HMS Rapid (1840)
HMS Rapid (1840)

Royal NavyVessels

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NameRapid (1840)Explanation
Launched3 June 1840
Builders measure319 tons
Ships book
Snippets concerning this vessels career
11 December 1841
- 12 April 1845
Commanded by Lieutenant Edward Charles Earle, west coast of Africa (until Earle died)
27 December 1845
- March 1847
Commanded by Commander Henry John Windham Sherbrook Payne Gallwey, west coast of Africa (until Gallwey invalided)
January 1847
- 14 May 1848
Commanded by Acting Commander Edward Hill
19 March 1847Commanded by Commander Edward Dixon, west coast of Africa
4 November 1851Commanded by Commander George Blane, East Indies
16 December 1855
- 19 December 1855
Commanded by Commander John Eglinton Montgomerie, East Indies
Extracts from the Times newspaper
We 6 December 1848

The Coast Of Africa

The Siren, 16, Commander Chaloner, arrived this afternoon from the above station. She left St. Paul de Loando on the 1st of October, St. Helena the 19th, Ascension the 25th, and Sierra Leone Nov. 7. The squadron was distributed thus at the latest dates:- The Penelope and Philomel at St. Paul de Loando; the Amphitrite in the Bights; the Tortoise at Ascension; the Alert left Sierra Leone on the 5th of November for the Gambia; the Bittern off Loango and Mayumba; the Bonetta in search of the Commodore; the Britomart cruising between Cape Mayumba and the river Settee; the Contest off Benguela; the Cygnet in the Bights; the Dart cruising off Ambrize; the Dolphin in the Bights; the Favourite gone to Loango with provisions for the Bittern; the Pantaloon, from England, in search of the Commodore; the Ranger, recovered, and gone under sail in search of the Commodore, to report herself all safe; the Rapid left Congo on the 16th of October, to go northward; the Star in the Bights; the Wanderer off Cape Lopez; the Blazer en route to St. Paul de Loando; the Cyclops left Sierra Leone Nov. 6 for Ascension; the Firefly in the Bights; the Grappler in Elephant bay; the Pluto up the river Congo; the Snap tender en route to Ascension; the Sealark and Adelaide sailed from Sierra Leone on the 7th of November, the latter en route to Port Adelaide; the Waterwitch cruising off the Gallinas. Commander Rutherford has invalided from the Commodore's vessel and gone to St. Helena to recruit, and First Lieutenant Charles B. Bayley was made Acting Commander of her. The slave trade was very brisk. The Siren, since she has been on the coast (for the last 12 months cruising off the river Settee), has captured four prizes herself and shares for two others. The Penelope, Siren, and Bittern were lying at anchor in Mayumba-bay on the 5th of August, when a vessel was sighted becalmed; the Penelope got up her steam, went out, and presently made capture of the celebrated slaver "Polka," a fine brigantine fitted for the traffic, and having 24 slaves on board at the time. The Britomart has taken two — one empty, and one having 425 slaves on board. The Dart has taken one empty prize since the last mail. The Philomel, which lay outside of St. Paul de Loando on the 1st of October, reported the Grappler having taken another prize a day or two before, which she had destroyed in Elephant-bay. The Kingfisher had not arrived on the coast. The Siren has latterly been very healthy. She lost a man named Richard Sapper, a supernumerary from the Philomel, yesterday, in a heavy gale; he fell overboard, and although every means which could safely be adopted for his rescue were put in practice, he was lost. Another man, a sailmaker, from the Tortoise, died on the passage. The Island of Ascension was exceedingly healthy, and it was computed that there was a three years' ample supply of good water; all the turtle ponds were full, and vegetation and food for the flocks plentiful.
Tu 23 January 1849


The Bittern, 16, Commander Hope, arrived at Spithead this afternoon from the west coast of Africa, She sailed from Sierra Leone on the 26th of December, with mails, and Lieutenant Crowder, of the Rapid; Dr. Negus, surgeon of the Waterwitch; and Lieutenant Page of the Sealark, passengers. There were remaining at Sierra Leone, the Sealark, Ranger, refitting after being ashore; the Snap tender and the Adelaide, prize tender to the Sealark. The Bittern has taken four prizes, and shares in another. The squadron's officers and men were healthy, and the slave-trade more thriving than ever. Several captures were made between the interval of the Rapid sailing from Ascension and the Bittern from Sierra Leone. The latter is ordered to Sheerness to be paid off. The Commodore had made up his mind to come to England forthwith, and may be expected at Spithead in a few days. He is reported ill.
Sa 20 April 1850In Harbour. - The Victory, Excellent, Illustrious, Blenheim, Fanny, and Portsmouth tenders, the Echo tug, and the Locust steam-vessel.
In Dock. - The St Vincent, Winchester, Fox, Penelope, Rapid, and Electra.
In the Basin. - The Niger, Devastation, Fantome, Griffon, and Fairy.
In the Steam Basin. - Termagant, Hecate, Victoria and Albert, Bulldog, Blazer, Flamer, Pike, Asp, and Elfin.

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