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Type: Frigate ; Armament 34
Launched : 14 Jan 1846 ; Disposal date or year : 1864
BM: 2025 tons ; Propulsion: Screw
Machinery notes: 300
Laid down as Ambuscade; converted to screw on stocks
Jan, 1846, Amphion, 36, Sir R. Seppings, screw propeller, at Woolwich.
See Dragon for report on stripping her mainmast
10 July 1848. Captain Williams. Experimental Squadron, Portsmouth - see St Vincent for details.
15 July 1848 Squadron sailed from Portsmouth ; Captain W. J. Williams - see St Vincent for article from the Morning Chronicle dated 17 Jul 1848
July 1848 See article on Screw Steam-Vessels from the Morning Herald - see below.
20 Dec 1848 Sheerness
11 Mar 1854 departed Spithead, with the fleet, for the Baltic - see p. 413 at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
15 Apr 1854 captured Russian brig Patrioten [Prize Money per London Gazette of 21 Jul 1857].
28 Apr 1854 detained the Russian barque Carolina.
28 Apr 1854 the Amphion and Cruizer detained the Russian schooner Gebruder.
Apr-May 1854 the Amphion, Conflict, and other craft, meanwhile blockaded the Gulf of Riga, and captured 8 Russian Schooners from under the batteries, as a result of which prize money became due - see p. 416 at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
10 May 1854 the Amphion and Conflict captured Libau without firing a shot and took all the shipping in the port Memel - see p. 416 at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
28 Apr 1854 the Amphion, Archer and Conflict detained the Russian vessel Nornin.
Circa Jul 1854 the Lightning and Alban surveyed a channel between Lumpar and Ango Islands which was used on 28 Jul by the Edinburgh, Hague, Amphion, Blenheim, and Ajax to approach fort Bomarsund - see p. 422 at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
8 Aug 1854 the Amphion and Phlegethon destroyed a 7-gun battery near the southern landing-place observed by Napier, with his flag temporarily in the Bulldog, watching the operations - see p. 422-> at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
16 Aug 1854 bombardment and capture of Bomarsund - see p. 424-> at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
1855 Bombardment of Sveaborg
26 Feb 1856 Master's Asst Osborn apptd ; at Sheerness
23 Apr 1856, Present at Fleet Review, Spithead ; Captain Chads
12 Jan 1863 Recently dismantled and paid off at the Nore into Steam reserve is ordered to be dismasted.
16 Jan 1863 To be surveyed.
" We are glad to find that we are at length advancing, instead of retrograding in the experiments which are daily being made in the application of screw machinery to vessels of war.
The pains which have been taken by various parties to work out the knotty problem of success in this vessel are beyond all pecuniary reward or even appreciation, especially when it is known that the prejudices of Naval officers. as well as engineers, who certainly ought to have known better, or to have been more liberal, were perhaps more difficult to be allayed or dissipated than even the working of the machinery itself. To the honour and credit of Mr. Miller, however, the senior of the firm of Miller Ravenhill, and Co., who manufactured and matured the engines, and who, although in very bad health, did not hesitate to endure all the miseries of an ill conditioned man-of-war to superintend the experiments on board the Amphion ; to Mr. F. F. Smith, the projector of the screw propeller ; and last, but not least, to Mr. Dinnen, inspector of steam machinery afloat, and who established the success of the experiments, the everlasting gratitude of the scientific world, and the thanks of the government are most justly due. They were the pioneers in this great work, and the Amphion is the ship that has laid the foundation for that mighty success which is shadowed forth in the working of the HMS Encounter sloop, the second large ship which has been tried with advantage and credit. In our former notices of the Encounter, we have stated that she was designed by Mr. Fincham, of Portsmouth Dockyard. She is 895 tons, and has engines of 360 horse power, by Messrs. Penn and Co., and we then spoke of the compactness of the machinery. and the rate of her speed on the passage to Portsmouth from Woolwich. This vessel is, indeed, a wonderful instance of what has been accomplished in the improvement of both vessel and engines. She was tried several times on the river with the most gratifying results.
On the last trial in the river, immersed with weights equal to her stores and armament, she attained an average speed of 11 knots, the engines having cylinders 60 inches diameter, with a stroke of 2 feet 3 inches, making 78 revolutions, with a screw of 12 feet 6 in diameter, and 16 feet pitch : and this speed with another and better adapted screw. she has maintained within half a knot on a sea passage, the ship too, having comparatively for a steamer, a bluff bow, as is necessary for men-of-war to possess. A third large ship is now about to come into the field of experiment, and this vessel is the frigate HMS Dauntless. She was built by the same naval architect (Fincham), but that extreme portion of her stern in which the propeller is placed. instead of being finely shaped away as that of the Encounter, is square, and thus in her case it is proved beyond question, that with a square truck, although with lines generally good and well adapted for a screw-steamer, she cannot attain that speed which the HMS Encounter with a finer run has acquired; for although the Dauntless has engines of 580 horse-power to 1496 tons, or 1 to 2.58, the highest mean rate of speed on trial was not beyond 7½ knots.
We have accounted for the difference between this vessel and the Encounter to some extent ; but it will be a subject of inquiry, whether or not the description of engine has not likewise something to do with the results. We may repeat, however, with this short notice of screw steam-vessels, that we seem at length to be progressing in a satisfactory manner, and to acquire grounds for continuing our experiments to the attainment of that perfection in steam-machinery for vessels adapted for war purposes, which it is so desirable for this country to possess. The HMS Reynard, screw schooner, is not yet commissioned by Commander Cracroft. Her engines, we hear, are fitted with much compactness by Messrs. Rennie, whilst many improvements suggested by Mr. Humphries, the superintendent of their factory, have added much to their completeness by an ingenious contrivance of Mr. Humphries, the screw propeller is lifted out of its position with the greatest facility, at the will of the engineer in the engine-room. On the last trial the time occupied in lifting the screw-rudder three feet out of the water was two and a-half minutes, and on one occasion one and a-half minutes. The engine was stopped and disconnected, and the screw was lifted out of the water in the space of five minutes; and it was lowered, the engines connected, and the machinery in motion again in an equally short apace. The vibration, it is reported, is not perceptible, and the chimney can be lowered and berthed in five minutes. Morning Herald.