| Previous Page | Next Page | Index
Type: Gunvessel ; Armament 2
Launched : 22 Jul
1854 ; Disposal date or year : 1862
BM: 477 tons
Machinery notes: 80 h.p.
Built for the Russian War.
1854-55: Black Sea.
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.
26 May 1855 Capture of coals from a Russian Vessel in the Sea of Azof.
11 Jan 1858 departed England for anti-slavery duties on the West Coast of Africa.
May 1858 has been appointed to watch the entrance to the River Congo. All cruisers have been stationed on the coast to make it almost impossible for slave carrying vessels to escape off the coast, ships' boats also being detached and stationed strategically.
Circa 13 Jun 1858 at Point Padrone, off the entrance to the River Congo, with the Conflict, Teazer and Vesuvius.
20 Jun 1858 detained in off the River Congo the slave brigantine St. Andrew, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena and on 16 Jul 1858 sentenced to be condemned.
6 Jul 1858 arrived at Cabenda having captured the schooner St. Andrew, as she was about to enter the Congo equipped for the slave trade.
3 Sep 1858 observed the French Government "emigrant / slave" barque Sumatra shipping negroes from the barracoon at Loango, and has since departed the River. Eye witnesses state that most of the "emigrants" arrive at the slave station the same way as the slaves, secured by ropes and with the forked end of a wooden pole encircling their necks. To prevent their many attempts to escape 2 or 3 of them are now secured together in irons. Pirate's Creek is now named French Creek, with Messrs. Regis maintaining a depot there, bringing slaves in from the slave markets at Punta da Lenha and Embomma, although this will change as the French develop French Creek, and bring the slaves down river in boats.
15 Sep 1858 detained in Lat. 3° 40' S., long. 11° 37' E., off Calonga Bay, a slave schooner, Name Unknown, supposed Kate Helen, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone, and on 21 Oct 1858 sentenced to be forfeited.
11 Oct 1858 detained the slave brig Name Unknown, supposed Rufus Soulé, having been advised that she was about to ship off Banda Point, near Calongo, C. A. Johnson, master. On observing her papers and American flag being thrown overboard, on discovering that she was fitted out for the slave trade, and being found old and unseaworthy she was anchored as a target and sunk and the case was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena, and on 15 Dec 1858 sentenced to be condemned.
11 Oct 1858 (cont.) some interesting information transpired from the arrest of the Rufus Soule, firstly that to all intents and purposes she was a Spanish ship, and her real captain and crew were Spanish, the nominal captain (Johnson) was an American, as was also another man, who died from the ill-treatment he received from the Spanish crew. The American captain, by his own confession, was merely a tool in the hands of the Spaniards to carry out the farce of her being a legal American trader. That her registry was correct was proved on two occasions when boarded by the Viper. The master repeatedly stated that her registry was correct, but in the end voluntarily destroyed the ship's papers, and surrendered the vessel as without nationality, to escape assassination by the Spaniards ; for, to use his own words, "from the time he was out of Matanzas, in Cuba, his life was not worth 50 cents." However, as a postscript it is noted that three of the crew of the Rufus were taken to Fernando Po and handed over to the Spanish government, who received them as prisoners awaiting passage to Grand Canary for punishment for being involved in the slave trade.
17 Nov 1858 off Cabenda, writing to the senior officer, Commander Aplin, regarding the detention of the Rufus Soulé.
9 Dec 1858 struck by lightning, but sustained no damage.
Dec 1858 cruising between Mayumba and Killoo River.
13 Dec 1858 following the receipt of intelligence that a slave vessel might be expected off Killongo in the near future left her cutter and gig to cruise off shore and whilst departing for Banda Point, where another slaver was also expected.
15 Dec 1858 anchored off Banda Point, returning on the 20th to Killongo, where she remained until the 27th, where the supposed slave vessel was discovered to be the French brig Merle, bound for Gaboon.
15 Mar 1859 the Flag Officer of the station, at Simon's Bay, forwarded a letter from Lt. Hodgkinson, commanding officer of the Viper, regarding the detention of the supposed Rufus Soulé, along with correspondence exchanged between Lt. H. and a Commander Totten of the U.S.N.
21 Mar 1859 7 p.m., in the River Congo, boarded the American barque J. J. Cobb at anchor off Moanda, bound for Punta da Lenha, and despite the fact that her documentation is correct, have no doubt that she is in the river purely to embark a cargo of slaves for Cuba, which was confirmed some weeks later by Lt. Burton, of the Triton, that she had escaped the River whilst visiting Fernando Po.
18 Apr 1859 off Shark's Point.
13 Jun 1859 in lat. 0° 50' S., long. 4° 30' E., proceeded under steam to Annobon, passed that island in the night of the 14th.
15 Jun 1859 at 6 a.m. sighted a vessel and chased her, coming up with her at about 8.40 a.m., having had to fire 3 guns: 2 blanks and one shotted to being her to and to show a national flag, with which she responded by flying the French ensign reversed. On boarding the vessel no colours were now displayed, nor papers available for inspection and thus the vessel was detained, a slave brigantine Name Unknown, supposed Rosa, in lat. 1° 46' S., long. 6° 29' E., which was fitted for the slave trade, and being old and leaky she was surveyed and deemed no longer seaworthy and was destroyed by fire, having taken the crew on board and departed for Mayumba and the case sent for adjudication and on 1 Dec 1859 sentenced to be condemned.
19 Sep 1859 proceeded Punta da Lenha in one of the ship's boats to board the American ship Rebecca to check her papers, which were found to be correct.
29 Sep 1859 detained a slave felucca, which was sent for adjudication and on 1 Dec 1859 sentenced to be condemned.
24 Oct 1859 at Loanda.
4 Nov 1859 detained a slave brig Name Unknown, supposed Tavernier, of New York, off Macula, a few miles north of Ambrizette, with 518 negroes crammed into the 150 ton vessel. 100 were transferred to the Viper to alleviate the overcrowding and the vessel was accompanied to St. Helena for adjudication, and on 1 Dec 1859 sentenced to be condemned. It was stated that a large number of the 518 would no doubt have died before the vessel had arrived at Cuba had she not been detained.
21-22 Dec 1859 with the Triton, chased a slave brig, Name Unknown, supposed Dos Hermanos, but lost her.
3 Jul 1860 returned to England from the West Coast of Africa.