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Type: 1st class sloop ; Armament 6 later reduced to 3
Launched : 25 Jul 1842 ; Disposal date or year : 1876
BM: 1059 tons ; Displacement: 1669 tons
Machinery notes: 300
Mar 1841 has been ordered to be built at Chatham. 13 Apr 1841, Chatham, preparations are being made for laying down the Virago. 1846 The Levant
20 Dec 1848 Steam sloop, Sheerness.
10 Aug 1851 To be commissioned at Devonport with a complement of 160 officers and men.
30 Aug 1851 Devonport
May/June 1852 Reported to be lying at Tahiti.
20 Jul 1852 Reported to have left Huahine on a cruise through the Society Islands
11 May 1854 Arrives Callao from Panama, with official despatches to the admiral announcing the declaration of war against Russia. The Russian frigate Aurora, 52, sailed 11 days previous to the Virago's arrival. Her destination is unknown, but it is conjectured to be the Sandwich Islands
11 May - 7 Sep 1854, when war was declared against the Russians the British force on the China and Japan station consisted of the President, Pique, Amphitrite, Trincomalee, Virago and the French the Forte, Eurydice, Artemise, and Obligado. A number of operations appear to have been carried out, none of which were carried through to a satisfactory conclusion - see p. 429-> at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
2 Sep 1854 The "Splendid" has arrived at Moreton Bay and reports that after she left Tahiti the Virago brought formal news of the war to this area, and subsequently left port with the President and FNS La Fort and another un-named French ship
13 Nov 1854 The "Acis" on arrival at Hobart Town reports the capture of the Russian frigate Diana, 52, by this vessel, following a short action - prize towed into San Francisco - or so it is reported !
?? Mar 1855 Sailed from Callao for Valparaiso and England.
28 Feb 1857 departed Rio de Janeiro as Yellow Fever had broken out on board for the second time.
1 Mar 1857 Rio de Janeiro. It was reported to the Virago by Mr. Scarlett, Ambassador, that the Spanish brig Sultana was suspected of being prepared as a slave ship, and was therefore stopped at sea, but was unable to find anything which would give the Virago an excuse to arrest the Sultana. It was subsequently discovered that another vessel, the Urania, left Rio shortly afterwards with the materials that will help to turn the Sultana into a slave ship.
8 Aug 1857 Rio de Janeiro. It was reported to the Flag Officer on the SE America station by Mr. Scarlett, Ambassador, that a vessel was being fitted out for the slave trade in a small bay near Campos, to the north of Rio. However, the Aberdeen Act being in suspension British cruisers were unable to take active measures in Brazilian waters. The Brazilian authorities were also informed of the news.
1860 Sheerness, rated at 300 h.p.
29 July 1861 Sheerness. Commissioned.
1864 North America and West Indies Station. Overview and report of fever and measles onboard. Number of Cases of Disease and Injury.
1870 Australia, rated at 220 hp