HMS Topaze (1858)
HMS Topaze (1858)

Royal NavyVessels

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NameTopaze (1858)Explanation
Launched12 May 1858   
HullWooden Length235 feet
PropulsionScrew Men560
Builders measure2659 tons   
Displacement3915 tons   
Fate1884 Last in commission1878
Class  Class (as screw)Liffey
Ships book   
12 May 1858Launched at Devonport Dockyard.
11 June 1859
- 31 December 1863
Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth until paying off at Plymouth) by Captain Hon. John Welbore Sunderland Spencer, Channel squadron, then (October 1859) Pacific (Commodore, senior officer on the southern division of the Pacific station)
26 January 1866
- 16 June 1866
Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth) by Captain William Montagu Dowell, going out to the Pacific
16 June 1866
- 1 September 1869
Commanded (until paying off at Plymouth) by Commodore Richard Ashmore Powell, Pacific
14 June 1871
- 8 October 1872
Commanded (from commissioning at Plymouth) by Captain Radulphus Bryce Oldfield, 1871 Detached Squadron
15 October 1872
- 24 July 1874
Commanded by Captain Edward Hardinge, 1872 Detached Squadron
21 July 1874
- 22 May 1877
Commanded (until paying off) by Captain Arthur Thomas Thrupp, 1874 Detached Squadron
17 July 1877
- 26 June 1878
Commanded (until paying off at Plymouth) by Captain Charles John Rowley, Coast Guard, Kingstown (replaced by Belleisle)
14 February 1884Sold to Castle for breaking up at Charlton.
Extracts from the Times newspaper
We 18 August 1858Sir John Pakington and the other Lords of the Admiralty left the Diadem in Hamoaze at 10 o'clock on Monday morning, and proceeded to the office of the Admiral-Superintendent, Sir Thomas Pasley, in Devonport Dockyard. From 11 to half-past 1 was occupied in mustering the artisans, who were relieved from duty for the remainder of the day. The gunboat Redwing was in attendance to convey their Lordships to the breakwater in Plymouth Sound, but in consequence of the unsettled state of the weather their inspection on Monday was confined entirely to the dockyard. In building slip No. 1 is the screw steam vessel Pantaloon, 10, in frame. No. 2 is vacant. In No. 3 is the Narcissus, 50-gun screw. She was designed for a sailing vessel, and was nearly built in slip No. 2, when it was determined to lengthen and convert her into a steamer. She was therefore, about 12 months since, taken down in pieces, and rebuilt in the present slip, which is larger. In No. 4 is the Java, 20, screw [name unknown; presumed cancelled], just begun framing. In No. 5 slip is the Donegal, 101, screw, seven-eighths built. She will be launched towards the close of September. In dock No. 1 is the Cumberland, 70 guns, docked on the 12th inst., having been ashore, and carried off her false keel in South America. In No. 2 dock is the Liberian schooner Lark, 2, which has been eight years on service on the coast of Africa for survey. As her repairs will cost over 2,000£., and she will then be but an old ship, it is supposed that the Admiralty rather than incur that expense will present the Liberian Government with another vessel. In No. 3 is the sixth-rate sailing ship Creole, 26, forwarding for commission. No. 4 contains the Gannet, 11, screw, preparing for the steam reserve; and No. 5 the second-rate sailing ship Lion, 80, altering to a screw. In the basin is the Topaz, 50, screw, preparing for the steam reserve. Alongside the dockyard are the Aboukir, 90, screw, and the St. Jean d'Acre, 101, screw, both preparing for the steam reserve. The latter will replace the Orion. The Lords of the Admiralty dined in tha evening with Admiral Superintendent Sir John [should be: Thomas] Pasley, after which they patronized a ball at St. George's-hall, Stonehouse, in support of the funds of the Naval and Military Orphan Asylum at Stoke. The official dinner will be given at Bates's Royal Hotel, Plymouth, this (Wednesday) evening, and the levee held in Devonport dockyard to-morrow morning.
Tu 26 July 1859His Royal Highness the Prince Consort, accompanied by Prince Alfred and Prince Arthur, arrived in the Royal yacht Victoria and Albert at noon yesterday on a visit of inspection to the extensive defensive and other important works in connexion with the new harbour at Portland. A portion of the Channel fleet, consisting of the Royal Albert, Agamemnon, James Watt, Algiers, and Emerald, which had shortly before left the harbour for Spithead, saluted the Royal party on passing. On the yacht rounding the extremity of the outer breakwater the ships at anchor - Aboukir, Blenheim, Topaze, Melpomene - also saluted. Their Royal Highnesses, on landing, were received by Mr. Coode, engineer-in-chief, and Mr. Leather, contractor for the breakwater, who conducted them over the works now in progress. After the inspection the Royal party returned on board the Victoria and Albert, which immediately left the harbour for Osborne.
We 24 August 1859At half-past 6 o'clock on Saturday evening Her Majesty's ship Nile steamed out of Cork harbour with the intention of joining the Channel squadron at Spithead. It is thought likely that she will henceforth form portion of the squadron, and that the Hawke will continue for some time longer to hold the post of guardship in Queenstown.
The screw steam despatch vessel Flying Fish, 6, Commander C. Hope, arrived at Plymouth on Monday, from the Channel fleet. The screw steamship Caesar, 90, Capt. T.H. Mason, got up steam on Monday morning, and in the afternoon left Plymouth Sound to join the Channel fleet, which, it is said, will cruise as far west as Ushant.
The scrow steamships Aboukir, 91, the Topaz, 51, and the Melpomene, 51, left Portland harbour on Sunday, to join the Channel fleet, which was cruising a few miles from the harbour. The Edgar, 91, the Impérieuse, 51, and the Blenheim, 60, remain in port.
Th 8 September 1859THE CHANNEL FLEET.- Torbay has been again honoured during the past week with a visit from the Channel fleet. On Wednesday the Melpomene, 51, Capt. Ewart; Diadem, 32, Capt. W. Moorsom, C.B.; and the screw despatch gunboat Flying Fish, 6, Commander Hope, arrived in the bay from the westward. On inquiry it was learnt that a day or two before the fleet encountered a very heavy westerly gale in the chops of the Channel, in which the Diadem sprang her mainyard, and that with the vessels above-named she was detached from the squadron and ordered to rendezvous at Torbay. Early on Friday morning they were rejoined by the remainder of the fleet. The vessels were discerned in the offing standing in for the bay in splendid order. They consisted of the Royal Albert, 121, Capt. E.B. Rice, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Fremantle, K.C.B.; the James Watt, 91, Capt. E. Codd; the Algiers, 91, Capt. G.W.D. O'Callaghan; the Caesar, 90, Capt. T.H. Mason; the Agamemnon, 91, Capt. T. Hope; the Aboukir, 91, Capt. F. Schomberg; the Nile, 91, Capt. A.P.E. Wilmot; the Hero, 91, Capt. G.W. Seymour, C.B.; the Emerald, 51, Capt. A. Cumming; the Topaz, 51, Capt. the Hon. W.S. Spencer; and the Imperieuse, 50, Capt. John J.B.E. Frere. At noon the whole of the ships had come to an anchor about midbay. It was a noble sight to the spectator ashore to witness these magnificent specimens of naval architecture taking up their respective positions. Thousands of persons were, as on the last occasion, attracted to the quays, and the bay has been every day studded with boats and steamers conveying excursionists around the vessels. By the kindness of the commanders the ships were again, subject to necessary regulations, thrown open to the public, and during the whole of the specified hours an immense number of visitors have availed themselves of the privilege. The Diadem and the Flying Fish got under way on Saturday morning and proceeded to Plymouth, but the rest still remain at anchor.
Ma 12 September 1859The Channel fleet was off Plymouth on Saturday afternoon. At half-past 3 o'clock they were under steam only 3½ miles south of the Mewstone coming from the eastward, and led by the Royal Albert; they then edged in towards the Breakwater, under jibs and spankers only; wind, N. by W. The ships afterwards paid off towards the south, and at 5 o'clock were four or five miles east of the Eddystone, under steam only, apparently going down Channel. The fleet consisted of the flagship, the Royal Albert, 121, Rear. Admiral Sir Charles Freemantle; the Algiers, 91, Capt. George W.D. O'Callaghan; the James Watt, 91, Capt. Edward Codd; Caesar, 90, Capt. Thomas H. Mason; Hero, 91, Capt George H. Seymour; Mersey, 40, Capt. Henry Caldwell, C.B.; Nile, 90, Capt. Arthur P.E. Wilmot, C.B.; Aboukir, 90, Capt. Charles F. Schomberg; Agamemnon, 91, Capt. Thomas Hope; Topaze, 51, Capt. Hon. W.S. Spencer; Emerald, 51, Capt. Arthur Cumming; Flying Fish, 6, Commander Charles W. Hope; and Melpomene, 50, Capt. Charles J.F. Ewart.
Sa 17 September 1859The Channel fleet entered Plymouth Sound yesterday (Friday). It consists of the flagship Royal Albert, 121, Rear-Admiral Sir C. Fremantle; the Hero, 91, Captain Sir G.J. Brooke; the Algiers, 91, Captain O'Callaghan; the Agamemnon, 91, Capt. Wilson [this would seem to be an error, Thomas Hope was captain at this time]; the Caesar, 90, Capt. Mason; the Emerald, 50, Capt. Cumming; the James Watt, 91, Capt. E. Codd; the Aboukir, 90, Capt. Schomberg; and the Topazee, 50, Capt. Spencer. The ships hove in sight about 9 a.m.; the Admiral entered at 11; the last ship at 2 p.m.; the flagship parted her bower cable in the Sound; the Melpomene and the Mersey parted company from the rest of the fleet at sea.
Ma 3 October 1859None of the ships belonging to the Channel fleet have left Plymouth during the last week, and there is no present prospect of a combined movement by Admiral Fremantle, who is Commander-in-Chief of the port daring the temporary absence of Vice-Admiral Sir Barrington Reynolds, K.C.B. In the meantime indications which would pass unnoticed under other circumstances, are now observed with interest both on board and on shore; the officers know, if possible, less than the townsmen. The flag ship, Royal Albert, 121, Capt. B. Rice, went from the Sound on Wednesday into Hamoaze, and, with all her armament on board, was placed in dock at Devonport. The copper was stripped off near the aperture of her shaft, and that part of the ship was caulked and recoppered; her bends were also caulked. She was undocked on Saturday. The corners of her fans will probably be reduced. Her crew of 1,000 men are considered good. Some of them are absent on leave until the 7th inst. Strong gales from the southward, accompanied by heavy rains, have recently prevailed, and have compelled the fleet in the Sound to strike top-gallant-masts and make all snug. The state of the weather has most likely prevented the departure of the screw steamship Caesar, 90, Capt. Thomas H. Mason; for some days the davits have been ready to get up her anchors, and she has been otherwise prepared. The blue Peter was flying on Saturday, and 10 or 12 officers and about 60 men, for various ships in the Mediterranean, have embarked. The officers of the Caesar are requesting to have their letters addressed in the first instance to Gibraltar. According to present information she will remain two years on the station; she was commissioned in June, 1853. The Caesar sailed yesterday (Sunday) morning, at 10 o'clock, It will be recollected that, some 10 days since, the Lords of the Admiralty issued orders to prepare for foreign service the James Watt, 91, Capt. Edward Codd, and the Agamemnon, 91, Capt. Thomas Hope. These ships continue ready. The James Watt is bound for the Mediterranean, and has received stores for the Orion and other ships there. The destination of the Agamemnon is uncertain; it is not thought now that she will follow the James Watt; some of her officers have just received leave of absence for a week. The Nile, 90, Capt. A.B. Wilmot, C.B, has a good crew of 850 men, many of whom are from Liverpool; about five months since she supplied 80 to the Doris, and shortly after, 90 to the Algiers. It is expected that the Nile will return to Queenstown, where her crew will probably be reduced to 350. The screw steam frigate Emerald, 50, Capt. Arthur Cumming has a crew of 550, which is less than her complement; it is supposed that she will winter at Sheerness. The Mersey, 40, Capt. Caldwell, C.B., has a complement of 560, chiefly "young fellows," who hope to be paid down at Portsmouth, and to pass the winter there. No preparations for sea are making on board the Diadem, 32, Capt. William Moorsom, C.B. The screw steam gun-vessel Flying Fish, 6, Commander Hope, went outside the harbour on Thursday to try her machinery, which has been recently repaired at Keyham steam yard. The Aboukir, Hero, Melpomene, Topaze, and Virago, complete the Channel fleet. Very few men have volunteerd for the expedition to China.
Ma 10 October 1859Yesterday (Sunday) there were in Plymouth Sound ships of war belonging to five different nations, a circumstance said to be unprecedented.- The English ships of the line Aboukir, Algiers, Donegal, Hero, and Nile; frigates Diadem, Emerald, Melpomene, Mersey, and Topaze; corvette Pearl; the Dutch frigate Admiral Koopman, and sloops Vesuvius and Rainier; the Russian sloop Razboynik; the Brazilian corvette Bahiana; and the Turkish line-of-battle ship Shadie. In all 17 pennants. The whole of the ships, with the exception of the Brazilian corvette, have steam power.
Th 15 June 1871The Topaze, 31, screw frigate, was commissioned at Devonport yesterday by Lieut. Richards for Capt. R.B. Oldfield, and is intended for the Flying Squadron.
We 28 June 1871The Topaze, 31, screw frigate, Capt. R.B. Oldfield, and the Research, 4, Captain Douglas, made a satisfactory trial of their machinery in the offing at Plymouth on Monday.
There is no authority for the statement contained in the press dispatch on the 1st of June from Halifax, Nova Scotia, quoted in the Times of the 26th inst., that the squadron was about to proceed on a cruise of three year duration to the West Indies, China and Australia. The squadron is now proceeding from Halifax to Gibraltar.
Ma 17 July 1871Her Majesty's ship Topaze will leave tomorrow morning for Gibraltar touching at Vigo, and will carry letters for her Majesty's ships Hercules, Northumberland, Monarch, and Warrior at Vigo and for the Mediterranean and Detached Squadrons at Gibraltar.
Ma 14 August 1871The Helicon, paddle despatch vessel, Commander H.E. Crozier, from Vigo on the 6th inst., arrival in Plymouth Sound on Saturday morning, with letters, despatches, and a few supernumeraries. On leaving Vigo she proceeded to the rendezvous off Ushant, which she reached at 7 p.m. on the 8th inst., the Reserve Squadron arriving there at 1.45 p.m. on the 9th, the Prince Consort at 10.5 p.m. on the 10th, and the Mediterranean and Flying Squadron at noon on the 11th; and the Helicon left at 10.20 the same night for Plymouth. The combined squadrons, consisting of 23 ships, under the supreme command of Vice-Admiral Sir Hasting R Yelverton, C.B., were to cruise between 20 miles off Ushant and Ireland until the 14th inst.; the rendezvous after that would be 20 miles south of Cape Clear until the 21st or 22d inst. The fleet includes the following ships:- First, the combined Mediterranean and Channel squadrons, comprising the Lord Warden (flagship of Vice-Admiral Yelverton), Prince Consort, Monarch, Hercules, Northumberland, Defence, Caledonia, and Warrior; letters for these ships should be sent to Queenstown before the 17th or 18th inst. Second, the Detached Squadron, consisting of the Narcissus (flagship of Rear-Admiral Beauchamp Seymour, C.B.), Cadmus, Topaze, Immortalité, Volage, and Inconstant; letters for these ships should be sent to Portland before the 15th or 16th inst. Third, the Reserve Squadron, under Commodore G.O. Willes, C.B., including the Achilles, Black Prince, Resistance, Invincible, Repulse, Hector, Valiant, Vanguard, and Penelope; letters for these ships should be sent to Queenstown before the 17th or l8th inst.
Tu 15 August 1871The combined squadron under Vice-Admiral Sir Hastings Yelverton, K.C.B., was cruising off Plymouth on Sunday evening. The Admiral's flagship, the Lord Warden, came close in to the Breakwater and exchanged salutes with the Port Admiral's flagship, the Royal Adelaide. The ships of the Flying Squadron then proceeded for Portland, with the exception of the Topaze, which came into the Sound to replenish coal. The other ships of the Mediterranean, Channel, and Reserve Squadrons steamed to the westward for the rendezvous, 20 miles south of Cape Clear, where the Topaze, instead of going to Portland, is ordered to join them when her coaling is completed. She is expected to leave to-night. The Port Admiral and Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Sir J. Codrington, K.C.B., carrying his flag in the Princess Alice, will leave Devonport to-morrow to visit the western portion of his command, extending to the Scilly Islands.
Ma 19 February 1872Rear-Admiral Beauchamp Seymour, C.B., arrived at Rio Janeiro January 8 with his flying squadron, consisting of the Narcissus, Inconstant, Immortalité, Topaze, Cadmus, and Volage. The Immortalité was detached on January 11 to look for the ship White Rose off Cape Frio; she returned on January 13. Admiral Seymour intended to leave with his squadron on January 18 for the Cape and Bombay. There is a report, however, that the Foreign Office has expressed a desire that the ships should return to Europe earlier than was originally intended.- Army and Navy Gazette.
Fr 22 March 1872Advices from the Cape of Good Hope, by the mail steamer Syria, report the arrival at Simon's Bay on the 14th of February of the Detached Squadron, under command of Rear-Admiral Seymour, C.B., from Rio Janeiro, which port was left on the 18th of January. The vessels comprising the squadron were the Narcissus (flag), Captain Codrington; the Topaze, Capt. Oldfield; the Immortalité, Capt. Graham; the Inconstant, Capt. Waddilove; the Cadmus, Capt. Whyte, and the Volage, Capt. C. Seymour. The squadron left Portland on November 19, 1871, and reached Vigo on the 24th of that month. Here the squadron was put in quarantine in consequence of two cases of smallpox having occurred on board the flagship. Through this quarantine the Narcissus left Vigo on November 27 for Lisbon, the squadron remaining behind with the Inconstant in command. The Narcissus returned on the same day, not being able to steam against the head wind prevailing, and on the 29th the fleet sailed for Lisbon. The flagship parted company the same day, steaming ahead, and arrived at Lisbon on the 2d of December - the fleet on the 3d. At Lisbon the Narcissus sent the cases to hospital, and the whole fleet received pratique. The Squadron remained at Lisbon till December 7, at which date it took its departure and made an excellent passage to Madeira, which was reached at 9 a.m. on Sunday, the 10th. It left this island on the following day. At Rio the weather was intensely hot, and the port was left on the 18th of January. The squadron arrived eventually at Simon's Bay on the 14th of February. During the cruise there were, of course, manoeuvres, gun exercise, and other drills, which kept all hands hard at work. Cape Town had been visited by a large number of the sailors of the fleet, and their conduct had been most exemplary. The Inconstant was sent round to Table Bay as a guardship, arriving there on the l6th ult., and it was considered probable that some of the other ships would visit the port before proceeding to Bombay.
Sa 28 September 1872The Detached Squadron, comprising the following ships, arrived off the Eddystone, under canvas, yesterday morning, and parted company, the two first-named ships making for Plymouth Sound, where they anchored at 9.30 a.m., and exchanged salutes with the Royal Adelaide, flagship of the Commander-in-Chief at Devonport. The other three ships proceeded up Channel for Portsmouth. The screw frigates Narcissus, 28, Capt. W. Codrington, flagship of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell; the Topaze, 31, Capt. R.B. Oldfield; the Immortalité, 28, Capt. W. Graham; the Inconstant, 16, Capt. C. Waddilove, and the screw corvette Volage, 8, Capt. M. C. Seymour. The squadron, under command of Rear-Admiral Beauchamp Seymour, C.B., left Portland on Nov. 19, 1871, and arrived at and sailed from the following ports on the dates specified:- Vigo, Nov. 24, 29; Lisbon, Dec. 2, 7; Madeira, 10, 11; Rio Janeiro, Jan. 8, 18, 1872; Cape of Good Hope, Feb. 14, 27; Bombay, April 22 and May 6; Mauritius, June 5, 20; Cape of Good Hope, July 7, 27; St. Helena, Aug. 8, 13; Ascension, Aug. 17, 20; the Azores, Sept. 13, 16. The total distance traversed by the ships is 29,414 miles, accomplished almost entirely under sail. The general health of the crews has been good. The cruise from the Cape to Bombay was very tedious, owing to the prevalence of light winds and calms the whole way. The squadron steamed from the equator to Bombay, the ships towing each other alternately, the Inconstant and Volage doing most of the work. Steam was used for one day in crossing the equator, going out and coming home, and advantage was taken of it to exercise the squadron in steam tactics. The route of the squadron was to go round India, but on arrival at Bombay the ships were ordered home round the Cape, Rear-Admiral Seymour giving up command at Bombay to go to Aden, en route for England, on his appointment as a Lord of the Admiralty. The command of the squadron then devolved on Capt. Waddilove, of the Inconstant, who took charge, as senior officer, until arrival at the Cape, where Rear-Admiral Campbell joined, and the ships met the Russian squadron with the Grand Duke Alexis, who gave an entertainment on board his ship, the Svetland, and the Flying Squadron gave a ball at Simon's Bay.
Ma 30 September 1872The eastern division of the Detached Squadron, consisting of the unarmoured screw frigates Immortalité, Capt. W. Graham; the Inconstant, Capt C. Waddilove; and the Volage, Capt. M. C. Seymour, arrived and anchored at Spithead on Saturday morning.
The Narcissus, 28, Capt. W. Codrington, bearing the flag of Rear Admiral F.A. Cambell and the Topaze, 31, Capt. R.B. Oldfield, moved from Plymouth Sound into the harbour at Devonport on Saturday, preparatory to being paid off, all standing, and recommissioned.
Sa 5 October 1872The wood-built unarmoured frigates Narcissus and Topaze are to be paid off at Devonport on the 8th inst., and the Narcissus will be recommissioned next day by Capt. J.O. Hopkins.
We 9 October 1872The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, Capt. W. Codrington and the Topaze, 31, screw frigate, Capt. R.B. Oldfield were paid off at Devonport yesterday, and the Salamander, paddle sloop, Staff Commander Youel, sailed in the evening with the men paid off from their ships for Portsmouth and Sheerness.
Th 10 October 1872The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, flagship of the detached squadron, was commissioned at Devonport yesterday by Capt. J.O. Hopkins, and the Topaze, 31, screw frigate, was also commissioned by Lieut. W.H. Richardson for a Capt. whose appointment is not yet announced.
Tu 15 October 1872The unarmoured screw frigate, Immortalité, 28 guns, 3,084 tons displacement, 2,391 indicated horse-power, was commissioned at Portsmouth yesterday by Capt. Lyons for service with the detached squadron now being formed at Portsmouth and Devonport for another cruise, under Rear Admiral Campbell's command.
Capt. W.H. Edye is appointed to the command of the Doris frigate, which is to be commissioned at Devonport tomorrow with a complement of 490 officers and men for particular service, presumably to join the detached squadron. The frigates Narcissus and Topaze of that squadron, now in dock at Devonport, are ordered to be ready by the 2d of November.
Tu 22 October 1872The date named for the completion of repairs to the screw frigates Narcissus and Topaze (of the Detached Squadron) at Devonport is extended to the 25th proximo.
We 20 November 1872The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, Capt. J.O. Hopkins, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, commanding the new detached squadron moved from the harbour at Devonport into Plymouth Sound on Thursday, and the Topaze, 31, screw frigate, Capt. E. Hardinge, did the same yesterday. Both ships exchanged the customary salutes with the Royal Adelaide, flagship of the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral the Hon. Sir Henry Keppel, K.C.B., and made a short run to try their machinery previous to anchoring.
Fr 6 December 1872The Topaze, 31, screw frigate, Capt, E, Hardinge, on Wednesday made a six hours' continuous steaming (commission) trial of her machinery in the Channel off Plymouth, and afterwards returned to the Sound.
Tu 10 December 1872Her Majesty's frigate, Immortalité, 28, Capt. Algernon M'L. Lyon, arrived in Portland harbour on Sunday morning. The Narcissus, 28, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Frederick Cambell, and the Topaze, 31, Capt. Hardinge, are also expected.
Th 12 December 1872The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, Capt. J.O. Hopkins, flagship of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, commanding the Detached Squadron, and the Topaze, 31, screw frigate, Capt. E. Hardinge, sailed from Plymouth Sound yesterday for the rendezvous of the squadron in Portland Road.
Fr 20 December 1872Shortly before 12 o'clock on Wednesday morning the Flying Squadron, which for the past fortnight have been rendezvousing inside Portland breakwater, left for a short cruise. The vessels consisted of the Narcissus, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Frederick Campbell, the Immortalité, the Doris, the Topaze, the Valorous, and the Aurora. They proceeded under steam to the westward. It is expected the fleet will return either on Sunday or Monday.
Sa 21 December 1872The detached squadron, comprising the following ships, put into Plymouth Sound yesterday for shelter from the southerly gale blowing in the Channel :- The wood-built unarmoured screw frigates Narcissus, 28, Capt. J.O. Hopkins, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, commanding-in-chief the squadron; the Aurora, 23, Capt. Sholto Douglas; the Immortalité, 23, Capt. W. Graham; the Doris, 24, Capt. W.H. Edye, and the Topaze, 31, Capt. E. Hardinge; the Narcissus has started her cutwater and the Aurora her bowsprit, which, with other defects, will necessitate their going into the harbour at Devonport to repair.
Tu 24 December 1872The screw frigates Topaze, 31, Capt. Hardinge, and Doris, 24, Capt. W.H. Edye, proceeded from Plymouth Sound to the westward yesterday morning, to relieve homeward bound vessels.
The screw frigate Aurora, 28, Capt. Sholto Douglas, moved from the Sound into the harbour at Devonport yesterday, to have defects remedied; the two other ships of the detached squadron, the Narcissus, flagship of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, and the Immortalité, remain in Plymouth Sound.
Tu 24 December 1872


Sir,- Allow me to correct the paragraph concerning the movements of the "Detached Squadron" under the command of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, which appeared in The Times of the 20th inst. - viz., "the vessels consisted of the Narcissus, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral F. Campbell; the Immortalité, the Doris, the Topaze, the Valorous, and the Aurora. They proceeded under steam to the westward."
The squadron, which consisted only of the Narcissus (flag), the Immortalité, the Topaze, the Aurora, and the Doris, left Portland Roads at noon on Wednesday, the 18th. inst., under sail alone, proceeded to the westward, and put into Plymouth Sound at noon to-day through stress of weather, no steam having been used by any of the squadron during the cruise.
I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,
Tu 31 December 1872The screw frigates Topaze, 31, Capt. E. Harding and Doris, 24, Capt. W.H. Edye, returned to Plymouth Sound yesterday morning from cruising off Cape Clear. They experienced very bad weather, but met with no merchant ships requiring assistance.
The Immortalité, 28, screw frigate, left Plymouth Sound last evening for Portsmouth, to be docked, as she is said to be leaky.
We 8 January 1873Her Majesty's ships Doris and Topaze were lately despatched from Plymouth on a week's cruise to the Chops of the Channel, to relieve any disabled merchant ships they might find. They report that although a number of homeward-bound merchantmen were asked if they had seen any distressed vessels, with but few exceptions, no answer was made to the frigate's signal.
Sa 18 January 1873The unarmoured screw frigate Endymion, Capt. Maddan, sailed from Spithead about 3p.m. yesterday, for the present anchorage of the Detached Squadron in Vigo Bay. The frigate left Spithead under all plain sail, with a light breeze from about west-north-west.
The Doris, 24 screw frigate, Capt. W.H. Edye, will sail from Plymouth Sound for Vigo on Monday morning, and will take a mail for the Narcissus, Topaze, and Aurora.
Th 23 January 1873Letters for the ships of the Detached Squadron, Narcissus, Topaze, Endymion, Doris, and Aurora, may be sent to Madeira by mail of the 25th. inst., after that date to Barbadoes until further notice.
Ma 3 February 1873The ships of the Detached Squadron having been delayed by bad weather, letters for the Narcissus, Topaze, Aurora, Doris, and Endymion should be sent by mail of the 5th. inst. to Madeira, instead of Barbadoes.
We 26 February 1873Private letters received at Woolwich from Vigo report the arrival at that port of the Flying Squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, consisting of the Narcissus, 28, flagship, Capt. J.O. Hopkins; the Aurora, 23, Capt. S. Douglas ; the Doris, 24, Capt. W.H. Edye; the Endymion, 22, Capt. E. Maddon; the Topaze, 31, Capt. E. Hardinge. The passage from Plymouth was very boisterous, the whole of the ships of the squadron having encountered tremendous weather in the Bay of Biscay, the hurricane lasting from the forenoon of the 18th to the 27th ult. The Aurora, the Narcissus, and the Topaze each lost a man overboard, The Aurora was battened down for three days, leaking much from her continued labouring, and the Topaze encountered such a succession of tremendous seas as rendered it doubtful whether she would be able to recover herself. The whole of the vessels sailed for Barbadoes on the 6th inst, where they will be joined by the Immortalité, 28, Capt A.M'L. Lyons.
Tu 1 April 1873The Flying Squadron, under command of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, arrived at Barbadoes on the 4th of March, 10 days from Madeira and 26 days from Vigo. The squadron left Madeira with a north-east wind and had a pleasant run down the Trades, which were met with on the 25th of February. Typhoid fever has broken out on board the Narcissus and Doris, the flagship having several serious cases, besides about 50 men on the sick list suffering from boils and ulcers. The military medical authorities at Barbadoes declining to take the fever patients into their hospital, Admiral Campbell sent the Doris with her own sick and with 14 others from the Narcissus to Bermuda. The fever is attributed to the water taken on board at Vigo, although it was tested previously and pronounced perfectly good. The sailing qualities of the ships as tested during the cruise place them in the following order of merit:- Aurora, Narcissus, Topaze, Doris, and Endymion. The squadron will leave Barbadoes on the 14th. of March for Trinidad, en route for Port Royal.
We 18 February 1874

6 February 1874

The Immortalité, Capt. M'Lyon, came in at Valetta from the coast of Spain, and the Topaze is momentarily expected
Fr 15 May 1874

30 April 1874

The Flying Squadron, consisting of the Narcissus, 28 (bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral G.G. Randolph, C.B.), Capt. S. Adeane: the Doris, 24, Capt. W.H. Edye; the Endymion, 22, Capt. E. Madden; the Immortalité, 28, Capt. Mac L. Lyons; and the Topaze, 28, Capt. E. Hardinge, returned from their cruize in the Levant on the 30th ult., and took up their moorings in the Grand Harbour, Valetta, in fine style, at half-past 4 p.m., entering port under sail with a strong breeze from the eastward. The three first-mentioned vessels came direct from Rhodes, after a passage of ten days, and the two latter from Suda Bay (Island of Crete) in six days. The squadron, except the Doris, will leave on Thursday, 7 May, for Palermo, Cagliari, Port Mahon, Gibraltar, and England. The Doris will follow about Monday, 11 May, after having a new bowsprit fitted.
Ma 6 July 1874

4 July 1874

The Detached Squadron, consisting of the Narcisus, 28, screw frigate, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral George G. Randolph, C.B., in command of the squadron; the Immortalité, 28, Capt. Algernon M'L. Lyons; the Endymion, 22, Capt. E. Madden; and the Topaze, 31, Capt. Edward Hardinge, arrived in Plymouth Sound from Gibraltar.
Th 15 October 1874An intimation arrived at Chatham Dockyard yesterday of what will be the movements of the detached squadron, which will be under the command of Rear-Admiral Randolph, and will consist of the following ships:- The Narcissus, the Immortalité, the Topaze, the Newcastle, the Raleigh, and the Doris. The ships are ordered to assemble at Gibraltar on the 25th of October, excepting the Doris, which is to join the squadron at Madeira. The whole will leave Madeira on the 20th of November, and arrive at St. Vincent on the 29th of November; leave St. Vincent on the 3d of December, and arrive at Montevideo on the 2d of January, 1875; leave Montevideo on the 20th of January, and arrive at the Falkland Islands on the 30th of January; leave the Falkland Islands on the 13th of February, and arrive at the Cape of Good Hope on the 9th of March. The squadron will leave the Cape of Good Hope on the 30th of March, and arrive at St. Helena on the 11th of April; leave St. Helena on the 17th of April, and arrive at Ascension on the 22d of April, leaving Ascension on the 26th of April, and returning to Gibraltar on the 3d of June.
Fr 23 October 1874

22 October 1874

The Topaze, 28, Capt. Thrupp, sailed for Gibraltar, where she will join the detached squadron.
Th 26 November 1874The following particulars in reference to the cruise of the Detached Squadron under the command of Rear-Admiral G.G. Randolph have just been published. The vessels composing the squadron are the screw frigate Narcissus, 28, Capt. N. Bowden-Smith, the flagship; the screw frigate Doris, 24, Capt. The Hon. G.R. Fremantle, C.B.; the screw frigate Immortalité, 28, Capt, F.A. Hume; the Newcastle, 28, screw frigate. Capt, R.G. Douglas; the iron screw frigate Raleigh, 22, Capt. George Tryon, C.B.; and the screw frigate Topaze, 28, Capt. Arthur T. Thrupp. The squadron first visited Madeira, where they remained until the 21st ult., proceeding thence to St. Vincent, where they were timed to arrive on the 29th inst. They will remain there until the 3d of December, when they will proceed to Montevideo, which they will reach about the 2d of January, 1875. After remaining there until the 20th of that month, the squadron will go to the Falkland Islands, where they will arrive in ten days. They will stay there about 13 days, when they will leave for the Cape of Good Hope, where they are expected to arrive about the 9th of March. The squadron will leave the Cape on the 30th of March for St. Helena, which port they will make on the 11th of April. They will remain there till the 17th, thence proceeding to Ascension, where they are to arrive on the 23d of April. They will leave for Gibraltar on the 26th of April, reaching the Rock on the 3d of June next, and leaving again for England after a short stay. Letters to meet the squadron at the various places of call should be posted in time to leave London by the following mails:- For Montevideo, December 1 and 15; Falkland Islands, December 19; Cape of Good Hope; January 25, February 5 and 15; St. Helena, March 15; and Gibraltar, May 26.
Tu 8 February 1876The following vessels of the Detached Squadron will leave Bombay in a few days for Hongkong, calling at Singapore for orders :- The Narcissus, the Immortalité, the Newcastle, and the Topaze.
Tu 15 February 1876

14 February 1876

Detached Squadron.- Narcissus, Flag of Rear-Admiral Lambert, Immortalité, Topaze, and Newcastle will sail forenoon of the 14th inst. from Bombay for Singapore.
Tu 23 May 1876

7 April 1876

The Detached Squadron (Narcissus, Newcastle, Topaze, and Immortalité) arrived at Hongkong on the 7th of April from Singapore. Rear-Admiral Lambert landed on Saturday at the Murray Pier, where a guard of honour, with the band of the 28th Regiment, was stationed to receive him. The Royal Artillery fired a salute of 11 guns on his leaving his flagship.
Fr 14 April 1876

9 April 1876

Detached Squadron at Hongkong.- Narcissus, Immortalité, Newcastle, Topaze, arrived at Hongkong.
Tu 3 October 1876

12 August 1876

Her Majesty's ship Topaze left Wosung this morning for the North with stores for the Detached Squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Lambert, consisting of Her Majesty's ship Narcissus (flag), Newcastle, and Immortalité, at this date about 140 miles from Chefoo, where they proceeded from Nagasaki on the 2d August. The unsettled state of affairs in China has prolonged the stay of the Detached Squadron, and it is not expected they will move south before the end of September or beginning of October. The Audacious, flagship of Vice-Admiral Ryder, Commander-in-Chief of the China Station, it at Chefoo. The despatch boat Vigilant, with Sir Thomas Wade, the British Minister at Pekin, and Vice-Admiral Ryder, left here on the 8th for Chefoo, where it is expected there will be an interview with Li Hung Ching, Commander-in-Chief of the Pechili Provinces. The Thistle is at Ohefoo, and the Mosquito has left here for Chefoo to act as despatch vessel between the Commander-in-Chief and the Detached Squadron. The Charybdis is senior officer's ship here.
Ma 11 December 1876

31 October 1876

The Detached Squadron, under Rear-Admiral Lambert in the Narcissus, with the Immortalité, Topaze, and Newcastle, left Woosung, Shanghai today, for Hongkong on the way to England.
Tu 26 December 1876

16 November 1876

Our Hongkong Correspondent writes:- Her Majesty's ships of war in harbour are the Newcastle, Immortalité, Topaze, Fly, Growler, and Nassau. The Narcissus went round to Aberdeen on the 13th inst., and was successfully docked in the Hongkong and Whampoa Company's dock there on the afternoon of the 14th inst. The Topaze arrived from Nagasaki on the 13th inst. It is not probable the detached squadron will leave here before the first week in December.
Th 4 January 1877

30 November 1876

Our Hongkong correspondent writes: - The Detached Squadron, consisting of the Narcissus, Newcastle, Immortalité, and Topaze, are to leave here for Singapore on the 5th of December, there to await orders.
Fr 11 May 1877The Plymouth correspondent of the Press Association telegraphed last night the arrival in the Sound, to "await orders," of the Narcissus, the Immortalité, the Topaze, and the Newcastle, the four ships forming the Detached Squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Rowley Lambert, C.B.
We 23 May 1877The Narcissus and the Topaze, ships of the detached squadron recently returned, were paid off, all standing, at Devonport yesterday, and the crews granted the usual leave.
We 23 May 1877The Immortalité, 28, Acting Capt. Noel, which, with the Newcastle, 31, Capt. Douglas, arrived at Portsmouth a few days ago on the termination of the cruise of the Detached Squadron, was paid off, all standing, on Monday morning.
The Immortalité was commissioned at Portsmouth on the 14th of October, 1872, by Capt. Algernon M'L. Lyons, and on the 8th of December arrived at Portland, the rendezvous of Admiral Campbell's squadron. A few days later, the squadron, which consisted of the Narcissus (flagship), Immortalité, Aurora, Endymion, and Doris, anchored at Plymouth. After a short stay, the Immortalité was despatched to the Irish Channel in search of a derelict, the Margaret Pollock, which Captain Lyons succeeded in finding. Owing, however, to a continuance of heavy gales, he was unable to keep in company with her, and as his ship had started a serious leak it was deemed advisable to return to port, and she accordingly put back to Portsmouth on the 6th of January, 1873. The necessary repairs took more than a month to complete. In the meantime Admiral Campbell left with the other ships of the squadron for Madeira and the West Indies, the Immortalité joining company with them at Barbadoes on the l1th of March. The squadron then proceeded to Trinidad, thence to Jamaica, touching at several ports in the Windward Islands and at St. Domingo, and onward to Halifax, where orders reached them to proceed to Gibraltar, which port they reached on August 8, 1873. The squadron was then employed for some months on the coast of Spain in consequence of certain difficulties arising out of the Civil War in that country, and more particularly on account of the Intransigentes, who, having possessed themselves of several Spanish men-of-war, were behaving in a somewhat novel and irregular manner. The squadron cruised about from port to port, sometimes singly and sometimes in company, the officers taking the opportunity offered by their stay at Malaga to visit Granada, Seville, and Cordova. On the 17th of November the Immortalité was detached on a cruise to the coast of Morocco, as the bearer of the usual congratulations to the new Emperor on his accession to the Throne; and having first called at Tangier to embark the Moorish Minister, Seyd Mahomed Bargash, family, and suite, she proceeded to Rabat, where the Emperor was residing with a large following of motley, but picturesque, troops. Capt. Lyons and some of his officers were presented to the Emperor. After this incident the squadron was ordered to Malta, and, after refitting, cruised on the station until June, when it returned to Gibraltar, having visited Corfu, Athens, Smyrna, Candia, Palermo, Sardinia, and other places. The Doris was then ordered to Halifax, but the remainder of the ships returned to England, where they were paid down and new captains and several officers appointed, Rear-Admiral Randolph being placed in command. On the 20th of September, l874, the squadron, which now consisted of the Narcissus, Immortalité, Topaze, Newcastle, Raleigh, and Doris, the Immortalité being commanded by Capt. Hume, again left England, and, after touching at various places, arrived at the Cape of Good Hope on the 3d of April, 1875, where they remained a mouth to refit. The vessels returned to Gibraltar by St. Helena, Ascension, and St. Vincent, and shortly afterwards received orders to repair to Bombay to await the arrival of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales; Rear-Admiral Rowley Lambert, C.B., being at the same time appointed to the command. The squadron arrived at Bombay on the 6th of September, after a tedious passage of 91 days, and one week at the Cape, which was not more than sufficient for the performance of all necessary duties. Everybody in the squadron had opportunities of visiting famous places, seeing wonderful sights, and receiving Indian hospitality. After a considerable stay at Bombay the squadron visited Colombo, Trincomalee, and Calcutta, and then returned to Bombay. The orders were out, and the ships were to have sailed in a week for the Suez Canal, when, owing to Chinese troubles, a telegram arrived in time to arrest their return and to despatch four ships - the Narcissus, Immortalité, Topaze, and Newcastle - to Singapore and Hongkong, where they arrived on the 7th of April, 1876. The squadron remained in Chinese waters during the negotiations between the two Governments, and visited Shanghai, Amoy, Japan, Chefoo, and Talien. When at Chefoo Admiral Lambert hoisted his flag on board the Immortalité, and proceeded to the Taku Forts, at the mouth, of the Peiho River. Here the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Ryder, and Staff, accompanied by Sir Thomas Wade and Admiral Lambert and Staff, proceeded up the river in the Vigilant and Mosquito to Tientsin, and thence to Pekin. Several officers of the Immortalité also visited Pekin and the great wall of China. Affairs having by this time been satisfactorily settled by diplomatic means, the squadron returned to Hongkong in November, 1876, and, having refitted, proceeded home, via the Mauritius, Cape of Good Hope, St. Helena, Ascension, and St. Vincent, arriving at Plymouth on the 11th inst.
In the first year of her commission the Immortalité sailed over 12,309 miles, and was 109 days at sea; in the second; 10,309 miles and 106 days; in the third, 32,423 miles and 228 days; in the fourth, 14,491 miles and 134 days; and in the fifth, 16,824 miles and 120 days. During the whole commission, therefore, she had sailed over 86,356 miles, and been 897 days at sea, and 975 days in harbour, including 175 days fitting out, docking for repairs on her return from the Irish Channel, paying down and fitting out the second time at Portsmouth. In the five years she was 111 times in port, and visited 76 different ports, of which 69 were foreign and colonial. The following are the names of the officers who have served in the Immortalité the whole of her commission, from October, 1872 :- Commander Alan B. Thomas, Lieut. of Marines T.K. Byam, Chaplain, the Rev. A. Nicholls, B.A.; Paymaster, W. Warburton; Sub-Lieuts. J. W. Litle and Montgomerie; Surgeons C.G. Wodsworth and I.H. Anderson; Engineer, G.F. Greaves; boatswain, John Mahoney; acting Sub-Lieut. Haswell, and Navigating Sub-Lieut. Scott. Fleet Surg. J.C. Ingles served from the 4th of February, 1873. The Immortalité will be paid off into the 4th Division of the Steam Reserve, and, as her hull is sadly out of repair, she will not probably be again called upon for service at sea.

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