Naval Database

| Previous Page | Next Page | Index

Lightning, 1823
Type: Gun-vessel, despatch and survey vessel ; Armament 2
Launched : 19 Sep 1823 ; Disposal date or year : 1872
BM: 296 tons ; Displacement: 349 tons
Propulsion: Paddle
Machinery notes: 100

Beware - there is also a another Lightning, a sloop, in service between 1829 and 1832, when it was, perhaps understandably, renamed Larne.

3 Dec 1825 towed the Spartiate into Portsmouth harbour this afternoon, the wind being foul.

31 Dec 1825 Towed the collier Arctic, recently sunk on the Horse bank, the four dockyard lighters used to raise her, and a sailing craft into Portsmouth harbour.

26 Nov 1827 steamed out to Spithead with HRH, who embarked on the Undaunted, which ship was taken in tow, with the Comet, for Plymouth.

31 Jan 1828 remains in Hamoaze.

31 Jan 1828 arrived Plymouth from the river, with seamen for the Ocean and Windsor Castle.

16 Mar 1829 Towed the Thracian and Ontario sloops of war out to the Shingles Shoal, to assist in weighing the Nightingale schooner, lately sunk there.

5 Aug 1829 In Hamoaze.

6 Oct 1829 departed Portsmouth for the River.

21 Oct 1829 Lieut. Bassett is appointed to the Echo. The Lightning is reported to have been appropriated as an Admiralty yacht.

5 Dec 1830, arrived Sheerness and departed immediately, J. Allan. Master.

9 Jan 1831 Preparing to join the squadron in the Downs.

22 Feb 1831 arrived Portsmouth.

25 Feb 1831 departed Portsmouth for Plymouth.

27 Feb 1831 arrived Portsmouth.

17 Mar 1831 arrived Portsmouth, from the Deptford and departed for Woolwich on the 19th.

27 Jul 1831 departed Portsmouth for Cherbourg.

2 Aug 1831 departed Portsmouth for London.

1 Nov 1831 refitting at Woolwich.

10 May 1832 arrived at Harwich with the model frigate Royal Louisa, which was lately launched at Woolwich. The Lightning is to convey the model to Prussia for presentation to the Emperor.

4 Jun 1832 left Woolwich for Rotterdam with the model frigate, Royal Louisa, said to be 30 tons, in tow, a present for the King of Prussia.

10 Jul 1832 arrived at Leith, from Woolwich.

25 Aug 1832 arrived Portsmouth from the Eastward.

25-27 Aug 1832 V.-Adm. Sir P. Malcolm's squadron, including the Donegal(flag), Castor, Tyne, Trinculo, Nimrod, and the revenue cruiser Prince of Wales, along with the Vernon, Dryad, Snake and Dee assembled at Torbay for sailing trials. The Board of Admiralty arrived on the 27th from Portsmouth, in the Lightning, and observed some of the sailing qualities of the vessels taking part in the trials, before departing for Plymouth and Cork.

27 Aug 1832 departed Torbay for Portsmouth.

8 Sep 1832 departed Portsmouth for Ostend with Lady William Paget, family and baggage.

24 Sep 1832 returned from Leith [to Woolwich ?] on Monday where she had been sent to convey the ex-King of France to the Continent, but Charles X and his suite had left the day previous in the "United Kingdom" steam vessel, for Hamburgh ; having reputedly paid 1,200 for the passage.

28 Oct 1832 departed Woolwich for Rotterdam with a special messenger.

16 Jan 1833 arrived Plymouth from Deptford.

27 Jan 1833 arrived Woolwich from Plymouth.

13 Feb 1833 put in to Portsmouth due to the stress of the weather and departed Thursday.

28 Feb 1833 arrived at the Motherbank and departed to the eastward on the following morning.

12 Sep 1833 departed Portsmouth for Plymouth.

14 Sep 1833 arrived Plymouth from Portsmouth.

7 Dec 1833 detained Falmouth by bad weather, for Lisbon.

18 Jan 1834 remains at Woolwich.

1 Feb 1834 preparing at Portsmouth for a passage to Lisbon.

25 Jul 1835 departed Portsmouth this morning for Plymouth and Lisbon.

4 Nov 1835 stopped and searched by the revenue Cruiser Dolphin, whilst en route from Holland to Woolwich : tobacco, tea and spirits was discovered in the crews' baggage and hidden in various compartments.

22 Dec 1835 arrived Lisbon.

13 Jan 1836 is reported to have arrived Ramsgate, having gone aground at the entrance to the harbour.

23 Apr 1836 arrived Portsmouth from Lisbon.

15 Nov 1836 employed in the River Thames carrying out trials on Prof. Barlow's suggestion regarding the saving of fuel by reducing steam pressure in fresh water conditions.

8 Apr 1837 arrived Portsmouth Monday from Plymouth, and returned Thursday with Rear Admiral Warren, appointed Admiral Superintendent at Devonport. She arrived here again today with Admiral Beauclerk.

15 Jul 1837 arrived Portsmouth today and departed for Plymouth and Ireland.

24-25 Apr 1838, Portsmouth, with the Dee and Messenger assisted the departure of the Hastings for Quebec, and took her pilot off at the Start.

18 May 1839 Portsmouth, In harbour.

23 May 1839 went out to Spithead to meet the Hastings.

14 Jun 1839 Portsmouth arrived to take the Duke Ferdinand of Saxe Coburg to Lisbon, on a visit to his son, the consort of the Queen of Portugal. His Highness is uncle to the Queen of England, and will arrive here on Monday.

1 Feb 1840 arrived at Portsmouth on Thursday from Woolwich, but the vessel she had had in tow having broke adrift in a squall, in the night, and not having arrived, she put to sea again to look for her, and brought her in in the afternoon ; this vessel was laden with ordnance stores for the ships destined for China.

1 Feb 1840 Lightning and Messenger towed the Blenheim out to Spithead.

7 Feb 1840 arrived Portsmouth from Ramsgate and is expected to sail tomorrow for Woolwich.

29 Mar 1840 Woolwich, is ordered to be fitted out.

11 June 1840 proceeded up the river from the Nore, to Deptford, where she landed the Marquis of Clannricade and suite and returned to Woolwich.

21 Aug 1840 Portsmouth, returned to Woolwich, calling at Sheerness with men for the Southampton.

20 Aug 1840 arrived Portsmouth from Woolwich with artillery personnel for Gibraltar who have been transferred to the Apollo to take to Plymouth.

11 Sep 1840 left Woolwich on Monday for Sheerness, to tow the Formidable to Chatham.

15 Sep 1840 left Woolwich yesterday for Chatham.

28 Sept 1840 Lieutenant John Waugh (1814), appointed to command the Lightning steam-vessel, vice Williams, to half-pay. She proceeds to Chatham to tow the Polyphemus to Limehouse.

2 Oct 1840 left Woolwich on Sunday morning for Chatham, and returned on Thursday with the Polyphemus steam vessel, to be fitted with her engines by Messrs. Seward and Co., at Limehouse.

3 Oct 1840 left Woolwich for Sheerness to tow the Howe out of Sheerness harbour with the Hecate. The Lightning returns to Woolwich tomorrow.

26 Oct 1840 towed the Blazer to Blackwall to have her engines repaired, and thence to Woolwich on Saturday, for the Blazer to be fitted for service in the West Indies. The Lightning then steamed to the Royal arsenal to embark military stores for Portsmouth.

29 Oct 1840, arrived Woolwich from Portsmouth.

5 Nov 1840 departed with a detachment of Royal Marines to Sheerness, where they were transferred to the Salamander and returned to Woolwich.

14 Nov 1840 arrived Woolwich from Sheerness.

27 Nov 1840, returned to Woolwich from Sheerness on Monday, and departed yesterday to tow the Abercrombie Robinson, No. l transport, round the South Foreland, the latter having been detained by the late gales.

4 Dec 1840 departed for Lynn, Norfolk, to open a rendez-vous to recruit seamen for the Navy.

18 Dec 1840 returned to Woolwich on Thursday from King's Lynn with only three volunteers.

31 Dec 1840 Plymouth, arrived on Tuesday with volunteers from the river.

1 Jan 1841 left Sheerness on Tuesday with volunteers for HM ships at Portsmouth and Plymouth.

2 Jan 1841 Portsmouth, arrived Monday from the eastward with supernumeraries, and departed in the afternoon for Plymouth with the men for the ships fitting out at that port. She departed again yesterday for Sheerness with men.

5 Jan 1841 Woolwich, The crew was paid their wages yesterday at the pay-office in the dockyard.

5 Jan 1841 Woolwich, arrived at Woolwich on Sunday from Sheerness. In coming up the river she was in collision with the Duke of Sussex steam vessel, her larboard paddle-box and wheel being damaged.

4 Feb 1841 arrived at Woolwich, from the North Sea, were he had been in search of the wreck of the Fairy surveying vessel, but was not able to obtain any trace of her.

19 Feb 1841 Woolwich, left on Monday to tow the Adventure from Deptford to Sheerness, on her way to Pembroke.

12 Mar 1841 Woolwich, left Woolwich for Leith on Wednesday, and returned on Thursday, in consequence of her boilers having burst, fortunately, without any injuries being caused.

16 Apr 1841 Woolwich, departed for Dublin.

1 May 1841 Woolwich, arrived from Dublin.

31 May 1841 Woolwich, the crew of the Lightning have transferred to the Meteor, whilst the latter undergoes some repairs.

21 Aug 1841 Mate David Buchanan (Lightning), promoted to Lieutenant.

4 Sep 1841 Second Master J. H. Ashton, of the Lightning steamer, promoted to Master.

3 Sep 1841 the Meteor, with the crew of the Lightning, arrived at Sheerness, from Plymouth.

2 Oct 1841 is fitting out at Woolwich.

2 Oct 1841 Commander M. A. Slater, acting, appointed to the William and Mary (commanding the Lightning).

29 Oct 1841 Woolwich, in harbour.

3 Jan 1841 was in collision with the steamer Duke of Sussex, which failed ot observe the rule of the road and was subject to the damages of 30 pounds.

27 Nov 1841 Second Master John Tucker, of the Lightning, promoted to Master.

29 Nov 1841 Woolwich, the Meteor, crewed by men from the Lightning, arrived from Scotland, and is to be paid off. Shortly after her arrival a stoker is reported to have died in the engineroom, cause not known.

11 Dec 1841 Second Master J. Tucker of the Lightning, promoted to Master.

17 Dec 1841 Second Master G. H. T. Bower appointed to the Lightning. vice Tucker promoted.

29 Jan 1842 to be prepared with the Firebrand and Shearwater to take the King of Prussia and suite to Ostend on 4th Feb.

6 Feb 1842 returned to Woolwich, where it was announced that the crews of the Firebrand, Lightning, and Shearwater had been awarded 100 for each vessel by the King of Prussia, to be divided amongst the men : pilots and engineers 5 ; petty officers 2 ; and the rest 1 each.

14 Feb 1842 arrived Plymouth, from Woolwich with a detachment of Marines destined for the Minden, for service in China.

18 Feb 1842 departed Plymouth, for Woolwich.

19 Feb 1842 arrived Portsmouth, from Plymouth, with men.

4 Mar 1842 departed Portsmouth for Sheerness, with the RM detachment from the Winchester.

26 Mar 1842 undergoing repairs at Woolwich.

11 Apr 1842 refitting at Woolwich.

23 Apr 1842 embarking at Woolwich the Royal Marine detachment for the Agincourt at Plymouth.

25 Apr 1842 arrived Plymouth with a detachment of Marines from Woolwich, for service in China, and will embark shortly in the Agincourt, for their passage out.

28 Apr 1842 departed Plymouth for Woolwich.

30 Apr 1842 returned from Plymouth to Woolwich.

13 May 1842 arrived Spithead from Sheerness with seamen.

14 May 1842 departed Spithead for Woolwich.

21 May 1842 arrived Portsmouth from Sheerness with seamen and marines, the latter from the Benbow.

26 May 1842 arrived Portsmouth from the River.

11 Jun 1842 reported to still be in the Downs with the Fearless and Monkey placing Mr. Bush's cassoon, but the NE winds prevent it.

1 Jul 1842 departed Sheerness for Portsmouth with the men and Marines from the Larne, paying off tomorrow.

12 Aug 1842 in dock for repairs at Woolwich.

24 Aug 1842 will shortly depart to the Nore to join the Queen's escort of the Royal George en route to Granton, Nr. Leith, Scotland.

24 Sep 1842 is expected to depart shortly for Hamburgh with Earl of Wilton and suite on a mission to the King of Saxony.

8 Oct 1842 is reported to have been driven into Rotterdam due to the state of the weather and it was wondered if Earl Wilton migh continue his journey overland.

13 Oct 1842 departed Woolwich with M. Clements on board to trial his experimental equipment, understood to measure temperatures i.e. of the sea and boilers etc.

12 Nov 1842 remains in the Downs having arrived with furniture for her majesty at Walmer.

13 Nov 1842 their Lordships have approved the payment of 200 to M. Clement in respect of his sillometer, marine thermometer, and that the machinery should be deposited at Woolwich.

16 Nov 1842 returned to Woolwich from Walmer Castle.

10 Dec 1842 is reported to have returned to Woolwich from the Downs, leaving the Echo there.

27 Jul 1842 arrived at Pembroke Dock with a company of Royal Marines to relieve those there, who departed on 28th for Woolwich.

5 Aug 1842 arrived Portsmouth and departed the 6th for Chatham with Army invalids brought home from Canada in the troop ship Resistance.

15 July 1848 Experimental Squadron departed from Portsmouth ; Master Commander J. E. Petley - see St Vincent for article from the Morning Chronicle dated 17 Jul 1848

20 Dec 1848 Woolwich.

2 Mar 1851 Sunday last arrived, with the Black Eagle, at Sheerness from Woolwich and took onboard Marines from Chatham and left for Yarmouth, where they arrived Monday morning ; to remain to aid civil power in keeping order amongst the seamen at Yarmouth

30 Aug 1851 Woolwich

21 Apr 1852, shortly after four A.M. the the squadron, consisting of the Assistance, Resolute, North Star, with the tenders Pioneer and Intrepid, departed downstream for the Nore, towed by the Lightning, African, and Monkey, the tenders under their own steam, for the North Sea. At 9 o'clock cast off the tugs and anchored at the Nore to complete the stowage of the North Star, and make good some defects, the Pioneer having collided with the Assistance. The squadron anchored off the Sunk Light, off Harwich, the Intrepid having signalled that she had a mechanical defect.

21 Apr 1852, the Intrepid having made good her defect the Squadron departed under tow in the early hours, but the movement of the sea making towing inconvenient, the tows were dropped and the Assistance, Resolute, and North Star continued under sail, and the sea getting up the Lightning returned to Woolwich, and not being seen again, it was assumed that she had accompanies the Lightning.

Circa Mar-Apr 1854, in the Baltic, reported that one native had told him that the Russians were inside Helsingfors harbour, he also reported that another native had informed him that they had failed to get in through the ice at the harbour's mouth - see p. 416 at

15 Apr 1854 captured Russian brig Patrioten [Prize Money per London Gazette of 21 Jul 1857].

Early Jun 1854, Lightning and Driver survey Bomarsund, Aland Islands - see p. 418-419 at

13 Jun 1854 the French fleet joined the British in the Baltic at Baro Sound - being used as a survey vessel in the Baltic - see p. 419-> at

21 Jun 1854 Imperieuse, Lightning, Magicienne, and Bulldog, reconnoitred the Russian fleet and batteries at Cronstadt, with the Arrogant and Desperate in reserve - see p. 420 at

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

7 Feb 1856 Asst Clerk R Rees apptd; at Sheerness

1860 Tender to Saturn, Pembroke Dock. Re-rated as a 3

25 Apr 1861 Lightning and Bulldog rendered salvage services to the Magdalen.

1870 Tender to Fisgard, Pembroke