HMS Boscawen

Naval Database

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Boscawen, 1844
Type: 3rd rate ; Armament 70
Launched : 3 Apr 1844 ; Disposal date or year : Mar 1914
Disposal Details : Damaged by fire in Tyne and broken up
BM: 2212 tons

1 Jan 1820 building or ordered to be built, with a circular stern.

1830 Woolwich building as an 80 gun ship

Jan 1848 Sheerness, in Ordinary (reserve)

20 Dec 1848 Sheerness

30 Aug 1851 Chatham

15 Apr 1854 captured Russian brig Patrioten [Prize Money per London Gazette of 21 Jul 1857].

16 Apr 1854 captured Russian merchant vessel Victor [Prize Money per London Gazette of 21 Jul 1857].

13 Jun 1854 the French fleet joined the British in the Baltic at Baro Sound - see p. 419-> at

May 1857-Sept 1860 flag ship on Africa Station.

28 Oct 1857 Flag ship at Simon's Bay, sending the Castor up the East Coast of Africa on a short cruise before she's withdrawn from the station to return to England.

24 Nov 1857 Flag ship at Simon's Bay. R.-Adm. Sir F. Grey writes to the Secretary of the Admiralty enclosing copies of correspondence he has had with Flag Officer Conover, commanding the U.S. squadron on the West Coast of Africa, regarding the arrest by the Vesuvius of the Braman, which, whilst flying the US flag, it was plain from her patently forged documentation that she was not entitled to use that ensign, which was confirmed in writing by her master in a signed a statement.

13 Feb 1858 at Sierra Leone.

21 Feb 1858 departed Sierra Leone.

24 Feb 1858 anchored off Monrovia. The Rear Admiral went ashore to discuss the thorny problems of French emigration and visits to the Liberia shore by a certain M. Chevalier, who appeared to be little more than a slave dealer : promising the natives freedom and a passage to the West Indies, but once they were on board his ship they were put in irons and put down below, and fed on a meagre diet of poor rations, not fit for a human being, much as Chevalier did at Sierra Leone with the 2-300 Kroomen he recently conned into boarding his ship. Liberia was reported to have recently passed a law which made his activities illegal, but it being so soon after its enactment the Admiral was unable to have a copy.

2 Mar 1858 off Cape Palmas, a headland on the extreme southeast end of the coast of Liberia.

25 Mar 1858 at Prince's Island.

15 Apr 1858 Admiral's report on the slave trade on the West Coast of Africa - see below.

15 Jun 1858 Simon's Bay.

25 Sep 1858 departed Bourbon.

4 Oct 1858 anchored at Johanna.

19 Oct 1858 at Mozambique.

12 Nov 1858 Simon's Bay. The Flag Officer writes regarding how the prospect of earlier years of subduing the slave trade has been destroyed this year by the French, with their so-called emigration cruises to attract would be native emigrants to their colonies, which have given new heart to the slave trade, which is now taking off again with a vengeance, plus the assistance of the US Government prostituting its flag for the benefit of the slave traders, most of whom, at this stage, appear to be Spanish. Perhaps a little simplistic, but it is difficult, in a few words, to sum up such a complicated subject which is controlled by the scum of the earth who are making vast profits, and which has now been assisted by a European Government - namely the French, who do not appear to be prepared to accept that they have miscalculated the reaction of their actions, but neither does the US Government, so one wonders what vested interests were at work ? This at a time when the Brazilians and Portuguese, the bad boys of yesteryear, almost appear to have put their houses in order. What a crazy world ! Oh! Did I say vast profits ? A quick back of envelope calculation reckoned that if you prepared 12 slave ships and had 10 taken by British Cruisers you could still make a significant profit :

The purchase of 12 vessels, fitting out with provisions &c. 36,000
Miscellaneous expenses 10,000
Purchase of 2 cargoes of slaves at £4 each, on the South Coast 4,800
Total Outlay 50,800
Sale of 2 cargoes of slaves, say 1200 at £200 per head 240,000
Deduct outlay 50,800
Clear profit 189,200

And, of course, with profits like, given may be a worst case scenario, every form of low life wanted a bight of the cherry and many of the vessels purchased for a trip were leaky and hardly seaworthy, thus saving even more money - if it didn't sink ?

15 Mar 1859 in Simon's Bay, the Flag Officer for the station forwarded a letter from Lt. Hodgkinson, commanding officer of the Viper regarding her detention of the supposed Rufus Soulé, along with correspondence exchanged between Lt. H. and a Commander Totten of the U.S.N.

8 Jun 1859 off the River Congo.

14 Sep 1859 in Simon's Bay, the Flag Officer, Rear Adm. Fred. Wm. Grey writes to the Secretary of the Admiralty regarding the cooperation, or otherwise, of the American Naval commanders on anti-slavery patrols on the West Coast of Africa etc.

17 Jan 1860 in Simon's Bay, the Flag Officer for the station forwarded a report to H.M. Commissioners at the Cape, from the Lyra, regarding the capture of the slave brig, name unknown, but supposed Echo, late Rubens, of Antwerp, on 3 Dec 1859, fitted out to take 800 slaves.

1860 Devonport

Feb 1862 hulked as Boys training ship in Southampton Water.

5 Mar 1862 commissioned as Boys training ship in Southampton Water.

1864 Training Ship, Home Station, Southampton. Report of scarlatina onboard. Number of Cases of Disease and Injury.

October 1866 arrived Portland under tow to be the new Training Ship for Boys,

1870 Portland, Training Ship for Boys, 20 guns

23 Jan 1871 7 ship's stewards will appear at a Court Martial to be held on board the Duke of Wellington, at Portsmouth, tomorrow, which includes S. Vine of the Boscawen.

1873 Replaced by Trafalgar

1873 Trafalgar renamed Boscawen

1874 Original Boscawen renamed Wellesley, Training Ship

21 Mar 1874 Wellesley towed to the Tyne.

Mar 1914 accidentally burnt, hull broken up at Blythe.