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HMS Liffey (1856)

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Launched6 May 1856   
HullWooden Length235 feet
PropulsionScrew Men560
Builders measure2126 tons   
Displacement3915 tons   
Fate1903 Last in commission1870
Class  Class (as screw)Liffey
Ships bookADM 135/279   
6 May 1856Launched at Devonport Dockyard.
1 November 1858
- 17 July 1862
Commanded (from commissioning at Portsmouth until paying off at Portsmouth) by Captain George William Preedy, Channel squadron, then (July 1859) the Mediterranean, then (March 1862) the West Indies
17 July 1862
- 31 October 1865
Commanded (from commissioning at Portsmouth until paying off at Plymouth) by Captain George Parker, Mediterranean, then (March 1865) North America and West Indies
26 June 1867
- 23 July 1867
Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth) by Captain Gerard John Napier, to assist at the Naval Display
25 July 1867
- 29 November 1870
Commanded by Captain John Ormsby Johnson, south coast of Ireland, then (May 1848) escorting the Prince and Princess of Wales to Denmark, then (September 1868) West Indies, then (June 1869) the 1869 Flying Squadron
24 November 1869Commanded by Captain Robert Gibson, 1869 Flying Squadron
1 April 1878Commissioned at Devonport for storeship in Coquimbo, Chile (replacing Nereus).
17 November 1878Recommissioned at Coquimbo.
17 March 1903Paid off
April 1903Sold at Coquimbo.
Extracts from the Times newspaper
Fr 29 April 1859THE CHANNEL FLEET.- BEREHAVEN, April 23.-The ships of the Channel fleet that had been staying here for some months left to-day. They comprised the Royal Albert, the Renown, the Brunswick, the St. Jean d'Acre, and the Racoon. The Victor Emanuel and the Orion came in here with them, but early in March they were ordered to Tangier. It is said that these two vessels are to join the Channel fleet again, as also the Algiers and the James Watt, line-of-battle ships, and the Liffey, the Mersey, and the Doris, frigates. The Caesar and the Diadem are also returning from the West Indies to join, and the Euryalus from the Mediterranean. During their stay here the Marines and Naval Brigades were exercised on shore every week, as also in the boats. The Admiral, Sir Charles Freemantle, is most deservedly popular with all classes.- Cork Reporter.
Ma 18 July 1859A short reference was made in The Times of Saturday to a disturbance which took place last week in Keyham steam-yard, Plymouth, consequent upon the flogging of a seaman on board the screw steamship Caesar, 91, then in the Queen's (or No. 1) Dock, under repair. From subsequent inquiry it appears that some of the circumstances were very unseemly, and not likely to raise the position of either the civil or naval branches of Her Majesty's service. It is almost impossible to obtain a correct statement of every particular, but it is evident that William Stephenson, a seaman attached to the tender of the Hogue, has made two unsuccessful attempts to incite the crew of the Caesar to acts of insubordination, if not of mutiny. On the second occasion be entreated them "to follow the example of the crew of the Liffey and roll the shot about the decks." He then assaulted the boatswain, Mr. Grigg. When tried he was sentenced to receive 50 lashes and be imprisoned two years. Formerly be might have been hung at the yard arm for the same offence. The Court left the selection of the ship for punishment to the discretion of the Port Admiral, and Sir Barrington Reynolds decided that where the crime was committed atonement should be made. Accordingly, soon after 6 o'clock on Thursday morning, the prisoner, guarded by a corporal and two Marines, and in charge of the master-at-arms of the Impregnable, was conveyed from the ship to the Caesar, and the sentence having been formally read to him in the presence of all the crew, he was divested of his blue serge frock and flannel, and lashed to a grating, across which two capstan bars had been fixed for the purpose of securing his hands and feet. The lower part of the grating rested on the deck, the upper was fastened to the starboard main rigging, and the culprit was thus brought in fall view of all the men engaged on the works. It happened most inopportunely that the hour of punishment, 7 o'clock, was that at which the artisans are "rung in," and they are not usually expected to commence work until five minutes after the bell ceases. Several on board the Caesar were sent ashore, no civilian being permitted to remain in a ship during punishment. There were about 400 in the vicinity, the greater number surrounded the ship, others went on board the Shadia (lying near in No. 2 dock), crowded her portholes, and, with the Turks, clustered on the fore and the main rigging of the half-dismantled ship. The yardsmen state that their feelings were excited in the first place by finding that naval punishment of such a severe character was about to be inflicted in their presence, within the precincts of a civil department; and secondly, by observing that the prosecutor at the court-martial, Mr. Grigg, the boatswain of the Caesar, was appointed to commence the execution of the sentence which he himself had invoked. It was with intense excitement that they saw him throw down his hat, pull off his jacket, moisten his hands, and clear the tails of the cat with his fingers.
At the first blow a most disgusting term was applied by several of them to the boatswain who, after 12 lashes, was succeeded by three of his mates, the first of whom gave 12, the second 12, and the third 14 lashes, making the complement of 50.
Stephenson's cries of pain were accompanied by hisses, groans, and exclamations from the artisans and the Turks, which were repeated, notwithstanding Captain Mason's appeal to the former as Queen's men. Towards the close of the punishment an undignified conflict took place between the officers of the ship and the artisans. Captain Mason, who has just succeeded Captain Frederick in the command of the Caesar, ordered First-Lieutenant John Reid and Third-Lieutenant John C. Patterson, with Lieutenant Dixon, of the Royal Marines, to go on shore, clear the place, and secure the ringleaders. The officers were assisted by a guard of Marines: one of these, the sentry, who had his musket, grounded it, and is said to have brought the point of the bayonet towards the breast of one of the joiners. It is also stated that when Lieutenant Dickson was endeavouring to secure an artisan who had made himself conspicuous he was mobbed and knocked down by a painter. Several other conflicts occurred and some threats were muttered about the use of adzes and other formidable tools, and the removal of the shores for the purpose of capsizing the ship. Ultimately Bulay, a shipwright apprentice, captured by Lieutenant Reid, and Rissiter, a painter, were forced on board, but released immediately on declaring their names. On the arrival of the police of the establishment the artisans engaged on the Caesar were allowed to join her. The principal shipwright present was Mr. Burney, acting leading man engaged on the Turkish line-of-battle ship. He was in the afternoon suspended from duty by the Master-Attendant, Mr. Brown, who controls the yard in the absence of the Superintendent, Sir Thomas Pasley. Mr. Burney, who has been 36 years in the service, is represented by the artisans as having entreated his men .(several of whom are new hands) to go on board to their work. Bulay is also suspended. Rissetter, the contract painter, has been dismissed from the yard.
It is said to be 53 years since such a punishment was given on board a ship in Devonport Dockyard.
We 28 September 1859The following is the distribution of the Mediterranean fleet at Malta:- Screw steamships of the Line.- The Marlborough, 131 (flagship of Vice-Admiral Fanshawe), on her way to Gibraltar, left Malta on the 15th of September; the Hannibal, 91 (flagship of Rear-Admiral Mundy), coast of Sicily; the Conqueror, 101, Gibraltar; the St. Jean d'Acre, 101, coast of Sicily; the Orion, 91, Gibraltar; the Princess Royal, 91, Gibraltar; the Renown, 91, Malta; the Victor Emmanuel, 91, Gibraltar; the Exmouth, 90, Naples; the London, 90, coast of Sicily; the Brunswick, 80, coast of Sicily; the Centurion, 80, Gibraltar; and the Cressy, 80, left Malta on the 5th of September. Steam Frigates.- The Euryalus, 51, Piraeus of Athens; the Liffey, 51, Piraeus of Athens; the Doris, 32, left Malta on the 13th of September; and the Terrible, 21, Naples. Steam Corvettes.- The Racoon, 22, Corfu; the Cadmus, 21, Malta; and the Vulture, 6, Morocco coast. Steam Sloops.- The Gannet, 11, Piraeus of Athens; the Argus, 6, Malta; the Intrepid, 6, Constantinople; the Recruit, 6, Malta; the Scourge, 6, Malta; the Assurance, 4, left Malta on the 31st of August; the Coquette, 4, Marseilles; the Lapwing, 4, Gibraltar; the Osprey, 4, Corfu; the Vigilant, 4, Venice; and the Wanderer, 4, Candia. Steam Gunboats.- The Growler, Gibraltar; and the Quail, Gibraltar. Steam Despatch-vessels.- The Banshee, 2, Malta; and the Caradoc, 2, Malta. Steam-tender.- The Boxer, 2, Malta. Steam Surveying-vessels.- The Medina, 4, Candia ; and the Tartarus, 4, Candia. Receiving-ship.- The Hibernia (flag of Rear-Admiral Codrington), Malta. Depot-ship.- The Africa, Gibraltar. Tugs.- The Hearty, Malta; and the Redpole, 2, Gibraltar. Sailing Gunboats.- The Azof, 2, Malta; and the Kertch, 2, Malta.
Sa 29 March 1862The screw steam frigate Diadem, 32, Capt. Scott, which left Bermuda March 11, arrived in Plymouth Sound on Friday morning. On the 12th of March, in lat. 33 2 N., long. 61 51 W., she took on board the crew of the American brig C.W. Conner, Capt. Joseph Urann, which was bound with a cargo of sundries from Boston for St. Jago. The brig was dismasted on tho 6th of March, and the crew for the previous five days had been living on biscuit only. Moderate weather was experienced during all the passage, excepting on the 21st, when, in lat. 42 45 N., long. 32 29 W., they had a gale of wind from the westward. The Diadem brings home 250 officers and men, the remaining portion of the crew of the Conqueror, lost on Rum Bay Island, in the West Indies, and about 130 invalids, supernumeraries, and passengers, including lieutenant Taylor, 39th Regiment, and Mr. Tucker, late Colonial Aide-de-Camp to the Governor of Bermuda, who is the bearer of the contributions from the island to the Great Exhibition. Mr. Vivian, carpenter of the Terror, died on the 23d, and Peter Kenney, private of Royal Marines, a lunatic, jumped overboard oa the 21st during the gale, and was drowned. The Diadem left at Bermuda the screw steamship Nile, 90, Capt. Edward K. Barnard, flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Alexander Milne, K.C.B.; the screw steamships Aboukir, 86, Capt. Charles F. Shadwell, C.B.; Hero, 89, Capt. Alfred P. Ryder; and Agamemnon, 89; the screw steam frigates Immortalité, 51, Orlando, 50, and Liffey, 51; the screw steam sloop Greyhound, 17; paddlewheel steam sloops Spiteful, 6, and Medea, 6 ; the screw steam sloop Racer, 11; the screw steam gun-vessels Nimble, 5, and Landrail, 5 ; and the floating battery Terror, 16. The screw steamship Adelaide, with troops, arrived at Bermuda March 10. Her fuel was nearly expended.
Fr 22 May 1868Her Majesty's screw frigate Liffey, 31, 2,654 tons, 600-horse power, Capt. John O. Johnson, which put into Sheerness harbour a week ago for repairs, having been completed by the shipwrights' department of Sheerness dockyard, left Sheerness yesterday, en route to the Baltic.
(various)The 1869 Flying squadron

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