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HMS Sandfly was a two-gun paddle gunboat used by the New Zealand colonial government during the New Zealand land wars.

Tasmanian Maid[edit | edit source]

Built in Stockton-on-Tees by Richardson, Duck and Company and launched on 28 February 1856 as the Tasmanian Maid. She had a length of 108 feet (33 m) and a beam of 15 feet (4.6 m).[1]

Land wars[edit | edit source]

In 1863 she was converted for naval use as a gunboat during the New Zealand land wars. In 1863 she was principally used to blockade the Waihou River (Thames River).[2]

In 1865 charges of mutiny were laid against Captain Hannibal Marks for disobeying the orders of Francis Cadell. Cadell had ordered the ship to leave port without its captain due to him being delayed. The ship hit the bar while leaving port, and Marks reboarded the ship in a rowing boat. Marks was suspended and replaced with Captain Fox. When his crew refused to follow the new captain they were also suspended by Cadell. The ship was sold and the services of Marks dispensed with before any of the charges came to trial.[3]

Wreck[edit | edit source]

In 1865 she reverted to civilian use as a passenger steamship and regained her name Tasmanian Maid. She was wrecked on Kawarau Reef, New Plymouth in 1868.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

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