HMS Vernon

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Vernon, 1832
Type: 4th rate ; Armament 50
Launched : 1 May 1832 ; Disposal date or year : 1923
BM: 1832 tons ; Displacement: 2388 tons

Designed by Sir Captain W. Symonds, he went on to construct the Queen, Pique, Vestal, 26, and Snake, 16 etc. and became Surveyor of the Navy, although there were those who were less than enthusiastic with respect to Symonds designs and insisted that many of them had significant shortcomings, not least the Vernon which was reputed to be a very poor sailor in anything greater than a breeze and always seemed to provide much to write about in the Naval sections of the press of the day.

1 May 1832 the wind and tide caught the vessel after she slipped into the water and brought her round against the Lancaster, sheer-hulk, damaging the Vernon's main channel and timbers. She was taken in tow by the Comet and hauled into dock.

6 Jun 1832 is reported to have taken in her lower masts in the new basin at Woolwich.

14 Jul 1832 it is reported at Portsmouth that 3 men and a woman have died on board the Vernon as a result of the present outbreak of Cholera at Woolwich, 1791 new cases having been reported across the country in the last week, and 713 deaths. Reports in the papers say that it has also arrived in Germany, Holland and France.

14 Jul 1832 was due to depart Woolwich for Portsmouth, but was not yet ready and her departure has been delayed by a week or two.

5 Aug 1832 departed Deal with the Pantaloon and Snake.

7 Aug 1832 passed Spithead bound for Plymouth and Cork.

10 Aug 1832 arrived Plymouth for repairs to her masts, from sailing trials, en route for Cork, and has been towed into harbour.

18 Aug 1832 the Hampshire Telegraph notes that Mr. W. Batten's patent compressor for checking and stopping cables has been installed.

25-29 Aug 1832 V.-Adm. Sir P. Malcolm's squadron, including the Donegal (flag), Castor, Tyne, Trinculo, Nimrod, and the revenue cruiser Prince of Wales, along with the Vernon, Dryad, Snake and Dee assembled at Torbay for sailing trials, and were joined by the Stag on Thursday, just arrived from off Oporto. The Vernon lost a man off the fore-yard as she was going into Torbay, and that despite attempts to save him he went down and was lost. The Board of Admiralty arrived on the 27th from Portsmouth, in the Lightning, and observed some of the relative sailing qualities of the vessels taking part in the trials, before departing for Plymouth. Per some of the commentators details of the trials would appear to be too fragmented to make much sense, and it might be that someone was attempting to obfuscate the results as they didn't provide the results that some people wanted to see.......ship design being the political football it was for many years in those days....good or bad or indifferent someone would usually be prepared to praise it if they thought they could score points - to the casual observer the word infantile springs to mind: they all wanted improvement, but unless their designer was the one to produce it anything produced by another designer was condemned, whatever qualities the vessel might have e.g. the Vernon had shortcomings in certain sea states and wind, and ISTR that when she was flag ship on the W. Indies and N. America station the flag officer made a point of highlighting her problems, and as a result was roundly condemned, not because he was wrong, but because others took it as a political insult, although it didn't seem to do Adm. Sir George Cockburn's career any harm, but that said he, like many naval officers was a politician, so perhaps they've not changed that much if current lot are anything to go by ;-).

29 Aug 1832 the squadron, Donegal, Vernon, Stag, Castor, Snake and Nimrod arrived Plymouth Sound from Torbay briefly and then departed for Cork for further trials, before separating e.g. as a part of the Channel squadron blockading Dutch ports with a French squadron.

18 Sep 1832 arrived Spithead from trials off the Scilly Isles, with the Donegal and Castor, all awaiting orders.

End of 1832, a part of a squadron of vessels involved in the blockade of the ports of Holland, which was defying the great Powers with regard to the Belgian question. See p. 270-1 at

1 Nov 1832 departed Spithead for the Downs with sealed orders.

2 Nov 1832 arrived Deal from Spithead.

6 Nov 1832 was in the Downs when V.-Adm. Sir P. Malcolm's squadron arrived from Spithead.

9 Nov 1832 departed the Downs for the North Sea with the Castor and Rover, and two French vessels, La Résolue, and the Calypso.

15 Nov 1832 has detained and sent into Deal the Herstelling.

28 Nov 1832 the Vernon with the Stag, Volage, Scout, Larne, Rover, Snake, and steamer Dee, along with 5 French vessels, are reported to be cruising off the Dutch ports, from Walcheren to the Texel.

5 Dec 1832 arrived Spithead from the North Sea with the Zeuw Hoffstede, bound from Batavia to Holland, detained off Dungeness.

6 Dec 1832 it has been announced that the Vernon has been ordered to prepare to receive the flag of the prospective flag officer for the North America and West Indies station and is to go to Plymouth today to be fitted out for that purpose.

10 Dec 1832 departed Portsmouth for Plymouth and the West Indies.

26 Jan 1833 at Plymouth preparing for service on the North America station.

31 Jan 1833 departed Plymouth for the West Indies.

17 Feb 1833 arrived Falmouth from Portsmouth, bound to Halifax.

1 Mar 1833 arrived and departed Madeira on the 4th for the West Indies.

21 Apr 1833 refitting at Jamaica.

18 Jun 1833 at Bermuda preparing to proceed to Halifax.

13 Jul 1833 arrived Halifax from Bermuda.

1 Oct 1833 arrived Bermuda from Halifax.

5 Feb 1834 is reported to be at Port Royal.

1 Jul 1834 refitting at Bermuda.

9 Aug 1834 arrived Portsmouth from Bermuda in 17 days.

Circa 22 Jan 1835 is reported to have passed Gibraltar, from the Downs.

31 Jan 1835 is reported to be at Malta.

9 Feb 1835 departed Malta with a squadron for the Vourla, where it arrived circa 15 Feb..

1 Jul 1835 with the Mediterranean squadron, in the Levant, off Cape Sapienza.

16 Oct 1835 arrived Malta from the Levant.

8 Dec 1835 reported to be cruising with the Barham and Revenge, and on sailing exercises.

14 Dec 1835 arrived Malta from a cruise and sailing trials with the Revenge and Barham.

7 Mar 1836 in Valetta harbour preparing for the Spring/Summer cruise.

11 Jun 1836 is reported to have returned to Malta from a cruise on 16 May, and came into harbour to have a defect in fore-mast repaired.

21 Jun 1836 departed Corfu for Patras.

11 Mar 1837 touched at Portsmouth an route from the Mediterranean for Sheerness, having called at Barcelona, Gibraltar and Tangier on her passage back to England.

25 Mar 1837 was paid-off at Chatham.

2 Nov 1840 at Sheerness ; has been brought forward for commission.

7 Nov 1840 Sheerness, has been commissioned by Captain William Walpole.

7 Nov 1840 Captain William Walpole, Lieutenants George C. Randolph, ----- Davies, Lieutenant Thomas Baillie ; Purser John Palmer ; Gunner Michael Saunders, appointed to join the Vernon.

21 Nov 1840 Clerk's Assistant Charles M. Balfour, appointed to the Vernon.

21 Nov 1840 Portsmouth Lieutenant Caffin, of the Excellent has been ordered to Sheerness, to superintend the fitting of the gun carriages for the Vernon.

12 Dec 1840 The following are the officers of Her Majesty's ship Vernon, lately commissioned at Sheerness :- Captain, William Walpole, (1819). Lieutenants, Horatio Jauncey (1830),J, B. Dacres (1833), Thomas Baillie (18.37), and G. G. Randolph (1838). Master C. C. Dawers (1833). Surgeon G. Roberts (1823). Assistant Surgeons, Alexander Mitchell. M.D., (1839), and J. A. Gray. Purser John Palmer (1808). Royal Marines, Captain C. C. Williamson (1839). First Lieutenant George Logan. (1833).

26 Dec 1840 Mate L. C. H. Tonge, appointed to the Vernon.

24 Dec 1840 is recruiting seamen.

2 Jan 1841 Mate G. S. Boys, late of Buzzard, appointed to the Vernon ,

27 Feb 1841 Lieutenant Rochfort Maguire, appointed to the Vernon.

1 Mar 1841 at Sheerness.

12 Mar 1841 Portsmouth, Captain W. Walpole, was towed to the Nore on Thursday.

16 Mar 1841 arrived at Spithead from Sheerness, in company of the Salamander steamer.

20 Mar 1841 Mate Henry Wall, appointed to the Vernon.

17 Apr 1841 Mate J. A. Paynter, appointed to the Vernon, from the Excellent.

24 Apr 1841 The Avon arrived from Liverpool and Bristol, with newly raised men for the ships recently commissioned at Portsmouth.

11 May 1841 Gunner M. Saunders, of the Vernon, appointed to the Cornwallis.

11 May 1841 Gunner A. Parker, of the Pelican, appointed to the Vernon.

12 Jun 1841 Lieutenant Zaccheus Andrews, appointed to the Vernon, vice Sinclair.

12 Jun 1841 Assistant-surgeon William B. Fegen ; Master’s Assistant G. Goman, appointed to the Vernon.

19 Jun 1841 Portsmouth, is ordered to the Mediterranean station.

19 Jun 1841 Naval Instructor and Schoolmaster W. Whitmarsh, appointed to the Vernon.

11 Jul 1841 Portsmouth, departed for the Mediterranean, touching at Lisbon, Cadiz, Gibraltar, and Malaga.

23 Jul 1841 was at Cadiz, having arrived in 8 days from Portsmouth.

19 Aug 1841 arrived at Malta, from England.

6 Sep 1841 departed Malta for Corfu with victuals and stores for the Weazle.

9 Sep 1841 arrived Corfu from Malta.

5 Oct 1841 returned to Corfu, from the Southern Islands.

21 Nov 1841 departed Corfu for Malta.

29 Nov 1841 Malta, arrived from Corfu.

11 Dec 1841 Midshipman Hon. F. Walpole appointed to the Vernon.

17 Dec 1841 Mate L. de J. Prevost, has been promoted to Lieutenant and is appointed to the Vernon.

30 Dec 1841 arrived Gibraltar from Malta.

5 Jan 1842 was at Gibraltar when the steam ship Montrose departed for England.

13 Jan 1842 arrived at Cadiz, from Gibraltar.

28 Jan 1842 was at Cadiz.

30 Jan 1842 arrived back at Gibraltar.

27 Feb 1842 arrived Malta in 4 days and some hours from Gib., bringing with her a gale, carrying away her main yard and splitting the foretopsail as she arrived off the Island..

26 Apr 1842 will depart Malta.

30 May 1842 arrived Malta from Athens and Corfu.

16 Jun 1842 departed Malta for Tripoli.

22 Jun 1842 it was reported at Malta that the Boatswain of the Vernon had been dismissed his ship by and loss of rate and 7 years time at a Court Martial for insubordination.

5 Aug 1842 is understood to be replacing the Inconstant at Beyrout shortly.

15 Aug 1842 reported to be under sailing orders at Malta for Beyrout, to relieve the Inconstant.

C 16 Aug 1842 departed Malta for Beyrout to relieve the Inconstant.

15 Sep 1842 on the coast of Syria.

27 Sep 1842 at Beyrout.

10 Nov 1842 at Beyrout.

1846 South America and River Plate.

6 Feb 1847 By Ed. Just to give a flavour of some of the wild or imaginative reporting that appeared in the papers of the day, presumably with a view to increasing circulation ? In the Indian papers for August there appeared a statement to the effect that a vessel had arrived at Bombay, the Captain of which reported that the Captain of an American brig, which he had spoken at sea, had informed him that the Vernon, lying at Monte Video, had been accidentally blown up, and that nearly the entire crew (six hundred men) were destroyed. Considering the statement to be extremely doubtful, we did not allude to it ; but some of our contemporaries having at the time put it prominently forward, it may perhaps be as well to say that the whole story was a wicked invention ; that long after the period when the accident was stated to have happened, the Vernon was all well, and that not the slightest mishap that could have given any colour to the report had occurred.

7 Mar 1847 Exchanged signals with "Richard and William" in Straits of Banca, from England bound for China, with Adm. Inglefield's Flag flying.

24 Jul 1847 arrived Hong Kong from Singapore.

16 Aug 1847 "Titania" reports on her arrival at Port Phillip circa 16 Aug, that she spoke to the Vernon, 50, at lat. 3 deg 3 mins N., long. 104 deg 20 mins E., flying the flag of r.-Adm. Inglefield, in search of a pirate.

17 Jun 1848 It is "reported" that H.M.S. Vernon had been condemned at Bombay. She was reckoned one of the finest frigates in the navy, and was only eighteen years old, but her timbers were found to be completely rotten - obviously a false report.

20 Dec 1848 Chatham.

1860 Chatham.

1870 Portland, Floating Jetty for Coaling.

1876 torpedo school at Portsmouth, which included submarine mining and all things electrical.

26 Apr 1876 Commissioned at Portsmouth.

1878 1879 Portsmouth. Torpedo School Ship : Tenders: "Bloodhound" and "Vesuvius".

1886 Renamed Actaeon.

Apr 1886 Portsmouth.

1886 Replaced by Donegal 5481 tons.

1890 Portsmouth. Torpedo School Ship.

1890 Tenders: "Bloodhound", "Rattlesnake", "Vesuvius".

Jan 1921 shown in the Navy List as Actaeon, and attached to Actceon Torpedo School, Sheerness.

1 Oct 1923 - established moved ashore, on the Old Gunwharf at Portsmouth.