The Detached Squadron of 1873
The Detached Squadron of 1873


The Royal NavyThe Detached squadrons1872 ◄► 1874
The Royal NavyThe Detached squadrons
1872 ◄► 1874


The following extracts from (generally the Naval Intelligence column of) The Times newspaper refer to the activities of the Detached squadron of December 1872-July 1874.


Extracts from the Times newspaper
DateExtract
We 2 October 1872The unarmoured screw frigates Volage and Immortalité went into Portsmouth harbour from Spithead yesterday, to be paid out of commission, and afterwards refitted for another term of service.
Th 3 October 1872The Immortalité, unarmoured screw frigate, Capt. W. Graham, steamed into Portsmouth Harbour yesterday morning from Spithead, after inspection by Admiral Sir G. Rodney Mundy, K.C.B., Port Admiral and Naval Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth. The Immortalité, with the Inconstant and Volage, which went into Portsmouth Harbour on Tuesday, will be paid out of commission at the end of next week, and afterwards be surveyed and refitted for a cruize as part of a detached squadron, presumably again under the command of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell.
Sa 5 October 1872The wood-built unarmoured frigates Narcissus and Topaze are to be paid off at Devonport on the 8th inst., and the Narcissus will be recommissioned next day by Capt. J.O. Hopkins.
We 9 October 1872The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, Capt. W. Codrington and the Topaze, 31, screw frigate, Capt. R.B. Oldfield were paid off at Devonport yesterday, and the Salamander, paddle sloop, Staff Commander Youel, sailed in the evening with the men paid off from their ships for Portsmouth and Sheerness.
Th 10 October 1872The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, flagship of the detached squadron, was commissioned at Devonport yesterday by Capt. J.O. Hopkins, and the Topaze, 31, screw frigate, was also commissioned by Lieut. W.H. Richardson for a Capt. whose appointment is not yet announced.
Ma 14 October 1872The officers serving with the Flying Squadron of 1871-72 dined together at the London Tavern, Bishopgate-street, on Saturday evening; Rear-Admiral F. Beauchamp P. Seymour, C.B., presided, and the vice chair was filled by Capt. Charles L. Waddilove. Among the officers present were - Rear-Admiral F.A. Cambell, Capt. William Codrington, Capt. G. Graham, Captain R.B. Oldfield, Capt. Sir Rose Price, Royal Marine Light Infantry (Hon. Secretary), Capt. M Culme Seymour, and Capt. N.F. Sullivan, C.B.
Tu 15 October 1872The unarmoured screw frigate, Immortalité, 28 guns, 3,084 tons displacement, 2,391 indicated horse-power, was commissioned at Portsmouth yesterday by Capt. Lyons for service with the detached squadron now being formed at Portsmouth and Devonport for another cruise, under Rear Admiral Campbell's command.
Capt. W.H. Edye is appointed to the command of the Doris frigate, which is to be commissioned at Devonport tomorrow with a complement of 490 officers and men for particular service, presumably to join the detached squadron. The frigates Narcissus and Topaze of that squadron, now in dock at Devonport, are ordered to be ready by the 2d of November.
Tu 22 October 1872The date named for the completion of repairs to the screw frigates Narcissus and Topaze (of the Detached Squadron) at Devonport is extended to the 25th proximo.
We 20 November 1872The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, Capt. J.O. Hopkins, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, commanding the new detached squadron moved from the harbour at Devonport into Plymouth Sound on Thursday, and the Topaze, 31, screw frigate, Capt. E. Hardinge, did the same yesterday. Both ships exchanged the customary salutes with the Royal Adelaide, flagship of the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral the Hon. Sir Henry Keppel, K.C.B., and made a short run to try their machinery previous to anchoring.
Ma 2 December 1872The unarmoured frigate Immortalité, Capt. W. Graham, refitting at Portsmouth as one of the detached squadron of 1872-3, was taken out of the steam basin of Portsmouth, dockyard on Friday and berthed alongside one of the steam jetties to complete her preparations for going out to Spithead. She will be inspected by Admiral Sir G. Rodney Mundy, K.C.B., Port Admiral and Naval Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth, to-morrow, preparatory to sailing for the rendezvous of the squadron.
We 4 December 1872The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, Capt. J.O. Hopkins, flagship of Rear Admiral F.A. Campbell, commanding the detached squadron, and the Topaz, 31, screw frigate, Capt. E. Hardinge, will be inspected in Plymouth Sound on Friday by the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral the Hon. Sir Henry Keppel, K.C.B., and will sail on Saturday, weather permitting, for the rendezvous of the squadron at Portland.
Fr 6 December 1872The Topaze, 31, screw frigate, Capt, E, Hardinge, on Wednesday made a six hours' continuous steaming (commission) trial of her machinery in the Channel off Plymouth, and afterwards returned to the Sound.
Fr 6 December 1872The unarmoured screw frigate Immortalité, Capt. A.M. Lyons, went out of Portsmouth harbour on Wednesday morning to Spithead, preparatory to sailing for the rendezvous of the detached squadron in Portland roads. The frigate ran out of harbour to Spithead under topsails, topgallant sails, and royals - an unusual spectacle.
Ma 9 December 1872The Aurora, 28, screw frigate, Capt. Sholto Douglas, is ordered to join the Detached Squadron, and will probably leave Plymouth Sound to-day for the rendezvous in Portland Roads
Ma 9 December 1872The unarmoured screw frigate Immortalité, Capt. Lyons, left Spithead on Saturday under sail, for the rendezvous of the Detached Squadron, in Portland Roads.
Tu 10 December 1872Her Majesty's frigate, Immortalité, 28, Capt. Algernon M'L. Lyon, arrived in Portland harbour on Sunday morning. The Narcissus, 28, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Frederick Cambell, and the Topaze, 31, Capt. Hardinge, are also expected.
Th 12 December 1872The Narcissus, 28, screw frigate, Capt. J.O. Hopkins, flagship of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, commanding the Detached Squadron, and the Topaze, 31, screw frigate, Capt. E. Hardinge, sailed from Plymouth Sound yesterday for the rendezvous of the squadron in Portland Road.
Fr 20 December 1872Shortly before 12 o'clock on Wednesday morning the Flying Squadron, which for the past fortnight have been rendezvousing inside Portland breakwater, left for a short cruise. The vessels consisted of the Narcissus, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Frederick Campbell, the Immortalité, the Doris, the Topaze, the Valorous, and the Aurora. They proceeded under steam to the westward. It is expected the fleet will return either on Sunday or Monday.
Sa 21 December 1872The detached squadron, comprising the following ships, put into Plymouth Sound yesterday for shelter from the southerly gale blowing in the Channel :- The wood-built unarmoured screw frigates Narcissus, 28, Capt. J.O. Hopkins, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, commanding-in-chief the squadron; the Aurora, 23, Capt. Sholto Douglas; the Immortalité, 23, Capt. W. Graham; the Doris, 24, Capt. W.H. Edye, and the Topaze, 31, Capt. E. Hardinge; the Narcissus has started her cutwater and the Aurora her bowsprit, which, with other defects, will necessitate their going into the harbour at Devonport to repair.
Tu 24 December 1872The screw frigates Topaze, 31, Capt. Hardinge, and Doris, 24, Capt. W.H. Edye, proceeded from Plymouth Sound to the westward yesterday morning, to relieve homeward bound vessels.
The screw frigate Aurora, 28, Capt. Sholto Douglas, moved from the Sound into the harbour at Devonport yesterday, to have defects remedied; the two other ships of the detached squadron, the Narcissus, flagship of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, and the Immortalité, remain in Plymouth Sound.
Tu 24 December 1872

TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.

Sir,- Allow me to correct the paragraph concerning the movements of the "Detached Squadron" under the command of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, which appeared in The Times of the 20th inst. - viz., "the vessels consisted of the Narcissus, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral F. Campbell; the Immortalité, the Doris, the Topaze, the Valorous, and the Aurora. They proceeded under steam to the westward."
The squadron, which consisted only of the Narcissus (flag), the Immortalité, the Topaze, the Aurora, and the Doris, left Portland Roads at noon on Wednesday, the 18th. inst., under sail alone, proceeded to the westward, and put into Plymouth Sound at noon to-day through stress of weather, no steam having been used by any of the squadron during the cruise.
I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,
CRUISER.
Plymouth.
Tu 31 December 1872The screw frigates Topaze, 31, Capt. E. Harding and Doris, 24, Capt. W.H. Edye, returned to Plymouth Sound yesterday morning from cruising off Cape Clear. They experienced very bad weather, but met with no merchant ships requiring assistance.
The Immortalité, 28, screw frigate, left Plymouth Sound last evening for Portsmouth, to be docked, as she is said to be leaky.
We 1 January 1873The Immortalité, 28, screw frigate, Capt. A. Lyons, instead of proceeding from Plymouth to Portsmouth direct, was ordered by telegram from the Admiralty on Monday evening to steam to the westward in search of the waterlogged and derelict ship reported by the Hamburg-American steamship Westphalia to have been passed 44 miles westward of Scilly on the previous day.
Sa 4 January 1873The Channel squadron was riding out a heavy westerly gale at Funchal, Madeira, on Christmas-day, when at 4 a.m., the Northumberland broke from her anchor. A ground anchor was promptly let go, but it failed to bring her up, and she fell across the bows of the Hercules, carrying away her bowsprit, jibboom, and foretopgallant-mast. The Northumberland, having lost her after funnel and received from the prow of the Hercules serious damage to her bottom from 12 to 18 feet below the waterline - a hole being made about five feet by two feet in a second two compartments filled with water - left Madeira on the 26th of December for Gibraltar, accompanied by the Hercules and the Minotaur. The Agincourt, the Bellerophon, and the Sultan were left at Funchal to await the arrival of the mail, under the presidency of Capt. Charles Fellowes, C.B., commanding the Steam Reserve, with Captains J.O. Hopkins (Narcissus) and W.H Edye (Doris) as member.
Tu 7 January 1873The unarmoured, wood-built screw frigate Immortalité arrived and anchored at Spithead yesterday afternoon from the westward. She is ordered into Portsmouth harbour to go into dock.
We 8 January 1873Her Majesty's ships Doris and Topaze were lately despatched from Plymouth on a week's cruise to the Chops of the Channel, to relieve any disabled merchant ships they might find. They report that although a number of homeward-bound merchantmen were asked if they had seen any distressed vessels, with but few exceptions, no answer was made to the frigate's signal.
Th 9 January 1873The unarmoured woodbuilt screw frigate Immortalité, one of the vessels forming the detached squadron under Rear-Admiral Campbell's command, went into Portsmouth harbour yesterday from Spithead for the purpose of being docked for an examination of her hull below the water line, to discover the locality of a leak and repair the defect.
Ma 13 January 1873The Aurora, 28, screw frigate, Capt. Sholto Douglas, steamed from the basin at Devonport Dockyard into Plymouth Sound on Saturday. Several petty officers and able seamen, in the various messes, who, from the evidence adduced at the recent Court of Inquiry, appear to have originated the disturbance on board the Aurora, are to be dismissed the ship and disrated. No change will occur among the officers, and the Aurora will remain with the Squadron.
We 15 January 1873Officers from the Constructive Department of the Controller of the Navy were yesterday engaged at Portsmouth in inclining by lines of iron ballast on each side of the upper deck the stability of the unarmoured wood-built screw frigate Endymion, now refitting as one of the Detached Squadron. The Endymion has now new fore and main masts to replace her old ones, which were found to be rotten upon survey some short time since; and, as these new lower masts belonged to a frigate of larger tonnage (the Mersey), the Endymion's angles of stability are necessarily affected to some degree, and the present inclination trial has been made to fix definitely these points under her increased weight of lower masts.
Sa 18 January 1873The unarmoured screw frigate Endymion, Capt. Maddan, sailed from Spithead about 3p.m. yesterday, for the present anchorage of the Detached Squadron in Vigo Bay. The frigate left Spithead under all plain sail, with a light breeze from about west-north-west.
The Doris, 24 screw frigate, Capt. W.H. Edye, will sail from Plymouth Sound for Vigo on Monday morning, and will take a mail for the Narcissus, Topaze, and Aurora.
Ma 20 January 1873A frigate, believed to be the Endymion, which sailed from Spithead on Friday to join the detached squadron at Vigo Bay, arrived and anchored at Spithead yesterday afternoon for shelter from the rough weather prevailing in the Channel.
Tu 21 January 1873The unarmoured screw frigate Endymion, which put back into Spithead from the Channel on Sunday, as noticed in the Naval Intelligence of yesterday, met with very rough weather in the Channel, losing, as reported, a man over board, with her jibboom and two of her boats, and damaging her foremast.
We 22 January 1873The Doris, 24, screw frigate, Capt. W.H. Edye, sailed from Plymouth Sound yesterday morning to rejoin the three other ships of the Detached Squadron now at Vigo, and taking a mail for them.
We 22 January 1873The unarmoured screw frigate Endymion, Capt. Madden, sailed again from Spithead last evening for Vigo Bay, the present rendezvous of the Detached Squadron. The frigate went out of Spithead under sail to topsails, and with top-gallant-masts down. The weather was moderately fine, with the wind north-west and a rising barometer. The damage sustained by the frigate in the Channel during the recent gale was not so severe as was at first reported.
Th 23 January 1873Letters for the ships of the Detached Squadron, Narcissus, Topaze, Endymion, Doris, and Aurora, may be sent to Madeira by mail of the 25th. inst., after that date to Barbadoes until further notice.
Ma 3 February 1873The ships of the Detached Squadron having been delayed by bad weather, letters for the Narcissus, Topaze, Aurora, Doris, and Endymion should be sent by mail of the 5th. inst. to Madeira, instead of Barbadoes.
We 12 February 1873The Immortalité, 23, screw frigate, Capt. A. McL. Lyons, will call at Plymouth on her way to rejoin the detached squadron about Sunday or Monday next, and will take any letters for the ships which may be sent to the Naval Commander-in-Chiefs office at Devonport.
We 26 February 1873Private letters received at Woolwich from Vigo report the arrival at that port of the Flying Squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, consisting of the Narcissus, 28, flagship, Capt. J.O. Hopkins; the Aurora, 23, Capt. S. Douglas ; the Doris, 24, Capt. W.H. Edye; the Endymion, 22, Capt. E. Maddon; the Topaze, 31, Capt. E. Hardinge. The passage from Plymouth was very boisterous, the whole of the ships of the squadron having encountered tremendous weather in the Bay of Biscay, the hurricane lasting from the forenoon of the 18th to the 27th ult. The Aurora, the Narcissus, and the Topaze each lost a man overboard, The Aurora was battened down for three days, leaking much from her continued labouring, and the Topaze encountered such a succession of tremendous seas as rendered it doubtful whether she would be able to recover herself. The whole of the vessels sailed for Barbadoes on the 6th inst, where they will be joined by the Immortalité, 28, Capt A.M'L. Lyons.
Tu 1 April 1873The Flying Squadron, under command of Rear-Admiral F.A. Campbell, arrived at Barbadoes on the 4th of March, 10 days from Madeira and 26 days from Vigo. The squadron left Madeira with a north-east wind and had a pleasant run down the Trades, which were met with on the 25th of February. Typhoid fever has broken out on board the Narcissus and Doris, the flagship having several serious cases, besides about 50 men on the sick list suffering from boils and ulcers. The military medical authorities at Barbadoes declining to take the fever patients into their hospital, Admiral Campbell sent the Doris with her own sick and with 14 others from the Narcissus to Bermuda. The fever is attributed to the water taken on board at Vigo, although it was tested previously and pronounced perfectly good. The sailing qualities of the ships as tested during the cruise place them in the following order of merit:- Aurora, Narcissus, Topaze, Doris, and Endymion. The squadron will leave Barbadoes on the 14th. of March for Trinidad, en route for Port Royal.
Th 5 June 1873Orders have been given for the Detached Squadron to proceed to Halifax after visiting Bermuda. Letters may now be addressed to the former place.
Sa 12 July 1873The following telegram has been received at the Admiralty from Halifax :- "Detached Squadron arrived yesterday (July 7) - all well".
We 16 July 1873The Detached Squadron under the orders of Rear-Admiral Campbell, has received orders to leave Halifax for Gibraltar on the 19th inst. Letters for the Detached Squadron should be addressed to Gibraltar.
Fr 29 August 1873The detached Squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Campbell, will proceed from Gibraltar for a cruise in the Mediterranean. Letters may be addressed to Barcelona, and subsequently to Palermo and Malta.
Sa 6 December 1873Rear-Admiral G.G. Randolph, C.B., was yesterday appointed to the command of the Detached Squadron, vice Rear-Admiral Campbell, whose period of service has expired.
Tu 9 December 1873Rear-Admiral G. Randolph yesterday hoisted his flag on board the St. Vincent in Portsmouth-harbour, under the usual exchange of salutes with the Port Admiral's flagship, as successor in the command of the Detached Squadron to Rear-Admiral Campbell, whose term of service with the Squadron has expired.
We 18 February 1874The Immortalité, Capt. M'Lyon, came in at Valetta from the coast of Spain, and the Topaze is momentarily expected
Th 30 April 1874The Detached Squadron arrived at Rhodes on the 17th inst., all well, and is expected at Valetta in about a week or ten days.
Fr 15 May 1874The Flying Squadron, consisting of the Narcissus, 28 (bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral G.G. Randolph, C.B.), Capt. S. Adeane: the Doris, 24, Capt. W.H. Edye; the Endymion, 22, Capt. E. Madden; the Immortalité, 28, Capt. Mac L. Lyons; and the Topaze, 28, Capt. E. Hardinge, returned from their cruize in the Levant on the 30th ult., and took up their moorings in the Grand Harbour, Valetta, in fine style, at half-past 4 p.m., entering port under sail with a strong breeze from the eastward. The three first-mentioned vessels came direct from Rhodes, after a passage of ten days, and the two latter from Suda Bay (Island of Crete) in six days. The squadron, except the Doris, will leave on Thursday, 7 May, for Palermo, Cagliari, Port Mahon, Gibraltar, and England. The Doris will follow about Monday, 11 May, after having a new bowsprit fitted.
Fr 22 May 1874Our Malta Correspondent writes, under date Valletta, May 12:- "The Flying Squadron, consisting of the Narcissus, flagship of Rear-Admiral G. G. Randolph, C.B.; Endymion, Immortalité, and Topaze, left our harbour for Palermo, Cagliari, Port Mahon, Gibraltar, and England on the 7th. inst. The Doris stayed behind to have a new bowsprit fitted, and followed the rest of the ships on Saturday evening.
Th 4 June 1874Our Malta Correspondent writes, under date Valetta, May 26:- Four of the ships of the Flying Squadron were at Cagliari on the 19th, expecting to be joined by the Doris. She is to proceed direct to Gibraltar. The rest of the ships will call at Port Mahon.
Ma 6 July 1874The Detached Squadron, consisting of the Narcisus, 28, screw frigate, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral George G. Randolph, C.B., in command of the squadron; the Immortalité, 28, Capt. Algernon M'L. Lyons; the Endymion, 22, Capt. E. Madden; and the Topaze, 31, Capt. Edward Hardinge, arrived in Plymouth Sound from Gibraltar.
Fr 24 July 1874The Endymion, 22, frigate, 3,197 tons, 1,620-horse power, belonging to the Detached Squadron, has arrived in the Medway to be paid off and put out of commission.


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