Type: gun-boat ; Armament ?
Launched : at Kidderpore Dockyard 1859 ;
Acquired : circa 1860 ; Disposal date or year : circa 1866
Displacement : 100 tons ; Notes:
Originally Whilst not RN vessels the Tonze and Mohr &c. are invariably referred to as HM Steam gun-boats or similar, but really belonged to the Singapore Government, but by the sound of it not much use ie in "An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore, from the ... Volume 2 "The Calcutta Government saddled the Straits with 2 inefficient craft that caused "more expense than a new vessel." There were at this time two old Thames penny-steamboats, called the Tonze and Mohr, of about 80 to 100 tons each, which used to lie in the harbour, and were supposed to be useful against pirates.
I note that the Tonze appears to have been a river in what was then the East of India and was crossed in a military operation in 1858, so probably during the Indian Mutiny.
26 March 1860 from Homeward Mail from India, China and the East : H.M.'s two new river steamers. the "Mehr" [should be Mohr], and Tonze, had been ordered for service in Chinese waters, and were to leave Calcutta in tow of the Carthage.
10 Apr 1860 H.M. Steamer Mohr departed Singapore for China ; 11 Apr 1860 H.M. Steamer Tonge [should be Tonze] departed Singapore for China ; H.M. Gunboat Ringdove, departed Singapore for Hong Kong ; H.M. Gunboat Snake departed Singapore for Hong Kong, via Sarawak ; H.M. Gunboat Reynard, RN, departed Singapore for Hong Kong, 13 Apr H.M. steamer Odin, RN, departed Singapore for Hong Kong ; 14 Apr H.M. India Steamer Arracan for Hong Kong with the ship Queen of England in tow ; 15 Apr H.M. Indian Steamer Prince Arthur for Calcutta ; 16 Apr H.M. Indian Steamer Dryade, departed Singapore for China ; H.M. Indian Steamer Feroze, departed Singapore for Hong Kong ; 20 Apr H.M. Steamer Encounter (RN) departed Singapore for Hong Kong.
i.e. in view of their shall draught both the Mohr and Tonze were taken by Admiral Hope for use in Rivers during the second China War / Opium War.
18 Jun 1860 at Hong Kong per London Evening Standard of 27 Aug.
28 Nov 1860 in the River Peiho, where the temperature is down below freezing e.g. 15°->20°F and there is ice in the river and movement for the gun boats is difficult. All the vessels had departed Tien-tsin before they were iced in for the winter. Adm Hope in the Coromandel, who hijacked the Tonze and Mohr for the Chinese campaign, arrived at the mouth of the river on the 21st. Lord Elgin came down in the Tonze and transferred to the Ferooz and departed for Shanghae. The gun boats have been busy embarking the cavalry and horses of the artillery batteries who marched down from Tien-tsin to the Peiho Forts. General Napier and staff left on the 19th in the Royal Indian Navy steamer Berenice for Hong Kong and England. per Hampshire Telegraph 2 Feb 1861.
22 Mar 1861 at Hong Kong, but under orders to depart for home ie Singapore : it is reported that the ice has disappeared from the Peiho.
Naval Receipt and Expenditure Grants on account of Repairs executed at Hong Kong to the " Coromandel," "Sydney," and " Tonze," Ships of the Indian Navy ------ at a cost of £400 18s. 10d. For Amount of Contribution due from the Indian Government on account of the Indian Relief Services of 1864. Which I would suggest was spent in 1860-61, during the 2nd China / Opium War, before the Singapore Government could get their hands on her, when Adm Hope borrowed those 2 vessels for use in the rivers in China, with their shallow draughts.
16 May 1861 in Singapore harbour.
23 May 1861 the Tonze docked with the Mohr in Singapore harbour.
29 May 1861 HM Steamer Charybdis, Capt Keane, towed the steam gun boat Tonze to Singapore from Pahang with the Governor on board, and has since departed for Sarawak with HBM Consul General for Borneo.
30 May 1861 the wreck of the Portuguese Bark Eagiz Monz which grounded and bilged on Barren Island a short time ago was towed by the Tonze into the harbour at Singapore. ST.
1 Jun 1861 H.Ms. corvette Charybdis, having the Tonze in tow and H.H. the Governor on board, returned from Pabang on the 29th instant. The Hooghly came in a few hours afterwards from the same place. ST
13 Jun 1861 in dock at Singapore harbour.
19 June 1861 Singapore Free Press reported Pinang, the Governor, we are glad to hear has at last succeeded in obtaining for the Straits the services of 2 gun boats. They are both pretty craft, each measuring 80 feet long, 16 feet beam, drawing 3 feet water. They are paddle wheel steamers and have excellent engines of 50 horse power, which propel them at a rate of 9 or 10 miles an hour. The Mohur is to be stationed at Malacca, and the Tonze here, in lieu of the present gun boats. They will be great acquisitions to the Straits, and just the kind of vessels required to cruise about the coast and scour the rivers and creeks. They are so low and so small a draft that the men can jump into the water and shove them off any sand bank that they come up against.
27-29 Jun 1861 in harbour at Singapore.
20 Jul-1 Aug 1861 the Tonze, 100 tons, Noyes, in dock at Singapore.
18 Aug 1861 HM steamer Tonze, arrived Singapore, from Malacca.
31 Aug 1861 the Tonze was called out by the Police as piratical boats had been seen cruising among the islands to the Eastward of the Straits. Mr Ames, Deputy Commissioner was advised that St John's island might be a likely place to hide, and they landed there from their sampans and walked up to the highest point on the island where they sighted 3 likely vessels at where the pirate chief Pah Ranti might have anchored. 2 of the vessels were detained and Mr Ames went in chase of the 3rd vessel which appeared to contain Pah Ranti who stood up and frightened the crew of Mr Ames' boat, and made off, on not stopping when challenged Mr Ames fired at the boat and thought he wounded Ranti. Whilst away the other 2 boats had escaped, but were soon recovered and taken to Singapore. On Sunday the Tonze went with the Commissioner of Police down to the Bolein Straits, but didn't discover any of the pirates, but did hear rumours from the natives that Pah Ranti was understood to have died from his wounds.
28 Sep 1861 arrived Singapore the Tonze, Noyes, H.M. steamer, 100 tons, from Malacca.
19 Oct 1861 at Malacca, the Revd W Hackett, Offg. Residency Chaplain married Charles E Noyes, Esq., Commander H.M's Steam gun boat Tonze, to Agnes, eldest daughter of Wm Baumbarten, Esq.
25 Oct 1861 departed Malacca.
26 Oct 1861 the Government Steam gun boat Tonze arrived Singapore, from Malacca, per Lloyds List.
31 Oct 1861 H.M's Steam gun boat Tonze is in Singapore harbour.
6 Nov 1861 HM Gun boat Tonze, 98 tons, Noyes, commander, arrived Singapore, from Malacca, which she departed from on 5 Nov.
16 Nov 1861 the American ship Challenge conveying the 3 B.N.I. to the Presidency they belong to was towed out of the harbour on Sunday last by the little steamer Tonze, a strong head wind from the W.N.W. was blowing against her, but the tide was favourable. Off Tree Island the Tonze left the vessel, and returned to the Roads via New Harbour about 7. p.m., having only been 8 hours on the trip, which reflects very favourably on her steam power. The Tonze left for Cape Ricardo on Monday having 2 lighters in tow, laden with bricks. She will make several more trips with materials required for the construction of the new Lighthouse. The Hooghly is now much required for sundry duties, but her repairs will not be completed before the end of the present month, and it is a question whether they will be accomplished before the middle of December. ST
21 Nov 1861 HM Gun boat Tonze, departed Singapore, for Pinang.
1 Dec 1861 the Tonze and the Mohr arrived Singapore from Pinang under tow of the P&O Co.'s Steam Ship Bombay.
8 Dec 1861 arrived Singapore from Malacca.
21 Dec 1861 departed Malacca for Singapore.
23 Dec 1861 arrived at Singapore.
26 Dec 1861 the Tonze, Cdr Noyes, and Mohr, Cdr Warwick, in Singapore Harbour.
13 Jan 1862 departed Malacca, arriving Singapore on the 14th.
23 Jan 1862 departed Malacca.
24 Jan 1862 arrived Singapore from Malacca.
6 Feb 1862 H.M.S. Arracan got ashore at Tree Island yesterday morning. The Straits steam gun-boat Tonze was sent to her assistance. It is supposed the Arracan is from Calcutta with European artillerymen for this garrison. [I assume that the H.M.S. Arracan was more than likely the Indian Navy vessel Arracan?]
25 Feb 1862, Argus, A CASE OF COURTESY - We have much pleasure in recording a great act of courtesy on the part of Rear Admiral Bonnard, the newly appointed commander-in-chief of the French naval squadron in the East India and China seas. Our readers are aware that the mail steamer Bombay (which vessel had just been fitted with new boilers, superheating apparatus, new screw shaft &c ) broke down soon after leaving Penang, with the London mall of the 4th to 10th October on board, and that the mails were conveyed to Singapore by the East India Company's steamer Mohr. Admiral Bonnard had just arrived at that port in the mitti? and had made arrangements to proceed to Batavia in the steamer Granada (chartered to the French Government by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company) ; but finding that there was no chance of the mail being convoyed on to China, the Admiral on this account altered his destination, and proceeded to Saigon in the Granada, ordering the services off that vessel to take on the mails to China, Tho admiral, we hear, would not even allow the agent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company to supply the costs, which he offered to do, saying that he "was only too happy to be of service to the British Government and the mercantile community in China." Without such assistance we could not have had our mail until the arrival of the next steamer, expected here about the 10th inst ; and we trust that the proper authorities will fail to convey to Admiral Bonnard the thanks of the community for his substantial politeness, as such acts cannot fail to cement the friendly feeling now existing between the two countries. The following note on the subject has been sent us:-
"On leaving Penang on the 13th inst., the Bombay suddenly broke her main shaft, consequently became unfit to proceed with the mails. Captain Forsyth, R.N.. who was in charge of H.M. mails, applied to Major Mann, the resident, to allow the Mohr, then lying in the roads, to convoy the mails to Singapore, which he at once granted. On the morning of the 16th, Captain Forsyth, finding the Mohr making very little way, and meeting the local boat Tonze, requested the commander of that vessel to take them in tow.
After the Mohr's engines were got into proper working order, the Tonze having towed her about thirty-six miles, she cast off tow-rope, and arrived at Singapore on the 17th. There being no steamer at that port available to take the mail on to China, and Captain Forsyth finding Admiral Bonnard, the new French commander-in-chief, who was about to proceed to Batavia in the Granada, applied, in conjunction with the P. and O. Company's agent, to him for his assistance in forwarding the mails. Admiral Bonnard immediately, and in the most courteous manner possible, agreed to receive the mails on board his ship, having every available space in her filled up with coals, so that there should be no stoppage for taking in a supply of fuel on her passage.
After landing at Saigon on the 23rd, he at once ordered the Granada to proceed to Hong Kong, where she arrived on the 2nd instant, after having encountered most strong weather, and having had a dead beat against a strong N.E. monsoon. The mails were thus only eight days behind time.-China Mail, Dec 5.
30 Apr 1862 per the Pinang Gazette, and Argus of late April attempts to enforce compensation from the Larut / Laroot Chiefs for the losses sustained by the Pinang Chinese miners in the recent disturbances there, had not been successful, the money not being paid as instructed and the Pera Chiefs have been called upon to give effect to the demand and enforce it by establishing a blockade of the Larut River. On 30 Apr 1862 the Tonze and Mohr departed Penang, one for Pera, the other for Larut, and all trading between the two places has been suspended, passes for Larut being refused by the Government, which measures it is hoped will have the desired effect. The Tonze has enforced the blockade since 1 May, and the Mohr has joined her with a party of native artillery men to work the guns should it be necessary. No passes are being issued to vessels wanting to proceed there ; the Mohr departed for Larut on 6 May.
15 May 1862 arrived at Pinang from Larut.
7 Jun 1862 the Pinang Gazette reports the return of the Tonze and the Mohr (actually spelt More) from Larut on Monday afternoon with 1,440 slabs of tin weighing 740 piculs, which was given by the Resident Councillor on payment of Sp Drs 17,832.20 and the balance of the claim has since been paid. Of the total amount of $22,447.54, $14,447.04 is compensation for losses, $500 a fine for the murder which will be paid to the relatives of the deceased, and $5,000 is retained by the Government to cover the costs of the blockade....along with much else regarding the behaviour of the Chiefs, and how well the spice industry was doing.
14 Jun 1862 Cdr C.E. Noyes appointed from the Tonze to Commander of the Hooghly.
14 Jun 1862 Chief Officer Arthur Fox appointed from the Hooghly in command of the Tonze.
18 Jun 1862 in Singapore harbour pending passage to Malacca.
17 Aug 1862 arrived Singapore from Malacca.
24 Aug 1862 arrived Singapore from P. Branca.
27 Aug 1862 departed Singapore for Malacca.
16 Sep 1862 departed Singapore for Malacca.
25 Sep 1862 arrived Singapore from Malacca.
22 Oct 1862 departed Singapore for Malacca.
6 Nov 1862 the HM ships Scout and Coquette, with the Tonze in tow, departed Singapore for Tranganu
14 Nov 1862 arrived Singapore from Tranganu the Tonze under tow of HMS Scout, having removed the ex-sultan of Lingga from Tranganu to take to Siam, he having repeatedly instigated attacks upon the neighbouring state of Pahang, and attempted to assert his rights as the only legal successor of his g/father Sultan Mahomed to be recognised as the ruler of Jahore and Pahang &c. Attempts were made to negotiate his removal, but the Rajah at Tranganu was uncooperative and eventually Col Macpherson state that force would be used if the Sultan wouldn't come down voluntarily. By not arriving by the due time three guns were fired, but this not having the desired effect, after some hours the Scout and Coquette opened fire at intervals until dark, at the same time attempting to avoid damaging private property. The Scout and Tonze departed from Tranganu, leaving the Coquette to continue the bombardment. The Coquette subsequently arrived at Singapore with news that the Rajah professed great penitence for his conduct and also stating that the ex-Sultan had disappeared from Tranganu and his whereabouts were unknown.
25 Nov 1862 at Malacca, Capt T.A. Fox of the Tonze married Harriet Susan Newbronner, d/o S. Newbronner, Esq., of the same place, per Hampshire Telegraph.
29 Nov 1862 further to the last, a letter received at Singapore from the Sultan to the Governor reports that Triganu was entirely deserted and that 20 lives had been lost. Parliamentary Papers for the East Indies, also available in Google Books, there's a report concerning an attack by the Tonze against Tringanu.
8 Dec 1862 arrived Malacca from Singapore per Lloyds List.
15 Dec 1862 departed Malacca for Singapore.
25 Dec 1862 in Singapore harbour.
3 Mar 1863 departed Singapore for Malacca per Lloyds List.
The Straits Times of 8 Apr 1863 reports that an expedition of steamers against the Sooloo pirates was to start from Sarawak on the 30 Mar 1863, accompanied by Sir James Brooke. We hear the Scout and Barossa were both at Sarawak, but what other vessels were there we do not know. As the last we saw of the Scout was her going out to the westward, she must hare passed through Darian Straits.
An expedition composed of H.M.S. Scout, I.N vessel Pluto, and Straits Gun Boat Tonze, started from this ten days ago, with sealed orders, it is said ; at all events with every indication of being bound on a secret and important mission. The general impression was that they had gone to see into the proceedings of the Dutch at Sumatra. But the Scout has turned up at Sarawak, where it appears she had gone to hunt out some pirates, in conjunction with one or two Dutch war steamers. It is to be hoped she will be more fortunate than on her last piratical cruise.
23 Apr 1863 the Pluto, Cdr Eales, and Tonze, Cdr Fox, are noted as having departed Singapore Harbour for Malacca and Pinang.
26 May 1863 Geelong Advertiser an expedition composed of H.M.S. Scout, Pluto, and Tonze, has started from Singapore with sealed orders it was said ; at all events with every indication of being bound on a secret and important mission. The General impression was, that they had gone to see into the proceedings of the Dutch in Sumatra. But the Scout has turned up at Sarawak, where it appears she has gone to hunt out some pirates, in conjunction with one or two Dutch war steamers. It is to be hoped she will be more fortunate than on her last piratical cruize.
2 Dec 1863 departed Singapore for Penang 18 Dec 1863 arrived Singapore harbour.
15 Jan 1864 departed Malacca.
15 Jan 1864 the master of the Tonze reported that the ship Glen Isla had got on shore off Tanjong Tor, in the Malacca Straits, which turned out to be erroneous, and therefore brought forth a complaint from her Master to the Singapore Government due to the bad PR that the unwarranted report produced, and might deter those who might wish to use the Glen Isla.
16 Jan 1864 arrived Singapore H.M. Straits Steam Gun-boat Tonze, Cdr Fox.
25 Jan 1864 departed Singapore for Malacca.
3 Oct 1864 HM Gun boat Tonze, 100 tons, Thom, commander, arrived Singapore, from Malacca, which she departed from on 29 Sep.
26 Jan 1865 laid up in Singapore harbour.
2 Feb 1865 being repaired in Singapore harbour.
4 Jan 1866 The London and China Telegraph of 4 Jan 1866, available in Google Books, the Straits Times reports the sale of H.M. Straits gunboat Tonze for $4,500 to the superintendent of the Labuan Coal Co.