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Type: 5th rate ; Armament 36
Launched : 15 Apr 1847 ; Disposal date or year : 1866
BM: 1633 tons
Jan, 1846, Sybille, 36, by Sir W. Symonds, five-eighths built, at Pembroke.
Jan 1848 Devonport, in Ordinary (reserve)
20 Dec 1848 Devonport.
25 Apr 1855 HM Ships Sybille, Hornet, and Bittern, under Commodore Hon Charles Elliot, lat 37° 17 ' 23 " N, long 1331° 54' 23" E - island discovered in the Sea of Japan, about a mile in extent, running in a NW by W and SE by E direction and are formed together by a reef of rocks. We could discern no dangers lying off them and the waters appears to be deep close to the shore. They are barren, without exception of a few patches of grass on their sides and landing would be difficult except in very calm weather. The height of the NW island was ascertained to be 410 ft. above sea level - Charles C Forsyth, Cdr HMS Hornet
Circa 17 Jul 1855, flying Commodore C. Elliott's pendant, and Spartan, Hornet, Bittern, with the FNS Constantine in company, experienced thick fog and came into visual contact with the Barracouta, who joined the squadron whilst en route for the Gulf of Amoor, having already exchanged shots with the Russians in Castries Bay, in the Gulf of Tartary, where due to the lack of charts the squadron withdrew, the Hornet having grounded, albeit briefly.
23 Jul 1855, the squadron sailed down the Gulf of Amoor and anchored about 5 miles from Obman's Bay.
25 Jul 1855, the Hornet and FNS Constantine sailed for the Shantar Isles and Spartan went in chase of a strange sail. In the afternoon the Barracouta raised steam to chase a brig which was attempting to enter the River Amoor, but could not get within 3 miles of her due to shallowness of the water, and returned to the anchorage, as did the Spartan, the strange sail being that of a whaler bound for Ayan.
27 Jul 1855, 2 boats each from the Sybille, and Barracouta, with 1 from the Spartan, were towed by the Barracouta towards the brig, which was run ashore by the Russians and set on fire, who then attempted to escape in the ship's boats up the River Amoor, and following a long chase 2 of the boats and their crews were detained.
29 Jul 1855, the Barracouta sent her prisoners on board the Sybille, and departed for Hakodadi, on the island of Yezo.
1 Aug 1855 the Barracouta detained the Russian brig Greta with 276 officers and men from the Russian frigate Diana on board, lately wrecked at Simoda. The brig was taken in tow to Ayan, where the Sybille and Spartan were anchored.
20 Sep 1855, arrived Nagasaki, from Ohkotsk.
29 Sep 1855, the Russian prisoners on board the Sybille, Barracouta and Spartan were put on board the Nankin, for passage to Hongkong.
2 Oct 1855, departed Nagasaki for Castries Bay, with the Encounter and Hornet, arriving at their destination on 15th inst., and in the afternoon the ships' boats were sent on shore for timber, but were fired on by hidden Russian infantry and field pieces when within 200 yards from shore, causing 5 injuries, which resulted in the squadron opening fire on the defences ashore. The Encounter and Hornet were sent to search for the missing Russian ships, but the thermometer dropping below zero the Sybille departed for Hakodadi shortly before the 29th inst., and before the Encounter and Hornet had returned.
30 Mar 1856, Treaty of Paris, i.e. the supposed cessation of hostilities, although it would probably have taken 3 or more months for the allies to get the message by sea, although ISTR reading in The Times that even as late a April, the situation in the Crimea in April 1856 was that it was treated as a temporary cease fire rather than a permanent cessation of hostilities, which is what it turned out to be. Urgent messages sent by sea, through the Med., and overland from Alexandria could probably arrive some weeks before those sent by sea ?
2 Apr 1856, the waters in the region of the Gulf of Tartary probably being in the process of thawing the Flag Officer in the Winchester ordered the departure of the Squadron from the shelter of Victoria Peak, Hongkong, to sea with the Flag Ship in tow, and on passing the Great Llama Island cast off the Winchester, the destination still unknown.
4 May 1856, the Barracouta departed Hakodadi with the Sybille and Pique in tow, anchoring overnight, departed the following morning with them in tow again, passing the city of Matsmae, spoke with a whaler who reported that the Straits of La Perouse were still frozen 8 days previously. The Sybille and Pique now proceeded under sail.
11 May 1856, having sighted the coast of Tartary, the Barracouta was sent by the Sybille in search of a suitable harbour for the ships. It was found that the ice persisted in many of the inlets, making it impossible for the boats to go ashore.
13 May 1856, a suitable bay was found which was named Barracouta Bay.
25 May 1856, departed Barracouta Bay with the Sybille and Pique in tow : 28th inst. spoke with the French admiral in the FNSs Virginie and Constantine, before departing for Hakodadi.
31 May 1856, the Hornet arrived Hakodadi with mail from England. Stored and refitted the ship.
8 Jun 1856, departed Hakodadi for the coast of Tartary with the Sybille and Pique, arriving off the coast on the 11th and cruised the waters and coast in the region using Barracouta Bay as a base.
18 Jun 1856, heavy fog came down and the boats of the Sybille arrived at Barracouta Bay reporting that she had got on shore, but by the time the Barracouta arrived near the scene had got herself off, and merely needed to be assisted back to Barracouta Bay. Experienced a severe thunderstorm during the night.
19 Jun 1856, the Sybille reported having cases of smallpox on board and was put in quarantine.
19 Jun 1856, unofficial reports of an armistice appear to have leaked through to the Pacific coast of Russia, and both sides appear to be talking to each other occasionally under flags of truce.
2 Jul 1856, departed Barracouta Bay with the Sybille, Hornet and Pique : from the last week or so's notes the squadron seem to be less interested in the war and more concerned about enjoying the passage of time in a somewhat remote, but interesting part of the World, with walks, fishing and hunting trips ashore etc.
13 Jul 1856, the Sybille, Hornet, Pique and Barracouta arrived Hakodadi.
14 Jul 1856, received on board the Barracouta a part of the crew of the US Whaler Endeavour, who, when away from their ship, became separated, and had gone on to Japan hoping to find a means of getting home, and were to be taken to Hongkong by the next HM vessel.
11 Oct 1856 Sybille, with the Barracouta and Coromandel at Canton as the opening gambits to the Second Chinese War were getting under way : see p. 93 www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory07clow 15 Dec 1856 Whampoa, Commodore Elliot.
Jan 1857 men from the Sybille garrisoning the Macao Fort in the river leading up to Canton.
15 Jan 1857 Canton.
10 May 1857 Canton River.
10 Jul 1857 Hongkong.
10 Aug 1857 Canton River.
28 Nov 1857 Hongkong.
28 Dec 1857 Capture of Canton (see also report in London Gazette www.gazettes-online.co.uk of 16 and 26 Feb 1858).
21 Jan 1858 departed Hongkong for UK.
1 Oct 1856 - 26 Jun 1858 Parliamentary Grant of £33,000, for services (in lieu of Prize Money) on the China Station to be divided between 56 Vessels