HMS Herald (1822)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Herald and HMS Termagant.
HMS Herald.jpg
HMS Herald and steamship tender Torch, Expedition to the South Sea, Illustrated London News 15 May 1852.
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Herald
Ordered: 5 June 1819
Builder: East India Company dockyard, Cochin, British India
Laid down: March 1820
Launched: 5 November 1822
Commissioned: 16 July 1824[1]
Renamed: Launched as HMS Termagant in 1821
Renamed Herald on 15 May 1824
Reclassified: Survey vessel in June 1845
Chapel ship in 1861
Fate: Sold for breaking on 28 April 1862
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Atholl-class 28-gun sixth-rate corvette
Tons burthen: 499 9194 (bm)
Length: 113 ft 8 in (34.6 m) (gundeck)
94 ft 8 34 in (28.9 m) (keel)
Beam: 31 ft 6 in (9.6 m)
Depth of hold: 8 ft 9 in (2.67 m)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Complement: 175
Armament: Upper deck: 20 x 32-pounder (25cwt) carronades

QD: 6 x 18-pounderr carronades

Fc: 2 x 9-pounder guns

HMS Herald was an Atholl-class 28-gun sixth-rate corvette of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1821 as HMS Termagant, commissioned in 1824 as Herald and converted to a survey ship in 1845. After serving as a chapel ship from 1861, she was sold for breaking in 1862.


Termagant was launched at the East India Company dockyard at Cochin, British India on 15 November 1821. She was renamed Herald on 15 May 1824, and commissioned on 16 July 1824.[1]

Service in New Zealand[edit]

On 29 April 1840 HMS Herald, under Captain Joseph Nias, sailed with Major Thomas Bunbury of the 80th Regiment (appointed by Governor William Hobson as Commissioner) and Edward Marsh Williams as interpreter to take a copy of the Treaty of Waitangi (known as the ‘Herald-Bunbury’ copy) to the South Island of New Zealand to obtain signatures from Māori chiefs as part the process of claiming British sovereignty over New Zealand.[2][3]

Service in the First Anglo-Chinese War[edit]

During the period 1841–42 she was involved in actions off Canton in the fleet commanded by Sir William Parker in the First Anglo-Chinese War (1839–42),[4] known popularly as the First Opium War.

Survey voyages[edit]

She was converted to a survey ship in 1845, serving in the Pacific.[5] She conducted a survey of the coast of British Columbia after the Oregon boundary dispute with the United States.[5]

In 1845 Henry Kellett was appointed captain of Herald, which was assigned in 1848 to join the search for Sir John Franklin who had been exploring the Northwest Passage. During this voyage Herald sailed through the Bering Strait across the Chukchi Sea and discovered Herald Island, which Kellett named after his ship.

From 1852 to 1861, under the command of Captain Henry Mangles Denham, HMS Herald carried out a survey of the Australian coast and Fiji Islands, continuing the mission of HMS Rattlesnake. The naturalists on the voyage were John MacGillivray (1821–1867), William Milne (botanist) and Denis Macdonald as Assistant Surgeon-zoologist. However following disagreements with the captain, John MacGillivray disembarked at Sydney in January 1854.

She was the first sailing ship to enter the Fitzroy Dock, Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour.[6]


Herald was converted to a chapel ship and was used as a floating church in Shoreham in 1861.[1] She was sold to Castle for breaking on 28 April 1862.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Winfield (2004) p.113.
  2. ^ "Williams, Edward Marsh 1818–1909". Early New Zealand Books (NZETC). 1952. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Treaty of Waitangi signing locations: ‘Herald-Bunbury’ copy". NZ History Online. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "HMS HERALD (Anglo-Chinese war 1842)". Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Herald at the William Loney website". Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  6. ^ Gillett, p.12.