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Ship Name Histories - Database of histories of ship names beginning with letter C.

HMS Centurion

The fourth Centurion built and in 1740 she was the flagship of Commodore George Anson in a squadron of 7 ships who were brought up to complement by 500 superannuated and Chelsea out-pensioners, who all died during the voyage. They sailed on Anson's famous circumnavigation of the world in September 1740. They touched at Madeira and Port St Julian, and off Cape Horn in March 1741 the squadron were dispersed by a succession of gales. Scurvy broke out and the Centurion buried 43 men. She reached Juan Fernandez in June 1741 with 130 men on the sick list, besides having buried 200 men on the passage. Here a prize was captured, and the squadron set sail for the South American coast, capturing another prize on the way. They arrived in Payta Bay in November and surprised the town. Plunder to the value of ?32,000 and other stores were taken; the town was set on fire and six vessels in the bay were sunk. In May 1742 the Commodore sailed for China. In August the Centurion anchored off one of the Ladrone Islands and landed 128 sick men, many of whom died. In November the ship arrived off Macao and wintered. In April 1743 Anson put to sea in an attempt to capture the large Spanish galleon trading between Acapulco and Manilla. On June 20th she was sighted off the Island of Samar, and proved to be the long-sought ship Nuestra Senora de Cavadonga. An action followed and lasted nearly two hours, at the end of which the Spaniard struck with a loss of 67 killed and 84 wounded. The Centurion lost only 2 killed and 17 wounded. The cargo of the prize included nearly one and a half million dollars, besides 36,000 ounces of silver and other merchandise. On July 10th the squadron reached Canton, and in December sold the prize at Macao. Numerous difficulties with the Chinese were experienced. In December 1743 the Centurion turned homewards, and reached Spithead on June 15th 1744. Thus ended Commodore George Anson's circumnavigation of the globe, a great naval exploring expedition with war-like objects, carried out with the greatest skill, patience and perseverance.  As the Admiralty declined to confirm Anson's first Lieutenant as captain, Anson returned his own commission as Rear-Admiral of the Blue, and went on half pay as a captain for six months. There is not a doubt that Anson was in the wrong. A change of Government taking place some ten months afterwards, Anson became a Lord of the Admiralty, and being promoted to Rear-Admiral of the White received two steps at once.  The figurehead of this centurion was a big lion some sixteen feet high. It was presented to the Duke of Richmond by King George III when the Centurion was broken up. While serving as an inn sign at Goodwood it was much admired by King William IV, who begged it from the Duke, and used it as a staircase ornament at Windsor Castle. The King later on presented it to Greenwich Hospital, with directions to place it in one of the wards, which he desired should be called the Anson Ward. It remained there until 1871 when it was removed to the playground of the Naval School, where owing to the action of the weather it unfortunately crumbled to pieces. At one time the following lines were inscribed beneath it:-

Stay, traveller, a while, and view

One who has travelled more than you;

Quite round the globe, thro' each degree,

Anson and I have ploughed the sea.

Torrid and frigid zones have pass'd

And-safe ashore arrived at last-

In ease with dignity appear,

He in the House of Lords-I here.

In 1746 the Centurion was cut down to a 50 gun ship. In 1747 the Centurion commanded by Captain Peter Denis, was in an English fleet of 17 ships under the command of Vice-Admiral George Anson, who flew his flag in Prince George. The French fleet, under Admiral de la Jonquiere, consisted of 14 men-of-war and a convoy of 24 ships, and was sighted on May 23rd about 70 miles from Cape Finisterre. The French made off and Anson chased. A running fight of 3 hours followed, in which 13 French ships were captured, while a small detached squadron captured six of the French convoy. Night saved the rest. A topical song of the time expresses in the following verses the part played by the Centurion:

The Centurion first led the van, (bis)

And held 'em till we came up;

Then we their hides did sorely bang,

Our broadsides we on them did pour, (bis)

We gave the French a sower drench,

And soon their topsails made them lower.

 

And when they saw our fleet come up, (bis)

They for quarters call'd without delay,

And their colours they that moment struck

O! how we did rejoice and sing, (bis)

To see such prizes we had took,

For ourselves and for George our King.

The French lost 700 killed and wounded, and the English 520, including one captain killed. Specie to the value of ?300,000 was taken from the prizes. This victory was valuable if not brilliant. Vie-Admiral Anson was created a Peer and the captured men-of-war were all added to the British Navy. In June 1751 the Centurion, flying the broad pennant of Commodore the Hon. Augustus Keppel, proceeded to Algiers, and smoothed over some difficulties with the Dey. The story goes that the Dey angrily expressed surprise that the King of Great Britain should have sent a beardless boy to treat with him. Keppel replied: "Had my master supposed that wisdom was measured by the length of the beard, he would have sent your Deyship a he-goat." After threatening Keppel with death, the Dey consented to treat. In 1754, the Centurion, Captain the Hon. Augustus Keppel, in company with the Norwich, escorted to North America a large number of troops, destined to assist the colonials in the suppression of the Indians, who with France behind them as moral support, were rising against the English whites. In 1759 the Centurion, commanded by Captain William Mantell, was in a fleet of 49 ships besides transports under Vice-Admiral Charles Saunders with his flag in Neptune. They left Spithead on February 17th and, having secured pilots by a ruse, they anchored a few miles below Quebec on June 26th with nearly 10,000 troops. On June 28th the French sent down seven fireships and two firerafts, but these were grappled and towed clear by the activity of the seamen. On September 13th under cover of the guns of the Centurion, the troops were landed and attacked Quebec. The seamen assisted with guns. On this day both General Wolfe and the Marquis of Montcalm, the English and French Commanders-in-Chief of the troops were mortally wounded. After some fighting the French retired. Additional ships were brought up to bombard, and on the 17th the enemy offered to surrender. On the 18th Vice-Admiral Saunders was one of the signatories to the surrender. In May 1762 the Centurion, commanded by Captain James Galbraith, was in the English fleet proceeding to Havana against the Spaniards, which consisted of 53 ships, besides storeships, hospital ships and transports, with 15,000 troops. Admiral Sir George Pocock, with his flag in Namur, and George, Earl of Albemarle, were the naval and military Commanders-in-Chief. On May 27th the fleet of 200 sail in all stood away for the Old Strait of Bahama, which was safely navigated by marking the dangerous shoals and reefs with boats. During the passage two Spanish ships were captured. On June 6th the fleet arrived off Havana, and while a feint was made elsewhere the troops were landed under cover of the guns of the fleet. Moro was bombarded, although the Spaniards made a most gallant defence, Havana fell, and the British took complete possession on August 14th 1762. Specie and stores to the value of three million pounds were captured; thirteen Spanish men-of-war were destroyed, three were sunk, and two on the stocks were burned. While on the passage to Havana some ships were detached and captured two ships in the harbour of Mariel. The British lost 1790 killed and wounded. The division of the prize money caused some heartburning. It worked out as follows: Admiral ?123,000, captain ?1600, petty officer ?17, seaman or marine ?4. In 1769 the Centurion was broken up at Chatham.

The seventh ?CENTURION? was an 80-gun ship, launched at Pembroke in 1844.  She was of 2590 tons, and carried a crew of 750 men.  Her length , beam, and draught were 190ft., 57ft., and 19ft. The ?Centurion? was fitted with a screw and engines of 400 horse-power in 1856.  In 1870 the ?Centurion? was sold for ?8200. The eighth ?CENTURION? was a 14-gun twin-screw battleship, launched at Portsmouth in 1892.  She was of 10,500 tons, 13,214 horse-power, and 18 knot speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 360ft., 70ft., and 25ft.   In 1900 the ?Centurion,? commanded by Captain John R. Jellicoe, and flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Hobart Seymour, took part in the third China War or ?Boxer Riots.?   Sir Edward Seymour was the senior flag-officer of the Eight Nationalities assembled in the Far East, and as such presided over their Councils.  On June 9th a detachment from the ?Centurion? proceeded in a Naval Brigade of mixed nationalities, 2000 strong, with 19 guns, for the relief of Peking, under Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Seymour.  This expedition went through some very severe fighting, and suffered a loss of 2 officers and 63 men killed, and 20 officers and 210 men wounded before withdrawing.  Captain Beyts, R.M.A., of the ?Centurion,? was killed, and Captain John. R. Jellicoe, who behaved with great gallantry, and 4 other officers of the same ship were wounded.  From June 26th to July 11th, a detachment of officers and men from the ?Centurion? assisted in the capture and defence of Tientsin, and during this period lost 5 killed and 14 wounded.  In August the ?Centurion? contributed a number of officers and men to a British Naval Brigade, which advanced to the final and satisfactory relief of Peking, with 20,100 troops under Lieutenant-General Sir Alfred Gaselee.  In 1910 this ?Centurion? was sold at Portsmouth for ?26,200. The ninth ?CENTURION? is a 10-gun turbine battleship, launched at Devonport in 1911.  She is of 25,000 tons, 30,000 horse-power, and 21 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 555ft., 89ft., and 28ft.

HMS Champion

The fifth ?CHAMPION? is a 14-gun screw corvette, launched at Glasgow in 1878.  She is of 2380 tons, 2300 horse-power, and 13 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 225ft., 44ft., and 19ft. In August 1891 the ?Champion,? commanded by Captain Frederick St. Clair, co-operated with some American, French, and German vessels in landing men at Valparaiso in order to protect the consulates during a Chilian revolution.  The officers of the international parties placed themselves in front of the muzzles of some machine guns with which the president-elect had intended to decimate the civilian populace. After some years service in the training squadron the ?Champion? became a strokers? training-ship at Chatham.  The sixth ?CHAMPION? is a turbine light cruiser, laid down at Messrs.  Hawthorn Leslie?s yard on the River Tyne in 1913.

HMS Charybdis

The 3rd ?CHARYBDIS? was a 17-gun screw corvette, launched at Chatham in 1859.  She was of 2250 tons, 1400 horse-power , and 11 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 200ft., 40ft., and 20ft. In May 1874, in company with two other vessels, the ?Charybdis,? commanded by Captain Thomas Edward Smith, proceeded up the Lingie River near Malacca, which was a focus of piratical activity.  Some stockades were burned at Bukit Tiga, and the River Lingie was reopened to the trade with the rich tin mines in the interior. In September 1874 the ?Charybdis,? with the ?Hart? in company, took part in an expedition to the Indian River and composed some differences between the rulers of Johore and Pahang. In November 1874 the ?Charybdis,? with the ?Hart? in company, took part in an expedition to the Lukit River to intervene in serious disputes which had arisen between the Rajah of Sungei Ujong and one of his feudatories named Bandar.  It was decided to support the Rajah, and a small naval brigade of 73 officers and men were landed with troops on November 26th.  After some grief fighting the Malay feudatory abandoned Campayang, and escaped into the bush.  One sailor was mortally wounded and 50 of the enemy?s coolies were killed.  Search parties were sent out invarious directions, but they failed to catch Bandar, who did not surrender until some weeks later. In 1880 this vessel was handed over to the Canadian Government as a training ship, and in 1884 she was sold at Halifax. 

The fourth ?CHARYBDIS? is a 10-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Sheerness in 1893.  She is of 4360 tons, 9000 horse-power, and 19 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 320ft., 49ft., and 19ft. In 1896 the ?Charybdis,? commanded by Captain John McQuhae, was one of a squadron of six ships which was specially commissioned as a reply to a congratulatory telegram from the German Emperor to President Paul Kruger on the occasion of Dr. Jameson?s raid.  The ships were called the Particular Service Squadron, and were commanded by Rear-Admiral Alfred Taylor Dale with his flag in ?Revenge.?  In December 1902 the ?Charybdis,? flying the broad pennant of Commodore R.A.J. Montgomerie, was at the head of a combined English and German fleet which established a blockade of the Venezuelan coast which they divided between them for the purpose.  This retaliatory measure was taken on account of outrages on British ships and subjects for which no satisfaction could be obtained.  Nine Venezuelan gunboats or small craft were seized by the boats of the fleet, and two were taken to sea and sunk.  Presidents Castro immediately imprisoned all British and German subjects, but he was forced to release them by the American Consul.  A British merchant ship was seized by the mob at Puerto Cabello, but the ?Charybdis? at once proceeded to the place, and having released the ship, bombarded the fort.  After an eight weeks blockade the Venezuelans consented to arrangements, that brought the blockade to a conclusion, Commodore Montgomerie having acted with great tact and firmness throughout.  A small Italian force also assisted in the blockade.

HMS Clio

The second ?CLIO? was a 22-gun screw corvette, launched at Sheerness in 1858.  She was of 2306 tons, 400 horse-power, and 10 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 200ft., 40ft and 16ft.In 1860 the ?Clio,? commanded by Captain Thomas Miller, was instrumental in saving the city of Panama from capture by a mob and in protecting some French subjects from infuriated negro rioters. On one occasion while in the Pacific this ship was dismasted by a hurricane, and, having run short of coal, she had to remain in one of the Pacific islands until her crew had cut sufficient wood to enable her to reach the nearest port. While on the Australian station the ?Clio? ran on a pinnacle rock in Bligh Sound, New Zealand, which knocked a hole of considerable size in her bows.  She was beached with difficulty and was afterwards taken to Sydney to undergo repairs.  In 1877 this vessel became a training-ship for boys at Bangor, under the North Wales, Chester, and Border counties training ship society, in which capacity she still acts.  The third ?CLIO? is a 6-gun screw sloop, launched at Sheerness in 1903.  She is of 1070 tons, 1400 horse-power, and 13 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 185ft., 33ft., and 12ft. 

HMS Clyde

The fifth ?CLYDE,? known as the ?Lord Clyde,? was a 36-gun iron-screw ship, launched at Pembroke in 1864.  She was of 7842 tons, 6000 horse-power, and 13 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 280ft., 59ft., and 20ft. In 1885 the ?Lord Clyde? was sold. he sixth ?CLYDE? is a 6-gun sloop which was launched at Glagow as the ?Wild Swan? in 1876.  She is of 1130 tons, 950 horse-power, and 11 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 170ft., 36ft., and 15ft. Her name was subsequently to ?Clyde,? and she became the Royal Naval Reserve drill ship at Aberdeen.  In 1912 her name was again changed, this time to ?Columbine,? and she became the depot vessel of the King?s Harbour Master at Rosyth, and then the flagship of the Vice-Admiral commanding the Scottish Coast.

HMS Coquette

The fifth ?COQUETTE? was a 4-gun screw gunboat, launched at Pembroke in 1876.  She was of 430 tons, 406 horse-power, and 9 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 125ft., 23ft., and 9ft. In 1882 the ?Coquette,? commanded by Lieutenant Lennox Napier, took part in the Egyptian War.  In August 1883 a landing party from the ?Coquette? and other ships, consisting of 565 officers and men, occupied the town of Ismailia in the Suez Canal after some slight fighting.  The ?Coquette? further assisted in the seizure of the Suez Canal, an operation necessary in order to secure a safe passage for the British troops who were going to use Ismailia as a base.  In February 1884 a landing party from the ?Coquette,? Lieutenant Fritz Eden Crowe.  And two other ships went ashore at Suakin, and assisted in the defence of that place by manning the fortifications. In March 1885 a Naval Brigade from the ?Coquette? and four other ships joined a field force of 13,000 men under Lieutenant General Sir Gerald Graham which marched out of Suakin.  They occupied Hasheen on March 20th, where the Royal Marines specially distinguished themselves, and on the 22nd, under Major-General Sir J.C. MacNeill, they fought the battle of Tofrik, where the Arabs after a temporary advantage were repulsed with a loss of a thousand dead.  The Naval Brigade in this action lost 7 killed and 5 wounded. The Naval Brigade burnt a number of huts in the khor Ghob, and re-embarked again on April 6th. In 1889 the ?Conquette? was sold The sixth ?COQUETTE? is a twin-screw torpedo-boat destroyer, launched at Thornycroft?s Yard inn 1897.  She is of 355 tons, 5700 horse-power, and 30 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 210ft., 19ft., and 7ft.

HMS Cormorant

 The seventh ?CORMORANT? was a 6-gun paddle sloop, launched at Sheerness in 1842.  She was of 1057 tons, 300 horse-power, and carried a crew of 145 men.  Her length, beam, and draught were 180ft., 36ft., and 9ft.  In 1849 the ?Cormorant,? commanded by Commander Herbert Schomberg, was engaged in the suppression of the slave trade on the South-East coast of America.  In the summer of 1850 the ?Cormorant,? sent her boats under Lieutenant Luckraft into the Rio Frio.  They captured and destroyed the famous slaver ?Rival,? and left the river under a sharp musketry fire from the banks.   On June 29th the ?Cormorant? proceeded to Paranagua and ascended the river for 15 miles to attack the head-quarters of some slavers.  The boats were sent away and captured the ?Campadora,? ?Donna Anna? and ?Serea,? all noted slavers.  On July 1st the ?Cormorant? proceeded down the river, when she was suddenly attacked by a 14-gun fort with which she had exchanged civilities on entering the river.  A brisk action then followed, but the ?Cormorant? managed to get away with five shot in her hull, and 1 man killed and 2 wounded.  In 1853 the ?Cormorant? was broken up.  The tenth ?CORMORANT? is a 6-gun screw sloop, launched at Chatham in 1877.  She is of 1130 tons, 950 horse-power, and 11.3 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 170ft., 36ft., and 15ft.  In 1879 white men were being murdered in the New Hebrides, and a boats crew belonging to the British trader ?Mystery? had been massacred.  The ?Cormorant,? commanded by Commander James Andrew Bruce, was one of five ships, under Commodore John Crawford Wilson with his broad pennant on ?Wolverene,? which proceeded to the islands on a punitive expedition and inflicted severe punishment on the natives.  The ?Cormorant? subsequently became receiving ship at Gibraltar.

HMS Cornwall

The fifth ?CORNWELL? was a 72-gun ship, launched at Bombay in 1813 as the ?Wellesley.?  She was out of 2917 tons, and in 1868 she was renamed ?Cornwall? and became a juvenile training ship at Purfleet. The sixth ?Cornwall? is a 14-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Pembroke in 1902.  She is of 9800 tons, 22,000 horse-power, and 23 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 440ft., 66ft., and 24ft.  On August 6th, 1911 the ?Cornwall,? while commanded by Captain James C. Ley, had the misfortune to run aground on Pinnacle Rock, off Cape Sable, while going to the assistance of H.M. Canadian ship ?Niobe,? which had also run aground in the vicinity.  Both cruisers were soon afloat again.

HMS Cornwallis

The fifth ?CORNWALLIS? was a 74-gun ship, launched at Bombay in 1813.  She was of 1809 tons, and carried a crew of 590 men.  Her length, beam, and draught were 177ft., 48ft., and 18ft.  There is a fine model of this vessel in the Museum of the Royal United Service Institution, Whitehall. On April 27th, 1815, the ?Cornwallis,? commanded by Captain John Bayley and flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir George Burlton, met the American vessels ?Peacock? and ?Hornet? in the Atlantic Ocean.  The ?Peacock,? a very fast sailor, got away, but the ?Cornwallis, chased the ?Hornet? for forty-eight hours.  At daylight on the 29th the ?Cornwallis? opened fire, and throughout the day the ?Hornet? was on the very edge of capture, but she staved off that disaster by lightening ship, throwing overboard by degrees all her spare spars, stores, anchors, shot, boats, ballast, and all the guns but one.  The guns of the ?Cornwallis? were very unskilfully served, and only three shot struck the ?Hornet.?  In the afternoon the sloop was saved by a shift in the wind, and as the wind grew fresher gradually left the ?Cornwallis? hull down.  In 1842 the ?Cornwallis,? commanded by Captain Peter Richards, and flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir William Parker, took part in the first China War.  Soon on arrival on the station Sir William Parker transferred his flag to the ?Wellesley.?  On March 14th, 1842, the boats of the ?Cornwallis? left Ningpo in an expeditionary force of 7 ships and boats carrying 350 seamen and marines.  The Naval Brigade was landed and joined the army in time to take part in a victory over the Chinese troops at Seagon.  Four hundred and fifty Chinese fell, and the Naval Brigade only lost 15 men. On April 14th, 1842, at Chusan, the boats of the ?Cornwallis,? together with those from six other ships, defeated a Chinese attempt to burn the shipping by means of firerafts. On May 16th, 1842, the ?Cornwallis,? arrived off Chapoo in a fleet of 11 ships, and contributed to a Naval Brigade of seamen and marines which co-operated with the troops.  After a three-hours struggle on the outskirts of the town Chapoo was captured. On June 13th, 1842, the ?Cornwallis? arrived off Woosung in a fleet of 14 ships under Rear-Admiral Sir William Parker, and three days afterwards the forts were bombarded.  After two hours? firing, towards the close of which the Chinese guns were nearly silent, detachments of seamen and marines were landed and Woosung was captured, with a British loss of only 3 killed and 20 wounded.  In July 1842 the ?Cornwallis? took part in the expedition into the Yang-tse-Kiang, which consisted of about 18 men-of-war, 9 East India Company?s paddle steamers, and 40 transports carrying 9000 troops, under Rear-Admiral Sir William Parker.  On July 6th the movement was commenced, and on July 20th the Chinese sent fire-rafts down the river against the fleet.  The troops were landed on the following day, accompanied by a small Naval Brigade, and a few days later the town of Chingkiang was captured.  Many of the Tartar defenders deliberately slew their wives and children and then committed suicide.  The General burnt himself with all his papers in his house.  By September 15th everything was in readiness for an attack on Nanking, but the Chinese sued for peace.  On the 29th the Traty of Nanking was signed, which ceded Hongkong of Great Britain, promoted regular tariff regulations,

HMS Cossack

The second ?COSSACK? was a 20-gun screw corvette, launched at Northfleet in 1854.  She was of 1951 tons, 870 horse-power and carried a crew of 140 men.  Her length, beam, and draught were 195ft., 39ft., and 9ft.   The ?Cossack? was seized while building for the Russian Government.  On March 28th, 1855, the ?Cossack,? commanded by Captain Edward Gennys Fanshawe, sailed from the Downs in a fleet of 88 steam vessels of various kinds, commanded by Rear-Admiral the Hon. R.S. Dundas with his flag in ?Duke of Wellington.?  They made for the Baltic, to take part in the campaign against the Russians, and at once established a blockade of the coast of Courland.  On May 26th the boats from the ?Cossack? and one other vessel took and destroyed some Russian small vessels off Hango Head, and met with little opposition.  On June 5th the ?Cossack? anchored off Hango Head and sent in the prisoners under a flag of truce.  Three officers stewards were injudiciously permitted to accompany the boats, in search of provisions.  The men advanced under a flag of truce but were fired on by the Russians, 7 being killed, 3 dangerously wounded, and 3 taken prisoners.  The ?Cossack? at once bombarded Hango at 600 yards until thick fog obliged the ship to haul off.  This affair made a great noise, but the ?Cossack? was partly to blame for not displaying a white flag in a conspicuous place.  The Russians contended that the whole affair was irregularly conducted, and that they had not seen the white flag displayed by the men.  On July 21st the ?Cossack,? assisted by other vessels, attacked and silenced the Russian batteries at Frederikshamm, after an hour and a half?s brisk engagement, with a loss of only three men wounded.  Lack of troops prevented a landing and subsequent capture.  On July 26th the ?Cossack? and other vessels attacked and captured the Russian island of Kotka, and destroyed barracks, stores, magazines, workshops, and supplies.  On the following day the squadron departed, leaving Captain Fanshawe with the ?Cossack? to garrison the island. On August 9th the ?Cossack? was one of a British force of 54 vessels, mostly composed of bombs, which warped into position for the bombardment of Sveaborg, and soon after 7a.m. began firing.  The ?Cossack? engaged the troops on Drumsio Island.  A number of French bomb-vessels co-operated in the attack, which lasted until the morning of the 11th, rocket-boats annoying the enemy during the night.  Only one man on the British side lost his life, but a spy stated that the Russians had lost 2000 killed, 23 vessels burned, and that the dockyard, Government stores, and powder magazines were blown up and completely destroyed.  In 1875 the ?Cossack? was sold. The third ?COSSACK? was a 6-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Clydebank in 1886.  She was of 1770 tons, 3500 horse-power, and 16.5 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 240 ft., 36ft., and 16ft.  In September 1890 nine German traders were murdered in Vitu, a small about 230 miles north of Zanzibar.  On October 24th the boats from the ?Cossack,? Commander J.M. McQuahe, and those from two other ships proceeded to Baltia and burned the village.  On October 26th a Naval Brigade of 700 seamen and marines was landed, under the personal command of Vice-Admiral the Hon.  Edmund Fremantle.  Meeting with some brisk resistance en route, the expedition captured the town of Vitu on October 27th.  The town and the sultan?s house were burned, and the brigade returned to their ships with 12 men wounded, and several cases of sunstroke.  From November 1902 to March 1903 the ?Cossack,? commanded by Commander Montagu G. Cartwright, was one of a squadron of six ships, under Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Drurywith his flag in ?Highflyer,? which took part in the Somaliland campaign in various coastal capacities.  The ships assisted in landing troops and stores, transport work, and in the prevention of delivery of munitions of war to the enemy.  In 1905 the ?Cossack? was sold.  

HMS Cygnet

The fifteenth ?CYGNET? was a 4-gun screw gunboat.  Launched at Sunderland in 1874.  She was of 455 tons, 457 horse-power, and 11 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 125ft., 24ft., and 10ft. In June 1876 the ?Cygnet,? commanded by Lieutenant Robert Frederick Hammick, took part in a small expedition up the river Niger in company with two other vessels under Commodore Sir William Hewett with his broad pennant temporarily in ?Sultan of Sokoto.?  The natives had been obstructing the river and preventing the passage of the British trade.  At Akado three guns were captured, and after the natives of the town of  Sabogrega had shown hostile intent the town was bombarded for two days.  The boats were then manned and armed, and dashed in under a galling musketry fire.  They dislodged the natives , burned the town, blew up the powder store, and flung the heavy guns into the river.  The boats then proceeded and attacked Agberi, which was burned without much resistance.  The squadron lost 1 marine killed and 5 officers and 9 men wounded.  In 1876 the ?Cygnet,? commanded by Lieutenant Robert F. Hammick, was one of a fleet of twelve ships, under Commodore Sir William Hewett with his broad pennant in ?Active,? which engaged in the blockade of Dahomey on the Nigerian coast.  The blockade lasted for eleven months in a pestilential climate, and at the end of that time King Gelele entered into negotiations and the blockade was raised.  In 1882 the ?Cygnet,? commanded by Lieutenant Hugh Dudley Ryder, was engaged in the bombardment of Alexandria in a fleet of 14 ships, commanded by Admiral Sir Beachamp Seymour with his flag in ?Alexandra.?  At7a.m. on July 11th the ?Alexandra? fired the first shot of the bombardment.  Owing to the flagship?s draught the Commander-in-Chief temporarily hoisted his flag in ?Invincible.?  All ships were cleared for action with top gallant masts struck and bowsprits rigged in.  By 7.10a.m. the entire fleet was engaged, and such forts as could bring their guns to bear replied with vigour.  By 5p.m. all guns ashore had been silenced and the fleet ceased bombarding at 5.30p.m. The British casualties were 5 killed and 28 wounded.  The Egyptian loss has never been properly ascertained, but it is believed to have been about 150 killed and 400 wounded, out of the two thousand men engaged in the forts.  The ?Cygnet? also assisted the ?Condor? in the attack on Fort Marabout, anchoring so close in that the enemy?s guns could not be  sufficiently depressed to reach her.  The Governor refused to surrender when summoned, but on the following day the Egyptians fled, and Alexandria was occupied and policed by the British. In 1885 the ?Cygnet,? commanded by Lieutenant Alexander Gardiner, took part in the Egyptian campaign and assisted in the defence of Suakin from the Mahdists. In 1889 the ?Cygnet? was sold.

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