The 1856 Royal Naval review
The 1856 Royal Naval review

Royal NavyCampaigns'Crimean' War
Royal NavyCampaigns'Crimean' War

On Wednesday, 23 April 1856 (St. George's Day) a "Great Naval Review" of the fleet being prepared for the 1856 Baltic campaign was held at Spithead to celebrate the end of the war (although the Treaty of Paris, which brought the war to an end, and which had been signed on 30 March, was only to be ratified four days later). HMS Hydra, on which William Loney was serving, was back from the Cape of Good Hope station just in time to participate in the review.

After the fall of Sevastopol on 8 September 1855, France had become less interested in continuing the war. Britain had decided to despatch a "great armament" to the Baltic in 1856 to reduce the island fortress of Kronstadt and allow an assault on the Russian capital of St Petersburg. The well publicised plans for this fleet, consisting of the 1855 Baltic fleet, augmented with - among others - the newly commissioned floating batteries and gun and mortar vessels, were instrumental in forcing the Russians to the negotiating table. In was originally intended that the fleet should be ready to sail on 1 March, but in fact only two line-of-battle ships and a "flying squadron" had sailed to start enforcing the blockade of the Baltic by the time peace negotiations started; these ships were back at Spithead in time for the review. Hydra was one of the few participating, not newly commissioned, ships which had not been involved in the war; I do not know if it was the intention that she should have sailed with the Baltic fleet if that fleet had been needed in 1856.

The list of participating vessels in the article of 24 April differs from that of 23 April and that in the Illustrated London News with regard to the column in which Amphion and Arrogant, and Retribution and Vulture are placed; the list of 24 April and the plan in the Illustrated London News omit the last two paddlewheel vessels in each column: Driver and Hydra, and Prometheus and Cuckoo. The Illustrated London News list omits Driver, Prometheus and Cuckoo, but not Hydra; Hydra's log, however, makes clear that this vessel did indeed participate. The lists in the Times contain all the then ordered gunboats and gunvessels, including those not yet launched; the craft for which no commander is shown were not actually present. Gunboats which had only been launched in April were, however, able to be present.

Extracts from the Times newspaper
Tu 4 March 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

It is rumoured in the fleet at Portsmouth that a review and mock engagement of the gunboat flotilla is likely to take place shortly in the presence of Her Majesty. The fleet at Spithead shifted berths yesterday afternoon, to make more room for other ships to join. The Griper and Herring gunboats, Lieutenants Singer and Geneste, joined yesterday from the eastward. The Rodney, 92, Captain Wilson, was taken out of dock yesterday and masted. The Hawke, 60, Captain Ommanney, is ordered to hold herself in readiness for sea.

Captain the Hon. James R. Drummond, C.B., is appointed to succeed Captain G.T. Gordon as flag-captain to Vice-Admiral Sir George F. Seymour, K.C.B., G.C.H., Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth. Captain Gordon has completed the required time for his flag on the active list. ...

The screw steamship Sanspareil, 72, Captain A.C. Key, with the gunboats Skipjack, Sheldrake, Redwing, Lark, Magpie, and Badger, arrived in Portland Roads on Thursday evening last, forming the first portion of the divisions which are to rendezvous in those waters.

We 2 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

The fleet at Spithead was augmented yesterday and on Monday by the arrival of five sail of the line, a corvette, a frigate, and sundry small craft from Kingston, Queenstown, Plymouth, Liverpool and elsewhere, swelling the force at that anchorage to the following proportions: -

  Guns Horse-
Duke of Wellington (flag) 131 700 1,100
Royal George 102 400 920
Conqueror 100 800 930
Nile 90 500 850
Orion 91 600 850
Cressy 80 400 750
Colossus 80 400 750
Sanspareil 70 400 626
Hawke 60 200 600
Hogue 60 450 600
Hastings 60 200 600
Russell 60 200 600
Edinburgh 58 450 681
Arrogant 47 360 450
Pearl 20 400 260
Cossack 20 250 240
Retribution (flag) 22 400 300
Cruiser 17 60 160
Magicienne 16 400 220
Horatio 8 250 200
Conflict 8 400 175
Centaur 6 540 200
Dragon 6 560 200
Bulldog 6 500 160
Belleisle (hospital two-decker) 6 - 240
Wanderer 4 200 80
Coquette 4 200 80
Merlin 4 312 110
Antelope 3 260 70

and upwards of 50 gunboats. Nearly 30 of these, forming the red squadron, under Captain Codrington, C.B., got under way yesterday morning, at 9 o'clock, from the Motherbank, and stood out for the eastward, through the roadstead of Spithead, and when off the Knab were practised in forming line, giving chase, and other evolutions at a distance of one cable's length from each other and two abreast; and at half-past 11 o'clock the white division, under Captain the Hon. H. Keppel, C.B., got under way from the Motherbank, and joined the red division off St. Helen's. These craft formed a most animated picture as they stood out and made their manoeuvres. They exercised of Southsea-beach, Southsea-castle, and the head of the Spit for some time, and drew to the promenade and the walls of the garrison vast numbers of spectators. They were doubtlessly rehearsing part of the programme (or manoeuvring for the arrangement of one) to be the order of the day for the grand naval review by Her Majesty, which is still fixed, we are informed, for the 16th, the Levee announced for that day having been changed to the 15th. The crew of the Royal yacht Victoria and Albert, Captain the Hon. Joseph Denman, was turned over to her yesterday morning, and all hands are busy upon the Royal flotilla, to have it ready by the 15th, by which day also all gunboats and other craft, forming from 150 to 200 sail, are ordered to be at Spithead or in Portsmouth harbour. Lodgings, provisions, and pleasure craft are going up accordingly.

Fr 4 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

Rear-Admiral the Hon. Sir Richard Saunders Dundas, K.C.B., Commander-in-Chief of the ex-Baltic fleet, returned to Spithead yesterday and rehoisted his flag on board the Duke of Wellington. Strong south-easterly gales blew all day yesterday, accompanied by rain and fog, which for the most part obscured the view of the roadstead from the shore; the ships struck their topgallant masts and made snug below. The fleet was augmented yesterday by the arrival from Devonport of the Brunswick, 80, Captain Yelverton, C.B., which fired a salute for the Port Admiral on anchoring at the Motherbank. It is reported that Her Majesty will proceed from London to Portsmouth on the morning of the 16th, review the fleet, and return to town the same evening. it is also rumoured that the Plenipotentiaries now at Paris will visit England and be present at the review. It is supposed that the members of both Houses of Parliament will also be present, and that the naval troop steam frigates now in harbour will be devoted to their service. There were 111 sail of the fleet to be reviewed already assembled yesterday, and the South-Western and Brighton and South Coast Railway Companies are making preparations with the view of conveying as much additional traffic to the scene of interest as can be accomplished with safety to the public. The naval review of 1814 in the presence of the allied Sovereigns, after the peace of that day, was a mere yachting display compared with the spectacle now contemplated. Her Majesty's yacht Osborne, it is believed, will be specially commissioned for the service of the Plenipotentiaries on the occasion.

Sa 5 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

The "Baltic Fleet" no longer exists in official recognition; it was merged into the home fleet yesterday, on which day Rear-Admiral Sir R.S. Dundas, K.C.B., and Rear-Admiral R.L. Baynes, C.B., gave up their respective appellations of Commander-in-Chief and Second in Command of the Baltic Fleet. The Captain of the said fleet, the Hon. F.T, Pelham, C.B., changed his position at the same time. The whole fleet now at Portsmouth is placed under the command-in-chief of Vice-Admiral Sir George F. Seymour, K.C.B., the Port-Admiral. The line-of-battle ships form one division of the fleet, whose orders are issued through Rear-Admiral Dundas by the Commander-in-Chief, and the frigates and smaller vessels form another division, regulated in like manner under Rear-Admiral Baynes, these Admirals becoming divisional Admirals only. Captain Pelham moves to the flagship Victory pro tem. Immediately after the review it is rumoured that 10,000 seamen will be discharged from the fleet; these will consist, for the most part, of the men drawn from the Coast Guard at the outset of the war and such others as have served fully and longer than the usual term of commission. It is said that there will be a permanent Channel fleet of exercise and training, consisting of 12 sail-of-the-line and adjuncts.

The Algiers, 91, Captain Codrington, C.B., was removed from the steam basin at Portsmouth yesterday, after refit, and taken to the Camperdown hulk to receive her crew.

The Dragon, 6, paddle frigate, Captain Steward, C.B., went out of Portsmouth harbour yesterday morning and rejoined the fleet at Spithead.

The Surprise gunvessel, Commander C.E. Harcourt Vernon, fitting for sea at Chatham, is so far completed that she is expected to go out of dock in the course of a few days. As soon as she has been made ready for sea she will proceed to Portsmouth. A detachment of the Chatham division of Royal Marines, together with some men of the Royal Marine Artillery, joined this vessel at the dockyard on Wednesday last.

The Sparrowhawk gunvessel, Commander Gurney Cresswell, has been taken out of dock at Chatham, and as soon as she has received her necessary fitments, will proceed to Spithead to join the fleet of gunboats assembling at that station.

Ma 7 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

The fleet at Spithead was augmented on Saturday and yesterday by the arrival of the Meander, 44 gun sailing frigate, Captain Baillie, from Leith; the Transit, 6, steam troop-ship, Commander C.R. Johnson; the Intrepid, 6, steam gunvessel, Commander W. Wood, from Woolwich; the Princess Alice, despatch yacht, from Woolwich; the Mastiff and the Mistletoe gunboats from the Thames. Today Vice-Admiral Sir George Seymour, K.C.B., the Commander-in-Chief, will hoist his flag in the Arrogant, 46, Captain Lyster, and proceed to marshal the fleet in the order to be observed at the forthcoming review, a rehearsal of which will be made on Thursday, the 10th inst, when the ships and gunboat flotilla will be anchored towards Stokes Bay. The fleet and gunboats, in two lines, at the closest possible available distance, will cover four miles of water! The gunboats will manoeuvre by forming line abreast, then in two columns. Each division will be led by its respective line-of-battle ship. The Algiers, 91, Captain Codrington, C.B., will lead the red squadron; the Colossus, 81, Captain the Hon. H. Keppel, C.B., will lead the white squadron; the Brunswick, 81, Captain Yelverton, C.B., will lead the blue squadron; the Sanspareil, 71, Captain A. C. Key, C.B., will lead the light squadron. A great number of hands was employed from daylight until dark yesterday to expedite the equipment of the gunboats newly taken to Portsmouth from the several contractors, in order that they may be ready to take part in the forthcoming Royal naval spectacle; and such as are not ready by the 10th inst. are to be taken out to the anchorage, moored in line, and called the "reserve." One division of the gunboat flotilla will make a sham attack on the Rodney, 90-gun ship; another division will make a similar attack on the Duke of Wellington, on board of which the Lords of the Admiralty will muster; another division is to attack Southsea Castle, &c. This is the rumoured order of rehearsal for Thursday next. On the day of the review the Transit will be appropriated to carry the members of the House of Lords, and the Urgent will carry the members of the House of Commons. Every available craft that will float will have some special occupation on the eventful day. All leave was prohibited from the fleet on Saturday, and the signal remains in force for the present. The Fire Queen steam yacht Master Commander W. F. Paul, embarked Admirals Sir M.F.F. Berkeley and Sir G. Seymour, and the Captain of the Fleet, the Hon. F.T. Pelham, yesterday afternoon, and conveyed them out to Spithead.

Tu 8 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

A partial rehearsal of the movements to be executed by the fleet at the forthcoming grand review by the Queen was executed yesterday. The Gorgon steamsloop, Comander R.B. Crawford, and the Merlin, Captain Sulivan, C.B., were despatched early in the morning to the eastward to take up positions as the distance posts for the fleet; this was about three miles to the eastward of the Nab Light, and off Hayling Island. At 8 o'olock the fleet crossed topgallant and royal yards, unmoored ship, and lighted fires to get up steam, and at 9 they were ordered to prepare to weigh. At about 10 minutes to 10 Vice-Admiral Sir George Seymour, K.C.B., the Commander-in-Chief embarked in the steam yacht Fire Queen, Master Commander F.W. Paul, and with his flag at the fore steamed out to the fleet. He was accompanied by Captain of the Fleet the Hon. F.T. Pelham, C.B., Captain. the Hon. J.R. Drummond, C.B., of the Victory; Captain Sir Thomas Maitland, C.B., of the Excellent; Captain G. Eliott, of the St. Vincent; and Flag-Lieutenant Pechell. On arriving at Spithead Sir George Seymour transfered his flag to the 46-gun frigate Arrogant, Captain Lyster. Rear-Admiral the Hon. Sir Richard Saunders Dundas, K.C.B., and Rear-Admiral Baynes, C.B., remained on board their respective flagships, Duke of Wellington and Retribution; Rear-Admiral the Right Hon. Sir M.F.F. Berkeley, K.C.B., M.P., and a party went out in the Admiralty yacht Black Eagle; the Lightning steamvessel, Lieutenant-Commander Campbell, and Vivid, Master-Commander W. H. Allen, were also out with the Admirals; Rear-Admiral Superintendent Martin, with Captain Harris, of the Illustrious, and other officers, was also out in the sailing yacht Portsmouth, and the roadstead was studded with yachts of private persons. At 10 30 the fleet weighed in two columns, the line-of-battle ships first, frigates and smaller vessels following, the Commander-in-Chief in the Arrogant leading, the others following according to seniority. As they stood out from the anchorage they presented a grand spectacle. Having run the distance marked by the two stationary vessels, Gorgon and Merlin, the weather division rounded the Gorgon or the westernmost vessel and the lee division rounded the Merlin or the leeward and easternmost vessel, and made towards Portsmouth again in the same order as on going out, and anchored in line at about 4. The Duke of Wellington and Royal George, three deckers are now the leading ships to the eastward, reaching nearly to St. Helen's, and the line stretches far off Ryde in the westerly direction. Two divisions of gunboats were "aweigh" at the same time, and manoeuvring in various parts of the roadstead. Sir George Seymour took his station between the two lines of the fleet on returning, the better to observe their movements, and hoisted the signal to disregard the motions of his flagship. When off the Spit-buoy the signal was made to anchor in two lines, or in order of sailing before indicated. On the passage back to Spithead the steam yachts Black Eagle and Vivid and the steam despatch gunvessels Intrepid and Coquette, Commanders Wood and Risk, were ordered to try rate of speed in a run from about three miles below the Nab to Cowes; but the superiority of the Vivid was speedily so manifest that all competition was out of the question; the gunvessels were pretty nearly equal, and kept within half a mile of each other all the distance run; one went 101/4 and the other 10 knots, while the Vivid went 12 A third squadron of gunboats was exercised in firing off Osborne. The day being beautifully fine and clear, thousands of spectators thronged the walls of Portsmouth, the pier at Ryde, and the shores on both sides of the anchorage, to witness the movements of the ships, which will be put through a more complete rehearsal of the movements to be performed at the great review of the 16th or 17th (for there seems much indecision about the day, although we adhere still to the former date) to-morrow or Thursday. As the fleet was anchoring it was joined by the Caesar, 91, Captain Robb, from Kiel; and the others of Captain Watson's squadron are supposed to be close at hand.

The Rodney, 90, Captain Wilson, was taken out of the basin at Portsmouth yesterday and to her hulk, to receive her crew and ship her guns.

The Perseverance steam troopship was towed to Spithead yesterday and anchored.

The Colossus, Brunswick, and Sanspareil did not weigh with the fleet yesterday.

The paddlewheel vessel Kite, having completed her repairs, has been warped out of the fitting basin at Woolwich. On Sunday a number of hands were transferred from the receiving-ship Fisgard to enable her to assist in towing the mortar floats down the river. She was soon under way, with four of these vessels in tow, for Sheerness.

The artisans and labourers, consisting of shipwrights, caulkers, carpenters, joiners, plumbers, painters, smiths, &c., engaged on board the gun and mortarboats, were on Sunday employed in their ordinary labour at Woolwich Dockyard from 6 to 10 a.m., and from 5 to 9 p.m., and, as a number of these vessels arrive at Woolwich with a considerable portion of the contractors' work unfinished, the whole of their men were likewise busily employed on Sunday.

The Porcupine, 3, paddlewheel steamer, Lieutenant-Commander George M. Balfour, has arrived at Woolwich for the purpose of assisting in the conveyance of mortar vessels to Sheerness.

We 9 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

The grand review of the fleet by the Queen is postponed until the 22d or 23d inst., by which date it is expected the ratification of the treaty of peace will have been effected, and the review will be a commemorative celebration in connexion with the event. The tides will suit better for the review on the 22d than on the 17th, and the ships now on their passage to Portsmouth and others in the course of equipment will be at the rendezvous by the new date, when it is presumed the day will be appointed for general rejoicing. Sir Charles Wood, First Lord of the Admiralty; Sir M.F.F. Berkeley, Second Lord; Lord Panmure, and Captain the Marquis Townshend, R.N., visited Portsmouth yesterday; the former went out to view the fleet in the Admiralty yacht Black Eagle; the last-named officer will be Aide-de-Camp to the Queen at the forthcoming review.

The fleet was augmented yesterday by the Majestic, 81, Captain James Hope, C.B., from the Baltic; the Ajax, 60, Captain Warden, C.B., from the eastward; the Trusty, 14-steam battery, Captain Campbell, in charge of the Magicienne, 16, Captain Vansittart, from the eastward; the Thunder, 14, steam battery, Captain Randolph, in charge of the Centaur, 6, paddle frigate, Captain Clifford, C.B., from the eastward; the Forth, 12, screw mortar vessel, Captain Lord John Hay, from Plymouth; the Geyser, 6, paddle sloop, with two gunboats from Liverpool; and the Driver, 6, paddle sloop, Commander A.H. Gardner, with four mortar-boats, from the eastward.

The Basilisk, 6, paddle sloop, Commander Crofton, was removed from the steam basin yesterday, preparatory to returning to the fleet.

The Victor, 6, screw gunvessel, Commander de Horsey, was taken into dock yesterday.

The Admiralty are making extensive preparations for accommodating distinguished personages and official bodies at the forthcoming review. Among the arrangements are the following: -
For the Foreign Ministers the Admiralty steam yacht Vivid, Master-Commander Allen, has been appropriated;
For the members of the House of Peers the 2,600 tons screw ship Transit, Commander Johnson;
For the members of the House of Commons the 2,000 tons screw ship Perseverance, Commander Macdonald, and the Porcupine steam tender;
For the Admiralty Board their Lordships' yacht Black Eagle, Master Commander Petley; and the steam tenders Lightning and Princess Alice;
For the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Sir G.F. Seymour, and the Lieutenant Governor of Portsmouth the steam tender Firequeen;
For the Commander-in-Chief at Sheerness the steam tender Wildfire;
For the Commander-in-Chief at Devonport the steam tender Avon;
For the Admiral-Superintendent at Portsmouth and the Captain-Superintendent at Haslar the steam tender Sprightly;
For the members and friends of the Admiralty department the 1,700 tons screw ship Vulcan and the steam sloop Driver;
For half-pay officers of the army and navy the steam vessels Prometheus and Otter.

Th 10 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

The fleet at Spithead was augmented yesterday by the Algiers, 91, Captain Codrington, C.B., from Portsmouth harbour, after refit; the Nautilus, 8 sailing brig, Lieutenant Dolling, manned by naval apprentices from Plymouth; the Meteor, 14, steam battery, Captain Seymour, from the Mediterranean; and the Otter, steamvessel, from the eastward, with two new gunboats. The fleet will tomorrow (weather permitting) rehearse the movements to be executed at the great review.

An instruction to the following effect has been addressed by the Admiralty to Vice-Admiral Sir George Seymour, the Commander-in-Chief of her Majesty's ships and vessels at Portsmouth:-

"The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty having directed that all Her Majesty's ships of war and gunboats composing the fleet to be reviewed at Spithead on the 23d inst. by Her Majesty the Queen should be supplied with the best Welsh coal, not only to prevent Her Majesty and the company assembled being obstructed in their view of the evolutions of the fleet by smoke, but to obviate the chances of collision, the captains and masters of steamvessels intending to be present at the review are requested to adopt the same, or other necessary precautions, to avoid the inconvenience which may result from smoke, and are warned should this notice be disregarded, that it will be necessary to remove to a distance."

Fr 11 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

The fleet at Spithead did not get under way yesterday, owing to the boisterous state of the weather. Had it been favourable the Commander-in-Chief, Vice-Admiral Sir George Seymour, K.C.B., would have assembled all the gunboats at Spithead, and manoeuvred them.

The Russell, 60, Captain Francis Scott, went into Portsmouth harbour yesterday to coal, &c. The Vulcan, 6, screw steam troopship, Commander Bowyear, was removed from the steam basin yesterday, preparatory to going to Spithead; she is to convey friends of members of the Government to the review. The Dasher steamvessel, Captain Le Febvre, arrived yesterday from the Channel Islands to be appropriated for special service at the review. The Geyser, 6, paddle sloop, Commander Tower, returned to Spithead yesterday afternoon. The Vesuvius, 6, paddle sloop, Commander Hore, left Portsmouth yesterday for the eastward, with supernumeraries. The Driver, 6, paddle sloop, Commander Gardner, left on Wednesday evening for the eastward, to bring back gunboats to Portsmouth. The Trent, steam transport No. 94, went into Portsmouth harbour on Thursday to discharge stores.

Sa 12 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

Vice-Admiral Sir George Seymour, K.C.B., Commander-in-Chief, and Commodore the Hon. F.T. Pelham, C.B., Captain of the Fleet at Spithead, went out yesterday in the steam yacht Fire Queen, Master Commander W.F. Paul, and assembled the gunboat flotilla. At 8 o'clock signal was made for the whole of the gunboats to get up steam forthwith. At 11 20 Sir George Seymour and Commodore Pelham accompanied by Captain the Hon. J.R. Drummond, C.B., of the Victory, Captain A.C. Cooper, C.B., of the Sanspareil, and Flag-Lieutenant Pechell went out in the Fire Queen. When at Spithead the captains of the several divisions of gunboats - Captain Codrington, C.B. of the Red; Captain the Hon. H. Keppel, C.B., of the White; and Captain Yelverton, C.B., of the Blue, - were signalled to repair on board the Fire Queen for an audience with the Commander-in-Chief. The whole flotilla immediately afterwards got under way, and proceeded towards Stokes Bay to form the order of sailing (or rather steaming) in two columns, Captain Codrington on board the Coquette (Commander Risk) and Captains Keppel and Yelverton on board gunboats, the first-named leading the red squadron, the second the white, and the third the blue, and each having its distinguishing pennant flying. Having formed in order of sailing in two columns, they proceeded through the fleet at anchor, which is also moored in two long lines. On arriving at the head of the fleet the starboard, or red division under Captain Codrington, steamed round the Royal George, 102 to starboard, while the white and blue divisions turned round to port on the Duke of Wellington, and each line pursued its course back to the bottom of the line of the fleet. Sundry other manoeuvres were then ordered to be performed by signal, which were satisfactorily executed, and then the Commander-in-Chief returned to port. The weather was unfavourable for any display, but the movements of the flotilla were anxiously watched by thousands of spectators from all points. The fleet was joined yesterday by the Exmouth, 91, Captain Eyres, C.B.; the Conqueror, 101, Captain Symonds, C.B. from Plymouth; the Hydra, 6, Commander H.G. Morris, from the Cape of Good Hope; the Sepoy, 2, gunboat, Lieutenant Knox, from the Thames; the Alban, 3, steam vessel, Lieutenant Fisher, from Queenstown. The Wanderer, 6, Commander Luce, was taken out of dock yesterday, refitted. The Basilisk, 6, Commander Crofton, adjusted her compasses yesterday. The Meteor, 14, steam-battery, Captain Seymour, was towed into harbour yesterday, to repair defects.

Ma 14 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

The review of the fleet at Spithead by the Queen is ordered to take place on the 23d inst. (St. George's-day). Her Majesty will arrive at Gosport from London at 11, and will leave on her return at 5. The following naval aides-de-camp are summoned to attend Her Majesty on the occasion: - Admiral Sir William Parker (first and principal), G.C.B., Commander-in-Chief at Devonport; Captain Sir Baldwin Walker, K.C.B., Surveyor of the Navy; Captain the Marquis Townshend; Captain Lord George Paulet, C.B; Captain Lord Edward Russell, C.B.; Captain Henry J. Codrington, C.B., of Her Majesty's ship Algiers; Captain Sir Thomas Maitland, C.B., of Her Majesty's ship Excellent; Commodore the Hon. F.T. Pelham, C.B., Captain of the Fleet; Captain George Elliot, of Her Majesty's ship James Watt; Captain Robert Smart, K.H., Superintendent of Pembroke Dockyard. To-morrow evening the Lords of the Admiralty will arrive at Portsmouth, and on Wednesday morning will order the fleet through the evolutions intended to be performed on the 23d. The following ships and vessels were at the anchorage yesterday: -

  Guns   Guns
Duke of Wellington 131 Meteor 14
Royal George 102 Glatton 14
Conqueror 101 Forth 12
Exmouth 91 Eurotas 12
Nile 91 Rattler 11
Orion 91 Conflict 8
James Watt 91 Horatio 8
Caesar 91 Centaur 6
Algiers 91 Dragon 6
Rodney 90 Merlin 3
Majestic 81 Basilisk 6
Cressy 81 Bulldog 6
Colossus 81 Gorgon 6
Brunswick 81 Driver 6
Sanspareil 71 Hecla 6
Hawke 60 Geyser 6
Russell 60 Mohawk 6
Edinburgh 60 Hydra 6
Hastings 60 Coquette 6
Hogue 60 Intrepid 6
Ajax 60 Sparrowhawk 6
Arrogant 47 Belleisle 6
Meander 44 Vesuvius 6
Retribution 22 Sealark 6
Esk 21 Rolla 6
Pearl 21 Lightning 3
Cossack 21 Alban 3
Cruizer 17 Otter 3
Magicienne 16 Lizard 3
Thunder 14 Porcupine 3
Trusty 14    
and about 60 gunboats

The Eurotas, Sparrowhawk, Lizard, Porcupine, and the gunboats Lively, Erne, Delight, and Mackerel arrived on Saturday from the eastward; the Prometheus arrived in the night from the Thames; and the Shamrock, Bouncer, Drake, and Traveller gunboats yesterday.

A vast number of excursionists visited Portsmouth yesterday by the South-Western and South Coast Railways.

The following notice has been published by the Port Admiral: -


"Steamers, sailing vessels, and boats are not to attempt to cross the line of the ships of war about to be reviewed on the 23d inst., nor on any account to pass between the columns; nor are they to occupy any part of the man-of war channel between Spithead and St. Helen's during the evolutions.

"Steamers are to keep to leeward of the columns or ships in the order of sailing, as their smoke might prevent signals being quickly noticed, thereby causing accident.

"Vessels are not on any account to pass to windward of the Royal Yacht if it can be possibly avoided.

"Masters of vessels must be aware that the evolutions of so large a number of men-of-war require a considerable space, and they are therefore to steer accordingly, and not close in to interrupt the evolutions. They themselves will alone be answerable should any accident occur.

"Vice-Admiral, and Commander-in-Chief.
"Victory, in Portsmouth harbour. April 9, 1856."

We 16 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

The fleet shifted berth on Monday, and stretched further east and west across the anchorage. To-day it will be augmented by the Impérieuse, 51, and the other vessels which lately went to the Baltic. The Desperate, 8, Commander White, arrived at Spithead yesterday evening. The Meteor, 14, steam-battery, Captain F.B.P. Seymour, went out of harbour on Monday evening and rejoined the fleet. The Grappler, 4, gunboat, Lieutenant Silverlock, arrived in the night from the Thames. The Ajax, 60, Captain Warden, C.B., rejoined the fleet last night. The Flying Fish, 6, Commander Dew, went out of harbour yesterday afternoon and anchored among the gunboat flotilla at the Motherbank. The Bulldog, 6, Commander Gordon, and Hecla, 6, Commander Aplin, were under orders to leave Spithead last night for the eastward, to convoy back mortar vessels and gunboats. In order that the general public who may not be able or willing to go afloat on the day of the review may have a good and uninterrupted view of the spectacle, the War Department, in concurrence with the Lieutenant-Governor and the Commanding Royal Engineer of Portsmouth Garrison, have granted permission. on the application of Mr. Emanuel, of Portsmouth, for a committee to erect a grand stand or stands, with safe and suitable accommodation for some thousands of spectators, on Southsea-common, abutting on the esplanade from Hollingsworth's-rooms to Southsea-castle, which latter will be one of the fortresses to be attacked by the gunboat flotilla. These stands will have retiring and refreshment rooms attached to them, all under the regulations of a respectable committee, who will be answerable that no drunkenness or other excesses shall be suffered; indeed, they will be places for respectable persons only and at a moderate charge. Some of the Lords of the Admiralty arrived at Portsmouth last evening, and will to-day (weather permitting) put the ships through the movements contemplated for this day week. The corporation of Portsmouth applied to the Admiralty for a steamer to be placed at their disposal, to enable them to witness the review; but the application has been refused, the Admiralty not having a vessel available for such a purpose.

A letter from Captain Watson's ship, the Impérieuse, dated Kiel, April 11, says: - "The welcome news of peace reached us at Faro Sound on the 5th, and, after consulting the different ships of the squadron, they were all fairly under way towards Kiel by Monday evening, but fogs, which are so prevalent at this time of year, delayed them, and it was the afternoon of the 10th before they had all reached Kiel, the senior officer's ship (the Impérieuse) with the exception of the Cuckoo (which arrived at 2 this morning), bringing up the rear; at daylight the Amphion, the Falcon, and the Harier left; the Euryalus and the Pylades left about 7; the Firefly and the Cuckoo will leave when coaled, and by 9 a.m. the 'flying squadron' will be on their way back again, and we hope to be in time for the review."

The Prometleus, 6, steam sloop, Commander Hore, and the Driver, 6, Steam sloop, Commander Gardner, arrived at Spithead on Monday, with a mortar vessel in tow of each.

The Basilisk, 6, steam sloop, Commander Crofton, went out of harbour on Monday, and anchored at Spithead.

Th 17 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

Sir Charles Wood, First Lord of the Admiralty, and Rear-Admiral Sir Maurice F.F. Berkeley, Second Lord, arrived at Portsmouth on Tuesday night, and slept on board the yacht Black Eagle, in Portsmouth harbour. Yesterday morning their lordships were joined by Lord Panmure, Field-Marshal Viscount Hardinge, Vice-Admiral Sir George Seymour, Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Saunders Dundas, commanding the port division of the fleet at Spithead; Commodore the Hon. F.T. Pelham, Captain of the Fleet; Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane, Flag-Lieutenant Pechell, &c. The flagship Victory saluted the Admiralty Board with 19 guns at 9 o'clock yesterday morning, and at a few minutes, after the Black Eagle left the harbour with the party above mentioned for Spithead, steaming through the fleet and down to Stoke's Bay, where the new despatch vessel Flying Fish, Commander Roderick Dew, was trying her speed. It was intended, as before stated, to rehearse the whole of the movements on the card for the review, but the wind was so strong and sea so rough, that it was not deemed prudent that the line-of-battle ships should unmoor; the movements were therefore confined to the gunboats. After witnessing the speed of the Flying Fish, the Black eagle steamed up through the gunboat flotilla at Motherbank, and signalled for the commanders of the Red Division to go on board her. At 11.30 the Caesar, Russell, Exmouth, and Hastings line-of-battle ships were ordered to repeat signals; and this the Hogue asked permission to do; which was granted. The Gorgon and Basilisk steam sloops were dispatched to anchor about three miles off the Nab, as "pivot vessels" or turning points for the movements of the flotilla, the red (or centre) division of which (under Captain Codrington, C.B.) was signalled to form the prescribed order of sailing in two columns. This was about noon. The Flying Fish and Coquette led the flotilla up from Stoke's Bay, Captain Codrington on board the former heading the starboard line, Captain the Hon. H. Keppel, in the Carnation, heading the port line, Captain Yelverton following in No. 19 gunboat, and Captain A.C. Key in the Wanderer. Having got fairly away, signal was made to take close order, which was ably done, and the Intrepid brought up the rear. After attaining the pivot-ships Duke of Wellington and Royal George (the Gorgon and Basilisk having evidently been sent out with the intention of serving as points for the line-of-battle ships) the red squadron rounded the latter, and returned along the outside of the line of the fleet at anchor on the Isle of Wight side, all making for Stoke's Bay where we believe the Admiralty signified their satisfaction with the manoeuvre, and then returned to port. The flotilla then moored in four lines, the blue to starboard, the red in the centre, the white to port, and the light in shore to Stoke's-bay. The day was beautifully fine overhead, but a cutting north-easter blew very hard, and rendered all communication with Spithead useless, unless by steam power. What will be done with the great ships on the 23d remains yet to be decided on; they will most likely be taken, as was the case last time, outside of Spithead and manoeuvred off Hayling Island, the Rodney, 90, and the London, 90 being appointed the "pivot ships" for them. The Fire Queen and the Vivid Admiralty steam yachts, Masters W.F. Paul, and H.W. Allen, commanding, were each yesterday with company on board, witnessing the marshalling of the gunboats. The Impérieuse, 51, Captain Watson, C.B., arrived at Spithead on Tuesday evening from the Baltic; the Euryalus, 51, Captain G. Ramsay, C.B., arrived from the same destination yesterday morning; the Falcon, 17, Commander Pullen, followed, and the Procris gunboat, also arrived from the eastward. The Ajax, 60, screw blockship, also went to Spithead. To-day (weather permitting) the Commander-in-Chief may put the line-of-battle ships through their positions. Her Majesty has invited Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons, the Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean fleet, &c., to be her guest onboard the Royal yacht at the review.

Her Majesty's sloop Grecian, 12, Commander George Blane, entered Plymouth Sound yesterday evening. She left Singapore on the 22d of December, arrived at Cape of Good Hope on the 6th of February, remained there 16 days refitting, and touched at St. Helena on the 5th of April. She has on board two officers and 29 seamen, lately belonging to the Russian frigate Diana. She spoke, 500 miles south of the Azores, the brig Penelope, of Sunderland, 103 days from Mauritius, for Cork.

The screw steam-ship Centurion, 80, Captain W.J. Williams, made a successful trial of her engines outside the Sound on Monday. She took her powder in on Tuesday, and will leave Plymouth for Spithead to-day or to-morrow.

The London, 90, Captain Jervis; the paddlewheel steam frigate Vulture, 6, Captain F.H.H. Glasse; and the screw mortar ship Seahorse, 12, Captain Leopold G. Heath, were under orders to leave Plymouth yesterday for Spithead.

Fr 18 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

The Commander-in-Chief of the fleet at Portsmouth and Rear-Admiral Sir M.F. Berkeley held a levee yesterday at the Admiralty-house, which was attended by all the captains of the fleet, with the object of finally arranging the movements to be executed at the review by the Queen. The fleet was joined yesterday by the Amphion, 34, Captain Henry Chads; the Pylades, 21, Captain D'Eyncourt; and the Harier, 17, Commander Derriman, from the Baltic; and the Archer, 14, Captain Heathcote, from Portsmouth harbour. The Victor, 6, despatch gunvessel, Commander De Horsey, was taken out of dock yesterday. The Rodney, 90, "pivot ship," Captain Wilson, bent sails yesterday morning, preparatory to going out to-day or to-morrow to Spithead. The Vulcan, 6, steam troopship, Commander Bowyear, had her compasses adjusted yesterday, preparatory to going to Spithead. The weather yesterday was exceedingly fine, and the fleet looked grand in the extreme. All who desire to view its unbroken and deeply-striking proportions should see it as it now is, and steam through it.

The General Screw Company's steam transport Calcutta sailed for the Crimea yesterday morning with the Government passengers previously enumerated in The Times. The Golden Fleece and the Jason will sail this morning for the same destination. These three vessels will be employed in the conveyance of horses and troops from the Black Sea to England. The preparations for the grand naval review at Spithead on the 23d inst. are causing considerable activity at Southampton. Nearly the whole of the accommodation at the principal hotels is disposed of, and the difficulty to procure sleeping apartments is already apparent. The Peninsular and Oriental Company are preparing the whole of their available ships for the purpose of conveying the directors and shareholders and their friends to witness the display. These vessels will include the screw steamers Alma, Sultan, Manilla, and Alhambra, and the paddlewheel ships Euxine and Ripon. The Pasha of Egypt's small steam-yacht Mustapha Bey, now lying at Southampton, will also leave for Spithead. The Royal Mail Company are getting ready the Atrato and Tay to convey their directors and shareholders, and Her Majesty's screw steam-transport Himalaya is under the superintendence of Captain Engledue, Superintendent of the Peninsular and Oriental Company, being provided with sleeping accommodation for 600 persons. This fine vessel will also be present during the review. Berths are also made up on board many of the ships in the docks for the use of the members of the mail companies. Several announcements of the departure for Spithead of chartered steamships, at one guinea per head are posted throughout the town. It is expected that between 20 and 30 steamers will leave Southampton on the day of the grand spectacle, carrying an immense number of spectators. The directors of the Southampton Dock Company have agreed that on this occasion no tonnage dues or other charges shall be made on steamers coming in to embark or to land passengers. The passengers also will be embarked and landed free of charge. The company, however, require notice from all steamships not belonging to the port, in order that proper berths may be assigned to them.

Sa 19 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

The fleet at Spithead yesterday noon got under weigh, and went through the evolutions intended for Wednesday next, and which have been before described. Yesterday, however, the gunboat squadrons intended to attack Southsea Castle and Fort Moncton ranged off these fortresses and fired blank cartridge. The effect was very imposing. The fleet stood out in two lines in the prescribed order of sailing as before, and returned to the anchorage in the like order, taking up their starboard and port moorings east and west through the roadstead. The weather was so thick at starting that their movements could scarcely be made out from the shore, but before they returned the sun shone out and exhibited them in magnificent array. The Centurion, 81, Captain W.J. Williams, joined yesterday from Plymouth and took up her allotted position. The Rodney and the London will probably join to-day. Steamers of the Ryde and Portsmouth Company made excursions through the fleet at various hours of the day, and hundreds availed themselves of the chance thus afforded of steaming from end to end of the "line of battle" and inspecting its stupendous proportions.

Ma 21 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

The fleet at Spithead continues to be augmented hourly. The "pivot ships," Rodney, 90, and London, 90, were placed in position on Saturday. The Blenheim, 60, Captain W.H. Hall, C.B., arrived yesterday morning, as did the Seahorse, 12, mortar ship, Captain Lord John Hay [should be Leopold George Heath, Hay was in command of another mortar frigate, Forth], together with three or four mortar boats, under convoy from Plymouth. The ships are now in two divisions Vice-Admiral Sir George Seymour has the starboard and Rear-Admiral Sir R. Dundas the port, which latter ships have changed their ensigns and pennants from red (Sir George Seymour's) to white under Rear-Admiral Dundas. The movements to be performed are almost as uncertain as the wind, and all will depend upon the weather. The Commander-in-Chief has prepared his plans, and he has for his guidance a famous old drawing of the last grand review of the British fleet which took place in 1791 - a picture which is now a curiosity. The line-of-battle ships will anchor to the eastward; after them the screw frigates, corvettes, and paddle wheel vessels in rotation. The gunboat flotilla will continue in line to the westward; two divisions in each line half a cable apart to the west of its divisional leader. A stationary line will be formed by the sailing ships Belleisle, Meander, &c. The pivot ships (Rodney and London) have taken up their positions to the E.N.E. of the Nab, four cables apart; two other pivot vessels will be similarly stationed at one mile west of Cowes. The Queen's yacht on leaving Portsmouth harbour will steam outside the Gosport shore down to the Cowes end of the line of the fleet, and will then proceed through the entire length of the line, and, as soon as Her Majesty shall have passed the ships at the Nab end of the line, the gunboats will weigh, and will follow the yacht between the lines made by the line-of-battle ships, &c. An attack will be made upon the Meander, upon Southsea Castle, and Fort Monckton or the Browndown Forts, and Royal Artillerymen and Royal Marine Artillerymen have been marched into the garrison to defend those points in the mimic attack. When all the flotilla shall have passed the flagships the line-of-battle ships will weigh if signal is made to do so, all lowering their flags simultaneously with the flagship, and then standing out in two columns to the pivot ships and rounding them on the starboard and port hands respectively, manning the rigging, and cheering as they each pass the Royal yacht. They will return to Spithead in the same order. It is not at all certain that the line-of-battle ships will weigh, as it is expected the anchorage will be so crowded with miscellaneous freight ships as to endanger the movement of such large and so numerous a body of ships. The harbour is ordered to be clear of passenger ships by 10 o'clock. Thousands of excursionists were taken to Portsmouth yesterday by the South-Western and Brighton and South Coast Railways, which lines are making admirable arrangements to meet the demands upon then for accommodation. The lodging department is quite a stock-jobbing affair now; the quotations are astounding and the prices "firm." The following yachts are already at the station, and they will doubtlessly be merely the forerunners of a large flotilla of similar craft: - Hawk (R.W.Y.C.), Lord Hill; Foam (R.Y.S.), Lord Dufferin; Extravaganza (R.Y.S.), Sir Percy Shelley; Wildfire (R.S.Y.C.), Mr Turner Turner; Myrtle (R.Y.S.), Mr John Brown; Alfred (R.T.Y.C.), Mr W.D. Cunningham, R.N., &c.

The arrangements at Southampton for conveying the members of the Houses of Lords and Commons, the great dignitaries of State, officers of the public departments, and an immense concourse of visitors to the forthcoming naval spectacle are on the largest scale, and from the great size and number of the steamships to be employed and the pressure for accommodation, the preparations resemble more the fitting out of a great flotilla for some expeditionary warlike service than the mere catering for a holiday sight. It is calculated that on Wednesday morning next nearly 70 steamships, from the gigantic Himalaya down to the tiny tug, will leave Southampton for the scene of this great national demonstration. The following arrangements have been made: - Her Majesty's steam transport Transit, to carry 400 persons, is appropriated to the members of the House of Peers, the General Screw company's steamship Harbinger acting as tender. The Perseverance screw steam transport, to carry 450 persons, will convey a portion of the Members of the Commons, while her Majesty's steamships Widgeon and Monkey and the Turkish yacht will accompany that vessel and accommodate additional visitors from the Lower House. Her Majesty's steamship Vulcan, to carry 400 persons, Holyrood, 200, and Himalaya, 600 - amounting in all to 1,200 - are appropriated to convey the officers of the public departments. Two Government tugs will be forwarded from Portsmouth to act as tenders to these last-named vessels. With the exception of the Himalaya and the Harbinger, and the Perseverance and Transit, which arrived yesterday morning the abovementioned ships will leave Portsmouth to-morrow, owing to the low state of the tide, in the morning, and will anchor in the Southampton Water, so as to enable them to start at an early hour on Wednesday. The majority of the members of the Lords anal Commons will arrive at Southampton during Tuesday, and accommodation having been provided for them in the various vessels many will sleep on board on Tuesday night. The Himalaya is also arranged with sleeping accommodation for the number she is ordered to convey, therefore it is presumed that many of the gentlemen connected with the public departments will avail themselves of the preparations thus considerately made for their convenience. This will, no doubt, be almost compulsory, for the difficulty in procuring beds has become so great that those who are not already provided will find it next to impossible to get them. The Peninsular and Oriental Company have decided upon sending to the review the following ships: - The screw steamers Simla, Alma, Sultan, and Manilla, and the paddlewheel ships Ripon and Euxine. These vessels will convey the directors and shareholders of the company and their friends, each shareholder having the privilege of a double ticket. The preparations are on a most sumptuous scale, and refreshments for the day, besides a breakfast and dinner, are being prepared for between 3,000 and 4,000 persons. The West India Royal Mail Company are not lax in their arrangements. It was the previous intention of this company to devote to the use of the directors, shareholders, and friends, their two paddlewheel steamers Atrato and Tay, but, wishing to give every accommodation for the comfort of the visitors, they have determined upon sending in addition the gigantic paddlesteamer La Plata. These vessels will have on board about 2,000 persons, all of whom will have an admirable view of the manoeuvres of the fleet. Refreshments, including breakfast and dinner, on the most splendid scale, are provided for all the guests. Owing to, the scarcity of their ships at present disengaged, the General Screw Company have experienced some difficulty in taking so prominent a position in the proceedings as the two previously mentioned companies. The Queen of the South, the only vessel at home and available (the Harbinger being otherwise engaged), is in the pay of Government as a transport, but application was made to the Lords of the Admiralty for the use of the ship on Wednesday, to convey the shareholders and friends to witness the review. The request was immediately granted. Circulars were then issued and forwarded to each shareholder, informing them that, in consequence of the Lords of the Admiralty having granted the use of the Queen of the South, the directors would be happy to receive the names of those shareholders and their friends who are anxious to be present on the occasion, as arrangements will be made for their conveyance by that vessel, on the payment of one sovereign each, which sum will include refreshments. The South-Western Company will send their steamships Courier, Alliance, and Wonder, and the Union Steam Company the screw ships Saxon and Union, all of which vessels will convey the public at so much per head. In addition to these, there are chartered by private individuals the Australian Company's steamship Sydney, the Duke of Cornwall, Victoria, Nord, Nimrod, Aquila, Hope, and between 20 and 30 others of various sizes. The dock arrangements will be rendered as perfect as possible. A plan has been prepared, showing the place assigned to each vessel as she is to lie alongside the dock quays. Barricades will be put up on Wednesday morning in various parts of the docks for the purpose of preventing any unnecessary confusion. These divisions will be exclusively used by the different departments as they embark and boards will be erected, on which will be painted directions to the particular spots appropriated to the members of the Houses of Lords and Commons, and also the visitors for each steamer. The metropolitan police belonging to the Houses of Parliament will be in attendance, to assist the town and dock police in the preservation of order. There is no doubt that Southampton will be more crowded during the days preceding and subsequent to the review than was ever previously known; and, had it not been for the arrangements of the mail companies, in preparing sleeping accommodation on board the various steamvessels, many hundreds of persons must have remained unprovided during those nights. As it is, there is no doubt that large numbers will be compelled to walk the streets or satisfy themselves with the use of a chair or floor to sleep on. All that is now hoped is, that the day will be fine, which will render perfect a sight which, for magnitude and splendour, will probably never again be witnessed upon the waters of the Solent.

The Assurance, 4, screw despatch gunboat, Commander William G. Jones, has had her compass adjusted, and left Sheerness on Saturday last for Portsmouth to join the squadron. The Firefly, 4, paddlewheel steamvessel, Captain Henry C. Otter, left Sheerness on Saturday at 3 p.m. with the new mortar vessels, Nos. 53 and 54, and the Thames, tender to Formidable, in tow for Portsmouth. The mortar vessels, built by Harvey and Co., draw only 6½ feet with full complement of stores, provisions, shot and with armament complete.

Tu 22 April 1856

Naval and Military Intelligence

The fleet at Spithead yesterday again rehearsed the movements to be carried out to-morrow. The day was beautifully clear and warm ashore, and was taken advantage of by many thousands of travellers who wished to get a sight of the vast armament in its gigantic proportions. The great fleet did not move, but the gunboat flotilla went through the whole of the manoeuvres to be executed to-morrow, and seemed to perform them with ease and celerity. It is gratifying to have to announce that our illustrious ally, the Emperor of the French has sent a suitable representative of the French Imperial Navy for the occasion. The Imperial French war steam-frigate Chayla, Captain Longueville, bearing Rear-Admiral Jurien de la Graviere, and a numerous deputation to visit the review, arrived at Spithead on Sunday night before sunset, and anchored off the fleet. She saluted the garrison and Port-Admiral, which complements were promptly acknowledged by Major-General Breton and Vice-Admiral Sir George Seymour. The French Consul at Portsmouth, the Chevalier Vandenbergh, was also saluted by the frigate on leaving, after paying his respects to the Admiral, whom and his officers the Consu1 introduced yesterday morning to the naval and military chiefs. The appearance of these gallant visitors from the French navy excites general and marked admiration. Last evening the Commander-in-Chief of the fleet, Sir George Seymour, entertained them at the Admiralty-house, and they will be fèted by the military and other branches before their departure. The Dutch officers, too, of the little instruction corvette which arrive a few days ago are also receiving the most cordial attention and civilities from the authorities and the service. Mortar vessels and floats at sea and munition waggons, with trains of artillerymen following ashore, and seen frequently now, as the time for keeping the "engagement" approaches, convey an imperfect idea of the realities of war's preparations. Vessels continue crowding towards the anchorage from east and west, and notwithstanding the order that "no smoking would be allowed," their funnels denoted pretty accurately, even afar off, that the craft was from the "north" or the Thames. The very best preparations are making by the directors of the Royal Victoria and Royal Albert piers, the former the place of "taking water" from Portsmouth, and the latter from the town of Portsea, as far as engaging efficient hands, increasing the service staff, and doing all that can be done on their (the piers') circumscribed dimensions to meet the extraordinary demands that will be to-day and to-morrow made upon each. The great bulk of the passenger traffic, both of the privileged and the public, for steamers will be encountered at Portsea, where all the packets of the South Eastern, Brighton and Dieppe, and other ports, are ordered to embark at the Albert Pier, which, lying in the interior of the harbour and entirely out of the way of the channel of navigation in the direction of the harbour's mouth, is deemed the least likely to be the cause of any obstruction to the naval traffic. The yachts, smaller vessels, and watermen's craft will have better facilities at the Victoria Pier, and the Sallyport adjoining. The Grand Stand on the edge esplanade, near Southsea Castle, will realize handsomely for the funds of that public promenade, which is the object of the projectors. From its seats all who invest 10s. Will have an unbroken view of the entire sweep of water from the Nab lightvessel, where the easternmost pivot ships are stationed, down to Cowes, where the westermost are moored, and the vista down the avenue of masts is one of the most magnificent the gaze can dwell on. The railway companies (South-Western and South-Coast) are making admirable preparations to regulate the easy distribution of the pressure from within on arrival down, and the same to facilitate the return up, the two lines having separate places of egress and ingress, instead of the joint one in common. Superintendent Mountain, at Portsmouth, and Stevens, at Gosport, and those at the principal junctions leading into the great trunks of those railways, are indefatigable in their direction of the necessary works to be accomplished in their respective provinces. The Royal yachts have been out trying their machinery, and all promises well for the eventful morrow.

The following circular has been issued from the Admiralty, prescribing the measures to be adopted by the respective flag-officers, captains, and commanders at the review: -

"On the occasion of Her Majesty's' reviewing the fleet, the ships will be anchored at Spithead in two columns at three cables' distance; the ships of the line at 1½ cables apart; smaller ships at one cable.
"The ships of the line will anchor to the eastward, then the screw frigates, screw corvettes and padd1ewheel steamers. The divisions of gunboats will continue the line to the westward, two divisions in each line, formed each into two sub-divisional columns (half a cable apart) to the west of its divisional leader.
"The Meander, Belleisle, floating batteries, exercising brigs, and the mortar-vessels will anchor and form a stationary line from the Spit Buoy to the western end of Stoke's-bay.
"The London and Rodney will take up a position as pivot ships to the E.N.E. of the Nab Light, at four cables apart. Two other pivot vessels will be similarly placed at one mile west of Cowes.
"A Royal salute will be fired by the fleet on Her Majesty's yacht reaching the Spit Buoy and the same on her Majesty's return into harbour after the review; but not until the Royal yacht shall have reached inside the Spit Buoy. No other salute is to be fired. (The Meander and floating batteries will not salute, nor any vessel under the number of guns prescribed by the Admiralty order.)
"All the ships while at anchor, are to be dressed in colours, and on the Royal yacht, passing each ship is to man the rigging and the crews are to cheer. The Meander and stationary ships are to man yards and cheer.
"If the weather is tolerably fine, and there is not much swell in the offing, the fleet will have steam ready (but with the fires banked) and be hove short by 11 o'clock in the forenoon.
"Her Majesty's yacht on leaving Portsmouth harbour will probably steam past Gilkicker Point, and entering between the co1umns at the western, or Cowes end, will proceed through their whole extent. As soon as Her Majesty shall have passed the eastern vessels of the flotilla the flotilla will weigh, and will follow the Queen's yacht between the lines in the same order in which they are anchored, preceded by the officer in command of the division, in one of the larger gunvessels. On reaching the flag-ships, the van and rear squadrons of the flotilla will turn in succession to port, round the Duke of Wellington. The van squadron (White) will take up a position at anchor for attacking the Meander, and stationary line, their right, opposite to the floating batteries, near the Spit Buoy, extending to the westward in line. The rear squadron (Blue) will place itself to the eastward of the Boyne Buoy, opposite to Southsea Castle. The centre and light squadron of the flotilla will turn in succession to starboard, round the Royal George, and, passing to the southward of the south column of the line of ships, will cross to the westward of both columns. The centre squadron (Red) will take up a position at anchor, their left opposite to the Meander and Belleisle in Stoke's Bay, and extending thence to the eastward opposite to the mortar vessels. The light squadron (White, Red) will follow the centre division, and will place itself in position between the centre and van squadrons.
"The whole flotilla will be prepared to open fire on signal from the Royal yacht, or Commander-in-Chief. (Gunboats ordered to attack are not to fire more than six rounds.)
"As soon as the flotilla shall have passed the flagships in the van of the columns the whole fleet will weigh on the signal being made by the Commander-in-Chief, lowering their flags simultaneously with the flagship, and, will proceed in close order of sailing towards the pivot ships, at such a rate as will allow the prescribed order to be maintained, closing the columns to a cable's length apart. On reaching the pivot-ships to the E.N.E. of the Nab each column, after passing between them, will turn outwards round these ships, the starboard column turning to starboard and the port column to port, manning the rigging and cheering the Royal yacht as they pass. They will then return to Spithead in the same order, closing their columns after the ships returning westward shall have passed the rear of the fleet, and thus regain their anchorage at Spithead, unless otherwise directed by signal.


"The position of the fleet at anchor, as in No. I., and prepared to weigh; but, should the signal be made for the flotilla alone to weigh, accompanied by the signal which will refer to this plan, the gunboats, after passing round the flagships as in No. I., instead of proceeding at once to the points of attack, will return to the westward, outside the columns, having passed beyond which, they will close the squadrons, each of which will remain in their origin order of formation, and, passing between the pivot vessels off Cowes, the White and Blue Squadron will turn in succession to starboard and the Red and Light Squadrons to port, and return to the eastward. When the whole have passed the pivot-vessels the flotilla will form into single columns of squadrons, White leading, Blue second, Red third, and Light fourth, and will pass on, north of the fleet (which will have remained at anchor), to their respective positions of attack in the order prescribed, and be ready to open their fire on the signal being given for the purpose."

It having been reported in the public papers that sleeping accommodation will be provided on board the Himalaya and other vessels for persons attending the Naval Review, the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty wish it to be understood that no such arrangement has been, or can be made.

We 23 April 1856


The Lords of the Admiralty arrived at Portsmouth yesterday, and completed all the projected arrangements for to-day. A little breeze sprung up in the morning of yesterday, which seemed likely to freshen, and so spoil that part of the programme relating to the line of battle-ships; but it happily died away as the day advanced, and the evening closed, promising fair for to-morrow. The town and suburbs of Portsmouth, Gosport, Ryde, and the neighbourhood are crowded with visitors, who pour in still by every train and by speculative steamers from seawards.

Our French visitors amused themselves yesterday by visiting the gunnery ship Excellent and Her Majesty's yacht; they were saluted on leaving the former. A superb ball and banquet is now being arranged in their honour, and will take place at the Royal Naval College.

The following is a complete of the ships present at Portsmouth on the 23d of April, 1856, in order of sailing: -

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
 GunsHorse powerCommander:
  GunsHorse powerCommander:
Duke of Wellington
(Flag of Rear-Adm. Hon. Sir R. Dundas, K.C.B., Comm. Hon. F. Pelham, C.B. Capt. Of the Fleet)
131700Caldwell, C.B. Royal George
(Flag of Vice-Adm. Sir G. Seymour, K.C.B.)
Orion91600Erskine Nile90500Mundy
James Watt91600Elliot Conqueror100800Symonds, C.B.
Majestic80400Hope, C.B. Cressy80400Warren
Exmouth90400Eyres, C.B. Caesar90400Robb
Colossus80400Hon. H. Keppel, C.B. Algiers90450Codrington, C.B.
Brunswick80400Yelverton, C.B. Sanspareil70400Cooper Key, C.B.
Edinburgh60450Hewlett, C.B. Centurion80400Williams
Hogue60450Ramsay, C.B. Ajax60450Warden, C.B.
Blenheim60450Hall, C.B. Hawke60200Ommanney
Russell60200Scott Hastings60200Fanshawe
London90-Jervis Rodney90-Wilson
Ramsay, C.B.
Watson, C.B.
Arrogant47360Lyster Amphion36300Chads
Tartar20250Dunlop Pylades21350D'Eyncourt
Pearl20400Sotheby Cossack21250Cockburn
Archer13202Heathcote Esk20250Sir R. M'Clure
Cruizer1760Hon G. Douglas Conflict8400Cochran
Rattler11200Fellowes Harier17100Derriman
(2 mortars)
Lord J. Hay, C.B.
(2 mortars)
10200Moorsom, C.B.
Horatio12250Hon. A. Cochrane, C.B. Seahorse
(2 mortars)
10200Heath, C.B.
(Flag of Rear-Adm. Beynes, C.B.)
Centaur6540Clifford, C.B. Magicienne16400Vansittart
Dragon6560Steward, C.B. Sampson6467Hand
Geyser6250Tower Basilisk6400Crofton
Sulivan, C.B.
Driver6280E. Chambers (act.) Prometheus5200Commander:
Hydra6220Morris Cuckoo3100Lieutenant:
 Æolus (Storeship)--Master:
Trusty14150Campbell Volage (Powder depôt)--Master:
Meteor14150Seymour HOSPITAL SHIP
Thunder14150Randolph Belleisle6-Commander:
Captain Hon. H. Keppel, C.B.
 GunsHorse powerCommanders  GunsHorse powerCommanders
Victor6350De Horsey Nimrod6350 
Alacrity4200Majendie Vigilant4200Armytage
Pelter260Round Ruby260Hale
Thistle260Spain Tickler260Balfour
Sandfly260Nicolas Seagull260O'Reilly
Plover260Stewart Bullfrog260Martin
Carnation260Saumarez Hasty260Menzies
Insolent260Smith Herring260Geneste
Mayflower260Temple Shamrock260Heath
Spey260  Primrose260 
Pickle260  Griper260Singer
Spanker260Bosanquet Thrasher260Sulivan
Reynard4260  Foxhound4200 
Traveller260Prince Victor Hohenlohe Growler260 
Parthian260  Quail260 
Ripple260  Savage260 
Wolf260  Julia260Clutterbuck
Louisa260Pauli Cherokee260 
Cochin260  Sepoy260Knox
Erne260D'Arcy Surly260 
Swan260  Manly260Arthur
Mastiff260Johnson Mistletoe260Harvey
Lively260Byng Magnet260Rowley
Captain Codrington, C.B.
 GunsHorse powerCommanders  GunsHorse powerCommanders
Flying Fish6350Dew Pioneer6350Mends
Ringdove4200Saulez Lapwing4200Saumarez
Biter260Anderson Swinger260Nelson
Starling260Piers Skylark260Hume
Snapper260Villiers Pincher260Marescaux
Bustard260Gilford Charger260Symonds
Dove260Herbert Grasshopper260Lee
Leveret260Codrington Mackerel260Weld
Peacock260Beresford Pheasant260 
Fervent260Mitchell Forester260Innes
Beaver260Hoskins Whiting260Nicholl
Opossum260Campbell Partridge260Jones
Cormorant4200Bowden Coquette4200Risk
Firm260Gooch Flamer260 
Fly260  Beacon260Stubbs
Blazer260Robinson Brave260Hardinge
Brazen260Bridges Bullfinch260Thompson
Rainbow260Grove Raven260Knowles
Redbreast260Wratislaw Rocket260 
Rose260  Albacore260 
Amelia260  Hardy260Wilson
Havock260Berkeley Highlander260 
Earnest260  Escort260 
Captain Yelverton, C.B.
 GunsHorse powerCommander  GunsHorse powerCommander
Intrepid6350Wood Roebuck6350 
Mohawk4200Close Osprey4200Blomfield
Stork260Malcolm Weasel260Craigie
Dapper260Dyer Jackdaw260Swinburn
Gleaner260Bogle Hind260Ward (a)
Magpie260Pim Lark260Cuming
Redwing260Forbes Snap260De Crespigny
Badger260Bullock Sheldrake260Simpson
Skipjack260Chetwynd Cockchafer260Porcher
Forward260Nelson Staunch260Wildman
Banterer260Whitshed Charon260Pollard
Haughty260Hamilton Tilbury260 
Assurance4200Jones Sparrowhawk4200Cresswell
Procris260Irvine Prompt260 
Porpoise260  Goldfinch260Boxer
Goshawk260Goodenough Delight260Bingham
Grappler260Silverlock Bouncer260Drake
Hyaena260Gregory Nightingale260Collinson
Violet260Woolcombe Camel260 
Caroline260  Confounder260 
Crocus260  Foam260 
Wave260  Spider260Davies
Captain Cooper Key, C.B.
 GunsHorse powerCommander  GunsHorse powerCommander
Surprise4200Vernon Wanderer4200Luce
Cheerful220Rason Chub220Cochrane
Fidget220  Flirt220 
Daisy220Brent Dwarf220 
Pert220Doughty Onyx220Hewett
Midge220  Tiny220 
Drake220Peile Janus240Robson
Blossom220  Gadfly220 
Gnat220  Garland220 
Angler220Howorth Ant220N. Salmon
Pet220Stubbs Nettle220Key
Rambler220Rivington Decoy220Clark
Mortar Vessels and Mortar Boats
50 in number
Grand Total
230 vessels; 3002 guns; 30,671 horse-power.
Th 24 April 1856


(from our own reporters.)

The naval review of yesterday must assuredly have attracted to the coast of Hampshire the greatest multitude ever assembled in that busy and populous portion of our island. On no one occasion were Portsmouth and the adjacent towns ever before visited by so vast a concourse of people; nor will the scene they presented fade rapidly from the memory of the spectators.

The architectural arrangements of Portsmouth, Landport, Southsea, Portsea, Langston, and Gosport are such as to suggest the idea that these kindred towns are not on speaking terms - that, in fact, there has broken out among them a family feud of the deadliest description, but the entente cordiale was yesterday complete. Portsmouth and Landport, Portsea and Southsea, Langston and Gosport made common cause in the presence of a common invader, whom however, it is but right to say, they received with open arms; and never certainly was there such an invasion as that to which the seaports of Hants were yesterday and on Tuesday subjected. Every train, both of the South-Western and the South Coast Railways, brought thousands of new arrivals, till at last the streets became so densely crowded as to be scarcely passable. The demand for lodgings greatly exceeded the accommodation the various hotels could possibly afford, and after 7 o'clock on Tuesday evening the traveller could not be sure of obtaining, either for love or that yet more powerful agent, money, a shelter for the night. To those who had had the good luck to secure beds for themselves, but to none others, it was infinitely amusing to see their less fortunate fellow-travellers wandering through the streets and "mooning" about, weary and footsore, in search of similar accommodation. Beds fetched a fabulous price. Three or four guineas was the ordinary charge at midnight, and we have been credibly assured that in some instances the lodginghousekeepers had the conscience to demand 15l. For a single bed! Whether they permitted the tenant to take the bed and bedding away with him in the morning is more than we were able to ascertain, but they ought to have done so. Thousands of persons sat up all night; many, we are assured, slept on board various vessels in the harbour, and many, no doubt, spent the night walking about on the ramparts, and took no horizontal refreshment whatever. Fortunately, it was as a fine night, and there was a good view of the moon. The day broke gloriously, gladdening the external world and sending sunshine to the breast of every one. They may say what they like about our gravity and solidité, and all the rest of it, but no people on earth can enjoy a holyday with a keener relish than the English; and there never were hearts - if our climate would let them - better formed to be joyous and happy than ours. And really it is no such bad climate, after all. It is the best-abused in the world, but it scarcely deserves all the reproaches heaped upon it. It is all very well to talk about "a London particular," and a summer that is only winter painted green, and a year that consists of eleven months wet and one month moist; but there is no country in the universe where, when there is a fine day, it is finer than in England. But, let this be as it may, it is at least certain that yesterday the weather was glorious. The sun was on his good behaviour, and it was gala day with him as with everybody else. The guns in Portsmouth were, however, somewhat erratic in their mode of announcing the dawn. First came a fusillade of musketry, the firelocks of the sentinels on board the ships of the fleet being discharged as the minute arrived that day was "calculated" to dawn. This seemed quite en regle, but several minutes - some 10 or 15 - afterwards a huge 32-pounder was fired to denote sunrise. After the lapse of another ten minutes a third explosion announced that the garrison recognized the daylight, this last visitation being accompanied by a flourish from a most asthmatic bugle. Soon after 6 the town was astir, and gradually the streets became peopled with anxious throngs crowding towards the various places of embarcation, many of the visitors in elegant costume. The scene at an hour later resembled the multitude of a Derby-day noon more than an aquatic spectacle.

At 8 o'clock the whole fleet, as if by magic, was "dressed" in flags and ensigns from their main trucks to the water's surface; and now the curtain seemed to have risen upon the glorious pageant of the day. But the busiest sight in the national drama about to be enacted was that presented on the land. The myriads of human beings who poured on to the beach from every point and outlet were beyond all precedent, and the heterogeneous commixture of character was not the least remarkable feature of the whole affair. Gradually the walls, ramparts, ravelins, mounds, housetops, and even church steeples entered into bold competition with the water in exhibiting their venturous masses, until surrounding objects, even the great fleet itself in the distance, became almost insignificant items in the animated panorama. The scene from Southsea beach was magnificent. A violet sky, pure and unclouded as that of Italy - a rippling, dimpling, flashing, sparkling sea - a green elastic sward of the freshest verdure, - dazzling uniforms, and many-coloured costumes - brilliant equipages, music, flags, laurel wreaths, happy human faces, and "ladies' laughter ringing through the air," were the accessories of a scene as gay, brilliant, and animated as any that, with much experience of popular spectacles, we remember to have ever witnessed. Nor should we omit to enumerate among the sources of enjoyment the aromatic sea-breeze, that vif et âcre parfum de la mer of which Alexandre Dumas descants so elequently, and which is so delightfully exhilarating to those whose fate it is to be pent up in cities. Tents and pavilions brightly dotted the green turf, and waggons, barouches, phaetons, and all manner of things that run on wheels were drawn to the margin of the water. Thousands of people sauntered over the sands or lay on the shingle of the beach watching through telescopes and opera-glasses the movements of the fleet. This multitude extended from Fort Monckton on the west to Southsea Castle on the east, a distance of three miles; and must have comprised something like 100,000 persons. Near Southsea Castle a great stand had been erected in the cause of sight-seeing; and it, like other smaller structures of the same description, was crowded with visitors. Yet, brilliant as was the scene and exuberant with life and gaiety, it was not without its ludicrous associations and of these the most remarkable were the hideous statues erected on the Clarence Esplanade in desecration of the memories of Nelson and Wellington. Even the Londoners, who ought by this time to be casehardened in the matter of bad statues, were horrified at these atrocious figures, and expressed their indignation in no measured terms. The thought of being caricatured in this outrageous manner after death is really enough to deter a man from ever doing anything for his country. It is not too much to say that these execrable statues are as disgraceful to the Southsea Islanders of Hampshire as they would be to their namesakes of the Pacific. But strange is the fate of our great men, who live in honour, but dying leave a bust at which the world grows pale! From the contemplation of such unworthy libels on art and greatness we turn with delight to the vivid and glowing picture which Nature everywhere presented to the eye. The coup d'oeil in the foreground was everything brilliant and delightful that fancy could imagine. The sea flashed and sparkled in the morning sun, and over its waters glided every variety of craft, from the leviathan three-decker of one hundred and thirty guns and twelve hundred men, to the little river steamer that, by some speculative freak, found itself on the joyous bosom of the Solent. It was interesting to observe the contrast of the picture - to compare the yachts with the frigates, and to watch the tiny craft as they picked their way daintily among the mighty ships-of-war. The shipping was everywhere decked in the gayest colours, and upon every breeze came the strains of martial music - the commingled melodies of France and England. The order issued by the Admiralty, that steam vessels, of whatever class, should burn anthracite coal, was rigidly obeyed by all the steamers, except one; and let future historians take note of the fact - for it affords an amusing commentary on the difference between preaching and practising - that the offending vessel was no other than the Admiralty yacht, the Black Eagle. To the horror of the ingenious Mr. Prideaux, and to the indignation of all beholders, on she came in the full insolence of official pride, dimming the atmosphere with a volume of black smoke that burst from her funnel as from a factory chimney.

Her Majesty's train arrived at the Royal Clarence Victualling-yard at 5 minutes to 12 o'clock, being above three-quarters of an hour after its time. On alighting Her Majesty was received by Admiral Sir William Parker, G.C.B., principal naval aide-de-camp; Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons, G.C.B., the Marquis Townshend, Aide-de-Camp, Sir Charles Wood, Sir Maurice Berkeley, Rear-Admiral Peter Richards, Rear-Admiral Eden, Captain Milne, Sir Robert Peel, &c., forming the full Board of Admiralty; also by Admiral De la Graviere, of the French Imperial Navy, Captain Superintendent Dacres, Master-Atterdant Davies, Storekeeper Pinhorn, R.N., Mr. Godson, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Scott, and other officers of the railway company, and a guard of honour. The Court immediately embarked on board the State barge, and was steered by Captain the Hon. Joseph Denman to the Victoria and Albert, lying in the harbour stream. Her Majesty was accompanied. In the yacht by Sir William Parker, Sir Edmund Lyons, the Marquis Townshend, Admiral De la Graviere, and Mr. Osborne, Secretary of the Admiralty. After a short interval the trumpeter stationed on the Pier Battery announced the approach of the Royal yacht. The guns of the Platform Battery instantly confirmed the intelligence, and in a few minutes the Victoria and Albert rapidly steamed out of the harbour, and glided swiftly towards Spithead, amid the enthusiastic acclamations of the assembled multitude, the bands ashore and afloat striking up the National Anthem, while every vessel dipped her ensign.

The extraordinary exertions made by the Admiralty to have ready a strong naval force for the opening of another campaign had been crowned with complete success as far as the batteries and gunboats are concerned. They are built, armed, and manned, move easily and in good order, and appear fully equal to the kind of work that was expected of them. The new and smaller flotilla, added as an appendix to our baffled giants of the deep, is ready, but only to celebrate the conclusion of peace by playing its part in one of those grand spectacles which may be called national. They have often been seen before, though rarely during the last 40 years, for they can only be produced in all their grandeur in a time of war. One naval review is still of recent remembrance, and the display of yesterday, we believe, confirmed in the minds of all who witnessed both the impression that such exhibitions of human power may follow without completely resembling each other. The spectacle of yesterday, fine as it was in its mere material elements, did not, however, excite the same interest or depth of feeling as the review of 1854. There was much curiosity in the thousands of spectators afloat and ashore, but there was no enthusiasm. The decorations of the scene were splendid, but all poetry and passion had been eliminated from the drama, and it fell flat. "Is it war or peace?" asks Tennyson in his latest sepulchral song; there was a similar doubt yesterday upon all minds. What did men go out to see? It was not a triumph for victory achieved; the part of the navy in our past success has been subordinate and secondary. It was not hope, the exulting confidence in success to come; for the cannon are silenced, and diplomacy is drawing its web across their muzzles. Was it merely the country "taking stock" of its means of offence, laid in regardless of cost, and suddenly, by change of circumstances, obliged to be laid by in store unused? We believe this is nearly the truth, and, unconsciously felt by the public yesterday, it deprived the review of that deep and terrible interest with which the departure of the fleet was witnessed two summers ago. In this spectacle there was much of the same form, but its spirit was no more; the morituri te salutant of the Roman gladiators as they descended to the arena, would have had no significance if they were only going to a rehearsal of conflict with blunted swords!

In describing the effect of peace as taking off the keen edge of interest in a warlike spectacle we do not for a moment regret that "our wars are over," for the present at least. But the fact must be noted that the sight of such an addition to our naval force as that fleet of gunboats did awaken some unholy wishes that they had existed sooner, or that - perhaps it is better not to pursue the speculation further. There are lovers of peace in the abstract who do not welcome the Peace of Paris with extreme heartiness. They are in that frame of mind illustrated by Shakspeare's Captain, who, in danger of being disbanded by a similar untoward breaking out of a compromise between the parties, said, "Heaven grant us its peace, but not the King of Hungary's." We noted many yesterday in the same mental condition; Heaven's peace they would willingly pray for, but not the Emperor of Russia's!

These elements subtracted, the review, as a spectacle, had some moments of much grandeur. When London rushes per rail to a seaport on such an occasion its eye does not anticipate the space over which the evolutions will extend; it is measured by miles, consequently all the crowding and squeezing is on shore; on the ocean there is ample room and verge enough for all possible movements by every variety of craft. There is thus a disappointment resulting from this vastness of our peculiar element. From no one point can more than a part of the movements be seen; and of that small portion the chances are that very little can be understood. The day was magnificent and in every way favourable to the occasion, to be accounted for by Her Majesty's proverbial good fortune and the fact that official "arrangements" had nothing to do with it. Some of these "arrangements" failed lamentably; the hitch between routine and accident this time luckily caught two of the estates of the realm, the Peers and Commons, and, to do them justice, they growled as heartily as humbler men, and may possibly agitate the matter "elsewhere." But this was only a disagreeable episode, of which the million knew nothing. They were lining the shore, crowded in a dense mass on the esplanade and every point from which a view seaward could be obtained. The day was clear and golden, - the finest we have had for the season; the wind was light, - a blessing to the weaker kind of landsmen who ventured afloat; there would have been too little, perhaps, for evolutions under canvass, but modern fleets dispense with the "woven wings," steam having literally "put a hook in the nose of Leviathan." The water between the Wight and the main land was dotted, not crowded, with craft of all shapes and tonnage, from the row boat to the stately line-of-battle ship. The most curiosity was excited by the new gunboats, which were to make their début in the presence of the Sovereign, and by the floating batteries. The latter, - four low, flat, squat, black, unwieldy constructions, the Trusty, the Glatton, the Thunder, and the Meteor, - remained motionless at anchor. Their appearance inspires a doubt whether they are capable of motion; they were, however, a feature of the scene, for to compensate for their shapelessness they had put on the gayest of toilettes; they were more brilliantly "dressed" than any other vessels in the harbour. It was in vain; beauty of form - the one thing needful for the eye of the amateur - was not there; their ugliness is irredeemable; garlands of roses would not give grace to these hippopotami. The gunboats, without being models of elegance, move easily through the water, turn deftly, and have a blunt, determined look, with a spice of mischief in it. We have heard ancient mariners speak with much respect of the capacities in that line of the Danish gunboats of the Baltic; we can fancy a flotilla of them approaching with earnest purpose, making the commander of a squadron of prouder vessels look grave. The following are the names of this portion of the fleet: -

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
Under the command of Captain the Hon. Henry Keppel C.B., in the Colossus, 81
 GunsHorse powerCommander  GunsHorse powerCommander
Victor6350De Horsey Nimrod6350 
Alacrity4200Majendie Vigilant4200Armitage
Pelter460Round Ruby460Hale
Thistle460Spain Tickler460Balfour
Sandfly460Nicolas Seagull460O'Reilly
Plover460Stewart Bullfrog460Martin
Carnation460Saumarez Hasty460Menzies
Insolent460Smith Herring460Geneste
Mayflower460Temple Shamrock460Heath
Spey460  Primrose460 
Pickle460  Griper460Singer
Spanker460Bosanquet Thrasher460Sulivan
Reynard4200  Foxhound4200 
Traveller460Prince Victor Hohenlohe Growler460 
Parthian460  Quail460 
Ripple460  Savage460 
Wolf460  Julia460Clutterbuck
Louisa460Pauli Cherokee460 
Cochin460  Sepoy460Knox
Erne 460D'Arcy Surly460 
Swan460  Manly460Arthur
Mastiff460Johnson Mistletoe460Harvey
Lively460Byng Magnet460Rowley
Under the command of Captain Henry J. Codrington, C.B., in the Algiers, 91
 GunsHorse powerCommander  GunsHorse powerCommanders
Flying Fish6350Dew Pioneer6350Mends
Ringdove4200Saulez Lapwing4200Saumarez
Biter460Anderson Swinger460Nelson
Starling460Piers Skylark460Pyne
Snapper460Villiers Pincher460Marescaux
Bustard460Gilford Charger460Symonds
Dove460Herbert Grasshopper460 
Leveret460Codrington Mackerel460Weld
Peacock460Beresford Pheasant460 
Fervent460Mitchell Forester460Innes
Beaver460Hoskins Whiting460Nicholl
Opossum460Campbell Partridge460Jones
Cormorant4200Bowden Coquette4200Risk
Firm460Gooch Flamer440 
Fly460  Beacon460Stubbs
Blazer460Robinson Brave460Hardinge
Brazen460Bridges Bullfinch460Thompson
Rainbow460Grove Raven460Knowles
Redbreast460Wratislaw Rocket460 
Rose460  Albacore460 
Amelia460  Hardy460Wilson
Havock460Berkeley Highlander460 
Earnest460  Escort460 
Under the command of Captain Hastings R. Yelverton, C.B., in the Brunswick 81.
 GunsHorse powerCommander  GunsHorse powerCommanders
Intrepid6350Wood Roebuck6350 
Mohawk4200Close Osprey4200Blomfield
Stork460Malcolm Weasel460Craigie
Dapper460Dyer Jackdaw460Swinburn
Gleaner460Bogle Hind460Ward
Magpie460Pim Lark460Cuming
Redwing460Forbes Snap460De Crespigny
Badger460Cuming [should be Bullock] Sheldrake460Simpson
Skipjack460Chetwynd Cockchafer460Porcher
Forward460Nelson Staunch460 
Banterer460Whitshed Charon460Pollard
Haughty460Hamilton Tilbury460 
Assurance4200Jones Sparrowhawk460Cresswell
Procris460Irvine Prompt460 
Porpoise460  Goldfinch460Boxer
Goshawk460Goodenough Delight460Bingham
Grappler460Silverlock Bouncer460Drake
Hyaena460Gregory Nightingale460 
Violet460Woolcombe Camel460 
Caroline460  Confounder460 
Crocus460  Foam460 
Wave460  Spider460 
Under the command of Captain Astley Cooper Key, C.B., in the Sanspareil, 71.
 GunsHorse powerCommander  GunsHorse powerCommanders
Surprise4200Vernon Wanderer4200Luce
Cheerful220Rason Chub220Cochrane
Fidget220  Flirt220 
Daisy220Brent Dwarf220 
Pert220Doughty Onyx220Hewett
Midge220  Tiny220 
Drake220Peile Janus240Robson
Blossom220  Gadfly220 
Gnat220  Garland220 
Angler220Howorth Ant220Salmon
Pet220Stubbs Nettle220Key
Rambler220Rivington Decoy220Clark
Th 24 April 1856Shortly after 12 o'clock, as we have before stated, Her Majesty's yacht left Clarence-yard, and as she passed outside the first ship of the line, to return down the centre of the double line of ships of war and gunboats, the Duke of Wellington opened the Royal salute; it was rapidly taken up by the other vessels with grand effect; it was one of the finest moments of the review. As the Queen's yacht passed all the ships manned the yards. The yacht returned through the line to near the Warner Light; and there was a pause in the proceedings of some length, which the experienced devoted to refreshment The rest of the programme of the day was pretty closely adhered to. Between 2 and 3 o'clock the gunboats steamed down the line and passed up it again on the outside. Soon after 3 the Royal Yacht was seen standing towards the Rodney and London, anchored to the E.N.E. of the Nab Light as pivot ships; she was followed by the Duke of Wellington and the Royal George, the leading ships of the line; the rest following in their order of anchorage. They passed between the pivot ships, doubling back outside them, and returned in the same order to their former stations. No canvass was spread, which rather detracted from the beauty of the scene; but the immense screw men-of-war glided easily and silently along, apparently without aid or effort, and the manoeuvre was perfectly formed.

The following were the ships engaged in it, and the order in which they passed down and returned: -

◄Table scrolls horizontally►
Name of ship Guns Horse power Captain or Commander   Name of ship Guns Horse power Captain or Commander
Royal George 102 400 Robinson   Duke of Wellington 131 700 Caldwell, C.B. (flag)
Nile 90 500 Mundy   Orion 91 600 Erskine
Conqueror 101 800 Symonds, C.B.   James Watt 91 600 Elliot, C.B.
Cressy 80 400 Warren   Majestic 80 400 Hope, C.B.
Caesar 91 400 Robb   Exmouth 91 400 Eyres, C.B.
Algiers 91 450 Codrington, C.B.   Colossus 80 400 Hon. H. Keppel, C.B.
Sanspareil 71 400 A.C. Key, C.B.   Brunswick 80 400 Yelverton, C.B.
Centurion 80 400 Williams   Edinburgh 53 454 Hewlett, C.B.
Ajax 60 450 Warden, C.B.   Hogue 60 450 Ramsay, C.B.
Hawke 60 200 Ommanney   Blenheim 60 450 Hall, C.B.
Hastings 60 200 Fanshawe   Russell 60 200 Scott
Imperieuse 51 360 Watson, C.B.   Euryalus 51 400 Ramsay, C.B.
Arrogant 47 360 Lyster, C.I.I. (flag)   Amphion 36 300 H. Chads
Pylades 21 350 D'Eyncourt   Pearl 21 400 Sotheby
Cossack 21 250 Cockburn   Desparate 8 400 White
Esk 21 250 Sir R. M'Clure, C.B.   Forth 12 200 Lord J. Hay
Falcon 16 100 Pullen   Tartar 21 250 Dunlop
Conflict 8 400 Cochran   Archer 14 202 Heathcote
Harier 16 100 Derriman   Cruiser 17 60 Hon G. Douglas
Eurotas 12 200 Moorsom, C.B.   Horatio 8 250 Hon. A. Cochrane, C.B.
Seahorse 12 200 Heath, C.B.   Vulture 6 470 Glasse
Retribution 22 400 Fisher (flag)   Dragon 6 560 Steward, C.B.
Magicienne 16 400 Vansittart   Centaur 6 540 Clifford, C.B.
Sampson 6 467 Hand   Bulldog 6 500 Gordon
Vesuvius 6 280 Hore   Geyser 6 280 R.Dew
Basilisk 6 400 Crofton   Merlin 4 312 Sulivan, C.B.
Gorgon 6 320 Crawford   Hecla 6 200 Aplin
Firefly 5 220 Otter  

The Royal yacht, which had remained outside the pivot ships, then returned towards Portsmouth, and took up a position in the rear of the line of gun-boats, which were by this time (about half-past 4 o'clock) ready to begin a mimic attack on Southsea-castle. The signal being given, they opened a brisk fire on the devoted fort, and directly in the faces of many thousand of stunned and delighted spectators under and in front of it. From the seaside little could be seen of this attack, which did not last so long as expected, the expenditure of powder being limited to six rounds from each boat; nor did the Castle return the fire, from consideration, we believe, of the safety of those between the belligerents. We have nothing to record of this affair more than that there were considerable smoke and noise; there was, perhaps, a plan of action, but, if so, it was like chance "direction that we could not see." The Royal yacht, after the cannonade, returned to Portsmouth, the ships of war again saluting Her Majesty. This closed the maritime proceedings of the day. There was a rush on shore and another fearful squeeze at the railway station, and it must have been very late indeed before all the London guests returned to the metropolis. Her Majesty and the Court left Clarence-yard for London at half-past 5 o'clock.

The French Admiral and his Staff were guests of the Lords of the Admiralty on board the Black Eagle.

The fleet was led by Vice-Admiral Sir George Seymour in the Royal George, 101, apropos to the day being St. George's.

The presence of the members of both Houses of Parliament was an essential feature in the programme of the review. It was intended that the steamships bearing the Lords and Commons should attend closely upon the Royal yacht during Her Majesty's passage down the line-of-battle ships, and it was thus proposed to add to the grandeur of the spectacle by giving to the proceedings something of the character of a national demonstration. The two Houses of Parliament were to typify the cordial aid given to Her Majesty during the war just ended by statesmen of all parties, and were to express by their presence the confidence felt by the nation in the valour of our seamen and the resources of our navy. But the infusion of this moral element in the great naval review was frustrated by a series of mischances and mismanagement which can scarcely fail to become the subject of complaint and explanation as soon as the two Houses assemble. The steamers containing the Peers, and members of the Lower House did not arrive until the review was half over. When they did appear on the scene their presence was officially ignored. They were not invited to take any part in the demonstration or to approach in any proximity to the Royal yacht, and were, in fact, treated as outsiders like any of the hundred other steamers afloat.

So early as half-past 8 o'clock several members of both Houses of Parliament, who had taken the precaution to come to Southampton on Tuesday, assembled upon the quay to await the arrival of the tenders which were to convey them to their respective vessels. The scene presented within the docks was exceedingly animated. The magnificent steamers of the Peninsular and Oriental Company and the West India Royal Mail Company conveyed thousands of passengers to the review. One by one, the Peninsular and Oriental Company's boats Manilla, Sultan, Euxine, Ripon, Simla, and Alma, received their complement of directors, shareholders, and their families, and slowly moved out of the harbour. The West India Royal Mail Company's boats the Tay, Atrato and La Plata, followed with their vast living freights, and in the numerous catalogue must also be noted the South-Western Company's ships Courier, Alliance, and Express, the Union Steam Company's Saxon and Union, the General Screw steamer Queen the South, and about 30 other ships. Southampton might well be proud of her contribution to the grand review of the fleet since the tonnage of these steamships was said greatly to exceed that of Lord Nelson's fleet at Trafalgar. These stupendous results of private enterprise greatly added to the grandeur of the scene at Spithead. They were gaily decorated with flags, had bands of music and many elegantly dressed ladies on board; and as they dropped down the stream, under the bright sun of a lovely April morning, our senators had ample leisure at once to witness the beauty of the scene and to observe the order and regularity with which the passengers stepped on board these vessels from the quay. They did not omit to contrast afterwards the comfort and convenience which the directors of these companies were able to offer their guests with the incomplete arrangements and want of punctuality which denoted the "charmed circle" of official management.

The Government steamers were two or three miles down the river, and tenders were appointed to carry their passengers on board. The Transit screw steamer, Commander C.R. Johnson, was appointed to convey the members of the House of Peers. The Perseverance, Commander Macdonald, was allotted to the House of Commons. For officials of the various public departments four steamers were engaged - the Himalaya, Vulcan, Holyrood, and Thames. The tenders for these steamers were the Harbinger, Widgeon, Monkey, and two Government tugs. About 9 o'clock the Right Hon. C.S. Lefevre, Speaker of the House of Commons, arrived upon the quay, and there were also assembled Lord and Lady Overstone and the Hon. Miss Jones Loyd, the Earl of Malmesbury, the Duke of Roxburghe, the Earl of Carnarvon, Lord Berners, Colonel Boldero, Mr Hildyard, Mr Peacocke, and many other peers and members of Parliament. Having taken their places in their respective tenders, our legislators awaited the arrival of the special train which was to leave London at 6 a.m. At length rumours were current that the train had broken down, and, as it seemed doubtful when it would arrive, and the morning was wearing away, it was proposed that Peers and Commoners should go off to their steamers in one and the same tender, leaving the other available for the passengers by special train when it should arrive. The arrangement was made, and after waiting another quarter of an hour the tender left the dock and steamed down the river. The Transit was the first vessel gained, and here were seen Lord Granville, Lord Colville, of Kinross, and a few other Peers who were anxiously looking for the arrival of the tender. The Peers on board the tender having been transferred to the Transit, the tender steamed for the Perseverance, whose accommodation had been provided for 450 members of the House of Commons. After a tedious delay of an hour a boat came alongside with Lord Granville and two other peers with a suggestion that the members of the Lower House should leave the Perseverance and be put on board the Transit in the boats of the two vessels. The Transit could then proceed to the review, and the Lords and Commons who might arrive by the special train would be enabled to follow in the Perseverance. After some discussion the members of the Lower House declined to adopt this proposal, and there was accordingly nothing left for it but to wait for the missing train. The delay was most provoking, for the distant sound of the Royal salute upon Her Majesty's arrival at Spithead had reached the ears of the impatient legislators, and they felt that they were losing the most picturesque part of the review - Her Majesty's progress down the columns of the fleet and the manning of the rigging. The policy of making Southampton the port of embarcation for the occasion was seriously impugned and scarcely found a defender. Then it was argued that it was unadvisable to make the departure of the steamers contingent upon the arrival of a morning train from London, and the members who had arrived the night before, and who had presented themselves upon the quay at the hour fixed by their notice for embarcation ought to receive the reward of their punctuality by being conveyed to the scene of action in time to witness the proceedings. The tedium of waiting was somewhat relieved by the arrival of a tender with about a dozen members of Parliament. Some dissatisfaction was expressed that the Perseverance had been detained all this time for a handful of individuals, and it was expected that the anchor would then be weighed. But it appeared that the main body were still behind, and another demand was made upon the patience and goodhumour of those who had made sacrifices to be punctual. Where this tender came from, who sent her, and why she was in the docks upon the arrival of the special train afterwards became a mystery which some one will probably endeavour to unravel.

At length the Harbinger appeared in sight. Her decks were crowded, and it would evidently be a work of time to dispose of her passengers. There was another long delay. It took a long time to put her alongside the Transit, and then there were so many peers and ladies to go on board that minutes seemed to expand into quarters of an hour to the hon. Gazers from the Perseverance. Then the Harbinger stood for the latter vessel, and, after some further delay, 200 or 300 infuriated legislators climbed the decks of the Perseverance. A chorus of complaints arose, and it appeared that, after being delayed for more than an hour upon the railway, Lords and Commoners had been compelled to wait three-quarters of an hour upon the quay at Southampton because no tender was at hand to convey them to their respective steamers. It was hinted that it might not have been amiss if one of the Lords of the Admiralty had condescended to accompany the members of both Houses in order to secure them against such a failure in the Admiralty arrangements. But it is perhaps, well, that no Lord of the Admiralty made his appearance upon the Quarter-deck of the Perseverance, for he would infallibly have fallen a sacrifice to the indignation of the popular branch of the Legislature.

Her Majesty arrived at Spithead at noon, and her faithful Commons, then distant several miles from their Sovereign, started from their anchorage precisely at half-past 1 to join their Royal mistress. When the Transit and the Perseverance reached the scene of the review the gunboats were performing the manoeuvre of steaming to the westward outside the columns of frigates and line-of-battle ships. The light and graceful screw corvettes forming the double columns were first passed, then the 50-gun frigates, beginning with the fast-sailing Impérieuse, and afterwards that splendid array of two-deckers, more than 20 in number, with their heavy guns and tremendous weight of metal. The three-deckers, the Duke of Wellington and the Royal George formed a suitable climax to this most imposing display of naval strength.

When Her Majesty led out the fleet towards the Nab Light the Transit and Perseverance obtained a good position near the Rodney and London pivot ships. The skill and precision with which the whole fleet turned outwards in passing round the pivot ships - the imposing appearance and majestic motion of the line-of-battle ships as they advanced in close order of sailing, - the swarm of sailors aloft as each vessel on turning manned her rigging, - the hearty cheers which became truly musical in their transit across the water, were by turns the subject of comment and admiration. This was declared to be the most striking feature in the review which had come under the notice of the two Houses. The Royal salute upon Her Majesty's departure afterwards put in a powerful claim to attention. The reverberation of hundreds of heavy ordnance, and the lurid flashes seen through the smoke, appealed powerfully to the senses, and terminated the review with éclat. The Transit and Perseverance, with the Himalaya, the Atrato, and the other vessels of the wonderful mercantile fleet of Southampton then slowly steamed up the waters of the Solent, and arrived at Southampton between 6 and 7 o'clock. The weather had left nothing to be desired, and the grand spectacle of the day, it was felt, was not one to fade easily from the memory.

The following are the officers of the Imperial French navy who represented that service at the review: -
Rear-Admira1 M.M. Jurien de la Gravière, Président de la Députation.
Post-Captains. - Belvèze (Capitaine de Vaisseau), Gironeau, Didelot, and Gollman.
Commanders. - Lejeune (Capitaine de Frégate), Beuic, and Chaperon.
Lieutenants. - De Fanques de Jonquières (Lientenant de Vaisseau), Duburgnois, Touboulie, Lufond, Zéde, MM. Boille, Hamelin, officier d'Ordonnance du Ministre de la Marine, De Beaulieu, and Hocquart.
Mates. - D Burburin (Ensigne de Vaisseau), Le Roux.



The most interesting and only novel feature in the day's movements was that reserved for the night, as an Emeralder might say; and this was a thorough novelty to such of the present generation as accidentally witnessed it. We say "accidentally," because no notice of an intention to illuminate was given in the Admiralty's programme, and consequently thousands who had borne the cold and languor of the day had left on their return to distant homes before the ships made this grand and brilliant demonstration. This was effected by simultaneously lighting up the yards and portholes with bluelights. At 9 o'clock gun fire, the whole fleet at anchor burst into light as by magic; the jets one above another, main-topmast high aloft, and the ports of each opened at once, showing a vivid glare between decks, caused an unusual roar of cheering from the shore, which was echoed and given back with interest from the boats of the legion afloat. This in the stillness of the calm night had an effect as imposing as it was rare, and cheer upon cheer applauded the spectacle. From 9 to 10 rockets were sent up thickly from the ships, and raised a golden shower upon the "floating capital." The Commander-in-Chief, Sir George Seymour, entertained the admirals, captains, and other officers of the fleet at the Admiralty-house in the evening, where the French Admiral and staff were the honoured guests. The Erebus, one of the three monster floating-batteries built of wrought-iron by Napier, arrived at Spithead, from Glasgow, just in time to be a feature in the finale.

(From the Court Circular.)

Her Majesty and his Royal Highness the Prince Consort, accompanist by the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, Prince Alfred, the Princess Alice, and the Princess Helena, and attended by the Marchioness of Ely, Lady Caroline Barrington, the Hon. Eleanor Stanley, the Hon. Lucy Kerr, Lord Byron, Colonel the Hon. C. B. Phipps, Major-General the Hon. Charles Grey, Colonel Biddulph, Lord Alfred Paget, and Colonel F. H. Seymour, left Buckingham Palace at half-past 8 o'clock yesterday morning for the private station at Vauxhall of the South-Western Railway, where the Royal party was joined by his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge (attended by his Equerry in Waiting), Earl Spencer, and Sir James Clark.

A special train conveyed the Queen, the Prince, and the Royal party to Gosport, where Her Majesty was received by the Lords of the Admiralty - viz, the Right Hon. Sir Charles Wood, Rear-Admiral Sir M.F. Berkeley, Rear-Admiral H. Eden, Rear-Admiral P. Richards, Captain Alexander Milne, and Sir Robert Peel.

His Serene Highness Prince Edward of Saxe Weimar, Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons, and M. Jurien de la Gravière, Admiral of the French navy, paid their respects to the Queen at Gosport, and, together with the Lords of the Admiralty and the ladies and gentlemen of the Royal Suite, had the honour of accompanying Her Majesty and Prince Albert on board the Victoria and Albert Royal yacht.

The Queen's Naval Aides-de-Camp, Admiral Sir William Parker and the Marquis Townshend, attended Her Majesty from Gosport on board the Victoria and Albert.

Soon after the commencement of the review Vice-Admiral Sir George Seymour, Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth, and Rear-Admiral the Hon. R. Dundas, went on board the Royal yacht to receive the Queen's commands.


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