The Detached Squadron of 1874
The Detached Squadron of 1874

Royal NavyFleetsThe Detached squadrons1873 ◄► 1880
Royal NavyFleetsThe Detached squadrons
1873 ◄► 1880

The following extracts from (generally the Naval Intelligence column of) The Times newspaper refer to the activities of the Detached squadron of October 1874-May 1877.

Extracts from the Times newspaper
Th 15 October 1874An intimation arrived at Chatham Dockyard yesterday of what will be the movements of the detached squadron, which will be under the command of Rear-Admiral Randolph, and will consist of the following ships:- The Narcissus, the Immortalité, the Topaze, the Newcastle, the Raleigh, and the Doris. The ships are ordered to assemble at Gibraltar on the 25th of October, excepting the Doris, which is to join the squadron at Madeira. The whole will leave Madeira on the 20th of November, and arrive at St. Vincent on the 29th of November; leave St. Vincent on the 3d of December, and arrive at Montevideo on the 2d of January, 1875; leave Montevideo on the 20th of January, and arrive at the Falkland Islands on the 30th of January; leave the Falkland Islands on the 13th of February, and arrive at the Cape of Good Hope on the 9th of March. The squadron will leave the Cape of Good Hope on the 30th of March, and arrive at St. Helena on the 11th of April; leave St. Helena on the 17th of April, and arrive at Ascension on the 22d of April, leaving Ascension on the 26th of April, and returning to Gibraltar on the 3d of June.
Fr 23 October 1874The Topaze, 28, Capt. Thrupp, sailed for Gibraltar, where she will join the detached squadron.
Sa 24 October 1874The unarmoured wood-built screw frigate Newcastle sailed from Spithead in the afternoon, for Gibraltar, to join the detached squadron.
Ma 2 November 1874The detached squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Randolph, C.B., consisting of the Narcissus, Immortalité and Raleigh, arrived at Gibraltar - Army and Navy Gazette
Th 26 November 1874The following particulars in reference to the cruise of the Detached Squadron under the command of Rear-Admiral G.G. Randolph have just been published. The vessels composing the squadron are the screw frigate Narcissus, 28, Capt. N. Bowden-Smith, the flagship; the screw frigate Doris, 24, Capt. The Hon. G.R. Fremantle, C.B.; the screw frigate Immortalité, 28, Capt, F.A. Hume; the Newcastle, 28, screw frigate. Capt, R.G. Douglas; the iron screw frigate Raleigh, 22, Capt. George Tryon, C.B.; and the screw frigate Topaze, 28, Capt. Arthur T. Thrupp. The squadron first visited Madeira, where they remained until the 21st ult., proceeding thence to St. Vincent, where they were timed to arrive on the 29th inst. They will remain there until the 3d of December, when they will proceed to Montevideo, which they will reach about the 2d of January, 1875. After remaining there until the 20th of that month, the squadron will go to the Falkland Islands, where they will arrive in ten days. They will stay there about 13 days, when they will leave for the Cape of Good Hope, where they are expected to arrive about the 9th of March. The squadron will leave the Cape on the 30th of March for St. Helena, which port they will make on the 11th of April. They will remain there till the 17th, thence proceeding to Ascension, where they are to arrive on the 23d of April. They will leave for Gibraltar on the 26th of April, reaching the Rock on the 3d of June next, and leaving again for England after a short stay. Letters to meet the squadron at the various places of call should be posted in time to leave London by the following mails:- For Montevideo, December 1 and 15; Falkland Islands, December 19; Cape of Good Hope; January 25, February 5 and 15; St. Helena, March 15; and Gibraltar, May 26.
We 10 March 1875The Detached Squadron arrived at Stanley, Falkland Islands.
Tu 4 May 1875The detached squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Randolph, was at St. Helena today.
Tu 25 May 1875The detached squadron arrived at St. Vincent, Cape de Verde, all well on board.
Ma 31 May 1875Rear-Admiral Rowley Lambert, C.B., has been appointed to the command of the Detached Squadron, vice Rear-Admiral Randolph, whose period of service has expired.
Tu 29 June 1875The Lively, despatch vessel, Commander Palliser, arrived at Portsmouth late on Sunday evening. She left Gibraltar at half-past 6 on Tuesday evening, and put into Ferrol for coal. As, however, she was unable to obtain a supply there, she was compelled to run for Corunna. Having coaled, she left that port at half-past 10 on Friday night, and, with good weather, made a remarkably quick passage. It will be remembered that the Lively took out Rear-Admiral Rowley Lambert and Staff to relieve Rear-Admiral Randolph in the command of the Detached Squadron.
Tu 13 July 1875The Detached Squadron will leave Gibraltar to-morrow or thereabout. Letters should be sent to the Cape of Good Hope by mails of the 14th, and 24th inst., and August 4, afterwards to Bombay.
Sa 17 July 1875The detached squadron left Gibraltar on Thursday morning for the Cape of Good Hope and Bombay. Letters should be sent to the Cape of Good Hope by the mails made up in London on the 24th inst., and 4th prox., via Southampton; and if so marked they can also be sent by Messrs. Donald, Currie, and Co.'s steamers Windsor Castle and Elizabeth Martin, leaving Dartmouth at noon on the 23d of July and the 4th of August respectively.
Ma 25 October 1875The following telegram has been received at the Admiralty from Bombay, dated 22d October, 1875:- "Detached Squadron arrived from Capetown, all well".
Tu 7 December 1875The Flying Squadron, consisting of the Narcissus (flagship), Immortalité, Raleigh, Doris, and Newcastle, is expected to remain on the East India station until March next, and will accompany the Prince of Wales in his Indian sea tour to Colombo, Trincomalee, Madras, and Calcutta. During the whole of this period the Squadron will remain temporarily under the command of Vice-Admiral Macdonald, the Commander-in-Chief of the East India station. It is three years since the Flying Squadron visited India.
Tu 8 February 1876The following vessels of the Detached Squadron will leave Bombay in a few days for Hongkong, calling at Singapore for orders :- The Narcissus, the Immortalité, the Newcastle, and the Topaze.
Tu 15 February 1876Detached Squadron.- Narcissus, Flag of Rear-Admiral Lambert, Immortalité, Topaze, and Newcastle will sail forenoon of the 14th inst. from Bombay for Singapore.
Ma 28 February 1876The movements of the Detached Squadron, under the orders of Rear-Admiral Lambert, are so uncertain that it is considered advisable not to address letters to the ships in China until further information be received.
Tu 23 May 1876The Detached Squadron (Narcissus, Newcastle, Topaze, and Immortalité) arrived at Hongkong on the 7th of April from Singapore. Rear-Admiral Lambert landed on Saturday at the Murray Pier, where a guard of honour, with the band of the 28th Regiment, was stationed to receive him. The Royal Artillery fired a salute of 11 guns on his leaving his flagship.
Fr 14 April 1876Detached Squadron at Hongkong.- Narcissus, Immortalité, Newcastle, Topaze, arrived at Hongkong.
Tu 3 October 1876Her Majesty's ship Topaze left Wosung this morning for the North with stores for the Detached Squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Lambert, consisting of Her Majesty's ship Narcissus (flag), Newcastle, and Immortalité, at this date about 140 miles from Chefoo, where they proceeded from Nagasaki on the 2d August. The unsettled state of affairs in China has prolonged the stay of the Detached Squadron, and it is not expected they will move south before the end of September or beginning of October. The Audacious, flagship of Vice-Admiral Ryder, Commander-in-Chief of the China Station, it at Chefoo. The despatch boat Vigilant, with Sir Thomas Wade, the British Minister at Pekin, and Vice-Admiral Ryder, left here on the 8th for Chefoo, where it is expected there will be an interview with Li Hung Ching, Commander-in-Chief of the Pechili Provinces. The Thistle is at Ohefoo, and the Mosquito has left here for Chefoo to act as despatch vessel between the Commander-in-Chief and the Detached Squadron. The Charybdis is senior officer's ship here.
Ma 11 December 1876The Detached Squadron, under Rear-Admiral Lambert in the Narcissus, with the Immortalité, Topaze, and Newcastle, left Woosung, Shanghai today, for Hongkong on the way to England.
Tu 26 December 1876Our Hongkong Correspondent writes:- Her Majesty's ships of war in harbour are the Newcastle, Immortalité, Topaze, Fly, Growler, and Nassau. The Narcissus went round to Aberdeen on the 13th inst., and was successfully docked in the Hongkong and Whampoa Company's dock there on the afternoon of the 14th inst. The Topaze arrived from Nagasaki on the 13th inst. It is not probable the detached squadron will leave here before the first week in December.
Th 4 January 1877Our Hongkong correspondent writes: - The Detached Squadron, consisting of the Narcissus, Newcastle, Immortalité, and Topaze, are to leave here for Singapore on the 5th of December, there to await orders.
Th 28 December 1876Rear-Admiral Lambert will leave Singapore on the 27th inst., via Straits of Sunda, for the Cape of Good Hope and England.
It is understood that orders have been telegraphed to Rear-Admiral Rowley Lambert, commanding the Detached Squadron, to return to England forthwith, as the condition of affairs in China no longer calls for the retention of his squadron. In consequence of the highly defective state of their machinery it is expected that the ships will sail home by way of the Cape and St. Vincent.
Tu 2 January 1877As already stated in The Times, Admiral Rowley Lambert, CB., has received orders to bring home the Detached Squadron, the aspect of affairs in China being such as to justify this step. Expense and the condition of the boilers of his ships will cause him to avoid the Suez Canal. The Squadron left Singapore on the 27th of December, and is expected to arrive at the Mauritius on the 2d of February, Simon's Bay on the 22d of February, St. Helena on the 23d of March, Ascension on the 27th of March, St Vincent on the 11th of April, and arrive at Plymouth, which place it left at the end of 1874, on the 17th of May.
Sa 3 March 1877The Detached Squadron is expected to reach Capetown about the 17th inst.
Fr 11 May 1877The Plymouth correspondent of the Press Association telegraphed last night the arrival in the Sound, to "await orders," of the Narcissus, the Immortalité, the Topaze, and the Newcastle, the four ships forming the Detached Squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Rowley Lambert, C.B.
We 23 May 1877The Narcissus and the Topaze, ships of the detached squadron recently returned, were paid off, all standing, at Devonport yesterday, and the crews granted the usual leave.
We 23 May 1877The Immortalité, 28, Acting Capt. Noel, which, with the Newcastle, 31, Capt. Douglas, arrived at Portsmouth a few days ago on the termination of the cruise of the Detached Squadron, was paid off, all standing, on Monday morning.
The Immortalité was commissioned at Portsmouth on the 14th of October, 1872, by Capt. Algernon M'L. Lyons, and on the 8th of December arrived at Portland, the rendezvous of Admiral Campbell's squadron. A few days later, the squadron, which consisted of the Narcissus (flagship), Immortalité, Aurora, Endymion, and Doris, anchored at Plymouth. After a short stay, the Immortalité was despatched to the Irish Channel in search of a derelict, the Margaret Pollock, which Captain Lyons succeeded in finding. Owing, however, to a continuance of heavy gales, he was unable to keep in company with her, and as his ship had started a serious leak it was deemed advisable to return to port, and she accordingly put back to Portsmouth on the 6th of January, 1873. The necessary repairs took more than a month to complete. In the meantime Admiral Campbell left with the other ships of the squadron for Madeira and the West Indies, the Immortalité joining company with them at Barbadoes on the l1th of March. The squadron then proceeded to Trinidad, thence to Jamaica, touching at several ports in the Windward Islands and at St. Domingo, and onward to Halifax, where orders reached them to proceed to Gibraltar, which port they reached on August 8, 1873. The squadron was then employed for some months on the coast of Spain in consequence of certain difficulties arising out of the Civil War in that country, and more particularly on account of the Intransigentes, who, having possessed themselves of several Spanish men-of-war, were behaving in a somewhat novel and irregular manner. The squadron cruised about from port to port, sometimes singly and sometimes in company, the officers taking the opportunity offered by their stay at Malaga to visit Granada, Seville, and Cordova. On the 17th of November the Immortalité was detached on a cruise to the coast of Morocco, as the bearer of the usual congratulations to the new Emperor on his accession to the Throne; and having first called at Tangier to embark the Moorish Minister, Seyd Mahomed Bargash, family, and suite, she proceeded to Rabat, where the Emperor was residing with a large following of motley, but picturesque, troops. Capt. Lyons and some of his officers were presented to the Emperor. After this incident the squadron was ordered to Malta, and, after refitting, cruised on the station until June, when it returned to Gibraltar, having visited Corfu, Athens, Smyrna, Candia, Palermo, Sardinia, and other places. The Doris was then ordered to Halifax, but the remainder of the ships returned to England, where they were paid down and new captains and several officers appointed, Rear-Admiral Randolph being placed in command. On the 20th of September, l874, the squadron, which now consisted of the Narcissus, Immortalité, Topaze, Newcastle, Raleigh, and Doris, the Immortalité being commanded by Capt. Hume, again left England, and, after touching at various places, arrived at the Cape of Good Hope on the 3d of April, 1875, where they remained a mouth to refit. The vessels returned to Gibraltar by St. Helena, Ascension, and St. Vincent, and shortly afterwards received orders to repair to Bombay to await the arrival of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales; Rear-Admiral Rowley Lambert, C.B., being at the same time appointed to the command. The squadron arrived at Bombay on the 6th of September, after a tedious passage of 91 days, and one week at the Cape, which was not more than sufficient for the performance of all necessary duties. Everybody in the squadron had opportunities of visiting famous places, seeing wonderful sights, and receiving Indian hospitality. After a considerable stay at Bombay the squadron visited Colombo, Trincomalee, and Calcutta, and then returned to Bombay. The orders were out, and the ships were to have sailed in a week for the Suez Canal, when, owing to Chinese troubles, a telegram arrived in time to arrest their return and to despatch four ships - the Narcissus, Immortalité, Topaze, and Newcastle - to Singapore and Hongkong, where they arrived on the 7th of April, 1876. The squadron remained in Chinese waters during the negotiations between the two Governments, and visited Shanghai, Amoy, Japan, Chefoo, and Talien. When at Chefoo Admiral Lambert hoisted his flag on board the Immortalité, and proceeded to the Taku Forts, at the mouth, of the Peiho River. Here the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Ryder, and Staff, accompanied by Sir Thomas Wade and Admiral Lambert and Staff, proceeded up the river in the Vigilant and Mosquito to Tientsin, and thence to Pekin. Several officers of the Immortalité also visited Pekin and the great wall of China. Affairs having by this time been satisfactorily settled by diplomatic means, the squadron returned to Hongkong in November, 1876, and, having refitted, proceeded home, via the Mauritius, Cape of Good Hope, St. Helena, Ascension, and St. Vincent, arriving at Plymouth on the 11th inst.
In the first year of her commission the Immortalité sailed over 12,309 miles, and was 109 days at sea; in the second; 10,309 miles and 106 days; in the third, 32,423 miles and 228 days; in the fourth, 14,491 miles and 134 days; and in the fifth, 16,824 miles and 120 days. During the whole commission, therefore, she had sailed over 86,356 miles, and been 897 days at sea, and 975 days in harbour, including 175 days fitting out, docking for repairs on her return from the Irish Channel, paying down and fitting out the second time at Portsmouth. In the five years she was 111 times in port, and visited 76 different ports, of which 69 were foreign and colonial. The following are the names of the officers who have served in the Immortalité the whole of her commission, from October, 1872 :- Commander Alan B. Thomas, Lieut. of Marines T.K. Byam, Chaplain, the Rev. A. Nicholls, B.A.; Paymaster, W. Warburton; Sub-Lieuts. J. W. Litle and Montgomerie; Surgeons C.G. Wodsworth and I.H. Anderson; Engineer, G.F. Greaves; boatswain, John Mahoney; acting Sub-Lieut. Haswell, and Navigating Sub-Lieut. Scott. Fleet Surg. J.C. Ingles served from the 4th of February, 1873. The Immortalité will be paid off into the 4th Division of the Steam Reserve, and, as her hull is sadly out of repair, she will not probably be again called upon for service at sea.
Tu 28 October 1879A Reuter's telegram, dated Malta, October 27, says :- "Her Majesty's frigate Raleigh has arrived here, and proceeds shortly to England to join the flying squadron. The squadron, under the command of Admiral Hornby, has received orders to be ready on the 6th of November to proceed to Turkish waters".

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1873 ◄► 1880

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