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HMS Cordelia (1856)
HMS Icarus
HMS Icarus, sister-ship to Cordelia
Career Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Cordelia
Ordered: 3 April 1854
Builder: Pembroke Dockyard
Laid down: October 1855
Launched: 3 July 1856
Completed: at Plymouth
Commissioned: 11 April 1857
Decommissioned: 1870
Fate: Sold on 12 May 1870 for breaking
General characteristics
Class & type: Racer-class sloop
Displacement: 861 tons
Tons burthen: 577 30/94 bm
Length: 151 ft (46.0 m) (gundeck)
131 ft 3.75 in (40.0 m) (keel)
Beam: 29 ft 1 in (8.9 m)
Depth of hold: 15 ft 10 in (4.8 m)
Installed power: 461 ihp (344 kW)
  • 2-cylinder horizontal single-expansion steam engine
  • Single screw
Sail plan: Barque rig
Speed: 9.9 knots (18.3 km/h)
Complement: 120

HMS Cordelia was an 11-gun Racer-class sloop of the Royal Navy launched in 1856 and sold in 1870.

Design[edit | edit source]

Built of a traditional wooden construction, the Racer class were a lengthened version of the Swallow-class sloop,[Note 1] which in turn had been intended as "type of screw vessel below the Cruizer". The extra length gave greater speed, and combined with a considerable increase in power, this gave a speed of about 10 knots (19 km/h), rather more than the 7 knots of the previous class.[1]

The class were armed with a single 32-pounder gun (58cwt) gun on a pivot mount and ten 32-pounder (25cwt) carronades on the broadside. These guns were all smoothbore muzzle-loading, and were little changed from the standard guns of Nelson's era.[2]

Propulsion was provided by a James Watt & Co two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion steam engine developing 461 indicated horsepower (344 kW) and driving a single screw. At maximum power under steam, her top speed was about 9.9 knots (18.3 km/h). A barque rig of sails was carried, which meant she had three masts with a square rig on the fore and main masts.[1]

Construction[edit | edit source]

Cordelia was laid down at Pembroke Dockyard in October 1855 and launched on 3 July 1856.[2] The total cost was £33,428, of which the machinery cost £9,014.[1]

Royal Navy service[edit | edit source]

She was commissioned on 11 April 1857 under Commander Charles Egerton Harcourt-Vernon and initially sent to the East Indies Station until being assigned to the Australia Station in 1859. In 1860 she served in the First Taranaki War.[2] Command passed in June 1861 to Commander Francis Alexander Hume; on returning to the UK, she was paid off at Plymouth on 2 April 1862.[3]

She was recommissioned on 24 June 1864 under Commander John Binney Scott and then served in the North American and West Indies Station until she was paid off on 9 July 1868 at Plymouth; meanwhile Commander Thomas Alexis De Wahl had been given command on 3 March 1865 when Scott became invalided, and was in turn succeeded on 16 September 1867 by Commander Charles Parry.[3]

Fate[edit | edit source]

She was sold on 12 May 1870 for breaking up at Plymouth.[1]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Cordelia and Gannet were ordered as Swallow-class ships but the design was changed before construction.

Citations[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Winfield (2004) p.216
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Bastock, p.29.
  3. 3.0 3.1 William Loney website

References[edit | edit source]

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