HMS Royalist

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Royalist, 1841
Type: Survey ship ; Brig ; Armament 6
Purchased : 9 Jul 1841 ; Disposal date or year : 1895
BM: 249 12/94ths tons

9 Jul 1841 the Mary Gordon was purchased into the Service for 7,200 and renamed Royalist. Per page 101 of a report dated 5 Mar 1847, detailing the vessels purchased by the Admiralty since 1830 - Accounts and Papers for the House of Commons Vol. 37.

20 Jul 1841 experienced typhoon at Hong Kong and as with the Sulphur was dis-masted.

13 Nov 1841 at Hong Kong.

14 Mar 1842 at the mouth of the Canton River.

5 Jul 1842 stationed at Chusan.

21 Nov 1844, arrived Singapore from Port Essington (18 Sep) having encountered strong westerly winds on the South Coast of Timor, during the continuance of which she fell in with the Royal Saxon, the Lloyds, and the Briton, conveying H.M. 80th Regiment from Sydney to Bengal, having left the former place in the middle of August. As these ships had been detained in Torres Straits by light winds, and had not sufficient water to carry them on to Calcutta, they put into Coepang, where they readily obtained a supply, a very plentiful stream of excellent water having been lately laid down to the beach by means of pipes. The Royal Saxon (conveying the head quarters of the regiment) and the Lloyds proceeded to Calcutta by the route outside Sumatra, while the Briton, being somewhat lighter than the others, preferred the inner route, by way of the Straits. All the ships were in a crowded state owing to the large proportion of women and children on board. While the Royalist was at Coepang, a Dutch sperm whaler, said to be the first ever sent out of Holland, arrived there. She is one of three ships that have been fitted out by a company in Holland, in which the present King is a large shareholder, for the purpose of whaling in the Timor and Molucca Seas. The commander and most of the officers and boatsteerers are English, and the crew Dutch. By the Royalist, we notice the arrival of Mr. Earl, from Port Essington.- Singapore Free Press.

21 Nov 1844 In a period of twelve months she had lost three commanding officers : Lieutenant Philip Chetwode, and acting Lieutenants Gerald Kingsley and Eudo Wells, and, no official communication whatsoever having reached the brig for upwards of a year and a half, the acting Second Master had been obliged to promote himself to keep the pennant flying, and then, in sheer desperation, had gone to Singapore without orders, both his masts being sprung, and all his gear so dilapidated as to be practically useless. Lieutenant Graham Ogle had been appointed to the Eoyalist in April, 1844, but seems to have been unable to discover her whereabouts, and to have waited resignedly for several months at Hong Kong, in hopes that she would turn up. Mr. Charles Parkinson, the acting Second Master, was not confirmed in his self-given rank - see p. 329 at at

Jul 1846 Borneo - see below - see also p. 332-> at at

20 Dec 1848 East Indies.

31 Jul 1849 Destruction of pirates at Borneo - see p. 362-> at at

31 Jul 1849 Destruction of pirates pirates at Borneo - see below for bounty money

20 Apr 1851 It is reported at Portsmouth that the vessel, being used for surveying, had arrived at Hong Kong.

30 Aug 1851 East Indies

1856 Police hulk.

1860 Thames Police Vessel, off Somerset House.

1870 Thames Police Vessel, off Somerset House.

1879 Police Ship, River Thames.

1890 Police Ship, River Thames.

(From the Friend of China, August 17. [1846])

We have received from an authentic source a narrative of the late operations of the fleet under command of Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane against the Sultan of Borneo, which we lay before the public, trusting that it will correct any erroneous impressions which may have been conveyed by the garbled statements in the Singapore papers.

Forcing The Bruni River; Capture of Eight Forts, Mounting Forty-Nine Heavy Guns, the Town of Borneo, and Complete Success of British Policy.

The national policy of late years of Great Britain in her intercourse with the northern portion of Borneo, termed " Borneo Proper," has been moat praiseworthy and enlightened. The suppression of piracy - the abolition of slavery - the introduction of the usages of civilised life, and a fair and honourable commercial intercourse with its people, are the leading features of the late Government treaties; and in her efforts to obtain them, no system of aggression or aggrandisement had the least influence or in any way directed her conduct. Twelve months previous, in the presence of her sovereign, and his principal rajahs, a solemn and binding treaty for the .above purposes was concluded by the British Admiral, and willingly. agreed to in open conference by both contracting parties ; and the readiness of Sir Thomas Cochrane to comply with his part of it was seen in the entire destruction of those pirates who had infested the country, and from their strong holds bade defiance to the Sultan's wishes. He has had a vessel constantly cruising between Singapore, Sarawak, and Bruni ; and, in company with Captain Bethune and Mr. Brooke, personally interested himself and explored her coal mines, that it might be the means. even by government vessels, of opening a trade which might ultimately be of consequence to our merchants.

But scarcely was his squadron gone. than powerful and discontented chiefs represented to the Sultan (Oman Ali Saffadeen) the ruin of their resources. the destruction of their slave trade, and that England in forcing herself upon them had sinister views, which would end in the entire overthrow of their barbarous policy. The party, always strong, gathered strength by impunity, and as their lives had been passed in scenes of violence and rapine, they would not and could not sit down quietly and see the trade they gloried in sink, and a more just and humane one rise from its ruins ; they gradually cooled from the English party, then came in direct opposition, and finally, when the imbecile sultan had yielded an unwilling assent, rose up and massacred with horrible determination every leader of the British party that they thought formidable to their wretched interests. Pangeran Muds Hassim, Pangeran Buddeerdoon, Pangeran Ishmael, with other nobles of less note, were slaughtered by the Sultan's party, because they upheld, with honour and integrity the treaty so honourable to their country. The treaty was scorned by the conquering party. and in their daring defied us, threw up batteries at every defensible post, staked the main arms across in four fathoms, and attempted the life of a British officer (Commander Egerton,) by sending down presents, and begging his presence at Borneo to be introduced to the sultan, who it was stated was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the English allies ; but the treachery that would have cost him his kingdom, and his nobles their lives, was frustrated by one of those peculiar movements that look as if Providence had determined by one stroke to lay bare their perfidy, and heap punishment on the evil doers. A favourite servant of Pangeran Buddeerdoon " Joppa," who was present during the last moments of this gallant and virtuous man, was entrusted with his signet ring, and the dying words of the young chief was a prayer that he would escape, inform Mr. Brooke that a design was in force to take his life, to warn him of the fate of the English party, and told him to tell the Rajah (Brooke) that he died trusting in the Queen of England to avenge his murder and her insulted alliance. For months this trusty servant lived in perfect obscurity, narrowly watched and often threatened. When the Hazard (corvette) anchored off the mouth of the River Bruni, determined not to let such a favourable opportunity slip from his grasp, he swam the river, seized a canoe, and. in the dead of night shielded by rain, succeeded in passing the forts without a challenge, and soon trod in safety the deck of the corvette, acquainted Captain Egerton with the cabals of the court party. and warned him not to think of entering the river, as he had heard the chiefs debating his death and those of the boats' crews he intended taking up with him. Upon the receipt of this intelligence, the Hazard weighed anchor without communicating with Bruni, proceeded to Sarawak, gave all the necessary information to the Government Agent, received his despatches, and made all sail for Singapore, found the Admiral had left. and forwarded by various routes the unpleasant intelligence, which was by the Tenasserim (steamer) delivered to the naval Commander-in-Chief at Madras.

Veiling his intentions from every one, he waited only two days for his English mail. and at Singapore collected round him the following ships, which had been summoned rapidly and at the exact time to meet him in that anchorage.

The Iris, Captain Munday, 26 guns
Ringdove, Sir W. Hoste. 16 guns.
Royalist, Lieutenant Reid, temporary commander, 10 guns.
Spiteful, Commander Maitland, 4 guns
Phlegethon, H. E. C. St.. Ross, Esq., 4 guns.

From the order for provisions and warlike stores obtained from the company's arsenal, it was surmised that their destination was Borneo, and it appeared in orders a few hours before sailing. The squadron started at night, made all sail, carrying a heavy press of canvas night and day. was joined by the Hazard on the 23rd, and the 24th of June saw them off the Sarawak. The Admiral went in the steamer up the Sarawak, took Mr. Brooke on board, and instantly pushed on for the River Bruni. off which the squadron cast anchor on the 6th of July. The Sultan immediately forwarded a despatch to the Admiral by a war canoe, but it was evident that he was merely gaining time, and his proposals were not accepted. At daylight on the 7th the Admiral reconnoitered the entrance, and by the 8th at 3 .a.m. all the arrangements were entered into, and the campaign commenced.

The marines and S. A. men were ordered on board H. M. S. Spiteful, commander Maitland. The field, mortar, and rocket battery, on board the Phlegethon. The Royalist was taken in tow by the Spiteful, and the Phlegethon took the gun boats under her charge. The signal was given to weigh and sound ahead to Phlegethon, and the ships proceeded up the river, the small steamer sounding 200 yards ahead of the Spiteful

The force was commanded by the Commander-in-Chief in person.

Captain Johnston, of the Agincourt, commanded the whole of the landing forces, assisted by commander Egerton, of the Hazard.
The gun boats by Captain Mundy, of the Iris, assisted by Lieutenant Patey, of the Agincourt.
The field, rocket, and mortar battery, by Lieutenant Paynter, of the Agincourt, assisted by Lieutenant Heath, of the Iris.
The marines, by Captain Hawkins. R.N.

As the force came up in sight of the lower forts, mounting in all 21 guns, the enemy were observed to take down their matting, hoisted their flag, and coolly awaited the rapid approach of the steamers. and when within good range commenced firing. The Phlegethon's pivot gun and the field and rocket battery immediately returned it with a rapid and well . directed five, assisted by the gun boats as they shoved off and opened out in view of the forts The enemy's fire was badly directed, and the shot, grape, &c , went in every direction but the true one ; and the rapid closing of the Spiteful sent them flying from their guns in the utmost confusion. The gun boats were ordered to carry the forts, firing ceased on both sides, and so well and nimbly did the foe desert their standards, that when the first invader was on the parapet he could only manage to have a long shot with a pistol at the last of the conquered. The forts above the town behaved better; as the Phlegethon rounded the point and appeared in view, they commenced firing with great accuracy at 900 yards. The field battery and the guns of the Phlegethon returned it with success, and the rapid closing of the other vessels to take part in the action drove them from. their guns with a loss on the British side on board the Phlegethon of two killed .and eight wounded; several shot struck the steamer and' filled her fore compartment, the water on both sides of her was ploughed up in every direction, and the commander of the Phlegethon deserves great credit for the able manner he handled her under fire.

The British remained undisputed masters of the forts. batteries, and guns, forty-nine in all, twenty-eight large brass ones go to England, to be placed at the disposition of Her Majesty's Government. The enemy's dead were earned away before the seamen and marines took possession.

Humbled by defeat, powerless through desertion, a fugitive front his capital and people, Omar Ali Saffadeen, attended by a few of his nobles, took refuge from the British forces is the impenetrable jungle of the interior, nor did he stay his wretched flight till a hundred miles, and dense forests were placed between him and his persevering foe, who without correct intelligence, ignorant of the country,. and trusting to doubtful guides. fondly believed that a march and a day would surprise and capture the royal deserter. It was determined by the Admiral, without loss of time to follow up the tide of success, and the next day a marching column of 400 men, commanded by Captain Mundy, having under his orders Lieutenants Newland, Matthews, Paley, Heath, Norcock, Morgan, Captain Hawkins, R.M., Lieutenants Alexander and Mansell, R M., started with the intention of securing Tuan Pangeran Hassim (the adopted son of the sultan) first; and by a forced march afterwards suddenly appear before the sultan's house. ere he had timely notice of their intention; but the guides willing enough to surrender to the English the persons of their nobles, were not so sufficiently base to betray their sovereign - money nor threats, present advantages, nor future prospects. had not yet to the unlettered savage. taught him the terrible crime of foul treason to his country and treachery to a fallen king. The main object of the expedition therefore failed; but with energy and zeal the column, moved upon the points supposed to harbour the enemy, burnt the suppositious residences of royalty. captured six brass guns, and after four days' marching in heavy rain through plains covered as far as the eye could reach with water. and through jungle so thick as to afford an effectual screen from pursuit, returned to the steamers, having displayed throughout the march a steady discipline sufficient to merit the approbation in orders of Sir Thomas Cochrane. The Admiral having despatched this column of pursuit, received information upon good authority that another noble, Hadji Saman, was secreted up one of the creeks twelve miles distant. with his followers, and could easily be secured. He instantly despatched Lieutenant Paynter and Mr. Cresswell with 20 men, and 150 Malays in their, war canoes, to bring him in a prisoner: and so correct did he deem this information, that a seizure of the person, and not a death wound, was to have been the destiny of Hadji Samara. But intelligence was communicated to the refugee, and before the first boat had started upon the scent, he bad abandoned the river with his followers, and put miles and mountains between him and his pursuers. To burn his houses, &c., and destroy his plantations, was the, only resource left to gratify disappointment, and repay the annoyance of an unsuccessful chase; however, his hiding place was revealed by a peasant, under the threat of death, and the next morning Pemmormein (the principal chief in Borneo) had his canoes in chase - and it is to be hoped that driven from creek to creak, and deserted by his attendants, this bold and reckless warrior may meet the death he has so cruelly awarded to the English party in Borneo.

In the mean time, through the agency of Mr. Brooke, and the interested attachment of the native chiefs, the admiral published a pro-clamation calling the townspeople to resume their occupations and inhabit their houses, promising them protection and security from all injury - so ably did he conduct this policy, that cunning and suspicious as the Malay is in character, crowds came pouring into the town daily, and seven days had not elapsed, ere the English stranger saw. trusting to his faith and dependant upon his power, no less a multitude than 12,000 people, relying on the word of their conquerors more securely than on that of their native rulers. How forcibly ought this fact to strike a civilized people. We came as enemies to their sovereign, determined to revenge a cruel and unmanly massacre, we defeated them in fair and honourable fight; we humbled their proudest chieftains, and took military possession of their capital, but blood once arrested; and all honourable exertions for destruction ceasing to exist, we became the willing supporters of the people, neither ravaging their villages, burning their crops, nor maltreating one individual - we had ceased to be foes, and claimed them as allies, and the captives were dismissed, if not with presents, certainly without injury. What a lesson for all Europeans, and of what deep import upon all our transactions would a continuation of such humane conduct have upon mutual intercourse with untutored men. The proudest moments of the Commander-in-Chief must have been when he denounced the outrage, and prohibited a single act of injustice to be committed upon a fallen foe.

Unable as the Admiral was to communicate direct with the Sultan, yet the serious inconveniences attending a total absence of all Government, forced him to accelerate the great object of his policy by an appeal to the well disposed of the nobles, and aware that the ruler over the country united in his person the twofold character of Sovereign and Priest, and that the people had a routed conviction of the propriety of absolute submission to the will of the reigning despot, he wisely forbore to insist on Omar's abdication, but strenuously exerted himself to overshadow his temporal dominion by a complete and total change in the administration of his Government. Summoning to a conference the Pangerans of the British party on the deck of the Spiteful, he explained to them his wishes - placed their affairs before them in a clear and forcible light; urged them to rise and be the leaders of their countrymen in the paths of peace, and to resist as ruinous to their national prosperity the horrible trade of slavery and piracy. and called upon them boldly to denounce in their public conferences, and treat as rebels and traitors, the vicious ruffians who from henceforth upheld it. He promised them British protection and naval assistance in carrying out the object of his mission, but he told them also in language too clear to be misinterpreted by the designing, his determination to resist to the utter-most any infraction of the treaty, and threat-ened to carry fire and sword into the heart of the empire if their solemn declaration only shielded the infamy of a national falsehood. They answered him with feeling, and let us trust with good faith, promised that though they could not as good subjects dethrone " Omar Ali," yet they would sacrifice their lives ere they would allow the Sultan to dis-grace the nation by violating its honourable engagements, and called upon Pemmormein to assume with their full concurrence the reins of government, requesting him to call to his as-sistance any of the assembled leaders. Pemmormein accepted with modesty the honour-able burthen of command, named Pangeran Behar his second in rank, and promised to forward ere nightfall a full account of the debate to "Omar Ali," and in the confidence of pos-sessing power, assured the Admiral that the sultan would readily yield a willing tribute to the successful enterprise of the British, by bowing implicitly to their reasonable demands. The assembly shortly afterwards broke up, a proclamation was issued to the inhabitants, stating in general terms the policy to be pur-sued, and a letter was forwarded to the hiding place of the Sovereign at Sarakee, acquainting him with the course of events, and calling upon him to resume his sway; but, explaining to him in express terms that the measures of his reign must be guided by the clauses of the treaty.

The Sultan has since the squadron left agreed to the terms, and is in quiet possession of his throne, supported by the British party.

The first act of Pemmomein's ministry was to bring to trial and death, three of the captured leaders who commanded the forts that fired upon the English; they were cressed over the grave of the murdered Buddrudeen whose assassination they had been instrumental in accomplishing.

Interfering so seriously in the national councils as we have done, sound prudence demands that England should assist the efforts of the Bornean kingdom in her march of improvement, and as she has destroyed by force her powers of committing evil, heal by a generous interest in her welfare the divisions of her rulers, and if the minister only pursues with honesty and firmness the policy so clearly laid down for him, Europe may yet acknowledge the northern portion of Borneo entitled to an importance, and assuming a position, that half a century earlier would have been deemed impossible.

Every thing having been arranged between the Admiral and the Government, to the satisfaction of both parties. the Spiteful and Phlegethon steamed down the river and joined the squadron off Mooris Point on the 22nd, and the fleet stood to sea at daylight on the 23rd of July for Maluda Bay, leaving the Hazard off the Bruni river.

Daily News of 1 May 1851
Naval Prize Money (from Tuesday's Gazette)

The Royalist - Notice is given to Lieut. H. B. Everest and the officers and crew of her Majesty's ship Royalist, who were actually on board and entitled to share in the bounty money awarded for the destruction of pirates at Borneo on the 31st July 1849, that the distribution thereof will be made on the 21st May next, at No. 1 James Street, Adelphi, and where the lists will be re-called every Wednesday and Friday for three months, according to act of parliament.

Third 735 3s. 9d.
Fourth 183 15s. 11d.
Fifth 165 8s. 4d.
Sixth 110 5s. 6d.
Seventh 91 17s. 11d.
Eighth 73 10s. 4d.
Ninth 55 2s. 9d.
Tenth 36 15s. 2d.
Twelfth 18 7s. 7d.
J Woodhead, Agent.