HMS Blossom (1806)
His Majesty's ship Blossom off the Sandwich Islands
|Ordered:||19 November 1805|
|Builder:||Robert Guillaume, Northam|
|Laid down:||February 1806|
|Launched:||10 December 1806|
|Completed:||21 April 1807|
|Reclassified:||Exploration ship in 1825
Survey ship in 1829
Hulked in 1833
|Fate:||Broken up in August 1848|
|Class and type:||18-gun Cormorant-class sloop-of-war|
|Tons burthen:||422 bm|
|Length:||108 ft 4 in (33.02 m) (overall)
90 ft 8 in (27.64 m) (keel)
|Beam:||29 ft 7 in (9.02 m)|
|Depth of hold:||9 ft (2.7 m)|
|Armament:||(as built) Fc: 2 × 6-pounder guns + 2 × 18-pounder carronades|
HMS Blossom was an 18-gun Cormorant-class sloop-of-war. She was built in 1806 and is best known for the 1825–1828 expedition under Captain Beechey to the Pacific Ocean. She explored as far north as Point Barrow, Alaska, the furthest point into the Arctic any non-Inuit had been at the time. She was finally broken up in 1848.
On 26 February 1808 Blossom was in company with Eclipse when they captured the Sally and Hetty, William Fleming, Master. Blossom was in company with Jamaica when they recaptured the American brig Iris.
In the mid-morning of 23 February 1812, Blossom was five leagues off Cabrera[disambiguation needed] when a strange schooner sailed towards her, mistaking her for a merchantman. When the schooner realized her mistake a five-hour chase followed before Blossom was able to capture the schooner Jean Bart. Jean Bart was of 147.5 tons (bm) and had been launched in Marseilles only five weeks earlier. She was armed with five 12 and two 6-pounder guns, and had a crew of 106 men under the command of Jean Francis Coulome. She had made no captures but within the previous five days her excellent sailing had enabled her to evade two British frigates and a brig.
In 1917 a copper plate was discovered in the Bonin Islands, inscribed with a message claiming the islands as a British possession:
HBM Ship Blossom Capt F. W. Beechey took possession of this Group of Islands in the Name of and on the behalf of His Britannic Majesty George the IV on the 14th June 1827.
Sources and references
- The London Gazette: . 9 January 1810.
- The London Gazette: . 30 October 1810.
- The London Gazette: . 21 April 1812.[dead link]
- Oldman, W. O. (December 1944). "Historical Relic". The Journal of the Polynesian Society (The Polynesian Society) 53 (4): 211. Retrieved 7 September 2014. (subscription required (. ))
- Beechey, Frederick William (1832). Narrative of A Voyage To The Pacific And Beering's Strait, To Co-Operate With The Polar Expeditions Performed In His Majesty's Ship Blossom, Under The Command Of Captain F. W. Beechey, R. N. In The Years 1825, 26, 27, 28. Philadelphia: Carey & Lea. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
- Winfield, Rif & Lyon, David (2004). The Sail and Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815–1889. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-032-6. OCLC 52620555.
- Ships of discovery and exploration, by Lincoln P. Paine
- Earliest Records of the Islands Their Discovery by Captain Beechey, H.M.S. "Blossom"
- Mid-Victorian RN vessel HMS Blossom
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