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Albacore-class gunboat (1855)
HMS Raven
HMS Raven, one of the Albacore class
Class overview
Name: Albacore class (1855)
Operators:  Royal Navy
Preceded by: Dapper class
Succeeded by: Cheerful class
Built: 1855–6
In commission: 1855 – 1881
Completed: 98
General characteristics [1]
Type: 'Crimean' gunboat
Tons burthen: 232 6894 tons bm
Length: 106 ft (32 m) (gundeck)
93 ft 2.5 in (28.410 m) (keel)
Beam: 22 ft 0 in (6.71 m)
Draught: 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Installed power: 60 nominal horsepower
270 ihp (200 kW))
Propulsion:
  • 2-cylinder horizontal single expansion steam engine
  • Single screw
Speed: 7.5 kn (13.9 km/h)
Crew: 36–40
Armament:

The Albacore class gunboat was a class of 98 gunboats built for the Royal Navy in 1855–6 for use in the Crimean War.[1]

Design[]

The Albacore class, designed by W.H. Walker, was almost identical to the preceding Dapper class, also designed by Walker. The ships were wooden-hulled, with steam power as well as sails, but of shallow draught for coastal bombardment in the shallow waters of the Baltic and Black Sea during the Crimean War.[1]

Propulsion[]

Half of the ships had two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion trunk steam engines built by John Penn and Sons, with two boilers. The other half had two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion direct-acting steam engines built by Maudslay, Sons and Field, with three boilers. Both versions provided 60 nominal horsepower through a single screw, sufficient for 7.5 knots (13.9 km/h; 8.6 mph).[1]

Armament[]

Ships of the class were armed with one 68-pounder (95cwt) muzzle-loading smoothbore gun, one 32-pounder muzzle-loading smoothbore gun (originally two 68-pounders were planned but the forward gun was substituted by a 32-pounder) and two 24-pounder howitzers.[1]

Ships[]

Name Ship builder[1] Launched[1] Fate[1]
Beaver Money Wigram & Son, Northam 28 November 1855 Broken up at Portsmouth in 1864
Whiting Money Wigram & Son, Northam 9 January 1856 Broken up in December 1881
Nightingale C J Mare & Company, Leamouth 22 December 1855 Sold to W Lethbridge for breaking on 16 July 1867
Violet C J Mare & Company, Leamouth 9 January 1856 Sold to Marshall for breaking at Plymouth on 7 October 1864
Seagull W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 4 June 1855 Sold to Marshall for breaking at Plymouth on 7 October 1864
Skipjack W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 4 August 1855 Boilers removed in 1862, became a cooking depot in 1874. Breaking at Devonport completed on 4 February 1879
Sandfly W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 1 September 1855 Sold to W Lethbridge for breaking on 5 November 1867
Sheldrake W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 1 September 1855 Sold at Montevideo on 30 June 1865
Plover W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 8 September 1855 Sunk in action with the Taku forts in the Peiho river on 26 June 1859
Tickler W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 8 September 1855 Breaking at Deptford completed on 21 November 1863
Banterer W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 29 September 1855 Grounded in action with the Taku forts in the Peiho river on 25 June 1859, but refloated and sold at Hong Kong on 30 December 1872
Bullfrog W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 6 October 1855 Broken up at Sheerness on 8 June 1875
Bustard W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 20 October 1855 Fitted for foreign service in 1856. Sold to Cheeong Loong at Hong Kong on 18 November 1869
Carnation W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 20 October 1855 Broken up at Sheerness in 1863
Charger W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 13 November 1855 Became a buoy boat at Halifax in June 1866. Later renamed YC3 on 24 June 1866, then YC6 in 1869. Sold in July 1887 as merchant vessel SS Rescue. Broken up in 1921
Cockchafer W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 24 November 1855 Fitted for service in China in 1859. Sold to Telge Northing Company at Shanghai in 1872
Dove W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 24 November 1855 Sold to the P&O Company at Shanghai on 14 April 1873
Forward W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 8 December 1855 Fitted for service in British Columbia in 1859. Sold to Hill & Ready, Esquimault
Grasshopper W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 12 January 1856 Sold at Newchang in May 1871
Hasty W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 10 January 1856 Sold to Castle for breaking at Charlton in November 1865
Herring W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 10 January 1856 Broken up at Sheerness in August 1865
Insolent W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 26 January 1856 Lent to the Board of Works for the Maintenance of Lighthouses in 1856 - later returned. Sold at Chefoo in China on 1 May 1869
Mayflower W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 31 January 1856 Became tender to HMS President in 1862. Broken up at Sheerness in the summer of 1867
Staunch W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 31 January 1856 Fitted for foreign service in September 1856. Between 30 July 1862 and 3 August 1862 she stuck on a rock at Canton but managed to get off. Sold at Hong Kong in December 1866 and broken up
Goldfinch Money Wigram & Son, Northam 2 February 1856 Broken up at Pembroke on 22 June 1869
Goshawk Money Wigram & Son, Northam 9 February 1856 Broken up at Devonport on 18 March 1869
Julia Fletcher & Fearnall, Limehouse 27 November 1855 Broken up by Marshall at Plymouth in February 1866
Louisa Fletcher & Fearnall, Limehouse December 1855 Sold to W Lethbridge for breaking on 27 August 1867
Bouncer C J Mare & Company, Leamouth 23 February 1856 Sold at Hong Kong on 1 February 1871
Hyena C J Mare & Company, Leamouth 3 April 1856 Sold to W E Joliffe as a salvage vessel on 8 March 1870. Broken up in 1894
Savage C J Mare & Company, Leamouth 5 May 1856 Became mooring lighter YC3 in 1864. Broken up at Malta in September 1888
Wolf C J Mare & Company, Leamouth 5 July 1856 Completed breaking on 8 July 1864
Griper R & H Green, Blackwall Yard 11 December 1855 Became tender to a Coast Guard ship in 1861 and was fitted for Armstrong guns in 1862. Broken up at Devonport on 18 March 1869
Fervent R & H Green, Blackwall Yard 23 January 1856 Broken up at Devonport in February 1879
Forester R & H Green, Blackwall Yard 23 January 1856 Became yard craft YC7 at Hong Kong in 1868 and was lost in a typhoon at Hong Kong on 2 September 1871
Spanker R & H Green, Blackwall Yard 22 March 1856 Broken up at Chatham in August 1874
Traveller R & H Green, Blackwall Yard 13 March 1856 Fitted for Armstrong guns in 1861. Completed breaking at Portsmouth on 28 December 1863
Thrasher R & H Green, Blackwall Yard 22 March 1856 Sold by order dated 9 May 1883
Opossum Money Wigram & Son, Northam 26 February 1856 Became a hospital hulk in 1876, then a mooring vessel in 1891. Renamed Siren in 1895 and sold at Hong Kong in 1896
Partridge Money Wigram & Son, Northam 29 March 1856 Fitted for reserve, commissioned in 1859 as tender to HMS Royal Albert. Sold to Messrs. Habgood for breaking on 8 September 1864
Charon W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 9 February 1856 Broken up by Marshall at Plymouth in October 1865
Haughty W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 9 February 1856 Sold at Hong Kong on 23 May 1867
Leveret W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 8 March 1856 Broken up at Portsmouth in October 1867
Mackerel W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 8 March 1856 Breaking completed at Portsmouth on 18 July 1862
Procris W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 13 March 1856 Cooking depot ship at Devonport on 30 June 1869. Sold to T Hockling on 31 May 1893 and broken up at Stonehouse
Shamrock W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 13 March 1856 Sold to Marshall for breaking at Plymouth in April 1867
Spey W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 29 March 1856 Broken up at Deptford in December 1863
Tilbury W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 29 March 1856 Broken up by Marshall at Plymouth on 2 August 1865
Peacock W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 12 April 1856 Broken up at Portsmouth on 25 March 1869
Pheasant W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 1 May 1856 Broken up completed at Sheerness on 31 August 1877
Primrose W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 3 May 1856 Broken up completed on 25 May 1864
Pickle W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 3 May 1856 Broken up completed on 12 April 1864
Prompt W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 21 May 1856 Broken up completed on 6 May 1864
Porpoise W & H Pitcher, Northfleet 7 June 1856 Broken up completed on 22 February 1864
Firm Fletcher & Fearnall, Limehouse 22 March 1856 Sold at Shanghai in 1872
Flamer Fletcher & Fearnall, Limehouse 10 April 1856 Coastal defence in 1868. Hospital ship 1871. Blown ashore during a typhoon at Hong Kong on 22 September 1871 and the wreck then sold
Fly Fletcher & Fearnall, Limehouse 5 April 1856 Broken up in 1862
Sepoy T & Wm Smith, North Shields 13 February 1856 Fitted for Armstrong guns in 1861 and broken up in April 1868
Erne T & Wm Smith, North Shields 18 February 1856 Broken up at Chatham in 1874
Spider T & Wm Smith, North Shields 23 February 1856 Fitted for Armstrong guns in 1861. Sold to Castle for breaking at Charlton on 12 May 1870
Lively T & Wm Smith, North Shields 23 February 1856 Wrecked on the Dutch coast on 23 December 1863, later salved and became the German mail steamer Heligolanderin
Surly T & Wm Smith, North Shields 18 March 1856 Became a tender to the Coast Guard in 1861. Sold to Thomas J Begbie in 1869
Swan T & Wm Smith, North Shields 12 April 1856 Became a coal hulk in 1869. Sold in 1906
Delight Wigram & Son, Blackwall Yard 15 March 1856 Sold at Halifax as merchantman M A Starr in November 1867
Grappler Wigram & Son, Blackwall Yard 29 March 1856 Fitted for service in British Columbia in 1859. Sold as a merchant vessel at Esquimault on 6 January 1868. Burnt on 3 May 1883. Broken up in 1884
Growler Wigram & Son, Blackwall Yard 8 May 1856 Broken up at Malta in August 1864
Parthian Wigram & Son, Blackwall Yard 8 May 1856 Breaking completed on 14 September 1864
Quail Wigram & Son, Blackwall Yard 2 June 1856 Broken up at Malta in September 1861
Ripple Wigram & Son, Blackwall Yard 2 June 1856 Broken up by Marshall at Plymouth April 1866
Cochin R & H Green, Blackwall Yard 8 April 1856 Broken up at Sheerness in March 1863
Cherokee R & H Green, Blackwall Yard 30 April 1856 Broken up at Portsmouth on 25 March 1869
Camel R & H Green, Blackwall Yard 3 May 1856 Broken up on 30 June 1864
Caroline R & H Green, Blackwall Yard 9 May 1856 Broken up at Portsmouth on 19 February 1862
Confounder R & H Green, Blackwall Yard 21 May 1856 Broken up on 4 October 1864
Crocus R & H Green, Blackwall Yard 4 June 1856 Broken up on 27 July 1864
Beacon John Laird, Sons & Company, Dingle 11 February 1856 Broken up on 27 August 1864
Brave John Laird, Sons & Company, Dingle 11 February 1856 Laid up after completion at Haslar. Broken up at Portsmouth on 25 March 1869
Bullfinch John Laird, Sons & Company, Dingle 25 February 1856 Broken up in August 1864
Redbreast John Laird, Sons & Company, Dingle 11 March 1856 Breaking completed on 24 September 1864
Rose John Laird, Sons & Company, Dingle 21 April 1856 Fitted for Armstrong guns in 1862. Broken up at Devonport in August 1868
Blazer John Laird, Sons & Company, Dingle 23 February 1856 Became dredger YC29 in June 1868, later YC4 at Gibraltar. Sold at Gibraltar on 4 May 1877
Rainbow John Laird, Sons & Company, Dingle 8 March 1856 Survey ship in 1857. RNVR training ship in 1873. Sold to Castle for breaking at Charlton in November 1888
Brazen John Laird, Sons & Company, Dingle 23 February 1856 Broken up in August 1864
Raven John Laird, Sons & Company, Dingle 8 March 1856 Sold to Castle for breaking at Charlton on 13 April 1875
Rocket John Laird, Sons & Company, Dingle 21 April 1856 Broken up in October 1864
Hardy Charles Hill & Sons, Bristol 1 March 1856 Sold at Hong Kong on 9 February 1869
Havock Charles Hill & Sons, Bristol 20 March 1856 Sold at Yokohama on 31 March 1870
Highlander Charles Hill & Sons, Bristol 29 April 1856 Became dredger YC 51 in 1868. Sold in May 1884.
Albacore J & R White, West Cowes 3 April 1856 Tank vessel in 1874. Hulked in 1882. Broken up at Bermuda in June 1885
Amelia J & R White, West Cowes 19 May 1856 Broken up at Pembroke on 29 September 1865
Foam Wigram & Son, Northam 8 May 1856 Hauled up for storage in 1857. Sold for breaking in June 1867
Wave Wigram & Son, Northam 25 June 1856 Never completed as a gunboat. Coal hulk in 1869. Hulk, renamed Clinker on 30 December 1882. Sold in 1890
Magnet Briggs & Company, Sunderland 29 January 1856 Broken up at Chatham in 1874
Manly Briggs & Company, Sunderland 29 January 1856 Broken up at Deptford in January 1864
Mastiff Briggs & Company, Sunderland 22 February 1856 Broken up at Deptford in October 1863
Mistletoe Briggs & Company, Sunderland 22 February 1856 Breaking completed at Sheerness on 28 September 1864
Earnest William Patterson & Son, Bristol 29 March 1856 Placed in storage after completion. Sold to Castle for breaking at Charlton on 17 January 1885
Escort William Patterson & Son, Bristol 26 May 1856 Broken up at Pembroke in October 1865

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Winfield, p.225–229



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