The Victorian Navy

Queen Victoria was born Kensington Palace,London,
on 24 May 1819.
Reigned 1837-1901

For the time being to include, a little incorrectly, post-Trafalgar to the turn of the 19th. Century
(and sometimes a little after)..

Victorian Navy List - Antiquarian


A true story of one of the most heroic and superbly disciplined incidents ever recorded. The story of the disaster, on 26 February 1852, of Her Majesty's Troopship Birkenhead, offers us one of the most pulsating examples of discipline and self-sacrifice ever recorded. David Bevan's " The Drums of the Birkenhead ". Lists the mames of the survivors and of the lost. Stokes circumnavigated Australia twice. Free to probe Australia's unknown coast, he was the last Royal Navy surveyor to hold such a roving commission. He discovered the Fitzroy, Albert and Flinders rivers and Port Darwin, and his most notable achievement was the charting of that graveyard of sailing shipsóBass Strait. He was the first naval surveyor in Australia to undertake considerable inland journeys as extensions of maritime work. More than a century later, twelve of his charts were still in use. HURRAH FOR THE LIFE OF A SAILOR - Life on the Lower-deck of the Victorian Navy by John Winton: From sea ballads and music-hall songs, from Victorian melodramas and advertisements, from admirals' dispatches and memoirs, from ships' logs and from sailors' own diaries and reminiscences, John Winton has recaptured the flavour of life on the lower-deck of the Royal Navy in the nineteenth century and the rise in the sailor's status. By 1900 he had become the darling of the Victorian public, who all loved Jack. Click here to go to the early memoirs of Admiral Sir William Cresswell " Close to the Wind " edited by Paul Thompson Click on this image to go to "Fisher of Kilverstone" by Ruddock F. Mackay"
Admiral Henry Byam Martin's first command in the British Navy was Captain of the 50-gun frigate, H.M.S. Grampus, in 1846 when the French were subjugating  the Tahitians by bloody force, making the island a 'Protectorate' of France but allowing Queen Pomare to be the titular ruler until they made it a colony, in 1880. BRITANNIA at DARTMOUTH by Captain S. W. C. Pack: The cadet training ship Britannia which had been lying in the beautiful River Dart for a third of a century. Great Britain has reason to be very proud of those distinguished seamen who saved her from invasion on numerous occasions. In the last 50 years she has survived two world wars, thanks mainly to a Navy that produced men like Fisher, Jellicoe and Beatty, and later, Cunningham, Fraser and Mountbatten, and many more.
Admiral G. A. Ballard’s  largest and most valuable contribution to The Mariner's Mirror, the journal of the Society for Nautical Research, was undoubtedly the series he wrote on the warships of the mid-Victorian Royal Navy, which he commenced in 1929. Even in 1929, there were not many men left who were intimately familiar with the Navy of steam and sail, with wooden hulls, muzzle-loaders, and the first ironclads at sea.
Chatham Dockyard from 1815 to 1865 changed dramatically; metal working skills replacing wood working skills as dockyards adapted to the use of steam and iron. The success of the armoured frigate HMS Achilles, the first iron ship to be constructed in a royal dockyard, ensured the yard was at the forefront of technological change.
In the age of sail, boats were an essential part of any ship's equipment. They moved stores, towed the ship in calms and in confined waters, and, for warships, were an extension of their armament. With the advent of steam the diversity of boats became even greater. Over the centuries there were almost countless sizes, hull forms and rigs employed, so the exact details have always been a problem to modelmakers, marine artists and even those building replicas.

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