigator, and a pilot were then handed in by Mr. M'Farlane to the Court from numerous officers. Commander M'Killop, commanding Her Majesty's ship Bulldog, personally attended the Court, and testified to his knowledge of Mr. M'Farlane's ability and caution in his duties as master of a ship, and that he should feel great pleasure in taking Mr. M'Farlane as his master in any future vessel ha might have the honour to-command. The Court then closed to consider their finding, and remained in deliberation above four hours. On reopening, the sentence was read by the Deputy Judge Advocate, awarding a severe reprimand to Commander Power, and the loss of one year's rank. Also severely reprimanding Mr. M'Farlane, with the loss of three years' rank, accompanied by the observations, that there was no evidence of currents to account for the loss of the ship, nor to account for her being 16 miles out of her course; that precautions were not taken where currents were known to exist in running between the islands; nor were soundings taken with the deep-sea or hand lead-lines. Neither was the master on deck, as he ought to have been, when the watch was left in. charge of a warrant officer. The conduct of the remaining officers and crew after the grounding of the vessel was deserving of special mention from the Courts. Commander Power's conduct also on the vessel stranding, and the coolness and decision of his measures in getting the women and children, with the troops, on shore, and providing for their safety, were deserving all praise.

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