26 August 2009

HMS Vesuvius

Image PW5680, © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Oswald Walter Brierly's painting of Vesuvius and Gun Boats Wrangler and Grinder at the destroying of stores, Sea of Azoff, 1 Sept 1855. Published here with the kind permission of the National Maritime Museum.

HMS Vesuvius was a Symonds wooden steam paddle sloop launched 11 July 1839 and sold for scrap in 1865. She was the ship Richard Ramsay Armstrong joined 18 September 1853 and served in, in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Sea of Azoff, until joining Stromboli at the end of November, 1855. Her 'builder's measure' was 970 tons, with a displacement of 1283 tons. She carried eight guns at the time of RRA's service (4 32pounders and 4 long 68s) and was rated at 280 horse-power.

Vesuvius' career was as follows (extracted from the Navy Lists):

Her first commander was William Simpson Blount in 1840.

31 August 1840 until August 1841, on the Mediterranean station, commanded first by Thomas Henderson and then by Granville Gower Loch.

23 August 1841 until 1844 commanded by Erasmus Ommanney, Mediterranean station.

22 March 1845 commanded by George William Douglas O'Callaghan, on the North America and West Indies station.

19 February 1847, Herbert G. Austen, North America and West Indies.

1848 until 1852 at Woolwich, Devonport and Plymouth.

1852 until 22 March 1852 Commanded by Commander Frederick Lamport Barnard

17 August 1853 until February 1855 commanded by Richard Ashmore Powell in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

17 February 1855 until October 1855 commanded by Sherard Osborn in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov.

29 October 1855 until autumn 1856 commanded by Edward George Hore in the Mediterranean.

20 April 1857 until spring 1860 commanded by Charles Wise on the West coast of Africa.

16 July 1862 until 1864 commanded by Captain Richard Vesey Hamilton in the West Indies.

Here is a scan of Allen's Navy List, corrected to January 1855, showing Vesuvius' officers at that time. RRA was still too junior to feature:

However, here is a link to a transcription of the Crimean War Medal Roll for Vesuvius. Taken from ADM 171/28. Note that RRA is very conveniently the first entry!

Next, I will look at some of RRA's fellow officers in Vesuvius, starting with Richard Ashmore Powell.