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Type: 1st class sloop ; Armament 6
Launched : 17 Feb 1846 ; Disposal date or year : 1881
BM: 1061 tons ; Displacement: 1590 tons
Machinery notes: 1169 hpi 500 hp
Mar 1841 has been ordered to be built at Woolwich. Jan, 1846, Sphynx, 8, Sir W. Symonds, three-fourths built, at Woolwich.
Mar 1847 Vessel would appear to have gone aground. See below for recovery details.
20 Dec 1848 Steam sloop. Portsmouth.
30 Aug 1851 East Indies
26 Dec 1851 Captain Shadwell. Sent to the neighbourhood of Ping-hoi to save what was left of the wrecked Portuguese schooner Aurora. However wreckers had stripped the vessel, including some of her timbers, and there was nothing left of value, excepting 3 cannon which had been saved by a local mandarin.
16 May 1852 departed from Hong Kong to go into dock to repair damage caused by collision with a rock and the Contest, which occurred whilst towing the brig, prior to proceeding to Rangoon.
Sep 1852 on the cessation of the monsoon and the arrival of large reinforcements from Bengal and Madras, the Second Burma resumed, and General Godwin, having resolved to attack Prome, embarked a strong column of troops on board the Sesostris, Medusa, Fire Queen, having on board General Godwin, and bearing the broad pennant of Commodore Lambert; Enterprise, Mahanuddy, Nemesis, Proserpine, and Phlegethon. Also nine boats of H.M. ships Hastings, (flag ship,) Fox, Winchester, and Sphinx, to convoy the cargo boats. On the 27th the squadron weighed from the rendezvous off Yangernsiah, a town situated at the upper end of the Panlang creek, which joins the Irrawaddy to the Rangoon River, and arrived off Prome on the morning of the 9th of October.HistIndNav_p_257->
Oct 1852 Ships' boats of the Winchester, Hastings, Fox, and Sphinx, with vessels from the HEIC, proceed up the Irawadi - see p. 379 at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
8 Dec 1852 ships' boats from the Sphinx and Fox etc. proceed up stream in operation to relieve Pegu - see p. 381-> at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
5 Apr – 20 Dec 1852, ship's company involved in 2nd Burma War, and annexation of Pegu (now known as Bago, Myanmar), for which they were due prize money for capture of booty.
4 Jan 1853 Martaban expedition - see p. 382 at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
Feb 1853 disastrous operation against the robber band led by Nya Myat Toon - see p. 383 at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
16 Aug 1854 bombardment and capture of Bomarsund - see p. 424-> at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
17 Oct 1854 1st Bombardment of Sebastopol - see p. 437 at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
25 May 1855, Kertch and Yenikale were captured, along with thousands of tons and coal and provisions, along with factories etc., by some 60 French and British vessels, and allied troops, for which no prize money appeared to be payable, contrary to the Queen's instructions. See Hansard for more details, and approval for a Parliamentary Grant in lieu.
11 Jun 1855 anchored off Yenikale.
10 Jul 1855 with the gun-boats, searching in the Sea of Axoff for Russian shipping and stores etc.
8 Sep 1855 returned to Sebastopol.
12 Sep 1855 arrived at Eupatoria with the Firebrand, Gladiator and Curacoa.
17 Sep 1855 departed for Constantinople.
14 Oct 1855 arrived at Kinburn and was present at the bombardment on the 17th inst.
8 Jan 1860 at Rio;
7 Jun 1860 Hongkong.
8 Jul 1860 At the North.
26 Jul 1860 Gulf of Pecheli.
16 Nov 1860 At the North.
16 Jan 1861 Hongkong.
2 Mar 1861 Canton River.
1 May 1861 At the North.
12 May 1861 Shanghai.
29 May 1861 At the North.
28 Jun 1861 Hongkong.
28 Aug 1861 Shanghai.
12 Sep 1861 Hongkong.
15 Oct 1861 Canton River.
1 Nov 1861 Hongkong.
15 Feb 1862 At the North.
15 Apr 1862 Shanghai.
27 Apr 1862 Hongkong.
27 Jun 1862 Shanghai.
28 Aug 1862 At the North.
27 Sep 1862 Chefoo.
15 Oct 1862 Japan.
15 Nov 1862 - 15 Dec 1862 Shanghai, and remains.
1870 North America and West Indies
Portsmouth, 12 March 1847.- The Sphynx steam sloop was towed into this harbour at ten o'clock this morning by the Echo tug, and was followed by the African and Monkey tugs, each laden with the gear used in this memorable operation. The vessel was not finally extricated from her stranded position until ten o'clock yesterday morning. The following is a description of the means which have proved successful in saving this fine vessel:-
The plan devised for this object was by means of "camels" - the project of Commander Caffin, of the Scourge steam-sloop, and Mr. Watts, the senior assistant master shipwright of this dockyard - the buoyant power of which amounted to above 130 tons, brought under a strong frame-work constructed under her paddle-boxes ; to this was added by Mr. Watts, subsequently to Commander Caffin's leaving, another camel, which was brought under the head of the vessel, on which, at the extreme foremost end was erected a high framework for supporting the chain cabins, hawsers, &c., used in heaving the vessel off, and to obviate or counteract this downward pressure, at the end of the camel, next the stem, was fixed a fork, formed by means of two stout pieces of fir timber placed a little more than the breadth of the stem asunder (sic), and bolted firmly to the deck of the camel. This fork came underneath two stout cleats fastened to the stem of the vessel, so that the downward pressure of the cables when hove upon constituted a power, at one end, of a lever to lift the bow of the ship at the other end. This was found to render most important aid in getting the vessel over the bank or reef of rocks, up to which she had been brought on the two former occasions, but could not then be got over. This ledge has not more than six feet of water on it at high tide, whereas the Sphynx, when lightened of everything except her engines, drew ten feet of water. The feat, therefore, of getting her over the reef is one of the most remarkable incidents ever recorded in naval science .- London Paper.