HMS Egeria (1873)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
HMS Egeria in 1874
HMS Egeria
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Egeria
Builder: Pembroke Royal Dockyard
Cost: Hull £32,468, machinery £10,414[1]
Laid down: 30 December 1872
Launched: 1 November 1873[2]
Completed: November 1874
Reclassified: As survey ship, October 1886
Fate: Sold, October 1911
General characteristics
Class and type: Fantome-class sloop
Displacement: 949 long tons (964 t)
Tons burthen: 727 bm
Length: 160 ft (48.8 m) (p/p)
Beam: 31 ft 4 in (9.6 m)
Draught: 14 ft (4.3 m)
Depth: 15 ft 6 in (4.7 m)
Installed power: 1,011 ihp (754 kW)
Sail plan: Barque rig
Speed: 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)
Range: 1,000 nmi (1,900 km; 1,200 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement: 125
Ships of the Royal Navy's Australia Station, moored in Farm Cove, Sydney, c.1880. Egeria is the left-most ship

HMS Egeria was a 4-gun screw sloop of the Fantome class launched at Pembroke on 1 November 1873. She was named after Egeria, a water nymph of Roman mythology, and was the second ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name. After a busy career in the East Indies, Pacific, Australia and Canada, she was sold for breaking in 1914 and was burnt at Burrard Inlet in British Columbia.


Egeria was constructed of an iron frame sheathed with teak and copper (hence 'composite'), and powered by a two-cylinder horizontal compound-expansion steam engine. This engine, provided by Humphrys, Tennant & Co.,[1] drove a single 11-foot (3.4 m) diameter screw and generated an indicated 1,011 horsepower (754 kW). Steam was provided by three cylindrical boilers working at 60 pounds per square inch (4.1 bar).

Perak War[edit]

In 1875, Egeria, commanded by Commander Ralph Lancelot Turton, proceeded to Perak (in modern Malaysia), as one of a squadron of six ships under Captain Alexander Buller with his senior officer’s pennant in HMS Modeste, to take part in an expedition against the murderers of Mr James Birch, the British Resident in Perak. While the troops and a naval brigade advanced on the upper reaches of the Perak River simultaneously from two points, Egeria blockaded the Perak Littoral, and sent her boats up the Kurow River. These boats destroyed or carried off some guns, arms, and ammunition which might have been useful to the enemy. Severe punishment was inflicted on the natives, but the murderers were not brought to account for some time afterwards.[3]

Intelligence gathering in the Russian Far East[edit]

During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, Egeria, commanded by Commander Archibald Douglas, was sent on an intelligence gathering mission to Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka. It was found to have been abandoned by its Russian garrison.[4]

Survey of Australia[edit]

From 1886, under the command of Captain Pelham Aldrich, Egeria was engaged in survey around Australia.[5]

Egeria on the Brisbane River in 1889

In 1890 Hansard records that

Survey of British Columbia[edit]

In 1898, Egeria arrived in British Columbia where she was engaged in coastal surveys for the Royal Navy until 1910, by which time coast surveying responsibilities had been transferred to the Canadian Hydrographic Service. The previous surveying ship, the steamship Beaver, had been paid off 28 years earlier in 1870.

Commander Morris Henry Smyth was in command until Commander C. H. Simpson was appointed in command on 1 February 1900.[7]

Egeria was primarily involved in resurveying settled areas of the British Columbia coast to create modern charts on a larger scale. The last survey it conducted was of Welcome Pass off the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.[8]

A representation of Egeria is included on a commemorative tile at the Marine Building at 355 Burrard St. in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is one of eight historic ships of British Columbia so honored by this Art Deco building which opened in 1930.

There is also an inscription carved into the rockface of a cliff overlooking Poets Cove on Pender Island, British Columbia. It says "1905 HMSEGERIA"

Decommissioning and sale[edit]

After many years in the Surveying Service, in November 1911 she was put up to public auction at Esquimalt, and sold to the Vancouver branch of the Navy League for £1,416.


She was sold for breaking up in 1914. Her hulk was beached at Burrard Inlet, she was soaked in oil and set afire. The explosion killed three men.[9]


  1. ^ a b 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. 
  2. ^ "Naval Sloops at". Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  3. ^ "HMS Egeria at website". Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  4. ^ Ian R. Stone (1993) Spying on the Russians: Archibald Douglas and HMS Egeria at Petropavlovsk, 1877–1878 at Cambridge Journals Online
  5. ^ "HMS Egeria at William Loney website". Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  6. ^ "Hansard 24 June 1890". Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  7. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36055). London. 2 February 1900. p. 10. 
  8. ^ Little, Gary. "First Chart to Identify Half-Moon Bay Discovered in UK by Gary Little". Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  9. ^ Bastock 1988, p. 90.


External links[edit]