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Type: 3rd rate ; Armament 80
Launched : 1 Jun 1848 ;
Disposal date or year : 1867
BM: 2590 tons ;
Propulsion: Sail and screw from 1855
Machinery notes: 400
Jan, 1846, Colossus, 80, by Sir W. Symonds, half built, at Pembroke.
Jan 1848 Pembroke, Building
20 Dec 1848 Portsmouth
2 Feb 1856 Portsmouth. In Fitting Basin.
4 Feb 1856 Portsmouth. Taken out of dock yesterday. The crew of this ship has been reduced to 523 men, her lower deck guns and gun-carriages etc. having been taken out so that that deck can be used for stores etc for the division of gun boats under the command of Capt Keppel.
23 Feb 1856 Capt Keppel senior officer of the gunboat flotilla moved from Portsmouth to Motherbank (off the Isle of Wight)
27 Mar 1856 Reported to have taken the gunboat flotilla to Portland for training - see below.
28 Mar 1856 The whole of the gunboat flotilla is expected at the Motherbank either to-night or to-morrow, with the divisional ships Colossus, 80, and Sanspareil, 72.
23 Apr 1856, Present at Fleet Review, Spithead ; Captain Hon. H Keppel, CB
1860 Coast Guard Service, Weymouth District, Portland Roads
12 Jun 1860 Commissioned at Portsmouth.
1 Jan to 30 Jun 1864 Home Station : Coast Guard Service at Portland. Report of Small Pox onboard. Number of Cases of Disease and Injury.
30 Jun 1964 Paid off.
1 Jul 1864 Relieved by the Frederick William as Coast Guard ship at Portland, and is reported to have recently been fitted, at Portsmouth, with new wire rigging, and is now forms a part of the Portsmouth Steam Reserve.
TMG 27 Mar 1856
The Gunboat Flotilla
Sir Charles Wood, Bart, MP, first lord of the Admiralty, and Rear-admiral the Right Hon. Sir Maurice F. F. Berkeley, KCB., MP, senior naval lord of the Admiralty, accompanied by his son and private secretary, Mr. Berkeley, arrived at Portsmouth on Monday night, and were entertained at the Admiralty House by Vice-admiral Sir George F. Seymour, KCB, GCH, where they slept. On Tuesday morning, at half-past then, steam was ordered to be got up on board the Admiralty yachts Black Eagle, Master-commander Petley ; Vivid, Master-commander WH Allen ; Fire Queen ; Master-commander FW Paul ; and about eleven o'clock, the lords of the Admiralty before-named, accompanied by Sir George Seymour, Captain Codrington, CB, and Captain the Hon. JR Drummond, CB, embarked on the Black Eagle for Spithead. The Vivid and Fire Queen followed, and, as her majesty's steam yachts Fairy and Elfin were going out at the same time to try their machinery, &c. prior to being reported ready for the service of the court, the scene presented was a very interesting one.
The Admiralty squadron steered towards the fleet, on the way to the Motherbank, the flagship Victory having previously made signal for the Colossus, 81, Captain the Hon. Henry Keppel, CB, and the gunboat flotilla under his command, to get under way, signal having previously been made from the flagship at Spithead, early in the morning, for all to get up steam. When their lordships arrived at the Motherbank, the gunboat squadron (comprising between 20 and 30 four-gun and two-gun steam vessels) weighed in two columns, following the Colossus, and proceeded towards the westward. The gunboats, in addition to their steam, made all sail to keep their allotted stations.
When off Osborne, Vice-admiral Sir George Seymour and friends returned in the Fire Queen to harbour, and landed at three o'clock. The Black Eagle, with the Lords of the Admiralty on board, proceeded with the flotilla fro Portland, where they will muster and manoeuvre them, and not return before Thursday.
The whole force passed over the "Bridge" (off the Needles) at about two o'clock, at which spot the Vivid left them, making all speed towards Portland in two lines, one on each quarter of the Colossus, and each keeping position as well as it could, according to the seniority of the respective commanders.
Her Majesty and the court are expected to re-visit Osborne on or about the 10th proximo, when the salute by the fleet will be a very interesting feature should the weather prove as favourable for a spectacle as on Tuesday.
When the gunboats are complete and commissioned, we believe they will be formed into a coast blockade, should the war be ended and their services not [be] required with the fleet. The following instructions have been issued from the Admiralty relative to the regulations to be observed in the gunboat flotilla:-
"The gunboat flotilla has been divided into three large squadrons, - Red Squadron, under Captain Codrington, CB ; White Squadron, under the Hon. Captain Keppel, CB ; Blue Squadron, under Captain Yelverton, CB ; and the left squadron under Captain Key, CB. The gunboats are to be painted black on the outside, the funnels and mast above the rigging to be painted as follows:-
Red Squadron, red
Blue Squadron, blue
White Squadron, white
Light Squadron, black and two white rings
The red, white and blue squadrons will carry ensigns according to the colour of the squadron. The light squadron will carry a blue ensign.
The three large squadrons have been divided into four sub-divisions, and will be distinguished by vanes at the name as follows:
1st sub-division, two colours, perpendicular ;
2nd sub division, two colours, horizontal ;
3rd sub-division, colours as 1st sub-division, with ball on two bars
4th sub-division as 2nd sub-division, with all on three bars.
The light division, divided into two or more sub-divisions, will be distinguished by vanes at the fore.
1st sub-division, same as the great division ;
2nd sub-division, same as the great division ;
When a ball is hoisted with a signal, it is to be considered as addressed exclusively to gunboats. If a divisional flag is hoisted with the ball, the signal is to that particular division of gunboats. When gunboats of different divisions have the dame pendant, the divisional flag will be hoisted with the pendant, to denote the particular gunboat intended. The divisional flags for the gunboats are as follows:-
Red squadron, Q
Blue squadron, R
White squadron, P
Light squadron, S