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Type: Frigate ; Armament 51
Laid down : Woolwich 16 Sep 1859 ; Launched : 12 Feb 1861 ;
Disposal date or year : 1883
BM: 3027 tons ; Displacement: 4020 tons
Machinery notes: 2088 h.p.i. 600 h.p.
1860 Woolwich building
Circa 1866 employed as a training ship for cadets from Britannia.
2 - 4 Nov 1866 Cdr M. S. L. Peile, of the Espoir, Senior officer, reports having proceeded up the Congo as far as Embomma, in the steam-launch of the Bristol. He states that he was astonished at the extensive trade carried on at Embomma in palm oil, palm kernels, and ground nuts. He was informed, and believes it to be the case, that legal trade has altogether superseded Slave Trade at that place. The traders at Ponta da Lenha and Embomma were much pleased with his visit, and openly expressed their thanks, especially for the steam-launch having gone to Embomma, as they considered that it would have a very great moral effect on the natives in that part of the river, who had lately been very troublesome, and had waylaid and robbed several cargo-boats.
6 Nov 1866 proceeded down the river and again anchored off Banana.
16 Mar 1867 at Sierra Leone. Now appears to have the Commodore of the West Africa Station on board, who has written to the Secretary of the Admiralty regarding the outrage at the Victoria factory on the River Nun and the theft by natives of stores from and much of the structure of the factory owned by Messrs Hatton and Cookson in the River Congo.
9 Apr 1867 following further investigation of the event by British Consuls in the region it transpires that the supposed outrage at the Victoria factory was not a serious as originally implied and was the fault of the agent for the owners by refusing to pay "comey," which formed a part of the company's agreement with the local King and the natives reacted with moderation and no further action is therefore proposed.
10 Apr 1867 off Appi.
30 Apr 1867 at Jellah Coffee.
22 May 1867 in the River Congo.
25 May 1867 off Banana, River Congo, the Commodore writes that following a thorough investigation and after consultation with Mr. Peter McCullough, the chief agent for Messrs Hatton and Cookson, it would appear that the cause of the factory being sacked was due to mistreatment of the natives by the Agent, the Spaniard Calderon, who had gone to the assistance of his friend, the Portuguese Caldeira, where he died when that factory was attacked. As in the case of the Victoria factory, mentioned above, problems of this nature were invariably caused by the agent and that any retribution would be pointless, especially following the action taken by the Antelope off Mangue Grande, so that when 3 English boats appear off the coast the natives have disappeared inland long before the men set foot on shore.
7 Jun 1867 departed Elephant Bay, and proceeded to Benguella and Nodo Redondo the Commodore having written his regular report to the Secretary of the Admiralty regarding the state of the slave trade, which is all quiet at the present time, although the Pioneer has been instructed to remain at Elephant Bay in case the rumours about an attempt to breach the blockade on the slave trade is made?
11 Jul 1867 at St. Helena.
28 Jul 1867 at St. Helena, the Commodore advises the Secretary of the Admiralty that the French Flag Officer in the Zénobie, has informed him that a few weeks ago one of his cruizers detained a large canoe to the north of Cape Lopez, bound to St. Thomas, with 34 slaves on board, with a coloured crew, all of whom spoke Portuguese.
1 Sep 1867 at Jellah Coffee.
7 Sep 1867 departed the Bights for Shark's Point in the River Congo. A report received yesterday that the Investigator was aground for 5 days off Mebhanna, in the River Niger, and that the natives had fired on the ship killing a krooman and wounding 4 others. It was found necessary to throw stores and provisions over-board to get off, which were replaced by the steamer Thomas Bazley : Mr. McLeod, H.M. Consul in the Niger was reported to be sick.
25 Nov 1867 in lat. 7° 26' S., long. 9° 24' W., the Commodore raised the problem with the Secretary of the Admiralty of Europeans shooting natives for no apparent good reason and suggesting a way of obtaining justice and avoiding the problems associated with such an action. In the present instance, per the C.O. of the Mullet who reported the murder of a native by a Portuguese person working for Messrs. Hatton and Cookson in the River Fernan Vas : the person concerned was detained by the French authorities in Gaboon, but was supposedly acquitted as witnesses to the murder were reluctant to leave their village.
19 Jun 1869 To Madeira and Bahia with the Flying Squadron
2 Jul 1869 Left Madeira for Bahia
2 Aug 1869 arrived Bahia, returning to England 4 days after the departure of the Flying Squadron.
26 Dec 1870 departed Lisbon.
13 Jan 1871 arrived Plymouth Sound.
14 Jan 1871 departs for Portsmouth (still being used as a naval cadets' training ship).
16 Jan 1871 arrived Portsmouth.
15 Mar 1871 inspected at Portsmouth, and then went out to Spithead to swing her compass and complete her stores and ammunition.
26 Mar 1871 departed from Plymouth Sound for the South America Station.
2 Apr 1871, for census, anchored at Funchal Bay Madeira.