HMS Daedalus

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Daedalus, 1826
Type: 5th rate ; Armament 46
Launched : 2 May 1826 ; Disposal date or year : 1911
BM: 1083 tons ; Displacement: 1447 tons

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

1830 Sheerness in ordinary

1843 reduced to 20 guns,

18 Jan 1845, HMS Daedalus touched at the Cape to land a passenger, but left again the following day for New Zealand

12 April 1845 HMS Daedalus, 20, bound to New Zealand, having been signalled at sea by Royal Consort, has most probably arrived at Auckland before this. She will materially add to the force under the control of Governor Fitzroy, and enable him to send a sloop of war to Cook's Straits. She has on board 1,000 in silver coin for the NZ Government

Jul/Aug 1845 Vice-Admiral Sir T Cochrane, with HMS Agincourt, HMS Vestal, HMS Daedalus, HMS Wolverine, HMS Cruizer, HMS Royalist, and HMS Vixen, steamer, and the HEIC Steamers Pluton and Nemesis, had gone on to Borneo in the beginning of August. See report below - see also p. 329-> at at

Sep 1845 Attack on pirates at Malloodoo Bay, pirate Seriff Housman

Oct 1845 Vessel planned to proceed to NZ

13 Dec 1845 The "Anita" spoke H.M.S. Castor, 36 guns, on the 13th October, in the China Seas, from Hongkong to New Zealand, for which destination H.M.S. Daedalus and H.M. steam frigate Driver were to follow.

1846 China and India Station

29 Aug 1846 The "Daniel Watson" reports that HM Frigate Daedalus, Capt, McQuoid ; Frigate Vestal, Capt Talbot ; Brig Wolverine ; and the steam Vulture were lying at Hong Kong ; the Daedalus was expected to sail for NZ. Orders had been received at Hong Kong to give up Chusan to the Chinese.

6 Feb 1847 It is reported from Aus. that when the Daniel Watson left Hongkong HMS Agincourt, 74, Admiral Cochrane ; Daedalus and Vestal, frigates, Vulture, steam frigate., Ringdove, brig, and the Minden, 74 were present.

20 Dec 1848 Devonport.

18 Jul 1850 Captain G. G. Wellesley. arrived Sancelito, where she is to be stationed, from Callao

1 Oct 1851 arrived from Port Clarence, Behring's Straits and anchored at Sancelito.

8 Dec 1851 The newspaper, The Polynesian of 13 Dec reports that the Daedalus departed for Valparaiso, and would be touching at Tahiti and Pitcairn Islands, taking to the latter many useful contributions, including books etc.

1860 Devonport

1 Apri1 1862 Devonport. Commissioned as RNR Drill Ship for Service at Bristol.

1864 Home Station, as RNR Drill Ship at Bristol. Number of Cases of Disease and Injury.

1870 RNR Drill ship, Bristol - 16 guns

1 Jan 1873 Recommissioned at Bristol

1879 Drill Ship for RNR - 13 guns

1 Apr 1881 New books opened.

Apr 1886 Bristol

1890 Drill Ship for RNR - 13 guns

Proceedings of the Squadron on the Coast of an Eye-Witness.
(From the Nautical Magazine, for January, 1846).
The squadron left Penang so unexpectedly, that many of the officers, even those of superior rank, narrowly missed being left behind. When assembled at Malacca, a steamer was despatched to Singapore, which shortly rejoined having on board Mr. Brooke and Captain Bethune, RN. These gentlemen having remained a day or two in communication with the Commander-in-Chief, returned to Singapore. It being known that Captain Bethune had been lately with Mr. Brooke at Sarawak, it was inferred that something was in view in that quarter ; and this supposition gained ground when, on the 24th of July, the Admiral received them again on board the Agincourt, the squadron being then at anchor off the Buffalo rock in Singapore Strait. At day light on the 26th, the squadron weighed and proceeded to the east, consisting of Agincourt, Vestal, Daedalus, Cruizer, Osprey, Wolverine, Vixen, Nemesis, and Pluto. In the course of the morning, the Osprey parted company for Singapore and New South Wales.

On the 28th [Jul, 1845] we were off the mouth of the Sarawak, and at daylight the Commander-in-Chief, with a party, went up the river in the Pluto, to pay a visit to Mr. Brooke's capital. The squadron anchored off Tanjong Po, and he returned the following day. The Pluto unfortunately had grounded, and sustained some damage, which rendered it necessary to beach her ; we proceeded to the northward, and had a pleasant run along the coast : we found the charts very erroneous. The flag-ship, however, appeared to view boldly, her master Mr. Ellyet, it was said, having already been on the coast in the Dido. On the 6th of August we were off the Brune River. While running in, the Agincourt touched on a knoll and hung for a short time. She came off without damage, with the exception of running into the Nemeses, which was coming to her assistance, and knocked over her funnel. This accident prevented our entering the river, so coming to an anchor, the next morning we dropped out into deep water. A boat conveying Mr. Brooke was despatched to the town. which returned the following day ; and shortly after a rajah, apparently of high rank, arrived rived to compliment the Admiral. He was received with all the honours, and had a long. interview. What passed I know not, but the result was that the next day, the 7th, a party of 160 marines, the band, &c., was embarked on board the Vixen, and she, the Nemesis and Pluto (which vessels had made good their damages), accompanied by three or four armed pinnaces, proceeded up the river of Brune, having the admiral and a large party of officers on board. At the bar, just below Palo Chesmise, there was found too little water for the Vixen ; the flag and army were, therefore, transferred to the small steamer, which proceeded off the town. The admiral, attended by his suite, paid a visit to the sultan, and active negociations (sic) appeared to be going on.

In the course of the afternoon, the Vixen made her appearance, Commander Giffard having succeeded in forcing her over the bar in her own draft. Up to this time no visible symptoms had offered, and we began to fear that nothing would take place. During the night there was a slight confusion on board the Vixen, where the whole force had re-assembled, owing to some fancy having been entertained that she had been boarded by an enemy. The commander's appearance on deck, however, soon restored order, and on his endeavouring to arrive at the cause of the disorder, a sentry who had been calmly walking his post on the paddle-box, gave it as his opinion that "It was only Mr._______ a-dreaming."

On the forenoon of the next day, the 10th [Aug, 1845], it appeared that the Admiral had demanded that a certain chief, Panquera Usof, should be given up, be having behaved ill in the matter of some slaves. Usof apparently disliked the terms, whatever they were, for about noon his house was pointed out as the object to be attacked, and the steamers moved into position. It was admirably situated for a little practice, being quite isolated from the town, and exposed on all sides; the arrangements were very judicious. The Vixen was laid opposite the principal front ; the Pluto, with the marines, ran up a branch of the river to a point where her fire would cross that of the Vixen at right angles, and a place was found for the Nemesis midway betwixt the two. Had poor Usof's house been of adamant instead of mats, it must have come down in five minutes.

The arrangements being completed, the Vixen fired a 32 lb. shot through the roof of the house, just to give warning we were ready ; this was replied to by some half dozen guns, the shot passing over the Vixen. The three steamers then opened, and in ten minutes the house was riddled. I believe every one ran away on the first discharge, and they acted wisely, for the effect of the Vixen's grape and cannister was terrific. The firing having ceased, the marines advanced, and took possession of the frontier. Twenty-one brass guns were brought off, and a powder magazine (within twenty paces of which a shed fallen behind) destroyed. The houses were handed over to the Sultan. and the party re-embarked: The Sultan then gave permission to the populace to plunder it, and they were not slow in availing themselves of the permission.

The admiral returned to the squadron the following day, and ran over to the island of Labuan. When the steamer had completed taking in the wood. which in the mean- time had been collected by the Cruizer and Wolverine, having the carpenter of the squadron on board, we all moved to the northward; and on the road learned that there was another job in prospect. On the 17th we were assembled in Malluda Bay; in the evening the captains met by signal on board the flag ship, and received the plan of attack on Seriff Housman, a notorious pirate, harbour-ing in one of the rivers at the head of the bay.

Pursuant to these orders, on the morning of the 18th [Aug, 1845] all the small-arm men and marines moved to the Vixen and other steamers, and they taking the Cruizer, Wolverine, and the gun-boats in tow, moved up the bay as far as the depth of water would permit. The Pluto went on to pick out the channel, but shortly got aground. The admiral, whose flag was in the Vixen. anxious not to lose time, then directed Captain Talbot to put what men he could in the boats and proceed. Accordingly, about 300 blue jackets and 200 marines embarked in the boats; the details as follows:- To com-mand the whole, Captain Talbot, Vestal, as-sisted by Commander Fanshawe, Cruizer, to command the landing party, Acting-Commander Lyster, Agincourt, assisted by Com-mander Clifford, Wolverine, and Lieutenant Paynter, Agincourt, as Adjutant, - command-ing H.M. Marines Captain Hawkins, R.N.

H.M. ship Agincourt, second barge Lieutenant Paynter, Mr. May, mate, Mr. Patrick, Assistant-surgeon.- Launch, Lieutenant Lowther, Mr. Burton, midshipman, Mr. Burnaby, midshipman, Mr. Whipple, assistant-surgeon.- Pinnace, Mr. Reeve, mate, in charge of the rocket party.- Second cutter, Mr. Lincoe, midshipman.- In Wolverine, Daedalus and Nemesis cutters, in charge of the first company of small arm men, .Lieutenant Reid, Mr. Young, mate, Mr Hotham, midshipman.

H.M. ship Vestal, barge, pinnace, and cutter, Lieutenant Morritt, Lieutenant Pascoe, Mr. Pym, second master, Mr. Durbin, mate.
H.M. ship Daedalus, pinnace, barge, and cutter, Lieutenant Randolph, Mr. Nolloth, mate. Mr. Wilkinson, second master.,
H.M. steam-vessel Vixen, pinnace and cutter, Lieutenant Wilcox, Mr. Dent, mate, Mr. Sainsbury, midshipman.
H. M. sloop Cruizer, pinnace and cutter, Lieutenant Rodney, Mr. _______ , midshipman.
H.M. sloop Wolverine, pinnace and cutter, Lieutenant Hillyar, Mr. Gibbard, mate.
Lieutenant Heard, senior lieutenant of H.M. ship Samarang (supernumerary on board Agincourt) in the Pluto's boats, in charge of the Agincourt's field piece. Lieutenants Hambly, Dyer, Kennedy, and Mansell, of the Royal Marines, distributed with their parties.

Captain Talbot was accompanied by Mr. Brookes. Malay interpreter, Mr. Williams a volunteer, and two Malay pilots from Brune.

The boats started against a strong breeze ; the channel was so difficult to discover, that they were obliged to anchor outside the bar, at seven p.m. At half-past ten p.m. the tide enabled the boats to pass the bar and anchor at the mouth of the rover for the night. At seven a.m. the next day, the 19th of August, [1845], the boats weighed at quarter flood in two divisions, and proceeded up the river, carrying two fathoms water the whole way, the gigs leading and sounding. The course of the river trends generally to the S.S.W., with small reaches trending to the southward and eastward, with an average breadth of sixty yards, the banks covered with close jungle, lined with mangrove bushes fringing the edges.

Three miles up the river, Captain Talbot went ahead to reconnoitre, and rejoined two miles higher up, with information that the next bend would place the boats in front of the batteries and stockade, and that a boom of large size was thrown across the river 250 or 300 hundred yards below the fort. The launch and second barge of the Agincourt, the barge of the Vestal, and launch of the Daedalus were then, ordered up with directions to form line abreast, to anchor by the stern when close up to the boom, and keep up a fire, whilst the three cutters under Lieutenant Reid, Mr. Young, and Mr. Gibbard, were directed under cover of the fire of the gun-boats to clear away the boom, the Vixen's and Vestal's pinnaces to close up in the interval, and the remainder of the boats to be the reserve, and act as ordered.

Whilst Captain Lyster was preparing to carry out these instructions, a flag of truce made its appearance from the fort. The boats were immediately ordered to anchor in two lines, Captain Talbot demanded an unconditional surrender of Seriff Housman in half an hour. The flag of truce urged the wish of Housman to have a consultation with him, it was refused, and the flag left; in the meanwhile the boats had taken up their positions in the following manner: the Agincourt's launch close in on the left bank touching the boom, the Vixen's pinnace next, and the Daedalus' launch next; on the right bank was the Vestal's barge. then the Agincourt's second barge, the Pluto's cutter, and the gigs of the commanding officers. The three cutters with the carpenters, under Captain Lyster, employed themselves trying to unshackle the cable and clear the boom of the shore.

In a quarter of an hour another flag of truce came down the river and stated that Seriff Housman would allow two boats inside the boom during the conference. He was answered that the half hour was nearly up, and that if Seriff Housman did not surrender, action would commence. The flag of truce instantly returned, shot round a small turn of the river, hauled down the flag, and the batteries commenced firing, which was immediately returned. The 12-pound carronades in the gun boats appeared to make little impression on the forts, but the firing on both sides was well sustained. About twenty minutes from the commencement, Lieutenant Paynter obtained permission to land and try the rockets, and in eight minutes a 24, 12, and 3-pound tube were fired on the right bank, about five yards in the rear of the boom, and the first rocket (a 42-pound) was hailed by a loud cheer from all the gun boats. The well sustained fire of guns and rockets, soon rendered the fire of Seriff Housman's defences wild, but the perfect workmanship by which the boom was secured, resisted all efforts to force it. The firing having lasted fifty minutes, and the boom still impassable. the ammunition of the gun-boats was ordered to be husbanded, and the guns to be fired with great precision ; at this time Mr. Reeve of the rocket party was sent to Captain Talbot with information that the forts could be reached by the right bank; but at this moment one end of the boom gave way. The boats were immediately pushed through. and with a loud cheer, led by Captains Talbot, Lyster, Fanshawe, and Clifford; boat after boat passed with the marines under Captain Hawkins to storm the defences. The enemy retreated from the eight-gun battery without making any resistance. The flags were hauled down, and the forts immediately taken possession of. A guard was left in the fort ; parties of marines and small arm men advanced up both sides of the river, burning and destroying the houses, and everything that could be discovered.

The forts were well situated, and commanded a complete view of the river and boom. A floating battery of three long 18-pounders was erected close to the left bank, and the guns laid for the boom. The 8-gun battery, consisting of one 18 pounder, two 12-pounders, three 9-pounders, and two 6-pounders, on the right bank, were laid some for the boom and others above and below it. It was not to be expected that so formidable a position could be taken without a sacrifice of life. Six killed and fifteen wounded, (two mortally,) was the loss on the English side, and the determined manner the pirates worked their guns for the first half hour, secure in their position, and confident in their boom, renders it fortunate the loss was not greater.

The following is a list of the casualties on the occasion

H. M. ship Agincourt. 2nd barge, 3 killed, 2 wounded, (1 severely) ; launch, 1 killed, 2 wounded, (1 severely).
H. M. ship Vestal. Barge, 1 killed; pinnace, 2 wounded, (t severely).
H. M. S. Daedalus, Launch, 1 killed, 2 wounded, (1 mortally, l severely).
H. M. S. Vixen. Pinnace, 2 wounded, (Z severely) ; cutter, 1 wounded.
H. M sloop Wolverine. Cutter, 1 wounded, (mortally); pinnace, 1 wounded (severely).
H. M. sloop Cruizer. Pinnace, 2 wounded.
H. C. steam vessel Pluto. Cutter, 1 wounded.
Officers, wounded. Lieut. Heard, Supr. Agincourt, (slightly,) Mr. Gibbard, mate in Wolverine, (mortally), Mr. Pym, second master Vestal, (severely)

It is impossible to estimate the loss of the enemy; that it was severe, there can be no doubt; bodies were found in various directions - numbers were thrown into the river by their own- people, and the wounded were carried into the jungle as soon as they fell. But the testimony of some Manila men (slaves) who had escaped, amounts to this that Seriff Housman was dangerously wounded in the neck, that two Chiefs (Arabs) were killed, and two severely wounded, that many hundred men were in the forts at the commencement, but after twenty minutes firing numbers fled, and as the loss on the English side was all in the first twenty minutes, it is highly probable that the latter part of the firing was continued by a few desperate men, but without any effect, and who ran away the moment the boom was passed.

Not wishing to lose the tide, the force was re-embarked and returned to the Vixen. To prevent all chance of the enemy making head again, the Admiral despatched a fresh party under Commodore Giffard, who after a slight resistance from a few stragglers, completed the destruction of the town, and brought away a quantity of brass ordnance. The force having returned to the ship, the squadron moved to the island of Balambangan, and on the 25th departed for Manila and Hongkong ; the Cruizer being detached with Mr. Brooke and Captain Bethune. Thus under one short campaign at Borneo there can be little doubt that a most salutary effect will be produced by the powerful and effectual measures of our Commander-in-Chief

Destruction Of Pirates. -By a letter from H.M.S. Agincourt, dated Manila, 3rd September, we learn that the squadron, consisting of the Agincourt, Vestal, Daedalus, Cruizer Wolverine Vixen, Pluto, and Nemesis. had attacked, at Malloodoo Bay, the pirate chief Seriff Housman. The boats of the squadron succeeded in taking his forts, being three in number, and mounting altogether fifteen guns; they destroyed his town, and all the goods they came across. The boats were under the fire of the batteries, while forcing the boom, upwards of fifty minutes, at little more than two hundred yards. distance. Our loss was six killed and fifteen wounded-two of the latter since dead. Mr. Pym, of the Vestal, was wounded in the back part of the thigh by a grape shot, but not dangerously. Gibbard, a mate of the Wolverine,, was killed. The loss is the Agincourt alone was four killed and six wounded. 'the loss. of the enemy could not be ascertained, 9s tey carried the bodies immediately into the jungle, but it must have been immense. Two Arab chiefs are known to have been killed, and Seriff Housman himself to have been carried off the field, severely wounded in the neck. The squadron were to sail for Hongkong from Manila the day after, namely, the 4th Sept. - Port Philip Herald, December 11.